I Was Raped; I Don’t Trust Anyone

13 August, 2016
Q As-salamu alaykum, I live in Ethiopia. I have been sexually abused when I was a child (around 7) many times by our house guard. My parents know about the situation but rather than going to the police, they fired him from our house and gave him another job. For that, I really hate my parents. When I was around 20, I was raped again. I will never forgive those people who raped me. Now, I am 26 years old and haven’t married but eagerly want to get married. However, my problem is that I don't trust anybody, and I still I feel the pain. Sometimes, I think of killing myself because the pain I feel; it is hard to survive. I always ask myself that if Allah doesn't love me, why He brought me to this world then. I always cry before going to bed and make dua`a' to forget what happened to me and to live a happy life, but my prayers haven’t been answered yet. Please tell me what to do. Shall I forgive these people?



Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam my dear sister in Islam,

I am really sorry you had to go through such horrendous events in your life. But you have to know that you did nothing wrong. You were a victim; therefore, you should not feel that “Allah (swt) doesn’t love me” or question “why He brought me into this world?”

Your body is a worldly thing, thus, not “real”. So, a rapist cannot touch your soul, only your body. If you think your body is your soul, and your soul is violated when only your body is violated, then that can be a very big and real problem because it is a misunderstanding of who we are and what we are. Reading your message, I feel this is what’s happening in your case.

Think of your soul: would you rape anyone? No, right? So, that proves that your soul is not corrupt, and Allah (swt) loves the person who does not have a black heart. Just because someone trespasses on your land (your body) does not make your land all of a sudden becomes theirs, or even like them. Your land can never be theirs just because they trespass on it. Even if the issue has to wait until the Day of Judgment to be sorted out, your land is never theirs, nor like them! No one can ever touch your soul, except Shaitan can whisper into it to try to make you change it from good to bad. So, I want you to start loving yourself because you are beautiful and not evil and not corrupt. Those other people are not you and you are not them, and just because they touched the frame of your soul does not corrupt you in any way!

Two, forgive all people so that Allah (swt) will forgive you. Allah (swt) has Mercy on those who have mercy on others.

“The merciful are shown mercy by Ar-Rahman. Be merciful on the earth, and you will be shown mercy from Who is above the heavens…” (At-Tirmidhi)

So don’t be arrogant and leave everyone’s judgment to Allah (swt). That does not mean forget. The reason we don’t forget is because we need to learn from our experiences about how Allah’s (swt) world works so we can pass our tests. The ones whom Allah (swt) loves the most are the ones He (swt) tests the most. (Think about the prophets!) So, your problems are proves that Allah (swt) loves you very much! In Sha’ Allah, you just need to figure out how to pass your tests. One of the first steps is to realize that testing is actually a good thing!

Three, don’t project onto others what some evil people did to you. Take each person on their own merit. I know that your fear is making you very skittish, and that makes sense, but it is also going to get in your way of progress and marrying someone who is good and would never hurt you, intentionally. But I don’t think you are going to get to this stage until you learn to love yourself first, and then you will be able to look out your eyes with confidence and security within yourself with Allah (swt). I encourage you to seek help from a professional counselor who can help you process the traumatic events in your past and move on to live a happy and healthy life.

May Allah (swt) make it easy for you, In Sha’ Allah.


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About Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem
Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem, an American, has a BA in English from UC Berkeley
and is about to receive an MS degree in counseling psychology
(Marriage and Family Therapy - MFT) from the Western Institute for Social Research.
For over ten years, Nasira worked as a psychotherapist with the general public and in addiction recovery.

For the last few years, she has been a life coach specializing in
interpersonal relations.
Nasira also consults with her many family members who studied Islam overseas and returned to America to be Imams and teachers of Islam. Muslims often ask Nasira what psychology has to do with Islam. To this, she replies that Islam is the manifestation of a correct understanding of our psychology. Therapists and life coaches help clients figure out how to traverse the path of life as a Believer, i.e., "from darkness into light", based on Islam and given that that path is an obstacle course, according to Allah.