In this counseling answer:
• Encourage him to seek counseling for his mental health difficulties.
• Helping him to engage in a wider Muslim social network is also a way to make sure that he is in good company with brothers. They will be able to support him.
• Help arrange meetings with sisters with a view to potential marriage.
• Do other fun things together that he enjoys and will promote his happiness.
• Pray for him.
Wa Alaikum salaam wa Rahmatullah wa barakatu,
May Allah reward your concern for your friend. He is very fortunate to have a friend like you who cares about him and pleasing Allah.
As he your friend, it must be painful to see him following a path that is leading him astray. However, with the help of Allah and some persistence in prayer, Allah can set him back aright again. So, do not lose hope.
It is probably not necessary here to reiterate what is said in the Qur’an and spoken about by the scholars. It is clear that your friend is well aware of this and this is what bothers him. However, there are several things you can do to assist him in the process.
Encourage him to seek counseling for his mental health difficulties.
The first thing you have mentioned is that he is suffering from mental health problems. Maybe what he is going through is his way of coping with these issues. Especially given that it seems his primary motivation in his current relationship is to attain emotional support.
It may be that simply addressing his psychological difficulties will deal with the inner conflicts he has been going through that causes him to resort to homosexuality as a means of comfort.
In the best case scenario, simply dealing with these psychological issues via counseling will be enough to turn his heart back. He will no longer need to seek the emotional support he needs in the wrong way but will be able to do so in a way that is more acceptable to Allah.
It may be that whilst he experiences mental health problems he experiences some disorientation. Encourage him to think about the following things:
You state that he is repulsed by sexual aspects and clearly in need of emotional support only, which his boyfriend provides him right now. Maybe he’s not even homosexual/bisexual at all, it’s just, for now, this is how his needs are being met.
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Is there something about his boyfriend in particular that brings such happiness? Is it a quality that can only be gained from a man? Or can it be attained with a woman also? Are there other ways to get what he’s looking for from a male perspective with another man in a halal way? These are a thing you could talk about with him, or at least encourage him to think about.
Engage him in a strong social support network.
If his motivation for this relationship is just to chat about issues relating to the man, then having a strong social network with other brothers can fulfill this. Helping him to engage in a wider Muslim social network is also a way to make sure that he is in good company with brothers. They will be able to support him, even if only from a psychological perspective relating to his mental health if he does not wish to share his story about his romantic life.
Encourage him to get closer to Allah.
Being amongst other Muslims is also a way to draw him closer to Allah, indirectly. Encouraging him to get closer to Allah, without being forceful, of course, will help instill a fear of Allah and a desire to behave in ways that are pleasing to Him whilst avoiding sin. Pray together, invite him with you when you attend the mosque, invite him to attend a Quran class or Islamic studies class with you. This way you are not pushing him to do any of these things, but are gently encouraging him to join you.
Find happiness via halal means.
As well as supporting him in establishing a social network and boosting his spirituality, you can also do other fun things together that he enjoys and will promote his happiness. This will be good for his mental health as well as providing the space to appreciate life.
Help arrange meetings with sisters with a view to potential marriage.
He said he could be happy with anyone else, even women. So, perhaps you could help to arrange meetings with sisters who he may like to marry. Someone who can provide him with the emotional support in a halal way and stop him feeling tortured knowing consequences of his actions.
If he has never been with a woman, so perhaps he doesn’t realize that he can get the same emotional support he wants and needs from a woman. Having meetings with potential suitors will help to open his eyes to these other potential options.
‘And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them, and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.’ (Qur’an, 30:21)
Pray for him.
Of course, continue to pray for him all the time. Pray for Allah to guide his heart aright and for him to find happiness with a spouse.
‘And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.’ (Qur’an, 2:186)
Whilst it is distressing to see your friend engaged in a haram relationship, there are some things you can do to help improve his situation.
Firstly, encourage him to seek counseling to help him deal with the underlying issues that may be responsible for his behavior. Furthermore, you can be there to encourage and support him doing other things that will work as a way to promote his psychological well-being, such as befriending other brothers, getting closer to Allah as well as doing fun things together.
May Allah guide your friend aright and bring him peace and happiness. May He reward your commitment to helping your friend, whilst striving to please Him yourself.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.