I have same sex attraction since my childhood. I like men. I have very strong urges to get intimate with men. I don't have any feelings for women, not even a little bit. I control myself not to be with a man, but I can't resist it anymore. ,
I have to satisfy my desires. I tried counseling, therapy, and duas but nothing worked. I pray five times daily and make duas for myself, but Allah has not blessed me with normal sexual desires. ,
I'm already 45 years old. I have spent all my life struggling with these feelings and masturbating so that I could not go to another man. Please advise me on my situation and help me. Thanks.
In this counseling answer:
• Please take comfort in knowing the love and support you have from your Creator is beyond human comprehension.
• Some men have lower levels of testosterone or chromosomal abnormalities that can cause feelings of heightened femininity or changes in sexual attraction. You can determine if this is affecting you by speaking with a physician about performing lab tests.
• One solution could be Reintegrative Therapy. The focus is not to change one’s sexuality, but to resolve underlying roots, traumas and compulsions.
• Another solution is accepting this as your reality and test.
• Seek help from a therapist and organizations that specifically work with Muslims like you.
• Contact our Ask the Scholar section for an Islamic insight.
Assalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa barakatu Brother,
I am not a scholar so I will answer you from the perspective of a counselor, not the perspective of Islamic rulings.
Firstly, and importantly, dear Brother, Allah (most honored and revered) loves you and made you beautifully. Please take comfort in knowing the love and support you have from your Creator is beyond human comprehension. The fact that Allah (swt) has continuously kept you on the path of regular prayer and worship is a sign of His love.
“…Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him]” [Quran 3:159]
Please know that our sexual urges do not control us, define us and are not an indication of our level of faith. Everyone has urges, some are considered normal and others are rarer or caused by something in our past. Most sexual urges have a link to something that happened to us. Our childhood is part of our sexual design psychologically.
For example, Brother, some homosexual men find that in their childhood they did not have many positive male role models or experienced a traumatic event with a male. This can leave a void which they want to fill as they grow up and instead of filling that with friends or family relationships, they seek out romantic relationships to fulfill that void. You can examine your relationships growing up with your father, any brothers or uncles etc. Think back to whether these were healthy relationships or unhealthy. If you determine they were not healthy, you may have already identified the root.
Some men have lower levels of testosterone or chromosomal abnormalities that can cause feelings of heightened femininity or changes in sexual attraction. You can determine if this is affecting you by speaking with a physician about performing lab tests. Please be aware, these results would be confidential, and your doctor would not be allowed under HIPAA privacy laws to release anything regarding your appointments to others. You can do this privately to determine if this is resulting from a biological factor.
Brother, it is beautiful and truly a blessing that you talk about praying your 5 daily prayer and making frequent duaa. This shows your heart is connected to your faith and you strive to do the best you can for Allah (swt). I want to encourage you to maintain your daily prayers and maintain making duaa. Additionally, increase your dhikr during the day.
As you strive for greater God-consciousness it will help you inshallah to better understand your feelings, thoughts and current internal conflicts. This will help to keep your actions in line with what will increase your connection to Allah (swt).
“Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured” [Quran 13:28]
Brother, as mentioned above I am a counselor not a jurist, so I am going to outline for you two paths, and I am not discussing legislation. You may visit the Ask a Scholar page for legislation answers if you would prefer those. It is your choice which path you take. I encourage you to pray istikhara about this and let it all out on the prayer mat.
Reintegrative Therapy is path number one. This is a specialized type of therapy that utilizes the same intervention techniques used in addiction or trauma therapy. Regardless of someone’s sexual orientation, reintegrative therapy works on unpacking their sexual compulsions and urges in the same way a therapist may work on unpacking someone’s addiction to substances.
The focus is not to change one’s sexuality, but to resolve underlying roots, traumas and compulsions. As a byproduct, many who once identified as homosexual find themselves pulling away from this and developing attractions for the opposite gender.
Please don’t confuse reintegrative therapy with conversion therapy. Conversion therapy is harsh and uses aversion techniques that induce trauma. For example, in some cultures they would punish someone physically for looking at the same gender, and they believe this is a form of therapy that will alter who they find attractive. All it does is create trauma memories and push people away from their faith.
You can use this link to speak with the founder and doctor behind reintegrative therapy. If you choose to go this route, you can try online therapy or face to face.
Check out this counseling video:
Accepting this as your reality is path number two. If you do not want to seek out therapy and feel that you would rather claim homosexuality and live this lifestyle, then that is your choice. You live in a country that supports the rights of all lifestyles. Mecca institute may be something you enjoy reading and it can provide varied perspectives. If you prefer to accept this as your lifestyle, I still encourage you to seek out therapy as 45 years of internal conflict is heavy on any heart. This could have left you with lowered self-esteem and feelings of identity confusion.
(Editor’s note: We would like to emphasize again that the response forms a therapeutic perspective. For an Islamic insight on same-sex attraction, please write to our Ask the Scholar section.)
No matter which path you choose, I encourage personal therapy which can be done online or in person.
I need to put a warning here. Some Muslims encourage homosexual men and women to seek our marriage to the opposite gender to change their urges. Please do not do this, it would be a disservice to a potential wife and could cause her a lot of pain. This doesn’t work and only creates more conflict as you are bringing someone else into your struggles before you have resolved them yourself.
Dear Brother, to summarize your next steps forward.
- Continue to maintain your 5 daily prayers.
- Continue to make duaa daily and increase your dhikr.
- Consider reintegrative therapy, reach out to the founder of this program to gain further information and insight.
- If you accept this as your lifestyle, still consider personal therapy for your own well-being.
- Do not use marriage as a form of therapy.
Again, it is a blessing that you pray all your prayers and make frequent duaa. Please hold onto this brother as this is crucial to iman and will inshallah help you as you navigate this internal conflict.
May Allah (swt) guide your path, heal your heart and make it easy on you.
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.