Alhamdulillah, I am very happy to see that my first question was answered and the request to provide more information for better counseling. I come from a polygamous family and I lost my father when I was 14 years old. My father was caring and always with his family. As a child, I didn't use go out and play with neighbors children. I was always playing with my siblings (we are 11 in our family, six boys, and five girls). I have never engaged in same-sex activity as a child, a teenager or an adult.
I can figure out when I started having this unwanted feeling (same-sex feelings). It was a friend of mine who showed me a video clip of homosexuality. Any time I closed my eyes I used to see the same video. Then I started avoiding him and continued seeking Allah's forgiveness. It is very important to tell you that I have never engaged in it and this feeling of attractiveness towards guys is very much disturbing.
I never played with girls throughout my childhood. I have feelings for them and I will be getting married in the next three months, in sha’ Allah.
In this counseling answer:
• Your constant intrusive thoughts about being attracted to males possibly falls within the range of a mild OCD. There is a subsection classified under OCD which does include obsessive thoughts about sexuality.
• These thoughts will go away as you settle into your new life with your wife as well as your natural desires for intimacy are fulfilled within marriage.
• You must also remember brother that Allah (swt) tests us all in different ways. This may be just one test for you, and alhamdulillah you have not acted upon it.
• Keep in prayer, dear brother, make du’aa’ that Allah (swt) dissipates these thoughts and grants you ease.
• Focus on your upcoming marriage.
As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear Brother,
Thank you for submitting your question. As you grew up in a large family, ma sha’ Allah with loving parents and are interested in girls and about to be married, I would say dear brother that your experience of viewing that video clip has left you feeling so guilty that you may be experiencing intrusive and obsessive thoughts.
It may be that you have a mild form of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) wherein “Obsessions are intrusive thoughts, impulses, or images that cause distress and anxiety. Compulsions are behaviors intended to decrease the distress and anxiety caused by the obsessions, although relief is only temporary. Obsessions return, resulting in more compulsions as the OCD cycle repeats itself.”
While homosexuality is not an OCD, and I cannot say you suffer from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) as I do not know if you tend to have thoughts and behaviors in other areas of your life that are in alignment with the criteria for OCD, I can state that your constant intrusive thoughts about being attracted to males possibly falls within the range of a mild OCD. There is a subsection classified under OCD which does include obsessive thoughts about sexuality.
As you are getting married in sha’ Allah, I suspect that eventually, these thoughts will go away as you settle into your new life with your wife as well as your natural desires for intimacy are fulfilled within marriage. You must also remember brother that Allah (swt) tests us all in different ways, and this may be just one test for you, and alhamdulillah you have not acted upon it.
According to some Islamic research, your feelings of attraction to other men are an issue that has increasingly been a problem among Muslims. The primary reason why we are seeing a rise in such unnatural inclinations is that of the proliferation of sexual images and the incensement of public sexuality around us. What this proliferation has done is to desensitize us to that which we should not be desensitized to. Furthermore, we all have our desires and urges and we must all battle them. So, if you experience urges that are unnatural, you must battle them, and without doubt, Allah will reward you for that.
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I feel these fears and thoughts will go away once you are married. If they do not, however, you may want to seek counseling to address it. Unwanted sexual thoughts are common, and most people are able to dismiss an occasional bothersome thought. However, people with OCD cannot rid themselves of unwanted thoughts, and when the content is sexual in nature, the obsessions can be especially upsetting. Over ten percent of patients seeking treatment for OCD have some type of sexual obsession as their main concern.
While your feelings of attraction to men may be a result of your viewing that video and hence feeling a lot of guilt and shame, it may have developed into an OCD disorder which may need intervention such as cognitive therapy.
Keep in prayer, dear brother, make du’aa’ that Allah (swt) dissipates these thoughts and grants you ease. Focus on your upcoming marriage; try not to worry about these feelings when they come.Dismiss them, and don’t give them importance in your mind. Your past is your past. As you stated, you have repented to Allah (swt), then you should try to forget the video and any images associated with it. As we pray to be forgiven, we give it to Allah (swt), and in doing so, we cannot still hold on to it with our other hand.
While media (such as the video) is a powerful tool Satan uses, we must remember that it is only that – a tool. We do not have to let these tools take over our thoughts. This media, in fact, robs us of our own thoughts, perceptions, and self-understanding by replacing our imagination with images other than our own. For example, just as you struggle with the idea of your same-sex attraction, you are obsessed by it and seek to validate it through the media.
So, dear brother, I urge you not to think too much about this matter as it gives it more power in your mind. Focus instead on your wife to be, prayer, and your new life as a husband which will be coming soon!
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.