Childhood Sins Still Hunt Me

27 September, 2017
Q When I was a kid, before puberty, I used to have a physical relationship with my elder cousin. I was unaware of what was right and wrong at that time, but I stopped it as soon as I got aware. Although I regret it a lot and have been praying to Allah to forgive me, I can’t get rid of those memories which still haunt me. I feel dirty. Am I impure? Will I be held accountable for them?


In this counseling answer:

“As you did not have knowledge of right from wrong at that age, you are not held accountable. I urge you dear sister to rest assured that Allah (swt) in his infinite mercy has forgiven you in sha’ Allah and covered your sins. With this knowledge in sha’ Allah, you can move forward with your life in a happy way.”

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum dear sister,

Thank you for writing to us with your most important concern. While I am not clear how old you were, or how old he was, I am a bit perplexed as you stated you had physical relations before puberty – which means you were still a child. Also, I am not clear if you had intercourse with him as a child which would mean a whole different issue, especially if he was older.

With that said, I can only advise you on what you have written. As you did not have knowledge of right from wrong at that age, you are not held accountable. Our scholar said: “Children will be rewarded for their good deeds. However, if a child committed a sin before attaining the age of puberty, then there is no punishment for him/her”.

Also, as you have repented to Allah (swt) and asked for forgiveness, I would let it go. Allah (swt) in His greatest mercy says He forgives all sins from those who sincerely repent and seek forgiveness, except for one which is shirk. We can see Allah’s (swt) infinite mercy in the Qur’an:

Say: O my servants! Who have acted extravagantly against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah; surely Allah forgives the faults altogether; surely He is the Forgiving the Merciful.”(39:53)


Based on your extreme remorse, dear sister, it is obvious that this has bothered you for many years as you are now 20 years old. I urge you to put the past “in the past” in sha’ Allah and move forward with your life. When we repent and pray for forgiveness, we are to trust in Allah (swt) that He has accepted our prayers. To keep holding onto a past in which we are no longer doing is not healthy, nor is it conducive to our faith. Our scholar states: “We also need to forget our past sins and work for the future. Satan wants us to live in our past sins and never forget them in order to despair from Allah’s mercy. We should ignore his whispers and move forward.”

Additionally, if in the future a potential husband questions you about your past, do not reveal these sins. In fact, no one should question you about your past sins; that is between you and Allah (swt) and He has covered sins which you have repented and sought forgiveness for. Again, our scholar that “As regards the question whether one should disclose his/her past sins to the spouse, the answer is definitely no. Since Allah has covered a person’s sins, it is not anyone’s business to seek to lift Allah’s cover of confidentiality. Thus, it is unbecoming of anyone to probe into someone’s sinful past “.

Thus, I urge you dear sister to rest assured that Allah (swt) in his infinite mercy has forgiven you in sha’ Allah and covered your sins. With this knowledge in sha’ Allah, you can move forward with your life in a happy way. Make du’aa’ to Allah (swt) that He helps you forget your past regarding this as well as making you focus now on your present life, needs, and goals. Stay close to Allah (swt), pray, and continue to gain Islamic knowledge. This is our foundation and support as Muslims who are striving to please Allah (swt). Engage in charity work which will bring you much joy in sha’ Allah and remember that you are in our prayers sister.

We wish you the best.


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.

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.