I would like to thank you for such a great site and would like to wish you all `Eid Mubarak, in sha’ Allah. I have a few questions. It is very hard for me to talk about them because nobody knows about them, and I feel a great shame about them inside myself. I am a practicing Muslim girl who wears hijab. I am from a very respectable family, and I am highly educated. The problem is that I am very weak inside and Satan has tempted me so many times. It is very hard for me to say this, but I will: I committed zina several times a few years ago with someone who told me he had wanted to marry me. He cheated on me and I hate myself for that.
He told me he loved me, and I believed him. He is now married to someone else, and I don’t know what to do with my life. I want to get an operation to repair my hymen, and he is willing to pay for it. Is it haram to make such an operation? I am going crazy; I just do not know what I should do. If I get married, I would prefer this to be a secret from my future husband. I have done tawbah (repentance), but what more should I do so that Allah will forgive me? I have heard that there is a special ghusl (ritual cleansing of the body) for repentance. What should I say in my intentions to do that ghusl? I am so ashamed of myself, but I have decided not to touch anyone again until I get married. I am praying to Allah that I get married soon to avoid other sins that I am doing such as masturbation. I hate myself for that, too. On the other side of things, I am so lucky that I am be able do Hajj this year. I feel Allah has offered me this trip as a chance for repentance.
Please advise me what I should do before going on hajj; what can I do more than repentance? I feel so embarrassed and ashamed to enter the house of Allah in such a state. I want to feel His love, and I want to purify my heart. Is this possible? Will He forgive me after what I did? And is it okay to do this operation after I return from Hajj because I do not have the time to do it now? Thank you for your help. I know that I have been very bad. Please, I want to be another person. May Allah forgive me. I am sorry to take so much of your time. I would be so happy and relieved to get a detailed answer to my problem. Thanks a million.
In this counseling answer:
• You are not expected to describe anything about your life prior to marriage, human nature, when it comes to two people sharing and giving of each other, do tend to share their respective pasts.
• As much as you have sought forgiveness from Allah (swt), you still have to forgive yourself because without this you will not be able to relieve yourself of the anguish you feel deeply.
• The fact remains that you are not a virgin and the surgery is just a means to bury a problem from your past.
As-Salamu ’Alaikum my sister,
The hymen forms whilst the fetus is in the womb and, depending on how the vagina develops after birth, it may be intact after being born. When there is no hymen at birth, this is because the vagina does not divide completely forming the hymen, which is a membrane that varies in shape, size, and texture from girl to girl. The elasticity of the hymen may allow penetration to take place without tearing during sexual intercourse. For some, the hymen does not break until one gives birth although the hymen has gaps through which the menstrual blood flows. Other causes of torn hymen may include masturbation, tampons, rigorous exercise such as horse riding, etc. Once ruptured, it becomes a ring of tissue around the opening of the vagina.
Although in Islam, you are not expected to describe anything about your life prior to marriage, human nature, when it comes to two people sharing and giving of each other, do tend to share their respective pasts. This important part of your life might be more difficult to hold back on than you think, and not all men are naïve; there are other telltale signs as to whether one has had sex prior to marriage. Therefore, it could do more harm than good not to tell him from the outset, but at the same time, there is no guarantee as to how he will respond or react. It depends on his character. In the end, to protect the quality of life, being honest would be preferable.
The surgery that you speak of is allowable in Islam, as far as I know, but please contact our scholars for further clarification. In general, this surgery is quite difficult to detect. It consists of sewing together the torn edges of the hymen or the use of vaginal tissue. However, please, be reminded that bleeding does not necessarily take place when the hymen is broken for the first time, and it is not always a painful experience.
As much as you have sought forgiveness from Allah (swt), you still have to forgive yourself because without this you will not be able to relieve yourself of the anguish you feel deeply. To seek forgiveness completely, observe the acts of worship that are expected of you; keep up regular prayers, learn more about your religion, keep company with those of the same gender who will help to increase your religion and will not lead you astray. Carry out good deeds, especially with those who are less fortunate than you are.
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As you still masturbate, you might also reflect on why you feel you need this kind of attention. It is not unusual for children from well-off families to become emotionally neglected because the parents are too busy taking care of business, so to speak. Please try to look for the reasons behind your need to seek this kind of relief. Masturbation is more of a sign that something is wrong deep down rather than a problem in itself.
If you are on your own a lot, try to join a Muslim women’s circle whereby you could meet others of similar age and gain support and guidance whilst strengthening your religion. What are your hobbies? Are there any classes that you would like to attend in order to increase your learning or skills on a particular topic? Consider these options as they will help you greatly to avoid this problem taking place again, and will also help you to mature and understand yourself, in sha’ Allah.
As for Hajj, you can choose to have the surgery done before or after it. Either way, the fact remains that you are not a virgin and the surgery is just a means to bury a problem from your past. Allah (swt) is not a God of punishment. He allows us to choose so that we will move towards Him (swt) of our own free will. Therefore, it is up to you to increase your sense of who you really are, as your Creator made you. It is only with those who do not try and who keep on committing sins that hope for His grace is lost. If you are sincere in your regret as to what has happened and you are sincere in strengthening your relationship with your Creator, then hope is eternal.
„Verily, there are one hundred (parts of) mercy for Allah, and it is one part of this mercy by virtue of which there is mutual love between the people and ninety-nine reserved for the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim)
Ghusl is a form of purification, but purification in Islam is not limited to the physical. There is no special ghusl for repentance, but the intention to make ghusl should include reference to the situation that you seek purification from. In your situation, ghusl would apply straight after the act had been committed.
It is obvious that you cannot forget what you have done, but until you forgive yourself, you will never be able to let go and get on with your life according to the laws of Islam. In fact, the discomfort of this guilt that you carry could lead you towards the very thing you are distressed about and may account for your inability to stop masturbating. Instead, learn from what you have done by making sure that you do not place yourself in this compromising situation again.
Forgive yourself, seek to fulfill the religious acts that are incumbent on you, and refrain from the things that are forbidden. Seek self-improvement of your nafs (personality) in order to complete the process of purification and forgiveness, in sha’ Allah.
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