I'm a 16 years old Iraqi student. I'm at my final year before graduation. Just recently, I've discovered how important hymen is in Islam and I'm devastated. I don't know what to do because, to be honest with you, I had a very high sexual desire when I was young (around 12 - 13 years old), and I masturbated a lot, and I'm 100% sure I’ve broken my hymen. Of course, now I realized what I did and I cry every night and pray.
I am depressed and feel useless. I disappointed my parents, but I can't do anything about it! Every site I read about this subject say I probably didn’t really break it, but I am sure I did! I need help, please! I pray for forgiveness, but I feel like I don't even deserve forgiveness.
Please help me. Please keep in mind also that I have stopped masturbating, and I didn't know how sinful this act was. I didn't know what hymen was and I was not aware that I lost my virginity by doing that.
In this counseling answer:
• Even if you did break your hymen, you are still a virgin.
• A girl’s/women’s hymen can break naturally from playing sports, a fall off of a bike, or other strenuous activities.
• There is no need to disclose to your future husband that you used to masturbate.
As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear sister,
Thank you for writing. I understand how upset you must feel now. I just want to point out a few things though, in sha’ Allah.
First of all, you were not „very sexual” when you were young. You masturbated like probably most children at your age. I am not saying it is right or wrong; I am just saying it is a natural exploration of a growing body. Even if you did break your hymen, you are still a virgin.
While Muslim cultures may put some emphasis on marrying a virgin, it puts greater emphasis on loving Allah (swt), being a good person, doing good deeds sincerely, and worshipping Allah (swt). Furthermore, many cultures define being a virgin as not having sexual intercourse with another human being – which you haven’t had.
A girl’s/women’s hymen can break naturally from playing sports, a fall off of a bike, or other strenuous activities. Some women do not bleed on their wedding night due to the way their hymen was formed/created. Some girls are even born without a hymen, and others are born with a “scanty” hymen. With this said, sister, not all hymens are created to bleed, tear, and cause a proof that a girl is a virgin.
According to many obstetrics and gynecology (ob/gyn) sites, the hymen is actually like a piece of tissue paper that can stretch, get a larger hole, or even disappear with strenuous activity as discussed above. It is not a thick piece of skin shielding the vaginal opening; it is, in fact, quite fragile.
Some medical experts hypothesized that on the wedding night some girls/women do bleed a few drops due to the friction on vaginal tissues that are not lubricated sufficiently, and not due to the breaking of the hymen. A woman who is not a virgin may also bleed a little under these circumstances as well if the sex is a bit rough.
With that said, my dear sister, I urge you to put your fears and self-loathing behind you and focus on your studies. If you feel masturbation is a sin, and you have already repented to Allah (swt) sincerely, you need to let it go. When we ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness, we give it to Him (swt). We don’t hang on to it; that is like saying we don’t trust in Allah’s (swt) forgiveness.
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Also, in the future, there is no need to disclose to your future husband that you used to masturbate. As children growing up, it is a natural response to a maturing body. Perhaps not one that is looked favorably upon in Islam, but the fact remains. Even young children, toddlers, begin to touch themselves at very young ages. Finally, as you stated you masturbated before you knew it was not a desirable thing to do, you are not held accountable as you did not know. And Allah (swt) knows best.
Whether your hymen is truly broken is not known. If it is, it is not known whether it was broken by masturbation or other activity. What is known is that you have not been with a boy sexually; you are a studious, young woman seeking a degree, and you love and fear Allah (swt) with all your heart. These are the things that matter, my dear sister. Please focus on this.
We wish you the best. Please let us know how you are doing.
Answer by Sheikh Ahmad Kutty:
I am sorry to hear your story. I pray to Allah (swt) to inspire you to seek repentance and draw closer to Him (swt) and find peace and tranquility in His (swt) remembrance.
As I can learn from your question, you did tamper with your hymen by resorting to perverse practices, which resulted in this condition. Allah’s (swt) laws are of two kinds: natural and moral; interfering with these laws lead to consequences. So, you need to recognize this fact and live with it.
Having said this, however, I must rush to add: Islam is all about hope and optimism. Allah (swt) is All-Compassionate and Merciful. So, if you have repented and are determined to make amends for your sins, you can rest assured of His (swt) forgiveness. Allah (swt) says,
“Say: ‘O My servants who wronged against their souls, do not despair of Allah’s mercy! For Allah forgives all sins; for He is indeed Forgiving, Compassionate.” (Az-Zumar 39: 53)
And, “Do they not know that it is Allah Who accepts the repentance of His servants and receives (approves) their charity and that Allah is the Relenting, the Compassionate?” (At-Tawbah 9: 104)
So there is no need for you to wallow in despair. Rather, you should look forward to the mercy of Allah (swt) and His support, if you are sincere and willing to take the steps necessary for repentance.
For further details, please refer to this answer.
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