Sexual Assult Made Me Resentful of Islam & My Culture

14 September, 2020
Q For a while now I haven’t been well. Recently, my dad and brother were discussing the controversy about women coming out about their sexual assault. They were talking in a victim shaming view, and all of a sudden I couldn’t take it.

I yelled and got into an argument with my dad then left the room. He got mad and started yelling. I finally revealed why I was so adamant about my views on sexual assault.

I told him I was molested by someone we knew when I was 6-8. My dad was shocked and concerned. He was upset that I had never told him. My mom knew slightly but was never sure about what happened to me so she never told him anything. He got really mad at her for not telling or helping me.

My mom got really upset at first of me for bringing it up. She said, „When you go back to college please don’t come back.” It broke me a little. Then she apologized and comforted me and my dad. He said he would tell the man to never come back to the USA.

The thing is, I don’t think they realize the impact this has had on me. They think I should be able to shrug it off and be stronger. I’m not strong. I’m weak. This haunts me constantly. It made me less religious and angry and resentful that I was never protected. It made me grow very resentful of my culture and religion.

I don’t like that I am this way. I always feel guilty that this happened because I don’t need another bad thing happening in my life or in my parents' life. They struggle a lot with money and my sick little brother. I feel like I am adding to their toll. But I can’t shake this feeling. I am stuck.

I have very scary thoughts of suicide but I would never do it because my parents would hate me. I know it is selfish and a sin. I just need some words of wisdom to help me get through this. What does Islam say about this? What will help me?

Answer


In this counseling answer:

  • You cannot undo the past, but you can take charge of the rest of your life moving forward. 
  • Speaking about Islam, what has happened to you was haram and one of the most serious crimes another human being can commit. There is absolutely no way around the seriousness of the crime committed against you no matter who the person is, no matter what their “position” is in society or in the family. Their crime is a form of oppression of which the following is said:

“Beware of oppression, for indeed oppression will be waves of darkness on the Day of Judgment.” [Bukhari]

  • When you feel severely overwhelmed, utilize the hotlines that are set up for support.
  • What has happened to you deserves the utmost attention from your parents in the here and now. They need to begin to support you and understand how to support you in the healing process. Please talk to them about your feelings.
  • There is nothing you are responsible for or should feel guilty about no matter what happened, how you responded to what happened or felt about it afterward.
  • Healing leads you into the future, one step at a time. Now that things are in the open, you’ll begin to heal and rebuild your life with the truth being a part of it.
  • Please seek counseling. Again, qualified therapists can support you on this journey.

As-Salamu Aleikom,

Oh, my sister, you have nothing to feel guilty about. I am so sorry for what happened to you when you were younger. I am even more sorry to hear how your mother got upset with you for bringing it up now. I am sorry she didn’t further investigate what happened when you were younger.

You have the right to begin your healing journey after experiencing all the feelings that you have. You don’t even need to judge your spiritual questions right now. Just let everything out on the table.

You are not weak, sister. Feeling Hurt isn’t the same as weakness. As human beings, we are supposed to feel hurt when something hurtful has happened. We are allowed to be in pain, to experience sorrow and grief, mourning and loss, shock and anger. And all the other emotions in between. You are a normal person dealing with heavy emotions because of a traumatic experience.

Again, you have full right to all of your feelings. That being said, I want to support you in taking care of yourself the way you deserve and need.

Sexual Assult Made Me Resentful of Islam & My Culture - About Islam

Gently Begin the Healing Process

What has happened to you deserves the utmost attention from your parents in the here and now. They need to begin to support you and understand how to support you in the healing process.

I am sorry to hear you have a sick little brother. I ask Allah to grant him good health and recovery. Although he is ill, you are not less important nor a burden to your parents.

Healing is available and you did the hardest part which is telling someone about it and making sure you were taken seriously. Whether or not it came out the way you wanted it to, it came out. You aren’t responsible in any way of how it came out, how you got angry, or how your parents reacted.

Compassion to the highest degree should be extended to you. I invite you first to give it to yourself.

If you need your parents for health insurance claims, please let them know you want to see a therapist so the formal healing process can be. If you have access to a guidance counselor at your school or are self-employed, then please seek that avenue as soon as possible.

A qualified therapist can help you begin healing. You will have a safe place and person in your corner supporting you. You do not need to be alone and hiding this secret anymore.

Immediate Help

When you feel severely overwhelmed, utilize the hotlines that are set up for support. People every day, just like you, go through a moment or series of moments where they feel alone, frightened, misunderstood, or worried due to suicidal thoughts.

You aren’t alone in feeling like this. There is help so you have that safe place and guiding the person to help you.

Here are a few resources for you. The first two are Muslim hotlines and the second is general. However, it doesn’t matter if they are Muslims or not. Any crisis hotline can support you. Pick whichever one you are most comfortable with and go with it. The people on the other end are kind, caring, and are volunteering their time because they care.

Khalil Center

Nisa Helpline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline


Check out this counseling video:


Rebuilding Your Life in the Light

You cannot undo the past, but you can take charge of the rest of your life moving forward. What has happened to you isn’t going to magically go away. It has shaped you clear into your adulthood. Knowing this, and accepting this, doesn’t mean you will forever be depressed, suicidal, or feel the way you’ve been feeling.


Healing leads you into the future, one step at a time. Now that things are in the open, you’ll begin to heal and rebuild your life with the truth being a part of it. Again, qualified therapists can support you on this journey. No one should be going through this alone. You don’t have to go through it alone anymore.

Islam Holds Accountable Your Perpetrator

Speaking about Islam, what has happened to you was haram and one of the most serious crimes another human being can commit. There is absolutely no way around the seriousness of the crime committed against you no matter who the person is, no matter what their “position” is in society or in the family. Their crime is a form of oppression of which the following is said:

“Beware of oppression, for indeed oppression will be waves of darkness on the Day of Judgment.” [Bukhari]

I don’t know exactly what the punishment is for the crime committed against you, but I have no doubt that there is one from within Islam just as there is one within the US criminal system. Please ask a scholar you trust, when ready, if you want further information on this matter.

Allah, our Lord, would not hold you accountable either for that which transpired. There is nothing you are responsible for or should feel guilty about no matter what happened, how you responded to what happened or felt about it afterward. You are innocent of blame entirely.

Du’aa’ for Healing

Here is a du’aa’ you can begin with to help you in talking to Allah about your pain, your hurt, and to ask Him for that which will help you be patient in this life.

„Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return. O Allah, reward me for my affliction and compensate me with something better’ but Allah will compensate him with something better.”

Finally, there is a series of articles on this topic available on the Muslimmatters.org website. Reading it will allow you also to know that, even as a Muslim, you aren’t alone.
May Allah offer you the guidance, support, love, and safe place you need to begin your healing journey.

Amen,

***

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 Megan Wyatt
Megan Wyatt is the founder of Wives of Jannah where she offers training programs, live workshops, and relationship coaching for wives and couples. She is a certified Strategic Intervention coach with specialized certifications for working with women and marital relationships and has been coaching and mentoring Muslims globally since 2008. She shares her passion for Islamic personal development in her Passionate Imperfectionist community. She is a wife and homeschooling mother with four children residing in Southern California.