I have three questions. One, am I still a virgin? The western definition is very confusing so I wish to know the answer according to Islam. Two, and more importantly, how can I repent? I don't know the actions I must take to completely repent. Three, how can I live with the guilt. It's like a shadow in my life that won't let me live my life, enjoy my family and friends or create happy memories. I think about it all the time and I feel like I am drowning. Also, I often think that I won't deserve my future husband because of what I have done.
I feel dirty and damaged. Please help me, give me guidance, and help me once again be happy and closer to Allah. Thank you for your time and consideration. My father is a Muslim, but my mother isn't, so although I grew up knowing principals of Islam, I never was taught how to pray or correctly repent (other than feeling guilty and saying sorry). I would really love some personal guidance and help. I want to move away from my sins and feel closer to Allah.
In this counseling answer:
• True sincerity and a resolution to never commit the sin again are vital.
• If we pray to Allah for forgiveness and repent we can’t hang on to our sin.
• You should not talk about your past sins that you repented for.
• Instead of continuing to feel guilty, try to replace it with feelings of thankfulness and joy that Allah loves you so much.
As Salam Alaykum sister,
Thank you for writing to us. You stated that you committed some very serious sins in the past. Sister, I can hear your regret, your remorse, fear as well as your deep sadness in your question. It is obvious that you are very sorry and do want to repent.
Sister, when we repent to Allah, we pray and ask Him to forgive us for a sin we committed. When asking for repentance and forgiveness we need to ensure we are true, sincerely sorry for the sin we committed.
We also need to be sure we are determined not to commit that sin again. We also need to be aware to keep away from things that will lead us to that sin. That is one of the key things of repentance, otherwise, we would just keep sinning and doing the same old sin over and over and asking for forgiveness. It doesn’t work that way.
True sincerity and a resolution to never commit the sin again are vital. It is also recommended to repent after salat. Here is a video for helping you learn more about repentance, sister.
Allah loves to forgive and Allah is so merciful, sister. The only thing that Allah does not forgive is shirk at the time of death. The Qur’an states,
“And most surely I am most Forgiving to him who repents and believes and does good, then continues to follow the right direction.” (Qur’an, 20:82)
“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.”(Qur’an 39:53).
Sister, regarding your question of whether or not you are still a virgin, technically if you have not had sex vaginally you are a virgin. This is a confusing topic I know because there are many different versions. However, this is the most commonly accepted version.
Check out this counseling video:
In some cultures, girls and women will do all sorts of haram things such as anal sex, oral sex, touching private parts, etc. to release the tension of sexual desires and yet still preserve their virginity, meaning no vaginal sex. All of this is haram as any sexual behavior belongs in a marital relationship, with the exception of anal sex which is forbidden.
You asked how can you live with the guilt. Sister, by repenting you are asking Allah to forgive you which means you need to let it go. If we pray to Allah for forgiveness and repent we can’t hang on to our sin. Yes, we must remember not to fall into the same sin. That’s our promise and that’s wisdom. However, we have to erase it from our mind and stop obsessing over it because that is not healthy.
In addition to not being healthy, it is also doubting Allah’s Mercy and forgiveness. While it’s human nature to feel guilty about something we’ve done, we have to also trust in Allah that he has forgiven us. When we repent it’s like starting over. Instead of continuing to feel guilty, try to replace it with feelings of thankfulness and joy that Allah loves you so much and is so merciful that you are forgiven.
You should not talk about your past sins that you repented for. You should not tell a potential husband or spouse or anybody for that matter. Allah has covered your sins when you repented and you should too. Look to the light to your Beloved.
Sister, I would kindly suggest that once you repent to Allah that you let go of these thoughts about your sins. Trust Allah swt has forgiven you and move on with your life. Do not discuss them with anybody for any reason.
I would also kindly suggest insha’Allah, that you start going to the Masjid for prayers, attend Islamic events, start to meet Muslim sister and develop friendships. Insha’Allah, start taking Islamic classes to increase your knowledge. Ask a sister at the Masjid to teach you. Start reading Qur’an, and learn how to do dhkir, which is a remembrance of Allah.
We wish you all 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.