As-Salaam ’Alaikum brother,
I understand that you have been going through a difficult time. Although you regret having sex, you have feelings of guilt for what you did. This is completelyunderstandablee. Falling into a major sin such as having sex outside marriage is a serious issue in Islam. But Allah (swt) made the process of tawba (repentance) easy.
Alhamdulillah, you are on the right path, brother. Firstly, you have acknowledged your wrong which means you are humble and ashamed before Allah (swt).
Secondly, you are making tawba and committing to stay true and straight from now on. These are basic ingredients for seeking Allah’s (swt) forgiveness.
Over time, it will get easier for you and you will not feel as bad as you do now. Everyone makes mistakes and we must grow and learn from them. This is an opportunity for you to get closer to Allah (swt) and honestly live and practice your belief. Allah (swt) is Most Merciful and Forgiving.
„Allah does not impose blame upon you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He imposes blame upon you for what your hearts have earned. And Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing.” (Quran 2:225)
“Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Quran 3:31)
These two verses give us much to reflect upon. Regardless of what your family and people think, ultimately, it is what is in your heart that matters.
The heart is the realm that only Allah (swt) has access to. No one knows how you truly feel before Allah (swt). If your heart is sound, then trust that Allah (swt) knows this and will understand your human weakness.
Second, all Muslims have the duty to follow Allah (swt) and the Prophet (saw) as best as they can. But we will make mistakes along the way. This is why Allah (swt) tells us that He will forgive you as long as you keep trying. Don’t give up!
Once we give up, we become members of Satan’s group which is full of despair and lack of hope and love from Allah (swt). But if you love Allah (swt) and His messenger, you need to keep trying to be good in face of the mistakes you make which will make you stronger and more devote, in sha’ Allah.
At the time of the Prophet (saw), people committed major sins like zina, drinking alcohol, killing unjustly and other forms of oppression. This did not make people evil. Rather, these are examples of how to make tawba. The Prophet (saw) taught us that Allah (swt) did forgive them as a way of reminding us that Allah (swt) can forgive anything if we ask for it and live upright.
How to Get Over Your Guilt
Recognize the kind of guilt you have and its purpose.
Guilt works best to help us grow and mature when our behavior has been offensive or hurtful to others or ourselves. The rational purpose of guilt is simply to try and convince you to change your behavior. As we feel bad, we realize we will not want to act like that again and strive for the good.
There is wisdom in feeling guilt for some time. It is the natural way of punishing ourselves. If we did not feel guilt when we did wrong, sinning would be much easier. You are not supposed to “get over your guilt”; you are meant to live with it with purpose. It will naturally lessen over time.
Make amends or changes sooner rather than later.
If you have harmed any individuals in your mistakes, go and seek forgiveness from the parties harmed. This will help you practice humility and experience closure. If people do not forgive you, it is not your problem. You must do your part and show remorse and request forgiveness from the parties affected, then it is between them and Allah (swt).
Accept you did something wrong, but move on.
Living in the past and especially replaying your wrong over and over again is self-destructive. Let it go and let Allah (swt) guide you. If you can’t move on, it means your faith is weak and you do not truly trust in Allah’s (swt) mercy. Time will heal; practice patience.
Learning from our behaviors.
We are supposed to make mistakes through which we develop into wiser and sharper people. We understand more deeply why Allah (swt) has sanctioned certain sacred laws. Now, you have experienced firsthand the pleasure and pain of obedience and disobedience.
Perfection doesn’t exist in anyone.
Only Allah (swt) is perfect and you are meant to make mistakes. Remind those you hurt of this principle as they too have made mistakes and all of us will continue to make them. It is better to forgive than hold resentment and judge; it is important you start with yourself before expecting others to forgive you.
Trust in Allah’s (swt) attributes of mercy and forgiveness, brother. You are worthy of Allah’s (swt) forgiveness and can attain it through sincere gestures as you described. In sha’ Allah, with time, even your family will gain respect again in light of the principles I shared in my response.
May Allah (swt) grant you forgiveness and patience as you grow through this.
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