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Youth Q/A (Counseling Live Session)

Dear Brother/Sisters,

Due to the counselor’s limited capacity of answering questions, here are the 4 questions that our counselor has provided an answer for. We apologize for not responding all the other questions.

If you have not received an answer below at this time, please submit your question to one of our upcoming Live Sessions. Thank you for your understanding.

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general. They are 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.

Question 1. I drew a vagina on a boy’s back! What should I do to repent?

Assal am-Alaykum! I am in a terrible trouble right now. You see, I come from a very protected and safe household. My parents keep me very sheltered and always watch over me and keep an eye on me. However, when I go to school the environment is totally different. It is filled with explicit talk of sex and porn and cheating and so much more. I used to be so innocent and angelic, and so close to Allah. I had such a beautiful character and I was so pure and pious.  Whenever I go to school, I always dress modestly and purely and try to keep myself safe from evil. However, I have a very outgoing personality which is how I befriended this girl who sat next to me in math class. In front of us, sat her boyfriend. She always used to fool around with him and then she asked me to draw a pen– on his back. Unfortunately, the shaytan misled me and I drew a vagi–. I am filled with such a huge guilt as I remembered that it was wrong as I was doing it, and I feel so bad. I imagine my grandauntie or mother ever knowing what I did. They would be so so disappointed. But most of all, I fear Allah’s wrath. My family could not even imagine that I would do this. And I fear that my rank with Allah is going lower and lower. Please tell me what can I do to go closer to Allah again and to allow him to forgive this terrible sin??

Salam Aleikom dear sister,

Thank you for writing to us. The fact that you have written us shows your sincerity for me that you do feel terrible of what happened. Allah sees this sister and surely appreciates it, and forgives for your sin. He says:

Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful. (39:53)

“As for those who commit sins, and then repent afterwards and believe — your Lord, thereafter, is Forgiving and Merciful.” (7.153)

Surely Allah loves those who always turn to Him in repentance and those who purify themselves) (2:222).

Surely good deeds wipe out evil deeds. 11:114

I am sure you also know that we all receive tests in life and Satan loves to attack those who try drawing closer to Allah:

Or do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allah tests those of you who fought (in His Cause) and (also) tests those who are As-Sabirun (the patient)? [3: 142)].

You shall certainly be tried and tested in your wealth and properties and in your personal selves. [3: 186]

Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them… [Surat al Ankabut,2-4]

Sister, life is like a wave, it has its ups and downs. It is part of life that we do mistakes, we fail, we feel sad or angry. We often thing we always need to do everything perfectly, we always need to be happy and super pious while it actually goes against the nature of life Allah has created. Even faith is fluctuating, sometimes you feel so close to Allah and other times further. These are ALL natural and EVERYONE experience it. You are not alone sister, so really, be more gentle with yourself and accept that you will do mistakes in life, again and again. You will fail, you will suffer sometimes, you will feel ashamed or sad. But these are all for your shake, for you to learn something about life and eventually get closer to the state when you can fully love and trust Allah and live a life that is most pleasing to Him, according to your abilities.

“With hardship comes ease. (94.5)

Failures and hardships are inevitable – do not fight it, be like the water that flows with the waves. The sea does not fight the wind either to stay calm all the time.

What is important is that you prepare for these events: how you can keep your tranquility and you do not panic or at least panic less than you do now. Use Allah’s guidance, as well as other tools.

Allah’s guidance for dealing with past mistakes

As mentioned above, Allah forgives all sins if you repent. So sister, as you have already repented and truly feel sorry for what you did, you have fulfilled Allah’s condition of forgiving you. Hamdulillah, move on sister. Leave the past in the past and focus on your present now.

In the present, Allah says also, that you can do good deeds to replace the bad ones. So, do one. Do not overload yourself, chose always just one that you feel you can easily do today. I guess you know the list of good deeds are endless: even a smile at someone earns you reward with Allah. Help your parents in something, or your siblings, call your grandparents and ask them how they are, make a nice sandwich and give it to a poor person on the street, read the Quran, pray one of the Sunnah prayers, visit the mosque, etc. ANYTHING that you can easily do. Maybe you want to directly apologize for this person you wronged.

The best deeds are the ones that are small but continuous, the Prophet said in his well-known hadeeth. So, the best if you think of good deeds in an ongoing manner. This will draw you closer to Allah more and protect you from the Satan inshallah. (Which only means you will inshallah less likely to do fatal mistakes, but nonetheless, expect small failures and hardships you can bare as they are part of life.)

Do something if you see something evil

The prophet said: “Whoever among you sees an evil action, and he is able to change it with his hand, then change it with his hand (by taking action); if he cannot, (do so) with his tongue then with his tongue (by speaking out); and if he cannot then with his heart (by hating it and feeling that it is wrong), and that is the weakest of faith.” https://sunnah.com/ibnmajah:1275

SO, you actually got an opportunity from Allah to fulfill this hadeeth and earn Allah’s reward inshallah. Next time you see this girl messing around with others and making fun of them, warn her. Take an action by abandoning her or stopping her wrong/doing. May Allah guide her to the right path.

Staying away from such people are actually recommended by the Prophet. He said:

I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, “Man follows his friend’s religion, you should be careful who you take for friends”. https://sunnah.com/riyadussalihin:367

I am not sure where you live, but I guess regardless, schools can be a tough place for students. As you are at the age when connecting peers is actually more important now than with your parents (read more about this: Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development), I truly feel your desire to belong with peers and not missing out on any opportunity to connect with them. When I was at your age, I also made many mistakes just to feel I am part of the “cool group” and people love me. I do not regret it because I have learned a lot from those experiences: when I talk to people, I feel because of those experiences, I have more credibility. I talk from experience and not from books only. And I also have a strong reminder for myself for the future because, lets be honest, people never really learn from other’s mistakes or words. They learn mostly by action – their own mistakes. So in a sense, be grateful for Allah that he has tested you, you failed, and inshallah now you came up with many lessons. Write these down even if you want: what has this failure taught you? How you can benefit from it?  

Try connecting with people who truly value you, whom are with the same standards as you. Respect and look up to yourself: you are too precious to let yourself connect with anyone. Chose those that really deserve your companionship. They might be a few at your school, but I am completely sure there are. Maybe join some school activities to meet them from other classes. Maybe find them in the mosque, or somewhere outside the school. I used to have a bigger group of people whom I was always trying to please but I was never really accepted no matter “how cool” I acted. When I got tired of this finally and I became a Muslim at the age of 17, everyone left me. It hurt, but I felt relieved in a sense. I met a girl who was Christian, I mean truly Christian and was suffering from the exact same problems as I was with peer pressure and also at home with her faith. Her family also did not like that she has become more religious Christian. So we connected and I still have her as my good friend. We had so much fun together in the last 2 years of the school, fun that I never experienced with the bigger group, fun that was much closer to who I was.

So it is hard, but worthy to change the way you look at school and your peers.  

May Allah guide you always, keep this strong faith you have toward Him and forgive you (and all of us) for any mistakes we have done.

Question 2. Isn’t this better??

Assalamualaikum sister.

I am a 17 yr old muslim from India. I wanted to ask you since marriage demands so much of sacrifice then wouldn’t it be better to just masturbate while being single because the muslim marriages demands a lot from both sides and then there is too much of responsibility and since we r not able to take care of ourselves then why should we get married.

Bcuz most of the marriages which I have seen are not healthy. And even if the wife/husband is pious and has taqwa of Allah SWT then it doesn’t guarantee that the spouse will be righteous best example Asiya AS

And oftentimes spouses fail to fulfill each other’s rights so wouldn’t it be a sin and even after marriage we r sinning and having problems so why just don’t take the easy way out by masturbating without porn and possibly committing zina in extreme circumstances .

Now I know that zina is haram but that is only one sin as compared to marriages which have multiple sins committed by both spouses to each other and they hurt each other very badly and because of that families hate each other when divorce happens and if this problem continues to persist for a long time in a society then it could lead to WARS.

As a famous person once said: “Love gives rise to hate; hate gives rise to revenge; revenge gives lies to conflict; and conflict gives rise to war.”

So wouldn’t it be better to just masturbate and commit zina if required??

Salam Aleikom,

I am honestly amazed by your question, it shows that you are a really mature and deep thinker woman, mashallah. Your question is really valid!

You write: “since marriage demands so much of sacrifice then wouldn’t it be better to just masturbate while being single.”

To be honest with you, I often ask the same question. Would not it be easier alone? And I bet, most married couples have already reached the level once or multiple times when they ask the exact same question, because a good marriage does take work, depending a lot on whom you chose  – just like studying, pleasing our parents, working or building a successful enterprise. People when they reach this level often divorce or go on for certain reason, sometimes not out of love but fear.

To answer your question shortly, the yes or the no depends on what you want, and what are your desires and needs, what is your aim in life and your social needs. We know even Muslim examples for both sides: Muslims, scholars, who never got married because they were too busy with gaining and teaching knowledge and Muslims who were successful and busy, yet were happily married as well. We find living examples for both even today, I am sure, both men and women. Marriage is highly recommended in Islam, but not an obligation, as far as I am concerned, but lease check this with our Ask about Islam section.

So, technically speaking you can choose not to get married – but consider it as a package. As everything, it has its pros and cons. You need to be aware of both options’ full package, and I highly recommend that as you are only 17, you give it a long time and you make your decisions in life based on love and not fear. Fear is Satan’s weapon to draw you away from Allah and the good while trusting in Allah and doing what “calls you” will surely give you a wonderful life in this life and the next, biznillah.

In today’s freedom, especially living in the West, you can see that both men and women have way more opportunities to stand on their own feet and do whatever they want than our ancestors ever had. You live in India, maybe you feel you have a strong family background who will always be there for you, so why bother yourself with entering into an unknown marriage, especially when you see many marriage do not work in the healthy way. They commit sins due to their bad relationship. I also know that many marriages in your country are decided by the parents and you as the daughter have basically no word about whom you will marry. I am aware of some of the problems in your country as we receive so many marriage/related letters from that region. However, you must consider sister that this is not the marriage’s fault. Just as you cannot say Islam is a bad, violent religion based on some crazy people’s attitude who call themselves Muslims and do things that are opposing the teachings of Islam, it would be also unfair to say marriage is bad because people around me do it wrongly or even unislamically. For example, not having a word about whom you are going to marry is going against Islam. Forcing people into marriage or staying in marriage is also going against Islam, and letting people committing sins because they are unhappy in a marriage (and not letting them divorce (is a terrible sin itself. Divorce is allowed and can be even recommended in Islam.

Please gain some knowledge about how a marriage should look like according to the teachings of Islam. I even recommend you search in English and be aware of the source not to fall into culturally-biased teachings. At About Islam, you will find many articles and answers on the topic of marriage.

I feel for you, it must be really hard to believe that marriage is good when you only see the complete opposite. I had this problem with having children, and I am 30: why to have children when I am so happy without them? I see too many mothers are always tired, cannot achieve anything in their life besides raising their children, always complain about their kids, feel that everything comes with a child is a burden, time, money, and emotional wise. What is good in having children? But I do not want to let myself to Satan and his fears to drive my life. I want to have the full picture and then look into myself in the silence (these are the times when you sit with yourself, maybe your diary is with you, and you question yourself of the things that you are searching an answer for and then listen to what your soul, what Allah has been telling you from inside.) To have the full picture, I have been interviewing mothers lately about the positive side of having children, I analyze families where the mother is happy, someone I can see as role model for me: what do they do so that they are happy and successful with children? How do they prioritize, how do they live their everyday life? What are the elements that I want to implement in my life as well in order to also feel I am content with my life with children? And with all the knowledge, I pray to Allah to enlighten me about what I want. If you frequently have this silence time with yourself, you will quickly get answers, and then you can work on building that picture.

So, I advise you the same: get the full picture first before you decide on anything. Let the love and not the fear drive you. Find couples that you think are happy, that you think are healthy, that they have something you would wish you have.

I would also advise you to read self-help books on marriage: how to choose a partner that best suits you, how to deal with conflicts in a healthy manner (I advice you to learn about non-violent communication as a tool). There are many online workshops as well on the topic, Muslim couple therapist who help single brothers and sisters get prepared for a successful marriage. Get together with like/minded people, sister who also fear of marriage, who also do not see why they should marry, sisters who want to learn from their parents and families mistakes and do it differently. If your environment is that damaging, you might want to consider getting our of that environment (by a scholarship?). Who knows, maybe you will meet someone who feels just like you. Who has grown up in India and does not believe that marriage is worthy. I am pretty sure there are so many young women like you – might be a good match. J

Use the technology to find your tools, to connect, save some money for your own growth so that you can be different from the rest of the people you have witnessed having a bad marriage.

Today, technically speaking, we can fulfill all our needs outside the family bond. We can earn lots of money to be financially independent, we can have friends to enjoy free time, connect people at the mosque to strengthen our faith, hug our family members, adopt a child if we desire children, and masturbate to release sexual desires. But is it the same quality? How hard is it to achieve what we desire – alone? How life is going to be when your parents are old or died, and your brothers and sister are busy with their own family? What would we lost if we do not live in marriage? In regards to intimacy and masturbation, as a married person, I can guarantee, no one’s hug can replace the hug of a woman who loves you and you truly love. Masturbation feels like pain compared to a good sexual relationship with this partner. Masturbation is sooo lonely, so unnatural after you have experienced real sex. This woman exist for you as well, we have many good matches around the world. You just need to make some effort to find them.

So, it is your life, you are responsible for it, so EVERYTHING is possible. Single or married, it is up to you really. All I advice you is to have a fair picture of all the pros and cons, and sit with them in silence for a couple of years. You are still 17. Do not dwell on this question too much, do not want try deciding now. Just let it be, live the moment, focus on your studies and what YOU want. This is the most important!

You say ”why just don’t take the easy way out”. Brother, there is no easy way out.


Question 3. How do I face the reality?

Due to past trauma, I have developed an effective defense mechanism of denial. It was limited to a few areas in my life. But slowly it has taken over my entire life and I’m denying everything just to keep myself safe from some anxiety and guilt. I just can’t come into the present. Maybe I’m even sinning but I’m in denial of it all. Things have become quite complicated. How can you help me with this? I have lost my faith in the process. And my exams are around the corner as well. I’m taking everything as a joke because I’m not facing the reality and the consequences of not taking action. Where should I begin?

Salam Aleikom dear sister or brother,

Thank you for writing us. I am so sorry to hear of your difficulties with past traumas, denial, anxiety and guilt that are interfering in your life. It must have been a very terrible trauma for you that have caused you this much pain. May Allah heal you and give you ease.

Dear brother or sister, as I am not aware of your circumstances, the trauma, how this denial is manifesting in your life exactly, or any other important details, I cannot say much. What you experience is normal after an incident you perceived as trauma. You try to keep yourself away from anxiety and guilt. It is a normal reaction, but not the solution to the problem. Anxiety does not go away by itself, but grows into other and bigger problems, mental and physical illnesses. I am worried about you, dear brother or sister.

I also feel that this trauma has been affecting you to the extent that a simple online counseling answer will not give you relief. So, I highly recommend that you seek help from a face-to-face therapist (we have sister Aisha who does excellent one to one online session at About Islam, please let us know if you are interested). Therapy does not need to be long, it depends on you and how fast you process the trauma, how fast you implement new tools that help you deal with this trauma without feeling anxious or guilt. So please, do not hesitate, time is running. Your symptoms will not go away by themselves. You will need to work on them, and the quickest and safest way is with a therapist.

In the meantime, I highly recommend you strengthen your relationship with Allah. I know in this state you might not even feel like praying or connecting with Allah, but besides therapy, Allah is the only one who can help. He has given you this trauma as a test so that you can learn something important. Think of the prophets how many difficulties they have been though, how many trials when they were the closest people to Allah!

Just simply ask Allah in a dua to help you heal, to help you realize what you need to learn by this trauma and the state you are in. Ask Him to guide to the tools that equip you to heal and move on with your life happily. Stick to prayers, this is your connection with Allah, at least once a day. It is still better than nothing. Do not feel guilty for not being perfect. We are humans who all get sick or fail sometimes. Just do what is currently your best version of yourself.  

Also, surround yourself with people you like being with. Facing alone the difficulties is not healthy, we are social creatures. Recharge yourself with your friends, your family, or anyone you feel safe with. It is really important a time of difficulties.

Recharge yourself also with things you love doing. You said exams are around the corner, but you will not study affectively if you are not recharged with some positive energy. Consider spending some time with doing some sport, having a short walk, watching a film, or doing whatever you like.

Please brother or sister, seek help from face to face therapy as soon as possible while taking some time and energy to connect with Allah, Your Sustainer, people you love and feel safe with and things you enjoy.

May Allah make things easy for you!

Question 4. I’m destroying my family, Please help

Assalam u alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu dear sister,

There are happy days and bad days, good moments and bad ones. In good ones, I feel peaceful and regret my behavior with my parents. In bad ones, I just feel emotional. It’s not easy. My parents are amazing, I do not hate them. But at times, I feel that they’re too much. Especially my father. My father is a very joking type of person, he makes jokes on people and doesn’t care about the other one’s feelings. He’d call you sensitive and dumb, and would get mad if you said something bad. Because of my tongue, my family is getting torn apart.
That’s the problem. I can’t control my emotions, whenever he passes a comment or remark on my mother, I get angry. I wish he would appreciate just how amazing she is. I know he does, and I know he feels pressured because of job and financial problems. My brother used to get annoyed by him as well, but now he prefers to stay silent. And as for my mother, she doesn’t care either. But me. I do.
I get mad, and say many hurtful things to him. I just don’t like it, the fact he insults and mocks me infront of other people. He hit me in front of my cousin sister, and made so many remarks about my habits. I’m not a good child either, I know that’s why I hate myself as well. I would get mad at him too much. It’s both sides.

But these things make the future seem very scary for me, thoughts like he will force me I something I don’t want to do, insult me infront of everyone and that we probably will never get along. I know you might say to remain patient and try to collaborate with him but, At this point I just can’t. And that makes me feel doomed because Allah SWT will be upset. I feel so much normal and better when he’s not home. I’m nothing but a dumb person in his eyes.

So my question is, How can I maintain a formal relationship with him? In which we both don’t hurt each other. I know my Father loves him, in those good moments he would tell me beautiful stories and would be so happy. But then all of a sudden he would harshly scold me, insult me and all that would fall down. I have alot of things building up…it’s all new for me and the sad thing is I can’t share it with my parents. I dare not tell them that I love or like someone, that I also feel the desire to have fun with friends and party, that I also feel very insecure about my looks, that I also have hormones and temptations…but I’m trying to hold it all in. And I just want advice, a simple advice. I feel like they think I’m perfect and would never have problem with these things. I feel ashamed.
I’ve never talked about these things with them so I would never know, but I just feel very scared to even talk about it. And then there is marriage, something which makes me feel absolutely scared.

I wonder if you might be thinking what my actual question is but please bear in mind, it’s a mixture of everything. I just feel very tensed and scared right now.
May Allah bless you, Wassalam.

Salam Aleikom sister,

I am tremendously sorry to read about your situation with your father and that you have to experience domestic violence at home. Sister you are not alone, unfortunately, and there is way out. May Allah help you with this test that inshallah will make you grow at the end.

Sister, the first thing you need to do is getting safe. You wrote that your father insults you and your mother as well in front of others, make fun of you, and even hits you in front of your cousin. You feel it right: these actions are not at all OK sister in any circumstances and if no one acts against this, then you need to, but you do not need to do this alone. Even if he might feel pressured because of job and financial problems, he has no any right to insult or hit you. It is even unislamic: the Prophet never mocked or insulted anyone, never hit his beloved ones. Sister, there is no excuse for his behavior and he is committing very bad sins. Period.

Your father was not born to be evil, no one does, but he has some unresolved childhood traumas, a wrong family pattern that he has seen at home from his parents, or maybe a mental health issue, so something that triggers him to the extent that makes him behave violently which is completely unacceptable. What he does to you is not your fault at all. I want to emphasize this because you wrote “I’m not a good child either, I know that’s why I hate myself as well.” and “ I feel like they think I’m perfect and would never have problem with these things. I feel ashamed.”

You also wrote: “I know my Father loves me, in those good moments he would tell me beautiful stories and would be so happy. But then all of a sudden he would harshly scold me, insult me and all that would fall down.”

This behavior seems to me like narcissism, but narcissistic personality disorder is a psychological diagnosis, a hard one even, so I would not use this term to your father. Nonetheless, do not let yourself fooled by nice words at times from a man who thinks it is Ok to insult you in front of others and even hit you. He might love you yes, but something is really wrong with him that is definitely not your fault.

I can feel you are really scared at the moment of him and your whole future, so sister, please activate your braveness inside you – which I can sense is firing you at the moment – and stand up for what is morally and even Islamically wrong.

Sister, please seek help from your school, if you feel it is safe. Talk to a teacher that you feel safe with and tell her what is going on at home. Or seek help from your school counselor if you have one, they are these for you.

If for any reason you cannot contact the school counselor and the teachers, please call the domestic violence helpline in your country. I am not aware of your location, but a quick Google search, you can find this helpline. Please call them immediately, they will help you a lot with the next steps that are the safest for you. You (and your mom as well of course) need to get safe first. I am not sure of your relationship with your mother, but if it is a good one and you trust her, talk to her and get safe the both of you as soon as possible!

I have a feeling that you got this test from Allah to learn your self-worth and to communicate your needs with confidence, and allahu allem. Inshallah, at the end, think about what this test has taught you.

You said “I have a lot of things building up…it’s all new for me and the sad thing is I can’t share it with my parents. I dare not tell them that I love or like someone, that I also feel the desire to have fun with friends and party, that I also feel very insecure about my looks, that I also have hormones and temptations…but I’m trying to hold it all in.” As a teenager, who is in one of the most sensitive times of her life with all the physical and emotional changes that transform you to become an adult, you need someone to talk about these issues, because if you bottle them inside, they will blow you up once. You need to ask your questions and get answers, you need to talk out your feelings and needs to an adult who has been through this. It is a completely normal desire. I am wondering why you cannot talk to your mom about these, despite the toxic environment you both live in. She is still your mother, whom I understood from your message that you have a much better relationship than with your father. Talking to her would even make this bond stronger, a bond that you are in much need of.

If you cannot discuss with your mom, then please find another adult you trust. You aunt, or an elder cousin or sister, or a teacher. Parents are supposed to teach us many things about life, but it does not mean we only learn from them. We can learn from basically anyone whom we feel connected with. Find some other role model, talk to them about the difficulties and changes that you face.

In the meantime, please take care of yourself! Surround yourself with people you like hanging out with, do things that you enjoy, and most importantly connect with Allah. He has given you this test to grow inshallah, He is the one who can support you the best. Turn to Him, complain to Him about your difficulties, and ask for His help and guidance. Use the prayer as a chance to connect your heart with Him.  

One last tip about communicating with your father – or anyone in fact: always talk about your feelings and what you need. Only. Do not advice the other, do not scold, just stick to saying your feelings and needs in a calm manner and see what it does to the other person. Say for example, “Dad, I feel sad, disappointed, scared right now that you called me …. I feel so hurt. I need kindness and respect. ” Even if he does not care about what you say, you will still feel relieved that you have taken out your feelings in a healthy manner. By this, you will feel calmer that you have done your part. You did not yell, you did not hurt anyone, you simply stated how you felt and what you needed. This way of communication really helps to keep every disagreement under control and keep you calm inshallah.

May Allah help you sister!

Monday, May. 16, 2022 | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT

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