Question:

If a girl is attracted to other girls since her teenage years, what is the best way to suppress her desires? I know the American Psychology Association strictly prohibits any therapy that may suppress the desires for the same gender and even at school we are taught to discover our own sexuality, but as a Muslim therapist what is your advice for Muslim girls who suffer through this issue?

Do you recommend them getting married to the opposite gender? Would this help in suppressing the attraction towards the same gender, because I realize that there may not be any “cure” per say but there must be ways to decrease the desires for this haram?

And if getting married to man is a solution, do you recommend that the girl should tell the suitor about her issue?

My fear in telling is that what if the proposal doesn't go through and the suitor spreads this among other people?

Thank you so much.

Answer:

Bismillah ir Rahman nir Raheem,

This is a very difficult situation many Muslim girls are facing, and I applaud you for reaching out and trying to better understand how best to handle and navigate such a complex issue.  It is very important for you to really know and understand yourself deeply before trying to make any major life decisions going forward.  What I mean is, it is important to accept your reality as it is, the feelings you feel, and try to understand why you may have same sex attraction.  This could involve a fairly intense self-study, reflection, and introspection, as well as reading literature and other things to help you better understand why you have these feelings.   This “research” in understanding yourself better should inform your sense of self and help you get comfortable in your own skin, as opposed to what the APA says, a scientific explanation, or the generally stated fatwas on the topic.

That being said, I don't think going into a marriage blindly with the hopes that it will “fix” these feelings, is necessarily the solution.   While it may help lessen the unwanted feelings, it would be more important to first know what you're wanting in a relationship.  Many girls with same sex attraction seek a deep emotional connection which is often much easier to find within girls.  They are also often wanting to be in a more egalitarian relationship in which they feel some sort of equal footing, possibly based on some relationships they've seen where men dominate or are harsh with their wives.  These examples and many other factors would be important to consider when evaluating the possibility of a marriage in order to ensure you can find fulfillment in that relationship.

What you have to be careful of is entering into a marriage with these hopes, and then sadly realizing you are unhappy and stuck in a relationship filled with misunderstanding and hurt.

These marriages often end in divorce because many factors were not sorted out, and the girl maybe was not quite ready for marriage and all it entailed.  These things (weaknesses, frailties, self doubt, lack of self esteem) need to be worked on and understood within the girl before she decides to enter into such an important and sacred bond.

Once she feels she understands herself and her needs in a relationship and is able to see that potential in a suitor, then that marriage should be evaluated as any other marriage proposal would.  It can't be overstated at this point that istikharah (Ed. note- for more information on istikharah click here) would be very important in making such a major life decision.  In the most confusing and bewildering of times in our life, Allah's guidance is there and He will help us find our way.

May Allah make it easy on you. Ameen.

If you have a question for our counselors, please submit here.

25 Responses

  1. Ana

    i like how the advice was not forbidding rather the girl who wrote to Sadia Jalali would find some comfort and direction. IA it gets easy for her and other girls/boys. stay blessed y’all

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  2. Jalila

    I am a woman in my early twenties suffering from the same issue. I knew quite early on that I was not attracted to men, no matter how hard I tried to fit in. In my teenage years I was secretly involved with other females and it is something that I have kept to myself until now. Today, I am happily married to a man. This does not mean that I am not attracted to females anymore; I still feel the attraction and I probably always will. I just came to terms that this is my test in life. Despite my misguided attempts to form the religion into something that works for me, I decided to conform to it. It was the hardest decision I have ever made especially now that homosexuality is so widespread. Allah chose me for this test and I find comfort in that anytime I feel trapped.
    In regards to my marriage, I found someone that I could be friends with first. Meaning we got married, and took it slow from there. I got to know him and he got to know me. I have not told him about my past, but I will inshaAllah, when we reach a point where I feel comfortable to discuss it. I hope you find some guidance in this sister, and I hope you find happiness inshaAllah.
    You are in my duas.

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    • Umm 'AbdAllaah

      Alhumdulillah for the growth in the number of Muslim therapists and professionals in psychology/psychiatry who apply the Deen. It just goes on to resonate with the fact that Islam is for all ages and for every aspect of our lives, especially psychologically.
      @ sister Jalila – I commend you on your courage and strength of Eeman, maa sha Allaah tabarakAllaah. May Allah Protect you and Elevate your status – Aameen. I would like to point out that, in our Deen, we are advised not to expose ourselves and our flaws. Please do not ever put yourself in a vulnerable state by revealing these feelings unless beneficial and to someone trustworthy. What is in the past is in the past. It is between Allaah and you. He has Covered you. You need not tell your husband about your past. Insaan is weak and nafs/Shaitaan may pounce in sensitive situations. I pray you and your husband lead a fulfilled life in a manner most Pleasing to Allaah – Aameen.

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    • dy

      When I open my fb, This is the first page I saw. I encountered this same situation, it’s not that easy to just throw the feelings away, I tried many times but I failed. I knew since grade I have this kind of attraction to my same gender, which I never feel to a boy. and I am 27 still single but I wish to marry someday to man who could fulfil my needs and and boast my eeman in shaa Allah. I fear Allah but in my college days it’s not that awesome. I lived before in a country where homosexuality is openly okay. I made mistakes I go with the flow. but now Alhamdulillah better than before because I live in a Muslim country. now my problem is, what if I one day go back to my hometown? then I got to see her again? I am afraid. that’s why I don’t wanna go home if I had a choice.

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    • taahira

      Dear Srs. Jalila and Jalali

      Thanks for sharing your story and advice in ur replies respectively.

      It is good to know that women who feel this way can make peace with it and get involved in a halaal relationship.

      I am a late-bloomer I guess and so only realised this aspect of myself at university. .. all the while thereafter trying to ignore it.

      The strange aspect with me is that I have felt an attraction for guys as well over the years… yes I realise there is a term for this but its not possible for a Muslim to be drawn both ways.

      Anyways, I am in my thirties now and still single. I really want to get married but cannot seem to commit in a relationship and am always finding endless faults in prospective suitors.
      The biggest off putting factor for me is being intimate with a guy. My “rational” self cannot get pass the fact that I think sex with a guy is “eww”. My question is – how are you able to be physical with a guy if you are not attracted to him? I realise that women can put on a facade in the bedroom, but I think it will be draining to do on a regular basis for the rest of one’s life.

      … contd ..

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      • Hyde

        Three lesbian stories…and to say homosexuality is not polemical issue as some Muslims maintain it. Glad these topics are getting air (because if we ourselves don’t do it, somebody out side of Islam will assuredly define for us).

        I still would refer these acts as acts of “sodomy” because I think there is a larger issue, a very large issue concerning “sexual depravity” and the way the ziegeist operates today.

        The whole idea of born gay, environmental factors, “sexual indulgences” and all that would come into play…

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  3. anon

    I have been through the same but have found it much easier to deal with by sincerely believing that it is not how Allah made be but a temptation from shaytan like any other sin. Also by begging Allah to remove it from me and it has almost completely gone Alhamdulilah.
    “And I will mislead them, and I will arouse in them false desires, and I will command them so they will slit the ears of cattle, and I will command them so they will change the creation of Allah.” And whoever takes Satan as an ally instead of Allah has certainly sustained a clear loss.” Quran 4:119

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    • Hena Zuberi

      JazakAllah khayr for your comments- just a quick reminder to please use a name or kunya as our comments policy doesn’t allow anonymous comments.

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      • Lisa

        My real name is not Lisa and I am a male by the way.

        What is the difference making up a name and posting as “anon” or “anonymous”

        Is it so we can pretend that people online are who they say they are (which most times they are not)

        Rules should make sense., to be followed sincerely.

        OR is this a case of having a rule for the sake of having rules

        By the way, I am not the person who posted as “anon”. I am someone else

        Just wanted to make a point.

        Many companies also have rules for the sake of having rules

        They dont make sense.

        And when you ask why they have those rules, they cant answer it

        “Just because”, they say

        They expect us all to be obedient little sheep without questioning anything

        And that’s what the current educational system produces. Children who are afraid of authority who grow up to me adults who are afraid of authority.

        Sister Hena, I hope I didnt offend you. I am just ranting at my past experiences I guess.

        Your comment struck a nerve and triggered past emotions

        And I had to express

        I dont expect this message to be published either

        Thanks

        Lisa?

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      • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

        Dear “Lisa”

        We get your point and realize it is not an enforceable rule but Lisa is better than “anonymous” and for frequent commenters we do ask their name is used. Sometimes rules are there for the sake of rules but in my experience as Comments Team Lead it does lead to a more enjoyable experience for all and if the same name is used by frequent visitors to the site we build up a history and give them more leeway based on their past.

        Your Mileage May Vary. :)

        Best Regards
        -Aly
        Comments Team Lead

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      • Amel

        As-salamu Alaykum,
        Although I respect and understand the rationale behind this policy, I do not think it is reasonable to expect people to reveal their names or e-mail addresses when discussing such sensitive topics. As long as the person is not causing any mischief on the site, I do not see the harm in allowing one to remain anonymous.

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      • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

        Dear Amel

        We understand your point of view and for some topics we have been a bit lax on this policy. We feel it is best if there is a name even if it is a pseudonym rather than using “anonymous”. And only if there is a real need for it.

        Regards
        -Aly
        Comments Team Lead

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      • Amad

        It makes it easier to say
        “Lisa, I am sorry to hear this”

        than
        “Anon, I am sorry to hear this”… especially if another anon pops in. And once you have a name, any name, it builds your reputation on the website and allows people to understand you better.

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  4. Fatih Seferagić

    Assalamu Alaykum.

    My name is Fatih and I live in Houston as well. I’ve always had a deep passion in psychology and I have been thinking about marriage and family therapy very seriously for quite some time now. You’re the first Muslim that I’ve stumbled upon with the career that I want. Is there any way I can contact you to ask you a few questions?

    Jazakallah.

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  5. Halima

    I really liked the response the sister got. It wasn’t harsh or judging in any way. We need more people like this out here to give the youth advice and help. I hope the sister is happy with the response and can find peace.

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  6. A Muslim Brother

    *Comment has been removed due to repeated use of anonymous name*

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  7. Taahira

    Contd…

    Another question – is there evidence that these skewed tendencies can be passed on to our children?

    last point to make – something I find prevalent in our societies is: Perhaps because unlawful sex is forbidden in our religion, sex in general and intermingling is portrayed to be derogatory, disgusting, not to be done etc. Whilst i understand the Islamic basis to this, I really do think the message needs to be re-packaged… to emphasise its beauty within halal structures.
    This, in addition to stronger relationships between mothers and daughters in their formative years may help to prevent these tendencies.

    And Allaah knows best. May He make our path easy and save us from the fire. Aameen!

    Humble request for duas for the ummah.

    was salaam alaikum

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  8. miss j

    unfortunately for me, im into girls because i have been ‘wronged’ by guy when i was kid.
    i start to have feelings towards girls since teenager, but i always suppressed my feelings because i know its wrong.
    sometimes i find out there is a girl who love me too, then i start avoiding her though it breaks my heart.i feel sad, i want to be in a relationship but i can’t. i cant bring myself to like male because im scared of them.

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    • Hyde

      WOW! Please read a detailed response in the comments section of Imam Shuib Webb website concerning a young women who was “wronged” in every which way by practically all the males she encountered and found comfort in the company of women and soon that comfort transgressed into sexuality….deep deep physiological issues….later though she did find some male company that sort of made her think anew.

      Long story short…deep traumatic experiences, especially of sexual nature can alter concreted powerful “personality traits”.

      (Cliche as it sounds, you may discover after some or even a long time that you have strong attraction for the opposite gender. Perhaps know you have such a mental aversion to men, that it is impossible to fathom a relationship with them.
      Sabr…the worlds almost over… :)

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  9. p4rv3zkh4n

    is it possible for someone to give me scientific refutation of homosexuality based upon physiology and psychology?

    thanks

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    • Lila

      @Taahira
      in response to your comment about finding sex ‘eww’ – you should probably look into a more spiritual approach to sex that focuses less on the objectification of bodies and more on the spirit/soul connection. this is actually a kind of practice that fits more with Islam anyway. A friend suggested two areas worth looking into in this regard: Tantra and Karezza. They de-emphasise the raunchy and carnal aspects and heighten it to a level that is more pleasing in general to a woman or a spiritual psyche. inshAllah you will find a man who will respect your spiritual needs as spiritual and see sex as spiritual too, and you will not have to reveal your past – not advisable to do….nor your struggles. Also, you should not feel you must mary in order to be cured. You can make the focus of your life being close to God. read some books on many great Women saints of Islam- many of them did not marry and many who married eventually asked to not have relations anymore with their spouses, out of devotion to God. obviously, this is a model, in that case, that could very well work for you. sex is not a must in this life. other things are greater priorities and it may be that God has chosen for you to make a life of intimacy with Him. that too takes work and effort, but it can also be a huge healing and take away other distractions!

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  10. Zeriena

    Assalamu Alaykum
    May Allah grant us all steadfastness and understanding of Deen. I am grateful that there are so many platforms one can express urself on and find Islamic guidance and counselling – Alghamdulillah. May Allah reward you for your sabr and commitment Ameen

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