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Sex and the Ummah

Sex & the Ummah: Intimacy and Marital Problems for Victims of Molestation. Part II- C/D

Published

Part I | Part II- A/B | Part II- C/D | Part III | Part IV-A | Part IV-B | Part V

A PDF version will be available on conclusion for printing/distribution

Parental Discretion Advised
If you are a parent of children who read posts on MM, then this is one that you should read yourself first, before allowing them to read it, so that you can judge the benefit/harm. One benefit is that if there is any child, who has gone through such a situation, it may open a channel for him/her to discuss it with you.

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Reader discretion is advised as some content is graphic, but I felt NECESSARY to include, in order to fully understand and appreciate the grave situation.

A Note on Comments:
If comments are related to future topics, I will likely hold them back (i.e. moderate them) until we get to those topics. So, please don’t worry if you see your comments missing. And also unrelated comments could be removed.

Some links, when available, will open up separate posts, unless indicated otherwise:

I. Molesters

II. Victims and Their Struggles

III. Prevention & Advice for the Victims’ Families

IV. Healing is Possible: Advice for the Victims

V. Advice for the Molesters

——————————–

Part II C/D

C. Personality Damages:

1. Extreme Personalities:
The development of extreme personalities within the victims is a very crucial point to understand. Given that there is a high percentage of victims within our Muslim Ummah, we must understand the effect it has at personal and communal levels. Not all extreme personalities are a direct result of molestation but many victims of molestation do end up developing extreme personalities, like being extreme about discipline to the level of dictatorship, or extreme about cleanliness to the level of perfection, or extreme negligence, or extreme mood swings, or extreme dependence or complete lack of dependence. Often times they either become too attached to someone or they completely cut themselves off from others, and that is why they have difficulty building healthy relationships.

Since religion is a major aspect of a Muslim’s life, when a Muslim is molested and her personality is affected, her Islamic personality is equally affected. In cases where victims suffer this disorder, they inevitably develop extremism towards religion too. I repeat that not all, or even most cases of “religious extremism” are due to molestation of course, so let this not be misunderstood.

a) Abandoning the Religion:
The victims often secretly question the decree of Allah, especially when they don’t seek out help through the right channels or when their families refuse to support them. This usually leads to extreme reactions. Shaytaan takes this as a golden opportunity to make them feel “abandoned by God,” and there always remain a possibility of them completely turning away from the Islam.

b) Religious Extremism:
On the flip side, the victims can also become extreme in their religion.

Maleeha, from Morocco, was molested by her uncle in her country. Although she now resides in U.S., she has developed an extreme personality. She has an extreme attitude towards her religion and she makes everything very harsh and difficult upon herself and others. For example, she considers matters such as walking about within her neighborhood without a mahram, haram. It seems the more difficulty she has to go through, the more satisfied she is, as if she is punishing herself. She is also very strict with her children. Instead of developing a close relationship with them, she seems quite cold and distant from them, and imposes very strict disciplinary rules around the house.

A Muslim doctor who herself was a victim in her childhood agreed with this assessment and that she, too, is guilty of having developed an extreme personality.  Her recovery through proper Islamic education has helped her control her “religious extremism” but some of her other extreme personality traits remain in her, however, walhamdullilah she continues to improve.

Yet, in some instances the victims develop personalities that fluctuate in extremes.

Shama was repeatedly raped at a young age by her cousin, who was also her neighbor.  Her mother was well aware of the situation but chose to put her head in the sand. Her cousin continuously took advantage of her whenever she was alone in the house. Although Shama is now married and has children, she is still traumatized by her childhood memories, switching between phases of extreme religiousness and complete passiveness towards her religious obligations, including abandoning the five daily prayers. When she is in her “extreme” phase of life, she is extreme about everything and not just Islam, but when she becomes passive, she is passive about everything, including ignoring her two little children.

As we will see, it is not only their normal and religious lives that are affected by the extremes in personalities, but also their marital life is equally troubled because of their severe approaches.

D. Intimacy & Marital Relationship:

This is another area where the effect of molestation does not stay limited to the victim alone, but extends heavily beyond the victim, especially when the victim is married. It is a topic rarely understood and definitely a taboo amongst Muslims. When a little girl is exposed to sexual activities in a reprehensible way and at an unsuitable age, the effects are very harmful on her perception and application of sex.

Of course, we would all pray that the victim of molestation would remain a practicing Muslim. But a practicing Muslim woman will only seek sexual activity with her husband. So when a young Muslimah is molested, even if insha’Allah her faith remains intact, the full consequences of the sexual abuse she suffered will probably first become apparent when she marries.

1. Sex Linked to Sexual Abuse:
Being introduced to sex at such a young age, and in such a guilt ridden and disgusting manner, it is only natural that these victims develop a distorted perception of sex.  Hence, when they first encounter intimacy with their husbands, they mistake sex as abuse rather than an expression of love. Given that molestation involves sexual contact, sexual body parts, and sexual stimulation, sadly, sexual abuse becomes their model for future sexual encounters.

In many cases, being intimate with their husbands brings back memories of past episodes of being molested, thus they become confused with feelings of hatred for the molester and love for the husband, for the same type of act.  The conflation of confusion and emotion drives these victims away from intimacy, and from developing strong affectionate feelings towards their husbands. Sex or sexual activities makes them insecure and puts them in negative and bitter phases of mind.

It is not easy to get over these negative emotions. People who have not experienced sexual abuse may think it should be easy and quite logical to separate the molester from the husband, but that is simply not true. When victims grow up in utter confusion, mistrust and misconceptions about sex and intimate relations, it is not so simple for them to brush it away.  The damage done to these young, innocent minds is worse because their personalities are developed with the ongoing damage, rather than facing a mishap at an older age when personality traits are more well-established (such that the positive experiences will help alleviate the negative ones better).

These intimacy problems have caused serious marital issues for the sisters I have dealt with. Imagine that the vast majority of victims never reach out to get help in Muslim countries (though this phenomenon is changing among Western Muslims). They don’t talk about the problems they face in their marriage especially concerning intimacy, because it is considered a taboo in most of our societies “back home”.  They fail to connect their fear of intimacy with the mishap of their childhood.  In addition, they are forced to work out their marriage problems on their own.  So what are the consequences?

a)    Reject sex in totality
b)    Sex becomes a repulsive “job” for them to perform in order to obey and please their husbands

a) Rejecting sex in totality:

  • In this case how do the Muslim husbands react?
    Do they discuss the issue with their wives?  Perhaps, and this subject needs further research.
  • Do they seek out help?
    Probably not because as I stated, it is a taboo in the Muslim world to talk about sexual matters.
  • Do they send their wives home for their families to talk to them?
    In such a case, womenfolk of the family only force their daughters to become the sexual “tool” for the husbands as a “religious” obligation. They never bother to find out why the daughter is having problems to begin with.
  • Do they eventually divorce their wives?
    Keeping in mind that divorce, too, is a taboo among many Muslims, the husbands could feel trapped between one taboo and the other.

Or do the husbands resort to marital rape?

Can this be one of the underlying reasons of marital rape amongst Muslims (of course this is not an excuse to condone this type of behavior)? This will be another topic of discussion in the future, inshaAllah.

Although Shama has two children she never managed to differentiate between normal sex and sexual abuse. She couldn’t discuss this issue openly with anyone, and is now facing serious marital problems. She developed hatred for her husband, because she could not differentiate between her molester and her husband. And now she has moved out to a shelter home, leaving her two children behind.

Rizwana, another woman residing in U.S. who was molested by her father in Pakistan, would hit her husband, hurt herself and call the police on her husband, and eventually ended up becoming permanently addicted to anti-depressants. Later her husband sent her back to Pakistan along with the children. Last I heard she had come back but I don’t know whether her situation has improved.

Did the husbands of these women ever try to get to the root of the problem? Can they be blamed for not seeking out advice? Can I be blamed for not advising their husbands about this issue, i.e. are the Muslim men in our society willing to take advice from a sister? These are the topics of yet another discussion.

b) Lack of sexual interest:
Depending on the type and length of the molestation, some women don’t react as severely but still develop a lack of sexual interest, because in one way or the other it reminds them of their molester. These victims don’t initiate intimacy, don’t like to be fondled, and sex is nothing more than a “duty” for them. Many of these victims never fully enjoy sexual intimacy either (i.e. reach their climax).

I have often heard many women refer to intimacy as a “task” rather than an affectionate natural desire towards their husbands. I used to think that their husbands didn’t fulfill their responsibilities properly. Now, I think that one missing piece of the puzzle could quite possibly be in these women’s pasts.

Noreen, who sought help through the religion and has recovered for the most part mashaAllah, nevertheless told me that she still has not developed an interest in intimacy.  Until now, her sex-life is nothing more than a religious “obligation” towards her husband. Although she loves her husband very much and has what one would term as a “happy marriage”, it seems that she was never able to overcome her negative perception of sex.  Allah knows best, but perhaps if she had received proper help at the young age when the abuses occurred, instead of being accused of imagining the abuse by her own mother, she may have successfully separated between lovemaking and sexual abuse.

But what about the larger group of sisters who are not receiving proper help?  Do their husbands diligently search for solutions to their wives’ lack of sexual interests? Or do they find “other” avenues to spice up their sexual life?

3. Precocious (Early Development) Sexuality:
This must not be confused with precocious puberty. Precocious puberty is natural physical growth and cannot be controlled like hair growth, breast growth etc. In order to understand the precocious sexuality, I give the example of two kids; one grows up in an exposed environment watching MTV, pornographic magazines, and a lot of exposure to sexual environment vs. the other kid who grows up in a rather monitored and protected environment. The first child will most likely have a precocious sexuality compared to the later one.

Precocious sexuality, in the context of these articles, is a direct result of molestation. Some victims develop too much sexual desire as a reaction to being exposed to sex and sexual activities early and inappropriately.  It may also be a way of self-destructive behavior.

Although I only came across one sister who suffered this type of reaction, a simple Google search on victims’ behavior indicated that there are many victims who suffer this backlash.

Sarah, who grew up going to Islamic schools in U.S., was molested by her own brother, iyyadhobillah. Her mother was actively involved in the Masjid and Islamic school but perhaps she failed to keep a balance at home (which is, unfortunately, becoming quite common among parents who are actively involved in the community). Sarah went through unusual and very severe reactions in different stages of her life. Between junior high and high school, she developed too much sexual desire and totally rebelled against her family. Drugs and boys were her two ways of finding satisfaction away from her miserable situation at home. Or it could be that this was her form of destructive behavior. Drugs were her way of destroying her health and boys were her way of destroying her body and spirituality. Although now she is married and has children, I cannot say for sure that she has gotten over her problem or that she has a good intimate marital life.

To be continued…

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Saba Syed (aka Umm Reem) is the author of International award winning novel, "An Acquaintance." Saba has a BA degree in Islamic Studies. She studied Arabic Language & Literature at Qatar University and at Cairo Institute in Egypt. She also received her Ijaazah in Quranic Hafs recitation in Egypt from Shaikh Muhammad al-Hamazawi. She had been actively involved with Islamic community since 1995 through her MSA, and then as a founding member of TDC, and other community organizations. in 2002, she organized and hosted the very first "Musim Women's Conference" in Houston, TX. Since then, she's been passionately working towards empowering Muslim women through the correct and untainted teachings of Islam. She is a pastoral counselor for marriage & family, women and youth issues. She has hosted several Islamic lectures and weekly halaqas in different communities all over U.S and overseas, also hosted special workshops regarding parenting, Islamic sex-ed, female sexuality, and marital intimacy.

90 Comments

90 Comments

  1. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed (Associate)

    February 18, 2009 at 1:59 AM

    bismillah was salamu alaykum, Umm Reem.

    some editing/stylistic advice:

    Of course, we would all pray that the victim of molestation would remain a practicing Muslim. But a practicing Muslim woman will only seek sexual activity with her husband. So when a young Muslimah is molested, even if inshaAllah her faith remains intact, the full consequences of the sexual abuse she suffered will probably first become apparent when she marries.

    the point you intend is powerful, alhamdolillah. but I think it got muted in the grammar. and my suggestion is only that.

    because of what you point out, though, i think any rehabilitation of a child who has been molested must plan to address this problem. if the child is below puberty when the molestation is stopped, then this phase of rehabilitation should wait till after puberty is certain. but if the molestation does not end till after puberty, or if the early-age-sexual-behavior you describe has become apparent — then counsel and rehabilitation should probably not be delayed till marriage.

    because these views of sexual propriety will eventually have an effect on any interactions with persons of the opposite gender once the child has reached the physical or mental state of “maturity” required — where maturity does not mean the person is behaving properly.

    • concerned

      December 30, 2009 at 7:28 PM

      some editing/stylistic advice:

      Of course, we would all pray that the victim of molestation would remain a practicing Muslim. But a practicing Muslim woman will only seek sexual activity with her husband. So when a young Muslimah is molested, even if inshaAllah her faith remains intact, the full consequences of the sexual abuse she suffered will probably first become apparent when she marries.

      Yes we pray that the victim remains upon Islam and seeks sexual activity only with her husband. Ameen.
      Can I just point out (and I am not condoning promiscuity when making this comment) that victims or as some prefer to use the term survivors of abuse have different ways and mechanisms of coping Muslim or not. Some will completely hate and loathe any kind of touching be it sexual or otherwise, some with self harm go onto develop eating disorders, depression, emotional problems etc however some victims go down the route of promiscuity – because they were violated they lose any respect they have for their self – this gives them fuel to ‘punish’ themselves – promiscuity is one way of punishing self and attaining a sense of ‘control’ and power SubhanAllah. Yes, it may sound skewed and ridiculous but this is the reality for some people.

      It’s important when we support/advise or speak to victims of abuse we are not critical of them or look down upon them passing judgement! It’s vital you are warm welcoming and more than anything accept and validate their pain – hear them – listen to their story. Now, not everyone wants to or is equipped with the necessary skill to help such people, in these instances it is vital you refer them onto someone else as you may cause more harm than benefit. If they’re Muslim they probably don’t want to hear ‘astaghfirullah brother/sister don’t you know it’s haram to hurt yourself!!’ or ‘how could you do that – it’s zina!’ ‘you can’t starve yourself you’ll get punished!’ These are responses which if anything will push them away from the deen! Remember the deen is about mercy and forgiveness about understanding and support. If someone comes to you especially a Muslim you need to recognise how difficult it must have been for them to approach you. Furthermore, chances are they will know the behaviour they are indulging in is haram and won’t be feeling to proud of it – but as you will hear many say – ‘we need to get rid of the pain’. These mechanisms are their way of coping – their way of living with the horrors of their past. It’s easy for you and me to pass judgement but brothers and sisters, we’ll never know the agony the trauma the pain these victims go through on a daily, hourly minute by minute basis. It’s crucial Muslims build a support network to help victims. I recall a practising Muslim telling me when they disclosed their abuse to friends and the community as an adult they were shunned as though they had done wrong Allahu Musta’an!

      truly is a sad state of affairs. All I’ve said in this post based upon work with victims and research – please feel free to correct inshaAllah.

      wasalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi

  2. adam

    February 18, 2009 at 7:49 AM

    Wow, this article has opened my eyes to the importance of this issue,

    Jazakallahu khairan sister.

  3. muslimah

    February 18, 2009 at 10:00 AM

    as someone who was sexually abused in childhood…i think this article is really exaggerated. my perception of men and marriage didnt change. in fact it only became stronger after studying Islam..men who do such dirty and evil acts dont fear Allah to begin with…I’m a stronger woman today alhamdulillah..and one of my biggest goal in life is to be the best mom and wife…inshaAllah.
    no offense to any sister out there who had to go thru this ordeal..

    • regina

      January 27, 2010 at 3:19 PM

      good for you..bad people and bad experiences should put you off the people who have done the “bad deeds” and not off good things like marriage and motherhood and intimacy, I hope all victims of abuse, whether sexual,physical, emotional or mental…can come out strong like you. When you are a victim of any sort it is very easy to blame yourself, that its your fault that someone is hurting you or violating your rights, you must have done something to deserve it because the abuser doesnt behave like this with anyone else…even when you know you have done nothing wrong, you beat yourself up for months and years after it has even stopped…but no matter, as the abuser or the abused we should all remember Allah SWT has not given a single person on this earth the right to abuse his creation..we are not allowed to be unkind or cruel to animals…then how to other humans?
      I am glad sister you have been able to come out stronger after the trauma you suffered.

  4. bint

    February 18, 2009 at 11:10 AM

    subhanallaah, I use to think this issue didnt exist so much so in the muslim world. but thank you for writing this article.
    And to writer “Muslimah” subhanallaah, Allaah helpd you if you are stronger now, I dont know if many women can think the way you do or overcome the way you did. May Allaah keep you strong.

  5. abu Rumay-s.a.

    February 18, 2009 at 11:55 AM

    HusbunAllah…a very difficult series of articles to go through, it truly pains the heart and its an ugly reality that no sound minded human can ever accept…this is jahileeyah at its worst, similar to the pagans who used to bury their daughters alive. This tragic epidemic shows the dark state of parts of this ummah and to Allah ta`ala we seek help.

    May Allah ta`ala reward the sisters for seeking to help out the victims of such atrocious crimes..ameen. I just have some thoughts I’d like to share…

    – While I value the importance of research and study in this topic, especially in the West, I would tend to take some of the conclusions with a grain of salt. For instance, the article mentioned that most of the molesters are not victims which I would find hard to believe unless presented with some real data. Someone has to have some fairly bad psycological problems to even think of such evil things, so I think the molesters themselves have some sort of unhealthy background plus a lot of other environmentally related issues as you mentioned to commit such acts.

    – To the family members who are informed about such things and do not do anything or feel incapable of helping, I would consider such people highly responsible as the smallest grain of faith can signal one to do something about such tragic things, specially when it is your own family members. Again, the cultural “taboo” jahileeyah takes effect which is completely antithetical to Islamic teachiings…In fact, I believe such immoral behaviour is so common in some muslim societies it has unfortunately become something almost “accepted”…similar to what happened to the catholic church…

    – No doubt that the physiological damages are numerous, however, the main focus should be on rehabilitation. Instead of sharing experiences of abuse, perhaps some could present their struggles of recovery. A Muslim should try their best to move forward and get help as needed and not dwell too much on it with the focus on the motto of “ashku bathi wa huzni eellAllah” (I am complain of my greif and sorrow to Allah)…we should always remember that if we are tested with some fitna or tragedy, Allah ta`ala will always replace it with something much better as long as we are patient and thankful.

    – And finally, to stress the point that the new generation of parents, educators, members of society have to be cognizant of such realties in our societies and take the measures to help victims, educate others in the community, and prevent such crimes against our beloved…

    barak Allahu feek once again for the excellent work..

    • regina

      January 27, 2010 at 3:27 PM

      i like your advice about complain to Allah and move on :) another great thing about our beautiful deen…when you have been wronged and opressed and you tolerate it quietly..Allah sends angels to speak in your defense and take revenge …and the people who wrong us if they never accept their wrongs and seek our forgiveness, then on the day of reckoning we will be recompensed by taking their good deeds from them and unloading any sins onto them.. our ultimate goal in life is to prepare for the next life, when we keep reminding ourselves of that how easy it is to move on and look ahead! inshaAllah

  6. Umm Reem

    February 18, 2009 at 12:19 PM

    Tariq:
    jazakAllah khair…maybe in future i can send you my articles for editing ;)

    Muslimah:
    alhamdullilah that you didn’t go through a server reaction…rest assured i these stories are real and so as the reaction i described…if the harm and damage was not so sever, there would not have been so much text and websites out there dedicated to help out the victims…wAllahu ta’ala ‘alam

    abu rumay-s.a:
    JazakAllah khair as usual for ur valuable comment.
    i agree with ur first point, however, and unfortunately there is not much information available on molesters. Let us not forget that shaytaan makes a human do strangest and the most evil actions…and this is definitely one of them, however, there are psychological problems too with the molesters. As i mentioned in another comment, there are pedophiles, preferential molesters and situational molesters…and i will talk about it in the later part of the article ins haAllah…

    As for talking about solutions/rehab. we cannot talk about it until we make awareness of the problem, can we? Our community doesn’t even recognize the problem or the damages this evil action cause, or they are in denial…in such case why would they pay attention to rehab.
    My main focus on this article was to make awareness, and then offer solutions, inshaAllah. So plz. bear with me.

  7. Joyhamza

    February 18, 2009 at 3:28 PM

    Sister Umm Reem,

    Assalamu ‘Alaikum, these posts are very beneficial and may Allah reward you. I have a question which perhaps you would cover in your next posts. I am still asking to learn.

    1. How should a husband approach his wife who was a victim of child molestation? Say he finds his wife to be sexually reluctant. How should he deal with it? He might have guessed (suppose he has read your article) that her wife may have been abused in her tender age. Obviously the wife may not want to tell this. Should he himself ask whether that was the case? I can understand the husband has to be patient and gentle. But what exactly he should be doing?

  8. Umm Sumaiyya

    February 18, 2009 at 4:37 PM

    Assalaamu alaykum,

    I am assuming that for reasons of scholastic focus, you have chosen to restrict your study to a survey of the abuses of young girls. However, I think it is pertinent to mention that many many young boys are being subject to this kind of abuse as well. I think this goes back to the point that abu Rumay-s.a. makes, in saying that the molesters must have been victims themselves. Perhaps they were.

    When I was in the Middle East, expat sisters were warned to keep a close eye on their young boys, for fear of them being lured away by predators. I have heard from my husband who is pakistani, that many young men were approached or assaulted on trips back home. In the UK, as a hospital worker, I encountered many awful awful situations involving both muslim boys and girls. It breaks my heart as a Muslimah and a mother.

  9. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed (Associate)

    February 18, 2009 at 7:20 PM

    wa eeyaki, Umm Reem. i am glad it was a useful suggestion.

    i am looking forward to reading about solutions. subhanAllah, i almost wish we started with solutions so that every time we read about a heinous case in these articles and comments, then we could turn to the solutions — like an open-book exam.

    not having that information, of course, should have given each and every one of us more empathy with the children and those of their parents who feel lost and alone in combatting this evil.

    if we feel helpless when we read these stories, how must they feel?

    and truly one message that has to be disseminated: none of us is alone. Allah is the Help of every Muslim, our Wakeel, our Mawla, and from His Justice no criminal will ever hide.

    if we had khutbahs that reminded people of that fact — that no mujrim will ever hide from Allah. that Allah knows the depravity of every molester and that hell will burn that person until Allah deems otherwise, then we would be a less self-afflicted ummah. no, maybe not one khutbah. but how many of us hear such problems that beset the ummah in any khutbah? wAllaho’Alim. truly every one of these evils, the ummah has brought upon itself. i am not saying the children bring these vultures down, but the ummah in forsaking what is good and embracing what is evil has brought down more of that, and the evidence is worn by those who are helpless to defend themselves.

    may Allah Forgive us all for the state of the ummah and any complicity we have in it. and may He protect our children from the depraved and from those who do not fear Him as He should be feared.

  10. Dunia's Stranger

    February 18, 2009 at 8:39 PM

    Good article. Much needed for Muslims.

  11. intellect1429

    February 19, 2009 at 12:47 AM

    Jazakallahi Khairan Umm Reem for bringing this topic to the forefront. This is one of many social ills within the Muslim community that really need to have light cast upon them. It is because of articles of this beneficial nature that I really like this blog. Keep up the good work, and keep the topics coming—there are many.

    I sincerely sympathize from the bottom of my heart every time I read one of the sisters’ cases. I wish I could put a dagger through the heart of these predators, regardless of whether they are family, because they corrupt the lives of these innocent girls. Life is hard enough already, why contribute to adding an extra burden to an innocent life? I know that Dunya is a test, but I believe this robbing someone of their innocence is one of the biggest tests a person could bear – because its a scar that can’t be removed. May Allah make it easy for all the afflicted sisters to live their lives positively regardless of this heinous crime. Ameen. It just makes me sick to my stomach.

  12. muslimah

    February 19, 2009 at 11:13 AM

    sister um reem. I’m not trying to sound like a celeb or something..but i never talked about this to anyone in real life. i would be lying if i say it didnt have any my effect on my life..it happened more than 10 yrs ago and i still get these bouts of depression from nowhere..back then when i were younger i didnt understand what it meant..now that i have grown up, i realize how much of an effect it really did have on my personality..reading awareness articles such as this one and studying psychology at school leave me feeling so hollow..and sometimes hatred and regret for the people closest to me who didnt do anything about it when i confided in them. it has never been discussed ever since. it’s a shame in my culture. no one will want to marry me if they know i was abused..
    I have become more aware of what NOT to do. if i ever get married and have kids inshaAllah my daughter/s will never be allowed to go for sleepovers if they are guys older than her in there. my son/s will be brought up to be good muslims who respect women.

    subhanAllah the sister who got raped by her own blood brother..we have a hadith that siblings should be separated in bed after 7 yrs of age..and many of us think it’s extreme.

    I have a question. is a sister who was sexually abused or raped (note that abuse is not = rape) obligated to tell a future prospect about her past?

  13. Iftikhar

    February 19, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    The western “values” suggest equality and freedom for all, that means society must allow religious freedom. The Christians and Jews have Church/ Jewish schools as well as kosher meat, yet when Muslims simply ask for the very same treatment,the Islamphobic secular right wing jump up and down screaming that somehow western values have been attacked.

    The Jews throught out the western world have their own religious courts. Christians have been enjoying the right to be married in Church. Muslims should have the same right to get married in Masajid as well as they need Sharia Courts, dealing in marriage, civil matters and divorce.

    It is easy to say” Go back to where you came from”,but do not forget that British Muslims are actually born and educated here. They are in the unenviable position of trying to combine two diffent worlds. That is no easy.

    Multiculturalism is not about separation, ghettoisation or balkanisation. It is, instead, a recognition of both diversity and the need for common ground, mutual respect,and cultural engagement.

    Muslims all over the world never opposed English as a language what they did was opposition of the Western culture and their system of education. In Pakistan, the medium of instruction is Urdu and English and the official language is both English and Urdu. Pakistan is going to send English teachers to Korea for the teaching of English language.

    Muslim parents would like their children to be well versed in standard English to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity.

    Majority of Muslim children leave schools with low grades because state schools with monolingual teachers are not capable of teaching English to bilingual children.At the same time, they need to learn and be well versed in Arabic, Urdu and other community languages to keep in touch with their cultural roots and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry.

    I am concerned with the education of the Muslim children. It is nothing to do with integration or segregation. Those state as well as Church schools where Muslim children are in majority, in my opinion, may be designated as Muslim community schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models.

    Bilingual Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.
    Iftikhar Ahmad
    http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

  14. Miako

    February 19, 2009 at 12:30 PM

    Iftikhar,

    anyone who thinks that the Muslims should not be allowed to have the same rights as Jews or Christians is a disgrace to Western Society and to our world as a whole.

    I ask rather humbly, and with a knowledge of my ignorance and the hope that those here may correct me… I have heard others say that Sharia law can often mean to kill a woman if she has been raped (unless she can produce many witnesses to the contrary). This guilty until proven innocent idea does not sit very well with me.

    Can someone clarify what this is about, from a Muslim perspective? (if this is a NO, Absolutely someoen’s gotten somethign wrong! or is it more of a “you’re missing the nuance, and the greyshading” or if this is correct?)

  15. Umm Reem

    February 19, 2009 at 12:49 PM

    Muslimah:
    if you just bear with me until next week, i have addressed all ur questions in conclusion, dealing with the anger, communication, future husband, rape, pregnancy due to the rape etc. etct…inshaAllah…you will see it next week in my 2-part conclusion.

    Joyhamza:
    here is a secret: women like to communicate and they love attention especially from their husbands, both verbal and physical attention. So a blend of both, communication and affection (verbal and physical) can open up a wife very easily, top it with a little patience and the husband can pretty much resolve the problem…inshaAllah…

    as for your question, the solution differs from case to case…I would have to ask the husband to be a bit more specific, how long has he been married? what are the difficulties in intimacy? what is the level of communication between him and his wife?

    InshaAllah, in a few hours, I am going to post an email acct. here for specific personal questions for these situations and to offer professional help. Stay tuned

  16. Umm Reem

    February 19, 2009 at 12:58 PM

    Miako:
    I really appreciate you asking:

    say that Sharia law can often mean to kill a woman if she has been raped

    i have not seen any law giving more protection to a rape-victim (i.e.women) then the sharee’ah law, in all honesty. Here is a fatwa from one of the most conservative sites of Islam….notice how she is protected even if she actually ends up killing the one who raped/tried to rape her…

    http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/4017/rape

    So, no she is not to be killed if she is raped. Rather the rapist is to be punished:
    http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/72338/rape

  17. muslimah

    February 19, 2009 at 2:43 PM

    I’ve one more question sister um reem.
    are we obligated to obey and respect those whom Allah asked us to in the Quran even after they let us down and hurt us this bad by not standing up and protecting us?

  18. Umm Reem

    February 19, 2009 at 3:53 PM

    Dear Muslimah:
    May Allah have mercy on you and may Allah protect you from fitan…

    Realize that there are many parents who failed to protect their children in this situation. Only Allah knows what was truly in their hearts, their conditions and only Allah knows how much they must have regretted for not being able to stand up for their children… May Allah forgive them and have mercy upon them…

    As for the obligation to obey the parents, if it is to protect oneself from the evils of the molester then, as far as I recall, the children are allowed to disobey parents IF they are being forced to meet the molester and keep in touch with the molester, and Allah knows best… Here is a good read from
    islam-qa: http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/84426/molestation

    As for the respect, dear sister, realize that respect to the parents in unconditional, even if they were committing shirk and kufr, you are still obliged to respect them. I know it maybe difficult and painful, but let us not forget that everyone has flaws and faults, and who amongst us can claim to be perfect parents. They took care of you in many other ways, they didn’t abandon you in an orphanage…there are worse parents then that, there are those parents who sell their daughters and there are those who still bury them alive, iyyadhobillah…

    No doubt that the damage that was caused because of their negligence was severe and lasting. None of it was your fault, someone should have been there for you, to protect you and to comfort you. No doubt that you were too small to take care of yourself, no doubt that your pain is too strong and difficult to bear with, but dear sister, it was after all a test from Allah. You were tested by the evil of the molester and by the weakness of your parents…

    but YOU HAVE the ability to deal with it, that is why you were tested with this test, otherwise Allah azzawajl would have never tested you with this…
    “On no soul does Allah places a burden greater then it can bear” (2:286)

    you are strong enough to go through this test.
    Keep reminding yourself that you were strong enough to deal with this that is why you were tested with this, believe in yourself and move on.
    Know that you are not the only one who are dealing with this situation, there are many and their test never ends, but your has, alhamdullilah.
    Know that a test can actually become a blessing, IF we use it to come closer to Allah. I know it maybe very difficult for you, but forgiveness is a virtue, and who can be more worthy of our forgiveness then our own parents? even if they failed to protect us?

    You don’t have to forgive, but would you not want Allah to forgive you?
    “…Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allâh should forgive you? And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (24:22)

    May Allah ease your pain and reward you in this world and akhira

  19. muslimah

    February 19, 2009 at 4:31 PM

    sister um reem, jazakAllahu khayr dear ukhti. i’m trying to be a good daughter but i fail my mom so many times only to realize i still have regret in my heart and it’s acting out in different ways against her. the guy didnt hurt me as much as what my mom did..or didnt rather. I did forgive her long back. i know she was wrong but i also know why she acted the way she did. she grew up in that unIslamic culture and all the taboo doctrines were ingrained in her since day one. I try to be a dutiful daughter but it’s hard when i dont have an emotional attachment to my parents. I love them to bits and they love me too..I respect them but i dont have to agree with every step they take sah? parents are supposed to protect their kids. kids have rights over their parents even before they are born. it’s so hard to look past our parents faults when as their child you look up to them.
    jazakumAllah kahyr again sister. I try to console myself saying that Allah asked me to respect my parents so I will. I will be asked abt what I and NOT what my parents did. may Allah have mercy on them and forgive their shortcomings, Ameen. I dont want them to be punished in the akhirah. I’m not blind to what they did and continue to do for me.
    may Allah forgive me if said something wrong.

  20. Miako

    February 19, 2009 at 4:45 PM

    Umm Reem,
    Thank you for aiding the cause of truth with your words. I must say, even reading this link made me sick:
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2008/11/2008111201216476354.html
    and yet, the comments were more along the lines of what you say than otherwise.

    I can understand that there are societies that warp religions, and can respect those religions that serve to guide people towards the true path.

    Thanks again!

  21. muslimah

    February 19, 2009 at 4:55 PM

    sister um reem ,I’m sorry for hogging up your comments section, but can i have your email? I would like to talk to you about something if you dont mind..

  22. Umm Reem

    February 19, 2009 at 7:05 PM

    muslimah,

    not a problem at all. you can email:

    privatequestions@muslimmatters.org

    In fact, this email is available for anyone to ask about any specific situations (related to topic only).

  23. hayat

    February 19, 2009 at 8:57 PM

    aselamu alikum all this is my first time to see that in a muslim person this happen to others too i was thinkinig it is just me who happen this evil act by close parent my uncle who use to leave with us my dad was vary religous if he knew he will kill him but after almost 25 years now i am marrid and have kids and i always rememeber and i will never forget this my uncle is in my home country marrid and has one douter and i felt bad for her each time i go back home he came to visit us he is kind of old now but i feel like insulting him but my dad and mam will die if they hear this unbeliveble story it is unsual and vary shame to talk something like this no one belive u too i guss they all hade respect for him sometime i cry thinking how come this happen in a muslim socitey ohhh i never express or talk this with any one i can feel it afects my life with my marriage life afraid of everything never enjoy any thing as a muslim wife and i can not express what happen in detail it is not a muslim wife to tell bad things in detail i guss it may shock u. any way lats all pray for those muslim who have wisper of sheytan in there ear. i hope he will make tewba before he die other wise i will sue him infront of god in the day of akira.
    thanks for this post it makes me relif little of my pain

  24. khawla

    February 20, 2009 at 12:09 AM

    Assalamu’alaykum
    My heart goes out to those who suffered and may Allah heals you and make it easy on you. Jazzakumullahu khair Umm Reem for your effort writing this post.

    I just would like to share what I learned from my mother. May Allah protect her and bless her with goodness. Ameen

    When I was young, I never really understood why my mother gave us such strict rulings in the house when we were little as toddlers of one or two years old with regard to covering in front of male relatives, father, brothers or uncles. People now days think it’s cute to see babies prancing naked after bathing in front of others. Now I know why. Not just to protect one’s Haya but it is a way of prevention, to stop the Syaitan from whispering evil things.

    My mom never let us girls, sleep in our brother’s bed or walk about in our under garments. She gave us really “strange advice” (at the time, it was strange to me): To run away as fast as you can from boys or any men who wanted to “touch” us.

    I remember several times being approached by a man, a neighbor, on my walk to school and I think I must have run like that cartoon speedy Gonzales road-runner bird. Got home and told my mom. She went to the police in no time. Alhamdulillah.

    Therefore, it is all about parenting style and how mothers or would be mothers deal with these issues. Fathers should be included too, however mothers are the ones who spend most time with their children.

  25. muslimah

    February 20, 2009 at 8:06 AM

    is it a personal account? i want only you to read the email..

  26. Umm Reem

    February 20, 2009 at 10:02 AM

    privatequestions@muslimmatters.org

    YES, it is a private account. No one else has access to it but myself. So if anyone has any questions about this topic, feel free to email me.

    hayat,
    may Allah azzawajal help you. Perhaps you should talk to someone. It will do you good, inshaAllah. You don’t have to live your life not being able to enjoy that which Allah has made a source of enjoyment for us.

  27. Umm Reem

    February 20, 2009 at 10:46 AM

    Miako,
    You are welcome…
    One more point, when Islamic law is implemented accurately, then it is extremely difficult, almost impossible to accuse someone of adultery. It requires the oral testimony of FOUR adult Muslims who have seen the actual act of sexual intercourse.
    In this case, the law is very strict upon the witnesses (because it can ruin someone’s life if they are lying, so to protect the society from false accusations, and in a way to protect the one who has fell into the error of adultery, lest he/she may repent)

    The witnesses must be able to state where and when the offense took place, and must be able to identify the party to the act, meaning just by seeing two people together is not sufficient, they must be able to identify the actual sexual act happening otherwise their testimony is disqualified, and they are to be punished for wrong testimony.

    If the witnesses are less then four, let’s say three, because the fourth one backs out for whatever reason, those three can be punished. The judge is to take all the witnesses’ testimonies separately and match, if there are conflicting testimonies, again, they are disqualified…and the witnesses are to be punished…
    These requirements indicate difficulty of inflicting the adultery punishment.

    So, i am not sure which law exactly are some of these people following that they so conveniently charge people, esp. women, with the crime of adultery!

  28. Miako

    February 20, 2009 at 2:30 PM

    Umm Reem,
    *blush* I was rather under the impression that an unmarried women being found with child would be taken as proof positive of fornication (without the default assumption being rape) — or in the advent of a married woman not being near her husband, that if she was found to be with child, that would also be adultery.
    I am very thankful to find someone to correct me!
    It feels to me like one challenge, to rise up against a mysogynistic culture, but another, and bigger, to try and persuade someone to change their religion because it is bad for women [though this has been done in the past with other religions, for whatever that’s worth]

  29. Kalimat

    February 20, 2009 at 7:01 PM

    How likely is it in real life that 4 people will stumble upon two unmarried couple having sex and all 4 of them decide to accuse the couple of adultery? We Muslims love to talk and over analyse hypothetical scenarios and situations that are unlikely to arise.

  30. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    February 21, 2009 at 1:23 AM

    bismillah.

    Kalimat said:
    How likely is it in real life that 4 people will stumble upon two unmarried couple having sex and all 4 of them decide to accuse the couple of adultery? We Muslims love to talk and over analyse hypothetical scenarios and situations that are unlikely to arise. -February 20th, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    rather, you should ask yourself how much Wiser is Allah than we. in the United States people argue about privacy rights all the time. the law shifts all over the map.

    but the particular law of evidence in Islam that you denigrate, subhanAllah, has phenomenal wisdom. it makes apparent what are the boundaries of society’s justifcation in “nosiness,” and how much latitude Allah will give sinners, even despicable ones, in this lifetime. let me explain just a few aspects of what i am talking about:

    1) if the standard were any less than that, accusations of adultery would be more common. it is very likely that one or two snooping neighbors could uncover a crime, and feel very smug about it, too, if they were not restrained by such a high standard. rather the private consensual actions of adults are just that in Islam — private. are they unlawful? not my business. unless they act in public, not anyone’s business. except Allah — and the known punishment of every unrepentant and unpunished zaani and zaaniah will be burning over and over again in an oven while waiting for resurrection. zaanis and zaaniahs who keep their actions private will have only a respite during their lives.

    but guess what? if they are successful in keeping their zinna private — in exercising that much restraint, their families will also be spared the humiliation of being associated with them. the parentage of their children will not become lifelong stigmata, etc.

    Allah’s Wisdom utterly surpasses the concerted efforts of legion upon legion of legislators.

    2) remember what the punishment is for zinna. execution for an adulterer who had ever been married. lashes for the one who had never been married. these punishments are not just harsh — they are complete expiation for the sin, and that is from the Mercy of Allah. but zinna is less than shirk. so Allah in His infinite Mercy, so much more than anything we can compare to, has implied that He may forgive some zaanis and zaaniahs. simply Forgive them on His own initiative. i would not want to play the odds, though. and alhamdolillah, neither does any person who is alive now — all of us have committed sins at some time in our lives (and i pray that none of us faces the torment that i described after death for the unrepentant zaani), but all of us while living have the indisputable hope in the Mercy and Forgiveness of Allah.

    if Allah had set a lower evidence standard, many, many, zaanis would be punished before they could turn to Allah in repentance. Allah is Ghaafir ad-dhamb! there is Wisdom in His decisions which give people time to seek Forgiveness.

    and these are only among the most obvious Wisdoms that i have enumerated. any good in what i have encouraged you to consider is from Allah, and the harm of it would only be from me. so i seek Forgiveness from Allah for my excesses, and i ask you to be forbearing, too.

  31. Pingback: Friday Links — February 20, 2009 « Muslimah Media Watch

  32. umtalhah

    February 23, 2009 at 1:21 PM

    as salam alaikum all

    may Allah reward umm reem, mm & all others for bringing this much needed article to us.

    my comment is for sister ‘muslimah|:

    my dear sister muslimah,

    may Allah ease your pain for He is the only one who can do that.

    i can only say that i can try to imagine how you must have felt when you approached your mother and she did not take enough action.

    i will not try to justify her action or inaction or of mothers in similar situations.

    i will remind you of the hadith about hatib (ra) a companion of the Prophet (saw) who sent a letter to the pagans of Makkah to get some support for his family informing them of the plans of the Prophet (saw).

    imagine hatib’s (ra) action and the impact it could have had on the Muslim ummah. his actions could have endangered the life of the Prophet and of all the muslims with him. the entire muslim ummah could have been threatened by his action. the lives of those muslims were far more precious than the lives of all of us put together.

    yet, there was an action the sahabi had done which was enough to raise his rank in Allah’s sight.

    pls. don’t get me wrong. i am not trying to justify wrongs done by parents. and i am not belittling their actions (or inactions) either.

    the lives of our beloved prophet and his companions are full of lessons for us. and these incidents took place for a reason. it has always helped me to forgive any muslim who has wronged me by thinking that perhaps that muslim has done some actions which are beloved to Allah and that muslim’s rank is higher in Allah’s sight even though Allah has made me aware of some of their shortcomings.

    also, sometimes we feel hurt more because we expect our parents to be our parents. to know to fulfill their duties. but trust me, we also make mistakes as parents and we will even in the future.

    sometimes if, when shaitaan is trying hard to remind us of the pain they caused us, we just simply think of them as muslims, then it becomes easier to behave kindly towards them. and sometimes we still fail and the doors of repentance are open for us too.

    some mothers will not admit their shortcomings in front of their children for many reason (too many to mention here) but many, many times they ask Allah to forgive them and their kids. and their du’aas are special for the kid they know they have (or might have) wronged.

    what could be better for a child than a sincere du’aa for them from their parents.

    i hope i did not bombard you with useless advice.

    my 2 cents (oh, well, halalah now),

    um talhah.

  33. umtalhah

    February 23, 2009 at 1:24 PM

    just in case anyone wants to read the entire hadith:

    Narrated: Abu ‘Abdur-Rahman and Hibban bin ‘Atiyya had a dispute. Abu ‘Abdur-Rahman said to Hibban, “You know what made your companions (i.e. Ali) dare to shed blood.” Hibban said, “Come on! What is that?” ‘Abdur-Rahman said, “Something I heard him saying.” The other said, “What was it?” ‘AbdurRahman said, “‘Ali said, Allah’s Apostle sent for me, Az-Zubair and Abu Marthad, and all of us were cavalry men, and said, ‘Proceed to Raudat-Hajj (Abu Salama said that Abu ‘Awana called it like this, i.e., Hajj where there is a woman carrying a letter from Hatib bin Abi Balta’a to the pagans (of Mecca). So bring that letter to me.’ So we proceeded riding on our horses till we overtook her at the same place of which Allah’s Apostle had told us. She was traveling on her camel. In that letter Hatib had written to the Meccans about the proposed attached of Allah’s Apostle against them. We asked her, “Where is the letter which is with you?’ She replied, ‘I haven’t got any letter.’ So we made her camel kneel down and searched her luggage, but we did not find anything. My two companions said, ‘We do not think that she has got a letter.’ I said, ‘We know that Allah’s Apostle has not told a lie.'” Then ‘Ali took an oath saying, “By Him by Whom one should swear! You shall either bring out the letter or we shall strip off your clothes.” She then stretched out her hand for her girdle (round her waist) and brought out the paper (letter). They took the letter to Allah’s Apostle. ‘Umar said, “O Allah’s Apostle! (Hatib) has betrayed Allah, His Apostle and the believers; let me chop off his neck!” Allah’s Apostle said, “O Hatib! What obliged you to do what you have done?” Hatib replied, “O Allah’s Apostle! Why (for what reason) should I not believe in Allah and His Apostle? But I intended to do the (Mecca) people a favor by virtue of which my family and property may be protected as there is none of your companions but has some of his people (relatives) whom Allah urges to protect his family and property.” The Prophet said, “He has said the truth; therefore, do not say anything to him except good.” ‘Umar again said, “O Allah’s Apostle! He has betrayed Allah, His Apostle and the believers; let me chop his neck off!” The Prophet said, “Isn’t he from those who fought the battle of Badr? And what do you know, Allah might have looked at them (Badr warriors) and said (to them), ‘Do what you like, for I have granted you Paradise?’ ” On that, ‘Umar’s eyes became flooded with tears and he said, “Allah and His Apostle know best.”

    the hadith is narrated by imam al-bukari in his sahih.

  34. Ayesha

    February 23, 2009 at 7:17 PM

    Im sorry, but i would like to know what this hadith means posted by Umtalhah. Please explain it to me…im confused.

  35. Ayesha

    February 23, 2009 at 11:54 PM

    Salamaelikum Brother and Sisters,

    It is an honor to speak on this forum.

    I would just like to know how i can get involved in social work particularily related to these type of cases (i.e. mentioned in your forum: childhood rape and molestation). So if you can shed some of your light and guide me as this is what i would like to pursue as a career.

    Im just thinking of millions of women and young girls in islamic countries and even non-islamic countries who have to endure this horrific ordeal and face their molesters and rapists every day in their own homes – leaving them with no voice…..

    Something will be done….InshAllah!

    JazkAllah Kher.

    Ayesha

  36. Anisa

    February 24, 2009 at 12:40 PM

    Asalaamu Alaaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatu

    BarakAllahu Feekum for this series. Awaiting conclusion, insha’Allah.

  37. Anisa

    February 24, 2009 at 12:48 PM

    Also, please tell us if there are any programs we can get involved in to help people who suffered from this. May Allah reward you,

    Alhamdulilah you know, Islam is complete and perfect, provides a solution for everything if we truly seek it.

    I am really pained and saddened to read of many cases where culture was a barrier to healthy recovery, and subhanAllah sometimes it might even be the cause of the problem itself..may Allah forgive us

    May Allah make it easy for all those who experienced this in their lifetime, ameen ya Rabb

  38. umtalhah

    February 24, 2009 at 5:36 PM

    as salam alaikum,

    in response to a question on a forum i sent the following reply. i am reposting it here so that i may get other views and post them too. the question was from a revert sister who felt very sad about finding this reality in the muslim world. i am not sure if she has read all the comments on this site. i am eager to send her individual email if the need be.

    pls. excuse the length of this comment.

    as salam alaikum,

    dear sister,

    i too think this is very sad. many of these can be avoided if true islamic rules are followed the first and foremost of which is being close to one’s children. in many cultures, considered falsly to be islamic, barriers are put between parents and kids in the name of shame, modesty, etc. girls and boys are forbidden from speaking to their parents about essential issues including sex, private parts, etc.

    whereas if we see the examples of our beloved companions (sahaba of the prophet ) they were not ashamed, even the women were not ashamed to ask the prophet specific questions about even washing one’s private parts!

    many molesters use the communication gap between parents and kids to their advantage. and may Allah protect our kids, even if some mishap falls a child (of course by Allah’s will) the harm done to the child especially the psychological harm would be minimized if true islamic rules are implemented.

    in many cultures (again) children are never taught, especially girls that it is a natural desire to touch and be touched. imagine, when a girl (or a boy) who was molested as a child and had no clue of this desire goes thru puberty and starts to desire to touch and be touched, imagine what must go thru his/her poor mind if he/she is not taught that these are natural feelings and like every natural feeling there are halal ways to fulfill it and haram ways to fulfill it too.

    the poor child starts believing in herself to be a _bad_ person as they are wanting now what they hated once and had seen a very evil person (i.e. the molester) perform. they may even believe that they have turned into a molester themselves. you can imagine how much true islamic knowledge would help them at this stage.

    also, in many cultures (yet again) it is believed that if the girl were a true, good muslimah, she would have died and/or committed suicide after such a mishap. yet again, if the people knew the true religion they’d know this is not true. islam does not put any blame on the victim and no matter how the victim was treated, her value does not at all decrease in the sight of Allah.

    subhan Allah because of the absence of true islamic knowledge, many of these poor victims end up with very confused ideas.

    some believe the sin of their mishap is in their account and continuously try to erase it by becoming very harsh upon themselves. they do not allow themselves to commit wrongs/mistakes and adopt a very strict way of life.

    some lose all hope and consider themselves to have become too _dirty_ to be a good slave of Allah and thus abandon the religion all together.

    imagine, how many of the mothers or others who came to know of their mishaps, would sit down with them lovingly and tell them that what happened with them does not decrease their value in Allah’s sight. in fact, for all we know it increases their value if they are patient in their test. also, it does not make them dirty, filthy or unworthy of being a good slave of Allah.

    since many times, they have flashbacks of very sexual nature, they even think their mind is not pure anymore and when shaitaan causes these kind of thoughts to come to their minds even in their prayers, some times some of them leave the prayer.

    we should tell them, ‘my beloved sister, ignore the shaitaan. ignore these thoughts. only Allah knows, perhaps because of your hard test, even if your mind has these flashbacks of very sexual nature, perhaps your prayer is more beloved to Allah.’ Allahu alam.

    oh, well, i did actually start a whole lecture here…..
    may Allah protect all our kids.
    wassalam alaikum,
    um talhah.

  39. umtalhah

    February 24, 2009 at 6:07 PM

    one more (with more apologies)

    the way i see it, and i am not belittling the suffering of my beloved sisters (or brothers for that matter) in the least, is that it actually teaches you to appreciate and love Allah SWT even more.

    Allah (swt) has set a day as the day of judgement. we realize how much such a day is needed! because even if the molester is given death penalty, for many of the victims it just does not do the justice. they know a quick, swift death does not do justice to years of suffereing, trauma, problems (both known and unknown to the victim).

    and then we appreciate that Allah is teh One who is the Malik of that day. it is a mercy for us that He has taken upon Himself and no one else the judgement on that day. for He is the only One Who can truly understand the suffereing of the child. an action might even seem small, but only Allah can truly know what all effects it has had on the child, his/her personality, etc. how many difficulties that person may have faced because of an (almost) insignificant incident.

    many people will actually point their fingers, call your personality weak or extreme, and tell you to move on. (no offence is meant for any sincere well-wishers.)

    when we know that Allah, who is al-Khabeer, al-Aleem, al-Lateef, al-Khaliq, just to mention a few of His most beautiful Names has taken the responsibility upon Himself to judge, we appreciate Him being our Creater and Rabb. it helps even more to study and understand these beautiful names. you know that He knows He has created people different and He judges them according to how He has created them.

    and then it actually make us cautious too – are we doing something to someone which may seem insignificant but perhaps has a huge effect on them? it encourages us to do our own accounting.

    and that teaches us about repentance. how true repentance can erase mountains of sins. you realize Allah is also al-Ghaffar, al-Ghafoor, al-Tawwab, al-Afoo and He is also al-Rahman and al-Raheem.

    and this leads us to think that perhaps the molester and/those responsible for the suffering of the victims repented. and Allah loves to forgive. do we not like forgiveness for ourselves?

    nnd this helps the victims forgive their molester and others who caused them suffering by their improper actions or inactions. this truly helps them heal.

    and they seek their reward from Allah alone and truly He is the Only One who can recompense adequately and fully and generously. isn’t He al-Shakoor?

    and so you say, ‘al hamdulillahi alladhi hadani lil islam’. praise and thanks be to the One who guided me to Islam.

    and you feel happy that He is your Rabb!

    take care.
    luv for Allah’s sake.
    um talhah.

    • Umm Reem

      February 25, 2009 at 10:19 PM

      assalamalikum
      Unfortunately the last 2 parts will be delayed until the next week, due to last-minute advice from people of knowledge to include some additional material.

      Sorry for the delay.

      jazakumAllahkhair

  40. Sister

    February 27, 2009 at 1:39 AM

    wow…this is so SAD and disheartening. I’m so glad this topic was brought up. I didn’t realize it to be so common in the Muslim world. Its so sickening. Is there any way we can help? And while we’re at it…sis Umm Reem…what’s your profession?

  41. Sister

    February 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM

    Also…what are your educational qualifications? Also, ‘the molested doctor’ you mentioned in the series…what kind of a doctor is she?

    One more thing…the article claims that the extreme personalities these women developed were a result of childhood molestation? Is there any scientific evidence to back that up? Or is the claim made on the basis of observations?

    Looking forward to hear from you!

  42. Sister

    February 28, 2009 at 12:16 AM

    No response? That disappoints me! :(

    Just so my intentions for asking those questions are not misconstrued, I’m asking those questions because your work seems interesting and I’m doing some career exploration at this point in my life! I was wondering what sort of education and experience one would need to help molested humans. The questions were not entirely intended to question the author’s authority for making uncited claims. Key word: Entirely ;p

    I read else where that you talked to a LIVE jinn! I was wondering what kind of spiritual training, if there is any, one would need for doing that.

  43. AnonyMouse

    February 28, 2009 at 1:33 AM

    Sister, I think it’s because UmmReem is really busy right now and doesn’t have the time to respond, not that she doesn’t want to reply :)

  44. Anon.

    February 28, 2009 at 6:43 PM

    Sis Muslimah said: ‘no one will want to marry me if they know i was abused.’

    Sister, that isn’t true! There are plenty of udnerstanding people out there.

  45. Sister

    February 28, 2009 at 7:09 PM

    True, that’s possible. However, I felt it necessary to offer the explanation due to some past (negative) experience I’ve had on this blog. :)

  46. Umm Reem

    March 3, 2009 at 2:43 PM

    My apologies…
    I didn’t mean to ignore anyone’s comments, but in all honesty I am VERY busy right now…until this Friday…and it is taking a huge chunk of my time…so please forgive me for not answering anyone…I WILL inshaAllah get back after this Friday…

    sister:i am not any professional counselor..i’d just been helping sister for more then a decade, wlahamdullialh…i just finished my becholars in islamic studies…
    as for the doctor, i cannot mention any details about her…that is my promise to all the sisters…so sorry…

    ws

  47. Umm Reem

    March 3, 2009 at 2:51 PM

    one more thing:

    I am getting too many private requests to email the article on “HOw and When to have Sex-Ed Talk with Your Children” from sisters….

    Please bear with me, I will have more time next week and inshaAllah I will post that article here on MM soon, AFTER the conclusion of this series…

  48. Windee

    March 3, 2009 at 8:57 PM

    To Void:

    I understand you completely, I’ve been in your shoes from the molestation to the incessant sexual thoughts to doing things I’d never thought I’d do to fulfill my carnal desires.

    The best advice I have for you is to surrender yourself completely to Allah (SWT). Stop the porn. Stay away from the internet. Keep yourself away from sexually provocative images, books, movies, etc etc. Cut yourself off completely. It will be tough, and you might even go back to your old habits, but keep at it, and inshallah, you will pull through. Some might disagree with me for saying this, but you have to be tough on yourself. It’s like keeping the diabetic away from sugar, it’s for your own good. Self restraint can be built up, but it does take time and patience.

    It took me five or six tries to give up porn, and another ten or eleven to stop masturbating on a daily basis. What really kept sex off my mind was pursuing knowledge about Islam and prayer at night. It’s amazing how fulfilling and cathartic crying for forgiveness is. Recite A’udhu billahi mina-shaytaani rajeem when your carnal desires peak. Keep up with your daily prayers, keep your tongue busy in dhikr.

    I’m not where I want to be yet, I still fall back to those old habits, but I am proud to say those pitfalls are happening far and less in between, alhumdulillah. I could not have done it without duas. Could not have.

    The mere fact that you want to stop and better yourself is a brilliant sign. Intention is a big deal in Islam, and often it is intention that determines how Allah (SWT) will help you. For example a person memorizing the Quran should do so for the sole pleasure of Allah (SWT), not for the laurels of dunya. If their intention is to garner praise in this life, than all is for naught in the next. But if the person is doing it for the right reason, then inshallah Allah (SWT) will make memorization easier.

    Don’t give up on duas. Everything you’ve been through is a test, and pulling out of this mire is yet another.

    I wish you all the best sister and you will be in my duas, inshallah

    P.S: I, too, am a sister, and 19 years old.

  49. Steve

    March 4, 2009 at 12:44 PM

    I am a Christian living in the U.S. and I have been so enlightened and touched by these articles. They have really helped me understand what goes through people’s minds. I am very close to someone who went through childhood sexual abuse, and I feel like I can understand her a little bit better now. Thank you SO MUCH for creating these articles. I am so grateful! I am looking forward to the conclusion. Thank you for your time and effort that you are putting into this project.

  50. Sister: No Non-sense please!

    March 9, 2009 at 12:06 AM

    My apologies…
    I didn’t mean to ignore anyone’s comments, but in all honesty I am VERY busy right now…until this Friday…and it is taking a huge chunk of my time…so please forgive me for not answering anyone…I WILL inshaAllah get back after this Friday…

    MashaAllah, its Sunday…you still seem to be very busy… :)

    -Sister

  51. Umm Reem

    March 9, 2009 at 2:18 PM

    Void, may Allah ease your pain and make you from among the leaders. Do not give up and continue your struggle, it is your intention to become a better muslimah and your efforts that count. What happened to you was not your fault at all, but you are suffering the consequence of someone else’s evil actions. However, you are motivated to change and you are trying, you may slip but continue to try again and again. Do not despair Allah’s Mercy or HIs Forgiveness.

    Remember our Prophet sallallahu alihi wasaalm’s comforting words for those who commit evil, repent but then fall for the evil action again but repent again until this cycle is repeated four times and Allah azzawajal forgives that person for good because of his recognition that there is a Rabb and because of his recognition that he transgresses His limits and he turns to Him for repentance. When this is the case for those who commit evil out of temptation then how much more so this will be applied on those who fall into evil because of the “side-effects” they are suffering for some mishap that happened to them in their childhood.

    Don’t give up, hold on to Allah’s Mercy but at the same time do not let shaytaan play with your mind. What happened to you in past was not in your control, but what you do now is in your control. So take control of the situation, something you couldn’t do when you were a child and evil men took advantage of that, but do not let shaytaan take control of you now. Be strong, and be a fighter.

    May Allah bless you with a good, patient, understanding and a pious husband, amin.

  52. Umm Reem

    March 9, 2009 at 2:21 PM

    Windee, mashaAllah ‘alaiki…may Allah help you achieve your goal. Perhpas you should post more on how you recovered and how you are helping yourself to encourage other sisters and to build hope in them that they can make a positive change in their lives too.

    Steve: thankyou, i am happy that it helped

    Sister, i replied to your email.

  53. Sister: No Non-sense please!

    March 9, 2009 at 8:49 PM

    Thanks for all the info. MashaAllah, you must have a lot of strength for listening to all those stories and comforting those women. If I can get one woman to trust me to share her story, and I listen to her without collapsing, I would consider it a victory!! I’ll buy myself some chinese food to celebrate. lol.

  54. void

    March 9, 2009 at 11:01 PM

    asalamwalaikum,

    i posted earlier, but removed my comment. I posted along these lines….

    I am posting my story so it can be engraved in peoples minds the problem of incest/molestation. I am in my very early twenties right now. I was repeatedly molested by 4 men in my family. It started when I was 6 till the age of 18, they consisted of my uncle, another uncle, cousin, and grandfather. However, my uncle used me the most. With my uncle, it felt like almost eveyr night. At first I hated it, but then as I got older and matured, I began to enjoy it. I liked the attention I got, and liked the fact that my molesters desired me. I don’t think I need to go into details, as I am sure you all know what they are. I have 4 brothers, they never touched me, I love them very much. No father, he is alive but has left us.

    I started to learn about our great deen, and that helped alot, especially made me focus in school, and so I did well. I would say I have the minimum amount of Islamic knowledge, and from the little that I learnt from my Islamic teacher, I came to know the true awesomeness of Allah and this amazingly beautiful deen of ours. However I slipped. According to this article I would say I AM VERY VERY PRECOCIOUS. I watch alot of porn, and so much now that I dont even feel guilty doing it. I also do other bad sexually gratifying things and talk to muslim boys on the net. I know they are using me, but frankly I like the attention. Don’t get it anywhere else, so I stoop to incredibly low levels. I know, sounds awful, even I can’t believe it as I am writing this.

    Marriage seems disgusting to me, probably because of the environment I grew up in, for example, my uncles would publicly yell and humiliate my aunts, in front of the family, showing absolutely 0 respect. Now who in their right minds want to be married after seeing that. Disgusting. Reducing women to just make kids and make food.

    I understand the beauty of marriage in Islam, seems lovely, however I feel as if it is very very far away from me, and such a magical and pure thing couldnt possibly happen to me.

    Whatever happens henceforth, I shall accept it as the will of Allah and will bear every test from Him with thankfulness.

    I repent over and over. I want to be a great muslim leader, I want to be a role model and help eradicate this problem in our society.

    For people who are worried about their daughters, I would say to make sure they are safe at ALL times but at the same time not be overbear/overprotect them to such an extent that they cant experience life, cause that itself will lead to other problems. Know that your daughters desire and seek attention. If you parents give it to them, then they wont seek it elsewhere.

    Maybe I will post more later

    Jaza Killa Khair Umm Reem and Windee, you guys made me feel happy and good. May Allah reward you with the greatest honour.

  55. Sister: No Non-sense please!

    March 9, 2009 at 11:51 PM

    Sis Umm Reem,

    I’ll be honest here and I hope you won’t mind the criticism… :)

    This series contains a lot of ‘self-standing claims’ none of which are referenced. I understand that the info has been taken from websites, books, victim reports and observations but I think it would be best to make proper citations at appropriate places. It adds to the reliability of the information.

    Since muslimmatters has such a large readership, and not every reader is scrupulous enough to verify their source of information (they’ll take everything as is), it’s best to present only the information that can be supported through past literature. Any general observations should be identified as such and should not be stated as reality. :)

    • Amad

      March 10, 2009 at 8:38 AM

      You know “Sister:No nonsense”, you have brought up the question of qualification a few times now. Umm Reem’s qualifications are listed in the bio. She has already stated that she is not a “professional”, i.e. has formal education in this particular subject. She relies on her experiences and relationships in the community, built over a decade, as well as friends who are indeed professional. I think she’s doing the best she can, spending tons of time and effort in putting this information together, and I am not seeing anything particularly strange or surprising in these discussions. There are only 2 choices to deal with such subjects: (1) wait for the experts to eventually get to this and hoping that they are Islamically apt as well, or (2) do what you can with the best available info. to help stem the tide of a serious issue.

      If you are qualified and feel that you can offer something better, by all means, please contact us. If you can write something that further elucidates the issue and helps provide solutions, then again we would be happy to disseminate it. Nothing we write here is the be-all on everything. In fact, if these posts sparked an interest in you to use your skills/education (if you have it in this area), then that in itself will be a successful outcome.

      w/s

  56. Sister: No Non-sense please!

    March 10, 2009 at 12:54 PM

    You know “Sister:No nonsense”, you have brought up the question of qualification a few times now.

    Actually I bought it up only once, and I clearly stated my reason for doing so in one of my earlier replies. I don’t know if I should be surprised at your response for implying what I didn’t intend in the last post.

    Umm Reem’s qualifications are listed in the bio. She has already stated that she is not a “professional”, i.e. has formal education in this particular subject.

    I know that and it’s all good.

    She relies on her experiences and relationships in the community, built over a decade, as well as friends who are indeed professional.

    MashaAllah, its a blessing that she was able to build such relationships. I would make the same criticism if a professional would have written that. Supported claims should be differentiated from general observations, that’s my main point.

    I think she’s doing the best she can, spending tons of time and effort in putting this information together, …

    MashaAllah, may Allah reward her abundantly for undertaking this task and may He bless her time.

    There are only 2 choices to deal with such subjects: (1) wait for the experts to eventually get to this and hoping that they are Islamically apt as well, or (2) do what you can with the best available info. to help stem the tide of a serious issue.

    OR (3) You could cite the article , differentiate between supported claims and mere observations, and make it sound almost expert like! I’m sure she is not coming up with all this on her own, inserting the citations wouldn’t do any harm, assuming the info is being taken from reliable sources. More people (like me) can have relatively easy access to all the info.

    If you are qualified and feel that you can offer something better, by all means, please contact us. If you can write something that further elucidates the issue and helps provide solutions, then again we would be happy to disseminate it. Nothing we write here is the be-all on everything. In fact, if these posts sparked an interest in you to use your skills/education (if you have it in this area), then that in itself will be a successful outcome.

    InshaAllah, I’ll wait till I’m a bit more experienced/qualified. (btw…I’m a tad bit (pleasantly) surprised that you just invited me to write for muslimmatters. Khayr, I won’t say more on that). Nonethelss, thanks for the idea! I will definitely keep it in mind.

    • Amad

      March 10, 2009 at 1:34 PM

      OR (3) You could cite the article , differentiate between supported claims and mere observations, and make it sound almost expert like! I’m sure she is not coming up with all this on her own, inserting the citations wouldn’t do any harm, assuming the info is being taken from reliable sources. More people (like me) can have relatively easy access to all the info.

      I think we can agree on that. We request that of all writers.

      InshaAllah, I’ll wait till I’m a bit more experienced/qualified.

      Unfortunately our community does not have a lot of resources, so I hope you will not wait too long :)

      w/s

  57. Halaa

    August 22, 2009 at 7:43 PM

    I was sexually abused by my father. He is a psychitracally insane man who practises black magic for most of his life. He started as young as I can remember as my mother was busy looking after my other two sisters, 4 years older and younger than me.I was a neglected midddle child who’s extreme quietness and eagerness to please others, as a result of neglect ,moulded me into being a polite child, too polite that she would suppress her own pain for public peace making me an exceptionally easy target. He spotted this.

    He portrayed himself to me as an extremely kind man, preying on the fact that I had a somewhat distant relationship with my mother as I lacked attention from me due to her business and being a young mother. He provided this extra “attention” by starting this abuse slowly and buildng up, just like shaitans whispers. It began with him taking the keen interest to “bathe” me every night making me stand naked in the bathtub so he could observe me rather than filling the bathtub with water for me.I felt it was wrong at 4 yrs old and I realised that my father took a sexual interest in me. I knews he like looking at my private parts.I desperately wanted my mother to look after me in such intimate matters, to esape his pervertedness but he made it his responsibility.

    He moved forward with more obvious forms of sexual abuse which were most graphic and physical from the ages of 4 til about 11. I hated it and mentally tried to block it out whilst it happened. He tried to also destroy me as a child by trying his utmost to be with me a lot alone and giving me all these extra compliments. He loved it when i was quiet and a good girl in front of everyone as well as when I was alone with him he like dit that i play a little character to please him.

    he wanted to destroy me and started to feed me junk foood in order to fatten me up and make me look ugly. He does the same to my sisters who live with him and are under black magic from him after he took them on holiday to places where they do balck magic in Alexandria Egypt. They refuse to see my mother and my older sister has even sexually explicitly insulted my mum regarding her and her new husband. She has physically assualted my mother and has written voulmes of statments to the courts against my mother which helped my fatehr gain custody of my younger sister who is now 14. She hates my guts as I reported my father to the courts, however they did not belive me as I was quite strong in my testimony and didnt cry enough for them. They beileved my perfect actot father and my older 21 year old sister as they ganged up against me. My sister thnk im a perverted slut with a wild imagination and I have no relationship with them at this point in time because they are under black magic to HATE me and to WORSHIP my abuser father auhubillah.

    I am trying to recover daily by being with my mother an re-estebalishing stabilty with her and my younger brother. However my father is a free man whos still haraasing mr frmo afar at 18 years of age through sending his male frinds to stalk me even asking daughter of his friends to befrind me fakely and to report back ti him about me so he can further corrupt me fwithout having to see me as I have prevented him from doing that.

    It is a slow progress recovering byut Alhamdulilah Allah is allowing me. TabarakAllah. The absu mad em withdrawn. socially awkward, and made me to dumb things in public and to be taken advantage of further people in my life anywhere form teachers to friends to cold hearted family members.

    I would just like to say to abused children to know the abuse is absolutely WRONG in all forms no matter what kaniving arguments or threats the abuser comes up with to make you shut up such as embarassment killing you further harm etc . You need to go to someone you trust or someone in power to change the situation and these sick perverted COWARDS who prey on innocent children need to be named shamed and tortured. They desevrve nothing less than torture as they set out to mentally disturb the children; My father got his kicks form mentally disturbing me. He loved to see as lose in life although I proved him wrong in many occasion. He hated it that I was smart at school and that I was loved by people.

    I would also like to say to parents do not neglect yor child. Your child may be smart at school and well behaved which may lead you to be complacent about your childs wellbeing. That same public smile couls be a coverup of the painful torment that a little child has to endure at the hands of a MONSTER grown up in charge of them. if you fail to notice it, the abuse will sooner or later manifest outwardly and and your neglect WOULD NOW BE A REGRET.

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of Cure. Children are a trust form Allah and need to nourished and cherished and brought up to be good happy members of society

    He proceeded to single me out fomr my other two sisters and buy me extra little gifts as a token of gratitude

  58. Halaa

    August 22, 2009 at 8:00 PM

    Just wanted to add I beileve my father put black magic on my mothet to make her oblivious to the abuse and on me to believe his act as a poor man, who just had an unusual way of showing affection to his daughter.. Also I forgot to say. He actually convinced me that what he was doing was something that I should accept. an for a while I felt sorry for him and he portrayed my mother to me as a hard woman whereas he was so soft and “loving” towards me. When he wasnt sexually abusing me he was mentally abusing me by doing such things as crying to me, wanting me to hug him to feel better and give him speeches of ind and loving words to feel better. He also made me be his “mother” in that I would breastfeed him form 4 yrs old.

    He confused me soo much with rageard to social intelligence as that he would papmper me with gifts and outings that sometimes out of not wanting to face reality that my dad was a madman I would try and force myself to beileve maybe he was a good guy after all.

    It was only after i properly reverted back to my religion Islam seriously at the age of 18 that THE VEIL OF lack of COMMON sense was removed. The sympathy I had towards him dissapeared and I saw hiim for what hewas. I was crying to Allah all day and My mother actaully said she could see the purity on ym face and i was crying and begging Allah to guide me and heal me.

    I told my mum who was OVERCOME WITH SHOCK AND anger that I had sufferd all these years in silence. I then told my older sister who JUST BY THE WAY SHE WAS WALKING TOWARDS ME I knew she was inder black magic. She was already to defend him. she replied “Everyone has differenr ways of showing affection” and began to physicaly assault me in her rage of what I had just said.

    I would really appreciate comments and advice to a proud muslimah sister in need.

    sorry for making this long

    And of course Allah is the source of all shifaa. hep aid assiatance wellbeing and I truklty fund this as he has changed my life around as I came back to him.

  59. Mohammad

    October 7, 2009 at 4:10 PM

    Bismillah elra7man elra7eem

    Salaamu3alikum

    I have a question about a situation. I know of a revert muslimah that was molested by her father at the age of 12, now 25. The question is how should she react to her father now that she is a muslim?

    JAK

  60. concerned

    December 30, 2009 at 7:29 PM

    Of course, we would all pray that the victim of molestation would remain a practicing Muslim. But a practicing Muslim woman will only seek sexual activity with her husband. So when a young Muslimah is molested, even if inshaAllah her faith remains intact, the full consequences of the sexual abuse she suffered will probably first become apparent when she marries.

    Yes we pray that the victim remains upon Islam and seeks sexual activity only with her husband. Ameen.
    Can I just point out (and I am not condoning promiscuity when making this comment) that victims or as some prefer to use the term survivors of abuse have different ways and mechanisms of coping Muslim or not. Some will completely hate and loathe any kind of touching be it sexual or otherwise, some with self harm go onto develop eating disorders, depression, emotional problems etc however some victims go down the route of promiscuity – because they were violated they lose any respect they have for their self – this gives them fuel to ‘punish’ themselves – promiscuity is one way of punishing self and attaining a sense of ‘control’ and power SubhanAllah. Yes, it may sound skewed and ridiculous but this is the reality for some people.

    It’s important when we support/advise or speak to victims of abuse we are not critical of them or look down upon them passing judgement! It’s vital you are warm welcoming and more than anything accept and validate their pain – hear them – listen to their story. Now, not everyone wants to or is equipped with the necessary skill to help such people, in these instances it is vital you refer them onto someone else as you may cause more harm than benefit. If they’re Muslim they probably don’t want to hear ‘astaghfirullah brother/sister don’t you know it’s haram to hurt yourself!!’ or ‘how could you do that – it’s zina!’ ‘you can’t starve yourself you’ll get punished!’ These are responses which if anything will push them away from the deen! Remember the deen is about mercy and forgiveness about understanding and support. If someone comes to you especially a Muslim you need to recognise how difficult it must have been for them to approach you. Furthermore, chances are they will know the behaviour they are indulging in is haram and won’t be feeling to proud of it – but as you will hear many say – ‘we need to get rid of the pain’. These mechanisms are their way of coping – their way of living with the horrors of their past. It’s easy for you and me to pass judgement but brothers and sisters, we’ll never know the agony the trauma the pain these victims go through on a daily, hourly minute by minute basis. It’s crucial Muslims build a support network to help victims. I recall a practising Muslim telling me when they disclosed their abuse to friends and the community as an adult they were shunned as though they had done wrong Allahu Musta’an!

    truly is a sad state of affairs. All I’ve said in this post based upon work with victims and research – please feel free to correct inshaAllah.

    wasalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi

    • za-za

      February 4, 2010 at 10:19 AM

      understand your comments about being understanding and supportive to victims. I get that through being violated at young ages usually, victims/survivors sometimes develop a heightened sense of sexuality and also rebel against the lack of control through promiscuity. I get they need support and undrstanding and when they stray we have to understand and not judge…you are absoulutely correct stating deen is about mercy and compassion, however one point I’d like to make is deen is also about “enjoining good and forbidding evil”…no matter whether the person is your mother or a stranger, it is our duty to enjoin good and forbid evil, so no a victim/survivor may not want to be reprimanded with “dont you know it’s zina, dont you knoiw this is harmful”..however victim/survivor or a layman, a believer is a believer.We can look into all the pschological reasons for why people become alcoholics, drug addicts, gamblers, promiscuos..and when we hear the psyhological reasoning ofcourse we have even more sympathy and compassion especailly muslims towards a fellow muslim, most good people do not judge. However haram is haram, zinah is zinah and the rules are not bent for annyone, so we cannot turn a blind eye to something being wrong! We can guide, advise sincerely and with tact and subtlety and that is our duty toward fellow muslims. If you were to walk down a path lined with thorns would you not want someone to stop you? Firstly we should make gentle attempts but if they do not work would you not just grab your brother off the path to protect him/her?
      Life is a test and fitnah of all forms will come, each individual will be tested and the way we handle the test is what will make or break our relation with our Creator. The difference between believers and non-believers is that we should “escape” towards Allah not away from Him.

      • concerned

        February 4, 2010 at 12:51 PM

        JazakAllahu Khairan for your response. I agree with all you have said mashaAllah. We continue to forbid the evil and enjoin the good – but it is also about tact and how we do it – will our doing so drive the person further into despair and away from the deen or will it benefit them? Will the benefit outweigh the harm or vice versa? It’s crucial these aspects are assessed. I like what you say about subtlety MashaAllah. Often when a person comes to you with issues such as self harm etc they know they are doing wrong and in most cases are at the end of their tether what they are seeking is support and help advice is trying to overcome the issues – This is the point I was making. If someone does happen to approach us we need to be very careful of what we say and how we say – as our words could literally make or break the person. If someone is suicidal and comes to you – they will most likely know it is haraam hence seeking the support out of desperation – if in response they are told you are displeased with Allah’s decree etc is that really going to help them or do they need to be told that? There’s that response or the response which contains reminders of Allah’s mercy which will give hope to the suicidal person – verses from the Qur’an, Ahadeeth etc etc. As I said, it’s about tact…

        The sunnah of the Messenger is full of wisdom and insight we need to take from this – for example the case (paraphrased) of the person who came to the prophet saying they had committed zina…what did the Prophet do?? He turned his face away, the person kept telling him… What would we do if someone came and disclosed that??

        the case of the man who urinated in the masjid – what did the people do? what did the Prophet do?

        Is there ever a point for a Muslim no matter how bad to lose hope or to be made to feel there is no turning back??

        I think sometimes in our zeal we can lose sight and become overly harsh or critical – we need to remember the example of the messenger.

        Allah knows best.

        Anything correct from Allah errors from myself.

      • concerned

        February 4, 2010 at 12:57 PM

        ‘Life is a test and fitnah of all forms will come, each individual will be tested and the way we handle the test is what will make or break our relation with our Creator. The difference between believers and non-believers is that we should “escape” towards Allah not away from Him.’

        Life indeed is a test – a test of one’s stamina, a test of endurance, a test of imaan. It is indeed these tests which testify for our Imaan or vice versa. Test either make or break a person and as you said make or break our relationship with the Creator. May Allah protect us.

        However, in the case of the people we are talking about – victims of molestation. Often their self perception is so distorted they feel they are not worthy of anything and deserve punishment – I guess whispers from shaytan don’t help and he must rejoice in taking these people further from Allah. So, these people view their life, their experiences as a punishment for their sins and badness and Allah knows best. I am not claiming this is always the case.

        For these reasons I mentioned compassion and mercy, reminders of hope and returning to Allah as opposed to the wrath and wrongness of their doing. I hope that makes sense inshaAllah.

        • za-za

          February 4, 2010 at 2:57 PM

          yes everything you say makes absolute sense mashaAllah and I am really sorry I have made you feel the need to justify your points stressing on mercy and compassion. I have been in agreement with you and admire the eloquence with which you make the point. I fully comprehend that victim or no victim, zani or not, open sinner or secret sinner, not one human on this earth is here to judge, we have to always look at ourselve first as we all have faults we are not proud of. Also only the Almighty knows what is in each heart and only He can judge.
          I think my earlier comment came from frustration of having dished out mercy and compassion incessantly but willingly for what seems like forever only to get my fingers burnt again and again…sometimes people latch on to the justification for their wrong deeds and couple it with the knowledge that ” Allah is most Merciful He will forgive me and the people Im hurtin through my weakness will forgive me because they love me and they know why I am weak”… You can not shake sense into the person, you can not lecture, you can only try with gentleness because as you said shaytan preys on the vulnerable and you do not wish to lose your loved one to a shaytan by making them feel worse but sometimes the rahmah is taken advantage of and it does hurt that is all. Anyway just a tough day ,please pray for me and my loved ones.

          • concerned

            February 4, 2010 at 4:29 PM

            Assalamu alaikum za-za,

            Firstly, let me begin by saying may Allah make your affairs easy and rectify them. May he unite you and your loved one’s upon righteousness, granting you good in both lives! Ameen.

            ‘I am really sorry I have made you feel the need to justify your points stressing on mercy and compassion.’

            Please don’t apologise! You didn’t make me do anything least of all justify my points. I wanted to explain what I had said as I know sometimes these things can be misconstrued and as you rightly pointed out everything gets explained away mercy and compassion. We however, cannot judge a person’s intent we simply judge them by their action, thus we don’t know if they are genuinely remorseful or simply using it to get away – but we leave that to Allah.

            ‘I think my earlier comment came from frustration of having dished out mercy and compassion incessantly but willingly for what seems like forever only to get my fingers burnt again and again’

            I hear you and can sense the pain (?) and anguish in your words. When you try to do good and have it thrown back at you it surely does cause upset, however, rejoice in the knowledge that inshaAllah you will get the reward for the good you do regardless of wether others appreciate it or not! we know this from the Qur’an and Hadith you are rewarded for your good.

            ‘…sometimes people latch on to the justification for their wrong deeds and couple it with the knowledge that ” Allah is most Merciful He will forgive me and the people Im hurtin through my weakness will forgive me because they love me and they know why I am weak”… ‘

            Point taken and I understand what you are saying inshaAllah however refer to above comments. As I said Allah is the judge of the hearts. What you describe sounds like manipulation! Which is disgusting subhanAllah – delusional and so sure of attaining forgiveness? In fact even making excuses! You are right we can only try to advise and steer our loved one’s away from these things – we can’t make them or force them. It reminds of something I’ve noticed a lot… when things go wrong for some reason people attribute it to Allah – it was ‘meant’ to be – Qadar etc etc. BUT when things are all rosy it’s not attributed to Allah with the same eagerness… I think the first instance of attributing to Allah is basically excusing yourself from blame and Allah knows best!

            However, what I was referring to in my post was not people generally but specifically to victims of child abuse and the problems, issues, barriers they encounter.

            I hope the above inshaAllah, is of some use and reassurance to you za-za. In the end I pray Allah removes your difficulties and replaces them with sweet relief. May Allah give us the ability to remain upon good.Ameen.

          • concerned

            February 4, 2010 at 4:32 PM

            Just to add I may have it all wrong but from your post I sense and get the impression you are perhaps upset (?) and troubled by something(?) Feeling let down perhaps(?) Please forgive me if I have read the post wrong!

          • za-za

            February 6, 2010 at 12:32 PM

            w.salam

            jazakallah khair for your reply “Concerned”. Amazing how much a stranger can sense and feel the anguish and pain through a few words and hit the nail on the head about manipulation. I having been trying for a long time to help a loved one who is a victim of molestation. If anyone had pre-warnde me that I would be dealing with the situations I am having to deal with I would have thought “no way”.. but when it is someone you love Allah naturally places more rahmah than you can imagine into your heart and make you so strong and capable and guides you into doing the right thing and being the best you can. Though I am in an awful situation I can honestly still see it as a blessing..this tough situation is making it very easy for me to develop patience and closeness to my creator, however I am a mere mortal. When you try so sincerely and so hard and strive to protect someone you love for them to deceive you or attack you over and over again, when you are the one giving up on your life just to get them to some level of normality and in return they say all the right words and follow it with more of the wrong and harmful deeds…it is upsetting, but your duas and kind words did help, so thank you and may Allah reward you greatly ameen.

          • concerned

            February 6, 2010 at 4:41 PM

            wa Jazak and Ameen to your dua. I’m glad it helped Alhamdulillah. This maybe a bit off topic but I felt I had to respond to some of the points you raise in your post above.

            >>jazakallah khair for your reply “Concerned”. Amazing how much a stranger can sense and feel the anguish and pain through a few words and hit the nail on the head about manipulation. I having been trying for a long time to help a loved one who is a victim of molestation. If anyone had pre-warnde me that I would be dealing with the situations I am having to deal with I would have thought “no way”.. but when it is someone you love Allah naturally places more rahmah than you can imagine into your heart and make you so strong and capable and guides you into doing the right thing and being the best you can. Though I am in an awful situation I can honestly still see it as a blessing..this tough situation is making it very easy for me to develop patience and closeness to my creator, however I am a mere mortal. When you try so sincerely and so hard and strive to protect someone you love for them to deceive you or attack you over and over again, when you are the one giving up on your life just to get them to some level of normality and in return they say all the right words and follow it with more of the wrong and harmful deeds…it is upsetting, but your duas and kind words did help, so thank you and may Allah reward you greatly ameen.<<

            I having been trying for a long time to help a loved one who is a victim of molestation.

            MashaAllah may Allah reward you and make you strong. I think sometimes (and I maybe wrong or generalising here!) we want to help people and feel we can and do, however, there maybe a point where we realise ‘my’ help isn’t enough or my help isn’t benefitting. It’s tough supporting someone who has been through abuse and don’t feel afraid to admit to yourself or to them that you can’t do no more to help them. Refer them on or ask them to seek professional help just as you would with a physical illness. Are we all capable of curing physical ailments?? we refer to the expert.

            ‘Though I am in an awful situation I can honestly still see it as a blessing..this tough situation is making it very easy for me to develop patience and closeness to my creator, however I am a mere mortal.’

            Alhamdulillah you feel you have benefited and developed patience – just take care of you too and make sure you don’t burn out inshaAllah! As you yourself said you are a ‘mere mortal’ not superhuman… keep that in mind inshaAllah.

            ‘When you try so sincerely and so hard and strive to protect someone you love for them to deceive you or attack you over and over again, when you are the one giving up on your life just to get them to some level of normality and in return they say all the right words and follow it with more of the wrong and harmful deeds…’

            May Allah help you and them and make this affair easy. Ameen. I’m not sure how old the person you are dealing with is. However, I am going to assume they are adult… I can see you really care for this individual from your post mashaAllah and you seem to be putting yourself out to help them. Just keep in mind with any individual we are trying to help… we can only help them if they help themselves.. i.e. they must want to ‘change’ and must have some motivation to better their situation. Otherwise it’s a losing battle and I’m not sure they will benefit. Even in therapy, medication etc people have to play their part and want it. Take the medication etc otherwise there’s nothing more the dr can do – he can’t force the person! I hope you see my point inshaAllah. You cannot force this person to change or take up all you are doing, their needs to be some intrinsic motivation on their part also inshaAllah. Please don’t cause yourself harm in the process. I know this may sound over the top but it already seems like you are very frustrated and upset no doubt it is also affecting you. Keep things in perspective inshaAllah. Oh and don’t forget we don’t always need to tip toe around people and be overly gentle and nice sometimes we need a good old shaking and reminder of home truths – without the sugar coating! InshaAllah you know the situation better. Aplogies if anything I’ve said causes offence or if I’ve simply stated things you already know! Regardless, I hope it is of some use to you inshaAllah.

            In the end Allah knows best. Praying things work out for your loved one and Allah shows them the light. Ameen.

          • concerned

            February 6, 2010 at 6:07 PM

            Sorry forgot to add… Not sure how long you have been supporting this person keep it mind it can be a long process, which, as you said requires patience. However, nothing wrong with seeking help from doc and psych. Infact perhaps even more reason to. Each case it different – each person has their own issues and to be honest it can be a lifelong process for some people. meaning some things they will have to work on for longer. It doesn’t just ‘disappear’ but Alhamdulillah can be ‘managed’ – think of it like asthma (crazy exampleI know!). As you long as you find the right combo of medication and take it as prescribed you’re basically asthma free and sometimes you may not even need to take medication anymore BUT sometimes out of the blue it will/may flare up. This is the analogy I think is apt for abuse survivors – they work through it deal with it, feel ok get on with life and then it pops up again.

            All the best inshaAllah.

  61. something positive

    December 30, 2009 at 7:37 PM

    Bismillah

    Just to add it’s not all negative – You would think that victims of abuse live a very lonely and debilitating life. Although this may be true for some particularly in relation to their personal/emotional life, however many are successful professionals and working Alhamdulillah! One thing I did notice about survivors is that they are very dedicated, committed, give a 110% and perfectionists. Again, this maybe generalising however, this is what I have found and come across mashaAllah TabarakAllah and it’s very refreshing and suprising. Maybe some of the brothers and sisters who have written about their experiences can comment further on this.

    I know of victims who at this moment are studying or working very hard mashaAllah and are very ambitious – hats off to them! May Allah increase them in goodness and replace their every moment of pain with sweet relief and reward !
    ameen.

    • confused

      January 26, 2010 at 4:26 PM

      you sound like someone who has knowledge on victims..i am trying to grasp that victims of molestation act promisciuosly to punish themselves as you stated..but often those who been abused also become abusers, if not sexually abusive towards others, they emotionally/mentally abuse usually the person who loves them the most and is not related to their abusive past… any theories out there on why?

      • concerned/something positive

        January 27, 2010 at 4:40 PM

        Bismillah

        Assalamu alaikum,

        Alhamdulillah I have some knowledge of victims of abuse and have worked with and know of many. I also did some research in the field.

        To answer your question

        ‘..i am trying to grasp that victims of molestation act promisciuosly to punish themselves as you stated..’

        Yes, different people respond to abuse in different ways SubhanAllah some completely abuse and destroy their body – burning, hitting, cutting, deliberate acts of harm including promiscuity – sleeping around as you would put it to not only ‘punish’ themselves but also feel in ‘control’. Many reasons for this I will mention but a few;
        – you’ve got to remember as a child their ‘power’ and control was taken away – innocence violates a child cannot make sense of that – their cognitive abilities are not as sophisticated or as developed as an adult so many will block it out, pretend they’re not there because short of that their isn’t much more a child can do. Anyway, as an adult they want this feeling of control and power so things like anorexia, bulimia, self harm, promiscuity in a twisted way (to you and me) provide them with relief with CONTROL and power – they CONTROL what enters and leaves their body – they dictate when this occurs. They decide when they will harm or mistreat their body. the anorexia brings a sense of triumph – why? because they have been able to REFRAIN from and reject something the average person cannot live without. Am I making sense so far?

        – the promiscuity – again different reasons, some will indulge because they feel ‘they are getting their own back’ they were used as a child – as an adult they are avenging their childhood by ‘choosing’ who to sleep with, when to sleep and when it ends. of course there maybe other reasons like self punishment because the victim feels worthless, dirty, and violated so why care?

        ‘but often those who been abused also become abusers, if not sexually abusive towards others, they emotionally/mentally abuse usually the person who loves them the most and is not related to their abusive past… ‘

        I would beg to differ on this – do all victims become abusers?? Where is the evidence for this? rather, I would suggest and Allah knows best, that victims of abuse are the most caring and sensitive people I have ever come across. From what I know a very small percentage of victims go on to become abusers I think it’s a myth. In fact I was suprised to discover many victims – at least the females in my study were successful, academic and professional – working in roles such as teacher, social worker, psychologist.

        I’m not sure what you mean by the final point that victims go on to abuse those who are closest to them?? Another way of looking at the emotional abuse of those close to them is this; remember survivors of abuse have had to keep their secret forever never allowing anyone near to them, issues of trust and self worth cloud all that. They manage to create a safe relationship after much struggle where there is trust and boundaries etc. They maybe ‘testing’ out the genuineness of these ‘close’ people to check if they are really caring and empathic or like their abuser ‘out to get them’, once over that hurdle, they might decide ok let’s see how far I can go with this person – basically how much I can vent and shout and scream (metaphorically) before they ‘abandon’ me or tell me to get lost. Because survivors have issues with self perception and self worth they often feel the need to push and push and push to see how far the can go. Once they know and see and FEEL that those ‘claiming’ to care will not turn away the behaviour usually stops inshaAllah. But you must remember the person has had a possibly very difficult and traumatic life to let their barriers down is a BIG risk – esp seeing that last time it was done they were violated. To then put themselve in that position of ‘vulnerability’ is frightening if not terrifying.

        Hope that’s clear inshaAllah and makes sense. It’s not gospel and others may disagree, I’m just giving you some insight based upon experience, study, and work.

        I think if you google the number of victims who become abusers it should bring up some statistics/information.

        Lastly, requesting readers to please remember me in their dua’s inshaAllah.

        wasalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi

        • confused

          January 28, 2010 at 10:32 AM

          Walaikum salam warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

          Jazakallah khair for responding.I apologise, I did not mean to say that all or even most molested people become abusers at all, rather that many molestors that I myself have had dealings with, when caught, confess to being traumatised because they themselves and have been victims of some sort of abuse in their past. This is something I have found when my line of work has led me to deal with such incidents.

          On the other hand from those around me amongst family and friends who have been abused sexually or physically over long periods of time, they have turned out to be the biggest achievers, highly ambitious and wonderful, compassionate, affectionate, God-fearing and fun-loving people with or on the way to having successful careers incidentally such as social work, nursing, teaching and counselling!
          So I totally agree that alot of survivors are spurred more than the average person to make their life better and to achieve happiness and are also more perceptive of other people’s feelings and are very giving and selfless.mashaAllah.

          On a more personal level I comprehend the issue with control. As a young child during one holiday period a distant relative did molest me. Not fully, as in touching inappropriately and it only happend 3-4 times until I made excuses to keep myself around my parents or others all the time. It is a minor and mild experiecnce compared to what other people have been through but because I did not tell anyone about it, as a child my internal protest was made through not eating. I went through a phase and then later in my teens when anything upset, I resorted to starving and binging!
          Until I matured and also became more interested in deen, then I found that expressing my pain or anger or frustration could be done without guns ablazing and by calmly but honestly expressing myself and dealing open-mindedly with whatever response/criticism or advice I am given. Alhamdulillah I pretty much grew out of the eating disorder.

          Islamically I know there is no justification for abusing anyone in any form,period.
          But also as believers we are encouraged to forgive and show mercy and compassion and it is a human need to try and undrstand what made someone do something so mean.
          I know that there are many answers but I recently went through one of the most traumatic and heartbreaking experiences of my life..and in some bizarre way that is what has led me read the posts on MM.

          I was the victim of emotional and mental abuse on a grand scale at the hands of my husband.
          He married me after over 5 years of contemplating, “testing my levels of trust” and acting out etc,
          I turned out in his own words to “be the person who had every quality” he wanted to see in a wife and according to him I was the person he’d been waiting for all of his life and whom he wished to spend all his day with.
          He gave me more than 110% to begin with and then inexplicably crashed and burned and semed to be
          on a mission to break and humiliate me.. and ultimately also self-destruct, because what he did, he has never explained, sincerely apologised even once or shown any remorse.
          I have chosen to keep my experience with me, to share with friends or family will bring pain to them and even more hatred for my him.
          I know that on the Day of Judgement I will get the answers and the apology I deserve, I hate to think that he is willing to carry such a massive load of injustice into the hereafter, and I wished and tried to forgive him even without an apology. He tried to excuse his behaviour by leading me to believe that black magic or lack of “chemistry” was responsible for his behaviour and the things he did against me whilst married and even after divorce…initially i accepted his excuse even though what he was doing was wrong on any level, as a muslim and even just as a human..but I showed him mercy and compassion because “my poor husband who is so wonderful with everyone” had been afflicted. But to be honest at some point I did start to wonder
          whether there are demons from his past that he has not dealt with such as being molested.
          It’s preyed on my mind alot and I think it could well be my way even years on from what happened of being denial that people can be cruel simply because of the evil within themselves, it doesnt have to be the pain they are carrying from something else or “magic” or an addiction of some kind…I’d like to think the person who I thought I had married truly did exist and was not a figment of my imagination and that he has something else to point at for what he put me through, other than himself. But that isnt really my problem now.

          The good thing is after a long year of clearing as much of my head as possible, I have embarked upon a career that will help me to help other less fortunate, I have risen from the depths of darkness feeling closer to my Creator and more conscious of being the best I can especially towards others. Alhamdu lillah

          The novel ends here :)…may Allah reward all those for their helpful insights and advice and the tackling of issues which are not tackled enough in the real world and may He guide and protect us all so that we are not ashamed to face Him when the Day comes.Ameen

    • Jay

      February 2, 2010 at 2:44 PM

      some of these accounts are hard to digest..like Hala above and Confused below..but it’s actually wonderful the way you have tried to express that beyond the torment, life can be turned around, much needed hope! Well done

  62. concerned/something positive

    January 27, 2010 at 5:34 PM

    Bismillah

    Assalamu alaikum,

    Firstly, I’ve only read the first two paragraphs and felt the need to respond before proceeding with the rest of the article.

    Sister Umm Reem makes an observation that victims/survivors of abuse develop ‘extreme’ attributes in aspects of life and religion.

    Can I just say that perhaps replacing ‘extreme’ with ‘perfectionism’ would be more appropriate inshaAllah? It appears for survivors there is no ‘limit’ or they don’t know the limit/boundary – meaning when enough is enough. A trivial example, when giving a gift what is enough?? I hope that I am making sense? saying people become extreme in religion can send out the wrong vibes and message as extreme gives the impression of someone indulging in the likes of what is reported in the media. Usually in my experience when people are ‘extreme’ in religion or any aspect of life it has been in the sense of perfectionism not knowing when ‘enough’ is enough. so in religion it’s – am I doing enough? I’m not good enough I need to do more kind of thing. and yes due to the sense of feeling deficient they feel nothing is adequate enough so yes they will go through ‘passive’ phases, but then don’t we all go through ‘high and lows’? Does not the Sunnah teach us this about moments of enthusiasm and passiveness? Again, I am not trying to justify or explain away survivors experience of this however, there are some parallels.

    The gist of the post being survivors are often perfectionists and take things to the limit- very high expectations of themselves more than others!

    Anyway this post is not a criticism, just another perspective inshaAllah. Umm Reem I apologise if I have caused any offence wallahi that was not my intent.

    wasalaamu alaikum

  63. aNoN

    January 30, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    AWW

    Where to begin?!
    I received an email some weeks ago with a link to this page so I started reading little by little.I have alhamdulillah led a pretty sheltered life. The only times I have been drawn to any cases of child sexual abuse was whilst working as a teacher and also though a couple of friends. So reading the article and the post was deeply saddening and shocking and I pray to Allah to grant relief and a way out anyone who is going through such horrors and to anyone who is suffering from the painful consequences. Ameen.

    When I got to the end of the thread sister Confused , your post sent a massive chill down my spine!!

    I cannot relate to the part about molestation…but what you wrote about your marriage…I felt like it was my marriage you were really talking about!!! Its like you took the words out of my mouth and really is quite freaky!

    Though you dont mention anything specific about how you were treated I can so relate to your pain.
    I am not brave like you to say even that little about my sham of a marriage to anyone I know or even in this anonymous world. But a few of my words may help you just as your words helped me..so I bite the bullet.

    Sister I too am divorced and I also spent my whole shortlived marriage trying to fix it, exhausting myself physically and mentally trying to compensate for someone elses injustices.
    Like your ex mine too used the “black magic ” explanation. Knowing nothing about such things I became so frightened and looked for every dua to hep him..only then for him to turn around and accuse me of doing the voodoo on him and letting other believ that too!!! Allah knows best whether there ever was sihr or whether it was a desperate excuse ..if that is the case in my story or anyone elses, it is sick!!

    The worst thing about any abuse is that you start to think you deserve it, that you are the only target therefore you must be in the wrong somehow.
    If you live with someone who tells you everyday that black is actually white, no matter how perfect your vision is and how much better it is than theirs, eventually you somehow start to believe they could be right.
    Mind games are extremely cruel and like you for me too they carried on even after his choice to end it. Instead of an amicable goodbye or a heartfelt apology when it would have made a difference I was attacked with more slander, disgusting lies and a lack of basic manners which left me feeling even more traumatised and unworthy of being treated like a normal human.

    Sister it is not even 6 months since my divorce and the end of the nightmare that was supposed to be marriage. I have been through the motions of blaming and doubting myself. Then making exuses for my ex’s behaviour, was it black magic, a personality disorder, weak iman, a troubled upbringing…I feel sympathy for him or anyone who has these problems…but do any of them justify the maltreatment of another?
    You seem to think your husband may have been molested.. does it make it okay how he treated you? He should have told you and you could have helped!

    My faith, my amazing family and friends have pulled me through the toughest time. Just like you I dont find it easy to divulge actual details of how I was treated or things that were said and done, Allah has seen it all, why hurt/shock loved ones any further..
    In just a matter of months on from a horrid experience I see signs of Allahs wisdom and absolute justice and I know eventually all my questions will be answered and all injustices will be made right. I no longer
    bruise my brain trying to look for justifications I will never find. It is the highest form of love to worry about someone comittin sins but we are only responsible for our own deeds, so find comfort in that.

    Anyone who abuse another in any way is a BULLY and the weakness of a bully is his own insecurities!
    Your behaviour reflects on you and the state of your heart. The person who disrespected you, their behaviour reflects on them and the state of their heart..so dont tire yourself for excuses or whether the good side was real. Just as the painful memories are hard to get rid of, let whatever good ones you have remain too. Nothing and no-one is all good or all bad.

    I am glad sister you “have risen out of the darkness”.Maybe you should not refer to yourself as “confused” :) since you recognise the person who confused you is not your problem anymore, you should be “content” as your energy and time is spent well on those less fortunate, may Allah reward you abundantly ameen.

    With an abusive spouse, although the painful memories dont go away atleast there is alhamdulillah a way out of the reationship.
    Those abused sexually by their own flesh and blood and emotionally by reltives unwilling to believe
    them..that is a huge betrayal and even if you manage to get away from the abusers it does not change the fact they are your father/mother/brother etc.
    I pray for relief and serenity for all victims of any injustice.

    Wassalam

    • Confused ...No more!

      January 30, 2010 at 4:59 PM

      Walaikumsalam

      Great to hear your words aNoN. Not so great what we have in common!
      Thanks for name suggestion and your wise words.. in under six months I think you have reached a better place spiritually and have a stronger head than what has taken me seventeen months, mashaAllah!

      I do not know which part of the world you are from, but in NJ where I live, all colors and cultures jump to the “mystical” conclusion rather than look at the human causes for deviant behaviour…even in this Western “Civilisation”!

      Time is short but jazakallahu khair for what you directed at me, please pray I can be and remain strong like you. AMEEN to your wishes.

  64. Me too

    February 2, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    Bismillah,

    assalamu alaikum,

    Abuse is rampant Allahul Musta’an. I know of many Muslim sisters and brothers who were violated. I myself was a***** by three different people including one female SubhanAllah. Ironically I had contrasting experiences – one was a mahram full of love and affection – I loved him like I love my father Allahu Musta’an. So he had his way – used me all through the pretence of care, love and affection – I was tooo young and stupid to know any different. but it happened again as a teen, which I still find confusing – why was I foolish enough to let him do it again??? I guess, no, I know ,I was more vulnerable, isolated, alone and feeling unloved then I had ever been in my life. He showered me with his affection – I loved the ‘love’ – the pure part of it – not the molestation and violation. I confronted him too and fell very ill. My second was not a mahram, but related, he wasn’t sweet and loving either – he knew what he wanted and he knew how to get it – blackmail and threats. He had somehow found out about the mahram and used that to his advantage – so constantly taunted me. ‘If you don’t ….xyz… I will tell. do you want me to tell your dad?’ He didn’t limit this taunting to when he was alone but also when others were about which terrified me no end. He made me feel dirty and guilty and bad. I was 7 years. To this day I can say the violation by the mahram was more traumatic and painful subhanAllah – will anything ever heal that? I doubt very much. the love and sweetness it was wrapped up in has became the poison that plagued my heart, mind and soul. Alhamdulillah I have come a long way and am getting on with life – Allah has helped me greatly and healed my wounds. However, at times the self hatred, self loathing and distorted self perception still rear their ugly heads and I know this will be a lifelong battle. Believing and thinking yourself to be the root of evil and corruption is painful fact to live with. Thinking that you cause, no make others fall to depravity adds to the ache in the heart.

    The female perpetrator… was young, maybe even naive – a teen – I must have been 6. She a neighbour, family friend known to us. Back then it was the norm for young children to go out and play alone – visit neighbours etc. anyway, She wanted me to do certain things to her. I saw things no child should see. Anyhow, I refused despite her trying to force me and ran home Alhamdulillah.

    Life goes on Alhamdulillah it has been decades now – and yes I have to live with it, and yes I wonder what kind of a person I would have been had I not had my innocence, my childhood taken away. QadarAllahu Masha’ fa’al. But then I think I would not be the sensitive, caring and empathic person I am today if I had not endured those experiences. I must live with my demons but I will live InshaAllah! I refuse to stay in the shadows of my past – I see a new dawn ahead and I know Allah has something better – my relief in store for me. This is what keeps me going. Everyday is/can be a drag, the depression can be overwhelming at times, the fatigue and lethargy paralysing but InshaAllah with Allah’s aid I will achieve my dreams… Despite all of this; and Alhamdulillah I have come a loooooooooong way, I still believe innately I am ‘bad’ – bad to the core. Just this sense of ‘ughh’. I hope and pray one day this will change…

    To all those who have endured this trauma… my advice – you can rise above it and there is life after abuse.. there is hope after violation but you must put your trust in Allah, take the first step and exorcise your demons.

    May Allah guide and protect us from all harm and evil. Ameen.

    wasalaamu ‘alaikum

  65. Seek Counselling

    February 3, 2010 at 5:01 AM

    Me too, Hala, Confused(no more) and all other victims of molestatation or those who know victims, I cannot state how important it is to seek counselling!! As muslims those of you who have posted have an admirable amount of faith and hope and determination to succeed and move on, yet even “after years and decades” there is the stain of misplaced guilt and shame.

    Molestation is an enormous violation on it’s own on a physical level, thereafter comes the pschological and emotional damage it causes when the vilator is a relative and further to have been violated by both sexes..this adds to an already enormous crime!

    You say that life goes and you are intent on fulfilling your dreams and this mashaAllah is admirable and may the Lord be with you and grant you hgealing and success. However just as you would seek medecine for ailments, your mind and your spirit deserve the same.

    Even after decades you state , “I still believe innately I am ‘bad’ – bad to the core. Just this sense of ‘ughh’” and what you express about the mahram who violated you “He showered me with his affection – I loved the ‘love’ – the pure part of it – not the molestation and violation.”…. Sister this clearly indicates you have not dealt with the issue. Though the perpetrator was a mahram, he violated you in an illegal way! If there was “love”, “affection”, he would not have betrayed your trust, taken advantage of your innocence or age and certainly not have made it known to others what he was doing to you so that they too could join in!!!
    True love and affection is to have respect, compassion and concern for the loved ones well-being and to protect them from all forms of harm. Your mahram did not do that, you have a right to feel angry and to deal with that truth and anger so that you can heal better!

    However, at times the self hatred, self loathing and distorted self perception still rear their ugly heads and I know this will be a lifelong battle. Believing and thinking yourself to be the root of evil and corruption is painful fact to live with. Thinking that you cause, no make others fall to depravity adds to the ache in the heart.”
    YOU WERE THE VICTIM IN THE SITUATION AS A CHLD/TEEN. PEOPLE IN POSITIONS OF POWER MANIPULATED YOU AND BROKE YOUR TRUST AND VIOLATED YOU AND HURT YOU PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY. YOU ARE

    NOT AT ALL

    THE ROOT OF EVIL AND CORRUPTION AND SO DISCARD THAT “FACT” BECAUSE IT IS WRONG AND YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE WITH THAT!! AS SOME OTHERS ABOVE STATED MOST VICTIMS OF ABUSE FEEL THEY WERE SELECTED/SINGLED OUT BECAUSE THEY DESRVED TO BE PUNISHED AND VIOLATED. THE ATTITUDE OF THE ABUSOR WHO CALLOUSLY COMMITS THE CRIMES SEEMINGLY RELENTLESSLY AND WITHOUT SHAME RUBS OFF ON THE VICTIM WHO ALSO THINKS THAT THE ABUSOR IS NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG, SO IT MUST BE ME.
    THE ABUSORS DEPRIVED YOU OF YOUR INNOCENT CHILDHOOD, YOUR BASIC RIGHT TO BE PROTECTED AND NOT TORMENTED FOR YEARS TO COME. HOW DID YOU MAKE THEM FALL TO DEPRAVITY?

    To all victims I cannot advise enough seek help first and foremost from your Lord, from pious amd trustworthy confidantes who can guide you correctly to maintain your deen on a helathy middle path and from professional counselling. Nothing can take away the pain but there are many ways to alleviate it so that. Professionla counselling may not be an option for all victims, this is a world-wide problem and yes unfortunately is rampant, but if not a counsellor, even a close wise friend or even spouse, who can be trusted to listen, to show sympathy and support and keep matters totally confiidential is a tremendous help. As humans we need to rely on each other to talk things out, to get better perspectives. As the well known saying goes “a problem shared is a problem halved”!
    I cannot undermine or reiterate the importance of counselling, this is my professional bias in ia most positive form! Helplines are available almost world-wide and are toll free, anyone apprehensive about counselling should start out with over the phone counselling and progress from there.

    These villanous crimes of abuse and molestation commited against innocent people cannot be brushed aside. Victims will suffer lasting trauma which will manifest itself internally for sure but may also extend externally in their relations with others or attitudes/apprehensions towards certain situations or types of people. Do not keep paying for the crime someone else has committed against you, there are people who want to and will help you. Let them!

    Again I repeat the dua of many others that the Almighty save us and protect us from all eveil and harm and heal and grant relief to the afflicted. May He protect the ummah, the oppressed and the opressors.Ameen

    • Me too

      February 3, 2010 at 2:30 PM

      Bismillah,
      Assalamu alaikum,
      You advise counselling – may Allah reward you for your sincere advice and du’as. ameen.

      I have a background in counselling and psychotherapy in addition to other things – if anyone knows therapies and help that’s available it’s me alhamdulillah. And yes I have been in counselling, psychotherapy, CBT etc etc over a long period of time. However, in all honesty I found it useless and I mean useless aside from the CBT which was of limited help alhamdulillah. The psychotherapy was a complete waste of time I felt like an idiot!!! I just felt the therapies raised more questions then answers and often added to my frustration – especially since they are not faith centred or culture aware. I found not having someone who understands the culture and deen made it very difficult, as for me everything went back to the deen.
      Also I don;’t mean to put anyone off counselling InshaAllah it may work for you but for myself I found it of no significance – in fact I had all my hopes pinned on therapy – finally when I got the top of the list it was a real disappointer!!! Allahul Musta’an.

      hmmm… I have come a long way though Alhamdulillah it’s been highs and many many lows but alhamdulillah I am now stable. I don’t go mad with frustration or feel helpless and powerless, it doesn’t overtake my life nor overwhelm me walillahilhamd! Yes I have days where it overshadows everything else… but that is all it does overshadow not take over mashaAllah. There are many things that don’t bother me now Alhamdulillah – loathed been touched, even my clothes brushing against me, or my body parts touching subhanAlllah – Alhamdulillah don’t have a problem with that now. I could never ever even think of marriage – now I am not only able to consider it but looking forward to it inshaAllah – I know marriage will bring its own set of issues but I am ready to face those inshaAllah. There were other things which would trigger off major memories out of the blue – full fledged flashbacks – reliving the moments. Nothing now Alhamdulillah or at least very rare.

      Now to answer some of the issues you raise inshaAllah;

      ‘yet even “after years and decades” there is the stain of misplaced guilt and shame.’ This is the nature of the beast. I’ve worked and worked and worked and tackled this for years and years and although it had reduced I’m not sure it will ever completely disappear. As a counsellor I know there is no blame on the victim – it is mere grooming and manipulation – I see and understand that and apply it to other people’s experiences. Unfortunately, I am unable to show the same level of empathy to myself. The guilt and shame is not something which goes with therapy etc (for some people it may inshaAllah). It’s something you work on a day to day basis…

      ‘when the vilator is a relative and further to have been violated by both sexes..this adds to an already enormous crime! ‘

      it does not only add to the trauma but completely distorts and skews your identity, your understanding of sexuality – thus not only are you unable to relate to the male gender but even the female gender causes confusion – how do you interpret genuine care? Is it sexualised? The mind says it must be because your experiences of love and affection have been marred by abuse. This just adds to the guilt even as a child growing up the confusion causes chaos which results in isolation and building barriers. It’s difficult when you can’t accept tender words or care or even a kind word even froma female without having to psychoanalyse it and question yourself and them. Just adds to the mounting guilt Allahu Musta’an.

      ‘However just as you would seek medecine for ailments, your mind and your spirit deserve the same. ‘

      please see my comments above re counselling. I agree and would advise all those who are overwhelmed to consider it. but sometimes a true genuine friend who simply listens and allows you to vent will do more good then any amount of therapy and counselling. And Allah knows best. I guess ultimately what you need in unconditional positive regard and acceptance – because your self perception is soooooo distorted simply having someone tell you it’s not your fault can be empowering.

      ‘even a close wise friend or even spouse, who can be trusted to listen, to show sympathy and support and keep matters totally confiidential is a tremendous help.’

      totally agree aside from the sympathy I would replace that with empathy ! The last thing I would want is someone feeling ‘sorry’ for me. It would make me run a mile. I and I’m sure others too will agree do not need sympathy. That is the worse thing someone could do! But yes you are 100% correct having someone simply listen to you, someone you can trust and confide in can be a tremendous help on your journey to ‘healing’ inshaAllah.

      ‘Sister this clearly indicates you have not dealt with the issue. Though the perpetrator was a mahram, he violated you in an illegal way! If there was “love”, “affection”, he would not have betrayed your trust, taken advantage of your innocence or age and certainly not have made it known to others what he was doing to you so that they too could join in!!!’

      I don’t know if it indicates I have not dealt with the issues *shrugging shoulders* I feel I have dealt with them as much as I could Alhamdulillah. The feeling of innate ‘badness’ comes from being violated at a very young age and having to grow up with that knowledge. Yes he violated me, yes he destroyed my innocence but you know the child part of me refuses to believe he did not care…did not want good for me. I know it will sound absurd to readers but I can’t explain it. Yes he did wrong – what he did was criminal but in and amongst all that (outside of the abuse) there must have been a tiny shred of genuine care and love?? It’s painful to accept he used me and manipulated. It’s heartbreaking to acknowledge he took away my childhood – betrayed me. Besides as a child all the bad bits were ‘blanked’, I only rememberd the good bits the clean bits – the nice innocent bits. Hence my memory is sketchy alhamdulillah.

      I’m not sure he made it known to others, they just happened to find out. and this caused me to live in dread and fear growing up – everytime the phone rang, everytime dad was a little quiet, everytime something happened at home I thought ‘no they’ve been told!’ Allahul Musta’an. No words can describe that anxiety, panic and terror I experienced growing up. Some days I would weep not knowing why I wept – my only response was ‘I’m scared’

      I will end here, JazakAllahu Khairan for your kind words and post – wallahi it bought tears to my eyes and I will have to read it a few times to allow it absorption.

      In the end I say I’m no weakling nor in state of dissaray – Alhamdulillah I am living life and Allah has opened paths for me which I never even dreamt of Alhamdulillah. So it’s not all bad. Please remember me in your du’as.

      wasalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi

  66. Anonymous Brother XYZ

    February 3, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    For such an emotionally charged issue as abuse, counselling is helpful. I’m not sure though this should be from within the family if the abuser is also a family member though different. I don’t feel comfortable with this (?) More generally, is is true that counselling is more effective if done by a family member? What if the issue is an emotionally charged one for both?

    • concerned

      February 4, 2010 at 5:13 AM

      Assalamu alaikum,

      I agree brother, counselling should not be done by a family member in relation to this issue simply because the person (therapist) is too closely/intimately linked to you therefore it can cause issues. Also it maybe the case that the perpetrator is related to the therapist also – so more confusion. Counselling is about empathy, positive regard and acceptance I am not too sure if that can be achieved when you have relations outside of the therapeutic relationship? Allah knows best.

      I don’t think anyone here suggested having family counsel you??

      • Anonymous Brother XYZ

        February 8, 2010 at 6:35 PM

        Wa alaikumusalam,

        It was a question I had – not because of someone’s suggestion. Jazakallahu Khayran.

        Wassalam

  67. Pingback: » Sex & the Ummah: Prevention & Advice for the Victims’ Families Part III

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