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Sex and the Ummah

Sex & the Ummah: Healing is Possible for Victims of Molestation Part IV-A

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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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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

  • Part-A (This Post)
  • Part-B

V. Advice for the Molesters

——————————–

Part IV-A

Healing is Possible- Advice to the Victims:

This section is not only for the victims, but also for the parents of the victims and anyone who may want to help.

The life of this world is full of tests and trials. The believers are tested in many different areas.

ولنبلونكم بشئ من الخوف والجوع ونقص من الاموال والانفس والثمرات …

“Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil)…” (2:155)

But even in our tests, Allah’s Mercy takes over and He rewards us for being tested:

“No Muslim is afflicted with any harm, even if it was (as minor as) the prick of a thorn, except that Allaah will grant him (a higher) rank and wipe out a sin due to this.” (Bukhari)

We are tested in this world with different trials. Some children are born disabled, and their test is not because of any of their own fault, but because Allah decides to test them with that disability. Some children are too young when their parents die. They grow up in far more difficult and harsh circumstances compared to other children, however their parents’ death is not a result of any of their mistakes. Some children are born out of wedlock and they suffer because of the mistake their parents made, and not because of any of their own faults.

Every soul is tested with a difficult trial but not impossible to pass through successfully. This is the fundamental belief of every Muslim:

…لا ىكلف الله نفس الا وسعها

“On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear…” (2:286)

Tests and trial are an opportunity for us to strengthen our faith. A trial can become a blessing if, through that trial, a person tries to come closer to Allah. Similarly, a blessing can become a curse if it leads a person towards arrogance, away from his Creator.

Let us proceed then, with the hope that the fitnah of sexual molestation becomes a source of forgiveness and increase in rank for all of my sisters who suffered through this tragedy.

Were You Sexually Molested?

Many victims remain unsure whether their experience fits in the definition of molestation.

Think back when you were young, if any of the following or something similar happened to you, then you were likely sexually molested:

· Fondled, hugged or kissed in an unusual way that felt bad and uneasy

· Touched unnecessarily on your private parts

· Forced to touch someone else’s private parts

· Forced to take off all or some of your clothes, while someone watched

· Forced to perform oral sex, or have it performed on you

· Raped or anything forced into your genitals

· Forced to watch, or talk about sex

· Fondled or hurt genitally while being bathed

· Forced to watch seductive pictures/movies or forced to pose sexually for pictures

You are not Alone:

Dear victim of abuse and the one neglected by your parents, know and realize that recovery is possible. You have the ability to stand in the face of your trial, fight within yourself, heal and thrive.

Know that you are not the only one who was molested; rather, there are many. You are not the only one who was rejected by your family; rather, there are many. But if you are reading this, then consider it as a blessing from Allah that He made available to you perhaps a chance to learn about your abuse and recover from it. Not everyone has the same chance. You could have been someone uneducated growing up in a village with no facilities or abilities to read, no internet or access to any books on this subject, and you might have never become aware that what happened to you was wrong and was NOT your fault, and you could have suffered and faced many problems for the rest of your lives.

Make yourself among those few who come out of this trial successfully.

Acknowledgment:
Although it may not be easy to acknowledge that you were sexually molested, you have to know that acknowledgment is the first step towards healing. Even if your abuse was smaller compared to others, all sexual molestation is damaging. Sadly, the trauma caused by abuse does not end with the molestation and your personality may have been shaped based on what happened in your childhood, or you may be suffering the long term effects of it now.

Sometimes it is hard to pinpoint the exact effect abuse may have had on you, because the effects can enter within you, your dealings with others, your sexuality and intimacy, your parenting and even your level of sanity.

Most importantly, how your tragedy was handled makes a difference on its impact in your life. If your confession to your family was handled properly and effectively, then your healing began immediately and you may have recovered soon after that. But if you were not believed, doubted, blamed, then your damage could be settled within you. And the way you coped so far, without proper help, may have caused further damage within you.

Don’t Rely on Coping But Prepare Yourself for Healing:

Everyone learns to cope with their pain, effectively or ineffectively. But what can be expected of little children who build their own coping strategies without any proper assistance, how effective can be their coping method be?

Some of you might have coped through excelling in certain areas of your lives like education or work, but adapting unhealthy patterns in other areas, like blocking out emotions or withdrawing, yet some of you might have totally given into your abuse, and succumbed into downfall. You may partially or totally

· Deny that it ever happened

· Or pretend that it was not that bad

· Or believe that it happens to every child

· Or reason out molester’s behavior

· Or forget and block out memories of molest

· Or develop a dual personality; an outer shell of normal life and a bruised inner self

· Or develop Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or Multiple Personalities

· Or avoid people, intimacy or close friendships to protect yourself

· Or become too overpowering and manipulative

· Or find satisfaction in self-destructive patterns like anorexia, or bulimia, or compulsive eating, or sexual addiction, or workaholism or even self-mutilation

If you have any or some of these behavior pattern or similar behavior, then you are coping through your pain. Your goal is not to cope like putting a bandage over a wound, rather to heal and thrive.

  • Don’t run away from your pain, face it.
  • Remember and recall what happened.
  • If you are still being molested, get out of that situation. Tell a family member, if they don’t take any action, then reach out to someone else to get help. Know that to protect yourself is your responsibility and you are allowed to leave your house and stay somewhere else, where you are safe, IF your parents are not helping you.[http://islam-qa.com/en/ref/84426/molested]
  • Get help.

It was not your fault:

You must acknowledge that it was not your fault. You must repeat this to yourself several times a day: Sexual abuse can never be the child’s fault.

  • If you wanted to get attention and affection and you felt like your molester was giving you that and you didn’t fight back, even then it was not your fault. Remember, as a child you couldn’t have differentiated between attention and molestation or being taken advantage of.
  • If you had sexual pleasure when you were molested, there was nothing wrong with that, it didn’t make you an evil person. Your body naturally responded to sexual stimulation. If you had an orgasm or felt good you should not feel ashamed because it was your body’s natural reaction and not your fault.

Then why did it happen to you?

Remember that Allah tests us through different avenues, and what happened to you was nothing more than a test also.

Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas said: I said: “O Messenger of Allah, which of the people are most sorely tested?”

He said: “The Prophets, then the next best and the next best. A man will be tested in accordance with his level of religious commitment. If his religious commitment is strong, he will be tested more severely, and if his religious commitment is weak, he will be tested in accordance with his religious commitment. Calamity will keep befalling a person until he walks on the earth with no sin on him.” (Tirmidhi)

“The greatness of the reward goes with the greatness of the trial. Verily, if Allah loves a people, He tries them. Whoever is pleased, shall have (Allah’s) pleasure. And whoever is angered shall have (Allah’s) anger.” (Tirmidhi)

Confide into Someone:

Break your silence. Once you have acknowledged that it was not your fault, then you don’t need to feel ashamed or hide within yourself anymore. Talking to a trustworthy friend or a person of knowledge is always helpful. Many victims DO want to speak up, but because of the taboos around the issue, they feel uncomfortable and confused.

You may have been silenced by the molester or your own family, but you don’t have to stay in your cage anymore. Find a good Muslim friend to confide in, someone who cares about you, someone you can trust and someone with whom you have shared your personal issues before.

It is a human nature to communicate and express feelings. Confining negative feelings within oneself out of fear is damaging to one’s personality.

  • Speak to a person of knowledge. Try to find one in your local area, and speak to him/her. People of knowledge always give valuable advice and offer words of comfort.
  • Try to work with a group of abused children. It will remind you of how powerless children are, and it will help you realize that just like the children you work with didn’t incur molestation upon themselves, neither did you, and it was not your fault.
  • Unfortunately, since not many Muslim survivors step forward and talk about their mishap, it is difficult to formulate a “Muslim Child-Molestation Survivors”. But if you find one, then communication with such people will help you.

Cry it Out:

It is natural to grieve over tragedies, especially the tragedy of being helplessly molested as a child.

However, a believer is never “overpowered” by his/her grief. You will have your moments, ups and downs but don’t forget that what happened to you was a test from Allah, and Allah never overburdens any soul. So whatever happened, you have the power and strength to overcome it otherwise Allah azzawajal would never have tested you with it:

“On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear…”

Remember, if you want your test to become a blessing for you, then you must use this test to bring yourself closer to Allah. You will cry, as it is natural, and you should cry but try to cry in your prayers, so not only you cry out your pain, but cry it out in front of the One Who can help you overcome your pain.

  • Make dua’ for yourself, make your condition as an intercession in your du’a
  • Pray Qiyyam, you will feel an irreplaceable peace and sakeenah inside you
  • Hang around good practicing Muslim friends

Anger:

It is natural and okay to feel anger towards the molester. However, don’t let anger overpower you either.

Remember, your goal is to turn this test into a blessing. Your molester hurt you, but you are not going to let him damage you anymore, you are not going to let him ruin the rest of your life. You have the power to take control of the situation now. Bring yourself above the lowly ground of the molester. Anyone can get angry at a wrongdoer, but you are not going to waste your time or energy in anger, rather you are going to do something beneficial and constructive for yourself, something your molester was too weak to do.

  • Divert your anger by reading isti’aadha, or adhkaar. While the molester tried to ruin your life, you will overpower his evil plan by your spiritual strength.
  • Every time you feel angry, drink water and start reading:

سبحان الله و بحمده سبحان الله عظىم

The Messenger of Allah (salllahu alihi wasalam) said, “There are two statements that are light for the tongue to remember, heavy in the Scales and are dear to the Merciful: `Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, Subhan-Allahil-Azim.” [Bukhari]

  • Buy some good Islamic CDs, and listen to them every time you feel angry.
  • Call or visit your friend with whom you entrusted your “secret”.
  • Attend a halaqah, go to the masjid or occupy yourself with something constructive.
  • Make a diary and start writing the positive things that happened to you in your childhood every time you feel angry. Also, try to write about the blessings that you have now in your life. So you develop the habit of counting your blessings and not your mishaps.
  • If you can, take an action against your molester. Not only it is the right thing to do but also you will feel satisfied that you protected other innocent children from his evil. Be careful though, because shaytaan might tempt you to exaggerate what the molester did to you to get him in deeper trouble and satisfy your anger.

Lastly, remember that the ultimate enemy, even worse than the molester himself, shaytaan ar-rajeem, does not want to see you overcome your anger. So he will continue to remind you of your tragedy, making you angrier, unless you battle him with adhkaar or prayer. Make it a point that every time you get angry, you make wudu and pray two nafl until he ar-rajeem stops approaching you, bi idhnihi ta’ala.

Here and here are a few tips to control one’s anger.

Look at less unfortunate people:

The best way to cope with our tragedies is by adapting the beautiful advise of our beloved Prophet, sallallahu alihi wasalam, to look at less unfortunate people when it comes to matters of this life, and when it is about akhira then we should observe people who are more pious.

It is only for our own benefit and quick remedy to recover from our misfortunes, that we turn ourselves to the invaluable words of Prophet, sallallahu alihi wasalam.

  • Visit sick people at the hospital
  • Visit elderly in nursing homes
  • Volunteer with disabled or terminally ill children
  • Help Muslim refugees in your area and listen to their tragic stories
  • Start a blog where you invite other Muslims victims to join in
  • Join a scoial group or start one at the local masjid

Keeping around good company:

“The example of a good companion and a bad one is the bearer of musk and the worker on the bellows. A bearer of musk would give you some, you might buy some from him, or you might enjoy the fragrance of his musk. The worker on the bellows, on the other hand, might spoil your clothes with sparks from his bellows, or you get a bad smell from him.” (Muslim)

A good practicing Muslim friend will:

  • Offer you good tips and valuable advice.
  • Help you increase your patience and tawakkul
  • Emotionally help you by being on your side
  • Be like a mirror and will not spread rumors about you
  • Help you become busy with good constructive activities
  • Make you come closer to Allah, and that’s what you need in time of your adversity

Glad Tidings for the patient ones:

The concluding part of the verse that I quoted in the beginning on Allah testing us with different aspects of our lives is:

و بشرالصابرىن الدىن ادا أصابتهم مصىبة قالو إنا لله وإنا إلىه راجعون. أولاءك علىهم صلوات من ربهم ورحمة و أولاءك هم المهتدون

“and give glad tidings to the patients”

  • Meaning that when Allah test His slaves, the good news of passing the test is for the patient ones.
  • However, patience is at the heat of the moment, and not after complaining and loudly wailing over it, as the Prophet sallallahu alihi wasalam explained to a woman in Bukhari and Muslim.
  • One Sheikh on Islam-qa, beautifully describes patience:

“Allah has made patience like a horse that never gets tired, an army that can never be defeated and a strong fortress that can never be breached…” http://islam-qa.com/en/ref/35869/patience

  • Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alaihi wasalam, said: “There is no Muslim who is stricken with a calamity and says what Allah has enjoined –

إنا لله وإنا إلىه راجعون اللهم أجرنى فى مصيبتى وخلفلى خيرمنها

‘Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return. O Allah, reward me for my affliction and compensate me with something better’ but Allah will compensate him with something better.”

  • Read stories of Prophets, companions and pious predecessors and how they withstood trials with patience. It always helps us build patience and tawakkul.
  • What more could be the incentive for a victim to be patient with her calamity than to know that Allah is with those who are patient:

“O you who believe! Seek help in patience and Salah. Truly, Allah is with the patient.” (2:153)

Qaadhi Shuraih beautifully describes his status during trials:

If I am afflicted with any affliction, I praise Allah four times: I praise Allah that the affliction was not greater than it is; I praise Him when He gives me the patience to withstand the affliction; I praise Him for guiding me to the statement, ‘We belong to Allah and to Him we are returning’; and I praise Him for not making that affliction affect my religion. (The ascription to Qaadhi Shuraih is found in Muhammad al-Dhahabi, Siyar Alaam al-Nubala, vol. 4, p. 105)

To be continued next Thursday (Part IV-B) and following Thursday (Part V)

Research Sources:

  • The Safe Child Book by Sherryll Kraizer, Ph.D., pub. Simon & Schuster
  • No Ordinary Life by Sandy Knauer L.C.S.W., pub. Charles Thomas
  • The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis, pub. HarperCollins

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

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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.

40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. Amatullah

    March 26, 2009 at 7:52 AM

    assalamu Alykum

    JazakAllahu Khair for the article, I was wondering – where did the rating tool go?

  2. Anisa

    March 26, 2009 at 11:11 AM

    Asalaamu Alaiakum
    BarakAllahu Feeki, this series has truly affected me, Alhamdulilah,for the better
    it’s very true this life is but a test. It’s full of trials, we each have our own one to overcome.
    Alhamdulilah for the Ni’ma of Islam and Imaan.

  3. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    March 26, 2009 at 12:17 PM

    bismillah was salamu alaykum, wa jazak Allah khayr. it’s clear that the time since the last post was not a delay but time well-invested. may Allah accept it from you and all who assisted you. may He give guidance to those who commit and committed the vile acts against women and young children described in this series, and guidance, too, to those who shelter the abusers. and may He redeem the afflicted who have faltered, and strengthen the afflicted who are steadfast and adorn these with tranquility and all good things in this life and better than that in the life to come. ameen.

  4. Rabea

    March 26, 2009 at 10:17 PM

    Salams,
    for some reason I really didn’t like this article. It seems so logical and stepwise. Molestation is not logical and stepwise. Getting out of it is not either. I think that something deeper is at play and that needs to be addressed. Those deep layers of hurt can only be uncovered through serious therapy. I know you can take solace in the verses of the Quran, this is very important. I hope I am not offending anyone. I know a lot of research and thought went into this article. I think some very superficial layers of recovery from molestation are covered here, good as a starting point, but as a point of progression I am not sure.

    with peace.

    • Anon

      August 2, 2016 at 11:18 AM

      I agree.. its not as simple as they make it look

  5. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    March 27, 2009 at 12:45 AM

    Re: Rabea’s comment. On the one hand I would not call the increase in substance and scope superficial. This was originally intended to be a more brief series, and the author, mashaAllah, has presented much more material as witnessed by the expanded links at the top of the page. [By the way, I went back to Part III, and when I tried the link for Part IVA — to come back here — the link took me to a 404. So, the link on III for this article is broken. And maybe all the links should get a lookover. :)]

    The reason I went back to Part III was to compare the writing style of the two pieces. I think for many readers the deeply personal style of the previous pages was a huge plus. Those readers are likely to find something missing here, and they might not be able to put their finger on it. I think there was much more use of “I” in the prior pages. Much more use of “you” here (“I” appears once outside of quotations from other speakers), and often the “you” is understood, “(You) Read…” or “(You) Speak to…”

    And that shift introduces a degree of superficiality — in the tone of this page when measured against the gravity of advice written in a more personal tone, as in the previous entries of this series.

    My guess is that this page was subjected to a different mix of editors, or that editorial input came in at such an early point as to dramatically shift the writing style.

  6. Miss Social Work

    March 27, 2009 at 1:50 AM

    Salam aliekom,

    The term Survivor is preferred over “Victim”

  7. anonymous

    March 27, 2009 at 7:29 AM

    Umm reem, is it possible to email you? I wrote a longish comment here but realized that i couldn’t gather the courage to click ‘publish’ as MM is read by 1200+ people. I have a couple of queries and would appreciate your answer. No rush, though.

  8. Dawud Israel

    March 27, 2009 at 11:35 AM

    As salaam aleikum,

    I want to personally thank you for this entire series. I know I am kinda harsh on some the MM staff (Areeeeyy Amaaaaaddd!!!) but these articles are really important and I’m proud to say they are here on MuslimMatters.org. :)

    This is what Matters to Muslims!

    I’m going to read through all these articles so far and comment, but I wanted to share this story of abuse in the Muslim world, that was on BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7966086.stm

    Qadara Allahu wa ma sha fa’al.

  9. muslimah_vsb

    March 27, 2009 at 1:53 PM

    I was assaulted by a family member a long time ago and have found the advice helpful. Sometimes you dwell on it too much without realising or rather thinking it was a test from Allah. Deep down you know it is but you still feel like why did it have to be you. It happended when I was only 9 and I didnt tell anyone I was very ashamed and felt as though people would say it was my fault somehow, you grow up feeling like you did something to deserve it.

    But it is true the only thing that can save you is to trust Allah and know that the perpertrator cannot hide from Allah. And also to tell someone who will listen and understand and support you.

  10. Dawud Israel

    March 27, 2009 at 2:02 PM

    Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon.

    We are gathered here in recalling difficulty with suffering…imagine how these sinners will be gathered in Jahannam and how they will be reminded of their horrific deeds.

    • Bint Abdulwahab

      August 26, 2015 at 3:08 AM

      Assalamualaikum I feel sad because i had to go through this when i was just a girl,barely 12 years old by the doing of a male cousin.and now im already 37 ya Allah this test isnt easy for me for i am still single and unable to marry because i am not able to consummate a marriage due to the overwhelming feeling of being violated and intercourse just feels dirty and disturbing to me.please make du’a for me that i have the courage and sabr to go through this test because i can accept it but im also only human and i do feel sad when i looked at my siblings with families and children.im not envious towards them and im happy for them but i do feel sad because i will not be able to experience this or bore any children.

  11. muslimah_vsb

    March 27, 2009 at 2:13 PM

    Its important to try and forgive as you know Allah will forgive you in rerurn and give you a greater reward inshallah.

  12. Nabeel Shahzad Ul-Haq

    March 28, 2009 at 8:08 AM

    A sad story demonstrating the disastrous consequences of “brushing it under the carpet”:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7966086.stm

  13. coolred38

    April 3, 2009 at 8:00 AM

    My children were subjected to years of sex by my then husband. I wont call it molestation as many do because he did not merely touch them but forced them to endure actual sexual intercourse. Long story short…I do not accept the theory that God is testing us and that we will be rewarded for our suffering.

    Being a Muslim is based on choice…doing right or wrong is based on choice…choose wrong and you must suffer the consequences (eventually and hopefully) and there is the chance that you can change your ways and improve yourself in some way…and the continued chance that God will forgive you for the sins you did either in this life or the next…so your test as a criminal or adulterer…or thief…or murderer…or unbeliever etc is to overcome what caused you to be that person in the first place. You as an adult chose to be that person…act on those temptations etc…so yes…there is a test to overcome your sins and improve yourselves…or not…up to you.

    But where is the test for chidlren? They do not choose to “be” anything while small…they do not choose to “act” on anything while small….they do not make the choice to be a victim…so exactly why are they being tested and what are they to learn from that test? Muslims will tell me that “its a test from God and something good will come of it”…which just sounds like an excuse to me because it doesnt really explain anything and requires no understanding or sympathy from anyone. They dont want to hear about it…talk about it…or even acknowlege it exists…so why are the tests adults are forced to endure by God involving children…what is to be learned from those tests and specifically what lesson are children supposed to get from being victims…dont trust your fathers?

    Of course besides all that you have to endure the culture of blame that sees females as the sole cause of all sexual misconduct that happens…no matter whether they are victims or willing accomplises…no matter if they are small children or old women…blame the female because she is by her very nature a test for all men walking the earth…puhleeeze.

    Enough with the tests God…how about just protecting children, old women, and all those in between from the predatory natures of men…you CAN do it so why dont YOU?

    I dont get it and I certainly dont buy it…but thats just me.

    • survivor

      May 20, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      no one is blaming the children. it happened to me as a child and i don’t blame myself. i did blame my mom though. i felt she should have not left me alone with some members of the family, or taught me to know what is not normal and that i should come adn tell her about it. we have to teach children what is not ok. that’s a Mom’s job in this day and age…!

  14. J

    April 4, 2009 at 1:53 AM

    Peace be unto you, CoolRed.

    The reason that things like this happen is because God Almighty gave us Free Will, which is the greatest gift of all. Because of this, it is possible for some men to abuse this Free Will and use it to harm others. If God Almighty had prevented that, then it wouldn’t be Free Will at all. Rather, God Almighty has given Free Will, and because of this, men are able to do nasty things like child molestation. However, what God Almighty has promised is that the scales of justice will be evened out on the Day of Judgment. Those who commit such heinous acts will be thrown in the deepest abyss of Hell. As for the victims, their suffering will be recompensed by God Almighty, and their sins ransomed. In other words, their suffering will expiate their sins. One of the Pious Predecessors of Islam (salaf) said that on the Day of Judgment all mankind will wish that their bodies had been hit with sticks and arrows in the worldly life, so that on the Day of Judgment they would have appeared sinless, i.e. due to their sins being ransomed for their suffering. (Paraphrased)

    Fi Aman Allah

  15. Sarah

    April 6, 2009 at 9:30 AM

    J, with all due respect I do not think that is the answer coolred was looking for. But I’m not going to pretend I have it because I cannot for one second even fathom the pain and hurt a mother must be going through to see her own babies suffering at the hands of the very man that was supposed to love and cherish them. These things take a lifetime to come to terms with – and frankly, the simplistic discourse of some who say ‘it is a test’ isn’t really helping anyone to move forward – particularly if the victim is a child. Children do not have the same capabilites as we do. The effects of abuse alter their development profoundly. May Allah (swt) protect all children from harm.

    • Amad

      April 6, 2009 at 9:50 AM

      I think there is a fundamental disconnect on the point here. Just because we believe that sufferings are a test from Allah, whether for purification or for increasing one’s level, doesn’t mean that the suffering, when caused by another individual, is justified! Not at all. Why do people die or get paralyzed when their car is hit by a drunk-driver, what was their fault? Why are some children born disabled? Why does someone get a disease and others don’t? Why are there innocent children as victims of bombing (whether suicide or by F-16s)? Some of the pain in the world is caused by others, some not.

      As Muslims, we believe that Allah is the Most Just. We believe that every soul shall have its due recompense. Some of that recompense in the world, some in the hereafter. But it will all be duly given. So, the father who raped your children, coolred, is probably suffering a hellish world, I cannot imagine that he doesn’t suffer mentally for what he has caused (if he has any human elements in it). No different from the Austrian who had children with his daughter, through rapes that went for years. And if he is indeed an animal, or even if he isn’t, there will be recompense for him in the hereafter, unless he seeks repentance and forgiveness from Allah AND his victims. As for the children, of course, it is not their fault, but keeping in perspective the justice of Allah is a soothing, calming belief. Because no one was there to protect them when their father was attacking them, but who will protect the father when Allah is exacting His Justice on him? It doesn’t change the facts, or give them instant cure, but it helps to know that what happened to them isn’t going to go unpunished.

      May Allah give you and your children comfort and relief from the pain caused, and may He uplift your children’s souls above the pain and make them lights for humanity. May Allah also exact full justice against the individual who caused this pain, and may He suffer what he made his family suffer.

      • Umm

        May 20, 2014 at 3:29 PM

        my husband is a chaplain who works with muslim inmates who are in prison for sexual crimes against children. many of them did these things to theri own children.we as a community also need to udnerstand taht this is a sin that is amongst sins…all sins are wrong. yes there is somethign especially evil about harming a child. but even the one who does that sin CAN repent adn DOES feel bad, and is also undergoing a real trial in his/her having committed such a sin. they are also tormented. we need to see if it is a sickness and deal with it as such….and throughout have a holistic appraoch. there is no benefit in blaming …. we need to heal.

  16. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    April 7, 2009 at 8:40 PM

    Allahumma faghfirlanaa dhunoobuna, war hamna, wa Anta Khayrur-Raahimeen, wal-khayru kulluhu biyadayk, wash-shurru-laysa ilayk.

    The first words in italics are words of supplication recalling that every person who lives to the age of puberty will have need for the forgiveness of Allah, that every person period will always have need for Allah’s protection, and that Allah is the best of those who are Merciful. Indeed no one truly comprehends the scope, the intensity, and the perpetuity of Allah’s Mercy. He is always Merciful, so much so that He has limited His Anger by His Mercy when no one from His creation could have secured such a boon.

    The words in bold italics remind us that good — all good — is essentially a gift from Allah, our Lord and Master. That includes the good of punishing evil-doers, and preventing what is evil, and may Allah be pleased with our acts and good deeds.

    Evil — any evil at all — is in the acts or intentions of the creations of Allah — to question that is almost literally to question why humanity was given any free will because it is the evil men do that earns them hellfire. Such things take faith to accept. And so they are a test. As is acquiring the certainty that every good of this world will be surpassed in Jannat, and that every evil committed by the created may be punished with hellfire by the Creator. And may Allah forgive those who repent sincerely. Those who seek forgiveness, though, will answer, too, to those they wronged. And for every atom’s weight of wrong done to someone, the one wronged will either forgive or receive just compensation.

    And ever person compensated will be satisfied with what they receive… Ponder that for a moment. How little man fears the Day of Judgment…

  17. Pingback: pedophililia

  18. zana

    December 28, 2009 at 3:57 PM

    thank you for putting this out. There are many girls out there who feel lonely and they blame themselves for not be stronger. This article really helped me out. May Allah help those who are in this situation.

  19. Safa

    January 10, 2010 at 11:07 PM

    I remember when I was around 11 years old and since my mother had died I didn’t know much…my father had many of his friends come to the house and one of them came to me in the kitchen one day and started touching my chest and told me this special friendship is only between us. After the whole incident I realized something is not right and started crying heavily and prayed namaaz and told my father … my father didn’t say anything to him and told me not to tell anyone but that uncle came again to visit my place and this time when he came in the kitchen my father came as well and he pretended to get something out of the fridge and went back outside and then i thanked my father. If I ever find that man I want to spit on his face but you can trust no man in this day of age.

    • Anon

      August 2, 2016 at 11:25 AM

      The thing with these kind of things is that we overlook the things that we want to overlook…and shy away from facing the reality. And tbh all this “Allah is testing you” is impractical and BS. sorry for the language. We need practical solutions to PREVENTING these frickin’ disgusting things which happen in all communities and be BRUTALLY HONEST WITH OURSELVES

      P.s. from someone who was molested by her own frickin brother.

      Everything is sweeped under the carpet, as though nothing even happened

      I have nothin more to say

      • Anon

        August 2, 2016 at 11:26 AM

        sorry @safa I was supposed to post on a separate post

  20. Pingback: REFERENCE: An Index of Commonly used Anti-Islamic Words & Links to the Best Responses - IB Islamic Forum

  21. Pingback: REFERENCE: An Index of Commonly used Anti-Islamic Words & Links to the Best Responses at Forums.IslamicAwakening.Com

  22. NS

    April 26, 2010 at 1:09 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum. Alhamdulillah I also found this information comforting and encompassing – for a survivor or childhood sexual abuse and rape at the age of 10. Insha Allah CRIMINAL CHARGES have been laid and with Allah’s Grace and blessings the offenders will be punished – as they deserve. Peace and blessings for all those involved in delivering this much needed material. My case is in the courts now – but first I must clear an issue regarding testifying with my veil on. Please all you readers make much needed du’aa for help and guidance from Allah. *~*~*~*~* Please pass on to ALL of your friends and relatives to keep eyes peeled for abusers and pedophiles who are (I hate to say) present in your circle of relatives and friends – more than you think. BE VIGILANT. Unfortunately trust noone, you just can’t take the chance. May ALLAH guide us all and send His choicest blessings on the Final Messenger Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him. Aameen.

    • Amad

      April 26, 2010 at 1:14 AM

      May Allah make it easy for you and help you in your affairs.

  23. Umm_Ammaarah

    June 27, 2010 at 4:31 AM

    Assalamu alaykum wa Rahmatulahee wa Baakatuh,

    Barakallahu feekum to all those contributed, initiated and thought of writing this much needed article.

    The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Strange is the affair of the Mu’min (the believer), verily all his affairs are good for him. If something pleasing befalls him he thanks (Allah) and it becomes better for him. And if something harmful befalls him he is patient (Saabir) and it becomes better for him. And this is only for the Mu’mmin.” [Muslim]

    If there are lesson learned form such a cruel and hideous experience, it would be the following:

    1- Do not trust your children to just anybody :) I am more determined than ever not to entrust my children to nannies, caretakers or even relatives. More often than not, those who had been molested were not molested by strangers rather they were molested by someone from within their family circuit.

    2- Be careful who you let in in your home

    3- Communicate with your children. Develop a relationship with them wherein they can be transparent with you. Encourage them to talk and should they say something alarming, do not judge them or belie them rather listen to them.

    4- Educate your children and prepare them for puberty.

    5- Embed hayaa in your children by training them form a young age to dress modestly. As friendly as it may seem, PLEASE to not let your daughters get used to kissing or hugging male relatives/friends as gesture of gratitude whenever they are given gifts or when greeting visitors etc. This is my personal opinion. I strongly believe that such gestures should only be between father and child.

    6- Provide them with a strong foundation in Islam. Explain to them the roles of each gender.

    7- And of course always always ask Allah to protect them and guide them.

    There is no point in dwelling in the past and in keeping the wound fresh. The best way to heal is to point out and extract the beneficial lessons from such experiences. lesson that could save your children, relatives, friends and the ummah in general. After all Our beloved prophet sallahu alayhi wa sallam said: ““The best of people are those that bring most benefit to the rest of mankind.” (Dāraqutni, Hasan)

    I stand corrected and if I have said anything here that is contrary to the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah, then it is the doing of shaitan and myself
    wallahu a’lam…

    wassalam

  24. Pingback: Sunday Open Thread 10/3/2010 | 2010 Brass Crescent Awards (5 Days Left) | MuslimMatters.org

  25. Ummeh

    October 10, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    Assalamualikum,
    I should point out that boys are also molested and I wish that it was addressed in this article. Boys who were molested as a child and who later become men have a hard time telling their muslim families about this because of the misconception that boys are not molested. Instead of just saying girls, I wish you would mention both genders.
    Regards,
    Ummeh

  26. Pingback: Sex & the Ummah: Child Molestation in the Muslim World- Myth or Reality? Part I | MuslimMatters.org

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

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

  29. Mina

    June 20, 2016 at 2:28 AM

    I was molested as a child my by male cousin…we lived in a joint family system… It took a long time for me to realise what had happened… I get very upset because i get flashbacks everyday and don’t know how to get rid of them.. Apart from the abuser, i have my motheyto blame… Bacause she did not educate me about this and did not tell me that it is wrong and I should not allow yhis to happen… But i also love her a lot and don’t want to enter a blame game with her.. She is a patient of major depressive disorder… She already goes through a lit .. I don’t want to make it worse for her … That is why I haven’t even told her yet… What should i do????

    • F

      July 1, 2016 at 10:27 PM

      Mina, I’m so sorry about the situation. I am not an Islamic scholar or know enough to tell you what to do, but in my opinion, it wouldn’t be healthy to blame your mother for not teaching you about it because she might have never imagined that it could happen to any of her children; and it could be a bad idea to tell her if she is living with extreme depression because it might be even harder for her to endure the pain. If you feel like she’s strong enough to handle it then you can tell her to help you deal with it, or you can confide in a sibling or good friend who will also be able to help you by listening and being there for you, as the best therapy is talking about it and how to move forward. Regarding the flashbacks, my suggestion would be to occupy yourself with the remembrance of Allah (Dhikr), keep yourself busy by focusing in other important areas in life like school and building a career for yourself, and after your namaz, make dua for your strength, mental wellbeing and patience, as I am for you and anyone else who has endured this sort of pain, including myself. I hope this was sort of useful. Please feel free to reach out to me if you would like to discuss further and I’ll leave an email address

  30. Dee

    October 8, 2016 at 10:33 PM

    I just found out my son was molested ,raped and bashed by the deputy principal at his school each time my son would get in trouble in class his female teacher would ring the deputy to come up and take him out of class .he would then take him into a small bag room which he the deputy called it a private room and there is where it all happened .my son was punched numerous times his genitals were touched and he was also raped by the deputy male .last day of school I noticed something wrong with my 5 year old son at the time he looked so sad as if he had seen a ghost I approach his kindy teacher and asked what is wrong with my son did anyone do anything to him and I was received with nothing left confused with no answers I took my son home for nearly three years Ive been dealing with this new person my son that I did not know who he was anymore .niggtmares,depressions loss of appetite constant complaing of stomach pains ,aggression,scared to leave the house and would question where I was going he had become very clingy to a point he did not want me to leave the house and yes for three years nearly I would take my son back and forthe to doctors and demand tests after tests ,I would constantly question my son and ask him please tell me if anyone has done anything to u ??the answer was always nothing .I was losing hope watching my son deteriate until I asked Allah one day to give me something and I was able to get it out of my son what had happened to him .i had prepared myself with years of reading and research because I had a feeling something was not right and I was right as sickening as it is I was prepared for the worst .His teacher at the time knew what was going on she was sending my son off too his doom and no one was letting me know at the school what was going on .

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