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How Can I Repent for Sexually Abusing My Younger Sibling?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

 

Question

When I was 12, I was sexually abused, and then I sexually abused my younger brother. Will I ever be forgiven for my sin? What can I do to fix this and never return to this sin again? I’m seriously scared that I may never be able to repent for this sin and will die on it. I really don’t want this to ruin my family and break ties, should I tell my entire family about what I’ve done or just conceal it?

Answer

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. 

I am so sorry that you were a victim of sexual abuse, and I empathize with your confusion and pain. 

Forgiveness

Unfortunately, some abused people become abusers themselves, and I pray that you seek healing and therapy from this trauma. With Allah, your sincere repentance is all that you need. 

Allah tells us, “Say, O Prophet, that Allah says, “O My servants who have exceeded the limits against their souls! Do not lose hope in Allah’s mercy, for Allah certainly forgives all sins. He is indeed the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.“ [Qur’an, 39:53]

Your brother

With regards to your brother, this is a very sensitive subject. You have wronged him greatly, and he might be scarred for the rest of his life. Can you apologize to him? Was it very long ago? 

I feel that he needs healing and therapy as well, and your apology might trigger some of that healing. Pray the Prayer of Need before approaching him, and ask Allah to clothe your apology in tawfiq and guidance.

Your family

As it stands, I don’t think that you should tell your family about this, unless you fear that you will do it again. In that case, your family must protect the younger siblings from you. 

If you don’t fear this, there might be other reasons for you to tell your family, but my instinct is that you don’t. It was a sin, and you have a right to hide your sin. Perhaps you should tell the family about you yourself being abused. That might help you heal as well. Please pray istikhara about this decision, and once again, please consult a professional. 

Please see these links for excellent advice:

I Was Sexually Abused as a Child and Have Become an Abuser. Is There Any Redemption for Me?

Sorrow Over Sexual Misdeeds

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad  

 

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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