Is It Valid to Repent Only out of Fear of Going to Hell?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I met a young man at university two years ago and we began a sinful relationship. I can’t stay away from him. I do not want to marry him, as he probably does this with many other girls.

I used to pray 5 times a day, but no longer do. I feel so disgusted in myself because I know all the Islamic teachings and I know I shouldn’t do it but I still can’t control myself at all and I don’t understand why. What do I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Zina

Dear sister, I urge you to find a place of calm from within you, and reflect on what you truly want from your life.

Please confide in a trustworthy friend who has your Akhirah in mind. It sounds incredibly difficult for you to break away from him on your own. For as long as you remain isolated in this, then you remain vulnerable, and at risk of relapsing.

Counselling

Your behaviour with this young man may be an addiction. Please seek out a culturally-sensitive counsellor who can help you work out solutions to your struggle.

Purify Your Gaze is also a worthwhile resource for you to tap into.

Moving forward

Please delete his contact details, and get a new phone number. Do not make any attempts to contact him, and ignore his calls or message. If he does contact you, or you feel tempted to contact him, then please reach out to your trusted friend and/or counsellor for support. Please take it one day at a time.

Do everything in your power to not see him. With enough time and distance, you can trust yourself to not cave in when you do see him. You are too vulnerable right now to risk any exposure to him.

6 Ways to Keep Yourself from Going Back
Why We End Up in Bad Relationships

Strength

Please perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night and beg Allah for strength. You are not alone. Please strengthen yourself through reciting the Qur’an, fasting, giving in charity, keeping good company, and being of service to those in need.

Repentance

The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “The one who repents from sin is like the one who never sinned.” [Ibn Majah]

Please make good on your repentance. Please design your life better, so that it is easier for you to do good than it is to sin. Put safeguards in place. Change the company you keep. Be of service to those in need. Reflect and make shukr on your blessings.

Prayer

Please return to your daily prayers. There is protection and blessing in establishing this connection with Allah.

Once you have returned to regular prayers, then please make it a point to pay back the prayers you have missed. Please refer to: A Reader on Missed Prayers.

Perform the Prayer of Need and beg Allah for help through this. Know that Allah loves you, and wants eternal good for you.

Marriage

When enough time has elapsed, I encourage you to think seriously about marriage. What kind of wife do you want to be? What kind of husband do you want?

I encourage you to do your research first. I encourage you to read Before You Tie The Knot and listen to Getting Married, with Ustadha Shireen Ahmed and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani. Think of this as a goal for self-improvement.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)