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He is attracted to beardless youths; how can he rid himself of this sickness?

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I have the problem of being attracted to beardless youths and I have no desire for women. The reason for this may be a bad experience that I had in childhood. I try to be patient as much as I can. I lower my gaze and I know that this is haraam, and I do not regard it as permissible. I ask Allaah for forgiveness and I pray “O Allaah, purify my heart and keep me chaste.” I do not think that marriage is a solution for me, because I have no desire for women. I fast on Mondays and Thursdays. But this is still in my heart. What should I do? Is there anything that will compensate me in Paradise? I ask Allaah to forgive me if there is any transgression in my question.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly: 

Remember that this is one of the most serious of problems, and that it may lead a person to doom. It may affect his mind and make him go insane, or it may affect his physical health and make him ill, or it may affect his religious commitment and cause him to be doomed, and lead him to a bad end. So beware of continuing with this and strive hard, seeking the help of your Lord, to rid yourself of this evil inclination, and look at those who have been affected by this so that you may learn a lesson from them. 

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

It is narrated that a man fell in love with someone and became totally infatuated with him, and that love became deeply rooted in his heart until he fell ill, and took to his bed because of it, and that person tried to keep away from him and felt great resentment towards him. Intermediaries kept going between them until he promised to visit him. The sick man was told of that and he rejoiced greatly and his anxiety was dispelled, and he began to look forward to the appointment that had been set. Whilst he was like that, the intermediary came and said: He came part way with me then he went back, but I encouraged him and spoke to him, and he said: He remembered me, and rejoiced about me, but I will not enter because I will not expose myself to accusations. I tried to change his mind but he insisted, and left. When the sick man heard that, he was filled with despair and became worse than he had been before, and appeared to be in the throes of death, and he started saying: 

Your pleasure is dearer to my heart than the mercy of the Almighty, the Creator 

I said: O So and so, fear Allaah. He said: This is how I feel.  

I got up and left, and I had barely passed through the door when I heard the cry of death. 

Allaah forbid that we should meet with a bad end. 

End quote. 

Al-Jawaab al-Kaafi (p. 117) 

What do you think? Would a wise Muslim want to die as that sick lover died, who gave precedence to the pleasure of his beloved over the pleasure of His Creator Who created him and formed him and granted him provision and guided him to Islam, and bestowed upon him blessings both apparent and invisible? If you say that you would not want that – which is what we think you would say – then you should know that you are travelling the same path as him and that there may befall you what befell him, if you do not check yourself. 

Remember that this is the path that was first travelled by the people of Loot, namely the love of beardless youths, then Allaah punished them in a way that no nation has been punished before or since. Allaah turned their houses upside down and caused the earth to swallow them up, and He pelted them with stones and took away their sight. 

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, explaining different types of love: 

A kind of love that is incurs the wrath of Allaah and leads to one being remote from His mercy and is the most harmful to a person’s spiritual and worldly interests, is love of beardless youths. No one is afflicted with this but one who become worthless in the sight of Allaah and has been expelled from His door and whose heart is far away from Him. It is one of the worst obstacles that keep a person away from Allaah, as one of the salaf said: If a person becomes worthless in the sight of Allaah, He afflicts him with the love of beardless youths. This is the love that brought the punishment upon the people of Loot, and the only reason for this punishment was this type of love. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Verily, by your life (O Muhammad صلىالله عليه وسلم), in their wild intoxication, they were wandering blindly” [al-Hijr 15:72]. End quote. 

Al-Jawaab al-Kaafi (p. 173, 174) 

Secondly: 

Remember that there are causes for this calamity, and these causes are things that the afflicted person has brought upon himself. The one who wants to be saved from his predicament must look at these causes and rid himself of them, otherwise he will be content with his situation and unwilling to change it for something that is better. These causes may include the following: 

1 – Weakness of faith and lack of love for Allaah in one’s heart, and a lack of fear of His punishment. 

2 – Looking freely at beardless youths, and enjoying their beauty and appearance. 

This is the first route that the affected person takes to sin. His Lord has commanded him to lower his gaze and avoid looking at haraam things, and his Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has enjoined him likewise. If he ignores the command and does that which is forbidden, then Iblees has shot his poisoned arrow into his heart, and finished him off. 

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

Looking is the origin of most of the problems that befall man, because looking generates thoughts, then thoughts generate ideas, and ideas generate desires, and desires generate will, which then becomes stronger and becomes firm resolve, in which case the deed will inevitably be done unless there is something to prevent it. Hence it was said that patience in lowering the gaze is easier than patience in bearing the pain that comes afterwards. 

Al-Jawaab al-Kaafi, p. 106 

Hence the scholars forbade looking at beardless youths, and some of them regarded it as more haraam than looking at women. 

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

Similarly the scholars forbade a man to look at the face of a beardless youth if he is handsome, whether with or without desire, and whether it is free of fitnah (temptation) or there is the fear thereof. This is the correct view which was favoured by the scholars. This was stated by al-Shaafa’i and the prominent scholars of his madhhab (may Allaah have mercy on them). The evidence for this is that a beardless youth is, in some ways, like a woman; he may be desired as a woman is desired, and his form may be beautiful like that of a woman, and many of them may be more beautiful than many women. The prohibition applies more to them for another reason, which is that in their case there may result from attachment to them types of evil that do not occur in the case of women. End quote.  

Sharh Muslim (4/31). 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

Looking at the face of a beardless youth with desire is like looking as the face of a mahram or a non-mahram woman with desire, whether the desire is desire for intercourse or the desire to derive pleasure from looking. If he looks at his mother, sister or daughter with pleasure derived from looking like the pleasure derived from looking at a non-mahram woman, then it is known to everyone that this is haraam. The same applies to looking at the face of a beardless youth, according to scholarly consensus. End quote. 

Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (15/413) and (21/245). 

And he (may Allaah have mercy on him) also said: 

The one who looks repeatedly at a beardless youth and the like, or persists in that, and says “I am not looking with desire” is lying, because if he has no need to look, then he is only looking because of the pleasure that he feels in his heart as a result. As for an accidental glance, it is forgiven, if he averts his gaze. 

Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (15/419) and (21/251). 

The kind of looking with which these sick people are afflicted includes what they watch on satellite channels and what they see in newspapers and magazines, and on websites, of pictures of children and beardless young men, and this is what provokes them to commit immoral actions. 

3 – Falling short with regard to obligatory and naafil acts of worship 

If the person who is afflicted with this problem prays on time, fulfilling the conditions and obligatory parts of prayer, that will be a deterrent that keeps him from falling into evil and immoral ways. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Verily, As‑Salaah (the prayer) prevents from Al‑Fahsha’ (i.e. great sins of every kind, unlawful sexual intercourse) and Al‑Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed)”

[al-‘Ankaboot 29:45] 

So how about if he regularly performs sunnah and naafil prayers? 

4 – Forsaking the Qur’aan and failing to read books about the lives of righteous men and the imams 

The Book of Allaah contains guidance, light and healing; it is the best protection for the Muslim against falling into sin and it is the best remedy for the one who does fall into sin. 

If he reads books about the imams and biographies of the scholars, he can take them as an example and become familiar with their stories and rise above immorality and evil.  

5 – Falling short in seeking knowledge 

Knowledge is light, through which one may know what is halaal and do it, and what is haraam and avoid it. Through it he may come to know his Lord, may He be exalted, and His names, attributes and deeds. That will generate in his heart a sense of shyness before his Lord and shyness before His angels, so that he will not want to commit evil and immoral actions. Through knowledge he will come to know the state of sinners and the punishment that Allaah has prepared for them. 

6 – A lot of spare time in the lives of those who have this problem 

If they kept themselves busy with acts of worship, sport, permissible actions and seeking knowledge, they would not have time to spend in thinking of haraam things, let alone doing them. 

7 – Making friends and keeping company with bad people 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) likened the bad friend to one who works the bellows: he will either burn his companion’s clothes or he will notice a bad smell coming from him. 

8 – Not getting married 

Allaah has created natural desires in man, and He has made the outlet for that in women. The permissible way to do that is marriage. The one who goes against his natural state (fitrah) and diverts that desire towards other males like him, is even lower than the animals, for the animals that Allaah has created are in front of us, and do we ever see any male mounting another male?  

Thirdly: 

The one who wants to deal with his problem and rid himself of it should look for the reasons why he has fallen into the haraam actions of looking, mixing and keeping company with beardless youths, and rid himself of them by giving them up. Trying to treat the problem without addressing the causes of sickness is a remedy that is doomed to failure and will never succeed. There follow some treatment methods for the one who wants to rid himself of this problem and try to free himself from the trap of the shaytaan, and seek the pleasure of Allaah. These include: 

1 – Strengthening one’s faith by means of acts of worship, including fasting, filling one’s heart with love of Allaah, and fearing His punishment. 

2 – Preventing oneself from looking at beardless youths with or without desire, and not keeping company with them or sitting with them at all, and not being alone with them, even for teaching Qur’aan. 

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

The favoured view is that being alone with a handsome, non-mahram beardless youth is like being alone with a woman, and it is haraam to be alone with him just as it is haraam to be alone with a woman, unless one is with a group of men ofgood character. End quote. 

Sharh al-Nawawi (9/109). 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

As for keeping company with beardless youths, especially with one of them, as they do, which may lead to being alone with a handsome beardless youth or letting him stay overnight with a man, and so on, these are among the worst of evils, according to the Muslims, and according to the Jews and Christians, and others. End quote. 

Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (11/542). 

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: It is not permissible to be alone with a beardless youth even if that is with the intention of teaching him, because the shaytaan flows through the son of Adam like blood. How many people have becomes infatuated with these beardless youths and fell into the trap of the shaytaan and whims and desires. This is a matter which must be warned against. End quote. 

Al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (1/294, 295). 

3 – Praying regularly and on time, and being keen to do regular Sunnah and naafil prayers. 

4 – Reciting a portion of Qur’aan regularly, and reciting the adhkaars for morning and evening, and reading about the lives and biographies of the imams. 

5 – Seeking knowledge by reading, listening and watching. This is something that is required of every Muslim. 

6 – Filling one’s time with acts of worship and obedience, and that which will be of benefit in one's spiritual and worldly affairs. 

7 – Shunning bad company and looking for righteous friends to stay close to and benefit from their knowledge and good attitude. 

8 – Seeking to get married straight away, to satisfy one’s desires in a permissible manner. 

9 – Seeking the help of Allaah by calling upon Him and asking Him to save him from this sickness and calamity. 

10 – Thinking about those who have fallen into this haraam kind of love and what it has led to, such as insanity, sickness and apostasy – Allaah forbid. 

Ibn al-Qayyim said: 

The remedy for this awful sickness is to seek the help of the One Who has control of the hearts and to turn sincerely to Him, keeping busy with remembrance of Him (dhikr) and trying to fill his heart with love for Him and closeness to Him, and thinking of the pain that may result from this love and pleasure, which leads to the loss of that which is most loved and the infliction of that which is most disliked. But if in spite of all that he still feels that he prefers to persist in his misguidance, then he should realize that there is no hope for him. 

Al-Jawaab al-Kaafi (p. 174). 

For more information please see the answer to question no. 27176

And Allaah knows best.

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