Youthful incest with his mother
Fatwa No: 84136

  • Fatwa Date:12-5-2002 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 1, 1423
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Question

When I was 12 years old I used to sleep beside my mother who was 31 years old. I did not know what was right or wrong, and she allowed or encouraged sexual contacts with her from me. Now, when I remember that I cannot live or sleep as a good normal Muslim. What is my situation in Islam, what can I do for God to forgive me and her?

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

Know that Zina (adultery and fornication) is a major sin. Allah, The Great and Almighty, has mentioned it in the Qur'an and linked it with Shirk (polytheism). He, to Whom be ascribed all perfection and majesty, describing His righteous servants says: {And those who invoke not any other ilâh (god) along with Allâh, nor kill such life as Allâh has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein in disgrace; Except those who repent and believe (in Islâmic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, for those, Allâh will change their sins into good deeds, and Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.} [25:68-70].
If punishment of Zina, in general, is in such a painful and an unbearable state, then it becomes worse and severe if one commits such a crime with his Mahaarem (unmarriageable women such as mother, sister, daughter, …).
Therefore, many scholars of Islam believe that one who commits incest must be killed and such a state of Zina should not dealt with as we deal with Zina in general whereas we differentiate between a married one and a single one.
It is reported in a sound Hadith that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) ordered the killing of the one who marries his father's wife and taking his property" . [ Abu Dawood ].
When the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) was asked: "Which sin is the greatest?" The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "To set up rivals for Allah, your Creator". It is said: 'thereafter?'. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) answered: "To kill your children for fear of eating with you (i.e. fear of want), it is said: 'then which next?' The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: "To have sex with your neighbor's wife" . [ Muslim ].
Imagine how it is bad and dangerous to make Zina in your neighbor's wife! But, it is more dangerous and worse to commit incest, i.e. sex with a mother, daughter, sister, …!! We ask Allah to save all Muslims from committing such actions.
Anyway, it is your instant duty to repent sincerely, to regret and to seek Allah's pardon. In addition, you have to multiply your good deeds and avoid despair.
Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {Say: "O 'Ibâdî (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allâh, verily Allâh forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.} [39:53]
Thus, you have to take the lesson from what has happened between you and your mother so that you can recognize bad consequences of giving up Shari'a teachings and manners of behavior.
Furthermore, if the inquirer and his mother followed the Shari'a orders and directives concerning sleep and took care in what that may lead to, what happened could have been avoided.
Here, it becomes clear that Allah's Mercy on human beings is so great since He has laid down such Shari'a rulings concerning ordering us to separate children while sleeping, i.e. to cause each one to sleep alone in one's own bed.
We ask Allah to accept repentance of those who seek it and to forgive those who seek His pardon. He is The Generous and Munificent.
Allah knows best.

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