Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Cybersex fear and guilt

Is there a video of me out there somewhere?

I was in a cybersex relationship for almost 2 years with a Muslim in the Middle East. I am not a Muslima but he kept telling me he wanted to marry me.

He disappointed me a number of times. We basically had a cybersex relationship. He won't answer his phone and now only contacts me occasionally. He give silly excuses about being too busy.

I have tried to break it off but can't seem to let go. I know he prays and goes to Mosque. He said he never recorded me but I don't know that I believe him. I can't help feeling distrustful and resentful of people who profess to be religious.

I have been terrified that video of me is out there on the web somewhere and that it will come back to haunt me. I have stopped doing cybersex but I am still terrified and feel very guilty.

I have not been able to stop searching pornographic websites looking for it. I have also looked for him. I figure he does this with other ladies and might be out there on film somewhere.

I can't stop worrying that homeland security or instant messenger taped us.

How can I stop this fear and guilt? What will I do if it pops up at some point in the future?

Please advise me.

- khadijali

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20 Responses »

  1. Salaam My Sister,

    Guilt is a tremendous burden to bear and I am sorry that you have gotten yourself into this situation. I have many things to say here.

    When we do harmful actions like this, we are punished in this life and in the hereafter. Clearly you can feel the punishments coming at you daily - fear, worry, anxiety and guilt, sleeplessness, worry, paranoia... this is what happens when we sin and do wrong. In Islam, what you are doing with this man is called "zina" - premarital sex /adultery. It is completely banned and abhorred by Allah.

    As a woman speaking to a fellow woman - my sister, I will give you some guidance about men and women. Relationships founded on lust and arousal are not real relationships. The ability to arouse a man through lewd and promiscuous behaviour is incredibly easy and all women can do this - pretty ones, ugly ones - any ones - therefore there is no reason why a man would see you as any different to any other woman with a body, a camera and lewdness. To have a genuine relationship with a man, he must choose you for qualities outside of sexual ones - sex is not love, and neither is arousal, or rude-talk. If a man is paying attention to you because of your body, it is only a matter of time before a new body grabs his attention. There is no sincerity or security in a sexually based relationship - and any man who spends only sexual time with you is using you for one purpose and that purpose is ejaculation. I am afraid that is all it is - and this is the truth with no lies.

    As well as this you are disrespecting yourself and womankind tremendously. Women have died so that we can be respected, they have given their lives - we have been through generations of heartache and pain so that we can finally reach a stage in the world in which we can demand and expect respect. Religion, politics and society have split into two sides - pro-woman's respect, and anti-woman-respect and you are currently playing for the anti-woman's respect side by disrespecting yourself and turning yourself into an ejaculation-assistant instead of a valuable and self-respecting, decent woman. I am sure there is more to you than this - and as a Sister I invite you to join the pro-woman-respect side of life and start behaving in a way which shows the world that women are intelligent, good human beings who deserve good treatment, respect and love. I invite you from the bottom of my heart to let this all go and start afresh - leave it behind you and build your future with a clean conscience and a set of morals you promise you will never break.

    Your fear is most likely unfounded. Muslim's in the Middle East are highly unlikely to advertise or share their inappropriate and haram (sinful / forbidden) behaviour as whether they are truly religious or not, they will get into massive trouble for it. Even if there is a video of you out there (which I am sure there is not) it is very unlikely that it will pop up in future, or indeed that you would be recognised as in those kinds of videos, people don't really look at the face. I am sure if you showed such scenes to a group of people, and mixed the video of you with others and later asked them to identify the people walking in the street afterwards, I am sure many would fail.So I hope that gives you some ease over this. Regarding homeland security and instant messager - there are strict laws regarding privacy and they are not allowed to watch / keep or record anything that is not related to national security. When half of the world is currently at war, I am sure your cybersex was not noticed. 99% of the internet is porn -and I don't think security is all that interested. So I hope that calms that side of you down as well.

    I would also advise that you stop searching for videos - as your paranoia and guilt is leading you astray and you will get corrupted by the sites that you are visiting whether you realise it or not. You are developing obsessive and paranoia-driven behaviour which will only get worse with time, and get you into some kind of trouble, or some sort of mental disaster. In Islam we call this negative driving force the Sheytaan - the Devil. Having driven you with temptation and seduction into conducting yourself in the way you did, this negative force is now driving you with fear, guilt and paranoia into even lower depths - stop now.

    Say to yourself when you have these thoughts "I am being paranoid right now - I will not let this get the better of me" and then busy yourself with something else. InshaAllah (means "God willing") you will be able to defeat this demon and look to the future which is clean and bright. You must let this go and not obey your fears and compulsions that are driving you right now.

    On the basis of the man's location and religion: it is highly unlikely your fears are for real
    On the basis of statistics, the odds of a video of you turning up in your life: highly unlikely
    On the basis of what homeland security and instant messenger are interested in: almost impossible

    So, to summarise, I invite you with deep love in my heart to let this go, stop the searching, stop obeying your fears, control yourself, close this chapter and build a positive life for yourself, with good morals, behaviours and hobbies and inshaAllah ('God Willing') peace is just around the corner for you.

    Peace,

    Leyla

    • Leyla, that was a beautiful repy maashAllah!

    • You have such an bad image of men in general. If a man loves a woman with all his heart there can only be this one woman in his life and he would do everything for her. He wouldn't look after other women anyway even if they "have the ability to arouse". Men who just use women for one perpuse are just evil people. A woman doesn't have to give a guy "other qualities" than her love and sexuality including sex is a part of love and showing love. Men who would just have this inimate relationship because of fun and are able to chose an other woman like you said are just evil people.That's not a part of the nature of men but more a part of being evil equal like to murder isn't part of the nature of humans.

  2. Salam

    Sister Leyla,

    That was a brilliant response indeed.

    But, if you don't mind, I have some remarks regarding your definition of zinaa (fornication). I am no scholar but I don't think cybersex (if I understand correctly what it is) counts as zinaa: you see, when having cybersex, the "couple"is not having any physical contact, they're not even in the same room. They arouse each other (via webcams, mics, etc.) and they masturbate. And by doing so they're committing a lot of sins, masturbation, looking at each other's nudity, having sinful conversations, but they are not committing zinaa as the scholars of Islam define it.

    Also, zinaa is only punishable by death if the person committing it is married. Only then can they be stoned to death. Or when the zinaa is occuring between two men (homosexuals) in which case it would be called "liwatt".

    This said, I am not trying to take away from the ugliness and "haramness" (if I may use this term) of cybersex, masturbation or any other sexual acts committed outside of marriage. I just needed to share my point of view w Allahu a'lam (and Allah knows best) I hope I'm not offending you.

    I like reading your beautiful comments, sister Z's and Wael's. Your advices are always full of wisdom mashaAllah. Keep up the good work and God bless you.

    Wafa.

  3. Salaam Wafa,

    Thank you and God bless you for your input - no I am not offended - you are most welcome to correct, or clarify any time :0D

    Peace,

    L

  4. Salaam To All

    What a beautiful reply from our muslims sisters here who are making me proud of being a muslim, I love this website.

    Ash

  5. Salamu 'Alaikum.
    I am a very young girl who has been raised up to be a 'perfect' muslim, which I assure you, does not exist.
    I have always been the one advising my friends not to do this, and not to do that. They nickname me the 'purest teenager' xD

    Anyways, a friend of mine came to me with a baffling question I did not know how to answer. I am no scholar, but my mother taught me many things and made me read many Islamic books, but I am afraid I was still helpless.

    Her question was the following:
    "I have been friends with a boy on an online game (not a game intended for cybering, but a game for killing monsters and having a great adventure and meeting new people from all around the world along the way).
    I never thought of this boy as anything but a friend, he was been kind and sweet and very friendly, but soon I realized my heart was taken over by him. Of course i did not say anything, I am a muslim after all, and I was raised up to believe that any relationship before marriage is haram (forbidden).
    This guy told me he loved me, and I soon confessed my love to him also. At first we'd just meet on this game and talk about random things, our likes and dislikes, but soon we started hugging, sometimes even kissing cheeks. Of course I did not think it was wrong, he was living in America, and I was on the other side of the world. In my wildest dreams have I ever imagined loving a guy, or even thinking of having cybersex with him, but I loved him so much, and he too loved me. He and I have been together for 2 years, and I grew frightened about what I was doing. I know cybersex is a sin, but I never used webcam, he never saw me and I never saw him. We never spoke on the phone and he never even saw my picture. Does it still count as a sin?
    He is not a muslim, but I have told him all about Islam, and he is willing to convert, and he is also willing to propose to me once he has become a Muslim, we already planned our life together, what we'll do, and where we'll go. Please Malak, help me before I commit any more sins."

    Now, I know you're going to say that she should have asked someone with knowledge, but she was too afraid and embarrassed to tell anyone, she is my friend and she thought I might help her with it. I fear I have no answer, and I realized the best thing to do is ask someone with knowledge and experience, please answer me ASAP.

    Peace and blessings be upon all Muslims..

    • Malak, normally I would say please write your question as a separate post and we'll get to it in turn. However, I want to tell you that your friend's relationship is dangerous and must stop immediately! She knows nothing about this man. She has never even seen him. He could be an old man, or perverted, or dangerous. And he is a non-Muslim as well. This is a dangerous, meaningless "relationship" formed over a game for killing monsters. It has absolutely no future.

      Wael
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  6. Brother Wael,
    I did tell her that, and I understand perfectly what you're saying, but she is not listening to me. So right now all I need to know is if cyber sex in this situation is a sin or not. She is stubborn and this the only thing she'd want to hear from me.

    Thank you for what you wrote though, it supports my opinion also..

    • Salaam. Yes its a sin, and what shes doing is very dangerous.
      "The zina of the eyes is the gaze (at that which is unlawful, eg. Nudity); the zina of the ears is to listen (to talks of nudity which excites the carnal desire); the zina of the tongue is to speak (what is evil); the zina of the hand is to touch (the female which is unlawful to you); the zina of the feet is to walk (towards immorality); the zina of the heart is to desire (what is unlawful), and it is the private parts which either commits or shuns the actual act of fornication." 8Muslim 4/1397, no. 6421, 6422

  7. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me. God bless you, Sister. I will also pray for others as I think this is a rapidly growing problem.

  8. God bless you, Leyla, for taking the time to respond to me. I will also pray for others as I think this is a rapidly growing problem. The Shaytan, as you say, has found a new tool of seduction and destruction.

    You've got your work cut out for you. Please do continue advising.

  9. As Salaam O Alaikum brothers/sisters

    I would like to add to SRMuslimahs answer. In Islam it is stated that the act of Zina is forbidden. I was going through a few sites in which the Sheikh answers questions by the youth. There were many questions asking whether cybersex is Zina. Almost all the sites had the following answer, "cIslam does not only forbid illicit sexual intercourse, but also forbids anything that leads to this sin and crime. 'Cyber sex', 'phone sex', etc. are those activities that can lead to Zina". Cyber sex is like the act of Zina. It is completly forbidden. But if this act has been commited then don't lose hope in Allah (SWT) because Allah (SWT) is Most-Forgiving and Most-Merciful. One must realize and sincerely repent and then keep away from that sin and Inshallah Allah (SWT) will forgive them . Hope this helps =)

  10. Salam to all,
    Dear sisters,
    I am in desperate need of your help. I was browsing some sites some time ago such as yahoo answers which stated cyber sex wasn't haram because there was no touching etc etc. I know I was so stupid to trust such a site but at the time, I went ahead and had cyber sex because I thought it would control sexual desires.
    The person was completely anonymous, and it only lasted for a few sentences, and it was an 'anonymous chat'. I don't know who that person was, and that person doesn't know who I was and so forth.
    I am only a young girl and strive to be a very good Muslim and now I am so terrified. I would never even consider having pre-marital sex however I despise myself from doing something that may be in the same category as that. At the time it happened, I didn't even consider it a sin and was so unaware.
    I am so ashamed of what I have done and I keep praying to Allah to forigve me. Is there any way Allah can forgive me??

    Thank you sincerely

  11. Salaam Sisters,
    this post has helped me soo much too... I am a muslim woman in my 30's I recently committed Zina and am feeling soo terrible... I know that I was fooling myself, I met him a year ago which started with online flirts, since then our "relationship" has developed and we started seeing each other more and more... I allways used to frown on women like this "Hypocrite" I know.... untill it happened to me.

    I feel so ashamed and dirty, after ,many years of keeping myself clean and pure, not only physically but mentally.... I even stopped praying because I could not face allah knowing what I was doing.... I feel so far from Allah.... I genuinely never thought this would happen to me, yet all the time I convinced myself that it was ok as we are both single and I just wanted to experience proper sex like everyone else....Ive lost all sense of dignity...

    It was very nice to hear the kind yet honest comments... you are right my relationship is built on sex which is pure lust until he finds a better body to use....

    Thank you, Im so glad I found this, its just what I needed..

    Masalaama Mariam London

  12. Asalaam alaikum,

    While it is important to acknowledge the compassion of the sisters on this topic, it should be heavily emphasized as to the danger of cybersex and engaging in this as a form of zina. I shall relate a very sad, and awful story on this topic, forthrightly.

    A few years ago, lured by the promise of marriage to a European man, several Muslim women committed fornication and were photographed by this man, who was also Jewish. When he returned to his country, leaving his empty promises unfulfilled, he posted these photos on websites for men who engage in buying sex from prostitutes and travel abroad to have sex with women. They cheered him on, made disgusting comments about the women and found humor in the humiliation of these women.

    Some time later, one of the women discovered that a cd was being sold in her hometown which contained the images she had posed for. She went to the authorities in her Islamic country to file a complaint and when it was learned she was not married, she was tried on morality laws and sentenced to one year in prison for producing pornographic images. The fallout from this, was that 12 other women were prosecuted when their identities were discovered, as well. The other women depicted are thought to have committed suicide, have been killed or have fled while leaving their children behind. In one case, a woman who was to be married, was identified by her future husband through the cd images, was beaten and thrown out for public scrutiny. Till this day, the relatives of those women, including children, are shunned, humiliated and bullied for what those women had done and how that man exposed them. The repercussions of their behavior affected more than themselves.

    Some of these women who were sentenced, have tried to commit suicide while in prison. The country that they are in is known as one of the worst violators of human rights against prisoners and their families confirm that their stay in prison was horrifying to witness. Due to the publicity of this case, these women till this day are known by their faces and will have very little success of ever finding a husband, as those images still can be found from the bazaar street corner to the online world.

    The tragedy is further realized when the Jewish man was neither prosecuted by the visiting country he committed these crimes in, even though he was detained for a time. Since then, he has been discovered that he was married, was outed from his job for these actions and there are current death threats on his life. Reports often come in that he is beaten whenever he is found. The way he used these women, humiliated them and disgraced them warrant a greater punishment that one day God will mete out.

    On a related note, there have been several born-again Christian women who became so after leaving the pornography industry. They often face much mockery and suspicion among various Christian churches so much so, that they had to form their own religious groups for former prostitutes, ex-porn workers and the like. They often talk about being eventually recognized and having to deal with that humiliation and being ostracized from other Christian women, especially married ones. In fact, in one case, one of these women was further exploited in a controversial "Christian" film, in which she played a character who was a stripper and committed questionable acts on screen. It was evident that her eagerness to help others through her life lessons was exploited again by so-called Christian men who saw no harm in using her for this so-called "Christian" film. Her reliance and trust in men is sadly harmful to her well being and her attempts at religious salvation. Till this day, the producers of her films still market her image as did her ex-boyfriend who sold private sex tapes of her that had never been released to the public, as to further profit from her notoriety, now that she had stopped making sex films.

    Of course, needless to say, no woman should ever engage in any sexual act with a man that is not her husband.

    While I believe that many men and women who are married can experiment with various sexual roles in their private lives saved only for each other, it is becoming more apparent that women need to have full control of all the images and videos they create of themselves with their husbands in this modern age, wherein a phone pic can be sent all over the world in the blink of a few finger clicks. Technology has seemed to dupe common sense in these matters.

    Even more alarming is the societal acceptance of deviant individuals sharing images of their sexual partners to friends and complete strangers as "trophy pieces" of the proverbial bed notch. We see this occurring at a frightening rate among boys who have victimized young innocent, trusting girls and shared their images with classmates at the utter humiliation of the girl. Some of these cases have seen the young girl publicly humiliated and bullied, and in some instances, driven to commit suicide. In other cases, the young people have been prosecuted for possession of child pornography. All of this has been further magnified from the fame seeking individuals of worthless virtue who rely on sexual notoriety particularly with published sex tapes instead of obtaining a talent or an education to find success.

    A similar case occurred in Iran this past summer, where an actress's private sex tape was revealed though it was done through her boyfriend's idiocy. Supposedly, he sold his old laptop and the new owner recovered the video and published it online. The woman secluded herself to her home and released a statement that she was "heartbroken" over the incident. Surely again, these people will have a difficult time in ever regaining a decent reputation due to this notoriety.

    While this may alarm some women, and I do not mean to cause distress to the original poster who has hopefully moved on, women need to become aware of the dangers of cybersex and how it can easily be recorded and published when the other person is not committed to them through a loving marriage. Inept husbands also need to understand the dangers of not guarding their computer and files with proper passwords that are not easily hacked. Even file sharing and Bluetooth connections can be exploited for these purposes, so married couples need to take extra precautions in this matter, especially Muslim couples.

    Two months ago, I commented that it was allowable for a married couple to engage in webcam sex and while I think it is still permissible, the question becomes as to whether the guarding of the sexual encounter is more important than the fulfillment of the sexual need. In that comment, I also stated that masturbation through physical manipulation is to be considered haram and that the only way to achieve orgasm was through mind stimulation by the spousal partner, through voice and imagery. So a man cannot touch himself and neither should the woman, but only should be stimulated by the partner's actions through mind seduction strong enough to cause physical release of the other married partner, essentially.

    As of now, I would recommend married couples to abstain from having online sex with each other till they are entirely sure that secure protocols are in place. I would especially recommend that cell phones are not used to record or keep any recordings of sexual encounters, as they are easily stolen and can be accessed readily with the removal of the memory card. It‘s worth noting that on most phones, removal of the memory card can occur within 4 seconds and there exists online programs that can recover data that has been casually deleted.

    All couples should therefore familiarize themselves with erasing and reformatting memory cards, discs, phones, and computers. Yet, removal and destruction of the hard drives of the latter is the only assurance when re-selling a laptop or desktop. Due to these problems, the married couple should instead exhaust all efforts to be physically together as to satisfy the sexual urge.

    I hope that in relating these stories, more women will be increasingly cautious when it comes to online communications and the development of any private encounters. Single women should of course avoid it completely, but married women need to also be on guard that all precautions are being exercised and secured by their husbands and themselves.

    To: Sister In Need of Guidance

    Please take my advice and refrain from all online encounters because all that is needed to trace your general vicinity is your IP address. Many people are unaware that a savvy computer user can use a chat session to hack your email address associated with your instant messenger, effectively. This can uncover so much more than you ever intended. Though I will not get into the specifics, believe me, this is a very common practice among malicious individuals.

    Also know that Allah (swt) has forgiven greater sinners than you. His door of Eternal Mercy welcomes the remorseful and repentant spiritual wayfarer. Since you are asking for the greatest thing in the Universe, it has been narrated that when you come to seek forgiveness you must ask for it properly by first extolling Allah's (swt) virtues in your approach. You must proclaim His Oneness, His Divine Attributes and His Authority. It is then proper to praise His Messenger and all of His creation, from the Heavens to the Earth and the Seen and Unseen. You must also show gratitude by praying for others first: the disadvantaged and the oppressed, especially. In this instance, we must remind ourselves to ask for others in the same manner in which we seek ourselves. Pray for those friends and family members in need, especially your parents, as this was the way of the Prophets and God loving pious people.

    It is then when you can start asking for forgiveness by confessing your sins, admitting your shortcomings and asking for strength to overcome what you have done. You must also ask Allah (swt) to continue to cover this sin for you. Then, you must renew your covenant with Allah (swt) by seeking to repent. This latter part is the most important aspect, as it affirms our stance to never return to the sin and should reinforce our commitment to not go "near" the possibility of doing this sin again. For you, that would mean to avoid all chat rooms, idle talk and anything of a sexual nature that would foster and increase your lust. By this, you should ask for help in seeking to do the opposite, by quelling your lust and asking Allah (swt) to help you find other avenues of venture without sexual overtures.

    Of course, with the realization that you now have the sexual urge within you, it would be more than proper to ask Allah (swt) to assist you in finding a pious husband. Pray for guidance in this matter and make the commitment to take real world effective steps by involving your family and an Islamic guide to help you in finding a compatible mate. A husband who will satisfy you in all regards will keep you in the proper frame of worship and obedience to Allah (swt).

    Thank Allah (swt) while in sujood for this opportunity to pray to Him without being recalled through death to answer for your sin while in the midst of it. Thank Him for this opportunity to reform yourself and to find the path that leads to Him. In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah (SWT) says: "I was a hidden treasure; I loved to be known. Hence I created the world so that I would be known." With this realization, with all emotional, intellectual and loving humility, acknowledge this awesome discovery that is Our Almighty Lord and be grateful for the time He has granted you to commit more good deeds to weigh on your scale.

    Insha'allah, you have already done this and are walking the Straight Path. I hope you have found a loving, pious husband by now or are making the means to, if you have not done so. I pray that every woman here should find the same, whether she is Muslim or non-Muslim such as the original poster. I pray that she does not have a bad view of Muslims and that we invite her to Allah's (swt) sweetest fruit of all, Islam.

  13. Dear Leyla,

    I am not a Muslim but I think you give good advice. I am still haunted by my cousin’s suicide almost two years ago. She seemed to have it all: handsome husband, nice house, beautiful children, etc. Then her marriage fell apart she lost custody of her children spiraled into a deep depression and took her own life.

    We were close growing up but grew apart as adults. We I found out about her situation I called her. She sounded extremely depressed. I just didn’t feel comfortable suggesting professional help. Instead I just listened and tried to be comforting. Concerned, I called my sister for advice and she told me I shouldn’t meddle in other people’s affairs.

    A few months later I was going to call her again when my sister said I should wait for her to call me. Then I got the news that she had committed suicide. A few weeks later my brother’s childhood friend, after a long battle with alcohol, took a shotgun and blew his brains out. I’m also the one who wrote to you about cybersex so I am very aware of several sexting related suicides, particularly Tyler Clementi. He committed suicide after his roommates thought it would be funny to secretly tape him in flagrante delicto and post it on the web.

    I always thought if this happened to someone in my family it would be me. I have had a long battle with clinical depression and anxiety, but have it under control now. I don’t think anyone who hasn’t experienced it can understand it and I get tired of being told to just snap out of it. I keep wondering if I had reached out to my cousin if she might be alive today. Having been there myself I feel I should have seen it. Another cousin wrote the suicide off as a selfish act and told me not to agonize over. I am a bit conflicted over this view as I figure she must have been feeling unbearable mental anguish to have chosen suicide over watching her children grow up.

    I read the article on this website about suicide and got the basic gist: “Allah never gives you anything you can’t handle.” I also looked at some Jewish sites and they tried to countenance clinical depression while still maintaining that “Hashem never gives you anything you can’t handle.”

    My conundrum is this: If God never gives us anything we can’t handle how come my cousin, my brother’s friend, and Tyler Clementi saw no other way out?

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