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These question revolves around the issue of committing kufr through imaginations. It might appear strange but I have no choice but to present reality as it is.

Q:

I sent this question to ask the counselor and she told me to send it to you. She told me to send it to ask the scholar. Please clarify the most important thing. That is whether it is kufr or not. And whether it is major or minor sin? Please don’t confuse with waswas. THIS IS THE QUESTION I SENT: I converted to Islam recently. I had the habit of watching pornography in the past and I deeply fear sins of imagination. Please answer this question in short terms: Is it kufr? Is it a major or minor sin?

If someone were to intentionally imagine the prophet nude, is it a sin? With the word intentional I don’t mean the intention of making fun of him, or disrespecting him, or sexual pleasure or pleasure of any sort but intentional in the sense that it is his free choice that he imagines a nude human being but he imagines it without feeling anything about it. How big is the sin? The same question regarding imagining nude a sahabah, tabiine, a great religious scholar like Ebu hanife, wives of sahabah and your close family circle like parents, brother, sister. Because I sent a question to asssim al hakeem that works on huda tv about the level of sin of imagining a nude foreign woman and he replied: Minor sin.

Please don’t confuse this with waswas and insinuations of shaytan. THE ANSWER OF COUNSELOR AISHA WAS: In this counseling answer:
• Often times anxiety and other disorders can cause unwanted and intrusive thoughts which we have no control over.
• Please, write to our “Islamic Scholar” section for a precise answer to your question.
• Seek a counseling assessment for the fears of imagination which you experience.
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As Salam Alaykum brother,
Thank you for writing to us. Congratulations on reverting to Islam. May Allah bless you and make your path easy.
I will keep this short as you requested and try my best to address your question, although I am a bit confused concerning your intentions. Please forgive me. You stated you had the habit of watching pornography in the past, and you deeply fear sins of imagination. You want to know if purposely imagining people, even prophets, nude with no sexual feeling attached is a sin.

For this Islamic matter, I will kindly suggest that you please submit your question to our section “Ask the Scholars”. As I am not an Islamic scholar, I do not want to mislead you nor misinform you with an incorrect category of sin.
Looking at your question from a perspective relating to other things such as imagination and art, it would be more comprehensible. The artist who drew the human form may do as you described. However, imagining a prophet nude for no reason other than you chose to is a bit unsettling. It would also be disturbing if one said they would like to visualize my mother or my child nude -“just because”. This is due in part to the boundaries of sacredness and privacy.
Brother, I kindly suggest that you do contact our “ask the Scholar” section as well as seek an assessment by a therapist for your deep fears of “sinful imagination”.

A:

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. What you are experiencing is not uncommon and is a result of being over fearful of what crosses your mind. While you may have watched pornography before you were a Muslim, you probably also did not experience thoughts like this either. In Arabic these types of images are called khawatir and it is an important obstacle to cross to spirituality improve.

The solution to the voluntary images is to simply ignore them and not to be affected by them as you will notice that the more you punish yourself about them, the more you cannot control them and the more frequent they become. I know the intentionality is hard to explain, as it is a kind of curiosity, but at the same time it is unwanted and the result is certainly unwanted. But there is an irresistibly to it. There is an aspect of it that is intentional, but there is also an aspect which is unintentional and it usually spirals into something that you didn’t start out imagining. It is not kufr. There is no clear scriptural source that i know of that describes the type of intentionality that i have outlined above and so i cannot say if it is a sin or not, but the important thing is to seek an end to the suffering through ignoring the thoughts and not beating yourself up about them. Allah is Merciful and you should rely on that to take you through this rough time. Your seeking to truly improve your situation is a sign of repentance if it is a sin and Allah is aware that some sins are hard to shake. But these thoughts will eventually pass with the method explained and you will be left with a peaceful mind.

May you always be successful.

Regards
Zoheir Ali Ismail