In a religious context, sin is an act of transgression against divine law. In Islamic ethics, Muslims see sin as anything that goes against the commands of Allah (God).
As you are born into a Muslim family, you are indeed a Muslim, even though you have not practised prayer, or fasting or anything else. Your identity is Islam, and you believed in Almighty God and His Messenger.
By you repenting to Almighty God for your shortcomings, and turning to practicing Islam, your sins will be forgiven and indeed wiped away.
Of course, you will need to put extra effort in realising how important it is for you to practice your faith, and change certain things that you might have been accustomed to. You will soon see the fruits of faith and your spiritual side will excel. All this must be based on a good strong foundation, by educating yourself about the precepts of Islam. Study the fundamentals of your religion, and learn the best you can from reliable sources. This will further strengthen your faith and you will do things out of absolute conviction.
With prayers for your success.
What you were told is not always correct. Allah's forgiveness is much greater than our imagination. Sincere repentance and seeking forgiveness can omit the sins totally as Allah says ( Verily, Allah forgives all the sins)(Sura 39, Verse 53). More than forgiveness, Allah changes the sins of very sincere believers who repent, believe and do good in to good deeds (Sura al-Furqan, verse 70).
Thank you for your question. Sins are like something which has a beautiful appearance but are bad for you. Like an enemy who smiles only to slit your throat. A lie to convince you until it's too late. The way to deal with them is to not fall for it and to not be taken the fool. A man who buys flowers to take a woman innocence. A woman who is after your wallet. A person who buys something at a high price is happy until they realise they have been ripped off. When you realise you have been ripped off all that happiness fades and turns into anger. So too with sinning a person gives up so much and keeps making the same mistake as they don't realise what they have done. Don't sin because it is below you. Sinning is for fools that haven't understood the game.
Those temporary pleasures that are not sins should be enjoyed as part of life within the bounds of wisdom.
May you always be successful
Thank you for your question. Just keep trying and don't lose hope in the day in which you will overcome these relapses. Some sins are sticky. They may be habitual or you may not have truly realised the damage that they are causing. If you keep trying you will succeed eventually. Learn to disparage your sins, to see them as stemming from ignorance and understand that their pleasure stops you from having a healthy soul and fulfilling your potential as a human. Sins are like poison that take time to get rid of, and every new sin is a new dose and more time lost.
May you always be successful
Ghinaa غناء which can be translated in English as singing, is Haraam (not permissible). Whatever is understood by people as Ghinaa is not permissible whether it is suitable for sinful gatherings or not.
Any type of Ghinaa is not permissible.
Full list of sinful acts needs a book which is out of the space of this website. There are already many books published in this regard which you can refer to. Nevertheless, the main criterion in getting our Salah and other worship accepted is piousness تقوى as Allah (SWT) said in Sura 5, Verse 27: Allah only accepts from the pious إنما يتقبل الله من المتقين.
Being pious means avoiding any deliberate sinful act in our personal, family, social, financial social, etc life. It is not difficult for a Muslim with basic knowledge to know what are the sinful acts, then to try his best to avoid it. It will definitely need strong will power and continuous hard word to get rid of the sinful habits, but after all, it is worth putting every possible effort to purify ourselves from sinful acts.
Narrated Hadeeth Qudsi states that Allah says: I only accept Salah from the believer who is humble in front of My Greatness,
and did not feel big on my creatures because his Salah,
and who does not insist on sinful acts,
and who passes his day in remembering Me,
and who has sympathy on the poor and wayfarer and widow,
and who has mercy on the sufferer.
His light then will be like the light of the sun.
I will look after him by My Honor,
and My angles will protect him,
and I will grant him light from the darkness ,
and peaceful mind from ignorance ,
and he will be amongst my servants in the high Paradise.
Reading such things might harm in the long term as it leaves on you unconscious part of your mind harmful effects. Doctors and specialised advisors have already published many scientific books in this subjects. Publishing personal sexual experience might be not approved by scientist as it can based on certain circumstances which are not existing with every one who seeks advice, and might also encourage some persons to intimate it and some might fall in wrong.
I advise you to avoid it.
Ethically, intentions behind a marriage can be a grey area. Shari'ah itself does not specify what emotions one has to have to conduct a shari'ah marriage contract.
However, what you are saying is often a bad idea.
First, it might have repercussions on your own life. If you don't wish to be with this person, you will be putting your life on hold for their sake. You might end up developing feelings for this person but they do not develop reciprocal feelings, and this causes hurt. This is quite common, especially if you are sacrificing for them (and hence investing your life in them) and if there is a shari'ah bond.
It is not uncommon for the man in this situation to have another wife or woman in another country or on the side who is waiting for him to get the residency, and who he plans to dump the visa-wife for after he gets the residency. This, in the end, can cause the woman to feel betrayed or hurt, even if it is already known.
If it ends up being a sham marriage (that is, you don't actually cohabit), that can cause legal problems or imprisonment in some places, and there is the shari'ah sin of lying on paperwork, etc.
If it isn't a sham marriage, what if you end up with children, financial entanglements, or other things?
Ask yourself, would this person do the same for you? That is, would they put their life, and any other relationships, on hold for you so that you could get residency somewhere? If the answer is no, definitely rethink it.
Often, these situations are associated with secondary sins, such as lying, fraud, or deception, and those are a shari'ah problem and a sin. (Further sins might be - assuming that you do a shari'ah marriage - looking for another partner while you are married, neglecting your spouse, and that sort of thing, since a shari'ah marriage does bring on some ethical responsibility.)
If you have an interest in getting married and settling down, and especially if you are in a younger age bracket, it is better to focus on finding a spouse that you want to be with, since the Islamic ideal is that one gets married and is settled; this should be the priority. If this person really cares about you, they will agree that your future and well-being is more important than theirs.
It is good that you want to help this person and it would be better to find other ways to try to help them, such as pointing them to a good lawyer, or even helping them find someone to marry in a real marriage for their residency.
It's good to choose friends who we want to be like and who we think are good influence on ourselves. We become like the people who we spend time with.
If you feel your friends are bad influences on you, you should not spend time with them. It doesn't mean that you have to hate them, you can still wish well for them and pray for their well-being from a distance.
The human being is like a piece of clay being molded, we are affected by those who are around us who subconsciously mold us into what we are, so if we don't like what we are being molded into, it is good to choose other people to spend time around as much as we can!
In Islam, severing ties with family and kin is haram and considered a major sin. As for a friend, there are many necessary requirements and conditions for a believer to take someone else as a friend.
Friendship and Islamic brotherhood is extremely important, and we have many narrations that give us the guidelines of how selective we need to be with those who we associate with. We should be social, but never at the cost of exposing oneself to a morally polluted environment.
As humans, we are easily influenced by our surroundings, as strong as we may be, and therefore we must always be cautious about who we mix with. Someone who is careless about what they say and uses foul language, or backbites, or lies, is certainly not the kind of person you should consider as a friend or associate with.
Islamically, it is haram to be in the same gathering with someone who backbites, and you should stay away from such people. Of course, at first you should try to give advice and encourage them to be observant of what they say, but if that fails, then distance yourself.
And Allah knows best.
Going against the guidance of proper Istekhara is not Haraam but harmful in this life.
Istekhara should not be repeated unless the situation of the matter has changed.
It is better to conceal your sins and repent. You may however mention the sin in a form of a question or give an example without indicating that you yourself did the sin.
May Allah grant you success