Q&A: Advice to Overcome Porn Addiction

Question

Dear Sheikh! Our young people (may Allah grant them guidance) sometimes abuse the Internet by browsing the porn websites wasting time and effort and even disobeying Allah. What is your advice to those teenagers and others?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear questioner! Thank you for this question, which reflects a true desire to get knowledge about Islam and its guidance that leads to happiness and peace of mind.

In the first place, it is to be noted that logging in and browsing pornographic sites is forbidden because a Muslim is always commanded to lower his/her gaze, let alone give a loose rein to his/her hungry eye to look at the private parts of others. More importantly, such acts cause psychological and social injury. Besides, many people in general, and teenagers in particular, waste their lives and times doing things which Allah forbade them to do. A Muslim is always commanded to spend his time in useful things, cherish what benefits him in the present, plan for his coming days, and always make the reward of the Hereafter his/her top priority.

The prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Ahmad ibn Hamad Al-Khalili, the Grand Mufti of Oman states the following:

First of all, my advice to those young people is that they should fear Almighty Allah regarding their life and youthfulness. They are to bear in mind that they will be reckoned for these two and will be questioned what they have done with them. The Hadith says: “The feet of a son of Adam will not be removed (meaning he will be standing for reckoning until he is asked about the following five), unless he is questioned about five things: his life and how he has spent it, his youth time and how he managed it, his wealth from where and how it has been spent, and his actions how close or far they are from his knowledge.”

Man will be questioned about his life since it is the greatest Divine gift. Those, however, waste their life browsing these porn sites and thus spoil the greatest Divine blessing given to them, namely life. Man is granted this life not to spend it in quest for lusts and desires of the flesh, but to utilize it for the life of eternity, the Hereafter. In that eternal life everything is blessed, no poverty is there, no sickness, no senility. That eternal life is only for those who lead this life in straightness, uprightness and conformity with the laws of Allah.

Let those young people, then, fear Allah regarding their youth. Youth is not a time for play or whimsical actions; rather, it is the time for fruitful work and action, ambition and perfection.

The youth have always been the indicator of progress or decline of every nation or people. The more they stick to the dictates of virtue and uprightness, the greater their nation will become. The more they fall in the den of vice, the lower their nation will go. Thus, we have the necessity for right and moral upbringing of the youth.

I advise all those young people to consider the value of their lives and stop wasting it in trivialities. They should bear in mind that death may overtake them all of a sudden. All people are like prisoners in a cell waiting for their execution. No one knows when, but they should prepare themselves for it. Almighty Allah says: “Every soul shall taste death.” (Al `Imran: 185)”

The following working steps to fight porn addiction are for all, no matter their age:

Step One: Admit that you can’t give up.

Admit that you are unable to get a grip on your consumption of pornography. It is uncontrollable. Every time you turn on the internet, go to the video store, turn on the television, you cannot say NO to yourself. You cannot NOT surf porn sites, or stop watching. You are no longer in control of your life.

Step Two: Admit that only Allah can get you out of this.

You know, after trying through so many ways to control your addiction and subsequently failing, that only Allah can help you out of this. You may have known it before, but you are convinced of it now without a shadow of a doubt.

Step Three: Your life and death are all in Allah’s control.

Decide to put your complete trust in Allah, Who is in control of all aspects of your life and your death, and to bring this problem to Him and seek His help first and foremost.

Step Four: Do a self-analysis.

Do an honest, sincere, but often painful self-evaluation of your good points, bad points, and analyze your addiction, trying to understand how you reached this point.

Step Five: Make a specific repentance to Allah.

Admit to Allah and to yourself and to another trusted Muslim (if possible) exactly where you went wrong. Do not make a general request for repentance. Specifically list your mistakes and, in particular, your addiction to pornography.

Step Six: Be open and ready to receive Allah’s help to change.

You know your sincere repentance must be followed by action. Be ready to do what is necessary to change, no matter how difficult or painful, even if it means not even watching television for the news or never surfing the Internet alone.

Step Seven: Ask for the removal of faults.

Ask Allah with sincerity, humility and regret to help you never repeat this action (looking at pornography) again and to help you avoid repeating sins committed in the past.

Step Eight: Do a nightly self-evaluation.

Every night do an honest self-evaluation of your behavior and be ready to admit your mistakes and thank Allah for the good you did that day.

Step Nine: Make lots of du`a’ (supplication) and try to increase your taqwa (fear of Allah).

Continue to pray five times a day, seeking closeness to Allah. Seek to be consciousness of Him wherever you are. Increase your reliance on Him to help you with this addiction to pornography and with all other matters in your life.

Step Ten: Preach and practice.

Don’t just “move on” after Allah has blessed you to get out of this addiction. Help others you know with this problem through regular contact and sincere advice, respecting the etiquette of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. By the grace of Allah, helping others will help you maintain control over your addiction, and you will help another Muslim or another human being to get out of this destruction and misery.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.soundvision.com

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