Porn – the silent sin. The habit that has consumed your soul but you can’t seem to find your way out of it.
The reality is that many Muslims, males and females, watch porn. Even when they know that it is a sin, even when they strive to fulfil all their obligations as Muslims. Somehow in this internet age, porn has become that one vice that even religious people sometimes struggle to break free from.
Is Pornography a Sin?
Many people try to justify their addiction to porn. You sometimes hear statements like “but, I am not having intercourse with them, I am just watching”. Or they hold on to some belief that different schools of thought in the Shari’ah hold different opinions about the permissibility of pornography.
The first thing that a Muslim who sincerely wants to break free from porn needs to know is that watching pornography is a sin in Islam. You may not be participating in this unlawful act, but you are watching people commit fornication and adultery, both of which are sins.
“And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.” (Qur’an 7:32)
The major reason why a lot of people watch porn is to get a sexual release from watching other people perform this act. And we know that the only permissible way that Muslims can satisfy their sexual urges is with their lawfully wedded spouse. So, without a doubt, any other means of deliberately satisfying your sexual urge, including porn, is forbidden in Islam.
How to Break Free from Watching Porn
Like I said earlier, many Muslims watch porn. Also, many would like to break free from this addiction but don’t know how to.
I happened to have had a conversation with a Muslim, who by the will of Allah (ta’ala) has been able to overcome this addiction, and I share these tips that will in sha’a Allah help you or anyone you know to stop watching pornography.
1). Seek Forgiveness and Repent
“Every son of Adam sins, and the best of the sinners are the repentant.” (Jami at-Tirmidhi)
Like every other sin committed by a Muslim, the first thing to do to break free from porn addiction is to sincerely repent to Allah (ta’ala). You can’t skip this step. You can’t quit watching porn without first asking your Rabb for forgiveness from this sin.
Repenting sincerely from watching porn is a way to tell Allah (ta’ala) that you acknowledge that this is a sin, you are sorry, you crave His forgiveness, and that you hope to never go back to this evil act again.
Another benefit of repenting from this sin is that it also shows that you are ready for Allah (ta’ala) to help you. Remember that He has said that He will not change the condition of people except they change what is in them.
So, for Him to turn your heart away from porn addiction, you need to sincerely repent and make a promise to walk away from your addiction.
2). Do Good Deeds
“Have taqwa (fear) of Allah wherever you may be, and follow up a bad deed with a good deed which will wipe it out”. (Hadith Nawawi)
Following a bad deed with a good deed is a means of purifying ourselves. The good deed wipes out the bad deed as if you never committed it, and this helps you feel even better about the past that you are trying to leave behind.
But taking up more good deeds as you try to break free of pornography addiction also has another benefit. It turns your heart from that is which unlawful, to that which is lawful and rewarding.
Imagine that a person who used to spend their spare time watching porn started hanging out at their local masjid. They volunteered to clean the masjid or supervise the children’s area while adults have a halaqah session. The more time this person spends at the masjid, the less time they spend on the internet and the more their heart becomes attached to the masjid and their faith, in sha’a Allah.
So, a good step towards breaking free of porn is to take up good deeds that redirect your love heart towards that which is good for you.
3). Seek More Islamic Knowledge
This is an interesting tip from the person that I spoke with. According to them, the desire to really break free from porn addiction started when they started seeking more Islamic knowledge. They enrolled in a course to learn Arabic and started memorizing the holy Qur’an.
The more you know about your faith, the closer you seek to get to your creator, and the easier it becomes for you to rein in destructive desires.
Yes, there are people knowledgeable in the deen but still fall prey to porn addiction, but the difference between you and them will be sincerity.
A person who seeks knowledge for the sake of Allah (ta’ala) finds the knowledge more beneficial for their soul.
Try to commit yourself to memorizing the Qur’an and revising the chapters that you have memorized so that your time, heart and energy is consumed by the words of Allah (ta’ala) instead of porn.
4). Get Married
For many Muslims addicted to pornography, the answer to breaking free lies in simply getting married. But these days, we place so many restrictions on ourselves for marriage, that at the end of the day, we fall prey to that which is haram.
While it is a good idea to have a source of income before starting a family or to finish your education, whatever your reasons may be, it is better to get married early than to sink into porn addiction.
If you have the basic resources (according to the standard of living in your area), you really should just get married and engage in lawful sexual intercourse, instead of getting addicted to porn.
As a Muslim, you don’t need all the fancy schmancy destination weddings to get married. Remember that all you need is a good Muslim, their guardian (for females), Mahr and witnesses.
5). Put Efforts in Your Marriage
Another interesting reality of porn is the number of married people who engage in the act. When asked, many of them claim dissatisfaction with marital intimacy as a reason for turning to pornography.
If you have a problem, you cannot solve it by ignoring it and creating another problem. If your spouse does not satisfy you like you want, turning to porn does not solve your problem. Rather, it leads you to sin while still leaving your marital issues unresolved.
Many married people that are addicted to porn can break free of this addiction by simply focusing on their spouse. Help them to understand what they are doing wrong in terms of intimacy and what you want them to do better.
Be patient with them and help them become that person that fulfils your desires in a halal manner. Because this is better for you both in this life and in the hereafter.
6). Make Dhikr a Lot
A heart that is attached to Allah (ta’ala) finds it difficult to engage in sinful acts. Like doing good deeds and gaining Islamic knowledge, dhikr moves your heart closer to your Rabb.
The more you say “Subhan Allah wa Bihamdihi” several times in a day, the more your heart focuses only on your faith, and if Allah wills, this will make sins like porn addiction less appealing to you.
Right now, it may be fun and sexually satisfying to continue to be addicted to porn, but think of the long term. Think of the guilt that follows, and the shame you would feel if anyone you love finds out.
Think of Allah (ta’ala) watching you do this and the angels recording this act. Think of how happy you would be to have this addiction erased from your book of deeds and begin your journey towards breaking free of pornography addiction.