Dealing with a porn addiction

Tumblr question:

How can I deal with porn addiction?

The short answer is that if you do sufficient worship and Quran-reading so that the afterlife feels more important than the present life, or as important, then giving up any sin becomes the easiest thing in the world. Your problem is not porn, but the fact that your heart is not sufficiently soft, humble and submissive to God. This is the problem that needs to be fixed, and the fixing of it is through dedicating at least an hour of every day to voluntary worship, whether it is through reading the Quran, or praying extra prayers, or sitting after every obligatory prayer in supplication.

Once you continue on this path for a few days, your heart will soften and become submissive, and your awareness of God’s nearness will increase, and your eagerness to seek to serve Him through good deeds will increase as well, so that you enter a state where sins become unthinkable.

Always ask yourself how important the afterlife feels to you. If it feels faraway and unimportant, you have failed at keeping God’s remembrance alive in your heart, and this is what you must work to fix. You know you have reached the necessary state of piety when your record of deeds feels like a real object to you. You think about adding good deeds to it, and worry about the sins recorded on it, so that you continuously ask for forgiveness, since you can never be sure if God has forgiven all of your sins.

Once the afterlife feels so real that it is not just an intellectual idea, but something that causes emotions in you (thinking of Paradise makes you feel excited with joy and longing, and thinking of the Hellfire causes you fear), then you know that you have finally managed to balance the present life with the afterlife.

Being addicted to any sin can only come about when one is attached to the present life, when the afterlife is nothing but a faraway idea, rather than a real, living and breathing thing that is only a heartbeat away. This is the disease that needs to be cured, and curing it will cure all sins, not just a particular sin.

Therefore do everything you can to cause the afterlife to feel real in your heart. Read the Quran, supplicate to God, and continue praying, until your heart submits.

And repeat that every day. This is nothing something that you can accomplish and leave its trophy on your shelf. Faith is something that needs to be continuously recharged, every day of your life. You must work every single day to keep the afterlife real in your heart. Every morning will be a new day in which the afterlife will fade from your heart, and you must exert daily effort to recreate its reality. Without this, no matter what short-term success you achieve in avoiding sins, you will always fall back into it.


God will not burden you with more than you can bear. If you cannot stop it, then make up for it by asking for forgiveness, reading Quran, and praying tahajjud.

Always remember this verse of the Quran: “We have not placed any hardship for you in (this) religion.” (22:78).

There are no clear texts (Quran or hadith) that deal directly with watching porn. This is a matter of conscience between you and God. God is a kind and understanding master, and He knows you better than yourself. If you cannot stop, then continue returning to Him in repentance, He will see your sincerity and your efforts, and that is what matters.

Watching porn is less of a sin than backbiting (gossiping about people), yet hundreds of millions of Muslims, especially women, engage in backbiting all the time. So know that you aren’t any worse than them.

In ten years, when your hormones have calmed down, you will find it much easier to resist this sin.

People’s reactions to my answer, and my counter reactions

I literally am unfollowing you just for the way you answered this ask. “Especially women. Know that you’re no worse than them” wow……. 

I’ve lived 27 years in this world and know that backbiting is ten times worse among women than men. I imagine if I said a porn addiction is much more of a problem among men than women you wouldn’t complain :), but both of these are statistics. “No worse than them” meant no worse than all the Muslims who engage in backbiting, including men and women.

I know in the modern culture of what I call fashionable nonsense, calling attention to statistics that reflect negatively on a protected minority (women, racial minorities, etc.) is a big no-no. Personally, I think the truth is preferable to lies, and if there is a statistic that reflects negatively on women, and another statistic that reflects negatively on men, I have no qualms about admitting both.

As a Muslim, I will never, ever deny a truth just to keep up with fashions and political correctness. My allegiance is to the truth, not fashion.

What the?? It completely sounds like you’re belittling the sin and desensitising people to how horrendous it is! It’s like you’re saying “don’t worry about murdering people, did you know that killing someone is less of a sin than taking out bank loans with interest? One day you’ll learn to control your rage and it won’t be an issue for you.” I’m sorry but that’s definitely not the advice to give to someone who sincerely desires to stop. It’s almost like you’re encouraging it.

I disagree. I encourage people to deal with these matters as a matter of conscience, between themselves and God, to read the Quran, and to seek a solution instead of wallowing in guilt and despair. It is a fact that controlling one’s sex drive becomes much easier after the age of 30, there is no shame in admitting this.

One more thing you’re assuming that the person sending you that p*rn ask is a man?? I’m a woman who used to suffer from that anon’s same problem btw! Let’s see how you respond to this 🙂

You are right, I shouldn’t have assumed they are male.

Then doesn’t that mean that your whole argument about men’s sex drive is invalid??

No, it just shifts the time bracket. For men, the most challenging time is their teens and early twenties. For women, it is their mid-thirties. However, female libido is quite lower than male libido, so the most challenging time point for women is actually the same point on the graph when libido becomes manageable for males, meaning that the majority of women will never experience the immense pull that porn has on men:

From: http://geniusbeauty.com

To the anon suffering from p*rn addiction : use a website blocker extension from google&block the websites (or search words) to stop yourself from accessing it(set a long password that you’re not likely to remember then delete the document with that password or ask someone to set it for u)also avoid spending time on your own+stop using earphones&try to find a hobby to keep yourself busy+ make lots of duaa&Thikr whenever you get the urge to watch- it’s hard but making duaa for you- Hang in there

I have been receiving questions about porn addiction for the past 10 years. I have read the opinions of many respected scholars, I have read stories of many people suffering from the problem, I have even gone so far as to read a book on curing it: The Porn Trap.

And what I’ve learned is that that type of common sense advice rarely, if ever, does sufferers any good. It doesn’t matter that it makes sense, what matters is that once it is applied by a real-life sufferer, it doesn’t work.

The solution is to keep one’s faith as best as one can, continue seeking a solution until God gives them one (which could be very different for different people), instead of despairing. And all the while acknowledging that biology plays a key role in this issue. There are almost no 60-year-old Muslim men suffering from a porn addiction, because the sex drive becomes easily manageable for most men after the age of 30. This is a very important fact and it must be integrated into any solution idea we come up with.

Same anon as before this time Im addressing op : I think you handled the ask very badly, it’s a good thing to remind someone of Allah’s mercy and that it’s never too late to repent but you shouldn’t belittle watching p*rn- it’s a HUGE sin not to mention how harmful the p*rn culture& industry and supporting it is, also you’re not the one who decides which sin is worse than other and you’re in no position to judge or compare genders’ sinning in that matter. I must say I’m disappointed, man.

Shaykh Yasir Qadhi says watching porn is a minor sin, and I agree with him. Saying watching porn is less of a sin than backbiting is not belittling it, it is putting it in proper perspective.

Making a huge deal of porn will neither solve the problem nor help sufferers who are doing everything they can to avoid it.

To a Muslim, all sins are great, because they are all betrayals of God’s trust and respect for us. Knowing this is sufficient to make any fair-minded, open-hearted Muslim seek to avoid porn as best as they can.

I have every right to speak my opinion on this matter, and if you know better, you are free to present your evidence.

Islam is not a bureaucratic religion like many people think, where scholars form a priesthood that decides and thinks for everyone else. I can read the texts myself and make up my own mind. That’s Islam for me.

I will never, ever let another person do my thinking for me if I can help it. All authorities, scholars and texts must be questioned to ensure that logic, fairness and truth are respected and that no one gets more power than they need to do their job in serving the community.

 

One thought on “Dealing with a porn addiction

  1. Anonymous

    Well said. As an orthodox Buddhist, I agree with 95% of what you wrote including your other article of keeping men and women separate in a worship service / temple.

    Reply

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