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IslamQA: Dealing with a Muslim father and husband who watches pornography

Assalamualaykum. May Allah bless you and your family for your efforts to help this ummah, aameeen. I want to ask your advice about my dad who secretly watched porn videos on his phone. Me and the whole family, especially my mom, were devastated. We thought he already made a توبة, but this morning my mom found out apparently he was still looking for those bad videos. He is religious actually:( what am I suppose to do?

Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,

I’m very sorry to read that. His watching pornography is not a very major sin although I know it can be a great shock when you initially find out someone does that. I believe the best way to deal with the situation is to understand that he is probably as eager as you are to give it up, but due to the extreme ease of accessing pornography on his phone, he may not have the willpower to avoid it when the desire hits him.

You and the rest of your family should be on his side, wanting to help him as much as possible to avoid it. Maybe make him give up his phone and get him a very basic phone that doesn’t have web browsing. You could also make him install a parental controls and tracking app, such as FamilyTime, which will track the websites he visits. Maybe if he knows he can’t do it secretly then he will be forced to give that up.

When a man is sexually aroused his higher brain functions and his will power become weakened so that it becomes very easy for him to convince himself that what he is doing is harmless. The best long-term way, as far as I’m aware, to avoid pornography is for him read the Quran for an hour every day. That makes it second nature to avoid all sinful habits without actually needing any will power.

So as far as I’m aware the best way to deal with the situation is for all of you to show him that you still love him and that you want to support him become a better person. Do not try to shame him and make him feel bad, that may only backfire.

You could also send him my essay The Philosophy of Pornography and Masturbation. Maybe if he understands why pornography is “wrong”, he will be more able to avoid it. I don’t use religious reasoning in the essay, it’s all based on Western philosophy.

Best wishes inshaAllah.

And God knows best.

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