Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, SunniPath Academy Teacher
I have a pornography problem. I am 16 years old and when I am finished pleasing myself I often feel guilty and disgusted by myself and what I become at times for those couple of minutes. And now I have noticed that I am viewing gay porn instead. I know everything that I am doing is wrong and completely forbidden. I have started to stop myself but it is hard. I mean I don't want to continue this habit of masturbating and watching porn, or even the factor of me being gay to come into play. I have been going to the mosque regularly and I have tried to increase my iman. I feel when I enter the mosque that I am secured and away from all things bad.
In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful
I pray this message reaches you in good health and spirits.
My teachers caution against looking at images, even those which may be permissible, simply because of the effect they can have on one's heart, and the way they can be a door to the unlawful. It's amazing (and sad) how seemingly innocent web surfing can deteriorate into time wasting, which, in turn can degenerate into the haram.
Here are some tips, which may or may not be helpful. Ultimately, Allah Most High is the only one who can assist you in subduing the lower self, which calls you to these sinful things. So please seek Allah's guidance. Implore Him to give you an exit from these unlawful habits.
1. Once the door of pornography is opened, it is very hard to close. You will have to be firm with yourself, even unyielding, if you want to put an end to this habit. Shut the door to temptation by getting rid of your computer. This may sound drastic, but it is helpful to put this instrument out of your life, until such time you can use it for the good of your soul. If you can't get rid of it, at the very least change out your hard drive and memory.
2. Look at how and when you use your computer and drastically change these habits. If you get online in private, then, from now on, only use the computer when others are around. If you look at these things at night, then refrain from turning the computer on altogether during these hours.
3. By looking at porn, you are willingly putting yourself in a situation in which you will consistently feel temporary, yet completely false, gratification. The problem with this type of "instant" gratification is that it leaves you empty, broken, guilty, and self-loathing. Why put yourself through this? True gratification only comes when you enjoy sexual activity through lawful means, that is, with a spouse. Anything else simply harms your heart and soul.
Finally, and most importantly, you must take steps toward sincere repentance. Sincere repentance consists of :
1. Turning away from the sin
2. Feeling remorse
3. Resolving to never go back
4. Changing one's environment so that the temptation is removed
Please avail yourself of the beautiful literature on repentance. There are many Qur'anic verses and Prophetic traditions on repentance. Allah Most High, says, "Say: "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah. for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.Turn ye to our Lord (in repentance) and bow to His (Will), before the Penalty comes on you: after that ye shall not be helped" (Az-Zumar, 39:53-54).
And the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, "Allah the Mighty and Majestic accepts the repentance of His servant as long as long as his death-rattle has not begun" [At-Tirmidhi, Riyad al-Salihin]
Cultivate good habits, and Allah willing, these will replace the bad ones. Establish a connection with the Book of Allah by reading it and reflecting on it daily. Contemplate the noble example of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and the biographies of his companions, Allah be pleased with them, to see how you can implement these life lessons.
And, find good Muslim friends. This is of huge importance in fortifying yourself against temptation.
May Allah Ta'ala make things easy for you.
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