Question: Growing up, my father watching porn created fights between my parents. My mom despised it especially when we would find out. My father asked me to set some things up for the house via the Internet on his phone. In doing so, I saw several disturbing porn pages that were open. This isn’t the first time, I’m just not sure if I should confront my father or tell my mother. I feel bad knowing that he is still hiding such things but I don’t want to create problems, I also feel uncomfortable in confronting him. Please advise on how to handle this situation.
Thank you for your question. It truly is a disturbing thing to see what you have seen, but truly wise and mature of you not to fall into the same unlawful habit. I praise you for this and pray that you can continue on the same path of piety when so much of humanity is hooked on this addiction
Enjoining good and forbidding evil
Islam commands Muslim to enjoin good and forbid evil according to certain criteria, please see them here and act accordingly:
Bring him good company and keep him busy
One of the best things that you can do is to find good company for your father. Introduce him to scholars, influential people, other religious elders, your friend’s parents and invite them over for dhikr, Qur’an recitation, or just dinner.
In addition, try to help keep him busy with good things. Ask him to take you to the mosque, or for some other outing to bond with you. Ask him to spend time in nature with you. Suggest that he take up some form of exercise or better yet, volunteer for charity.
If you confront him
You may or may not choose to confront him, according to the criteria above, but if you do, make it sweet and short. You would be surprised how even one sentence can get someone thinking or shame them into changing their ways.
If he does not change, remember that “no soul bears the burden of another” [Qur’an, 35:18]. He is an adult and must face his own account on the Day of Judgment. Intend to try to help him, respectfully and effectively, but hand the matter over to Allah, for only He can change hearts.
As for your mother, it is not obligatory for you to tell her, but do pray istikhara about it. Sometimes, if a man cannot help himself, his family needs to help him. If you did tell your mother, your intention would be to help him and work with your mother to encourage him to stop and to support him. You shouldn’t tell anyone else.
Please see this excellent advice for your topic as well:
May Allah reward you and help you support your father. Your sincerity and willingness to help will not go unrewarded, by the grace of Allah.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.