Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I feel so guilty because I am addicted to pornography and masturbation. I repented over and over again but keep falling back into sin. I wear proper hijab and I have been willing to get married ever since I found out about my problem, but unfortunately I haven’t found anyone. After the first year, I realized I have an addiction and I have been able to stop for a month and then I would do it again for a few days and stop for another month. This cycle is still going. What should I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Perspective

“And Allah wants to lighten for you [your difficulties]; and mankind was created weak.” [Qur’an, 4:28]

Dear sister, please know that no matter how much you fall into sin, the door of repentance is always open to you. Allah knows how much you struggle, and none of this is wasted.

You are not alone in struggling with pornography addiction. We live in troubling times, and pornography is a very common trial in our community.

I pray that your journey in healing will bring you closer to Allah.

Addiction

I asked a recovering pornography addict for advice on your situation. I pray that this helps:

My advice to her is that Allah is teaching her how to surrender herself completely to Him. As an addict, her addiction is often overpowering, and it can only be overcome by surrendering to Allah completely. For example, when thoughts to act out come to her, she should realise that she has not control over these thoughts and must surrender to Allah at that moment. She must have the determination and patience to transform her life into one of complete surrender to Him. This requires guidance which she can find via addiction programs like Purify Your Gaze. She will relapse many times but she shouldn’t focus on it. She should focus on discovering herself and the underlying causes that drive her addiction. It is a difficult road but her addiction would be a blessing in disguise if it is a means for her to know herself and thus know her Lord.

Spiritual Nourishment

You have described many praiseworthy acts of drawing closer to Allah. MashaAllah, please persist on them. I encourage you to listen to SeekersHub’s podcasts and enrol in our courses.

Marriage

Please perform the Prayer of Need and sincerely ask Allah for the gift of a righteous spouse, as a means of helping you along your road of recovery.

Please note that marriage is not an instant fix for your addiction. Having that expectation is unfair on your future spouse.

I encourage honesty with your future spouse in terms of your addiction, just as I would encourage honesty for someone who struggles with mental illness, debt, difficult parents, or anything else that would impact on one’s marriage. The right person for you will admire your honesty and courage. Consider that a litmus test.

Prepare for marriage by enrolling in Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages and reading Before You Tie The Knot. Speak to your parents about what you’d like in a spouse – Prepare, Before Your Marriage Goes Belly-Up.

May Allah guide you along your journey towards healing.

Please see:

A Reader on Pornography and Masturbation
Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered

[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)