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Confessing Porn Addiction to Family

Ustadh Salman Younas is asked about the permissibility of sharing a history of porn consumption with family members and whether it is advisable.

 

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I am asking if it is permissible to share with my family that I have had a eleven year struggle with pornography? After I finish or see my results from neurofeedback I plan to share my problem with my family. I feel that I have done the best I can do from my knowledge to abstain from the haram. What was missing was that I told no one what was going on with me. There was one hadith that says to hide your sins but I find no explicit or implicit support for this from the Qur’an. I began reading Imam al-Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din and am slowly trying to perfect my conduct. What steps should I take to share this problem or break this mental plateau I have spiritually?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

The basis is that one does not reveal one’s sins to others.

This is based on clear prophetic traditions, such as “All my community will be excused except those who commit sins openly. Committing them openly includes a man who does something shameful at night and when morning comes tells someone that they did such-and-such, while Allah had concealed it for them. They slept under the cover of Allah, and they removed Allah’s covering from themselves in the morning.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

However, this rule has exceptions. Imam Nawawi said, “There is no harm in telling about a sin to one’s shaykh or another person who may be expected to teach one how to desist from the act or refrain from similar acts, or apprise one of the causes that led to it, or pray for one.” (Adhkar)

Given this, it would be permitted for you to tell your family members if they are people who you expect advice from, who may assist you in fighting your addiction to pornography and keep an eye out for you.

You should not, however, publicize your sins merely for the sake of telling people. Rather, you should identify those who may help you in your struggle and then inform them of your problems to the extent that is required for them to address your problem effectively.

Salman

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


 

Telling Future Wife about Pornography Addiction

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil advises on pornography addiction and honesty towards one’s spouse.

I have been struggling with a pornography addiction for a few years now and it’s something that has taken a toll on me, I would be able to go for periods of five weeks without problems and then I’ll return to this horrendous habit.

The problems return during times of stress. Every time it spiritually drags me down. I have a good idea of the root problems of this addiction and how I can control it, it is just easier said than done. I am currently looking for a spouse, would this be something I would have to mention to my future wife?

Jazakum Allah khayr.

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

Honesty about pornography

Dear questioner, my sincere advice is for you to be honest about your pornography addiction to your future wife. The right wife for you would welcome your honesty, and be your supporter in your journey towards healing. We all all wounded in some way, and our spouses help us along our healing journeys.

It is normal to feel ashamed. It is courageous to admit that you need support.

Please let me share something from someone who was honest with his future wife about his own pornography addiction:

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

Marriage is a blessing, but life in this dunya is stressful. There is no escape from stress, and relapses are part and parcel of your healing. Imagine how even more stressed and ashamed you would feel, if you hid this from your wife.

I encourage you to prepare for marriage through this course Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.

Commit to healing

Please commit to a path of healing, and start with Purify Your Gaze. This is an excellent resource for you.

Allah’s Forgiveness

Anas, Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon him be blessings and peace, said, “Allah, the Exalted, has said: ‘O son of Adam, I forgive you as long as you pray to Me and hope for My forgiveness, whatever sins you have committed. O son of ‘Adam, I do not care if your sins reach the height of the heaven, then you ask for my forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of ‘Adam, if you come to Me with an earth load of sins, and meet Me associating nothing to Me, I would match it with an earthload of forgiveness.’” (Tirmidhi)

Never, ever, ever lose hope in the mercy of Allah. Perhaps Allah is testing you with this because through overcoming your addiction, you can attain closeness to Allah. And nothing in this dunya can compete with that sweetness.

I pray this has been helpful. May Allah grant you healing and the gift of a loving wife who can be your helpmate to Jannah.

Please see A Reader on Pornography and Masturbation and A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah.

Raidah

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

I Am a Young Woman Addicted to Pornography. What Should I Do?

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.

Can I Divorce My Husband Who Is Addicted to Porn?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I am pregnant with my first child. Can I divorce my husband who has a long standing problem with porn addiction?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

May Allah guide and protect you.

The viewing of pornography is impermissible and a serious crime. The reality however is that we living in an era where pornography is wide spread, such that the majority of young men and women would be exposed to it before reaching the age of 18. As devastating a practice this may be, it would not independently suffice for you to have your marriage annulled.

It’s important for both you and your husband to understand that pornography is an addiction similar to that of drug or alcohol abuse. In all these instances, the addict needs help and in most instances cannot recover by him or herself. My advice to you would be to sit down with your husband and search for societies that are able to assist him with this problem. If you are unable to allocate societies in your community, there are a number of online options. See for example purifyyourgaze. Read also this answer.

Finally, have patience and pray for your husband. May Allah grant us all steadfastness on the path of righteousness.

And Allah knows best
Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Can I Check My Husband’s Phone for Pornography?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

Can I check my husband’s phone for pornography, with the intention of confronting him with proofs, so that he will get help?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Spying

Abu Hurairah reported the Messenger of Allah (May peace be upon him) as saying: “Avoid suspicion for suspicion is the most lying form of talk. Do not be inquisitive about one another, or spy on one another.” [Sunan Abi Dawud]

Dear sister, it is not permissible for you to check for pornography on your husband’s phone. Confronting him with proof may not bring about the outcome you desire.

Pornography

Your intentions are good, and I pray that Allah rewards you for that. Combine your good intentions with what Allah has made permissible. Speak frankly to your husband, and say that you want to help him overcome his pornography addiction. Even if he denies it, repeat that you are there for him.

Purify Your Gaze is an excellent resource for your husband. Please encourage him to reach out to them. If he is unwilling, then I suggest that you contact them, and ask for help.

Recovery from pornography and sex addiction is a journey that begins with repentance. Make your home one that is conducive to his repentance. Treat him with excellent character.

Prayer

I encourage you perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night. Allah alone is the Turner of hearts. Never underestimate the power of dua.

I pray that Allah heals your husband and your marriage.

Please see:

How do I Stop my Husband from Watching Pornography and Masturbating?
A Reader on Pornography and Masturbation

Wassalam,

[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.

I Am Addicted to Pornography. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I was exposed to pornography at the age of 10 and am still addicted at the age of 17. This has greatly affected me, and I do not know how to stop. What do I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for seeking out a solution.

Addiction

I am sorry that you were exposed to pornography at such a young age. This great calamity is affecting more and more of our children. May Allah protect and heal our ummah, and preserve the innocence of our children.

Please seek out help at Purify Your Gaze. This is a safe space for Muslims like yourself who are struggling with pornography addiction. Don’t ever lose hope in the Mercy of Allah. Have absolute trust Allah can grant you a complete healing.

May Allah bless your recovery, and make you a means of support for others who are also struggling on this path of healing.

Please see:

Reader on Pornography
A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

Wassalam,

[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.

I Am Addicted to Pornography. How Do I Stop?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I stumbled upon pornography a few years ago, and keep trying to stop but I keep falling back into this sin. What can I do to resolve this?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah grant you a complete healing, and may He reward you for seeking help.

Pornography

Dear sister, you are struggling with an addiction, so please reach out for support. Purify Your Gaze is an excellent resource for Muslims who struggle with pornography and sex addiction. You are not alone, and I pray that Allah sends you the help that you need to recover.

Holistic healing

Please ensure that your food and income are halal, protect your obligatory prayers and fasts, keep good company, and do your best to give in regular charity. Please keep connected to the study and practice of sacred knowledge through classes on SeekersHub, or in your locality. Keep making a sincere repentance, and trust that Allah can grant you a complete healing.

Please see:

A Reader on Pornography and Masturbation
A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

Wassalam,
[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.

I Repeatedly Watch Pornography and Now Have an Incurable Disease. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I used to watch pornography, repent, and do it again. I made dua for Allah to help me, and I ended up having an incurable condition in my private parts. I fear that Allah is angry with me, and that I will never be cured. What can I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Recovery

Please refer to this invaluable website: Purify Your Gaze. You are not alone, and this program will help connect you to others on your road to recovery.

Mercy

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “Allah created a hundred mercies, and He placed one mercy among his creation, they show mercy to one another by it, and there are ninety-nine mercies with Allah.” [Tirmidhi]

For as long as you are alive, the doors of repentance are open for you. Allah knows how much you are suffering, and He is there for you. Please bear with this tribulation with patience.

Treatment

Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira: The Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” [Bukhari]

Please see a doctor, psychologist and nutritionist and seek out a holistic program to help in your recovery. When Allah afflicts you with a condition, see it as a means of expiation, and a way for you to draw closer to Him.

Please nourish yourself spiritually with regular prayer, fasting, charity, dhikr, Quranic recitation.

I pray that Allah grants you healing, patience, and success in this life and the next.

Please see:

A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)
A Reader on Pornography and Masturbation

Wassalam,
[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.

I Have Watched Pornography Many Times. Will Allah Forgive Me?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I am so ashamed because I have watched pornography many times, even though I have tried to stop. Will Allah forgive me?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

Addiction

Dear questioner, it sounds like you are a struggling with a pornography addiction. This is a serious challenge, and you need to do everything you can to overcome it. Please perform the Prayer of Need and ask Allah for help.

Please commit to a path of healing, and start with Purify Your Gaze. This is an excellent resource for Muslims like yourself who struggle with sexual addictions.

Forgiveness

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “Allah, the Exalted, has said: ‘O son of Adam, I forgive you as long as you pray to Me and hope for My forgiveness, whatever sins you have committed. O son of ‘Adam, I do not care if your sins reach the height of the heaven, then you ask for my forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of ‘Adam, if you come to Me with an earth load of sins, and meet Me associating nothing to Me, I would match it with an earthload of forgiveness.”‘ [Tirmidhi]

Never lose hope in the mercy of Allah. Take the steps you need to repent, and make good on your Islam. Through Allah’s help, anything is possible. I pray that Allah heals you and brings you closer to Him.

Please see:

[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 through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.

Porn Is Big Business and Muslims Are Becoming Customers – Ustadh Amjad Tarsin

Porn is big business and Muslims are far from immune to it. Ustadh Amjad Tarsin, Muslim Chaplain at the University of Toronto and teacher at SeekersHub Toronto, spends ten minutes reflecting on how he helps young people deal with it.

Resources for seekers

Cover photo by Johan Larsson. Our thanks to Quran Speaks for making this video available.

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