Porn—Kicking the Bad Habit

“If I was given the opportunity to press a delete button that could destroy all the servers of the planet that contained pornographic material, I would crawl on the path of glass and thorns, even if it kills me, to press that button”. (Interview of a porn addict by BBC) 

Imagine yourself lying on a comfortable couch in a dimly lit room. You are all alone, scrolling through a cell phone with your eyes glued to the internet. All of a sudden, some inappropriate content pops up on the screen. For a moment, you feel the urge to tap it and see what comes after the ‘trailer’ you were just baited with. 

Now, take a deep breath and answer yourself honestly: Should I go with the flow or refrain? If you refrained, congratulations! If not, let us warn you that you are in BIG TROUBLE. 

The Porn Industry is a fitnah which is, undoubtedly, at the top of the list today. With a budget of trillions, it is affecting people’s lives worldwide by exploiting the cyclic physiological and hormonal changes every human comes across daily. The root problem is not that we don’t realize porn is a taboo addiction; rather, we don’t consider the source of porn as taboo. 

Statistics show horrible facts. According to the British Board of Film Classification 2020, 51% of 11 to 13-year-olds, 66% of 14 to 15-year-olds and 79% of 16 to 17-year-olds are exposed to pornographic content!

Wait, are you mistaking this to be a ‘Gora Culture’ or elite people’s issue? Well, here’s an eye-opener for you; the alarming statistics on Google searches from 2015 till 2016 show 6 out of the 8 top most ‘porn searching’ countries to be Islamic countries, Pakistan being at the top! And it’s only getting higher with increasingly easier access to the relevant content. 

The results are self-evident; youth with shattered souls, increasing lethargy, declining logic, low willpower, and disturbed relationships eventually face a collapse of spiritual, mental and physical health. And beware that it is not limited to a specific age group or gender.

Have a look around you and at yourself. You will find someone who is either a porn addict or on the verge of becoming one. What can you do in this case? How do you help someone else or even yourself from falling into the pit that Shaitan is continuously pushing you into, just as he did with Adam (AS) and Eve (AS)? As in the case of Adam (AS) and Eve (AS), فَدَلّٰهُما بِغُرور, Shaitan continuously convinces us to commit sins in the disguise of apparent well-wishing.

 His real intention is to make us what he himself is; Iblees, the one who easily loses hope in the Mercy and Beneficence of Allah (SWT). 

So dear brothers and sisters, if one has sinned, they should remember this hadith:

The Prophet (SAW) said, “All the children of Adam are sinners, and the best sinners are those who repent.” [Tirmidhi – 2499]

This is the key and the core; even if you, or someone else, has committed the sin, don’t lose hope. Don’t self-reject yourself, and don’t fall prey to Shaitan. Seek repentance as early as possible. And for those who have been confided in, never judge or hush the confessor. Despair for one’s own self and judgment towards others is of no good. Both of these will make one fall further into the depths of darkness. 

Following are a few pro-tips for a cure and prevention of porn addiction:

1- Accept the Truth: As with every disease, simply a realization of the problem strengthens the willpower of a spiritually affected patient. So, the foremost and first step is to understand that one is in the wrong and that you must get rid of the disease. 

2-Dua and Taqwa: Make lots of dua, not only to seek forgiveness but also for future protection. Concentrate more on your Salah. Try to make your conscience well aware of the fact that Allah (SWT) is All-Aware even when you are alone and anonymous. Keep praying and fearing Allah (SWT), as Yousaf (AS) did because he knew how evil one’s Nafs (self) could be. Allah (SWT) says: “And whoever is mindful of Allah, He will make a way out for them.” [Quran 65:2]

3-Say No to Laziness: The idler you stay, the easier it becomes for Shaitan to overcome you. So, try to engage in physical work like gardening, hiking, exercise etc. Use less screen, more paper, and eat healthy. When you replace a negative dopamine stimulus with a positive one, you’ll have a greater release of oxytocin, something that strengthens your brain (prefrontal cortex). In short, you’ll have more willpower to resist evil. 

4-Good Company: You can’t stay clean in a pool of mud. To help yourself to stay away from bad habits, change your surroundings… and that means your friends, too! Even if you feel it is hard to stay around people better than you in piety, just remember Allah (SWT) ‘s advice in Surah Al-Kahf: “And patiently stick with those who call upon their Lord morning and evening, seeking His pleasure. Do not let your eyes look beyond them, desiring the luxuries of this worldly life. And do not obey those whose hearts We have made heedless of Our remembrance, who follow (only) their desires and whose state is (total) loss.” [Quran 18:28]

5-Set Small Goals: It’s best if you repent and intend to stay away from evil all your life. But remember, to eliminate drug addiction, baby steps are taken toward the arduous task. The same goes for porn addiction. Take every day as a new day, as the revival of your resolution to stay away from porn. 

Remember, you can win this fight! Allah (SWT) says: “If he comes to Me walking, I go to him running” [Sahih Bukhari – 7405]

Take a deep breath and begin with the realization that a change is possible. All it takes is a little effort, some persistence and loads of faith in your Creator. In sha Allah, the advice above will help you in your journey of ridding yourself of a heinous action.

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