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Overcoming Masturbation and Pornography Addictions

Advice on how to overcome addiction to masturbation

About this addiction

On a physiological level the mind becomes easily addicted to the epinephrine (Adrenaline) and serotonin that is released during sexual arousal and orgasm that it is as addictive as heroine. With each act the addiction becomes stronger and stronger until masturbation is not only as a means of satisfying sexual curiosity, but also as an out let for other emotions such as boredom, anxiety, fear and loneliness.       This is when it can totally take over your life since it becomes your first line of defense in alleviating negative emotions. It's important to realize that the strong craving that you have, like many other physiological impulses, are shaped like a bell curve. You need to learn to ride out the craving because it is not going to last forever. If you wait long enough the craving will go away and you will gain control over your impulses. This is easier said than done, but with enough persistence & positive conditioning it is possible.[i]

Steps in overcoming masturbation addiction

Be assured that you can be cured of your difficulty. Many have been, both male and female. You can also be cured if you determine that it must be so. If you want to give it up, you need will power and determination. Rasulullah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] said, ‘The Niyyat of a believer is better than the act.’

This determination is the first step. That is where we begin. Firstly, you must decide that you will end this practice and when you make that decision, the problem will be greatly reduced at once. But it must be more than a hope or a wish more than knowing that it is good for you. You must realize that this is a great evil and you have to want to give it up.

It must actually be a decision. If you truly make up your mind that you will be cured, then you will have the strength to resist any tendencies which you may have and any temptations which may come to you. Ask Allah to help you and give you strength and steadfastness to succeed.

After you have made this decision then observe the following specific guidelines.

1. First step is to realize that you are violating Allah’s command and you are bringing upon yourself lifelong destruction and harm.

2. Never touch the intimate parts of your body unnecessarily.

3. Avoid being alone as much as possible. Find good company and stay in this good company. Remember, an idle mind is the devil’s (Shaytaan) workshop.

4. If you are associated with other persons having this same problem, you must break off their friendship. Never associate with other people having the same weakness. Don’t suppose that both of you will quit together, you never will. You must get away from people of that kind. Just to be in their presence will keep your problem foremost in your mind.

The problem must be taken out of your mind for that is where it really exists. Your mind must be on other and more wholesome things. It is mentioned in a Hadith that a person is upon the way of his friend. (Bukhari, Tirmizi)

5. When you bath, do so as quickly as possible.

6. When in bed, if that is where you have your problem for the most part, dress yourself for the night so securely that you cannot easily touch your vital parts so that it would be difficult and time consuming for you to remove those clothes. By the time you started to remove protective clothing, you would have sufficiently controlled your thinking and the temptation would leave you. If the temptation seems overpowering while you are in bed, engage in something useful. The purpose behind this suggestion is that you focus your mind on something else. You are the subject of your thoughts, so to speak.

7. Never look at pornographic material.

8. The attitude of the individual has an effect on how easy it is to overcome. It is essential that a firm commitment be made to control this habit. The person must first realize the evil of this act. Secondly he must understand the reason for this behavior.

After these 2 steps, the individual needs to become sensitive to the situations and conditions which may cause a person to commit this vile act. Hence a person must guard himself from anything, which may trigger a desire for this act. By following these steps, a person gains the ability to gain victory from this act, hence the power to control this filthy practice is developed. Remember you need also a bit of will-power.[ii]

ADVICES

1. Make dua daily; seek help from Allah, this will strengthen you against temptation.

2. Follow a program of vigorous daily exercises. The exercise reduces emotional tension and depression and is absolutely basic to the solution to this problem. Double your physical activity when you feel stress increasing.

3. When the temptation to masturbate is strong, turn your thoughts away from the selfish need to indulge.

4. Set goals of abstinence. Begin with a day, then a week, a month, a year and finally commit to never doing it again. Till you don’t commit yourself, to never indulging yourself in this vile act, you’ll always be open to temptation.

6. Begin to work daily on a self-improvement program. Strive to enhance your strengths and talents.

7. Be aware of situations that depress you or that cause you to feel lonely, bored, frustrated or discouraged, as these emotional states can trigger the desire to masturbate as a way of escape. Plan in advance to counter these low periods through various activities, such as reading a book, visiting a friend, doing something athletic, etc.

8. Start frequenting the Masjid. Make it a daily practice to recite part of the Quran. Find out about authentic books which you can read from your local Alim.

9. Make a pocket calendar for a month on a small card. Carry it with you. Color the day on which you masturbate black. The calendar becomes a strong visual reminder of self-control and should be looked at when you are tempted to add another black day. Keep your calendar up until you have at least three clear months.

10. A careful study will indicate you have had the problem at certain times and under certain conditions.

Try and recall in detail what your particular times and conditions were. Now that you understand how it happens, plan to break the pattern through counter activities.

11. In the field of psychotherapy, there is a very effective technique called aversion therapy. When we associate or think of something very distasteful with something which has been pleasurable, but undesirable, the distasteful thought and feeling will begin to cancel out that which was pleasurable. If you associate something very distasteful with your loss of self-control, it will help you to stop the act. For example, if you are tempted to masturbate, think of having to bathe in a tub of worms, and eat several of them as you do the act.

17. Do not let yourself return to any past habit or attitude patterns which were part of your problem. Shaytaan never gives up. Keep a positive mental attitude and always stay on guard. You can win this fight! The joy and strength you will feel when you do, will give your whole life a radiant and spiritual glow of satisfaction and fulfillment.[iii]

18. Put a content filter on your computer with a complicated override password that you have to look up (or have your friend set the password) and have the history of your searches sent to a trusted, respected friend who can support you through accountability (this will encourage you to not).

19. Keep your computer or phone in a shared space (no privacy).

20. Most importantly, ask Allah to strengthen you, and make it easy for you to overcome this addiction.

Know that regardless of the mistakes you make the door of repentance is always open and Allah is all Forgiving. The fact that you are striving to improve yourself is admirable and Allah not only sees your struggle but rewards you each time you control your impulses. Think the best of Allah and be sure that He would not seal your heart when you are striving to be better. Strengthen your bond with Allah by praying and asking Him to remove this addiction and help you to overcome your weakness. I pray that you can keep your new commitment to Allah knowing that He will not abandon you just because you get weak from time to time.[iv]

Imam Ash-Shafi`i said, “If you don’t occupy your mind with good works, your carnal self will make you busy in bad deeds!”

Make your mind and tongue busy with dhikr (remembrance of Allah). Say the following words and others frequently:

Subhan Allah; al-hamdu lillah; laa ilaha illa Allah; Allahu akbar; Wa laa hawla wala quwwata illa billah. Astaghfir Allaha al-azhim min kulli dhanbin wa atubu ilaihi.

(Glory be to Allah; praise be to Allah; there is no god but Allah; Allah is Greatest. There is no power or strength except by the will of Allah. I ask forgiveness of Allah from all my sins and repent to Him.)

 

Prayer for overcoming porno addiction – Mufti Menk

Advice for Masturbation Addiction

Does Masturbation invalidate a fast?

No doubt masturbation is haram according to most of the scholars, as Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said. If this happened in Ramadan, this is worse, and if there was ejaculation of sperm because of the masturbation, the violation of the sanctity of the fast is even more severe in sin. From the time the maniy (semen) is ejaculated, the fast is broken, but the person should still fast for the rest of that day. It is not permissible for him to stop fasting, because of the sanctity of the month. You have to repent for breaking your fast by deliberately ejaculating, and you also have to repent for not keeping the fast for the rest of the day and for violating the sanctity of the fast by doing something else that broke the fast, namely eating food. You also have to fast one day to make up for breaking your fast. Increase the number of good deeds (hasanaat) you do and observe naafil (supererogatory) fasts, for good deeds (hasanaat) cancel out bad deeds (sayi’aat). And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.[v]

 

Website Designed for Muslims Struggling with Porn Addiction

PurifyYourGaze is a website designed for Muslims that are struggling with pornography. 

Islamic Online University Webinar on Porn Addiction

You can watch it here (previously recorded)

Imam Nick Pelletier gives advice for those addicted to porn, and advises wives of men with this problem

Why is masturbation a sin?

Masturbation (for both men and women) is haram (forbidden) in Islam based on the following evidence:

It is clearly stated that the Shari'a orders a Muslim to leave all desires, and that it is a thing that will lead one astray and my be the cause of their Punishments on the day of judgement. Masturbation is a sexual desire that is not approved according to Shari'a, and this is in the consensus opinion of amongst the Scholars from the four Imams up to the contemporary Scholars of our times. Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid said, 'Masturbation (for both men and women) is haraam (forbidden) in Islam based on the following evidence:

First from the Qur’aan:

Imam Shafi’i stated that masturbation is forbidden based on the following verses from the Qur’aan (interpretation of the meaning):

"And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts). Except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, - for them, they are free from blame. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors." 23.5-7 Here, the verses are clear in forbidding all illegal sexual acts (including masturbation) except for the wives or that their right hand possess. And whoever seeks beyond that is the transgressor.

"And let those who find not the financial means for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah enriches them of His bounty." 24.33. This verse also clearly orders whoever does not have the financial means to marry to keep himself chaste and be patient in facing temptations (including masturbation) until Allah enriches them of His bounty.

Secondly, from the sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him):

Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood said, "We were with the Prophet while we were young and had no wealth whatsoever. So Allaah’s Messenger said, "O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power." (Bukhari 5066)

The hadeeth orders men who are not able to marry to fast despite the hardship encountered in doing so, and not to masturbate despite the ease with which it can be done.' vi

Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah was asked about masturbation and he replied: With regard to masturbation, the basic ruling is that it is haraam according to the majority of scholars, and the one who does it should be given a ta’zeer punishment, but it is not like zina. And Allaah knows best. (Al-Fataawa al-Kubra, 3/439.)

In the Fatwas of Permanent Committee, it was stated;

The preponderant of scholar's views about masturbation commonly referred to as "Secret Habit" is that it is an unlawful sexual activity. The majority of religious scholars held this view based on the generality of the saying of Allah (Exalted be He), And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts) Except from their wives or (the slaves) that their right hands possess, - for then, they are free from blame; But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors; Allah (Exalted be He) praises those who fulfill their sexual desire with their wives or slave girls and considers those who fulfill their sexual desire elsewhere as transgressors who leave what Allah made lawful for them to commit unlawful sexual activities including masturbation. It has many harmful effects and bad consequences such as exhaustion of power and impotence. The Islamic Shari`ah protects man against anything that may cause harm to his religion, body, mind, money or honor. (Fatwa: 1376 Part 22 Page 55-56)

But some fuqaha’ allow masturbation if a person fears for his religious commitment or physical well being, under the heading of committing the lesser of two evils. Imam Ahmad has two opinions: one that it is permissible according to necessity (Fitnah); and the other that it is haram, because he can resolve to fasting instead.  (Al-Mowsou'a Al-Fiqhe 4/98)

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about a man whose desire overwhelms him and he masturbates, and he knows that this may be dealt with by fasting but it is too difficult for him. He replied: “With regard to water (semen) that is emitted involuntarily, there is no sin on him for that, but he has to do ghusl if the water came out gushing. As for making it happen by choice, by means of masturbation, this is haraam according to most scholars, and it is one of the two opinions narrated from Ahmad; rather it is the stronger of the two. According to one report, it is makrooh, but if he is compelled to do it, such as if he is afraid of committing zina or becoming ill if he does not masturbate, then in this case there are two well-known scholarly opinions. In this case, several of the earlier and later (scholars) granted a concession allowing it, but others forbade it. And Allah knows best.” (al-Fataawa al-Kubra, 1/302)

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “The one who masturbates unnecessarily should be given a disciplinary punishment.” “Unnecessarily” means without having any need for that. Needs are of two types: spiritual and physical. As for spiritual needs, they are when a person fears that he may fall into zina, such as if he is in a country where it is easy to commit zina, so we say: If his desire becomes too strong, he will either extinguish it with this action (masturbation) or he will go to a place where he can find prostitutes and commit zina. So in this case we say to him: This is a legitimate need, because the principle in sharee‘ah is to ward off the greater of two evils with the lesser. This is in accordance with sound reasoning. If this person must fulfil his desire, in one way or the other, then in that case we say to him: This action is permissible because it is a case of necessity. With regard to physical needs, if a person fears physical harm if this accumulated semen is not expelled, because in some people, if their desire becomes strong and this accumulated semen is not expelled, then they may develop psychological problems and hate to mix with people or sit with them… So if he fears that he may be harmed, then it is permissible for him to do this action, because it is a physical need. If it is not necessary but he does it, he should be given a disciplinary punishment, i.e., a punishment that will serve as a deterrent.” (al-Sharh al-Mumti‘, 14/318)[vi]

Bearing in mind that the meaning of it being 'permissible according to necessity' is not an excuse for one to resolve to masturbation if they can’t control their desires, but rather the Scholars gave examples such as if a man was in-front of a woman and about to fornicate, instead of choosing to sleep with her he resolved to masturbation, or one was about to go to a prostitute and instead resolves to masturbation.

 


[i] Muslimmatters

[ii] Islamcan

[iii] Islamcan

[iv] Muslimmatters

[v] Islamqa

[vi] Islamqa

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