I am addicted to watching porn on the net. I know it's wrong but can't stop myself. What can I do to overcome my porn addiction?
Answer by Shaykh Salim Ghisa
This unfortunately has become a big problem intoday’s society. The simple reason is that the Haram is simply too easily accessible.
The reason why Islam promotes a segregated society where men and women are adequately covered and separated, is so that there is as least temptation as possible. However, due to the usage of the Internet and some of the vulgar contents available this barrier has come down. There are many effective measures one can take to ensure that they are protected from this sort of Haram activity.
Understanding the consequences of watching Haram
As Muslims we should be aware that watching something that is Haram means that the eyes have committed fornication and we will have to answer for this in front of Allah. The Prophet of Allah (pbuh) has warned of the consequences where he saw that men and women on the Day of Judgement had hot iron rods poked into their eyes. The reason for this was the non-permissible gaze and vulgar obscenities viewed intentionally by the eyes. (Hadith in detail in Al Mishkat). Therefore one must be aware of the consequences for their actions.
However, whilst all this is understandable a person watching porn will find it very difficult to control their desires when prompted by Shaitaan. This is why some practical measures have to be put in place.
Taking preventative measures
Firstly, one should if possible move the PC into an area where others can see you access the Internet. This will prevent viewing websites which could not be seen in the public domain. I had a person with a similar problem who then moved his PC in to the main sitting room where the rest of his family were also using the room. This stopped him from accessing Haram sites as he knew he could be seen.
The other measure is to put parental control on your Internet access and even better get someone from the family to set up parental control so that you do not know the password. You do not need to explain why you want them to do it just state that any person could use your PC and you were concerned that it may be used wrongly. This will stop you getting access to porn sites.
Actively finding the root cause of porn addiction
Also, the underlying trend here is a lack of sexual fulfilment. This is common both in married and unmarried people. Therefore, if you are unmarried, to stop you from accessing porn you should either get married or fast during the day to weaken your desires. This was the advice given by the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) when he was asked about young men who could not control their desires. If the person is married then he needs to share his thoughts and desires with his partner so that all his fulfilments can be obtained the Halal way.
Finally, one must always remember that they should always actively repent to Allah for their wrong actions. Allah is of course the most forgiving and Merciful. The Prophet of Allah (pbuh) has said that when a person commits a sin and repents truly with the intention of not committing that sin again then Allah will forgive them as if they had never committed that sin. If they repent but then actively keep on going back to that sin then it is as if they have played a joke with Allah.
One should, when having the desire to commit Haram perform ablution and pray two cycles of voluntary prayer(nafl) as this will act as a barrier from them and Shaitaan. Allah has stated in the Hadith in Bukhari that ‘when a servant of mine prays voluntary prayers (after fulfilling his fardh prayers) then he will continue to draw closer to me until I become the hand that he strikes with, the eye that he sees with, the foot that he walks with, etc...' Insha Allah this will be a way of succeeding against Shaitaan. There are also other ways of controlling one’s desires through prayer like praying specific verses of the Quran before going to sleep.
May Allah protect us all from the evil acts of Shaitaan.
Of course Allah knows best