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10 TIPS TO OVERCOME THE HABIT OF WATCHING PORNOGRAPHY.

Pornography consumption is not something that can easily be stopped. Once the appetite for it has developed, it actually increases. In his 1988 study Pornography Effects: Empirical and Clinical Evidence, Victor Cline, then with the University of Utah's Department of Psycho1logy noted that studies show pornography is progressive and addictive for many. It often leads to the user acting out his fantasy - often on children.

For those who have been trained from a young age to lower their gaze and practice Islamic principles of modesty, this may not even be an issue.

But for those who have sadly fallen into pornography addiction, there is a way out.
1. Decide to Quit Pornography

The first step of any significant endeavor starts with a genuine decision to undertake it. This step can’t be taken on your behalf for you. It’s only you who can make it. And it’s only you who can let people know of it. Letting them know doesn’t require you to tell them. They will see that through the changes they’ll observe in you, later on, inshā Allah.

The decision to quit requires an honest intention taken and contracted between yourself and you. It also requires an action taken to demonstrate and translate that decision. For instance, when one decides to quit watching pornography, then, the expectation will be that he won’t search for porn materials, neither online nor offline. This means, when he turns to it, then he has nullified his intention to quit. And when he coincides with it (accidentally), he turns away and gives it his back.

2. Tell Allah You’ve Decided to Quit Pornography and Be Honest

Allah knows all we do, no doubt. However, when we decide to seriously engage in works that invite His pleasure, we need to confess and admit to our wrongdoings before Him. This confession supports us to seek His guidance, and hence, to repent, seek forgiveness and show steadfastness in our future records.

Confession is not to free one’ self from the sense of guilt, and then consider the sinful acts as norms and acceptable. Confession is to acknowledge to Allah His Highness, and our need for Him.

By confessing to Allah and seeking guidance and repentance from Him, we’re starting a new chapter with Him. We want our new chapter to be full of inspirations, and productivity in a way that will entitle us to His closeness, and ultimate pleasure.

3. Repent Sincerely.

A sincere repenting heart will always take you closer to Allah and away from all evil. A sincere repentance will make you among the righteous and will turn your bad deeds into good deeds.

In a ḥadīth reported by Imām al-Bukhārī and Muslim, from the narration of Sayyidinā Abī Sa‘īd al-Khudrī, raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu, the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

“There was a man from among a nation before you who killed 99 people and then asked about the most learned person on the earth. He was directed to a monk. He came to him and told him that he had killed 99 people and asked him if there was any chance for his repentance to be accepted. The monk replied in the negative and the man killed him also, completing 100.

He then asked about the most learned man on the earth. He was directed to a scholar. He told him that he had killed 100 people and asked him if there was any chance for his repentance to be accepted. The scholar gave him a positive reply and asked, ‘Who stands between you and repentance? Go to such and such land; there (you will find) people devoted to prayer and worship of Allah, join them in worship, and do not come back to your land because it is an evil place.’

So he went away and hardly had he covered half the distance when death overtook him, and there was a dispute between the angels of mercy and the angels of torment. The angels of mercy pleaded, ‘This man has come with a repenting heart to Allah,’ and the angels of punishment argued, ‘He never did a virtuous deed in his life.’ Then there appeared another angel in the form of a human being and the contending angels agreed to make him arbiter between them. He said, ‘Measure the distance between the two lands. He will be considered belonging to the land to which he is nearer.’ They measured and found him closer to the land (land of piety) where he intended to go, and so the angels of mercy collected his soul.”

The above ḥadīth teaches us the significance and the power of repentance. It further teaches us the importance of seeking beneficial knowledge.

4. Surround yourself with the Good company.

The company you keep matters. The people who are in your life and how much you let them influence you matters. If your friends and people around you encourage evil, leave them. Surround yourself with the ones that will remind you of Allah. 

5. Dissociate yourself from things that encourages Pornography.

In today's world, many things promote and encourage pornography. Watch out before you read a new book, or watch a new movie. We would suggest that you review four things in your life: the movies you watch, the music you listen to, the reading materials you obtain and the friends you make. When you can’t change or move to a righteous environment, you should ensure to transform your household into a righteous one. By upholding the correct belief, instilling strong morals and values in oneself and inculcating them in your family members and friends.

6. Pray your salah on time and with great attention.

Unfortunately, most of us don't even pray our daily salah regularly, and if one does, he/she rush through it without reflecting what one was doing. It is highly recommended to correct ones salah in order to be among the righteous and push away Satan.

7. Pray Qiyam-al-layl.

The Prophet once said about ‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Umar raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhumā, that “he’s a righteous person, only if does Qiyāmullayl.” Start doing Qiyāmullayl, and it will earn you righteousness. It will earn you purity. It will earn you happiness and excitement. It will earn your satisfaction. It will keep you away, far from pornography.

Qiyāmullayl keeps you awake during the daytime and makes you conscious of righteousness. It then makes you productive. You may feel sleepy sometimes, but you’ll certainly be productive, nonetheless.

8. Consider fasting voluntary fasts.

In addition to being an act of worship, fasting weakens the evil in you, son of Adam. It further grants you discipline and consistency. Additionally, it sparks God-fearing in you. Not only that you feel for the less fortunate and the weak and become merciful, you realize your own weakness and state of mortality, which was first created from a scope of clay. Fasting voluntarily outside Ramaḍān is learned from the Sunnah of the Prophet, ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It includes fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, fasting on the 13th, 14th and 15th of every lunar month, fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’, fasting on the day of ‘Arafah. There is also another voluntary fasting. You may want to ask your local Imām about them.

Also, if the Devils are chained during Ramadan because it’s Ramadan and because of most Muslims fast, our individual Devils are weakened (if not chained) when we fast outside Ramaḍān. Give it a try.

9. Engage Yourself in Productive Activities.

By productive activities we mean, going for sports and to different places with family. Spend some time with them. spend some of your time to learn about your religion. Learn about good and bad (halal and haram) in Islam. That’s the only way you’ll know your Lord better, know your purpose of existence and then appreciate yourself as a Muslim.

Another thing you can do to be a productive individual is to care for your family. Entertain your parents. Do all you can to see them smile and bless you. Once they bless (happy with) you, you become a truly blessed (by Allah). Cheer up your co-workers. If you’re employed, start thinking of going the extra mile with your key performance indicator (KPI). This is not for promotion, though. It’s for whom you are; Muslim. Allah’s reward is the best and fairer. So, discrimination at the workplace shouldn’t cause you to work less productive.

Join voluntary groups and help poor and needy.

10. Moisten Your Tongue with Dhikr.

By right, every single deed of the Muslim is linked to dhikr. I’m sure you’re aware of this. We make dhikr when we first open our eyes from sleep (supposedly). We make dhikr when we are about to rest and also wash (entering the restroom), and we do dhikr when we are done. We also make dhikr when eating, drinking, and going in and out of the house. Our whole prayer (ṣalāh) is full of dhikr. The Muslim’s life is dhikr, and that qualifies him to fulfill the purpose of his existence on the earth.

Some forms of remembrance (dhikr) which you and I can moisten our tongues (and soften our hearts) with are the following:

Astaghfirullāh

“I seek forgiveness from Allah.”

SubḥānAllāhi wa biḥamdih… SubḥānAllāh al-Adhīm

“High, glorified and praised is Allah… High and glorified is Allah, the Great.” Lā ḥaula wa lā quwwata illā billāh

“[We have] no ability nor power, except with Allah.” Ḥasbunā Allāhu wa ni‘ma al-wakīl

“Allah is sufficient for us. And the best trustee is He.” Lā ilāha illā Allāh

“No god [deserves to be worshiped] but Allah.” Allāhumma ṣalli ‘alā [Sayyidinā] Muḥammad

“Oh Allah… Send praises and blessings to [our Master] Muhammad.”

Rabbi ighfir lī wa liwālidayya, wa irḥamhumā kamā rabbayānī ṣaghīran “My Lord… Forgive me and my parents, as they raise me up from childhood.”

Allāhumma innī as’aluka al-hudā wa al-tuqā wa al-‘afāf wa al-ghinā “O Allah, I seek from You guidance, piety, chastity and wealth.”

My Allah help us all.

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