I am a teenager addicted to masturbation. I usually commit this sin while watching pornography. I commit this abhorrent, disgusting sin often and as a result, I am ruining my health. I am well aware of this action’s many harms, psychologically, physically and spiritually, but I just cannot free myself of it. Because of this sin, I am distracted from my studies. It seems that I cannot make myself do the correct things like not procrastinating, doing my homework on time and doing my daily Nafl Ibādah (which itself is so little that it takes me no more than five to ten minutes to complete).
I was known for my excellent memory, good looks, piety and academic excellence, but all of these qualities are being ruined because of these filthy sins. I give a persona of a very pious person and I hail from a much respected, scholarly family, but inside I am a big thief and hypocrite.
Please help me. How should I come out of this destructive spiral of masturbating, procrastinating on my homework, staying awake late at night to do it and then missing salāh the next day because right after school I go to sleep? Each action leads to the next. I don’t seem to succeed in forcing myself to do anything good; although I wish that I will accomplish a lot one day and do great work for the Dīn. Please guide me on how I should reform myself.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
As-salāmu alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh
You should not be despondent regarding your condition. In a hadīth, it is narrated that Nabi sallallāhu alaihi wa Sallam said:
«لَوْ أَخْطَأْتُمْ حَتَّى تَبْلُغَ خَطَايَاكُمُ السَّمَاءَ، ثُمَّ تُبْتُمْ، لَتَابَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ»
If you have to commit so much sins that your sins reach the sky, then you turn to Allah Taʿālā in repentance, Allah Taʿālā will turn to you to accept your repentance.
If a person is in a miserable state then he should remember that as long as Allah Taʿālā has blessed him with life, he can change and come closer to Allah Taʿālā.
You have taken the first step to reformation by admitting your weakness and your addiction to masturbation and pornography. You will now have to continue the struggle against your Nafs (base desires) and Shayṭān. You have witnessed the harms of your addiction and realized that you need to urgently make a change. Change comes with a firm intention, concerted effort and the Mercy and Help of Allah Taʿālā.
The next step you should take after recognising that you want to totally rid yourself of your addiction is to tell yourself that you can leave it and that you will leave it with the Divine Help of Allah Taʿālā. You will have to toil hard and suppress your urges and desires to overcome your addiction. If you have a firm resolution to reform and work hard to leave these evil practices, you will not only leave them one day, but hate them.
Take time to sit down and think carefully what causes you to watch pornography and masturbate. Perhaps the main causes are being alone and having private access to the internet. If you want to really change for good, you will have to work on the roots of the problem. Even if it means moving the computer out of your room to a public area in the house then do it to achieve your goal. If you watch pornography on your mobile phone, make sure you leave your phone in another room at night. Make these rules for yourself and be strong in living up to them.
Never remain idle, doing nothing at all. Always be busy. As much as possible, do not remain alone and in privacy. As soon as you fear that being alone in any room is going to cause you to watch pornography, leave the room and go to a place where there are other people or where there is no privacy and engage yourself in ʿIbādat, especially Ṣalāh and Duʿā that the urge is removed from you to watch pornography. An especially important root cause of this disease is not protecting your eyes, as it leads to evil thoughts and harmful desires entering the mind which lands one into watching pornography. Never let the desire of watching pornography come into your heart, and if the thought comes, then ignore it immediately without dwelling on it.
Like these aspects, think of all other aspects that make it easy for you to watch pornography. Make a firm intention to change these aspects and take all that it takes to eliminate them so that you may realise your goal very soon. If you take all necessary steps, you will eventually give up the evil habit of watching pornography and masturbating.
All change comes from Allah Taʿālā alone. Constantly supplicate to Allah Taʿālā to help you overcome your habit. Time and again, repent sincerely for what you have done in the past, and part of a sincere repentance is to make a determination never to return to the evil. Constant repentance will make the sin more grave and serious to you in your heart.
Recite the following Duʿā often, keeping in mind its meaning when reciting it:
اَللَّهُمَّ حَبِّبْ إِلَيْنَا الإِيمَانَ، وَزَيِّنْهُ فِي قُلُوبِنَا، وَكَرِّهْ إِلَيْنَا الْكُفْرَ وَالْفُسُوقَ وَالْعِصْيَانَ، وَاجْعَلْنَا مِنَ الرَّاشِدِينَ
Oh Allāh! Make Īmān beloved to us and beatify it in our hearts, and make disbelief, sinfulness and disobedience detestable to us, and make us from amongst the rightly-guided ones.
You should keep a copy of these advices by you and read them often. It is hoped that by doing so, you will build more courage and remain constant in your effort to reform. You should never give up trying to be a better person.
And Allah Taʿālā Knows Best
Student, Darul Iftaa
Azaadville, South Africa
Checked and Approved by
Mufti Ebrahim Desai