11 practical tips for Muslim youths on how to handle pornography

The pornography industry- a multimillion dollar investment- is one of Shaytan’s greatest weapons today. It’s also one of the greatest challenges that Muslims, (particularly Muslim youths) face because of its negative effects manifested physically, mentally and spiritually. Undoubtedly, it is rather a difficult task for one to avoid pornography while it is found everywhere. However, Islam provides guidelines and solutions for every test; depending on how sincerely we wish to change our bad ways. Here are some ideas;

1.Admit that it is a sin

It is very important that you understand what is halal (permissible) and what is haram (sinful). There is absolutely no doubt that pornography is haram. Knowing that, and admitting that, is a start.

2.Repent and Quit today

When you know that what you are doing is sinful, then you must waste no time but to repent. Remember that Allah is watching you, and you are not guaranteed tomorrow. That is why repentance must never be procrastinated.

“Indeed Allah loves those who repent and purify themselves.” [Quran 2:222]

3.Engage in Voluntary fasting

Fasting was prescribed by the Prophet (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him) as a means to decrease sexual urges. The hadith narrates that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said:

“O young men, whoever among you can afford it, let him get married, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and guarding one’s chastity. And whoever cannot afford it should fast, for it will be a shield for him.”

4.Engage in more voluntary prayers

Salat (prayers) is the strongest bond a Muslim can have to Allah. It is a direct communication between the Creator and us. Salat helps to purify a person, and make them more focused. Allah says in the Quran:

“……indeed prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and remembrance of Allah is greater……” Surah 29:45.

5.Keep yourself busy with productive activities

Watching pornography is a total waste of time. Use your time more wisely. Keep yourself busy with other halal activities such as

  • sports, physical exercise, reading (both Islamic and non-Islamic books);
  • school activities that do not involve immorality like debate club;
  • join an Islamic association and be very active; go to the masjid (mosque) more often and meet more Muslims.;
  • You should also keep yourself busy around the house by helping your parents with chores, running errands, visiting your relatives, helping your siblings with homework, taking them to school or playing with them;
  • Join a Quran recitation class and learn the Quran. If you can’t join a class, get a sheikh who will be teaching you the Quran at least twice every week.

6.Beware who your friends are

It is a common saying that “Show me your friend and I’ll tell you who you are”. The Prophet (pbuh) also advised us to keep good friends because “a man follows the religion of his friend”. When a person is trying to be a better Muslim, the advisable thing is to change your group if they are not going to be a positive force. Although it is sometimes difficult to change our friends, you can start with little steps. For instance, get up and leave whenever your friends start talking about immodest thins or watching immorality. Just leave. You can also try talking to them about the effects and perhaps you can make them change too. Don’t try to impress your friends by sinning against Allah. Remember that one day all of you will die and you will be in separate graves.

7.Tie your sins to a voluntary act of worship

The idea behind this is to do more good deeds every time you commit a sin. For instance, depending on the gravity of your sin, do an equally big good deed like giving charity. Of course, this has to be in addition to the obligatory pillars. That means you cannot decide to wake up for Fajr salat because you watched a bad video last night. Waking up for Fajr prayers is compulsory so that does not count. Make a self-promise that the next time you watch a pornographic video, you will give out 50-dollar charity. Keeping in mind that you could become broke can help you stay away from the bad habit.

“Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). That is a reminder for the mindful (those who accept advice).” [Quran 11:114]

8.Know your triggers

Most addictive things we engage in have a trigger factor- the thing that makes you want to do that bad thing again and again. For some, just watching a movie with a kissing scene makes them want to watch a pornographic video. Know your trigger. That way, you can avoid it and decrease the chances of committing this sin.

9.Learn to lower your gaze

Allah has commanded us- both men and women to lower our gaze and guard our modesty. The beginning of evil deeds is looking. If you truly want to fight the urge to watch pornography, learn to lower your eyes. It takes practice but trust me the moment you get used to it, it would become instinctive. Start today. Whenever girls or ladies pass, don’t stare. Whenever you see an immoral billboard, lower your eyes and keep walking. Whenever something haram comes up on the TV screen, change it immediately. “Fake it till you make it”.

10.Replace music audios with Islamic audios

Music is haram, that’s a fact. It also encourages immorality and arouses sexual urges. It is therefore important in the fight against immorality to throw away your music videos and audios and surround yourself with Quranic recitations, islamic lectures by prominent scholars and Islamic videos. There are so many of these online and they are life changers. All you have to do is go online and type something like ‘Anwar’s lectures about death’, or ‘Islamic videos about heaven’. Choose whatever topic you are interested in and you will see the difference in sha Allah. The trick is, instead of the usual music tracks you listen to on your way to school, you now listen to audios about Allah.

11.Never give up hope

No matter how many times you have sinned, and no matter how great the sin, always remember that Allah’s mercy is greater. Do not ever give up hope. Repent again and again- as many times as you sin, repent. Allah says in Surah 39 verse 53:

“Say: O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (because of sins), do not despair from the mercy of Allah. Verily, Allah forgives all sins. Verily, He is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

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