23 November 2007

An Affair of the Mind: Giving Up Pornography

By  Abdul Lateef Abdullah

Writer, Counselor - Malaysia


In a question received through Cyber Counselor, a husband said he has a great wife, who is attractive but whom he is not attracted to. Albeit he is a religious man, his addiction to pornography has molded a type of woman other than his attractive wife's. Pornography can quite literally become a god, which connotes shirk.

 Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) told us that those with addictions in this life will be resurrected as idol worshippers. Pornography has become a major problem among the Muslim men. It destroys marriages, families, and the lives of those indulging in it.

On the surface, addiction to pornography appears to be harmless because of ignorance of psychology and of the fact that images — especially those of sex — stay in minds and create a suggestive effect in the human self, stimulating a desire for something that is, of course, illicit. For example, David Morgan (in Marriott, 2003), a clinical consultant, psychologist, and psychoanalyst who counsels men with a history of sexual violence, stated,

The more time you spend in this fantasy world [pornography], the more difficult it  becomes to make the transition to reality.

Pornography has thus created an entire "other" world — a fantasy world — that is so strong and powerful that it can form "whispers" in the mind. These whispers can lead to zina (Arabic for: illegitimate sexual intercourse) and fornication. So much for "harmless" pornography! One can allow that monster to destroy his or her life or to get control of it once and for all.

There is clearly something missing in one's life when assuming that pornography can fill the void that can actually be filled by legitimate intimacy and love. The more one becomes addicted to pornography, the more the void in the heart becomes widened, the void that one tries so hard to fill.

The emptiness increases, the despair widens, and the lack of control over one's life intensifies. One can never fulfill the need for real intimacy and love with porn, when his or her lower self has its way that finally leads to a desire to commit zina.

Temporary sexual gratification through sex is not going to help. A husband who is addicted to pornography lives an illusion that steals him away from his wife. When love of Allah is achieved, all one can feel is love and the void is thus filled. Only then will there never be any need for resorting to vices for a quick–fix solution.

Quick-fix solutions are exactly what drug addicts go after: They seek quick fixes to deal with the void they have inside. Addiction is just a means for covering up the deep pain an addict feels inside. That is what an addict to pornography has to address in the long term if he or she is ever going to really get past this addiction.

One needs to do everything to make pornography inaccessible to him or her in whatever form it takes. One should always remember that Almighty Allah rewards sincerity. Sincerity is a prerequisite for answering prayers. It should be translated into struggle against sin and sacrifice for the sake of virtue.

Think of drug or alcohol addicts who go into rehabilitation. They must first go through a period of detoxification. That is the kind of sacrifice that is required by an addict to overcome such toxins.

We cannot expect Allah to help us change to the better without a sincere commitment from ourselves to do that.

Allah says,

{surely Allah does not change the condition of a people until they (first) change their own condition.} (Ar-Ra`d 13:11)

We have to clean our hearts of pornography idols that keep us away from the real and full life of Islam.




"Prefer Pornography to My Wife." IslamOnline.net. 16 Oct. 2007. Accessed 18 Nov. 2007.

Abdul-Lateef Abdullah is an American convert to Islam. He holds a bachelor's in political science and economics from the University of Delaware, a master's in social work from Columbia University, and recently earned a doctorate from the Institute for Community & Peace Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, in the field of youth studies. He has worked as a Program Assistant for the Academy for Educational Development (Washington, DC); and with the Taqwa Gayong Academy (New Jersey, USA and Penang, Malaysia) for troubled youth, both Muslim and non-Muslim.


Source: http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1195032382585&pagename=Zone-English-Family%2FFYELayout

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