“Too Embarrassed to Talk About It”: Pornography Addiction and Some of Its Effects on Muslim Marital Life

Pornography addiction is a rapidly growing condition affecting thousands across the world. The addiction has grown tremendously alongside advances in internet speeds and usability that make more accessible the internet’s reportedly 4.2 million pornographic websites.[1] At any given second there are estimated to be over 28,000 people worldwide viewing online pornography, and a growing number of families (in some surveys nearly 50 percent) are reporting that pornography is a problem in their home.[2] Among the many ill effects of pornography addiction are those that bring strain to marital relationships, and these effects are not absent from the American Muslim community as well. To respond, American Muslims need to better understand the nature of this addiction and develop creative ways to prevent addiction and help those affected.

THE GROWING PROBLEM

Over the last decade, pornography has played a staggering role in the breakup of marriages (with most recent American statistics suggesting a dramatic increase in pornography’s role in divorces).[3] The American Muslim community has not been immune to these startling trends. Muslims scholars have reported an increasing number of inquiries related to pornography use and related ailments; several even informing me that they receive more questions on this topic than any other. A simple search through some of the more popular Islamic websites providing answer services confirms this.[4]

Muslim legal scholars on these sites and others agree to the impermissibility of viewing pornography; often citing the Qur’anic verses,

[Prophet], tell believing men to lower their eyes and guard their private parts: that is purer for them. God is well aware of all that you do. And tell believing women that they should lower their eyes, [and] guard their private parts… Believers, all of you, turn to God so that you may prosper. [5]

To those who fall into this sin, Muslim scholars often encourage to make a sincere repentance; including a firm resolve never to commit the act again. This is, of course, a sufficient response to the sinful aspect of the action, however it leaves much still to be addressed regarding the psychological and sexual damage such acts, if repeated, may bring into a present or future marriage.

An overexposure to pornography has been a contributing factor for many Americans—including those from the Muslim community—in their forming of serious mental health problems, so it is important to address this issue as soon as possible and not allow prolonged use to cause more damage.[6]

UNDERSTANDING THE ADDICTION

Pornography addiction may develop when it is used to manage difficult feelings, stress and underlying emotional conflicts in one’s life.[7] If an individual has become reliant on pornography as a means to cope with stress and anxiety, they are already exhibiting high-risk behavior.[8] Misuse of pornography (and masturbation) as a “quick fix” for emotional difficulties may appear to the user as “harmless” at the time, however there are damaging psychological effects to their action. As the individual repeatedly commits the act, they grow more and more dependent upon the endorphins and adrenaline released in the brain in relation to the act.[9]

Addicts often refer to the rush they feel from pornography (and masturbation) in ways that makes it sound like a drug. The user may feel an initial “high” or “numbness”, but these feelings are soon followed by shame and frustration; particularly if the user has been trying to refrain but failed.[10] Internal conflict, both emotionally and morally, may then drive the user to repeat the action, as the action itself has become like a coping mechanism for their life’s difficulties. If this behavior continues the user may already be, or is danger of becoming, addicted.

Pornography addiction, like other addictions, is marked by five essential characteristics:

(1)   Tolerance,

(2)   Symptoms of withdrawal,

(3)   Self-deception,

(4)   Loss of willpower,

(5)   Distortion of attention.

The first, tolerance, is the increase of desire for more of the addictive behavior in order to feel satisfied.[11] If the behavior includes the use of pornography, a tolerance may also grow for the types of sexual acts they view—driving the user to seek out more and more extreme forms to achieve the same level of satisfaction. Symptoms of withdrawal may include feelings ranging from mild uneasiness and irritability to extreme agitation in the absence of the behavior.[12] This is, in fact, the body’s stress reaction to the deprivation of something it has become accustomed to.[13] The third, self-deception, includes the denial by the user of their destructive behavior. This may also be accompanied by a rationale for why they engage in it.

An all too common excuse for pornography use (and masturbation) is that, though they have tried, they have not yet been able to marry.[14] While it is true that many Muslims in North America have been finding it difficult to marry—and communities must find and be open to creative ways to remedy this—by engaging in such behavior they are at risk of developing habits and conditions that may bring harm into any future relationship. If the user develops the habit before marriage, there is no guarantee that the behavior will cease once married. In fact, it is precisely because this behavior does not cease for many that simply getting married cannot be presented to the user as an alternative to their addiction; they may simply be adding another casualty to those affected by their habit. Getting married is not the solution to the problem, it is simply adding to it.

Addiction also includes loss of willpower; or the feeling of inability to cease one’s behavior. One may tell themselves that they can “stop at any time” and “I won’t need to view pornography or masturbate once I get married”, but too often this is not the case. If a user says they can stop at any time, ask them to perform a simple test: go ahead and stop. If they pass this test and successfully cease the behavior, then there is no addiction. If they fail, no amount of rationalization will change the fact that addiction exists.[15]

Finally, pornography addiction is also characterized by a distortion of attention, or perhaps the consuming of one’s attention by their addiction and that which is related to it. Adverse affects of such a consumption of one’s attention is that it is less available for others, including ones spouse and other loved ones.[16] However, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

THE AFFECT OF THE PROBLEM ON MARITAL LIFE

Pornography use creates a multitude of wedges between the user and their spouse, including emotional and sexual ones. These wedges strain the relationship and often lead to divorce. Here I will speak briefly about just a few of them.

Emotional Wedges

  • “Small Lies”. Pornography use almost inevitably entails the hiding of one’s habit behind a veil of “small lies”.  This behavior leads to an unhealthy level of mistrust in the relationship and can be especially damaging when a spouse finally discovers the user’s habit.[17] At this point the spouse may feel betrayed, angered, hurt and, if the relationship is to continue, they will have to work together to address the damage the secret behavior has caused the relationship.[18]
  • Loss of Time. Furthermore, if each partner works, or one or the other is attending school, supporting a pornography habit may also take a serious toll on the family and the spouses’ time together (which, if they have busy life schedules, can be especially precious). Time spent viewing pornography could have been better spent completing tasks and freeing up one’s schedule to allow more time with one’s spouse.[19]
  • Unaddressed Sexual Insecurities. Unfortunately, pornography’s dissociation from real-life pressures, emotional entanglements, and commitments is one of its major attractions.[20] An individual may be drawn to pornography due a feeling of sexual insecurity. If that is the case, the user may see pornography as a means for the expelling of their sexual energy without having to face the expectations of another and reveal one’s own vulnerabilities. By getting used to expending one’s sexual energy in this way, they may come to rely on pornography which will be seen as an easier means to an end. Even if a pornography user is in a marriage with a spouse not only willing but desiring sexual relations, a user may still be drawn to pornography because they find it to be an emotionally and physically easier means to sexual satisfaction than having to deal with another human being.[21] In these cases, a wife might even complain that although her husband is obsessed with sex (i.e., viewing pornography) she is not “getting any”.[22]

Sexual Wedges

  • Skewed Expectations. Exposure to pornography, and especially prolonged use, may skew the user’s expectation of sex with their spouse. Skewed expectations affect not only how the user desires his wife to dress, but also how her body should look, the type of sexual acts they should engage in, and how the woman should perform sexual acts. Wives who discover their husband’s porn use are also led to wonder if they are “just not good enough”, causing many who may have never felt self-conscious before to begin worrying about whether or not they are “too fat” or “not sexy enough”.[23] This is troublesome not only in the demands on the wife that the pornography user might make, but also that he has come to believe that this is what sex is supposed to be like; limiting the unique sensual chemistry that exists between a husband and wife to what the user has viewed online.
  • Objectification of Women. Women portrayed in pornographic videos often have had a lot of cosmetic surgery, setting unrealistic expectations for a wife to live up to. Such expectations have even led some women to complain that most men today just don’t have a realistic idea anymore of what a normal woman’s body looks like.[24] Pornography addicts place significantly greater emphasis upon physical attributes over others, they also find it difficult to be around women in professional relationships without either becoming uncomfortable, or making the other person uncomfortable.[25]
  • Focus on Male Gratification. Pornography portrays the sexual act as primarily revolving around male gratification and less about pleasing the woman. Some women complain that pornography users seem “distant and unconnected” during sex, appearing more self-interested and as if the woman was merely a “masturbatory accessory.”[26] In fact, pornography teaches—and reinforces through repeated use—an incorrect image of what sex should look like, its etiquette, and the expectations of one’s spouse.[27] Pornography does not portray how real women are, so if the viewer believes that repeating the same acts they have seen will result in the same responses in their partner the user will become, as one woman put it, “horrible lovers.”[28] Merely imitating what one sees on video also detracts from the couples own unique exploration of each other’s desires and fantasies, which may help the couple to maintain and enhance their relationship.[29]
  • Regular Marital Relations Becomes Less Stimulating. Prolonged exposure to pornography may also lead users to view sex with their partner as “boring”. Repeated use of pornographic stimulants takes an emotional toll on the user, making it more difficult to achieve the sexual highs they once felt. Unable to feel satisfied, boredom sinks in.[30] Furthermore, the material which is available online is diverse and tailored to appeal to people of varying sexual persuasions and fantasies.[31] Due to this, online browsing may even lead the user to become curious about other expressions of sexuality that are also available on pornographic websites, including child pornography, rape reenactments and homosexuality; though they may have never expressed an interest before.[32] If such behavior continues, it can eventually contribute to the users inability to maintain intercourse with his spouse; either by his inability to become aroused (without a pornographic stimulant), possessing a weak erection, or ejaculating too soon. If the damage is not too severe, and there are no other contributing causes, it may be possible for him to regain his sexual capability after practicing natural and religiously permitted forms of intercourse.[33] However, throughout this process the user and their spouse may have to address some of the effects that the prolonged use of pornographic stimulants has had on the user’s expectations and ability to be intimate.

A USEFUL QUESTION

If someone is wondering whether or not they are addicted to pornography, a simple question to ask them (or one’s self) is: “Do you believe your sexual behavior negatively affects your sense of integrity?”, or “How does your sexual behavior make you feel about yourself?”[34] If one believes that their behavior is in conflict with their moral beliefs concerning the issue, yet continues to engage in the activity, they may have an addiction.

To imams and chaplains I respectfully ask: If anyone says “yes” to this question and is genuinely seeking help, how do you expect to assist them?

A place to start may be Purify Your Gaze.

Here Zeyad Ramadan, initially trained as a life coach, provides a unique online program which walks members through a series of steps that first explain aspects of the addiction, and then provides means by which one can overcome it.[35] Ramadan’s work should be known and supported, and communities should consider offering in addition education in healthy sexual habits and lifestyle.

A PROPHETIC REMINDER

Before I conclude, there is a notable instance from the life of God’s Messenger ﷺ that I would like to draw light upon and I pray we can also take example from. A young man once approached the Prophet ﷺ asking for permission to commit fornication.

Hearing this request, people nearby started to rebuke him and advised him not to ask such things. The Prophet then asked him, “Would you like such permission to be granted so that another man may lie with your mother?” The young man said, “Absolutely not!” The Prophet ﷺ then said, “Neither do others wish that.” The Prophet then asked, “Would you like such permission to be granted so that a man may lie with your daughter?” The young man replied, “No, absolutely not!” The Prophet ﷺ then said, “Neither do others wish that.” The Prophet then continued asking, “Would you like such permission to be granted so that a man may lie with your sister?” The young man replied “No, absolutely not!” The Prophet ﷺ again reminded him, “Neither do others wish that.” The Prophet then asked, “Would you like such permission to be granted so that a man may lie with your aunt?” The young man replied, “No, absolutely not!” The Prophet ﷺ then gently reminded him, “Neither do others wish that.” Thereupon the Prophet placed his hand upon the young man and prayed, “O Allah! May you forgive his sins, purify his heart and make him chaste.”

The Prophet ﷺ did not simply say to the young man “this is ḥarām” and turn him away. Rather, he took the time to explain to him the nature of his request. Perhaps we should also consider this as well; not simply explaining the religious ruling of pornography when asked but also the fact that it is exploiting other people’s mothers, daughters, sisters and aunts. Of course, the Prophet did not stop at simply answering the young man’s question. After advising him he also prayed for his forgiveness, purity of heart, and divine assistance to overcome his problem. We as a community should also take a similar approach.

CONCLUSION

Habitual pornography use—whether done before or within a marriage—can have damaging affects for present and future marital relationships. A pornography user may not even realize that they cannot stop until they try repeatedly to end the behavior; at which point their addiction only then becomes evident. An addict or at-risk user may even disagree morally with their own behavior, so reminding them of its impermissibility may not be enough.

Unfortunately, many sites that Muslims write to simply provide pornography’s legal ruling—ḥarām (religiously prohibited)—but do not provide serious steps for the questioner to overcome an addiction; though we cannot be too critical of these sites for their primary role is to respond to legal questions. In a sense, people are turning to lawyers (jurists) for counseling since they do not know to whom else to turn.

Since most pornography users feel too ashamed to seek help from the community, it is the community that should seek to help them.We must  provide programs to assist those looking for a way to overcome their addiction, as well as provide parents with information on how to prevent it in their home.

I pray that this article is used and read as a step towards that direction, and to those facing this addiction I pray that Allah forgives them, purifies their hearts, and makes them chaste.


Notes

This article has also been published by SeekersGuidance.

For more about this epidemic and Pamela Paul’s book Pornified, see Sh. Nuh Keller’s comments and review.

[1]               Media, Family Safe, “Pornography Statistics,” http://familysafemedia.com/pornography_statistics.html#anchor4 (accessed 17 March 2012).

[2]               Ibid.

[3]               In 2003, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported that pornography played a significant role in nearly 2 out of 3 divorces. A staggering number since no less than a decade ago pornography played little to no role in most cases. See Divorce Wizards, “Pornography: Divorce Statistics,” http://www.divorcewizards.com/Divorce-Statistics-Pornography.html (accessed 17 March 2012).

[4]               Using the word’s “pornography” and “masturbate” in Qibla’s (formerly Sunnipath) search engine brought up as many as forty related questions with their respective answers. A similar search on IslamQA produced over seventy. It is actually quite common for such sites to receive many of the same questions and simply publish a portion of their answers, or direct new inquirers to already published answers. So, the actual amount of questions they receive is indeterminable. For an example, see Muhammad al-Munajjid, “IslamQA,” http://islamqa.com/en/search/masturbate/AllWords/t,q,a (accessed 17 March 2012).

[5]               Q. Light; 24:30-31.

[6]               Including: sexual addiction or hypersexual disorder, depression, shame, anxiety, as well as misogyny and pedophilia. See Hosai Mohaddidi and Nafisa Sekandari. “Internet Pornography: Destroying Us From Within,” http://mentalhealth4muslims.com/2010/04/28/internet-pornography-destroying-us-from-within/  (accessed 17 March 2012).

[7]               Ibid.

[8]               Pamela Paul, Pornified: How Pornography is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2005), 218.

[9]               Ibid.,  216.

[10]             Ibid., 219.

[11]             Gerald G. May, Addiction & Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions (New York: HarperOne, 1988), 26.

[12]             Ibid., 26-27.

[13]             Ibid.

[14]             See for example:  Zaynab Ansari, “How Do Students with No Money Deal With Sexual Urges?” http://seekersguidance.org/ans-blog/2010/11/10/how-do-students-with-no-money-deal-with-sexual-urges/ (accessed 17 March 2012) and “Pornography in Marriage,” http://spa.qibla.com/issue_view.asp?HD=7&ID=8898&CATE=1436 (17 March 2012).

[15]             May, 28.

[16]             Ibid., 29.

[17]             Paula, 165. For an example of a fiancé discovering a suitor’s pornography use prior to marriage and the advice given by a Muslim scholar, see Zaynab Ansari, “My Fiance Discovered Some Objectionable Files on My Computer,” http://seekersguidance.org/ans-blog/2010/11/15/my-fiance-discovered-some-objectionable-files-on-my-computer/  (17 March 2012).

[18]             Paula, 165. If there are other problems in the relationship, this may be especially difficult.

[19]             Ibid., 155. In addition to the time lost that could have been better spent with loved ones, researchers have shown that prolonged exposure to pornography even fosters an attitude of withdrawal from family life. One may even feel a greater aversion to getting married.

[20]             Ibid., 148.

[21]             Ibid., 153.

[22]             Ibid., 169.

[23]             Paula, 157-158.

[24]             Ibid., 159.

[25]             Ibid., 220.

[26]             Ibid., 233.

[27]             Ibid., 151.

[28]             Ibid., 151.

[29]             Ibid., 139.

[30]             Ibid., 224.

[31]             Mohaddidi and Sekandari.

[32]             Paula, 226.

[33]             Mahmoud al-Istambulli, The Bride’s Boon: Tuhfat al-‘Arous, translated by AbdElhamid Eliwa (http://www.islambasics.com, PDF), 149.

[34]             Ibid.

[35]             For some success stories of Ramadan’s program, see http://www.purifyyourgaze.com/success-stories (accessed March 17, 2012).

 

24 thoughts on ““Too Embarrassed to Talk About It”: Pornography Addiction and Some of Its Effects on Muslim Marital Life

  1. Assalamualaikum warahmatullah. With the advancement of the internet speed here in SEAsia (particularly Malaysia), we’re facing the same issue.

    Appreciate permission for me to translate this to Malay Language.
    – Ashraf

    1. Wa ‘Alaikum As-Salam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh Ashraf,

      Please feel free. Also, send me a link so it to be shared here as well for future reference insha’Allah. Barak Allahu feek. You also have permission to omit, or generalize, some of the specific American statistics to make your translation more personalized to your audience in Malaysia.

      God bless.

  2. Shafi

    I would also mention that the issue start in the boys’ teenage years because they want an outlet since dating isnt allowed which also fuels their problems early on. Great article and hopefully the issue is brought up more in our communities before it becomes uncontrollable. The solutions usually have to be discinnecting internet at home or only pcs in main rooms or addiction unfortunately doesnt stop on its own.

    1. As-Salamu ‘Alaikum Shafi,

      I don’t know if I would say that the issue is due to “dating not being allowed” in the teenage years. The problem is widespread whether or not one dates. However, your preventative solutions are certainly on point: make it difficult for young boys (and girls as well) to be alone on the computer.

      For this reason, parents may wish to opt out of having a wireless modem which would allow their son, daughter (or any other family member) to access the internet anywhere in the house. Instead, have one public location for all internet activity.

  3. lailla

    Jazakallahu akhair. Since nost of people who have this problem are the teneeger early marriage should be encourage especially for those who are capable and are ready to take responsibility. And why do Men from north America having problem getting married?

  4. Yahya Islam

    People are very greedy with regards to marriage. The parents won’t give their daughter to anyone who isn’t earning over 6 digits and girls don’t want to marry anyone who doesn’t look as good as Brad Pitt.

  5. Yahya Islam

    I am a guy in my 30s. Out of all my guy friends, the most good looking got married in their mid 20s, almost 10 years ago, and the rest are still unmarried and struggling to find anyone. The situation is probably similar for women though odds do tend to favor them in the end.

  6. Justin

    Your assertion that “over the last decade, pornography has played a staggering role in the breakup of marriages (with most recent American statistics suggesting that it has contributed in part to 2 out of 3 divorces)” is complete speculation. The page you cite as a source for this no longer mentions that particular statistic; I googled it, and I found a different version of this claim at http://www.safefamilies.org/sfStats.php:

    “At a 2003 meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, two thirds of the 350 divorce lawyers who attended said the Internet played a significant role in the divorces in the past year, with excessive interest in online porn contributing to more than half such cases. Pornography had an almost non-existent role in divorce just seven or eight years ago.” (Divorcewizards.com)

    A) It sounds like a very informal survey to begin with, and B) “a significant role in the divorces last year” could mean it had a significant impact on 100% of the divorces those lawyers saw, or it could mean it had a significant impact on 1%.

    I’m not saying porn addiction isn’t a problem, and you make a number of good points about how porn can cause or amplify problems in a marriage, but I don’t see any solid evidence that pornography is actually breaking up a large number of marriges.

    1. As-Salamu ‘Alaikum Justin,

      I appreciate the fact-checking. Presently there are relatively few researchers looking into the specific effects of pornography on married life, more information is available on its effects on relationships in general. Even the DivorceWizards site (which you noted) states that their statistics are based upon “compiled numbers from respected news and research organizations” from which we can only derive rough estimates in the absence of other studies.

      Of course, the aim of my article was not to argue this point. Rather, it was to show the effects of habitual pornography use and addiction on marital relationships which (I hope I have successfully pointed out) cause many strains and wedges between spouses.

      I only emphasize marriage (I could have spoken about relationships in general) because the article is directed towards the Muslim community which prohibits relationships outside of marriage. This is why I made reference to the number of questions related to pornography on Islamic sites (citation #4 above), as well as my being told personally by some Muslim legal scholars that questions concerning pornography (and masturbation) are some of the most often that they receive.

      There is no doubt that pornography is having a dramatic effect upon relationships, and that the habitual use is often developed prior to the relationship (be it marriage or otherwise). Whether one is within a marriage, or expecting to eventually be a loving husband or wife, one should be aware of the dangerous effects habitual pornography use may have on their ability to be close with their present or future spouse.

      God bless.

  7. Um Nur

    Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah, AlHamdulillah, I was actually praying for a way to address this issue. I am a senior citizen, an American convert to Islam of more than 40 years, English teacher and community activist, living in a foreign country. I’m not sure why; maybe because I was once a single mother raising 4 sons alone in a Western country, or maybe because I run a women’s organization, many young men come to me to ask questions about their choices for a wife. In the last 10 years I’ve noticed a significant change in what the young men want. Nowadays they want to marry converts, “women with experience”, they seem to assume that every woman had been re-enacting “scene 4” in their pre-Islamic days. Whereas 20 years ago Muslim men wanted to marry converts because they had (an often unrealistic) idea that converts were better, “purer” Muslims since they had chosen Islam, now convert women are being sought out for marriage only to find themselves objectified within an insidious and unexpected corruption and distortion of normal human relationships. Often these women are so disappointed with the perverted expectations and the accompanying disrespect from their (often idealized) Muslim husbands, they leave the marriage and sometimes, even leave the deen.
    Dear Brother, I have been praying for a way to open this discussion and I pray Allah will bless you for your insightful, eloquent writing. Through this article you may have been instrumental in saving many Muslim men and women from self-destruction.
    I would like to request your permission to distribute this article among the imams and leaders in my local community and have it translated into Arabic and Urdu. JazakaAllah Khair

    1. Wa ‘Alaikum As-Salam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh Um Nur,

      I pray this finds you well and I am very touched by your comments. I am sorry to hear that you have experienced this trend and ask that Allah guide all of us to the best of spouses. Unfortunately for those seeking women to, as you said, re-enact “scene 4”, they are limiting the sensual chemistry of their relationship to simply that which they see on the screen (let alone dismissing one of the best features of a Muslim woman: her faith). Feel free to translate and distribute as you wish. I only ask that you send me a copy or link so that I can add it here to add to this article’s benefit.

      God bless.

  8. Sister Feli

    Assalamualeykum,I will come back here and post more later. Here are some quick ideas:
    1) There are programs to block websites, such as Net Nanny, K-9 Web Protection, etc. I would suggest getting a trusted friend to be the main account holder as they will get emails notifying them if you remove the program, if it’s tampered with (installation) or if any blocked sites are trying to be accessed, etc. This can work very well.

    For the spouses out there (male or female), especially those who have dealt with this issue in the past, put something on your computers, any program is better than none. And don’t just put it for your “spouse”, just tell your spouse it’s for you! To protect yourself from all the random sites that come up and seriously don’t take any BS about not installing it for any “reasons”. If their sites don’t work then our spouses can use the library or another public internet where they are less likely to watch porn and if they do well at least it’s not bringing the Shaytan in your home.

    Also, many if not most phones are now equipped to play videos as are iPads and even eReaders (electronic books), if they have wireless which you may not even know of then they can. I think we need some kind of Muslim consultants who could help families protect themselves without “indirectly” encouraging anything.

    I can personally attest that over 50% of my “orthodox” friends have at some point dealt with this issue mainly with husbands but I know of a few sisters who have issues with this.
    I would also inshaAllah maybe like to see this article expanded to included dating sites visited by “religious” Muslim men who are “only” on there to find a 2nd, 3rd or 4th wife yet who totally don’t follow proper Muslim etiquette and use this more as soft porn, and sexually inappropriate chat (which would be most chats between a strange man and woman with no supervision from a 3rd party).

    1. Wa ‘Alaikum As-Salam Sister Feli,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me and the readers. There are many tools available that can help in addressing the issue itself. Additionally, you could add to the list: simply using the computer in public areas, not using it late at night, and generally not surfing the web because you are bored. As for your points about the dating sites, the point of the article is to raise awareness of the effects of heavy pornography use and addiction (and not to address all sexually inappropriate behavior on the net). However, if you are aware of articles that do address other issues, you can feel free to cite them.

      God bless.

    2. G.Mariam

      Sister Feli, Ibrahim Long and everyone else… Thank you for your comments and suggestions….
      I am a single muslimah struggling with viewing too much online porn (I am not doing any real life zina) but I am very ashamed and angry at how an innocent curiosity has taken over my life!
      I would love to get support from friends but I cannot, I think installing porn blocking software would be a great idea… I would very much appreciate if someone would be able to support me online, ie have the password so I am not tempted.
      Thank you

  9. Assalaamu alaikum,

    Thank you for this article. It is well written, and i find it captures a lot of my personal experiences with this issue quite accurately.

    Thank you for your time, May Allah SWT always guide you down the straight path and bless you with Jannah,

    Jazak Allah Khairun

  10. Amaly Aljana

    I would like to confirm what is in the article by sharing my personal experience with a husband who has this type of addiction since he was teenager ” as he admitted’ and the addiction continued even after marriage making his and my life horrible and the story ended by divorce after 4 years of trying to support and being patient. After this experience when I come across surat Al nour where Allah describing it “a surah which We have sent down and made [that within it] obligatory and revealed therein verses of clear evidence that you might remember (1) and where Allah also in this surah is given instructions to Muslims ” Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts.That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do (30), I have no doubt now that having a good life in this world “which is created by Allah” is based on a law that Allah showed in the holy quran and the sunna of his prophet “Salla’llahu’alaihi wa sallam” and those who fail to follow this low will loose now and later.

  11. As-Salamu ‘Alaikum Abdullah,

    I pray this finds you well and I am pleased to hear that you have made important strides towards your recovery. May the Almighty grant you every success.

    Prior to engaging in any new relationship, it would be important for you to have already completed your recovery.

    Due to the obvious sexual nature of the addiction it is often assumed that marriage is the cure. However, this is not necessarily the case; there are plenty of examples of married individuals who are still battling pornography addiction (as noted in the above article).

    Moreover, consider this: if any individual enters into a marriage with the expectation that marital relations will cure his or her addiction, he or she may be placing undue responsibility upon one’s spouse to perform sexually (potentially leading to further problems in the relationship like, again, those noted above).

    Help yourself and any potential spouse by first addressing this issue. Ask Allah for success, and do not feel shy to repeatedly repent if and when you experience a relapse (which is part of the recovery process). Allah’s door is always open and He loves those who repent.

    If and when you feel confident about your recovery, and Allah provides for you a loving spouse to share this life with, you may feel that much more blessed in your relationship because you addressed this issue beforehand. Let your recovery be among the gifts you give to your potential spouse.

    May Allah grant you every success on your recovery journey.

    God bless.

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