A 12-step guide to fight pornography addiction

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 Psychology 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.

Alcoholics' Anonymous is an organization that has fought the battle against alcohol addiction since 1935. Its "Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous" provides a clear, general guide on how to get out of the addiction of alcohol, which has killed people, ruined families and led to health problems.

Sound Vision has adapted the 12 steps from this guide to offer some guidance on how those addicted to pornography can get out of it.

Step One-Admit that you can't give up

Admit that you are unable to get a grip on your consumption of pornography. It is uncontrollable. Every time you turn on the internet, go to the video store, turn on the television, you cannot say NO to yourself. You cannot NOT surf porn sites, or stop watching. You are no longer in control of your life.

Step Two-Admit only God can get you out of this

You know, after trying using so many different ways to control your addiction and subsequently failing, that only Allah can help you out of this. You may have known it before, but you are convinced of it now without a shadow of a doubt.

Step Three-Your life and death are all in Allah's control

You have decided to put your complete trust in Allah, who is in control of all aspects of your life and your death. You have chosen to seek His Help first and foremost.

Step Four-You have completed a self-analysis

You have done an honest, sincere, but often painful self-evaluation of your good points and bad points, analyzed your addiction, and tried to understand how you reached this point.

Step Five-Made a specific repentance to Allah

You have admitted to Allah, to yourself, and to another trusted Muslim (if possible) exactly where you went wrong. You did not make a general request for repentance. You specifically listed your mistakes, and in particular, your addiction to pornography.

Step Six-You were open and ready to receive Allah's help to change

You know that your Tawbah (repentence to God) and being sincere, must be followed by action. You are ready to do what is necessary to change, no matter how difficult or painful. Even if it means not even watching television for the news or never surfing the internet alone.

Step Seven- You have asked for the removal of faults

You have asked Allah, with sincerity, humility and regret, to help you never repeat this action (i.e. looking at pornography) again and to help you avoid repeating sins committed in the past again.

Step Eight-You have decided to seek others' forgiveness

You have made a list of everyone you had hurt through your addiction, whether it was your spouse, children or parents, and made the intention to approach them seeking forgiveness. You must not, however, disclose your addiction since whatever Allah has kept hidden must remain hidden. You just seek forgiveness for any possible act of harm and hurt. Allah does not like a sin to be advertised.

Step Nine-Seek forgiveness of God

Seek the forgiveness and protection of Allah. Do sadaqah (charity) and fast as kaffarah if possible.

Step Ten-You have completed nightly self-evaluations

You continually, every night, have done an honest self-evaluation of your behavior, and were ready to admit your mistakes and thank Allah for the good you did that day.

Step Eleven-You have prayed for greater God-consciousness

You prayed and continue to pray five times a day, seeking closeness to Allah, and a consciousness of Him (Taqwa) wherever you are. You increase your reliance on Him to help you with this addiction to pornography and with all other matters in your life.

Step Twelve-You preached and practiced

You have not just "moved on" after Allah blessed you to get out of this addiction. You helped others you knew with this problem with regular contact and  sincere advice. By the grace of Allah, helping others helped you maintain control over your addiction and you helped another person get out of this destruction and misery.

Comments

BismillahAddicted To Drugs, Objects, or Events?.........................Addiction issues don't have to get the best of you, your Lord Allah will heal you if................................................If you think He SWT can! Dear brother/sister may Allah reward you for taking steps on a journey to end your addiction, or helping someone else with their addiction problem, whether it's a drug, object (porn), or event (binge eating) involved. Overcoming an addiction can be extremely challenging, but “whoever struggles, finds”. Allah the one who knows us better then we know our own selves says what could mean, “whoever has consciousness of Allah – He will give him a way out and provide for him from where he does not expect. Whoever puts his trust in Allah –He will be enough for him. Allah always achieves His aim. (65/2,3) .Think about that, “He will give him a way out”, if you have consciousness (taqwa). Allah also tells us, “...Indeed Allah is with the patient” (2:153). How can that help you? If you don't lose heart, or give up, you will be victorious. No matter how many times you have tried to end your addiction, or tried to help your friend or loved one end theirs, you need to know that many people have beaten their addiction problems. Addiction is an issue that the more you stumble on the path to recovery, the closer you get to the goal. Look at the history of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), how quitting in the face of adversity didn’t even occur to him (peace be upon him). Close you eyes and think about when his early followers where being killed, tortured, and looking to him for strength and support. It seemed like the whole world was against them, with no way out on the horizon. There was a scary, dark, and unknown future. But he and the believers put their trust in Allah and were patient for a long time, and by the power of Allah they outlasted their adversaries, and where victorious. If you don't quit, you outlast your problems. Guaranteed (InshaAllah)!In American history it is reported that Thomas Edison, the person known for inventing the light bulb was told by his teachers he was "too stupid to learn anything." He was fired from his first two jobs for being "non-productive." As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, "How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?" Edison replied, "I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps."If you tried to end your addiction but relapsed 1000 times, you're not failing a thousand times, it's just taking you a thousand times to get it right. The right mind frame can change your perspective, and give you encouragement. It was reported that some of the sahaba memorized 10 verses of Qur’an at a time. They would implement what they learnt, before they would moved on to memorize more. Take time to ponder over the Qur’an. Allah says what could mean, “Indeed, We have sent down for you a Book, in which there is your Reminder, will you not then understand? (21:10). If you ponder over the Qur’an, I mean actively read it for wisdom, you will get encouragement and an increase in spiritual strength. It will help guide you to good choices. Allah says what could mean, “If anyone withdraws himself from remembrance of The Most Gracious, We appoint for him an evil one, to be an intimate companion to him. (43:36).If you or a family member has an addiction problem, you should know a lot is happening inside the mind of the addicted one. It's natural that our bodies want to maximize pleasure and lessen pain, it helps us as a species to continue on and helps us keep safe. That's why when you put your hand on a hot stove, you don't have to think about taking your hand off of it, your body will withdraw your hand automatically. When a person takes part in an addictive behavior (using heroin, smoking cigarettes, pornography, food addictions, sugar etc.), he/she found a powerful way to change his/her mood. It's not the object they are addicted to, it's the mood change they are addicted to. The brain says “hmm, this is a way to change the mood fast if we are in pain or feeling bad”. Unlike a healthy person who might deem it sufficient talk to a friend, take a walk through the woods, read Qur’an, or be patient to change his/her mood when he/she isn't feeling a way they like. The addicted one gets quick gratification by acting out (doing addictive behavior).The brain bypasses the part of its function that makes decisions, and arranges the mood change in the same place of the fight or flight reflex. Just like you don't think to remove your hand from a hot stove, the person doesn’t think when they feel bad, weak, embarrassed, or incomplete to act out, they just do it automatically. No deep thought process crosses the mind. In most cases, it becomes an automatic response to act out (get high). Eventually, the problem can get so bad that a person can't function emotionally like a normal person, so they begin to live just to “act out”. They bought into the big deception that drugs and addictive activities promote, which is “I can nourish you, and make you feel better”. The fact is that no object, drug, or event can make a person happy, or fulfilled. Happiness isn’t something to search for, it's something you grow on the inside. It's easy for a person's brain to justify acting out, but it is a lie that has confused many smart people. People get addicted to things for different reasons. Some people get a prescription from a doctor for pain and get addicted to it. Others may have been given drugs in school by administration to get them to pay attention. Others just tried something with so called friends, and over time lost control.No one wants to be taken over by his/her addiction, but the addiction destroys the will to stop. The brain is making it a natural response to feeling bad. It's as if someone asked you to stop feeling hungry when you haven’t eaten in a while, you would probably say, “how can I stop feeling hungry? It's a feeling that comes from inside that I don't have control over!” That is similar to a person who has a addiction problem. It's a "powerful, baffling, and cunning" problem, as one of the founders of the association “Alcoholics Anonymous” described. That’s why a person will swear not to “act out” one day, only to fall into it the next day. When I say act out, I don't just mean smoke the crack, watch the porn, or sniff the cocaine. I mean taking the steps towards it. For example, if a person gets the idea to go buy some cocaine he might start thinking about it deeply, put on a certain outfit, start walking in the direction of the place he knows he can buy it. As he is walking towards it, the emotion of the person is heightened or calmed. They are actually taking part in the acting out even though they may have not have used the substance yet. That is what “acting out” means, taking part in any part of the rituals of addiction.Rituals keep us tied to beliefs and actions. We Muslims pray because it keeps our feet grounded in the religion. Likewise, addictive rituals keep a person in the addictive cycle. A person has to recognize when they are acting out, and what their rituals are, so the brain will stop “playing games” on them. A person goes about acting out in a pattern. First they think a certain way, then they justify acting out, then they take steps towards acting out, and covering it up. Finally, they act out. Over and over, in a predictable way. In a ritualistic way.It's important to understand the illness, because when someone understands something, they can work to getting to the core of the problem. Look at a person sick with the flu, they are very predictable in the way they start getting sick. First when you get the flu you feel your throat getting scratchy, then you start coughing and sneezing, then feel weak, etc. One of the predictable actions of a person with an addiction problem is that their brain justifies their actions. This is important because if a person doesn't recognize the denial and justification, they won't be able to move forward. For example, a person who has an alcoholic problem who has to meet with his wife's family the next day will say, “I will just have one drink so my hands won't shake when I meet her family”. I'll just have one drink as a medicine so I can seem normal because if I don't drink I will start shaking and feeling bad and I don't want to embarrass my wife. This is a delusional logic that is part of addiction. A person must admit 24 hours, 7 days a week that they have an addiction problem and there can be no justification for it no matter what! They can't say they drink because they where abused or they drink because they are depressed. They must say, " I drink/smoke/watch porn because I have an addiction problem", and not justify it or deny it! That's the same with any other addiction. A person must first struggle to do three things, even if they aren’t ready to stop acting out.1-admit to Allah they are weak, and need his help. 2- not justify their addiction. 3- not deny their addiction. 4- understand an object or event can't fulfill you or make you happy. The Messenger of Allah SAW said what could mean, “If the son of Adam were given a valley full of gold, he would love to have a second one; and if he were given the second one, he would love to have a third, for nothing fills the belly of Adam's son except dust. And Allah forgives he who repents to Him." ( Sahih Bukhari ) . Addiction is like the example of a train. If a train is put on train tracks, and is powered it will keep moving until it reaches it’s destination. You must keep your train off the tracks because stopping a moving train is hard.When a person has a friend, family member, or a person in the Masjid has some sort of addiction problem, it's important to help them and not hurt them. A person can do things thinking they are helping the person but are really hurting them. For example, doing things for the brother /sister with the addiction problem that they could do for themselves like giving them gas money, paying their bills, paying their car note, buying them cell phones, clothing etc. If a person with an addiction problem gets any of these things they will just use the money, or sell the items to act out and lie about it later. Sometimes they need to get kicked out of their apartment and feel some discomfort, to feel the consequences of their ways as a motivation to be ready to end the denial, and get help. But lots of thought needs to be put into this, and it must not be an emotional decision. It should only be done if it can be of help, and there are resources available for the person to work with. The way you help a person with an addiction problem is by encouraging them to take advantage of local resources to get help and encouraging them to not quit trying. Give the person love, but not money. If there are no local resources, maybe Allah wants you to work on starting something in your local area.Sometimes loved ones get addicted to helping the addicted one. In fact it's normal and predictable that this will happen. This causes family health, mental and financial issues. It's hard watching someone who you love destroy themselves in front of your eyes. Essentially the person with the addiction problem is the only one who can stop the problem, and he/she harms himself and the family even though he/she can't see it. But they need love and the right support. You don't want to be an enabler (a person who inadvertently helps the person to act out). You help the person by not shaming them, insulting them or dishonoring them , because all these things hurt a person with an addiction problem. The shame of not being able to quit triggers a response to “act out”. When a person loses self esteem, self love, self determination, they have lost themselves. So they dwell in a dark lonely place . You don't do for the person what you wouldn’t do, or let a normal person do. You don't let them come home late at night, steal, cheat, take over your life, or live in the house while hurting family members. But you give encouragement and support and help them to join a program that helps addicted ones. They must join a program. You don't give the person money, or all your time. But love, encouragement, and some of your time only to help them get help. The only way to help is to GET THEM HELP. You also want to give books, tapes, and lectures, to help them grow as a person. That's it! If there are children involved, they must be accounted for and cared for by the community.Families will sometimes feel the need to defend themselves against a person who acts out, because the person develops a different personality. The person does things that are abnormal and things that are not a part of their normal character. So family naturally want to separate from the person. The person may make family uneasy, steal, lie, insult, or worse. It's important to have boundaries for the person. Establishing boundaries is good for everyone. It keeps hate out of the heart and reduces harm. But you don't want to ever completely separate yourself, because the person needs you for your love, and encouragement. Remember the person is a victim and needs your support to get over this. Don’t shame the person! Encourage them!Some times a family may need to do an intervention to come between a person and their addiction, when the person refuses help. A good book on how to do an intervention is “No More Letting Go” by Debora Jay. There are a lot of good books showing friends and family how to help a person with an addiction. Every Masjid should have a plan of action on how to help members with addiction problems, so when they come across one, it will make things easier for everyone. Even if it's just referring them to a local resource. There should be a game plan with this growing problem.There are organizations for professionals, like airline pilots and doctors who have addiction problems that will keep their secret, and give them help at the same time. There are organizations that help families to cope with addiction, and help to maintain a happy and good life without letting addiction destroy the family, and will help them cope with life like (http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/). There are online classes, and recovery professionals who make house calls to help people who are in recovery. Some services cost money, some are free. You must get out there and search, because “whoever struggles finds”. The family should also encourage the person to join an organization like Narcotics Anonymous with chapters across the country. It will give the person measurable goals to work toward and keep them moving forward on the path to recovery. I encourage you, whether you have a addiction problem, or you have a family member suffering, to seek out and join an organization now! Some of these organisations may be christianity based, and others are non-religious, so be advised to first and foremost, hold on to your deen. A good one to check out for pornography addiction is www.purifyYourGaze.com/ run by a Muslim brother.Here are some things you can start doing today to start the journey:1-Reaffirm your connection with Allah by reading the Qur’an and pondering over it (start now!)2-Stop denying there is a problem3-Admit you are weak, powerless and need Allah's help. Your actions are not enough! Ask Allah.4- Recognize every time your brain tries to justify acting out.5-Ask yourself, what would you like to change about yourself?6-Ask yourself, how will you go about changing yourself ?7-Ask yourself, how do you see yourself once you change?8-Ask yourself, how will you feel once you change?9-Ask yourself how will your change positively effect those around you?10-Join a local organization like (AAA) or (www.PurifyYourGaze.com), because you need help.11-Read study and grow as a person. Just because you have an addiction doesn’t mean you have to shut down. Try to develop as a child, parent, friend, and a person. Read and learn about the stories of others who are going through this problem by renting books and tapes free at the public library, listening to Islamic lectures on www.IslamicTube.com. 12-Practice “mindfullness” which is the art of concentrating on something (say, your breathing), with an attempt to live in the present, without thinking about the past or future. Practicing this form of meditation develops the awareness of when a persons focus is shifting to something else and helps the person to not respond to impulses, depression, or shame, but learns to see feelings and emotions as they are, and not judge them much, like watching someone walk down the road until out of sight. Just allowing ideas to flow in and out without judging them, analyzing them or fighting against the emotions. For example, a person would sit down and concentrate on the air coming in and out of their nose and on nothing else. The person attempts to keep his/her mind on the breathing. Any time the mind wonders off, they notice that the focus has changed, and they bring it back to the breathing. This “live in the moment” type of meditation can be done while eating, walking, and almost anything.May Allah help you to take action RIGHT NOW! Remember there is no shame in admitting a problem, and taking steps to deal with it. Addiction is a long term illness, and takes time before you can get a hold of it. Join an organization. May Allah make this pamphlet for his sake.--- Your brother, Abu Adam

Location

jacksonville

These are all very good ideas but you also need to find a way to directly face porn and confront it. Porn, as many of you might not know, is literally a chemical addiction. By Allah this is the truth. How do i know this? I have had the experience of facing this nightmare myself. BUT there is a way out. I once prayed to God to help me and within a day or so i discovered www.candeocan.com. This website uses ground breaking science called "face-it-replace-connect" technique that is guaranteed to work. But it take some hard work and time to get rid of this disease. You will need to practice everyday. I advice anyone suffering from porn addiction to please check out the mentioned website and enroll themselves in the programme (believe me it's worth every penny!) .Also subscribe to their free podcast and seek God's help so that He helps you in the recovery process.The candeo programme along with guidance from Allah can never fail you.

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Dhaka

I have to agree with Junaid. This article is pretty useless. No practical tips were offered.

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Toronto

thanks for the great advice now to do the walking instead of the talking.Im an aboriginal australian somehow i believe in allah my people have been persucuted for many years an ive always looked for meaning an a way to keep my dignity i am not a muslim but would like to be,my family and friends wont approve.I have prayed to allah after reading a book 'samio allah holiman hammidah rabbana lakl hamd' i can honestly say ive never been able to obtain such peace within 5 mins of praying...i can see it makes sense to give yourself to god completley allah akbar!

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ronan

Assalamualaikum my brothers ..i have been watching porn 2 yrs ago ..and i still cnot overcome this sinful habit ... the most effective way is when my father is at home..but hes always working....and when im alone..i cant control myself..anybody can help?

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Australia

This was by far the most pointless and useless post of all time. It gives absolutely no practical way of overcoming anything. All twelve steps can be summed up into pray to Allah and ask his forgiveness and ask people to forgive you. That doesn't get rid of the desires, what to do when you are alone and you get the urge. Thanks for nothing basically.

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Good Article.I believe, Remembering Allah is the key one in the 12 steps.Jazakumullah Khair

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jed

A very good article..Mal allah reward you for this.

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AoaI am addicted to this disease as well, it will not leave me, this is the umteenth time my wife has found my habit and if this keeps up she will leave me. I have been addicted for 15 years and short of gouging out my eyes cannot see a way out. How does one stop the hands and eyes from doing what the mind thinks is normal? How do we change something that we have 'normalized' so we abhor it? Allah help us all

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one very effective way to fight porn is to reduce the temptation level; create more barriers to access; install something like net nanny; set up a password and administration/user email address that is impossible to remember effectively blocking yourself out; keep that info in a safety deposity box or with a friend or another physical location.

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b

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