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

Practical advice for practical change: 1. have a dua on the top of your computer: allahuma innee aoothubika minal kubthi wal kabaaith - (God i seek protection from both clean and unclean spirits). Have the habit of making this dua before logging onto your computer every time. (just like when you enter the bathroom) - become habitual in this practice and you will find protection. Remember the saying, "guard your thoughts for they become your words (spoken or typed), guard your words as they become your actions, guard your actions as they become your habits, guard your habits as they dictate your character, guard your character as it will become your destiny."Next, do not keep a computer/ iphone/ or other electronic device that can access haram in places of privacy... i.e. bathrooms/ bedrooms/ etc.Remember what we do in private we assuredly would avoid in public.Next, make a commitment to yourself.. each time that you fall away from the path ... in terms of looking at something inappropriate on line.... make the vow that you will do something ... i.e. fast the next day.interestingly when muslims are fasting they will seldom break fast for something like looking at inappropriate matter on line.Next, realize that this is a problem faced by many people.. including myself.. dont feel alone.. you are in a struggle that is being faced by everyone who has an XandY chromosome.Remember the life of good character is worth more than the satisfaction of the eyes..If you are not married... fast / fast /fast and keep busy with sports/ exercise/ and other halal pursuits/... spending time with muslim or christian friends/ etc. Don't be afraid to call for help.. ie. call a friend of the opposite sex.. don't discuss your particular problem as.. haram should remain hidden. Meet them for coffee ... tennis/ whatever distracts you from the haram.Talk to your spouse, and explain the importance of making regular time for intimate time. If your wife is overweight and it turns you off... talk to her honestly that it would make you happy for her to loose weight... start exercising together..Also, remember appetites are like cousins to one another.. appetite for food is similar for cigarettes, sex, etc... they all stimulate similar receptors in the brain.. if you have difficulty with one appetite then by controlling another one you may find greater ease in fighting an addiction.Bottomline, put up a wall of habits that will eliminate the problem.. i.e. dua's when you go on line, keeping the computer out of private areas, exercise, appetite control (1/3,1/3,1/3) on a regular basis.. then make dua for the others out there who suffer this same ailment.. remember that we can fight and beat this problem..Transparency to your own heart is the key..

Location

San Francisco

Salam alikom brothers, I really love my deen (islam) and i love allah (swt) and the messengers and i belive in everything in the quraan and i belive in all the (hadith, Sunnah) I love reading about islam and the quraan. But there's one thing that i can not control, im so tierd of the filthy sin. And i live in Sweden where there's very much haram everywhere. Sometimes i even think that Allah (swt) wont forgive me. Cause i keep going back to this sin. i have been trying alote of stuff..like i said i keep going back to porn/masterbating. I have done this filthy sin in like 2 years and watching porn like 5month ago. So i need some help badly.

Location

uppsala

Assalamu aleikum dear brothers. I cried like a little kid when seeing this website. Finally I have found help from other muslims and from an Islamic perspective. I think every addict has his or own story to tell, and I think that it is also very important to go back in ones life to see why one has become an addict. Many times one tries to fight the evil and whispers of shaitan but all to often has failed. The pain of failing and shame goes deep into ones soul and person. It leads to dispair. In my own case I have for the most of my life felt alone. I never experienced to have a father in my life, my mother had to work the most of the day and the result was that most of the day I had no parent around to show me the amount of love and securety that a child needs from its parents. Many times I have experienced people leaving my life one or the other way. So when I look back, I think that this empty hole that the lack of love and securety creates is something that alkohol, drugs and even porn fills out very well. And that I think is what has happend to me and to many others. So when one realizes what causes the addiction, one can better - with the help of the Almighty - cure it. "Allah is the best of helpers" is what we muslims have been guided to know, and by Allah this is true. So when one starts to fill out the emptiness that one feels so deep in ones soul with Allah (swt) instead of drugs og in our case porn, one is on the right path. Some methods to fill ones life with Allah is what those 12 steps teatches us. It is also important to remember that Allah loves his slaves beyond what we can ever emagine! On the day to day basis it is also important to avoid everything that leads to watching porn and masturbation. Dont go on the internet unless you know that somebody is able to see what websites you are visiting. Try very hard to avoid fantasies about sex. If a woman is coming down the street towards you, then change sidewalk. Try to stay out of places where theres a lot of people, and were there are many women - especially during summertime. Try every day to avoid everything that potentially and actually leads you closer into the arms of porn. Fill your life with Allah (swt). And talk to others with the same kind of addiction! - like we do it here on this site, and you will know that you are not alone in this. May Allah bless those who have put up this website, and all of those who share their pain and experience and advice. I will make dua' for all of you. Please make dua' for me to.

Location

Denmark

I felt the advice given was sound. However I didn't feel it went far enough. Addiction of this sort really grinds you down, leaving you in such a piteous state so as to wonder if your imaan hasn't been blotted out for good with sin after repeated sin. I'm struggling with my self. The guilt and the shame after having succumbed to inner whisperings is enought to make me want to do something, make a drastic change, but the guilt also leads to self recrimination, blaming yourself, and eventually an apathetic acceptance that you're evil, beyond repair. This feeling which is possibly ubiquitous amongst addicts needs to be tied in with the initial steps. It's true, there is NO Power Except with Allah, and doesn't fighting addiction really hammer that truth home. I hope inshallah i can stave off the desire, with Allah's help.

Location

Canada

Salam Brothers. I too am trying to fight this habit. I believe what is lacking for me is the number of PRACTICAL tips. All the articles (and trust me I've looked hard are very general). Some important tips I would recommend are:1. Whenever you feel like you can't help take a shower. Cold is better but a hot one will do. Just get out of the room you are in and into the shower and literally feel like you are washing away the sin.2. Mornings are the worst time for me. I'll get up for Fajr and literally I am on a hiatus until the afternoon trying to occupy my mind with anything and everything so I am not trying to get rid of that tension. My advice, get an exercise bike and ride it until the feeling goes away. When it comes back get back on it.Guilt is a good thing to prevent us from doing bad but punishment is even better. It may come to a point in your life when you ask Allah for help and literally the only thing that will prevent you from masturbating is finding out you are infertile! Don't wait for Allah to force that final card, take matter into your own hands. When you do fall into the sin, what do we do? We feel guilty. Well, Boo Hoo Brothers! Let us be stronger, okay we have done wrong how are we going to prevent it. Ask Allah for help and Punish yourself, do something that you really would not want to do again a 10mile jog (too much), how about 50 pressups, or whatever works Fasting for a number of days.Allah will not 'change a condition of a people until they change themselves'This advice is as much for me as anyone else. I am off to take a shower. Thanks for a great forum!

Location

UK

Just wanted to shout out to my bro's and sis's who are struggling with what ever monkey(or shayton)they are trying to get of their backs. I have struggled with various addictions. I have, by the grace of Allah, overcome some and also still struggle with some. The interesting thing is that, for me anyway, the addictions seem to be layered. What I mean by that, is one covers another and another. So in the process of overcoming one addiction, I uncover another addiction. I think it's a process of peeling layers until you get to the core issue and then heal that for good inshaAllah. Anyway,inshaAllah, I'll make dua for you all--make dua for me. I can tell you for sure it is possible to overcome anything with the will of Allah. He(swt) tells us to seek His help through patience and prayer. That's the winning formula. I'm telling you from experience. Salaam.

Location

Sunshine State

Hello,My name is Layal Haidari and I am a chase producer at 360 Vision, a current affairs show exploring matters of faith and spirituality on Vision TV, Canada's only multi-faith television network. While researching online i came across this forum and thought I would try getting in touch with Canadians I saw in the forum. I am doing a story on people of faith who suffer from porn addiction and I was hoping to connect with someone to connect with someone who is working to recover from their addictions, or maybe someone who has suffered from addiction to porn, or knows someone who suffers and/or is helping someone to recover. For more information about us check out www.visiontv.ca. I can be reached by phone at 416-368-3194 x607 or by email at lhaidari@visiontv.ca.Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you. I understand that this is a sensitive subject and that it may be hard for people to open up. Either way, I would greatly appreciate if I could hear from you as soon as possible whether or not obtaining this information is possible.Thanks again,LayalLayal HaidariChase Producer360 Vision, Vision TV80 Bond St.Toronto, ONM5B 1X2416-368-3194 x607lhaidari@visontv.ca

Location

toronto

Brothers and sisters, if you have been struggling with giving up addiction to porgnography, or any other addiction for that matter, might I reccomend the use of hypnotherapy as a means of cure. As a student of psychology, I have found in my own research that this is the most effective cure for addiction. The process will take less than fifteen minutes and is guaranteed to work with most people; it worked with myself when nothing else would after so many years of failure.If you do choose to seek out a hypnotherapist, PLEASE make sure you go to someone who is genuinely qualified. Just because they're in the Yellow Pages, it does not mean that they are at all qualified, and improper practice of hypnosis can sometimes have unwanted effects.There's a wealth of information on the internet which you can research, dismissing popular myths about hypnosis and so on.Peace.

Location

England

salam brothers and sisters. i am a sex addict myself and have been one for a few years. It all started when i was 14 years old. the fascination has led me to this.I feel that living in a non muslim country and seeing sexual theme being exploited around I thought that this was an interesting thing. I hope that i wouldve stop viewing porn at an early age. however i have realised that negative aspects of this act and i am trying to give this up. May help us all in recovering from sexual addiction and all of us shoul try top give it up. it causes strain on mind and body bcoz U jus strt spending all ur time thinking abt sex. salam

Location

UK

Salam ou Allikum, There is INTENSE difficulty with trying to quit this rotten, life destroying addiction. Im sick and tired of failing, this takes so very long and its mind numbing. I dont even think quitting cigarettes was this difficult. The 12 step method requires much courage and you need to BEG Allah from the deepest depths of your heart for help and forgiveness. We must keep trying our hardest to vere away from the shaytan. Never give up, fight the oppression of the shaytan the way Allah teaches us to.

Location

Toronto

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