Like talking to children about sex, discussing how to handle pornography is no easy feat. Here are some ideas and talking points for how to bring it up so you can give your child the Islamic perspective.
- Muslims are accountable to Allah for not just what we say or do, but also the kinds of things we see. This includes what we see in person, but also what we watch on television, the types of movies we like to see, photographs on the internet in our email or on various websites, as well as billboards, and posters on bus shelters, in stores and schools.
- Allah loves that we see things that are beautiful and wholesome. Ask your child to give examples of this (e.g. Scenery, funny, clean cartoons or some children's programs). When we see something beautiful that Allah approves of, we should say Subhaan Allah (Glory be to God), remembering that He has the power to create all things.
- Allah does not want us to see things which are bad and which will harm us or scare us. Ask your child to give examples (e.g. Television shows and movies with bad words, gore and extreme violence). Also ask indirectly is your child and his/her friends have seen things which s/he thinks may be inappropriate.
- Looking at people who are not dressed appropriately or doing things they are not supposed to be doing in public is not acceptable to Allah. You can choose to give examples if relevant (e.g. That kissing scene we saw on a favorite sitcom; a beach scene where both women and men were wearing barely there clothes, etc.).
While we can avoid a lot of these things by not visiting certain types of websites and watching certain programs, there are some situations where we still accidentally come across them (e.g. Billboards on the highway, typing in the wrong web address).
- So what should a good Muslim do? Ask for their ideas on this one.
- Discuss lowering the gaze and not looking at that which Allah has not allowed us to.
- Talk about the issue of self-control. Allah has given all of us the ability to do good and avoid the bad. He created us in the best nature and we are born good. Allah wants us to keep our good character. For example, we can control our anger, we can stop ourselves from saying bad words or fighting with our siblings if we choose to. Similarly, we can control ourselves by looking away when we see something wrong. Allah rewards those who practice self-control and avoid seeing, hearing or acting on bad things.
- Emphasize that Allah is Al-Baseer (the All-Seeing) and that He knows about everything we see and do. If we choose to look at something we are not supposed to, He knows and there will be payback for it, even if our parents or others don't find out.
- End the discussion by making Dua together, asking Allah for His guidance for us in all situations and giving us the strength to do that which is good and avoid seeing, hearing and doing that which is bad for us.