Fatwa: # 19407
Category: Character & Morals
Country: Australia
Date: 12th August 2011

Title

I have been trying so hard to rid of this bad act for so long. I really want to change myself and return to good health and be a better person, What can i do and how can i change my life around?

Question

Assalamualaikum

I have a serious problem. I have been reading your answers with regards to masturbation. I have been trying so hard to rid of this bad act for so long. I have gone at times for a few months without doing it. However, my desires at times get the best of me and i cannot control it. As humans, we are all weak and i have been trying very hard to rid myself of this bad habit, but to no avail. I have experienced many of the problems described in other questions such as diminishing health and going from an athlete young lad, to struggling to run for 100 metres without a problem. I have always felt the Noor has gone from my face and this saddens me. I really want to rid of this act and be able to get back a healthy lifestyle. I have tried fasting as well to help me not be drawn to this act, but this does not help as well. Even at times of fasting, i find that the urge hard to control.

I really want to change myself and return to good health and be a better person, but i fear that i may not achieve that after reading some of the responses. I am in dire need of help. I have been trying many of the suggestions, but am struggling very much. Is there hope and a chance to change? What can i do and how can i change my life around?

Jazakallah

Answer

Assalāmu `alaikum Warahmatullāhi Wabrakatuh,

Having such feelings is a natural instinct of men. A person’s nafs (lower self) will always want to feed this hunger. However, a person needs to control his nafs. The example of the nafs is like a small child; it always demands to get what it wants. The parents of the child know what is beneficial for the child and what is not. They do not accede to everything the child wants even if the child screams or cries. Rather, they take measures to discipline the child. They refine him into a respectable person having good qualities. Similarly, we need to refine our nafs and not allow it everything it wants. A person’s nafs, if not nurtured, will be his greatest enemy, even greater than shaytān (the devil). To the contrary, if a person refines his nafs it will be a great assistant for a person. All the pious people around us too have such desires. The difference is that they control their nafs and our nafs controls us. An example is given of a person travelling in a fast car at the speed of 200 km/h. If he knows how to control the vehicle, he will reach his destination in a short space of time. If he loses control of the vehicle, he is in much danger. A person who has such desires but controls them will reach Allāh Ta’ālā in a short space of time. A person who cannot control his desires is in much danger. And the one with no desire is like a person who has bicycle with a punctured wheel. He will not reach anywhere. Therefore, having such inclinations is not bad or evil at all. The important thing is to control it.

Attaining anything requires effort. Learning to control our nafs also requires effort. This worldly life is a continuous battle between a person and his nafs. Sometimes he will overpower his nafs and at times his nafs will overpower him. When he is able to overcome his nafs, he will make shukr (show his gratitude to Allāh Ta’ālā) and when his nafs overpowers him he will make tawbah (turn to Allāh Ta’ālā in sincere repentance). This is an on-going process until such a time that we gain control over our nafs.

The first thing you need to do is to thank Allāh Ta’ālā for giving you the realization that this act is wrong and also granting you the realization that you need to leave it. Many people say: it is wrong but… Thank Allāh Ta’ālā for this as this is a great bounty in itself.

Thereafter, turn in sincere repentance to Allāh Ta’ālā. Ask Him to help you rid yourself of this evil act.. Cry and beg from Him.  If you commit the sin hundred times, turn hundred and one times in repentance. If the nafs does not stop doing the evil why should we stop the good? Sometimes you might feel as your repentance is not accepted or you are not sincere as you continue over and over again with the some sin. Do not worry of such thoughts. Shaytān wants that a person to continue with his wrong and not get them forgiven in the court of Allāh Ta’ālā.  Never ever be despondent from the infinite mercy of Allāh Ta’ālā. Together with making tawbah, also ask Allāh Ta’ālā to assist you in leaving this bad habit. We are incapable of doing anything without the help of Allāh Ta’ālā.

Understand well that you do have the ability to leave this act. This has formed a habit. It will take some effort but you are sure to overcome it. Allāh Ta’ālā does not burden a person with what he is unable to do.

{لا يكلف الله نفسا إلا وسعها لها ما كسبت وعليها ما اكتسبت البقرة } [البقرة: 286]

Allah does not obligate anyone beyond his capacity. For him is what he has earned, and on him what he has incurred. [2:286]

 This apply to all times and ages. Yes, with the given environment we live in, it might be a bit more difficult but we can do it. All it requires is a little courage. Be positive that I can leave it and I am going to leave it, with the help of Allāh Ta’ālā.

You mentioned in your query that sometimes you go on for a few months but then fall back in it again. Continue trying. Never lose hope. When a child learns to ride bicycle he will fall many times before he can get the nick of balancing his bike. He continues trying despite his falling.. When he falls he immediately gets up and jumps back on his bike. He does not remain fallen. Similarly, when we fall, raise up again, turn to Allāh Ta’ālā in repentance and continue. Don’t remain down. Get up and move forward, even if this happens over and over again. The struggle should continue.

The best option is to get married. Nabi (Sallallahu `alayhi wasallam) advised:

 

صحيح البخاري- طوق النجاة - (7 / 3)

باب من لم يستطع الباءة فليصم

5066 - حدثنا عمر بن حفص بن غياث حدثنا أبي حدثنا الأعمش قال حدثني عمارة عن عبد الرحمن بن يزيد قال دخلت مع علقمة والأسود على عبد الله فقال عبد الله كنا مع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم شبابا لا نجد شيئا فقال لنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يا معشر الشباب من استطاع الباءة فليتزوج فإنه أغض للبصر وأحصن للفرج ومن لم يستطع فعليه بالصوم فإنه له وجاء

 

O group of youth whoever has the ability to marry then he should marry for verily this is a means of lowering ones gazes and protecting ones chastity. Whoever cannot do so then he should take to fasting for verily this is a shield for him.

 

If, for any reason, you cannot get married then take to fasting. Commentators of hadith mention that the object of this narration is that a person should stay hungry. (Mirqāt) You mentioned that you fast but this does not help. When fasting, do not have a heavy sehri (pre-dawn meal) and iftār (meal when breaking the fast). Do not eat too many dates at the time of iftār. Fast as much as possible and when not fasting, be sure to control your diet.  Abstain from items which increase in a person body heat. Eat less but not so little that you cannot carry out your daily routine and cannot fulfill your obligations. Eat to the extent that you still have some desire to eat a bit more. Be careful of what you eat. Eat healthy and wholesome food. Allāh Ta’ālā says in the noble Qurān:

 

{ يا أيها الرسل كلوا من الطيبات واعملوا صالحا إني بما تعملون عليم } [المؤمنون: 51]

O messengers, eat from the good things, and act righteously. Of whatever you do, I am fully aware. [23:51]

The reason of mentioning do good deeds after mentioning eat good things is that what we eat will have an effect on our actions. The output is according to the intake.

Stay away from all things that provoke a person’s desires. Do not think of anything evil. Controlling the eyes from non-mahram (those females with whom marriage is permissible) is of uttermost importance. What the eye does not admire, the heart does not desire. Avoid reading anything that would arouse your desires. Do not use the internet when there is no need. Block unwanted images.

Keep good company. Keep yourself always occupied. An idle mind is the devils workshop. Be punctual with you five daily salāh in the masjid. Read a lot of Islamic literature. Join in the activities of your local masjid or in some local welfare work.

Most important, built a connection with the noble Quran. Make it part of your daily routine to dedicate some time to the recitation of the noble Quran. The noble Quran is a cure for all our spiritual ailments. Allāh Ta’ālā says:

{ يا أيها الناس قد جاءتكم موعظة من ربكم وشفاء لما في الصدور وهدى ورحمة للمؤمنين } [يونس: 57]

O men, there has come to you an advice from your Lord, and a cure for the ailments of your hearts, and guidance and mercy for the believers. [10:57]

Ramadhān is the best time to begin. After Ramadhan continue with your recitation daily even if it is a small portion but be punctual with it. Specify a time and portion and hold on tightly to it.

 

صحيح البخاري- طوق النجاة - (8 / 98)

6464 - حدثنا عبد العزيز بن عبد الله حدثنا سليمان عن موسى بن عقبة عن أبي سلمة بن عبد الرحمن عن عائشة أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال سددوا وقاربوا واعلموا أن لن يدخل أحدكم عمله الجنة وأن أحب الأعمال إلى الله أدومها وإن قل

Sayyidatunā `Āishah (Radiyallāhu Ta’ālā `anhā) relates that Nabi (Sallallāhu `alayhi wasallam) mentioned: Verily the most beloved actions unto Allah are those upon which a person is constant, though it might be less in number. (Bukhari 6464)

You mentioned that from an athlete young lad you can no longer run 100 meters. Within the limits of shari`ah do some exercise. If the need be consult a doctor for medical assistance.

The nur of imān is still in your heart.. Insha Allāh, with a tiny bit of effort the nur will illuminate your face once again.

We ask Allāh Ta’ālā to cure all who are afflicted with this disease. If you require further assistance, feel free to write back to us.

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Ishaaq E. Moosa
Benoni.

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
www.daruliftaa.net

 

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