When a person contemplates the state of people who are trapped in forbidden lusts and those who pursue the satisfaction of their instincts and desires, you will find that they share a common factor, which is evident in their every movement and moment of repose, and which is reflected in their facial features: a weak connection with Allah The Almighty.
How can a heart which is connected to Allah The Almighty, a heart that knows Him and has tasted the pleasure of being close to Him, find pleasure or comfort in looking at nude pictures, watching pornographic movies or stealing surreptitious gazes at what is unlawful? Thus, everyone who has fallen into one of the sins related to sexual desires, or returned to it after repentance and abandoning it, has been dragged to this state due to the weakness of his faith. Weak faith facilitates the way to his soul which is a persistent enjoiner of evil, as well as to the accursed Satan, and thus he was trapped in the swamps of sexual desire after being firm for a long time in the gardens of faith.
Faith in Allah The Almighty is the shield against falling into prohibitions, second only, of course, to the guidance of Allah The Almighty. The Prophet said:
“The adulterer is not a believer at the time he commits adultery.”
Thus, when faith inhabits the heart, dominates the feelings, and flows to the organs to lead them to the pleasure of Allah The Almighty, the person will not dare to think of committing an act of disobedience. The eye will not dare to look at what is prohibited, nor will any part of the body dare to disobey the commands of Allah The Almighty. Building faith in the heart is not easy; however, the one who insists on knocking on the door will be let in eventually.
This is a modest attempt to help you on your way to strong faith, which destroys the desire that may have humiliated you and caused you to suffer one calamity after another. It involves the following steps:
Strengthening one’s fear of Allah The Almighty:
Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
“But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from [unlawful] inclination, Then indeed, Paradise will be [his] refuge.”
Fear of Allah The Almighty is the real deterrent that prevents you from falling into the clutches of desire, not just the fear of scandal or the fear of diseases. In Madarij As-Salikeen, Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said, “When fear of Allah dwells in the hearts, it burns the places of desires in them.” Below is a practical program that helps to strengthen the fear of Allah The Almighty in your heart:
1. Remembering death often:
The more we remember death, the softer our hearts will be and the greater will be their fear of meeting Allah The Almighty. As we are always committing sins and misdeeds, to remember death constantly, you have to do the following:
– Visit the graves: Make a weekly plan or a plan every two weeks to visit the graves since visiting the graves reminds one of the Hereafter. The Prophet said:
“I had forbidden you to visit the graves; now, you can visit them, for it softens the heart, makes eyes shed tears, and reminds of the Hereafter.”
[Imam Tirmidhi (Al-Albaani classified it as Saheeh)]
– Washing the dead and accompanying funerals: The sight of a dead body being turned in the hands of the washer greatly softens the heart and implants fear of Allah The Almighty.
– Writing one’s will and always looking at it: The Messenger of Allah said: “It is not permissible for any Muslim who has something to will to stay for two nights without executing a written will with him.” [Al-Bukhari] Writing a will and looking into it from time to time keeps you mindful of death.
– Remembering the agonies of death and watching the dying people.
2. Writing down and counting your sins:
The Muslim remembers the sins that he has committed with his body. He remembers the sins of the tongue, like backbiting and tale-bearing, the sins of the eye like looking at what is prohibited, the sins of the private parts like masturbation, etc., and the sins of the heart like arrogance, pride, envy, and others. Thus, the Muslim should remember his failure to carry out his religious duties and the rights of others upon him, which include being dutiful to parents, maintaining kinship ties and others. He should bring to mind his negligence in acts of worship, such as lack of humbleness and concentration in worship, abandoning voluntary acts of worship, and failing to attend congregational and Friday prayers.
After you have written down these sins, also write down the blessings of Allah The Almighty that He has bestowed upon you. Then, make a comparison between the blessings that Allah The Almighty granted you and the sins that you defy Him with night and day. This is sure to fill your heart with fear of Allah The Almighty, that He might punish you for your sins.
Performing acts of worship regularly and perfectly:
Faith requires words, deeds, and belief in the heart, and acts of worship serve as the fuel of faith, which cause it to increase or decrease. This is because faith increases by obedience and decreases by disobedience.
This is a recommended schedule for acts of worship:
– Do not miss congregational prayers in the Masjid, especially the Fajr prayer. This is a sure test of whether you can get rid of this problem from your life. The more you perform the Fajr prayer at its due time, the clearer it becomes that this problem is not deeply rooted in you.
– Observe voluntary prayers after the obligatory ones. These voluntary prayers are twelve Rak‘ahs (units of prayer) every day and night, guaranteeing the one who performs them a house in Paradise. They are four Rak‘ahs before the Dhuhr prayer and two after it, two after the Maghrib prayer, two after the ‘Ishaa’ prayer, and two before the Fajr prayer.
– You should perform the voluntary Witr prayer prayer at night, even if they are one or three short Rak‘ahs.
– In all these prayers, always try to evoke the heart in prayer and encourage your body to be humble as much as possible. This is because prayers forbid immorality and bad conduct, and listening to a lecture on humbleness and concentration in prayer may help with that.
– Give greater care to performing ablution and try to contemplate on its inner dimensions. With every drop of water coming down from your body, Allah The Almighty forgives the sins committed by that part of the body. Think, while performing ablution and with the water dripping from your face, how Allah The Almighty is forgiving your gazing at and listening to things that are prohibited, and how He is forgiving your watching pornographic movies or sites. When the water drips from the fingers of your hands, Allah The Almighty forgives you for all the prohibited actions you did with them, whether they were masturbation, browsing pornographic sites, or other sins that involve your hands. When the water drips from your feet, Allah The Almighty forgives every place to which your legs moved to, for example to a date with a girl, or to obtain a new lewd movie from an evil friend.
– Live in this state when you perform ablution and be completely certain and expect everything good from Allah The Almighty. If you believe that He will forgive you, He, the Exalted, will certainly do so. Allah The Almighty Says in a Qudsi Hadeeth (sacred narration):
“I meet as much expectations of My Slave as he expects of Me (i.e. I am Able to do for him what he expects I can do for him), and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me within himself, I will remember him within Myself, and if he remembers Me in an assembly, I will remember him in a better assembly. If he draws one span nearer to Me, I will draw one Thiraa’ (64 cm) nearer to him; and if he draws one Thiraa’ nearer to Me, I will draw the distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I will go to him running.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim (this is the narration of Al-Bukhari)]