Case 33: Sister suffering from OCD

‎﷽‎

ولحَمْدُ الله رب العلمين

‎و الصلاة و السلام على محمد و على آله و اصحابه اجمعين وبعد

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

❓*Question* ❓

Today’s question is regarding a sister who has constant doubts regarding her wudu and salah, and she takes anywhere around 25-30 minutes just to perform her wudu, and more so with her salah, because she has this compulsive thought that she might have made mistakes and might have not done it properly. This makes her mentally and physically weak and tired.

Answer.

According to Mayo Clinic, Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions). It’s also possible to have only obsessions or only compulsions and still have OCD.

OCD in Islam can comprise of taking too much time to make wudu, fear that one might have missed something in their salah, or that their tajweed isn’t proper, feeling impure all the time, or even having thoughts that you can’t even mention in front of anyone, repeatedly so much so that it has become an obsession and compulsion that has disrupted their every waking moment. From an Islamic stand point these are usually considered as waswasaah or whisperings from shaitaan.

Some people are overcome by certain uncontrollable thoughts, which are at times accompanied by self-invented rituals. When these thoughts and rituals take more than 1 hour per day, then a person is said to be suffering from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

The most common OCD obsessions and compulsions among Muslims are:

– Which Rak’ah of Salah am I performing?

– Doubt whether I performed Salah correctly or not.

– Fear of impurities when doing Wudu’ and while performing Salah.

– Doubts of passing wind, and nullification of Wudu’.

– Doubts regarding Wudu’: whether it was performed correctly or not.

– Blasphemous thoughts.

– Constant feeling that the clothes are unclean.

These obsessions lead to certain compulsions:

– Doing Sajda e Sahu in every Salah

– Re-performing Salah

– Performing Wudu’ several times

– Taking a lot of time in doing Wudu’

– Spending too much time in all purification/washing activities e.g. washing hands after meal

Defining features of these Obsessions are:

* Intrusive quality: The thought, image, or impulse repeatedly enters consciousness in an unintended manner; that is, it occurs against one’s will. An emotional feeling that is compulsive is associated with the thought. These are mostly unwanted thoughts leading to unwanted emotions.

* Unacceptability: The negative effect associated with these unwanted thoughts and emotions may vary from an annoyance to unpleasantness or distress to strong fear or anxiety.

* Subjective Resistance: There is a strong urge to resist, suppress, dismiss, or prevent the obsession from entering consciousness, either through avoidance, thought control approaches, or overly repetetive rituals.

* Uncontrollability: There is an internal sense of decreased control over the obsession.

We all know that we have a Shaitaan (Jinn, Qareen) attached to us, and it constantly whispers to us and instills deceiving thoughts in our minds, making us feel that they are our own thoughts. Sometimes people exaggerate these whispers, or waswasaas to such an extent that they start thinking them to be sacred. If these thoughts were sacred then why do you suffer from them?

There are two types of people who fall victim to these whispers or waswasaas to such an extent that it becomes an abnormality/disorder.

* For some people it becomes very difficult to repel these whispers or negative thoughts as useless, because they tend to remain confused on the source of such thoughts. They jumble up waswasaas with thoughts from one’s self (mind), and from one’s inner self (nafs).

* Others tend to be totally heedless of the severity of these waswasaas, and every thought that comes with a certain level of strength they tend to label it as their own. And there might be some who don’t really ‘believe’ in shaitaan’s whispers.

So, for one reason or the another, when one starts to dwell in these waswasaas, they may develop this disorder and those who overcome Shaitaan will not develop it. Our ardent enemy shaitaan is invisible so there is a specific way of fighting it.

– Firstly one needs to be aware of the tactics of the Shaitaan and his powers and limitations

– One needs to know the elements of waswasaas of Shaitaan

– One needs to be aware of their own powers and limitations.

Cognitive theory in the study of psychology suggests that as long as people interpret intrusive thoughts as ‘catastrophic’, and as long as they continue to believe that such thinking to be true, they will continue to be distressed and will practice avoidance and/or ritualistic behaviors .

Prophet Muhammadﷺ said: “Allahﷻ has forgiven the wasaawis (satanic whispers/intrusions) that arise in the hearts of the people of my nation until one acts upon them or talks about them”

[Sahih Bukhari and Muslim]

It is because when we ignore them, and don’t talk about them or do not act up on them, they do not harm us in any way, ‎إن شاء الله

This hadith is to prevent ourselves from being a victim of waswaas. But, in this sister’s case she has already dwelled into these whispers to an extent that she is obsessed with them, and the self-invented rituals (compulsions) are taking a notable time away from her daily life.

Waswasaa is something that happens with all of us, but some of us dwell in them so much, in heir frequency and the actions that they drive the person into makes them a ‘patient’. And there is a solution for every disease.

Prophet Muhammadﷺ said: “Allah‎ﷻ has not sent down any disease but He has also sent down its cure. Those who know it, know it, and those who do not know it, do not know it.”

[Narrated by Ahmad ; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Ghaayat al-Maraam]

Once one has come to this stage, they need to carefully measure their actions and follow some steps to get rid of them.

* Disregarding any waswasah about breaking wudu’

Repeating Wudu’ again and again due to doubts is the result of waswasah. It is an action driven by a negative thought. Wudu’ does not break on mere doubts and this rule is very clear from the hadith of the Prophetﷺ:

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet Muhammadﷺ said, “If one of you finds a disturbance in his abdomen and is not certain if he has released any gas or not, he should not leave the mosque unless he hears its sound or smells an odour.”

[Sahih Muslim]

On one hand one should not be careless to the extent that even when they know that they don’t have wudu’ they assume the opposite, and on the other hand they should not be extremist and follow the doubts when they are quite sure. So, repeating the wudu’ on doubts (whether severe or slight) is in and of itself a disobedience to the order of Prophet Muhammadﷺ and not an act of piety like Shaitaan makes one feel. Imposing on your-self too-much strictness in a matter of religion which has been kept flexible by Prophet Muhammadﷺ means taking-away importance from some other matter. So, Prophet Muhammadﷺ closed the door of this innovation of repeating wudu’ on doubts and clarified that wudu’ is rendered as nullified only when there is certainty of that.

A desert Arab came to the messenger of Allahﷺ and asked him about wudu’. He demonstrated (washing each part of his body) thrice, and then said: That is (the method of) ablution. And he who does more than this has done wrong, transgressed the limit and has oppressed (himself).

[Sunan ibn Majah- classified as sahih by Al Albani]

* Wasting Water in Wudu’

When one starts following the doubts that Shaitaan creates in one’s mind, they get into a lot of other sins including wasting water by performing Wudu’ again and again, by taking bath time and again with an extended period under the shower owing to extreme care, and by washing one’s clothes on mere doubts of impurity etc.

It has been narrated on the authority of Abdullah bin ‘Umar, that the Prophetﷺ passed by Sa’ad he was performing wudu’. He said: What wastage is this? Sa’ad said: Is there wastage in wudu’ also? The Prophetﷺ said: Yes, even if you are at a flowing river.

[Masnad Ahmed and Sunan Ibn e Majah, The hadith has a weak chain as pointed out by al-Albani but it is used to emphasize an established fact which is mentioned many a time in the Qur’an itself.]

Allahﷻ says in the Qur’an:

“….And eat and drink and be not extravagant; surely He does not love the extravagant.”

[ Surah Al A’araf :31]

“…and do not act extravagantly; surely He does not love the extravagant.”

[Surah Al-An’aam:141]

* Doubts/Uncertainty/Forgetfulness in Salah

Mind wandering away in Salah is very common, and it even happened at the time of Sahaba, and Prophetﷺ told us of a Specific Shaitaan who does that and asked us to seek refuge from it and spit to ward off the Shaitaan. Heﷺ did not mention Sajda e Sahw in this case, so one should not make it a habit to do Sajda e Sahw at the end of every Salah considering that his mind did wander away to some extent.

The Messenger of Allahﷺ said, “A person may be distracted whilst praying so only one-half of it, or one-quarter, or one-tenth or less, is recorded for him”

[Masnad Ahmed bin Hanbal and Sunan Abu Dawud, authenticated by al-Albani]

One important thing for those suffering from waswasaas is to know: You are not suffering from any memory-loss rather it’s a reduced confidence in one’s memory. Shaitaan is attacking your subconscious memory as he can’t really change your conscious memory directly. So, you must remember that when you suffer from forgetfulness in Salah, that might be natural if it happens rarely, considering that it some times also happened in the life of Prophetﷺ as well, and he was the best to walk the earth. But, if that happens very often then you are person who is doubting a lot and is affected by waswaas; then this hadith (below) should help them realise that their main objective is to humiliate the shaitaan by not being bothered by those doubts and retaliating by your actions.

Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri, Allah’s Messengerﷺ said , “If any of you doubts during his prayer and he does not know how many [raka’aat] he has prayed, whether it is three or four, then he should discard and cast away his doubt. He is to continue upon what one is sure of [i.e. the lesser] then perform two prostrations before making tasleem. If he ends up [in reality] praying five [raka’aat], then his prayer will be an intercession for him; and if he ends up completely the [requisite] four [raka’aat] then it is targheeman for Shaitaan.”

[Sahih Al Muslim]

* Transgressing in Purification

Being over conscious about purity and cleanliness is also against Islam. Islam being a balanced religion does not guide us to any extremism. It is true that Islam declares “cleanliness” as half of “faith” but it does not allow anyone to get into cleanliness issues so much that other aspects of deen are forgotten.

`Abdullah ibn Mughffal narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said, “There will be people from my nation who will transgress in making supplications and in purifying themselves”

[Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and An-Nasa’I and it has been authenticated by al-Albani]

* Wasting Time

‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud reported that the Messenger of Allahﷺ said, “The feet of the son of Adam will not move away from his Lord on the Day of Resurrection till he is asked about five things about his life, how he spent it; about his youth, how he passed it; about his wealth, how he earned it; and on what he poured it; and what he did with that which he learnt.”

[Jami’ Tirmidhi]

Half an hour for every Salah (common for OCD patients) and few more times here and there makes it around 3 hours/day in the washroom. When you are asked on the Day of Judgment: “Where did you spend your age? 3 hours/day makes it 1100 hours/year approximately. Meaning a person living 60 years spends almost 8 years in the washroom. Are you ready to reply Allah that I used to spend 1/8th of my day in the washroom and hence I spent 8 or so years of my life in washroom?

* Precaution or Waswasah

What an OCD person labels as precaution is in reality a waswasah.

– Precaution is to follow the Sunnah in the best possible way and to avoid any negligence and exaggeration in following the Sunnah.

– Waswasah is that a person exaggerates beyond the practice of Allah’s Messengerﷺ and his companions, deeming it to be a part of religion or a necessary ‘precaution’ for himself. E.g. Cleaning parts of body more than thrice in wudu’, using excessive water in wudu’ or ghusl etc

Ibn al-Qayyim says, “There are thousands of things which the people afflicted with waswasaah take as a part of religion, cloaked in ‘precaution’, whereas, precaution is to be exercised in following the sunnah”

[Kitab ur Ruh, Ibn al-Qayyim]

Anyone suffering from such doubts and waswasaas should take these points into consideration and ‎إن شاء الله try to understand that in the pursuit of pleasing Allah‎ﷻ, they are in fact falling prey to extremism which is in and of itself a sin.

I ask Allah‎ﷻ to protect us from the Waswasaas of Shaitaan, and our own Nafs. And, I ask Him‎ﷻ to protect us from any form of transgressions against our souls and keep keep us steadfast upon the Sirat Al Mustaqeem and the middle path.

أمين يا رب العلمين

‏[Source: Islamandpsychology.blogspot.ae]

‎سُبحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِ العِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُون وَسَلَامٌ عَلى المُرسَلِين والحَمدُ الله رَبِ العلمين

🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸

Solace Islamic Assistance

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Case 29: Missed Ramadan Fasts And Importance of Shawwal fasts

بِسْم الله⚜⚜

الحمد الله⚜

والصَّلات والسَّلام على رسول الله⚜

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

🔴Question:

🔼The question we are going to answer this week is very relevant for the month of Ramadan. A sister has asked us about how to make up missed Ramadan fasts. And also the importance of fasting during the month of shawwal.

🔵Answer:

🔹Let’s start by discussing how important it is to fast during this blessed month.

🌻The Prophet (ﷺ) said, 💡”In Jannah, there is a gate which is called “Ar-Raiyyan” through which only those who observe ‘Saum’ (fasting) will enter on the Day of Resurrection. No one else will enter through it. It will be called out, “Where are those who observe fasting?” So they will stand up and proceed towards it. When the last of them will have entered, the gate will be closed and then no one will enter through that gate.” 💡

[Bukhari Muslim, riyad as-salihin 1217]

🌻The Prophet (ﷺ) said,💡 “He who observes fasting during the month of Ramadan with Faith, while seeking its reward from Allah‎ﷻ, will have his past sins forgiven.”💡

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim, riyad as-salihin 1219]

🌻The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, 💡”Allah the Exalted and Majestic said: ‘Every act of the son of Adam is for him, except As-Siyam (the fasting) which is (exclusively) for Me, and I will reward him for it.’

Fasting is a shield. When anyone of you is observing fast, he should neither indulge in obscene language nor should he raise his voice; and if anyone reviles him or tries to quarrel with him, he should say: ‘I am fasting.’ By Him in Whose Hand the soul of Muhammad‎ﷺ‎ is, the breath of one observing Saum is sweeter to Allah‎ﷻ than the fragrance of musk. The one who fasts, experiences two joys: he feels pleasure when he breaks the fast. He is joyful by virtue of his fast when he meets his Rubb.”💡

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim, riyad as-salihin 1215]

🔘So it is of paramount importance that as Muslims we fast during this month to gain the favors of our Rabb.

🔘But if we miss some fasts due to reasons such as sickness or travelling, or menstruation in the case of women, then we must make it up after Ramadan, and we must make up the number of days that we did not fast, because Allah‎ﷻ says:

🌟“and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number [of days which one did not observe Sawm (fasts) must be made up] from other days”🌟

[al-Baqarah 2:185].

🌼‘Aisha رضى الله عنه said: That (i.e., menstruation) would happen to us and we would be told to make up the fasts, but we were not told to make up the prayers.

[Al-Bukhaari (321) and Muslim (335)]

🔘The time for making up the fasts lasts until the next Ramadan begins; we can make them up at any time during this period, on consecutive days or separately.

🔘It is not permissible for us to delay making them up after the following Ramadan, unless we have an excuse.

The one who breaks the fast with no excuse also has to repent to Allah, regret what they have done, resolve never to do it again, and do a lot of righteous deeds such as observing nawafil fasts and so on.

Allah‎ﷻ says:

🌟“And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them (till his death)🌟.

🔘And about the fasting of shawwal,it can’t be stressed enough how important it is. Fasting six days of Shawwaal after the obligatory fast of Ramadan is Sunnah Mustahabbah, not waajib. It is recommended for the Muslim to fast six days of Shawwaal, and in this there is great virtue and an immense reward. Whoever fasts these six days will have recorded for him a reward as if he had fasted a whole year, as was reported in a saheeh hadeeth from the Prophet‎ﷺ‎.

🌼Abu Ayyoob رضى الله عنه reported that the Messenger of Allah‎ﷺ‎ said: 💡“Whoever fasts Ramadan and follows it with six days of Shawwaal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.”💡

[Narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nisaa’i and Ibn Maajah].

🔘Another of the important benefits of fasting six days of Shawwaal is that it makes up for any shortfall in a person’s obligatory Ramadan fasts, because no one is free of shortcomings or sins that have a negative effect on his fasting. On the Day of Resurrection, some of his nawafil deeds will be taken to make up the shortcomings in his obligatory deeds, as the Prophet‎ﷺ‎ said:💡 “The first thing for which people will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection will be their salaah (prayer). Our Rabb‎ﷻ will say to His angels – although He knows best – ‘Look at the salaah of My slave, whether it is complete or incomplete.’ If it is perfect, it will be recorded as perfect, and if something is lacking, He will say, ‘Look and see whether My slave did any voluntary (nawafil) prayers.’ If he did some voluntary prayers, [Allah] will say, Complete the obligatory actions of My slave from his voluntary actions.’ Then all his actions will be dealt with in a similar manner.” 💡

[Narrated by Abu Dawood].

🌷May Allah‎ﷻ grant us the strength to increase our Ibadah and let our deeds be only for His sake and  and every act of Ibadah done with Ikhlas this Ramadan.

أمين يا رب العلمين

🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸

Solace Islamic Assistance 

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Case 27: Productivity in Ramadan

‎﷽‎

والحَمْدُ الله رب العلمين

‎و الصلاة و السلام على محمد و على آله و اصحابه اجمعين وبعد

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته!

🔴Question:

🔘This sister wanted to know, how to make her Ramadan productive, and how she can eaaily wake up for Tahajjud. Since we are into Ramadan now, I thought it best to put aside other cases, and use this opportunity to talk a little bit about Ramadan and productivity ‎إن شاء الله; and you will receive a surprise gift from us as well. ‎إن شاء الله 😊

🔵Answer:

!‎الحمد لله‎ . Allah‎ﷻ has made us witness another Ramadan and I ask Allah‎ﷻ to forgive us our sins and make this Ramadan a means of attaining Taqwa; and make it a transformational experience, so that we may work towards achieving our goals.

⌚Talking about Goals; How many of you plan your goals?

🎯We all know about Ramadan being a training period every year, for us to modify our habits and build our character; striving and struggling towards becoming an 🌸Ideal Muslimah🌸 ‎إن شاء الله

⚠But most of us get stuck at some point, not knowing what to do or how to go about achieving these goals. Sure, we listen to lectures and we read articles and books pertaining to self- development / improvement; but then we are never motivated to move to the next step.

👍I am telling that now it’s possible for you to be motivated, and this is not going to happen by merely reading article after article and listening to one motivational speech/ lecture after another.

❓ Then how are you going to make this happen?

✅Well, what I am about to share is my personal journey. It’s still a journey and it will remain so, until we meet our Rabb, ‎إن شاء الله.

The Messenger ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) said, 💡“When the inhabitants of Paradise enter Paradise, Allah will say to them, ‘Do you want Me to give you anything more?’ They will reply, ‘Have You not made our faces bright? Have You not brought us into Paradise and moved us from Hell?’ Allah will then remove the Veil and they will feel that they have not been awarded anything dearer to them than looking at their Lord.”💡

[Sahih Muslim]

☘Before I go on further, I want to share an interesting thought about goals, which was explained to me by one of my teachers. The concept of ‘Goals’ and ‘Milestones’! She explained, that our ultimate ‘goal’ is to meet Allah‎ﷻ! That should be our primary focus and the rest of the mini goals are the milestones!☞ These could be, wanting to overcome your anger, laziness or any bad habit, making up missed fasts, waking up for Tahajjud; could be anything.

🔷 Moving on from here, let’s see how to achieve these milestones, so we can achieve our ultimate Goal of meeting with our Rabb.

⭐So, here it is:

👣One step at a time.

➡ This concept should be used for any milestone, that you might have for yourself. Have you seen a baby who learns to walk for the first time? Imagine, if this baby attempts to run on his very first step, he would take a fall, isn’t it? Or, imagine this child refuses to take any effort to walk, because he is too comfortable in his mama’s lap. Now that’s just a hypothetical situation. We know, that it’s a natural phenomena and every healthy child, when he reaches a particular stage, is bound to do the things that Allah‎ﷻ has ordained him to do. Similarly, Allah‎ﷻ did not create our bodies or our minds to rust away. Our bodies were created for physical activity, to move around and work; and our minds were created, so that we can use our intellect- think, ponder and reflect. We are required to use them to our benefit. Allah‎ﷻ sent down the Islamic Shari’ah through our Prophet‎ﷺ‎, as a means to perfect these aspects in us. So, it is upto us how much effort we put into achieving these milestones!

🌼Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allahﷺ said,💡 “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.”💡

{Sunan Ibn Mājah 4240

Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani}

✅So, having this hadith in mind, let’s see how we can convert these small and consistent deeds into actions.

💠 Identify your milestones (Dunya) and Goals(Akhirah)

💠 Create a list of these.

💠 Be consistent.

💠 Take Action.

⭐Now comes, the ‘how’ part: when you start out to do something, imagine you have a sink full of dishes to do, (well we don’t have to imagine that now, do you? That’s a reality for every house wife.) So, you have this sink full of dishes you are dreading to wash. It’s a milestone for that particular hour, and I hate to do dishes; a sink full petrifies me. So, what I do is, I don’t think too much about it. Sure I have times when I get intimidated with it, and walk in and out of the kitchen a couple of times, but then I don’t dwell in the thought of, “how am I going to do this?” The more I think about this the more I won’t want to do it. What I am doing here is, procrastinating and the result of that would be more piled up dishes and ‘lost time’; the most important thing not to lose. So, instead of dwelling in the thought of how am I going to do it, I dive right into it, and one dish at a time, the job is done.🔼Same for laundry, putting the clothes for drying, one piece of clothing at a time; Quran, one ayah at a time; Tahajjud- 2 rakah at a time.I am sure you have all got my point. The key is to ‘Dive Right Into It’.

💠 Up your Dua.

We are in such a Mubarak month, where the shaiateen are locked up, and we have better control over ourselves. Every year when Allah‎ﷻ let’s us witness this month by His mercy, where He is giving us a Jackpot Bonanza in everything, especially dua, we need to make use of this blessing, ask Allah to make it easy for us to overcome any habit we might want to change, or any knowledge we want to gain; or if we are a student of knowledge, to make the learning easy for us. Make dua for your family situations, for Rizq, for anything and everything no matter how small; He is the Al Wahhab- The All Giving and Ar- Razzaq- The All Provider. So, who shall we turn to, if not Him, to answer our Dua’s.

💠 Schedule your tasks.

A lot of us lack this skill. This is something we do not give much importance to, thinking, that we would take life as it comes. While there is nothing wrong in taking our lives as it comes, which it does anyway, cause Allah is the One who is in control of our affairs; we need to have some amount of disciple in our lives, if we want stability in our lives. Our deen is about discipline and schedule.’ How?’, you may ask: Our Five Daily Prayers! This is the proof, emphasizing the importance of having a schedule and disciplined life.

Organize and schedule your daily tasks around the Salah timings. From Fajr to Dhur, I will do these things, from Dhur to Asr, these things and so forth.

💠Give priority to Salah:

Leave what you are doing, and head to finish your prayers as soon as possible. There will be immense blessings in your time, when you prioritize meeting your Rabb over other things.

💠Increase your Charity:

Finally, I want to tell the sister who asked the question; she said she wanted something that can be done easil; to that I want to say that, nothing is easy sis, especially when you want to change something in your life. It requires hard work, dedication and sincere intention to change what’s not working for you in your life. The only way it becomes easy, is by holding on to Allah’s rope and making Dua to Him‎ﷻ to make things easy for you, and only H‎e‎ﷻ can do that. As long as your intention is right, and you do everything for His sake; for example, you want to bring about these changes in your life to get closer to Him, He will facilitate it for you ‎إن شاء الله. And Ramadan is the best time to bring about those changes.

I ask Allah‎ﷻ to help us schedule, disciple, and build positive habits in this Blessed month and May He help us stick to these changes even after Ramadan, and May He let us witness another Ramadan to reap it’s benefits.

أمين يا رب العلمين

‎سُبحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِ العِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُون وَسَلَامٌ عَل

المُرسَلِين والحَمدُ الله رَبِ العلمين

🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸

Solace Islamic Assistance

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Case 24: Pornography addiction

‎﷽‎

ولحَمْدُ الله رب العلمين

‎و الصلاة و السلام على محمد و على آله و اصحابه اجمعين وبعد

السلام عليكم ررحمة الله وبركاته

🔴Question:

☞Today’s question is related to a certain disease of the heart. This is a very dangerous disease and needs to be addressed among our community. The sister’s husband is addicted to pornography and she wanted some solutions for the same.

🔵Answer:

🕸Secular Perspective🕸

🔼Let’s first see what pornography means from a secular perspective. It originated in the mid 19th century from greek word-‘ pornographos’, which means,’ studying or writing about the prostitutes’.

And what does a prostitute mean? ‘Someone who sells intimacy for the sake of making money!’

So, we can see here, that such a disgusting study, that was considered a taboo in the past, is now considered an expression of Art. نعوذ بالله

I haven’t gone into too much details with the secular perspective, because it does not require too much of our attention.

🌙Islamic Perspective:

On the other hand, what is important for us to understand, is the Islamic perspective on pornography. What does Islam say about this subject.

As Allah‎ﷻ says in the Quran:

🌟 Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their head covers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.🌟

{Surah An Noor: 30-31}

Allah‎ﷻ tells the men to lower their gaze and protect their private parts; and women to lower their gaze, protect their private parts and an added step to cover their adornments. There is Allah’s infinite wisdom behind why Allah‎ﷻ asks women to go a step further and cover herself. The reason being, that men are more visually stimulated than women, it’s that simple!…. if we look at the media today, women are marketed as commodities to sell a product which has no connection to women whatsoever. Allah‎ﷻ has created women with forbearance to look beyond physical beauty and other qualities of a man but the same cannot be said about the men in general sense. Now, it does not mean that women aren’t attracted to physical beauty; Allah‎ﷻ does command the women to lower their gaze as well, right? It only means that women are not as affected by visual stimuli as men, again in a general sense.

✏Now, the definition of pornography from an Islamic perspective is: The exposure of that which is impermissible to look at. So, what is this ‘impermissible’? Islam is very clear about the ‘Awrah” of a man and a woman.

🔸Firstly: the ‘awrah [that which should be covered] of a man is the area between the navel and the knees, because the Prophet ‎ﷺ‎ said: 💡“What is between the navel and the knees is ‘awrah.” 💡(A hasan hadeeth narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawood and al-Daaraqutni). This is the view of the majority of scholars.

🔸Secondly: 💡”When a girl reaches the menstrual age, it is not proper that anything should remain exposed except this and this. He pointed to the face and hands.”💡[Abu Dawud] There is difference of opinion amongst scholars on this, as some say that a woman’s face is a part of her awrah. We shall not be discussing about that here.

Also in another hadith the Prophet‎ﷺ‎ said: 💡“A man should not look at the ‘awrah of another man and a woman should not look at the ‘awrah of another woman.” 💡(Narrated by Muslim).

So, This is how Islam looks at pornography: that we are not even allowed to glance at that which is forbidden and yet, in today’s time and age we are exposed and bombarded with these images in our face; what with the billboards with half naked women, and advertisements on tv and newspapers and various media. This so called mild and moderate nudity, was considered soft-core pornography even by western standards a few years back.

🏳When the line of the manmade moral code of conduct is crossed, the society is no longer uncomfortable with being exposed to fahsha (shamelessness) that exists in it, as we are desensitized by it. Will talk a little more about this in a while.

But, we as Mulsims, do not follow this manmade code. We follow the Divine code that was given to us by Allah‎ﷻ, and Islam is very clear and has given us a detailed do and don’t to protect ourselves from this disease.

☠Effects of Pornography on the Brain☠

Pornography is a gateway drug, like Marijuana. Let me explain it’s effects on our brain:

➡Once a person consumes pornography, his brain releases chemicals like Dopamine and Oxytocin which are responsible for physical enjoyment. It stimulates the brain to capture a memory of this enjoyment. It takes notes that upon experiencing this visual stimuli, I had a good feeling, so the person comes back for more. Now, what happens is, when he comes back for the same amount of stimuli, his brain balances itself out, meaning the brain is desensitized. It does not give him that enjoyment anymore; so he wants to consume more and more and his need is never satisfied. The result of this is, the person leads towards deviant behavior; with attraction towards the opposite gender, same gender, etc…. and also develops violent tendencies, such as rape scene visualization etc. He reaches an animalistic level to attain that physical enjoyment; now that he is desensitized towards his violent thoughts and behavior. Hence, they are prone to abusive and violent behavior within the family setting.

☠Problems Encountered☠

🔼1. Women are viewed as a Commodity and Child trafficking becomes prevalent.

🔼2. The labels of Softcore and Hardcore; because when the desensitization takes place, the Nafs wants more and more to feed that monster.

🔼3. Unrealistic perception of intimacy; wanting to act like the videos, which is unbecoming of a husband or wife to do that. It’s like watching a fantasy movie like Harry Potter and believing it to be real and expecting that kind of ridiculous magic to work in real life.

🔼4. Self- Loathing; The emptiness that follows this leaves much more to be desired and destroys the rational thinking of a person.

🔼5. A shift in moral compass: Only one half a century ago, exposing the knee was considered lewd, and now it’s way off. The shorter the dress, the more hip a person is considered to be.

☔The Four Primary Relationships that are affected by this addiction:☔

🔥1. With their Spouse:

Many men don’t even consider this to be zina (adultery). What kind of trust would there be between a husband and wife with this kind of behavior. Wives feel they don’t have husbands anymore and husbands question what their wives do in their absence when they leave the home.

🔥2. With their children:

Children stumble upon their parents saved pictures and videos. Parents are spending time away from the family, because they are busy indulging in lewdness. Children feel they don’t have parents anymore and parents lose respect in their sight.

🔥3. With the world:

The direct result of watching these materials is losing haya and shame. Their outlook on the world, and their ability to interact and maintain cordial personal and professional relationships fail.

The Most important of all.

🔥4. With Allah‎ﷻ:

His honor does not have room for us to turn our glances away from Him. Our Eeman is damaged. What happens when we no longer have haya from Allah; when we forget He is watching us in an action so shameful and derogatory to ourselves. Allah gifted these eyes to us; we did not purchase these eyes at a luxury store. If we misuse these eyes to look at haram, how can we expect that Allah will allow us to look at Him on the Day of Judgement. The greatest reward in Jannah is the joy of seeing His Majesty!

And we misuse this gift (by looking at forget about the western definition but) by looking at the Islamic definition of shamelessness even. ‎سبحان الله‎

✏Practical and Spiritual Steps for overcoming this disease of the heart.✏

Before I give you these steps, I want to mention a little about the destructive cycle of pornography.

💀Fantasizing ➡ Obsessing ➡ Substance Abuse ➡ Loss of Control ➡ Guilt of Use ➡ Interruption of Use ➡ Passage of Time ➡ Internal Frustration ➡ Fantasizing and so forth.

As the title suggests, its a cycle and a cycle constitutes links, and this cycle can be broken only by breaking the link. But, to start with, why does the fantasizing takes place?

✔It’s that first look and the first exposure!

So, for someone who is having difficulty in keeping the glances in check, refrain from falling into this vicious cycle.

❓HOW? By following these Steps:

🌱Practical Steps🌱

✅1. Cut off the means.

Limit the time spent on your devices; Phones, Tabs and Laptops. If you feel that you are in danger of falling into the temptation- Disconnect.

Do not provide your children with gadgets and devices. They absolutely do not need it. I would rather prefer my children being outdated from technology, than be exposed to something dangerous. However, in todays day and time, its not possible as the educational system requires them to be tech savvy; so, what can you do in such a situation?

🏴Put rules for everyone to follow:

🔘Firstly set times of usage.

The computer should be used in the living room, where everyone is present and the back of the computer should face the wall and the screen should be faced where everyone can see it. (best to invest in a desktop than laptop).

🔘2. Parental Control:

Talk to your husband and come to common terms of understanding that this step is to help the process of overcoming this addiction. Install a parental control software on his computer and you monitor the websites he visits with his consent.

🔘3. Stay away from Music:

In a hadith narrated by Abu ‘Amir رضى الله عنه or Abu Malik Al-Ash’ari رضى الله عنه that he heard the Prophet‎ﷺ‎ saying, 💡”From among my followers, there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks, and the use of musical instruments  [ma’aazif] as lawful. “💡

Sahih Al-Bukhari

Music causes hypocrisy to grow in the heart. If you see the music videos, movie songs and everything else that there is, is there any kind of haya in it? are we able to even sit with the family and watch any of those things? What about the lyrics? ‎سبحان الله‎, It reeks vulgarity. If you think it releases you of stress, and leaving music would not help you, I urge you to give it a try. Try leaving it for a month and see the difference. If you are stressed listen to the Qur’an and see how the stress releases ‎إن شاء الله.

🔘4. Have a Private Calendar.

Keep milestones for your achievement on this calendar. Mark every successful day you managed to stay away from this in blue, and mark every slipped day with red. This will motivate you to do better and get as many blues as possible. (Can be used to overcome any bad habit).

🔘5. Set a Goal.

Place a target for yourself. Push yourself to abstain and achieve for that set amount of time.

⭐Spiritual Steps⭐

☇1. Make Tawba.

This should be done right away. There are four steps to making Tawba.

🌙 The intention (niyyah in the heart) to stop the sin (of pornography or any other sin) completely.

🌙 Feeling true remorse for the sin, shed tears of repentance.

🌙 Firm resolution and affirmation to never return to it again.

🌙 Fulfilling the rights. What this means is to give sadaqah or charity for the cause(sin). Example: Donating to organizations who are working towards eradicating this industry, or by purchasing paternal controls to some organizations or Islamic Weekend School etc.

☇2. Make Dua.

The importance of making Dua comes in every case that I have discussed. That’s because, its importance is beyond measurement. It is indeed, a weapon of a Believer against all the evils present in our personal lives as well as the society. So, do NOT underestimate the power of dua and ask Allah‎ﷻ to help you and guide you through this. Make dua for your husband, that Allah‎ﷻ guides him and makes it easy for you to help him overcome this; that he listens to you, and to grant taqwa of Allah‎ﷻ in his heart so as to leaving this sin altogether. Make dua for yourself, if it is you who is afflicted by this evil. ‎إن شاء الله!

☇3. Keep good company.

The Prophet‎ﷺ‎ said: 💡”A person acquires the same religion of his companions, so let them be aware of whom they befriend.”💡

Ahmad, Al-Tirmidhy and others.

☇4. Perform Dhikr.

Engage in constant Dhikr of Allah‎ﷻ and fill your heart with His remembrance.

Prophet Muhammed‎ﷺ‎ said: 💡“Indeed there is a piece of flesh in your body; that, if it be sound, then the whole body will be sound, and if it be corrupt, then the whole body will be corrupt. Indeed it is the heart.”💡

Sahih al-Bukhari

Take care of your heart and keep it firm upon your deen. Dhikr of Allah helps you stay firm in your resolutions. The sins we commit are harmful and are pathways to our heart; and whatever fills our heart directs the whole body. The moment you feel that you are slipping back to the sin, increase you Dhikr, your Ibadah and Sadaqah.

‎إن شاء الله!

May Allah‎ﷻ help and guide this ummah from staying away from major sins prevalent in society, and may He purify our hearts and enlighten and replace it with taqwa and noor of eeman..

‎أمين يا رب العلمين

‎سُبحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِ العِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُون وَسَلَامٌ عَلى المُرسَلِين والحَمدُ الله رَبِ العلمين

🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸

Solace Islamic Assistance

🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸

Case 4-Issue of Emaan

A sister wrote to us with an issue that her brother was having. It’s an issue of faith or Eeman.
Before I even attempt to answer this question, I want to clarify that this is a huge and a very critical question and we are not nearly as qualified to answer a question of such great magnitude. But nevertheless, it is not a question that can be ignored or put off as it is the need of the hour for our ummah.

So, what I have done is taken notes from Dr. Zakir Naik’s Q &A from a Peace Conference and attempted to modify and simplify it and present it here, Bi’idhnillahu wa Ta’ala.

The brother wanted to know what was wrong if a person believed in another God, and what I gather from this is the he means to ask why will Allah ‎ﷻ‬ punish us if we worship some other being than Him?

He also wants to know why is there so much fear mongering in our households about Islam and about Allah ‎ﷻ‬? Why does Islamic teachings preach to be afraid of Him and why is there so much threatening to obey Allah ‎ﷻ‬? The way he sees it Allah ‎ﷻ‬ is his friend and companion and not someone he is afraid of.

Allah ‎ﷻ‬ says in the Quran that He will forgive any sin except Shirk, in Surah An Nisa, Verse 4 and 160.

First we have to understand that Allah ‎ﷻ‬ does not need us, we need Him.
Allah ‎ﷻ‬ tells us us to say Allahu Akbar, Allah ‎ﷻ‬ is the Greatest, if we don’t say Allahu Akbar, it does not diminish Allah’s Greatness or Stature in anyway. Irrespective of whether we say Allahu Akbar or not, accept it or not, He is and will remain the Greatest.
Now the question arises, why does He ask us to say it then? Allah ‎ﷻ‬ knows the human psychology, to give an example of a man who suffers from a heart disease goes to a heart specialist and then there is another unknown person offering his advice, whose advice will he follow? Logic tells us, that the patient will follow the advice of a heart specialist because he knows the doctor is more qualified due to his educational background and experience than the layman’s.

Now, the heart specialist tells this person not to take any other medicine other than the one he has prescribed, mixing other medicines can be fatal to his heart. But, he meets some other doctor whom he just met and this doctor tells him to take another medicine along side, would the patient listen to him? Again logic tells us no. He would stick with the heart specialists advice, because he knows that it’s good for his heart,  to follow the advice of one doctor, and too many inputs will hinder his treatment.

So, Allah ‎ﷻ‬ knows in His infinite wisdom that believing in other Gods is not good for us, and attributing Allah’s Greatness to other beings can lead to many dangers and sin’s.

When Allah ‎ﷻ‬ puts forth His commands in front of us it’s not for His benefit but for our benefit. The moment we praise Allah ‎ﷻ‬, we obey Him and we follow His command. By following His commands Allah ‎ﷻ‬ does not benefit but we do.
Allah ‎ﷻ‬ has no benefit in punishing His slaves, but He gives us a fear, that if we have alcohol or commit adultery or indulge in haram actions He will punish us. In no way will it affect Allah ‎ﷻ‬ if we consume alcohol or commit adultery or eat pork etc.. but yet, He commands us to abstain from it, why? because there is harm in it for US.

[And when Allah ‎ﷻ‬ promises, His promises are true, if He promises punishment (Hell-Fire) it’s true, if He promises reward (Jannah) it’s true. He is Honest and He follows through with it. So, why disobey when we can obey for our own good in the first place. ]

One may argue that I need to only be convinced that something is bad for me to abstain from it, I don’t need the fear of hell-fire to abstain from something.

But, Allah ‎ﷻ‬ is All-Wise. He knows how the human mind works. He convinces different people in different ways. He convinces some with reasons and logic, some with fear and some with rewards. There are 3-4 different ways how Allah ‎ﷻ‬ speaks in the Qur’an.

For example; Sometimes when we talk to a child, we try to offer them a reward for listening to us as in, “if you listen to me I’ll give you a toy or a chocolate”, and sometime we threaten them by saying, “listen to me or else…. “ That’s because different times, differenty methods are required in handling a situation.

Another example is, when a child tells his father he wants to jump from the 10th floor, the father would first tell him, “don’t do it you’ll die”. The child still insists he wants to jump, the father tells him, “don’t jump, or I’ll slap you”. The child still insists, this time the issues-in-emaan%2ffaithfather slaps him. Does this make the father cruel? The father here is cruel to be kind, in order to protect him from a bigger disaster or harm. Did the father try to harm the child here by slapping him? No.

The fear of Allah ‎ﷻ‬ is to protect us from harming ourselves and being obedient to Him, as a child is obedient to his parents out of Love and Respect. More so when it comes to Allah ‎ﷻ‬, because He is the most deserving of our Love and Respect.

Allah ‎ﷻ‬ is the Most Kind because He wants the human beings to be in a constant state of self-improvement through Reason, Logic, Expectation of Reward and Fear of Punishment.

The Prophet ‎ﷺ‎‬ said, that Allah ‎ﷻ‬ said, ‘I am as my servant thinks (expects) I am.’
This is a portion of the hadith qudsi taken from Sahih al Bukhari.
To conclude, when Allah says this to us, why think of Him as an Angry God, instead of thinking of Him as a Merciful God.

And Allah knows Best.