||Pornogrpahy: Why it is Haram & How to deal with it?|
Definition of Pornography?
Pornography is defined in the English language as an indecent form of art or
literature. Islam also views it as indecent and terms it as faahisha in the
Allah says (what means): "Say: The things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are:
shameful deeds whether open or secret…"
Faahishah is translated as "shameful deeds" because it refers to every bad deed
that is noticeably ugly to human beings. In many places in the Quran, Allah (swt)
refers to zinaa, adultery and fornication as a faahishah. In another verse,
Allah (swt) refers to the marrying of one's father's wife also as being a
faahishah because, like adultery, anyone with a pure nature will clearly see it
as hideous. Allah (swt) also calls the crime of the people of Lut (as),
homosexuality, a faahishah. Likewise to view pictures of nudity, sexual
suggestion, intimacy between two people, or a person of the opposite gender who
is improperly covered (Islamically) is also an ugly sin to anyone who wishes to
adhere to piety.
One of the most pervasive tools of pornography is the television. Shows like
"Dawson's Creek" and "Baywatch" have no other purpose except to display blatant
degrees of nakedness and indecent scenes of intimacy. Movies also succeed in
conveying lewd imagery by almost always including a love/lust story in the story
line. However there are other forms of pornography on TV that are much more
subtle. For example, most Muslims would not realize that the viewing of several
sports events includes pornographic images. The swimsuits that are worn by both
men and woman during the Olympics are iniquitously revealing. They expose the 'awrah
of a woman and a man for their respective genders and the opposite gender.
The word 'awrah refers to those parts of the body which are Islamically
prohibited to expose in front of another (either the opposite gender or the same
gender). For example, it is a must for a woman to cover all of her body except
for her face and hands in front of men who are permissible for her to marry -
that is her 'awrah. Likewise the man's 'awrah is everything between his navel
and knees while in front of a woman or a man. The skimpy swimsuits worn by these
athletes just don't meet the Islamic dress code.
Another subtle example regards women who view advertisements that contain
pictures of other women modeling bras and underwear. The 'awrah of Muslim women
in front of other Muslim women doesn't allow these areas of the body to be
exposed and hence it is haram for even a woman to view them.
It is also important to keep in mind that a person could be "clothed but naked"
as Rasoolullah (saws) said. For example, competitors in races usually wear some
sort of bodysuit that adheres very tightly to their skin and the exact shape of
their body parts is apparent. This is almost equivalent to being naked, since it
doesn't take much imagination to figure out what is under such type of clothing.
Lowering the Gaze
When such images become prevalent in a society, what is deemed pornographic
changes drastically. The very standard of modesty, which should be a defining
characteristic of Muslim dress and behavior, will become degraded. The Islamic
standard must be upheld. The true believer fears Allah's judgement and knows
that no act will go unaccounted for and that even his own eyes will bear witness
against him on the Day of Judgement. Allah (swt) says: "Until, when they reach
it (Hell-Fire) their hearing and eyes and skin will testify against them as to
what they used to do." Rasoolullah (saws) warned us that there is a zinaa of the
eyes just as there is a zinaa of the private parts.
The Islamic solution to living in a society where pornographic images are so
visible is to lower one's gaze.
Allah (swt) says: "Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze
and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah
is well aquainted with all they do. And say to the believing women that they
should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display
their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof… "
The scholars of tafseer say that this means that both men and woman are obliged
to direct their sight away from that which is haram and that there is no harm in
looking at that which is halal (such as viewing one's spouse while they are
In regard to these verses Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) says: "So He (Allah) put
purity after lowering of the gaze and protecting of the private parts. For this
reason lowering the gaze away from the prohibited things warrants three great
benefits. The first of them is the sweetness of Imaan and the pleasure that
comes from it, which is more sweet and pleasing than that which he diverted his
eyes away from for Allah's sake. Verily, whoever abandons a thing for Allah's
sake, He (swt) compensates him with better than it…The second benefit is a light
in the heart and quality of intuition… and the third benefit is the strength of
the heart and steadfastness and courage. So Allah (swt) would give him, by His
strength, the ability of wisdom and substantiation, and the devil would flee
from him as it has been mentioned in the saying, "Whoever fears his whims, the
devil would race out of his shadow."
Indeed, the opposite is also true. This is because the eyes are the most direct
path to the heart. One who allows his whims to overwhelm him and indulges his
eyes in the viewing of haram things has weakened his heart, corrupted his soul,
and invited shaytan to control him.
Why is Pornography Haram?
found out that at least one of my sons spent some time this afternoon (signed on
as me) going to XXX rated (web) sites. They are 13 and 11. I am so upset, I do
not know what to do. Insha Allah, it is a curiosity thing, but I am totally
blown away by this.” (A mother in Sound Vision’s parenting forum)
Internet pornography is the latest media menace parents and anyone concerned
about children and morality in general, must deal with. Pictures of naked women
(its usually women, since most pornography caters to heterosexual men) and
couples engaged in various forms of sexual intercourse, to name just a few of
the contents of pornography, are not just reserved to the internet though.
For decades, ‘porn’ in various forms has been found in magazines, films, and
more recently during a lot of prime time television.
The Internet is just the latest tool pornographers have found to spread their
“art,” which poses a number of problems.
The pervasiveness of pornography on the Internet means Muslims need to consider
once again the Islamic perspective on this issue while they use this new medium.
“There is no room for anyone to say pornography is not Haram. It’s ab solutely
Haram,” notes Shaykh Muhammad Nur Abdullah. He is the Imam of the Islamic
Foundation of Greater St. Louis in Missouri.
“If someone is looking at someone committing Zina (sex outside of marriage)
whether it is movies or pictures or the actual thing, it is all Haram,” he adds.
Some of the proofs he gives for the prohibition of pornography in Islam include
verses 30 and 31 of chapter 24 (Noor) of the Qur’an, as well as Ahadith that say
what leads to Haram is Haram and that Zina is committed by the eye and the hand,
even before a sexual encounter takes place.
He has openly discussed the problem of the Internet, pornography and Muslim
youth in his Khutbahs. On a day to day level, he says he gets at least two cases
daily of young Muslims, boys and girls, who come to the mosque and speak to him
personally about this problem.
Dremali says the teenagers feel guilty, but they cannot stop looking at this
material. They need a cure, they have become addicted.
“The person who looks at these things will always have Shaytan in his mind
because he wants to commit these [actions],” he says. “Shaytan never takes the
person immediately to commit adultery (he does it in steps).”
Dremali also gives a clear example of the role the Internet plays in being one
of the steps leading to sex outside of marriage.
“The hand commits adultery by touching Haram and the person using the keyboard
and using the mouse to look at these pictures, he or she is committing
adultery,” he warns
“Unfortunately there are a lot of Muslim youth who are using pornography on the
[Internet], and they basically use the Internet only for that purpose,” notes
Taha Ghayyur, 19, who is National Coordinator of Young Muslims Canada.
Too often, though, parents are willing to bury their heads in the sand when the
issue of pornography and their children comes up. “How do you know your kids
don’t know about it?” asks Dremali.
The easy access to pornography on television (no longer reserved to just the
very late night hours), on the magazine stands and the Internet makes it almost
impossible to avoid, even if one’s intentions are clear.
In the case of the Internet, sometimes accompanying links or windows to
pornographic websites or WebPages will suddenly open up, against the wishes of
This however, does not mean parents should automatically assume the worst about
Shaykh Nur Abdullah stresses the importance of openly talking to children about
the problem, especially if they have been caught looking at such material. If
parents don’t do this “then we are turning our face away from the problem,” he
“[the] Internet is good and bad,” says Dremali. “Allah gave us the brains to
think where is the good way and where is the bad way. According to your choice
Allah will judge you.
Some Statistics and Facts on Pornography:
Over 30% of sites on the World Wide Web are pornographic” (USA Today).
Looking for one thing, finding another:
“Our Internet search engine reports reveal a disturbing reality. In over 99% of
the hits directed to our site, the person performing the search was looking for
pornography, many looking for child pornography. To think, 99% used pornography
search words inspired our project, Internet Intervention. Internet Intervention
is a network of computers, hosting hundreds of websites, which direct the
keyword searcher of child pornography to an Intervention Help Site. The very
people that need it the most see our message of help. Click here to see a help
website that you could have been directed to if you use child pornography search
words on your search engine request.” (From the website of the Tonya Flynt
Foundation, an anti-pornography website. Tony Flynt is the daughter of notorious
American pornographer Larry Flynt)
A MULTI BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY:
Pornography is a $12-$13 billion- a-year industry - more than the combined
annual revenues of the Coca-Cola and McDonnell Douglas corporations. (From an
Affair of the Mind by Laurie Hall)
Pornographic entertainment on the Internet constituted the third largest sector
of sales in cyberspace, with estimated annual revenues of $100 million. Such
marketing success has fueled an increase in the size of the pornography industry
-- $10 billion annually, according to conservative estimates. (Anthony Flint,
Skin Trade Spreading Across U.S., Boston Sunday Globe)
HITS ON A PORN SITE:
Playboy’s headquarters received 4.7 million hits (electronic visits) in a recent
seven day period. (Promise Keepers website)
PORN VIDEO RENTALS:
Porn video rentals soared to 665 million in 1996, accounting for 13.3% of video
rentals in America. Profits of sales and rentals of porn videos was $4.2 billion
in 1996. (USA Today, & UPI News)
ADDICTION TO PORNOGRAPHY:
Pornography consumption can be as “mood altering” and as addictive as narcotics.
(A study by Richard Drake, assistant professor at Brigham Young University
College of Nursing).
Studies show pornography is progressive and addictive for many. It often leads
to the user acting out his fantasy often on children. (Victor Cline, Ph.D.,
Department of Psychology, University of Utah, Pornography Effects: Empirical and
Clinical Evidence, pg. 24)
PORNOGRAPHY AND SEX ADDICTION:
The average age of first time contact of pornography among sex addicts is 11.
(American Family Association Outreach)
PORNOGRAPHY’S EFFECTS ON FATHERS:
More sophisticated analysis reveals that men who had “purchased pornographic
materials in the past year” had significantly lower marital, fathering and
family-life satisfaction when compared to those who had not purchased
pornographic materials in the past year. (National Center for Fathering)
PORNOGRAPHY AND SEXUAL ASSAULT:
Research gathered over the past few decades demonstrates that pornography
contributes to sexual assault, including rape and the molestation of children.
(Pornography Victims Compensation Act of 1992, U.S. Senate Comm. on the
Child molesters often use pornography to seduce their prey, to lower the
inhibitions of the victim, and to serve as an instrnction manual. ( W.L.
Marshall, Ph.D., Pornography and Sexual Offenders, in Pornography: Research
Advances and Policy)
WHO CONSUMES PORNOGRAPHY:
A primary pornography consumer group is boys between ages 12 - 17.9 (Attorney
General’s Final Report on Pornography)
PORNOGRAPHY’S EFFECT ON SEXUAL
Pornography distorts the natural development of personality. If the early
stimulus is pornographic photographs, the adolescent can be conditioned to
become aroused through photographs. Once this pairing is rewarded a number of
times, it is likely to become permanent. The result to the individual is that it
becomes difficult for the person to seek out relations with appropriate persons.
(Jerry Bergman, Ph.D., The Influence of Pornography on Sexual Development: Three
Case Histories, IX Family Therapy)
By Ustadha Zaynab
Q) I have a pornography problem. I am
16 years old and when I am finished pleasing myself I often feel guilty and
disgusted by myself and what I become at times for those couple of minutes. And
now I have noticed that I am viewing gay porn instead. I know everything that I
am doing is wrong and completely forbidden. I have started to stop myself but it
is hard. I mean I don't want to continue this habit of masturbating and watching
porn, or even the factor of me being gay to come into play. I have been going to
the mosque regularly and I have tried to increase my iman. I feel when I enter
the mosque that I am secured and away from all things bad.
In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful
I pray this message reaches you in good health and spirits.
My teachers caution against looking at images, even those which may be
permissible, simply because of the effect they can have on one's heart, and the
way they can be a door to the unlawful. It's amazing (and sad) how seemingly
innocent web surfing can deteriorate into time wasting, which, in turn can
degenerate into the haram.
Here are some tips, which may or may not be helpful. Ultimately, Allah Most High
is the only one who can assist you in subduing the lower self, which calls you
to these sinful things. So please seek Allah's guidance. Implore Him to give you
an exit from these unlawful habits.
1. Once the door of pornography is opened, it is very hard to close. You will
have to be firm with yourself, even unyielding, if you want to put an end to
this habit. Shut the door to temptation by getting rid of your computer. This
may sound drastic, but it is helpful to put this instrument out of your life,
until such time you can use it for the good of your soul. If you can't get rid
of it, at the very least change out your hard drive and memory.
2. Look at how and when you use your computer and drastically change these
habits. If you get online in private, then, from now on, only use the computer
when others are around. If you look at these things at night, then refrain from
turning the computer on altogether during these hours.
3. By looking at porn, you are willingly putting yourself in a situation in
which you will consistently feel temporary, yet completely false, gratification.
The problem with this type of "instant" gratification is that it leaves you
empty, broken, guilty, and self-loathing. Why put yourself through this? True
gratification only comes when you enjoy sexual activity through lawful means,
that is, with a spouse. Anything else simply harms your heart and soul.
Finally, and most importantly, you must take steps toward sincere repentance.
Sincere repentance consists of :
1. Turning away from the sin
2. Feeling remorse
3. Resolving to never go back
4. Changing one's environment so that the temptation is removed
Please avail yourself of the beautiful literature on repentance. There are many
Qur'anic verses and Prophetic traditions on repentance. Allah Most High, says,
"Say: "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of
the Mercy of Allah. for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most
Merciful.Turn ye to our Lord (in repentance) and bow to His (Will), before the
Penalty comes on you: after that ye shall not be helped" (Az-Zumar, 39:53-54).
And the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, "Allah the Mighty and
Majestic accepts the repentance of His servant as long as long as his
death-rattle has not begun" [At-Tirmidhi, Riyad al-Salihin]
Cultivate good habits, and Allah willing, these will replace the bad ones.
Establish a connection with the Book of Allah by reading it and reflecting on it
daily. Contemplate the noble example of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give
him peace, and the biographies of his companions, Allah be pleased with them, to
see how you can implement these life lessons.
And, find good Muslim friends. This is of huge importance in fortifying yourself
May Allah Ta'ala make things easy for you.
Article taken (with Thanks) from Askmimam.org & Sunnipath.com