Assalamu alaykum. I want to ask this: will Allāh pardon my sins even if I repeat it again and again after a tawbah? I also want to let you know that since the day I was born (as a Muslim) I was never interested in fully applying, practicing or studying Islam until 2011 when I really felt the emptiness in me, so I don't really understands Islam YET. My situation is that I've been struggling to stop my masturbating addiction. Once I stopped for a week, then did it again. Feeling guilty, then I stopped again and did it once or twice in another week. I stayed like this for around 4 or 5 months since the day I decided to stop masturbating. I know that masturbating (self-sex, etc) is Haram/forbidden and has no good… I really, really wanted to stop, but it's so hard! What I fear the most is the thought that Allāh has locked my heart and put me way from the Right Path, sirat'l-mustaqim …
Wa alaikomos salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu,
First, I would like to commend you for recognizing your shortcoming and seeking help. It's not easy to admit when you have a weakness - it actually takes a lot of strength. With the number of people writing in and asking about this same issue I want you to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Many people suffer silently due to their addiction to masturbation. The fact that you have been able to stop it for 4-5 months is very good progress māshā'Allāh. In order to take control of this habit completely you need to make certain adjustments.
CREATE MOTIVATION TO CHANGE
Everything that you do is driven by one of 2 principles: to seek pleasure or to avoid pain. Therefore; you need to link as much pain as you can to the behavior that you want to end (masturbation). Ask yourself what will it cost you as far your self-esteem, spirituality and self-control if you were to give in to your addiction? How will it negatively affect your relationships either now or in the future? How will you feel about yourself if you succumbed to your lust? As you reflect on the answers to all these questions, you will start creating a negative association to the act. The stronger the emotions, the more effective it will be.
Then, you need to create a lot of positive association to your desired goal: stopping the masturbation. Reflect on how you will feel about yourself if you constantly demonstrated self-control & self-leadership. How would you feel spiritually knowing that you are giving up your lust for the sake of Allāh? How will your relationships enhance once you are no longer addicted? As you reflect on all the benefits of stopping you will increase your self-control and motivation.
UNDERSTAND THE ADDICTION
On a physiological level the mind becomes easily addicted to the epinephrine (Adrenaline) and serotonin that is released during sexual arousal and orgasm that it is as addictive as heroine. With each act the addiction becomes stronger and stronger until masturbation is not only as a means of satisfying sexual curiosity, but also as an out let for other emotions such as boredom, anxiety, fear and loneliness. This is when it can totally take over your life since it becomes your first line of defense in alleviating negative emotions. It's important to realize that the strong craving that you have, like many other physiological impulses, are shaped like a bell curve. You need to learn to ride out the craving because it is not going to last forever. If you wait long enough the craving will go away and you will gain control over your impulses. This is easier said than done, but with enough persistence & positive conditioning it is possible.
- Avoid loneliness & boredom
- Keep yourself busy
- Stay proactive by volunteering your time
- Exert your energy through exercise
- Seek the company of righteous friends that can be a positive influence on you and your īmān.
- Put a content filter on your computer with a complicated override password that you have to look up (or have your friend set the password) and have the history of your searches sent to a trusted, respected friend who can support you through accountability.
- Avoid watching or listening to anything sexual
- Pray to Allāh to strengthen you
Know that regardless of the mistakes you make the door of repentance is always open and Allāh is all Forgiving. The fact that you are striving to improve yourself is admirable and Allāh not only sees your struggle but rewards you each time you control your impulses. Think the best of Allāh and be sure that He would not seal your heart when you are striving to be better. Strengthen your bond with Allāh by praying and asking Him to remove this addiction and help you to overcome your weakness. I pray that you can keep your new commitment to Allāh knowing that He will not abandon you just because you get weak from time to time.
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