Fighting Temptations on TV and the Internet
I am a young man who is, unfortunately, tempted by satellite channels and internet sites to such a degree that I have fallen far short in religious matters. I hope that you can help me and pray for me to be guided. May Allaah reward you.
Praise be to Allaah, and blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allaah.
We ask Allaah to guide you, and to ward off evil and immorality from you, and to make you one of His sincerely-devoted slaves. For Allaah may delay but He never forgets. How can you be sure that when Allaah sees you committing this sin, He is not going to say, “By My Glory and Majesty, I will not forgive you”?
Look at these physical faculties with which you are committing sin. Do you not see that Allaah is able to deprive you of their blessings and to cause you the pain of losing them?
Then look at how Allaah has concealed you (your sin) and has been patient and forbearing with you. You know about His protective jealousy over His slaves, so how can you be sure that He will not become angry with you and expose your affairs, so that people will come to know your secrets and you will suffer scandal in this world before the Hereafter?
Will you get anything from haraam (unlawful) looks apart from grief, misery and darkness in the heart?
Even if you feel some pleasure for a day or two, or for a month or a year… what will come after that?
Death… then the grave… then the Reckoning… then torment, when all pleasure will vanish and only sorrow will remain.
If you feel ashamed to let your brother see you committing this sin, then how can you think of Allaah as the least important of those who watch you?
Do you not know that Allaah can see you, and that His angels are recording your deeds, and that tomorrow (i.e., on the Day of Resurrection) your own limbs will speak of what used to happen?
Think about what will become of you after you sin: worry and distress in the heart, alienation between you and Allaah, loss of humility… you give up praying at night (qiyaam al-layl)… you forsake fasting… Tell me, by your Lord, what is this life worth?
Every time you look at these devilish screens, a black spot appears on your heart, until it is covered with layers of blackness, then by the raan (stain) which overwhelms the heart, and deprives you of the pleasure of obeying Allaah and of the sweetness of faith.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When a slave commits a sin, a black spot appears on his heart. But if he give it up, seeks forgiveness and repents, his heart will be cleansed, but if he repeats it, (the blackness) will increase until it overwhelms his heart. This is the raan which Allaah mentions: ‘Nay! But on their hearts is the Raan (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn’ [al-Mutaffifeen 83:14 – interpretation of the meaning].”
(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3257; Ibn Maajah, 4234; classed as hasan (sound) by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah, 3422).
So be among those who give up sin, seek forgiveness and repent. Beseech Allaah frequently to purify your heart and protect your chastity, and to grant you refuge from the traps of the Shaytaan.
Avoid everything that may call you to haraam things or remind you of them, if you are sincere and really want to repent.
Hasten to get this (satellite) dish out of your house, and cut your connection to these bad sites on the internet. Note that the best means of helping yourself give up the haraam things that you have gotten used to is to nip it in the bud, and ward off every thought of looking that crosses your mind, before it becomes a desire, wish or intention, and then an action.
Al-Ghazzaali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “If the first inward thought is not warded off, it will generate a desire, then the desire will generate a wish, and the wish will generate an intention, and the intention will generate the action, and the action will result in ruin and divine wrath. So evil must be cut off at its root, which is when it is simply a thought that crosses the mind, from which all the other things follow on.” (Ihyaa’ ‘Uloom al-Deen, 6/17).
This is based on the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Shaytaan (Satan). And whosoever follows the footsteps of Shaytaan (Satan), then, verily, he commands Al-Fahsha’ [i.e. to commit indecency (illegal sexual intercourse)], and Al-Munkar [disbelief and polytheism (i.e. to do evil and wicked deeds; and to speak or to do what is forbidden in Islam)]”
If you can do without the Internet altogether, then go ahead and do that, until you feel that your heart and your faith are stronger.
Strive to find righteous friends, strive to perform all the prayers on time, and do a lot of naafil (voluntary) acts of worship. Avoid being alone and thinking about haraam things as much as possible.
Sincerity in seeking treatment opens the door to good, and closes the door to evil.
We ask Allaah to enable us and you to repent sincerely.
And Allaah knows best.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid