The Scourge of Pornography in the Muslim Community

Salahuddin Ayubi  Rahmatullahi Alaihi, the liberator of Masjudul Aqsa once said : “If you want to destroy any nation without war  - make adultery or nudity common in the young generation.”


The issue of pornography is a sensitive one and therefore, there will always be a degree of awkwardness when we discuss it. With the advancement of photography and digital media, it has become a phenomenon that has impacted on human beings, young and old across the globe.




Did you know pornography has been the most dominate use of the internet since its inception until very recently? After an analysis of 400 million web searches, researchers concluded that 1 in 8 of all searches online is for erotic content. That is, 12% of the Internet usage is for pornography. There are more than 24 million pornographic sites. R100 Million is spent every hour on pornography and the entire industry is worth  1  Trillion Rand industry.



In an article that was published in The Times Newspaper on 24th of February 2014, it stated that South Africans on average spend more time watching porn online than anyone else in the world. According to one of the biggest porn sites in the world, it has an estimated 35 million daily users worldwide, of whom 91000 are South African. It reports that South Africans spend an average of 10 minutes and 35 seconds per visit on its website, one minute and 39 seconds more than the global average. In that time they view 7.5 pages. The staggering size of the pornography industry, its influence upon the media and the acceleration of technology, paired with the accessibility, anonymity, and affordability of porn all contribute to its increasing impact upon culture.


How have the Muslim Community been Affected by Pornography?


1 – Participating in Professional Pornography: Recently a Muslim girl from KZN posed for a nude photo shot. This appeared on the front page of the Sunday Times Extra.


2 – Nude Pictures by Teenagers: School going girls are taking pictures of themselves  and forwarding to their boyfriends etc. This is very dangerous as it can destroy a girl’s life. Even if she repents in the future, there is no way of removing the picture from the public domain.


3 – Videoing of Intimate Activity:  Married couple are videoing themselves in the bedroom with Webcams. This is being used to blackmail the wife when things go wrong.


 4 - Viewing of Pornographic Material: 68% of young adult men and 18% of women who have access to internet view pornography at least once a week. ‏A Twitter account @UberFacts has stated :  “Every second of every day, 28,000 people are watching porn online.”


Why do People  Watch Pornography?


1.  There is so much talk about it that many young boys, out of curiosity are tempted to view. They then get hooked on it.


2. Some men watch pornography simply to past time thinking that its harmless fun and entertainment.


3. It has become a norm and culturally acceptable for men to be watching pornography.


4. We are living in a highly sexually charged society, as a result young boys who are not married turn to viewing pornography and masturbating.


5. There are those men who say that they watch pornography to pick up new moves, styles and that. Some husbands make their wives watch with them.  This is very demeaning to their wives and totally destroys the self-esteem of a lady.


How to Stop?  Whether your struggle is at the initial stages of guarding your gaze and thoughts, or at the level of looking at porn, masturbation, or actual adultery, these are some suggestions and tips to help in battling the temptation


1 Know the Consequences

Porn is destroying families: The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reports that 56% of divorce cases involve one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.”

According to numerous studiesprolonged exposure to pornography leads to:

A.      A diminished trust between spouses- Sexually explicit material triggers mirror neurons in the male brain which is responsible for planning out of behaviour and mimicking it. In the case of pornography, this mirror neuron system triggers the arousal, which leads to sexual tension and a need for an outlet. The unfortunate reality is that when a man acts out (often by masturbating), this leads to hormonal and neurological consequences, which are designed to bind him to the object he is focusing on, naturally this would be his wife, but for many men it is an image on a screen. Pornography thus enslaves the viewer to an image, hijacking the biological response intended to bond a man to his wife and therefore inevitably loosening that bond. 


B.      The belief that promiscuity is the natural state.  As men fall deeper into the mental habit of fixating on [pornographic images], the exposure to them creates neural pathways. Like a path is created in the woods with each successive hiker, so do the neural paths set the course for the next time an erotic image is viewed. Over time these neural paths become wider as they are repeatedly travelled with each exposure to pornography. They become the automatic pathway through which interactions with woman are routed….They have unknowingly created a neurological circuit that imprisons their ability to see women in a normal way.


C.      They develop cynicism about love or the need for affection between spouses. After all, pornography works in the most basic of ways on the brain. An orgasm is one of the biggest reinforces imaginable. If you associate orgasm with your wife, a kiss, a scent, a body, that is what, over time, will turn you on; if you open your focus to an endless stream of ever-more-transgressive images of cybersex slaves that is what it will take to turn you on. 


D      A lack of attraction to family and child-raising- If a father is guilty of viewing porn what can u expect from his teenage son.

One experiment that revealed a rather shocking further effect of porn: “men and women who were exposed to large amounts of pornography were significantly less likely to want daughters than those who had none. Who would want their own little girl to be treated that way?”


E Negative and Physical Effects:  Men's exposure to sexually explicit material is correlated with social anxietydepressionlow motivationerectile dysfunctionconcentration problems, and negative self-perceptions in terms of physical appearance and sexual functioning.


2. Acknowledge the Addiction Exists: Many who are caught in the trap of addiction will adamantly deny the problem. At the outset, it is very important to acknowledge that a problem exists. People who see pornography try to justify it by saying things like: “If only my wife were just more affectionate or interested OR ‘There is so much temptation out there.

عن أمير المؤمنين علي ّعليه السلام: "الإقرار اعتذار، والإنكار إصرار

Ali Radiyallahu Anhu said: To confess is to regret and if you deny then you will persist



3. Block the Means: Cut off your sources:  Remove temptation by getting rid of your access to pornography. Any material that is in your possession such as DVD, photos and magazines should immediately be disposed of.  Digital material should be deleted. Bookmarks; and the history of YouTube and Google searches should be cleared out. Set up parental controls on the internet browsers. Install software to filter web content.  It will help prevent you from accidentally stumbling across and it will help with parents controlling access


Furthermore, take note of those situations that tempts  you the  most and avoid that.  Try to go to bed at the same time as the rest of the family, or earlier. Try not to be alone in a room with the computer. The Computer should be placed in commonly-frequented areas, such as a family room or kitchen.


Make a list on paper of all the things you want to accomplish when browsing the internet (or mentally make a note). After you have completed the list move away from the computer or drop the phone. Limit internet time so that you do not find yourself surfing around when you bored.  Many times people think, ‘I still have data left – I need to finish up my bundle before it expire.’  Remember, you don’t have too exhaust your bundle or use as much data is possible because you have unlimited internet access when there is a possibility that it will cause you greater harm.


4 Be Resolute:  Make a sincere intention to put an end to the bad habits for the sake of Allah.  You need to strengthen your resolve. The only thing that will hold a person backing from sinning is the fear of Allah. Nothing else will stop a person. Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would make the Dua:

اللَّهُمَّ اقْسِمْ لَنَا مِنْ خَشْيَتِكَ مَا تَحُولُ بِهِ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ مَعَاصِيكَ

O Allah grant me so much fear that it will become a barrier to stop me from sinning


5. Seek Alternatives: Take up a new habit or hobby to replace the time that you would spend watching pornography. Do not leave the time you would spend watching pornography just empty. Instead, find ways to preoccupy the free time so that you no longer have time for porn. Get involved in reading, playing sport, volunteering time for community activities and most of all religious activities such Dhirkr, Tilawaah, going in the path of Allah and sitting in the company of the righteous.


النظرة سهم مسموم من سهام إبليس ، من تركها من مخافتي ؛ أبدلته إيمانا يجد حلاوته في قلبه

In hadith it is stated that Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said: “The evil glance is an arrow from the arrows of Shytaan. Whoever abandons it for my sake, I will grant him such sweetness of Imaan, that he will perceive it in his chest.”

Whoever gives up something for the sake of Allah – Allah will grant something better. 

Conclusion: Porn is a problem. It is a personal problem for many and a cultural problem for all. You may think you have not been affected by porn, but you have because it's embedded in the surrounding culture. Porn is not going anywhere - unless someone shuts down the internet, it will continue to be an online powerhouse. We are living in a society that is exposed to pornography on different levels and It is up to us to bring the awareness into the community of the ill effects of this major sin.

Yusuf Moosagie

28th March 2014

Twitter @muftimoosagie