Combating Immodesty on Internet


A dear friend wrote,
‘I am sad to say that I have been involved in some very immodest activities (on the internet). I wish to repent from these activities through the mercy of Allah ta’ala. However, I wanted to ask a way through which to divert the mind from thinking about certain things, for example, if the mind is thinking about women etc., how do I force it stop and think about something else?

Also, how do I reverse the effects of the immodesty on me? I am sure the immodesty has had an effect on my mind as well as nafs, so how do I return back?

Answers to these questions will inshallah be very beneficial to me.

I appreciate all your help.’

The following reply was sent by Allah’s tawfiq,

‘Respected brother,

as salam o alaykum wrwb

JazakAllah for the email. It is reflective of your desire and yearning for Allah’s pleasure. May Allah increase it more with afiyet. Amin!

Life is full of ups and downs. It is very natural that in spite of all the care we sometimes slip and fall down. However, it is unnatural to keep lying down in the dirt. A normal person will get up. Brush away the dirt and move on. Staying down, not removing the dirt and not moving on is abnormal.

Thank Allah that He made you realize your mistake. Thank Him further that He allowed you to repent. Thank Him more that He put in your heart the desire to seek help to gain back His pleasure.

A very important thing that we all overlook is that in ikhteyari umoor there is no other way of achieving success except from using one’s determination (himmat) and will power. This must be coupled with supplication for Allah’s help.
To develop this determination we associate with the pious (ahlulAllah), listen and read their discourses, books and do the remembrance (zikr), etc.

I will again remind myself that there is no zikr, shugal, tawajjah, taweez or potion that will force me to abstain from sins. I will have to use my determination.

Please, do the following,
1. Inform your Shaykh explicitly of this thing in detail. This is essential, without it all measures will be futile. Shaykh will direct you to the most appropriate effective means for you in particular.

2. For the time being fix a penalty of 10 nafil rakats whenever you slip PLUS skipping the breakfast the following day. You can only take coffee or tea.

3. Use internet wisely. Keep a schedule. Use it in a public space. etc. If you can not do this then abandon using it completely for the time being.

4. Be very particular about your daily recitations (wird). No multitasking is allowed in performing them.

5. Manage your time well. Do not leave wide gaps for futile surfing, etc. Develop a hobby. People complain about Bahishti Zewar having all the recipes and methods of cooking and making various stuff. May be one of the purpose was to give individuals ideas to occupy themselves with some permissible activity.

6. If thoughts about the past return, make istegfar and immediately divert your attention towards something else. It is a trap of nafs and Shaytan to keep one ruminating about the past, becoming depressed and loosing hope. May Allah save us from them. Amin!

7. Feel free to communicate with this lowly writer as needed in this regards.

For undoing the effect of this, activity I remind my self of the similitude of burning my own finger in a flame intentionally. Even after removing it from the proximity of fire and applying medicine it takes days for the pain to go away and weeks and months for the scar to heal. This is true, especially, if I do not make the stupid mistake of burning the same finger again and again. If I continue doing this the nerve endings will be damaged permanently and the sensation of feeling pain will be lost for ever. Allah save us all from this!

Take care.
InshaAllah, everything will be fine, eventually.

muhtaj e dua’