How to Overcome Sexual Desires and Prevent Zina October 15, 2016 – Posted in: Blog, Islamic Practice
Praise be to Allah.
With regards to yesterday’s khutbah, the topic on “Consistency in Having Taqwa in Allah”, we would like to discuss on one of the issues that were brought up which is desires and the urge to perform sinful acts. It was brought up yesterday that technology has made things easier for humankind to indulge in transgressions and misdeeds without anyone knowing. Everything is now made easy and accessible via gadgets such as smartphones and iPads. As mentioned during the khutbah yesterday, a recent study on Singaporean teenagers, conducted by Touch Cyberwellness, revealed that 9 in every 10 teenagers interviewed have watched or read pornographic materials, with more than 70% of them accessing these materials from the convenience of their gadgets. This is very unhealthy for the Muslim community at large as such minor sinful acts may lead to major sinful acts such as zina, which will be our main topic today. In our discussion, we are going to understand what is zina and how serious is this sinful act, its effects and how can we prevent ourselves from committing one.
What is Zina and How Serious This Sinful Act?
Another word for zina is fornication or adultery. There are many types of zina as narrated by Ibn `Abbas:
I did not see anything so resembling minor sins as what Abu Huraira said from the Prophet, who said, “Allah has written for the son of Adam his inevitable share of adultery whether he is aware of it or not: The adultery of the eye is the looking (at something which is sinful to look at), and the adultery of the tongue is to utter (what it is unlawful to utter), and the innerself wishes and longs for (adultery) and the private parts turn that into reality or refrain from submitting to the temptation.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari 6612]
For our topic today, we are going to focus on the act of sexual intercourse between people who are not married to each other. This sinful act is very serious as Allah says in the Quran (interpretation of the meaning):
“And those who invoke not any other ilah (god) along with Allah, nor kill such life as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause, nor commit illegal sexual intercourse and whoever does this shall receive the punishment.”
[Surat Al-Furqān (The Criterian), 25:68]
It is one of the worse and major sin that come after shirk (the sin of practicing idolatry or polytheism) and murder as narrated by ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood who said:
“I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah (ﷺ)! What is the worst sin?’ He said: ‘That you make and equal to Allah, while it is He who created you.'” He said: “I said: ‘Then what?’ He said: ‘That you kill your child fearing that he will eat with you.'” He said: “I said: ‘Then what?’ He said: ‘That you commit adultery with your neighbors wife.'”
[Jami’ at-Tirmidhi, Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 3182]
It is incredible to realize that something as serious as zina can start from something as simple as a gaze! The path to zina can be short or long. For some, Shaytan may take years to instigate before the person falls into the trap of zina. Indeed Shaytan is relentless and patient and, will take any opportunity to lead the person closer to zina.
Effects of Zina
- Earns the wrath of Allah because his sacred limits are transgressed
- It will be shown on the face as the face of an adulterer will darken, and the grimness and misery of face that are apparent to other people
- There will be darkness in the heart because of the extinguishing of its light which what causes the face to get darken
- Leads to poverty
- Loss of respect towards the adulterer and his or her status will be lowered in the eyes of Allah and His slaves
- The adulterer loses the title of a believer as narrated by Ibn `Abbas:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “When (a person) an adulterer commits illegal sexual intercourse then he is not a believer at the time he is doing it; and when somebody steals, then he is not a believer at the time he is stealing.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari 6782]
- It exposes the adulterer to the possibility of being put into the oven (tanoor) in which the Prophet (ﷺ) saw the adulterers and adulteresses
- It takes away the goodness which Allah described as the attribute of those who are chaste, and replaces it with the evil which Allah described as the attribute of the adulterer, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Bad statements are for bad people (or bad women for bad men) and bad people for bad statements (or bad men for bad women). Good statements are for good people (or good women for good men) and good people for good statements (or good men for good women)”
- Allah instills the sense of alienation in the heart of adulterer that the face will show signs of it and whoever sits with him or her will feel uneasy unlike those who are chaste who’s face shows sweetness and contentment in his heart, and whoever sits with him or her feels at ease
- The adulterer loses respect from his or her family, friends and others, and become the most despicable thing in their sight; in contrast, a chaste person is blessed with dignity and sweetness
- People will lose trust in the adulterer with regards to his wife or child and will regard him as a traitor
- A foul odour will emanate from him or her through his mouth and body that would spread far and wide, and it can be detected by a person with a sound heart
- Uneasiness and distress will overcome the adulterer as he or she is doing the opposite of what they are seeking, which is the forbidden enjoyment and the assumed good things of life, and he or she will be punished by Allah giving them the opposite of that which he or she is trying to achieve
- The adulterer will be exposed to missing out on the delights of al-hoor al-‘iyn in the beautiful abodes of the Garden of Eden (Jannaat ‘Adan)
Advice on How to Overcome Sexual Desires
- Fill up your time with beneficial, positive and educational activities such as reading beneficial books etc. and avoid any vain thing that will allow your mind to think of sexual desires
- Avoid wearing tight pants and shorts as these garments compress sexual organ as this will stimulate sexual desires, which may induce masturbation. This will also allow opportunities for others to do adultery of the eye and possibly make them arouse and think of their sexual desires
- Practice sleeping on right side instead of lying flat on back or face downwards.
- Pour cold water onto the sexual organ with cold water when you feel the need to masturbate and abstain from touching it.
- Find healthy hobbies like sports, attending Islamic lectures, etc. to occupy your spare time
- Try to avoid eating foods that increase the sexual appetite such as chocolate, nuts, hazelnut banana, spice, etc.
- Reduce or abstain from drinking coffee, tea, etc. which stimulates the nervous system
- Avoid conversations that arouse sexual desires
- If opportunity arises, get married quickly and try not to delay marriage as Narrated `Abdullah:
We were with the Prophet (ﷺ) while we were young and had no wealth whatever. So Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari 5066]
- Mix with good companies who constantly remind you about Allah and constantly talks about good things, and avoid things that are forbidden by Allah as mentioned by the Messenger (ﷺ),
“The example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with a bad one, is like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith’s bellows (or furnace); from the first you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bellows would either burn your clothes or your house, or you get a bad nasty smell thereof.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari 2101]
- Avoid environment and medias that arouse sexual desires (e.g. malls, etc.)
- Lower your gaze as mentioned by Allah (interpretation of the meaning):
“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of hands or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husband’s sons, their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful.”
[Surat An-Nūr (The Light), 24:30 to 24:31]
- Keep in mind that zina and other sinful acts brings nothing but sin and painful punishment from Allah and He will not protect those who transgress
“For each (person), there are angels in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by the Command of Allah. Verily! Allah will not change the good condition of a people as long as they do not change their state of goodness themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allah). But when Allah wills a people’s punishment, there can be no turning back of it, and they will find besides Him no protector.”
[Surat Ar-Ra`d (The Thunder), 13:11)
- Perform fast (sawm) as advised by the Messenger (ﷺ),
‘He who can afford to marry should marry, because it will help him refrain from looking at other women, and save his private parts from committing illegal sexual relation; and he who cannot afford to marry is advised to fast, as fasting will diminish his sexual power.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari 1905]
- Always remember that although you think that you are alone with your unlawful sexual partner, Allah, the All Seeing, knows what you’re doing as mentioned in the Quran (interpretation of the meaning):
“[He is] Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, the Grand, the Exalted.”
[Surat Ar-Ra`d (The Thunder), 13:9]
- Seek help and refuge from Allah SWT by making du’a, and repent asking for His guidance
- Think about death and the last deed before it. What if your life is taken away while you are doing sexual intercourse? Would you want to be resurrected while doing such sinful act?
- Constantly remember Allah and try your best to avoid shameful deeds as the reward is nothing but Paradise as mentioned by Allah SWT in the Quran (interpretation of the meaning):
“But as for him who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from impure evil desires, and lusts. Verily, Paradise will be his abode.”
[Surat An-Nāzi`āt (Those who drag forth), 79:40 to 79:41]F
We hope this article will benefit our Muslim brothers and sisters, and hope that we all could learn and put into good practice on the things that we have discussed. Finally, we ask Allah SWT to keep us safe and protect us from acting out such shameful acts. May He help us in fulfilling our religious commitments and worldly affairs. and in putting our affairs in order before we meet our Him, and may He guide us and keep us on the straight path. Ameen.