The following video refers to a story of a young man, who signed up for a 5 years membership to a pornographic website, which delivered explicit content not only to his inbox every week, but he auto-forwarded those very emails to his friends.
Six months later however, the brother passed away in an accident, and to this day, his friends receive those pornographic emails every week, and will continue to do so for the remaining 4.5 years of his subscription. We can take many lessons away from this story alone about the nature of addictions.Lesson #1: Addiction blinds us from the ultimate reality – that is Death. There will come a day when each of us will have to face our own deaths.
Just as you may have heard me say that addictions do not discriminate based on age, status, level of religiosity, neither does death. Your compulsive turning to unwanted sexual behaviors blinds you from this reality of death and keeps you in a state where you are not prepared for it.
As mentioned in this story of this brother (may God forgive him and have mercy on him), the harm is never only to ourselves and the consequences extend to people around us, and ultimately our aakhirah is also affected. The addiction blinds you from seeing these ultimate realities by deluding you with thoughts of:
- “I can stop when I want to.”
- “I’m not harming anyone,”
- “I’ve got all the time in the world to change”
And what the addiction doesn’t do, is remind you that Allah has set at an appointed time of death for each and every one of us, as it was set for this young man.Lesson #2: Addiction blinds us from the reality – that it will get progressively worse over time if not treated or given the right attention.
If you were to take a bird’s eye view of this brother’s story, you may realize that more and more explicit content is needed to sustain the ever growing hunger of the addiction. One time is not enough, as the urge only becomes stronger.
The problem continues to grow worse through years and years of exposure.
What may seem harmless and not a problem at all, or what seems to be a compartmentalized part of your life is lying dormant to take your life.
In the moment you may temporarily forget about the consequences, however that will not stop the consequences from occurring. And “temporary moment” after “temporary moment” will sure take its toll on you, its victim.
It is the silent killer that destroys the self, relationships, wealth, and ultimately our relationship with Allah and our final destination.Lesson #3: Addiction blinds us from the reality – that we must change ourselves before our appointed time.
“The repentance accepted by Allah is only for those who do wrong in ignorance [or carelessness] and then repent soon after.It is those to whom Allah will turn in forgiveness, and Allah is ever Knowing and Wise. But repentance is not [accepted] of those who [continue to] do evil deeds up until, when death comes to one of them, he says, “Indeed, I have repented now,” or of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful punishment. [Surah an-Nisaa: 17-18]
We are also told by the Prophet peace be upon him who said,
“Allah spreads out His hand at night to accept the repentance of those who committed sins during the day, and He spreads out His hand during the day to accept the repentance of those who committed sins during the night. (He will continue to do this) until the sun rises from the West.” [Narrated by Muslim]
This is all a reminder that the door of tawbah is always open for me and you but we’ve got to step in that door of opportunity before it closes.
As the ayahs from Surah An-Nisaa mention, ignorance may mean that you did not understand the real reason behind your unwanted sexual behaviours, and to the extent to which it was harming you and others around you.
But there has to be a cut-off point where we stop turning to that excuse of being ignorant and actually take personal accountability.
Just right now, if you were to think of yourself, 5 years down the road, or 10 years down the road, what are the physical, emotional and spiritual consequences that your addictive behaviours are going to have on you, or your family?
You don’t have to experience those consequences to finally learn your lesson and as in the case of this young man that opportunity to rectify yourself may never come, so why wait?