Why You Are Having a Hard Time Connecting to Allah in Your Recovery From Unwanted Sexual Behaviors

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A lot of people come to the conclusion that “me being a bad Muslim is when I indulge in my addiction, and me being a good muslim is when I pray on time, do my obligations, lower my gaze, and don’t look at things that I’m not supposed to look at it …”

But that only takes you so far. After some time you may find that there is no joy in all that you are doing. You may think to yourself that “I’m doing all these good deeds, I’m performing all my prayers on time, I do my adhkaar, I study the deen, yet I still don’t feel connected to Allah.”

And that is where people feel that eman dip, and return back to what made them feel temporarily good: their unwanted sexual behaviors.

The distinction is that they think they’re connecting to Allah through these deeds but what’s happening in reality is they are doing things out of having awareness of Allah.

A question on your mind may be, “am I not trying to connect to Allah by doing these religious deeds?”

The short answer is yes, you can potentially, but right now you are probably more accurately being aware of Allah through your worship, although you wish deep down to connect with Him.

Awareness and connection are two different things. The level of awareness of Allah that people tend to have of Allah is through the following analogy:

You’re driving on a freeway and you see the patrol car there. You are afraid that it is going to pop out of the bushes somewhere and give you a ticket, and so you are driving with awareness and keeping on the speed limit. And sometimes, you may take your chances and still avoid getting a ticket.

A lot of people do all these religious deeds so they don’t get the ticket, or get arrested and get put in jail, but their relationship with Allah doesn’t go beyond that.

Deep down there is a deep fear that Allah is the “police officer in the sky” who is going to punish them and seize them as soon as they make a mistake.

What is missing is having that relationship with Allah that is built on trust, where you have handed your life over to Divine Care that is full of love and mercy. What is missing is that true connection with Allah, where you can truly bond with your Creator.

Having awareness of Allah SWT is one thing, but feeling the Divine Presence in your life is another, where you are connecting to Allah through the special and the mundane moments of your life.

To put things in perspective, here is another analogy of the difference between awareness and connection that I recently explained to a coaching client:

“You and I can be in the same room, I can be aware that you’re in the room. I can be aware of you and mindful of you by not turning up the volume of my laptop, not leaving the dishes out, not being dirty. But connecting is through actually sitting down and taking interest in you, speaking with you and being with you.”

Having awareness of Allah SWT is one thing, but feeling the Divine Presence in your life is another, where you are connecting to Allah through the special and the mundane moments of your life.

You are not restricting turning to Allah when you are in trouble, or when you’re begging and complaining. You are also connecting to Him at the times where you feel gratitude, the times where you feel wonderment and amazement with the tremendous gifts around you.

To really inculcate feeling that Divine Presence as a part of your daily reality, part of it is leaving aside anything that is interfering with your preference of attaining that Divine Grace or attaining that connection with Allah, such as wasting time browsing online, or engaging in your unwanted sexual behaviors.

Fulfilling the fundamentals such as praying on time, gaining religious knowledge, and performing deeds is important because that’s what Allah asks of us, and we want to be in His favour. But without coupling that awareness with connection we can only go so far.

It is possible to take that relationship to the next level where you truly feel joy and connection in the deeds you perform, where one day you are able to actually say to yourself, “You know what? I can relate to Allah.”

And that is what spirituality is truly about, it is an experienced reality of the Divine Presence in our lives.

  • Depress Soul says:

    Jazakallahu Brother Zeyad Ramadan. Sincerely, I have been a victim of unwanted social behaviour for years now and is really disconnecting me from my creator. Stopping this behaviour is becoming a misery and seems insurmountable. My problem is developing all those strategy that I have learnt so far on how to stop this unwanted behaviour without relapsing. I have tried to follow some of the things you mentioned in one of your book that I but, however out of forgetfulness or unexplainable reasons, I discover after a week I go back to the same thing. But how can I connect myself back with Allah? How can I be consistent in developing the strategies? It seems good when reading your suggestion inside the book but practicalizing consistently is difficult.

  • muhammad says:

    ماشاءالله
    بارک الله فیک اخی

  • Azra says:

    Dear Brother, Assalamoalaykum. My husband is severely suffering from this disease. I din’t realise this in the early stages of my marriage, but now that he has got caught doing the extreme and with women, I feel I will not be able to trust him anymore. I went through a severe depression for past 5 years, and now live away from him. I know its a disease, but do you recommend a divorce or will ALLAH rabbul aalameen will be happy if I help him out.

    Please suggest.

    • Bara Aldasouqi says:

      Wa Alaikum AsSalam Sister. I would encourage you to read this article written for spouses of those with an addiction. You can encourage your husband to seek help and you can direct him to our program or to reach out to us directly, and this can lead to improvement and restoring trust in the relationship. However of course your husband’s struggle is his own and only he can make the choice to seek healing. It’s important your own needs are properly dealt with, and navigating these waters to ensure you remain healthy should be done with a trained professional such as a counselor a trusted religious mentor. Please try your best to surround yourself with supportive people while considering how to move forward and whether to consider divorce.