In this counseling answer:
“Sex is not something that should be looked down upon, but it is a very delicate affair that must be handled with care. Those who have a particular weakness toward sexual fantasy and desire should really do their best to work towards marrying if at all possible.
Realize that fantasy is a falsehood – a world that exists only on account of our desires, and should be realized as such. The best way to do this is to understand how and where those desires come from and to do what we can to get control of our inner world through knowledge, dhikr, and discipline.”
As-Salamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatllahi wa Barakatuh dear sister,
Thank you for writing us with your brief, but a very important question. It is not an easy topic by any means. First and foremost, if and whenever possible, young Muslims should make it their goal to marry. Marriage is the by far the best way to deal with any issues related to sexual desire as marriage is the only lawful means to which we are allowed to fulfill our sexual need. So, first and foremost, young Muslims should start preparing themselves emotionally, psychologically, and financially for marriage.
Marriage is not something to take lightly. However, it should not be pursued to fulfill our sexual needs only. The marital relationship is a delicate partnership that requires two mature, selfless souls who are willing to give of themselves. Marriage is the foundation of the family which is, likewise, the foundation of any and all societies. Healthy societies require healthy families which also require healthy marriages. As such, I urge you to start studying both Islamic and other relevant resources related to how to prepare oneself for marriage, and what makes a good spouse according to our tradition.
Second, I don’t think the issue is about distracting ourselves from sexual fantasy. I think we need to realize that sex is a natural and wonderful blessing from Allah in this world. However, it is one that should only take place within prescribed limits. When humanity goes beyond those limits, we see horrendous results in this world, not to speak of what happens in the next life as a result of unrestrained sexual behaviors.
Furthermore, we live in an age where sex is used for commercial gain, and as a result, is not deemed something sacred. Sex is everywhere, and those that use sex as a commercial weapon want to create an environment where sex is always in our minds. This is dangerous because it can easily lead to a sort of addiction where it becomes the focus of everything and can reach a state of vulnerability and weakness, resulting in giving in to our temptations.
The first thing that must be done is to get control of our minds. The mind is something that can easily be lost to endless daydreaming and fantasy. It is where our base desires are often played out in the form of fantasies, daydreams and the like. The main problem with fantasizing is that it is not true – it only exists in our minds. But because we tend to believe what goes on in there, it can lead us to commit acts that will not at all be as they are in the perfect worlds of our minds. Of course, this we only realize after the fact when it is too late. We might even do things that will become highly regrettable afterward. Thus, we cannot simply allow our minds to run off on their own indulging in endless fantasizing. We must get control of our minds.
Many people do not realize that allowing the mind to run wild and to not get control of it is actually important. That means preoccupying ourselves with constructive mind-use and doing our best to maintain a state of remembrance of God (dhikr). When we feel moments of weakness, we need to refocus our mind through remembrance. We have to be aware of ourselves and our minds and know that when those moments arise, we must change focus immediately.
The best place to focus them on is God. A mind focused on God is one that is aware, relaxed, and sharp. Also, in a state of remembrance, we are in a “safe zone”, so to speak, where outside negativity becomes immune to us. However, we must do the work to state in that state of remembrance. Your mind is for you to control, not for you to be controlled by it.
Thirdly, take yourself out of situations that might encourage fantasizing. Avoid watching TV, movies and the like that are filled with such scenes. Avoid internet content that is sexually suggestive. You must avoid images that will provide the mind with the suggestive content it needs to engage in fantasy. Occupy yourself with things that you enjoy and that are not related to sex, and spend your mental energy thinking about those things. Give your mind positive food rather than negative.
To sum up, sex is not something that should be looked down upon, but it is a very delicate affair that must be handled with care. Those who have a particular weakness toward sexual fantasy and desire should really do their best to work towards marrying if at all possible. Finally, realize that fantasy is a falsehood – a world that exists only on account of our desires, and should be realized as such. The best way to do this is to understand how and where those desires come from and to do what we can to get control of our inner world through knowledge, dhikr, and discipline.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.