Did you know that:
…Allah wants to lighten for you [your difficulties]; and mankind was created weak.
His guidance will make one strong as long as you put trust and faith in Him.
When we admit that our Creator has the best advice, we can truly free ourselves from many of life’s temptations that often turn into addictions. We have to purify our hearts and souls to be free, and it is a true liberation that we can find all these solutions in Islam. It is a life-long duty that we must constantly strive for.
Many new Muslims battled addictions before, and even at the time of accepting Islam, and through Islam found peace within themselves and were able to squash their desires.
I interviewed several new Muslims and wrote about some of their stories in Part 1, and the rest will be shared in this part.
Allah gave us solutions to all addictions, such as fasting when one can’t marry to suppress sexual desires, He advised us on how to dress to avoid seducing others and encouraged marriage. He also advised us against harmful consumption of certain things, even certain foods to protect us from damaging our bodies and minds.
Drugs Destroy – Jodi’s Story
Jodi, an American revert, wanted Allah to know that she loved Him more than her smoking, and shortly after found that when she smoked it caused her to vomit, so it made it much easier for her to quit.
When she converted to Islam, she felt in her heart that she must quit not only for herself, but for the One that created her. She later came to the realization that her body was only a loan to her that she must safeguard, and this belief helped her overcome her addiction.
Did you know that your body has a right over you? The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) even told Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘As not to fast all day and stand all night in prayer because his body had rights over him!
So, when one is tempted by a desire, whatever it may be, they should remember that their body is being denied its rights.
The desires hidden within ourselves, our nafs, is a major enemy which we all have to battle with. Our soul is influenced by either our nafs (desires) or taqwa (God-consciousness).
Facing addictions of all forms are true battles of the nafs. To conquer the nafs, one must constantly remind themselves of their mortality and certainty of death, and be concerned about their hereafter, because the nafs is the main cause of one’s self-oppression.
An American revert, Karla, started drinking around the age of 8 or 9 years old, and was an alcoholic by 7th. grade. At 12, she started smoking marijuana and cigarettes, upgraded to pills, and then angel dust by the age of 17, and at 25, she was smoking crack cocaine, and other drugs.
She always wanted to stop but didn’t know how, and underwent rehab often, and then resorted back shortly after, getting worse each time.
So, she became obsessed with the worldly things and desires. She resorted to prostitution and dealing drugs to finance her habit, and eventually lost custody of her children.
When she was in prison for 3 years and was incapable of obtaining the drugs she needed, and made a conscious decision to take advantage of the restriction and to overcome this addiction. She felt that by God’s grace and plan – by landing her in prison – she couldn’t obtain what she wanted to fill her desires, helped her to begin a road to recovery.
This dunya (worldly things/affairs) is a great enemy too, including the love of money, possessions, and even drugs. Karla became obsessed with gaining money, to feed her obsession with drugs.
It is a vicious cycle. To conquer these influences, one must become aware of the short existence we have on this planet and that we are constantly being tested.
Karla was in a self made prison of desires, and when she ended up in actual prison, she found freedom, because she found Islam there, and was freed from her addictions.
This world is a prison for the believer and a paradise for the disbeliever. (Muslim)
The other enemy we face is Satan himself. He seduces and misleads mankind by making everything that is forbidden to be beautiful and desired. He leads us into denial about good vs. bad, and we commit sins.
If we look at how Satan plans things, we can see that he makes all the haram things seem pleasing, and he will make the hellfire luring by tempting one into sin, but only those that can see through the smoke screen will see that they will be doomed to a tormented hereafter, and will seek Allah’s refuge from inclination to their desires.
Hannah, an American revert, found herself addicted to drugs and alcohol by the age of 17.
One day, while driving intoxicated, another intoxicated driver hit her after running a red light and smashed the car she was driving.
She was left unconscious for a few minutes and when she became conscious, she knew she was about to be busted and would go to jail, which means losing her license, her school scholarship, and probably would be expelled from her university, because she knew she was way over the legal blood alcohol limit.
So, she said that she felt that God blessed her with a miracle, because when the police did the breathalyzer test on her, she passed it as if there was no alcohol in her system.
She took this as a sign that God wanted her attention, and so she began to learn about Islam, and took her shahadah 3 years ago. Once she gave herself over to Allah, she was sober from that moment on, never looking back.
Hannah’s story is an example of giving oneself over to Allah in full submission, leaving the temptations of Satan behind. To conquer this enemy (Satan), we have to put our full trust in Allah, and fully submit to His will and mercy, and learn to identify Satan when he shows his ugly face and to reject him.
Allah will forgive sins, big and small, so turn to Him with repentance, and avoid falling into self destruction with your addictions. Remember Allah will guide you as long as you put your trust in Him, and:
… Allah is Merciful unto you. (4:29)
Bad company is another poison of the heart that can trigger and keep the cycle of addictions going. Sometimes, simply being around one’s friend who is indulging in it, they do it as well to “fit in”.
Emily, an Australian revert, met a Muslim man whom she was impressed and inspired by, which triggered her to give up drinking after a conversation she had with him.
She made a self-discovery that the only thing she even had in common with her “friends” – was drinking. They didn’t even get along unless they were drunk. So, she cut off all the people she was associating with who drank. She says that she never thought that drinking was something God didn’t like because most of the people she knew that had a religious affiliation also drank.
A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend. (Abu Dawud)
General Advice for all Forms of Addictions
Addiction to intoxicants, habits, and worldly things, cloud one’s mind, wastes money. It can cause disease and sickness. And it creates jealously, hatred and conflict between people, prevents them from remembering Allah, forgetting prayer, lures them…
The one who is addicted to alcohol is like one who worships an idol. (Ibn Majah)
Be warned, because what may seem to be a small indulgence can possibly take you out of the fold of Islam if it evolves into an addiction, filling your every thought. Remember to repent, for:
The one who repents is like the one who did not sin. (Ibn Majah)
Pray to Allah and know that He does not let down the one who calls upon Him. He says:
Call upon Me; I will respond to you. (40:60)
Then strive to deepen your knowledge in Islam, so that you will be shy in front of Allah.
Free yourself, free your soul, free your body and mind from harm, and don’t allow Satan to tempt your nafs, and you will find the ultimate freedom of all kind with Allah as your guard against his attacks.
(From Reading Islam’s archive.)