RECOVERY FROM PROHIBITED SEXUAL DESIRES AND ACTIONS
In Juz 12 Allah introduces us to a number of stories relating to the Prophets He sent and the way their people denied the message. In most of the cases we will read it is because they put forward their desires over the Truth of Allah. They preferred this world, and fulfilling their needs here on this earth, over the pleasures in the Hereafter.
We find a beautiful and encouraging story in Surah Yusuf, Chapter 12 of the Qur’an for those of us who struggle with maintaining our modesty in a society where flirtation with the opposite gender, outside of marriage is common place. Prophet Yusuf was a very handsome world. Allah gave him half of the entire worlds beauty and this became a test for him. As Allah explains in Surah Yusuf, the King’s wife became besotted by Yusuf, and over a period of time tried hard to seduce him, making suggestive remarks and flirting with him. Yusuf never responded to her flirtations. We must think about this deeply.
As addicts we need to train our desires in all degrees. Many of us may have issues in this area and may have become addicted to behaviours related to sexual desires. In recovery, we must learn to overcome these urges and only act them out in moderation and in a halal way (within the sanctity of marriage). There is a great taboo attached to sex addiction, especially in most Muslim cultures, however, it is important that we seek help from this unhealthy compulsion before we find it consumes us, causing ourselves and others to be hurt and families destroyed.
“And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him, and she closed the doors and said. “Come on, Oh you”. He said; “I seek refuge in Allah!” (12:23)
As Allah explains the Kings wife did not take no for an answer, nor did she listen to his advise. She was unable to control her desires and literally threw herself at Yousuf.
“So, they raced with one another to the door, and she tores his shirt from the back.” (12:25)
The wife of the King acted on her cravings and was unable to hold herself back from her urges. She was completely lost in her desire for Yusuf. Only on account of his fear of Allah, did Yusuf hold himself back from her. This may not have been easy for him, being a young man with needs of his own. But he controlled his own urges and sought refuge in Allah. What a lesson for us to take heed from! With promiscuity and free mixing so prevalent in our society we need to learn to control our own unhealthy sexual urges. Not to mention the easy access to forbidden materials widely available on the internet as well as sites where meeting people for casual liaisons are frequented. Being in recovery, we need to see ourselves holistically and try to meet all our desires in a halal way.
We must lead by the example of Yusuf alayhis salam. He feared Allah, sought refuge in Him and tried to remove himself from the situation. We must do the same whenever we are presented with an opportunity to engage in forbidden sexual encounters. And the Prophet Muhammad (saws) offered something else to try alongside this;
Narrated ‘Abdullah: “We were with the Prophet while we were young and had no wealth whatever. So Allah’s Apostle 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.”
For more on this topic, listen to Nouman Ali Khan’s 5 minute reminder video here