As-Salāmu ʿAlaykum Sexual desire is natural just like desire for food, water, sleep, knowledge, etc. These are all innate qualities which Allah subhanahu Wa ta’ala has instilled in us for the reason of survival. Sexual desire is a part of our being simply to ensure procreation. The feelings associated with sexual desire ensure that the human species continue until such time that Allah subhanahu Wa ta’ala has appointed and decreed to be the end of this life as we know it.
All of our desires are entrusted onto us to use WISELY. Giving into any one desire without much SELF-CONTROL is basically ALLOWING the basic ANIMAL instincts to kick in. It means that the one who allows to be controlled BY the desire is NOT in control of it.
What happens when we completely submit to our desires is that we run into trouble. We run into trouble on many levels. Food is enticing and enjoyable BUT what happens if we overeat?
We become unhealthy, overweight, sluggish and it begins to affect our lives negatively on many levels. We have to be wise in what foods we choose to eat and how much we eat. We have to self-regulate. If we don’t, we are failing our own selves and Allah subhanahu Wa ta’ala who has entrusted us to take good care of ourselves including our bodies. And Allah subhanahu Wa ta’ala says:
"Eat of the good things which We have provided for you." (2:173)
"Eat of what is lawful and wholesome on the earth."(2:168)
Over indulgence and wasting of food are further dissuaded in the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah:
‘ No human being has ever filled a container worse than his own stomach. The son of Adam needs no more than a few morsels of food to keep up his strength, doing so he should consider that a third of his stomach is for food, a third for drink and a third for breathing’
What happens if we sleep too much? Firstly, we shorten our physical activity. We become at higher risks of coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Over sleepers are more likely to report frequent mental distress, defined by researchers as an experience of poor mental health. Once again, we are failing our own selves and Allah subhanahu Wa ta’ala who has entrusted us to take good care of ourselves including our bodies.
What happens when we pursue knowledge endlessly? We know knowledge is good. Allah subhanahu Wa ta’ala says:
«... He who is given wisdom has been given a lot of good. « (2:269)
“… Say: 'Are they equal, those who know and those who do not know? ‘Only those with minds remember.” (39:9)
The most condensed and brilliant definition of knowledge and deed comes from Muhammad a.s.:
“Knowledge is the guide to the deed and the deed is the knowledge’s follower.”
In my lifetime I have known people who relentlessly pursue knowledge. This should be a good quality as Allah subhanahu Wa ta’ala tells us so.
BUT, there is moderation lacking in some people. Pursuing knowledge during ALL TIMES of the day and night/ PERSISTENT study has robbed these people of dedicating time to their families. And Allah subhanahu Wa ta’ala has given us various responsibilities which cannot be ignored, one of them being to take good care of our families.
Allah subhanahu Wa ta’ala says:
"And He enforced the balance. That you exceed not the bounds; but observe the balance strictly; and fall not short thereof." (55:7–9)
"O you who believe! Make not unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful for you, but commit no excess: for Allah loves not those given to excess." (5:87)
"Thus have We made of you an Ummah, Justly balanced, that you might be witnesses over the nations. " Quran (2: 143)
In order to fulfil our responsibilities which Allah subhanahu Wa ta’ala has entrusted upon us, we must BALANCE our time wisely and not give to excess in anything.
I found this simple quote:
“Following your sexual desires is as easy and as pleasurable as eating a piece of cake.”
Or any other favourite food you may fancy.
Just because it is enjoyable and calling to us, does not mean that we must succumb to it and not control it. We do this by regulating, moderating and balancing.
Shaytan is there most of the time.
So it becomes even more difficult when your own desires AND the whisperings combine against your self-control.
To balance this out, we must call upon Allah subhanahu Wa ta’ala. And Shaitan is NO match for Allah subhanahu Wa ta’ala. If you wish to TAKE CONTROL , you need to turn to Allah subhanahu Wa ta’ala.
This is without ANY doubt. Ignore this piece of advice and you have no helper.
Allah subhanahu Wa ta’ala says:
"Nay. Allah is your Protector and He is the best of helpers." (3:150)
Seek Allah’s help always.
It is logical to say, as most minds are capable of concluding, that which you wish to CONTROL and MODERATE, you must STAY AWAY FROM.
Your body has rights over you. To misuse or abuse your body, is to be guilty of infringing the rights of your own body and also the rights of Allah subhanahu Wa ta’ala who has given the body as a trust to us. The Qur'an says:
"The believers are...those who protect their sexual organs except from their spouse's. . . Therefore, whosoever seeks more beyond that in sexual gratification], then they are the transgressors." (23: 5-6)
Sexual desire in young people especially, is high so it does not make sense to turn to porn sites, watch sexually elicit programmes, magazines, phone ‘live-sex’, etc . All of these are set up for the nations which are not Islamically orientated. They have a different set of codes and values by which they conduct their lives.
Trying to follow Islamic ways and traditions but at the same time taking selective immoral behaviours of non-Islamic counterparts cannot and DOES NOT work.
This is like trying to mix water and oil. This does not make sense if you are trying to follow the Islamic path AND what Allah subhanahu Wa ta’ala has instructed us to live.
Sexual desire is fine in moderation and under the right circumstances. Thus, having a marriage partner and expressing your sexual desire with him/her makes sense.
Marriage and sex are among the signs of Allah's power and blessings. The Qur'an says,
"And among His signs is that He has created for you spouses from among yourselves so that you may live in tranquillity with them; and He has created love and mercy between you. Verily, in that are signs for those who reflect." (30:21)
"Marry the spouseless among you...if they are poor, God will enrich them of His bounty." (Qur'an 24:32)
(Marriage should not be avoided because of poverty.)
So, how to control one’s sexual desires? Here are some things we can do:
Obviously, try to marry as soon as possible. Marriage is the easiest and most efficient way to enjoy sex lawfully and to get rid of excess sexual addiction/preoccupation. Try to convince your parents to help you look for a pious wife/husband. You may tell your parents of your need for marriage.
Meanwhile, pending such developments, there are some helpful methods that will turn the discomfort which a Muslim faces into an opportunity for Allah’s reward by showing patience.
Increase your Taqwa. Taqwa is ‘conscious power’. The conscious use of your Allah-given strength.
The more you are conscious and aware, the closer you get to Allah.
Increase your voluntary worship, such as Sunnah prayers, al-Dûhâ prayer and the night prayer. Give more attention to supplication ( du`â’) while prostrating. Asking Allah to guide you, protect you, and keep you safe.
There are some supplications taught by our Prophet Mohammad Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam . You should memorize them by heart and use them from time to time while being alone.
Moreover, fasting whenever possible has special effects over bad behavior and controls desire. Fasting removes troublesome thoughts and cultivates noble ones.
Read more of the Holy Qur’an with its commentary. You may use a translation if you do not know Arabic.
Invite others to Allah more effectively within your own house and in the nearby Islamic centers to increase your faith.
Do your reading or studying while sitting together with your family or in the company of others of your own gender. Avoid being alone in order to prevent Shaytan’s whispering.
Once again, stay away from enticing things, such as porn sites, television broadcasts, music, going out unnecessarily, and viewing magazines even if they might appear innocent and non-sexual.
Visit the sick and supplicate for them. Thauban, the freed slave of Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:
“He who visits the sick continues to remain in the fruit garden of Paradise until he returns”. (Sahih Muslim)
Capitalize on your time by increasing your Islamic knowledge. Visiting quality Islamic websites which are established to strengthen brotherhood/sisterhood and solidarity among Muslims spread the message of the Salaf all over the world, and advise Muslims such as how we are endeavouring here on this website.
Don't engage in deep relations, especially those of emotional and personal nature, with members of the other sex.
Don't stay alone with a member of the opposite sex, since this is the most dangerous situation which will most likely turn into an illegal relation. Shaytan is always the third one present.
Find a mental hobby. Find something to think about that interests you.
Finally, remember that this world is temporary and the Aakhirah is eternal.
Be reminded of the love and the concern which the Most Merciful Allah subhanahu Wa ta’ala has for us:
"Allah does not desire to make any impediment for you, but He desires to purify you and to complete His blessings upon you." (5:6)
May Allah subhanahu Wa ta’ala help us all in achieving and maintaining acts of worship and praiseworthy ways of conducting our lives. Ameen.