DreamHabitSexual
I am trying to quit a forbidden habit and, although I have managed to stay away from it, I have been getting some vivid and inappropriate dreams related to it. Do you know why this is happening and how I can make it stop?
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17188
Seyed Ali Shobayri, Seyed Ali Shobayri is of mixed Iranian and Scottish descent who found the path of the Ahlul Bayt (a) by his own research. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University through the Islamic College of London. He also studied at the Hawza Ilmiyya of England and continues Hawza and Islamic studies with private teachers. 106 Questions Answered
Mahmood Abu Maryam, Trying to make sense of it all... 47 Questions Answered
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Saleem Bhimji, Shaykh Saleem Bhimji was born and raised in Canada. After completing his post-secondary education at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), he moved to Medina, New York, to study at the Imam al-Asr Theological Seminary. He later continued his religious studies at the Hawza of Qum. To date he has translated over 40 full-length books into English that have been printed worldwide. 15 Questions Answered
Vinay Khetia, Shaikh Vinay Khetia has studied at various traditional Islamic seminaries in London, Iraq and Syria. He has an undergraduate degree in Religious and Near Eastern Studies from the University of Toronto and an M.A. in the History and Philosophy of Religion from Concordia University. He is a PhD Candidate in the department of Religious Studies at McMaster University with a focus on the intellectual history of Islam and specifically Shi'ism. 14 Questions Answered
Seyed Ali Musawi, Seyed Ali Musawi studied religion and history at the University of California, San Diego and subsequently he studied for more than 8 years at the Islamic Seminary in Qum, Iran, focusing on Islamic history and jurisprudence. 11 Questions Answered
Masuma Jaffer, Dr Masuma Jaffer is a qualified dentist, with a Masters in Islamic Studies and has also attended Hawza in Qum. She obtained a PGCE - teaching qualification – and has taught Hawza studies at the Islamic College in London. She also has a Diploma in Counselling and is a Qualified Chaplain and worked with women prisoners at Holloway and with Hertfordshire Police advising them on Muslim matters. 10 Questions Answered
Seyed Saied Alavi, Seyed Saied Alavi is a researcher based in Qom who has studied from the Howzah of Qom and also completed a Pastoral studies program. He is currently a university lecturer in the fields of Shia Theology and the History of Religions as well as other subjects. 9 Questions Answered
Mohammed Al-Hilli, Sheikh Mohammed Al-Hilli, originally from Iraq, has a Masters in Pharmacy from the University of London. He completed his Hawza degree from the ICAS in London under the supervision of Ayatollah Fadhil Milani, and also has an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University via the Islamic College. He is a teacher at the Hawza Programme at Islamic College in London. 8 Questions Answered
Hassanain Govani, Hassanain Govani is based in Sweden and has an MA in History of Religion from Uppsala University and an MA in Islamic Studies from the Islamic College of London, and has also studied Arabic in Damascus. He has a position as project secretary at SST, the committee for state support for religious communities. 3 Questions Answered
Syed Nabi Raza Abidi, Syed Nabi Raza Abidi is based in the US and has a PhD in Theology and Philosophy having attended Howzah in Iran for several years. His research was conducted under the guidance of Ayatollah Ja'far Subhani. He has also taught various subjects such as Usul, Fiqh, Philosophy, and Tafseer in different Islamic schools. 3 Questions Answered
Sayed Mohammad Saleh Qazwini, Sayed Mohammad Saleh Qazwini has a BA from the University of Michigan and an MA from Wayne State University. He is a graduate of the Islamic Seminary of Qom, Iran. 3 Questions Answered
Jerrmein Abu Shahba, Jerrmein Abu Shahba is originally from Egypt and has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a masters in Chemistry from Rutgers State University in the US. She is actively involved in many Islamic projects that include organizing annual youth camps, teaching Islamic subjects, writing articles and translating texts from Arabic. 2 Questions Answered
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Berak Hussain, Berak Hussain is a Registered Psychotherapist (RP) in Canada. She has a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Educational Counseling from the University of Ottawa. She speaks on a variety of Islamic and psychological issues bridging the connection and misconceptions around Islam and mental health and Islam and women. She has worked locally and internationally on a variety of mental health initiatives working tirelessly to break the stigma around the topic within the community. 1 Question Answered
Greg Sowden, Ali Mahdi Greg Sowden studied world history at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Since then he has been a student at Al-Mustafa International University in Qom, in the Islamic Republic of Iran.No Questions Answered
Jaffer Ali Ladak, Shaykh Jaffer Ali Ladak is from Milton Keynes in the UK and has studied at Jami'a Imam as-Sadiq (a) Hawza Imam al-Jawad (a) in Karbala and at Al Mahdi Institute in Birmingham. He is currently completing his Masters Degree in Islamic Law at the Islamic College in London. He has also authored a book on Lady Umm Kulthum, the daughter of Imam Ali (a).No Questions Answered
Anwar Jaffer, Born and raised in London, Sheikh Anwar Jaffer has a Bsc in Economics and Finance from Queen Mary University of London. In 2010 he began his religious studies in Najaf and transferred to Qom in 2015 where he currently resides with his family. No Questions Answered
Amir De Martino, Amir De Martino is of Italian origin and has an MA in Islamic Studies from the Islamic College and a combined BA degree in Persian Language and Studies of Religion from SOAS in London. He has also obtained a PGCE in Social Research Methods from the Department of Education at Roehampton University as part of his preparation for doctoral studies, and is a member of Westminster’s Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education.No Questions Answered
Ayub Rashid, Shaykh Ayub Rashid is a graduate of the Islamic Seminary of Qom, Iran. He has a BA in Islamic law and MA in Islam and Community Studies from the UK and is also a qualified Muslim Chaplain from the Markfield Institute of Higher Education in Leicester.No Questions Answered
Shyrose Jaffer Dhalla,

Zakira Shyrose Jaffer Dhalla is a graduate of York University in Canada from where she obtained a BA in Psychology and Sociology and a Masters in the field of Education. She lectures on Islam at mosques, universities, churches and interfaith gatherings and also recites majalises in Urdu, English and Gujarati. A published freelance writer, playwright, motivational speaker and Anti-Racist Educational Counsellor by profession, she conducts workshops on Race and Cultural sensitivity and often appears on TV program panels and radio talk shows to speak on Race Relations.

4 Answers
Amina Inloes,

Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the Islamic College in London and also the Managing Editor of the Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies.

390 Answers
Zoheir Ali Esmail,

Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD from the University of Exeter in the philosophical and mystical readings of Mulla Sadra in the context of the schools of Tehran and Qum.

305 Answers
Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour,

Sheikh Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour is lecturer of Islamic Studies at the Islamic College for Advanced Studies, London, and a visiting lecturer at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Oriental Studies. He was raised in Iran and holds a BA and an MA in Sociology from Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran. He has also studied at Queen Mary College London and the London School of Economics.

15 Answers
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Zeinab Donati,

Zeinab Donati has been studying books about various Islamic subjects for more than 19 years. She is deeply interested in history and politics as well as social issues in particular those pertaining to women.

25 Answers
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Abbas Jaffer,

Sheikh Abbas Jaffer is an optometrist by profession and has a Master’s degree in Islamic Sciences. He is a part time lecturer at the Islamic College in London and is currently writing his doctoral thesis on the challenges faced by educators of young Muslims in modern day Britain. He has also co-authored a book on Qur’anic sciences for the Islamic College as well as translating several works from Persian into English.

14 Answers
Passed
Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi,

Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to religious questions. In the past, he has also spent significant time in India guiding the community.

1806 Answers
Passed
Rebecca Masterton,

Dr Rebecca Masterton graduated with a BA in Japanese Language and Literature; an MA in Comparative East Asian and African Literature and a PhD in Islamic literature of West Africa. She has been teaching for seventeen years through different media, and has also worked in media for ten years, producing and presenting programs for several TV channels.

84 Answers
Passed
Nour Tessie Jørgensen,

Nour Tessie Jørgensen has an MA in Islamic studies from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and a degree in Philosophy of Ethics at Al Mustafa International University in Qum, Iran. She works as an Islamic Studies teacher and a counselor in spiritual and female-related issues.

18 Answers
Passed
Abbas Di Palma,

Shaykh Abbas Di Palma holds a BA and an MA degree in Islamic Studies, and certifications from the Language Institute of Damascus University. He has also studied traditional Islamic sciences in London, Damascus and Qom and taught for different institutions in Italy and UK.

208 Answers
Passed
Abolfazl Sabouri,

Abolfazl Sabouri is based in New Zealand and has an MA in Jurisprudence and Islamic Studies. He is a graduate of Elmiyeh seminary in Qom with more than 15 years of study and research where he has also taught Tafsir, Theology and Jurisprudence.

43 Answers
Passed
Sayyed Muhammad Husaini Ragheb,

Sayyed Muhammad Husaini Ragheb has a BA in Law from Guilan University, Iran and has also undertaken Hawzah studies in Qom. He is a Cultural Affairs director of Ethics Group of Al-Mustafa Open University and has also taught Arabic conversation at Masoomieh school.

56 Answers
Passed
Zaid Alsalami,

Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from ANU, Canberra. He has written and translated several Islamic texts and also prepared educational videos on Islamic rulings and practices.

345 Answers
Passed
Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 1 year ago

Well, if it is a sexual habit (since that is how this is tagged), your body has hormones, and it is dealing with your hormones in its own way. As Shaykh Esmail said, it will likely calm down. Reciting Qur'an and du'a before sleeping may also help calm things down. Adjusting what you eat may also have an effect.

Also, as Shaykh Esmail said, we aren't held accountable for what appears in our dreams (although maybe it might be embarrassing). At the risk of sounding overly traditional, the main solution given in our texts is to get married and find a different outlet, of course that is often easier said than done, but if you aren't married, that is the advice that is given. 

If it is some other kind of habit, you can ignore the above! 

Shyrose Jaffer Dhalla, Zakira Shyrose Jaffer Dhalla is a graduate of York University in Canada from where she obtained a BA in Psychology and Sociology and a Masters in the field of Education. She lectures on Islam at... Answered 1 year ago

Mashallah, you have built an awareness of yourself, found the courage to recognize a bad habit and have begun to take serious steps to eradicate it.  Your actions are commendable, indeed, for they show your commitment to the Obedience and Pleasure of Allah (swt).

These efforts, no matter how discouraging or frustratingly slow they may seem, will surely count on the scale of deeds on the Day of Judgement for Allah swt promises in the Holy Quran “So, whoever has done an atom's weight of good shall behold it” (Sura Zilzal 99:7)

The dreams you refer to are actually an encouraging sign and, in fact, an indication that your abstinence is having an effect on your system. The field of psychology sees dreams as often a reflection of our hidden or repressed thoughts, struggles, fears and anxieties.  These dreams are proof that your self-restraint has been prolonged enough to result in withdrawal symptoms. These phenomenon are not only expected in addiction recovery, but are also a warning sign that this is not the time to give up; rather it is a time to brace yourself with added vigour, strength and conviction. Victory is very near, inshallah.

When the human body has become accustomed to receiving gratification in a specific way, it is only expected that changing and unlearning these patterns will result in a fair amount of internal turmoil, anguish, struggle and, unfortunately, relapse.

At such times, Shaitan, the eternal Accursed opportunist, looks for the weakening of the soul, the cracks in the armour, so to speak, and encourages one to give in just one more time.  But giving in just once is never a good idea and can take one to a deeper place of obsession.  

In the field of the study of addictive behaviours, such relapses are referred to as binges;  just one more cigarette, just one glass of alcohol, just one more piece of cake, just one more immoral act actually leads to a thousand more, often in one sitting.

Undoubtedly, it is not easy to give up any type of addiction whether it means abstaining from a forbidden act, withdrawing from a friend who is toxic, giving up carbohydrates and heavily reducing food intake, avoiding backbiting, breaking off an immoral relationship, quitting gambling or deciding to stop substance abuse such as smoking, alcohol or drugs.  Even giving up a seemingly benign habit such as nail-biting or thumb-sucking can often take years to truly stop.

Perhaps this is why so many who struggle with addictions will often plead to others to never allow themselves to start a bad habit in the first place.  

The human body and mind is susceptible and prone to addiction and this is why Islam encourages self-discipline and restraint from an early age, and alerts us to the vulnerability of the nafs ul amara (the lowest, base part of the human soul)  which the accursed Shaitan cunningly befriends and entices.

Nevertheless, eradicating an addiction is completely possible and the success stories are all around us.  In fact, even life-long chain-smokers have been able to give up smoking overnight; the phenomenon is called “going cold-turkey”.

Unfortunately, most of such drastic changes have been known to happen when the individual has been given a terminal diagnosis and is told they do not have too long to live.  At that stage, one could argue, giving up the addiction is futile.  And yet the one facing death, in sheer desperation, will do it anyway.

Thus, those such as you, who realize the seriousness of the matter early and work proactively to quit a serious addiction before it is too late and those who actually are successful at beating the addiction are the ones who truly deserve accolades.

Their steadfastness and resilience, their ability to remain true to their own promise to their nafs is a testament to the strength of the human spirit of being able to put mind over matter. To understand how addiction works it is important to read as much as possible on the subject.  

For more information, refer to the following articles on the cycles of withdrawal and tolerance, guilt and justification in addictive behaviours:

https://www.verywellmind.com/how-can-i-quit-my-addiction-22390

https://www.verywellmind.com/definition-of-homeostasis-22207

Understanding relapse as a normal process of addiction recovery: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-relapse-22106

The key to giving up an addiction is a combination of firm and serious resolve combined with active efforts to uphold the new lifestyle, distracting oneself and to engage in acts of worship to strengthen the process.

Doing this will inshallah discourage compulsive thoughts and recurrent dreams and lessen the withdrawal symptoms until one is completely free of the addiction, inshallah.

Start with regular and timely offering of the daily salaah as this helps to build an armour against Shaitaan, the accursed.  

Imam Jaffer Sadiq (a.s) advises, “Shaitaan fears man as long as he offers his salaat five times in its prime time.  When the person wastes these salaat, Shaitaan gets bold and involves that person in greater sins.”

In addition to this, the offering of Salaat ul Layl is extremely beneficial in upholding this armour and keeping oneself in a continual state of worship.  Night time can also become a time of loneliness when idle and obsessive thoughts can lead to a relapse; thus keeping oneself distracted in worship at night is a good strategy.

Salatul Layl not only evokes blessings and forgiveness from Allah (swt) but it also helps to create self-awareness about the destructive nature of sins and to keep oneself cleansed as one works towards a new sin-free lifestyle.  

For a step-by-step guide on how to recite salatyl layl: http://www.duas.org/tahajjud.htm

Additionally, there are some beautiful duas that are highly recommended after Salatul Layl which truly enhance the experience of worshipping in the loneliness of the night as the Beloved listens to our plea in Dua Hazeen:

I whisper unto You O One Who is present in every place so that You may hear my call for surely my sin is excessive and my shame is less

اُنَاجِیْکَ یَا مَوْجُوْدًا فِیْ کُلِّ مَکَانٍ لَعَلَّکَ تَسْمَعُ نِدَآئِیْ فَقَدْ عَظُمَ جُرْمِیْ وَ قَلَّ حَیَآئِیْ

I call for help and I call for help, O Allah from desires which have overpowered me and from the enemy which has pounced on me and from the world which attracts me and from the soul that leads towards evil except that on which my Lord has mercy (12:53)

مَولاَیَ یَا مَوْلاَیَ حَتّٰی مَتٰی وَ اِلٰي مَتٰي اَقُوْلُ لَکَ الْعُتْبٰی مَرَّۃً بَعْدَ اُخْرٰی ثُمَّ لاَ تَجِدُ عِنْدِیْ صِدْقًا وَ لاَ وَفَآءً فَیَاغَوْثَاہُ ثُمَّ وَاغَوْثَاہُ بِکَ

Dua Hazeen: https://www.duas.org/Misc/dua_e_hazeen.htm

Recitation of Dua Komail on Thursdays is an important part of this process towards reducing withdrawal symptoms when recovering from an addiction.

It is crucial to accompany acts of worship with reading material that can enhance one’s understanding of how sins can destroy our faith. Allama Dastghaib Shiraz’s book, “Greater Sins” (3 volumes) is an especially informative look at the destructive nature of sins on the human soul.

The book includes a 2 part section on tawba which is also very inspiring: https://www.al-islam.org/greater-sins-volume-1-ayatullah-sayyid-abdul-hu...

Complement such reading of books and articles with video and audio lectures on “astagfar” to not only firm your resolve to not sin again but to also give you reassurance that Allah swt is Al-Ghafir (the forgiver) al-Ghafur (most forgiving) Al Ghaffar (oft forgiving).

Engage in a healthy and very active lifestyle to distract yourself from the addictive behaviour in question.  

Join a sports team, exercise regularly, keep a busy social schedule, volunteer and visit your Islamic centre regularly.

Continue on this commendable and most necessary task of giving up the forbidden act that you are struggling with.  

And never underestimate the power of Allah swt in blessing and making what seems an impossible task, completely possible.

Allah swt not only praises those that strive for His forgiveness but promises that He swt will, in fact, turn their evil deeds into good ones.

“Except him who repents and believes and does a good deed; so these are they of whom Allah changes the evil deeds to good ones; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And whoever repents and does good, he surely turns to Allah a (goodly) turning.” (Surah Furqān 25:70-71)

Dreams are not within our power to control and Allah swt does not hold us accountable for them.  Feeling guilty is not helpful but engaging in these helpful strategies and acts of worship will inshallah lessen the occurrence of these dreams.

May Allah swt give you the strength, courage, conviction and resilience of faith and imaan, to free yourself of this addiction.

With continued efforts and the blessings of Allah swt, inshallah, the disturbing dreams and recurrent thoughts will soon become completely rare and non-existent.    Ilaahi ameen

Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 1 year ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. Well done for staying away from the habit. May Allah grant you every success in maintaining it. The dreams will go by themselves with time so try not to focus or to feel

down when you have them. They can be remnants which have been marked in your psyche, but they also may be helpful in a way (in that they are a form of gradual movement) as they are dreams so they are not forbidden or in your control. 
 

May you always be successful