Pornography (often abbreviated porn) is the portrayal of sexual subject matter for the exclusive purpose of sexual arousal. Pornography may be presented in a variety of media, including books, magazines, postcards, photographs, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, phone calls, writing, film, video, and video games.
Watching pornography would go against the clear command of Qur'an to "lower the gaze", Suratul Noor 24:30-31.
What actually entails a major sin, and what the punishments for those are, is a much discussed and debated question.
I understand that it could be interesting to know whether or not watching pornography would fall into such a category.
However, I would like to highlight the issue from another perspective. Generally, when something is haraam in sharia, it is so for good reasons. There is an abundant amount of evidence showing that pornography is harmful for the persons involved in the filming, for the individual watching, and for the society at large.
Many books have been written on the issue, e.g. Understanding and treating Sex and Pornography Addication by Paula Hall, and Treating Pornography Addiction by Kevin B Skinner.
I would also recommend the following TEDx talk: The Great Porn Experiment
To cut it short, pornography is highly addictive. Furthermore, it can cause serious problems in life in different domains, such as marital intimacy, concentration, carrier, and other areas.
Therefore, I would suggest that one looks beyond the question of major sin or not. The fact is that it is potentially very harmful. These are the dire consequences in this life. I dread to think about the consequences on the soul and the life to come.
May God bless you
We can look at this issue from multiple angles. Firstly, we know as Muslims that it is haram for us to look at the private parts of other people. We also know that anything that is sexually arousing, outside a marital relationship is also haram.
As far as the shar'i side is concerned, we confidently know the many detrimental dangers there are if we defy the commands of God. We know these harmful sins will affect our soul and our mind, and pollute us spiritually and morally.
On a relationship side, it would be very problematic if a husband, or a wife, would need external sexual arousal from fake unrealistic sources to make their time together enjoyable. It's not a good sign at all.
This shows a deep issue in how the husband sees the wife, or how the wife sees the husband.
True enjoyment can be fulfilled just by the husband and wife, and they are so sexually captivated by each other, they need abolutely nothing else, or nobody else.
It is only when one is unsatisfied with what they have, they turn to other means. It is for this reason, that along with what our religion and our moral standards teach us, it would also be very damaging for the husband - wife relationship itself.
With prayers for your success.
Spying is not allowed in Islam, but if you have come to know that your husband is having a bad habit, you need to do your best to help him to get out this bad habit in every possible way. You should explain to him the damages of such sinful acts and harms on him in this life and hereafter.
The root of these sinful acts is weakness in front of the sinful desires. This weakness can be tackled by:
1. Remembering the fact the Allah is seeing us always. Will we ignore His presence and commit the sinful act in front of Allah?
2. Remembering the harm and damage caused to your heart, mind and body by these sinful acts. How can a sensible person harm himself deliberately for the sake of few moments of sinful lust?
3. Remembering the fate of those who committed such sinful acts and how they gained nothing, but the loss and damage to themselves.
4. Remembering the great reward of pious people who keep themselves away from the sinful desires for the sake of Allah. The reward in Paradise is much greater than any lust.
5. Remembering the painful results and sever misery of those who committed sinful acts. Can you tolerate such dangerous results? Is this sinful desire worth putting you in such fatal results?
6. Repeating Estighfaar and Salawaat is very useful in cleaning the inner and enlightening the mind and heart.
7. Seeking the help from Allah with the Waseela of His most beloved servants, Muhammad and his Holy Progeny Ahlul Bayt (AS).