We all know that fish live in water. They generally cannot survive for long out of water. However, when fish move towards the ocean’s surface, they become an easy catch for fishermen –as we find with the sardine run. People grab, net and catch sardines from the surface of the water.
When a fisherman catches a fine fish, he reels it in. He does not throw it back into the sea. Once it is hooked or caught, it is pulled out.
Why? Because fish out of water, when scaled and washed, when ‘masalad’ and fried, tastes lovely.
In my Dua, I usually say: O Allah, make us the fish that swim deep down in the ocean of Your Ma’rifat.
Like the fish, the Believer is swimming deep in the safety of Allah Ta’ala’s ocean of love. If he moves towards temptation, he makes an easy and fine catch for Shaytaan.
Do we want to become a meal for Shaytaan? —Because this is exactly what happens to the heart of the Believer who dashes for the bait of sins: His Imaan is ‘scaled’, his good deeds are ‘washed away’, his heart and soul are ‘marinated’ in darkness and fried in the fire of restlessness –to the delight of Shaytaan. Allah Ta’ala forbid that this restless soul has to also one day contend with the fire of Hell.
Many people write that they are hooked on porn films and magazines. They fall for the bait which Shaytaan tempts them with, get hooked and end up ruining their spiritual, mental and physical health.
♦ Pornography is one of the root causes of insanity.
Those who have the habit of viewing pornography generally do so at night. They spend the day working and the night watching filth. They are overcome with restlessness and are deprived of sleep. Sleep deprivation is a one-way ticket to mental instability. In the long term, the brain is badly damaged, and the person loses his sanity. He ends up in an asylum or shoots himself.
One young brother contacted me, saying he had a porn addiction. He knew it was Haraam, but said he just could not give up the sin. He would secretly watch pornography late at night after the family went to sleep. And then, one night whilst watching porn there was a tremor.
The building began to shake, and everyone got up running down the stairs in their pyjamas, running helter-skelter, fearing the worst, expecting that was their end. He said that at that time, my Dua hit his heart: “O Allah! Do not let the Angel of death find us in any sin, in gambling, drinking, pornography!”
He immediately made sincere Taubah. But it took a real-life shake-up to get him to give up the sin. He was fortunate that he was granted the opportunity of repenting, otherwise what would have been the condition, returning to Allah Ta’ala whilst viewing pornography?
I generally give the following reply to those who write saying they are addicted to porn:
Allah Ta’ala forbid, if some criminal has to put a gun to your head, will you say: “It is difficult for me to stop watching this porn, I am addicted. Please allow me to watch all these filthy pictures first before you blow my head”, or will you start reading Duas for Allah Ta’ala to protect you?
Similarly, death is following us all. What if the Angel of Death visits at that time to extract your soul? Would you want your life to end while watching porn –because the Angel of Death will not give you time to switch off the computer and make Taubah?
Imagine if you die when viewing pornography. What an embarrassment and disgrace it will be! Thereafter, people will ask –as is common: “How did he die? When? Where? What was he doing?” Would you like people to say: “He died in front of the computer, and he was watching a dirty film.”
Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was asked: ‘What is Imaan?’
Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied: ‘When your good deeds give you happiness and when your evil deeds cause you grief.’ 
If reading porn magazines, watching filthy movies, being involved in some illicit relationship, drinking, gambling and indulging in other sins do not create any remorse and sorrow, and instead, we are expressing happiness over sins, where is our Imaan?
One situation is that the person engages in some sin but then genuinely regrets it. However, when there is persistence and enjoyment in sins, where is our Imaan?
Deriving pleasure in Haraam indicates pollution in the heart. The heart needs to be washed and cleaned with sincere Taubah and needs to be polished with Zikrullah.
At least recognize sin as sin, detest it. This is Imaan.
The person has Imaan if he is feeling unhappy and grieved when he has displeased Allah Ta’ala.
Understand that whatever Allah Ta’ala enjoins upon us and forbids us from, is in our best interests; for our benefit, advantage, well-being and success.
Abdullah Ibn Mubarak (rahmatullahi alaihi), who was a great Wali of Allah Ta’ala summed up the consequences of sins by saying: “I see that sins cause death to the heart and becoming addicted to the sins brings about humiliation and disgrace. On the other hand, abandoning sins gives life to the heart. So, it is best for you to disobey the nafs.”
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to give up all sins and purify our hearts and souls, and may Allah Ta’ala grant us death when He is pleased with us.
 “Masalad”: spiced and marinated
 Musnad Ahmad