Monday, November 7, 2011


I am currently trying to help a dear friend of mine quit smoking. How can I help? I feel so helpless. She handed over her cigarettes to me and instead of throwing them away. So of course I felt compelled to do a photo-shoot with the long, slender cigs. Although the shots came out a bit fuzzy, it's interesting to look at these little white sticks and think about the great harm they have caused in so many people's lives. I do not understand what she is going through, but I am aware that nicotine addiction is one of the hardest to shake. Thank God, she is doing quite well with it. It’s obvious I’m a lot more nervous about the whole thing than the one who is giving up the habit.

So, this got me to thinking? What is addiction anyway? Why do we become addicted to things? We hear about all types of addictions in today’s society: nicotine, alcohol, narcotics, porn, food, caffeine, sex, gambling, internet, prescription medications… and the list goes on. When do bad habits and rituals cross the line into addiction? Why do we harmful things to our bodies and our sprits for a quick moment of satisfaction?

Addiction is defined on as, “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.”

So this is serious. We are talking trauma to the mind and body. ENSLAVEMENT! It is so easy for us to judge someone because they are an addict of something, but do we really understand the plight of someone who is so physically and/emotionally attached to something that they are willing to cause injury to themselves and their families. And who is to say we are not dealing with our own addictions…

Some of you are addicted to as you read this blog. Others are addicted to shopping, and these addictions should be taken seriously. Take a look at these syptoms of addiction, and you might be surprised at how things can creep into your life and slowly take it over with you barely realizing.

Signs of addiction:
  • You’re neglecting your responsibilities at school, work, or home (e.g. flunking classes, skipping work, neglecting your children) because of your obsessive activity.
  • Your activity is getting you into legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, or stealing to support your habit.
  • Your obsession is causing problems in your relationships, such as fights with your partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of old friends.
  • You take do something that’s hurting you to avoid the feeling of withdrawal. If you go too long without it, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety.
  • You’ve lost control over your involvement. You may want to stop doing it, but you feel powerless.
  • Your life revolves around the activity. You spend a lot of time thinking about it, figuring out how and when you will partake in the activity again.
  • You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing, because of your drug use.
  • You continue the activity, despite knowing it’s hurting you.
  • Your partaking in the activity is pulling you away from what is good for you. You stopped praying and other spiritual activities that in the past had brought you peace and solace. 
I pray you are not dealing with any addictions, but if you are here are a few words of encouragement:
1.        You are worthy. Your worth is NOT based on your addiction.
2.        You can quit. You are a survivor. The addiction is weak and you are strong.
3.        You are loved. GOD LOVES YOU, so does anyone else really matter?
4.        Get help. Seek out someone you can trust or a group.
5.        Weed out the negative influences in your life. You deserve to be surrounded by positivity.

And if that wasn’t enough, here’s a word from your Lord, from the Glorious Quran:

They ask you about intoxicants and gambling. Say: There is great ithm (harm) in both. (2:219)

Believers! wine and games of chance, idols and divining arrows, are abominations devised by Satan. Turn away from them. (5:90)

Do not approach any immorality, open or covert. (6:151)


Being True To You said...

Beautifully written sis and very true
! May Allah turn those of us who are addicted to certain aspects of this dunya back to him Ameen! This is a much needed reminder!

Muslim Mommy said...

Thx sis, This world is a crazy place! We really need to band together as sisters to guide each other to what is right with love and respect. Today, I might be helping my friend, but tomorrow I might need her help, or yours ;)

As Salaamu Alaikum!