Upon all the questions I get from all over, there is this one common question that never interests me to answer. It begins with the “M” letter. I know you already know it’s masturbation!
Well, it interests me now as I seem not to find a very clear answer on the internet that seekers are looking for.
I would like to take the easy approach and just say “If in doubt, please don’t do it”. That’s one of my favorite hadith though, reported by Hasan Ibn Ali that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him said:
“Leave what makes you doubt for what does not make you doubt. Verily, truth brings peace of mind and falsehood sows doubt.” – Sunan Al-Tirmidhi 2581“Leave what makes you doubt for what does not make you doubt. Verily, truth brings peace of mind and falsehood sows doubt.” – Sunan Al-Tirmidhi 2581Click To Tweet
You can only find goodness in a peace of mind. As for doubts, it comes only with evil. May Allah Protect us!
This might seem a little personal, but I must admit that I like this particular hadith so much. The first time I read it on my phone app I was awesomely filled with excitement of its wisdom.
The fact is that many of us masturbate and feel horribly guilty about it. This is my first answer for you if you wonder whether masturbation can be practiced in Islam. Guilt feelings naturally come when you feel you did something wrong.
Guilt is a gift from Allah warning you that what you are doing is violating your soul - Nouman Ali KhanClick To Tweet
We agonized so much about this act and finally pleaded with Allah. But then we’d find ourselves, again and again, falling into the same act. Can’t you notice the signs of Satan in this?
As we all should know, Satan will only push you do commit something which will destroy you unnoticed. Beware!
Masturbation is only triggered as a result of lust. And we all should know that sin is a result of lust (wrong selfish desire). This fact alone forms the primary basis for making things clear.
When we read from the holy Quran, Allah said:
وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الزِّنَا ۖ إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَاءَ سَبِيلًا
And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.” Quran- 17:32
Some will not think enough and just conclude that masturbation is allowed since they can’t find a particular verse that reads “Masturbation is a sin in Islam”.
Well, Allah mentioned this too in the Glorious Quran by saying:
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وَلِيَعْلَمَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ فَيُؤْمِنُوا بِهِ فَتُخْبِتَ لَهُ قُلُوبُهُمْ ۗ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَهَادِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
“Those who have knowledge are the quickest of people to understand the truth and believe in it.” (Quran al-Hajj 22:54 )
Now let’s think together on this verse that warns us not to come near unlawful sexual intercourse.
First of all, ask yourself these two questions;
- What is unlawful sexual intercourse?
- And what influences this unlawful act?
Obviously, I think we all know their answers, but let’s revise on what we already knew to the second question, what influences unlawful sexual intercourse?
The general answer is SATAN! But through what means does he do that. He fills our minds with lustful thoughts. Satan will influence you to lust sexually about almost everyone. This is a serious matter to ponder.
These thoughts then influence you physically, leading you to do something you shouldn’t have done, such as rape, fornication/adultery, and masturbation.
Now let’s highlight the reason why masturbation is also a sin in Islam just like fornication, rape or adultery.
First of all, lust is the source of our sins!
Lust will compel you to commit fornication!
Lust will compel you to commit adultery!
Lust will compel you to commit rape!
Lust will compel you to masturbate!!!
Can you now see the connection? If not, let’s also put it this way:
Allah mentioned in the Glorious Quran that we should never come near unlawful sexual intercourse. So if you are lusting sexually over people who aren’t lawful to you, it means you are approaching unlawful sex, which means you are disobeying this verse of the Holy Quran. Remember what it says, “Don’t come near”.
Now, lusting sexually is a sin and it leads to bigger sins like fornication, rape, and adultery. It also leads to masturbation making it also a sin. If what leads to something is a sin, then it is obvious that the thing it leads to is a sin as well, simple as that!
Moreover, masturbation is contrary to Allah’s plan for sexuality to be self-giving with love. As an act of self-pleasure focused on lust, masturbation cheats both the individual and the spouse or future spouse out of the powerful potential that Allah built into human sexuality.
We all know that intimacy was created to draw us into lawful relationships. The goal of masturbation is to derive pleasure to oneself, basically outside of a relationship. For this reason, don’t you think that masturbation is selfish and misusing the gift of sex?
Can one masturbate to avoid Zina?
Regarding this particular question, a well-written answer has been answered on Islamqa, let’s just read from there Insha-Allah:
Masturbation is only permitted if a person fears that he may end up committing Zina; no doubt the prohibition on Zina is more emphatic, and it is more abhorrent and reprehensible. Hence it is permissible to commit the lesser of two evils so as to ward off the greater.
Ar-Ruhaybaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said: If a person, man or woman, masturbates with no need to do so, that action is haram and he should be given a disciplinary punishment for it, because it is a sin. But if he does it because he fears falling into Zina or homosexuality, or because he fears physical harm, then there is no punishment.
End quote from Mataalib Ooli an-Nuha Sharh Ghaayat al-Muntaha, 6/226
Al-Mirdaawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
We learn two things from this:
- That masturbation is not permissible except in cases of necessity
- The ruling for women on that matter is the same as the ruling for men, if a woman fears falling into Zina.
This is the correct view, as stated in al-Furoo‘.
End quote from al-Insaaf, 10/252
To make things simple, I will say, if one’s desire is so overwhelming one might perform masturbation but in that case, it will be like eating the flesh of a pig to survive from major hunger or starvation when no other food is available.
Now regarding the other evidence, let’s read again from Islamqa:
Masturbation (for both men and women) is haram (forbidden) in Islam based on the following evidence:
First from the Qur’aan:
Imam Shafi’i stated that masturbation is forbidden based on the following verses from the Qur’aan (interpretation of the meaning):
“And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts). Except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, – for them, they are free from blame. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors.” 23.5-7
Here the verses are clear in forbidding all illegal sexual acts (including masturbation) except for the wives or that their right hand possess. And whoever seeks beyond that is the transgressor.
“And let those who find not the financial means for marriage keep themselves chaste, until Allah enriches them of His bounty.” 24.33. This verse also clearly orders whoever does not have the financial means to marry to keep himself chaste and be patient in facing temptations (including masturbation) until Allah enriches them of His bounty.
Secondly, from the sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him):
Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood said, “We were with the Prophet while we were young and had no wealth whatsoever. So Allah’s Messenger said, “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power.” Bukhari:5066. The hadeeth orders men who are not able to marry to fast despite the hardship encountered in doing so, and not to masturbate despite the ease with which it can be done.
There are additional evidences that can be cited to support this ruling on masturbation, but due to the limited space we will not go through them here. Allah knows what is best and most correct.
So stop masturbation and turn to Allah. He alone understands our questions and struggles. Even in issues so embarrassing like masturbation, don’t be afraid to turn to him and ask for his forgiveness, specific direction, and wisdom.
How to stop masturbation in Islam
Through my research, I found this useful article addressing some of the remedies that can help Muslims around the world to stop masturbation and turn back to Allah in repentance. Let’s not waste much time and take what we can from it,
Remedy for Masturbation
The anathema of masturbation is very common among young and adolescent boys. One reason for this habit is the unrestricted movement of women on the streets, in the market places and at recreation centres. Women go about in tight-fitting and revealing garments, unmindful of the presence of men.
Obscene scenes in plays and films promote sexual self-indulgence. Periodicals and magazines that contain romantic and sexual matter lead young boys and girls to shamelessness and immodesty. Youngsters who are not inspired by the fear of Allah Ta’ala and of the consequences of their actions, are apt to gratify themselves by committing fornication and other unlawful acts, or by resorting to self-indulgence. These harm the body, the mind and affect one’s psychological health.
These symptoms may vary from person to person and some person may not suffer at all. Again some people may suffer worse than others. So those who don’t suffer should not think these are untrue but should thank God for protecting them from the worse.
Physical Health: A person who masturbates becomes weak and thin, palpitation increases and his memory becomes weak. The digestive system is impaired and inflammation of the lungs occurs. One may also become anaemic. These are the possible symptoms.
Sexual Health: Impotency is the natural outcome of masturbation. A boy who has indulged in the habit of masturbation is not capable of marriage when he grows up. If he does marry, his wife hates him and often husband and wife may divorce. If the woman is pious, she will become depressed and if she is not, she will resort to unlawful acts.
Psychological and Mental Health: A person who masturbates will suffer psychological problems and is liable to mental illnesses like forgetfulness, loss of memory, weak determination, preference for solitude, extreme shyness and fear, being sorrowful and possibly contemplate some serious crime or even suicide.
Injunction of Shari’ah in this regard: The act of masturbation is despicable. It is a grave sin and is unlawful. The noble Qur’aan commands the guarding of private organs. With the exception of sexual intercourse with one’s wife, all forms of sexual satisfaction are unlawful and these include fornication, adultery, homosexuality and masturbation, or any other sexual perversion. On the day of Qiyaamah, the perpetrators of such acts will suffer a dreadful punishment and will be deprived of the Mercy of Allah Ta’ala.
The remedy for this disease: Early marriage is a perfect, beneficial and natural remedy for this dangerous addiction.
Optional Fasts: If, for some reason, it is not possible to marry at an early age, voluntary fasts may be kept. By fasting, lustful thoughts are curbed and thus one’s sexual urge is reduced. Further, fasting promotes fear of Allah Ta’ala and creates humility. There are various kinds of voluntary fasts. One is the Sawm-e-Daawood [the fast of Daawood – Alayhis salaam] which means fasting every alternate day. Fasts can also be observed on Mondays and Thursdays, six days during the month of Shawaal, the ninth and tenth of Muharram, or any other day (besides the five prohibited days).
Shun whatever excites sexual thoughts: Young people destroy themselves when they pursue things that incite emotions and become like animals in fulfilling their desires. It is essential for young people to keep away from gatherings and opportunities that may arouse their sexual passions, or where they may come across women in revealing or tightfitting attire. They must abstain from listening to romantic tales or reading pornographic novels and magazines, hearing music and indecent songs or viewing such films.
Engage in fruitful pursuit: Adolescents and teenagers should not sit alone when they have nothing to do. This will allow their imaginations to run wild and sexual passions will be aroused. They should spend their time properly so that they do not get arousing and lustful ideas. They can keep themselves busy with physical exercise, pure recreation, sensible reading and religious lessons.
Good Company: It is important to select good and pious friends and companions. Such friends may guard us from erring and although they are rare, they are found everywhere. Search for such company and let yourself spend time with them. Remember that people imitate their friends. Therefore, to strengthen your Imaan, character and physique, keep away from evil companions and adopt the company of virtuous people.
Act on medical advice
Doctors of medicine give the following suggestions on how to restrain lustful desires and sexual urges:
• Have cold baths in summer.
• Pour cold water on the penis in other seasons.
• Engage in physical exercises and sports (some doctors recommend special exercises to curb lustful desires)
• Abstain from spices and all types of food that excite sex
• Cut down on tea, coffee and invigorating beverages
• Reduce intake of meat and eggs to a minimum
• Do not lie down flat on the back or on the stomach. Rather lie on the right side in compliance with the Sunnah.
Fear Allah Ta’ala
When fear of Allah Ta’ala is rooted in a person, all sinful and evil acts will be shunned. One will then realise that Allah is always watching, and is aware of everything, whether apparent or hidden. One will take account of every act of disobedience and omission of duty and will know that Allah will punish the disobedient from His Creation.
Young people must attend gatherings where Allah Ta’ala is eulogised. One must offer one’s Fardh Salaat and make it a habit to offer nafl Salaat and recite the Qur’aan on a regular basis. One must cultivate the fear of Allah, the habit of muraaqabah (meditation), and the realisation of Allah’s Majestic Powers. This is possible when one accustoms oneself to rising in the latter portion of the night for the tahajjud Salaat, keeping optional fasts, listening to the chronicles of the Sahaaba [Radhiallaahu anhum], spending time with pious people, keeping contact with the righteous and remembering death and the Hereafter. Therefore, develop such habits so that you are not drawn into temptation and sensuality. Remember that the punishment for disobedience and sinning is the fire of Jahannam.
May Allah give you the power to self-control.
source: Islam: The Ultimate Journey