- Reviewed By Priyanka Bhattacharjee, Licensed and Practicing Clinical Psychologist
Is masturbation Haram in Islam? Is it permissible? The lack of information is doing our community more harm than good. It’s time to have this conversation. Clearing out all these doubts once and for all.
The topic of masturbation is still a big taboo all over the world. The lack of information and conversation surrounding it makes it especially hard for the younger generation to be rightfully informed about it. As a result of this many don’t what’s right and what’s wrong.
What Is Masturbation?
Masturbation is the experience of sexual orgasm produced by self-stimulation for sexual arousal and pleasure. In the modern world today, this is a very common concept.
Over 75% of adults globally have confessed that they have masturbated at some point in their life at least once. A part of this population is also Muslims. Especially Muslim youths.
Masturbation is an act of instant, self-gratification. Lately more and more research and articles have come up that are in favour of masturbation.
Experts believe, masturbation when done in moderation is actually really healthy. It is said to improve one’s mental physical and sexual health. But, is that really the case? Let’s find out what Islam has to say.
What Does The Quran and Hadith’s Say?
There is no clear verse in the Quran or hadith that outright say masturbation is haram. But there are verses that imply this. Here are some of them:
Allah The Almighty says in the Holy Quran, Chapter 17, Surah Israa verse 32: “Do not even go near adultery for it is a very indecent thing and a very evil way.” Most scholars admit that masturbation is one of the events leading to adultery. So Allah forbids of all ways leading towards adultery.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, ‘O youth, whoever of you can afford to marry, let him marry, for it spares one looking at what one should not or lapsing in adultery. And if he cannot afford, let him fast, for it is a shield against evil.’ (Reported by Ibn-iMesut).
“Those who guard their sexual organs except with their spouses or those whom their right hands possess, for (with regard to them) they are without blame. But those who crave something beyond that are transgressors.” (Al-Mu’mun: 5-7).
The position that masturbation is haram is not an absolute one. There are different opinions on the matter. Some scholars and madhabs rule it haram, others say it is disliked (makruh), while others say it is permissible under certain circumstances.
Some scholars have used the first quote mentioned about as to be in favour of masturbation being permissible. When in Surah Israa verse 32 it was said: “Do not even go near adultery for it is a very indecent thing and a very evil way.” The scholars used this phase to take the following position.
The position is based on the meaning that guarding one’s private parts could imply from his or her own self (masturbation). A similar subject that we often hear is haram is oral sex, yet once again there are no clear commands referring to oral sex being haram.
The Prophet (pbuh) taught us that only two sexual acts are haram: anal sex and sex during menstruation. If the Prophet got that explicit and did not mention oral sex or masturbation, then perhaps these acts were left unsaid as they require an interpretation based on context. Allah knows best. However, this view is held only by a very small minority.
Masturbation and everything to do with is considered to be Haram under Islam. The majority of scholars around the world strongly believe this.
Read more: A Muslim’s Guide to Dealing with Pornography
Masturbation and Porn
More often than not the act of masturbation often involves pornography. Anything to do with pornography is strictly considered haram in Islam.
Islam has prohibited upon us all sorts of hideous and shameless acts and words. Pornography is one of such shameless acts, if not on top of them. Shamelessness comes in verbal and action forms.
Vulgarity is shamelessness. Rudeness is shamelessness, and so is every hideous act. But fornication (zinā) is the shamelessness that ruins all human societies in secret. And one of the things that lead to it is pornography.
Mufti Menk said, “In Islam, it’s fundamental that promoting sex in the public domain is prohibited, save when it’s for the good cause, for troubled married couples or for righteous educational purposes.
This is because it instigates those who can’t afford marriage to commit harassment, fornication, and worst still; rape.” Thus, Islam commands us to stay clear from anything that could lead us to fornication/adultery.
Imaam Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami said, “Looking lustfully at a non-Mahram woman with the fear of falling into a sinful act is a grave sin, then watching porn movies, a fortiori, is a grave sin; these obscene movies enable the viewer to see non-Mahram women that he cannot see anywhere else except with difficulty.”
Additionally, the viewer sees such obscene scenes over and over again, which has evil repercussions; when one watches such porn movies, it often leads to sexual arousal and this drives the viewer to commit countless sins such as masturbation and fornication.
How To Avoid This Sin
Masturbation is haram in Islam. Muslim researchers who’ve come forward with their studies support this. Studies that prove that masturbation is indeed not good for your health. It is in fact highly addictive and has caused irreversible nerve damage in some extreme cases.
There are various means that help one to refrain from practicing masturbation. Some of which are:
– Many scholars suggest that getting married and maintaining healthy relations with your spouse is the best way to avoid this sin.
– Moderation in food and drink which contributes to stimulating sexual desire. In this regard, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) recommended fasting as per his words, “O young men, whoever from among you can afford it, let him get married, for verily it is a means to lowering one’s gaze and protecting one’s chastity. And whoever cannot let him fast, for it will be a shield for him.”
– Refraining from anything that arouses sexual desire. Such as listening to immoral songs and watching lewd images that are available in abundance in movies. You can install a porn blocking app that can block all lewd content for you.
– Directing one’s aesthetic faculties to permissible channels such as painting flowers and natural scenery which do not arouse sexual lust.
– Choosing righteous pious companions. Who you choose to be friends with matters a lot.
– Devote yourself to serving a greater purpose. Spend time in learning and instilling Islamic knowledge in your life.
Hope these tips help you, even in the slightest way. If you have any more questions or doubts regarding this topic, then do leave them in the comments. We’ll be glad to help.
Let us look into the Most Frequently Asked Questions !
1. What percentage of people globally confessed they had masturbated at least once?
Over 75% of adults globally have confessed that they have masturbated at some point in their lives at least once.
2. What does The Prophet (pbuh) teach us as haram?
The Prophet (pbuh) taught us that only two sexual acts are haram: anal sex and sex during menstruation.
3.What does Zina stand for?
Zina means adultery
4. What does Islam command us?
Islam commands us to stay clear from anything that could lead us to fornication/adultery.
5. How can we refrain from practising masturbation?
Refraining from anything that arouses sexual desire.