329: Ruling on masturbation and how to cure the problem
I have a question which I am shy to ask but another sister who has come to
Islam recently wants an answer to and I do not have an answer (with dilals
from the Qur'an and Sunnah). I hope you can help and I hope Allah will for
give me if it is inappropriate but as Muslims we should never be shy in
seeking knowledge. Her question was "Is it permissible in Islam to
May Allah increase us all in knowledge.
Published Date: 1997-04-11
Praise be to Allaah.
Masturbation (for both men and women) is haraam (forbidden) in Islam based on the
First from the Quraan:
Imam Shafii stated that masturbation is forbidden based on the following verses from
the Quraan (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 Masood said, "We were with the Prophet while we were young and had
no wealth whatsoever. So Allaahs 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. Allaah knows what is best
and most correct.
As for curing the habit of masturbation, we recommend the following suggestions:
1) The motive to seek a cure for this problem should be solely following Allaahs orders
and fearing His punishment.
2) A permanent and quick cure from this problem lies in marriage as soon as the person
is able, as shown in the Prophets
3) Keeping oneself busy with what is good for this world and the hereafter is essential in
breaking this habit before it becomes second nature after which it is very difficult to rid
oneself of it.
4) Lowering the gaze (from looking at forbidden things such as pictures, movies etc.)
will help suppress the desire before it leads one to commit the haraam (forbidden).
Allaah orders men and women to lower their gaze as shown in the following two verses
and in the Prophets
hadeeth (interpretations of the meanings):
"Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things) and
protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily,
Allah is all-aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze
(from looking at forbidden things) and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual
acts, etc.) ..... " 24.30-31
Allaahs messenger said: "Do not follow a casual (unintentional) look (at forbidden
things) with another look." Al-Tirmidhi 2777. This is a general instruction by the
to abstain from all that may sexually excite a person because it might lead
him/her to commit the haraam (forbidden).
5) Using ones available leisure time in worshipping Allaah and increasing religious
6) Being cautious not to develop any of the medical symptoms that may result from
masturbation such as weak eyesight, weak nervous system, and/or back pain. More
importantly, feeling of guilt and anxiety that can be complicated by missing obligatory
prayers because of the need to shower (ghusl) after every incidence of masturbation.
7) Avoiding the illusion that some youth have that masturbation is permissible because it
prevents them from committing illegal sexual acts such as fornication or even
8) Strengthening ones willpower and avoiding spending time alone as recommended by
when he said "Do not spend the night alone" Ahmad 6919.
9) Following the Prophets
aforementioned hadeeth and fast when possible, because
fasting will temper ones sexual desire and keep it under control. However, one should
not overreact and swear by Allaah not to return to the act because if one does not honor
ones promise, one would be facing the consequences of not living up to ones oath to
Allaah. Also, note that medication to diminish ones sexual desire is strictly prohibited
because it might permanently affect ones sexual ability.
10) Trying to follow the Prophets
recommendation concerning the etiquette of
getting ready for bed, such as reading well-known supplications, sleeping on the right
side, and avoiding sleeping on the belly (the Prophet
forbade sleeping on the belly).
11) Striving hard to be patient and chaste, because persistence will eventually, Allaah
willing, lead to attaining those qualities as second nature, as the Prophet
the following hadeeth:
"Whoever seeks chastity Allaah will make him chaste, and whoever seeks help from
none but Allaah, He will help him, and whoever is patient He will make it easy for him,
and no one has ever been given anything better than patience." Bukhari:1469.
12) Repenting, asking forgiveness from Allaah, doing good deeds, and not losing hope
and feeling despair are all prerequisites to curing this problem. Note that losing hope is
one of the major sins punishable by Allaah.
13) Finally, Allaah is the Most Merciful and He always responds to whoever calls on
Him. So, asking for Allahs forgiveness will be accepted, by His will.
Wallahu alam. And Allah knows what is best and most correct.