A few of my mates have confessed to me that they masturbate as its the only way they can stay away from entering in to haram relationships; they're too young or not financially stable to get married and some of them are even married- what does Islam say about masturbation and what advice can you offer?
In the name of Allah the Most Beneficent and Merciful
Masturbation by one’s own hand or self is not permissible in Islam.
Allah (The Exalted) says: “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.” (23:5-7)
The above verse is used as evidence by all four Imams of Fiqh that masturbation is prohibited.
It is also mentioned in various Hadith as follows that Imam Ibn Kathir has wrote in volume 5 p. 458; Hasan Ibn Arifah reports: The Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said,
'Seven persons are such that Allah will not look at them on the Day of Qiyaamat nor will He purify them nor will He include them among the learned and Allah will enter them into Jahannam. They will enter Jahannam first except for those who repent. As those who repent Allah will accept their repentance.
- A person who masturbates.
- A person who performs the act of sodomy.
- The person upon whom the act of sodomy is performed.
- A perpetual drunkard.
- The person who hits his parents so much that they appeal for help.
- The person who harms his neighbours so much so that they curse him.
- The person who commits adultery with his neighbour's wife.
It is spiritually wrong as well as morally wrong due to the fact that that when one masturbates they are taking away the right of their spouse (if they are married) or the fulfilment of getting married. However, many youth then claim that masturbation is the only way they can stay away from sin. Although one has to understand that normally sexual arousement occurs when a person either sees something that makes them want to commit a sexual act or they may involve themselves in a relationship which then leads on to masturbation. In both cases a person is not allowed to put themselves in that position.
The other problem is that their relationship with their spouse is not a fulfilling one and therefore to fulfil their sexual hunger they feel they have to masturbate. In this situation it is still not allowed and in some ways even worse as this could deprive their marriage of one of its essential ingredients.
It is permissible for a wife to masturbate her husband and vice versa. (Radd ul Mohtar). Therefore if the husband has the urge to this then he may allow his wife to do this for him. Also, if there are other reasons why a husband feels the need to masturbate then he must identify the root cause and discuss this with his spouse.
If a person knows for sure that if they did not masturbate then they would commit fornication, then in this situation the lesser of the two evils is to masturbate as fornication would be a worse sin. One should still repent after this.
If a person feels the urge to masturbate on a regular basis then they should get married if they can financially afford to do so. If this is not possible then a person should fast as this according to the Hadith will quell a person’s sexual urge (due to weakness resulting from the lack of food and drink).
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said,
'O group of youth! Whoever from among you can marry should do so because it keeps the gaze low and it protects the private parts. And he who cannot marry should make it compulsory upon himself to fast because it breaks lust.' (Bukhari & Muslim)
What else can I do to stay away from masturbation?
- The motive to seek a cure for this problem should be solely following Allah's orders and fearing His punishment.
- 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).
- Using one's available leisure time in worshipping Allah and increasing religious knowledge.
- A person should pray after every Salaah and ask for help from Allah to refrain from sin.
- Trying to follow the Prophet's (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) 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).
- Repenting, asking forgiveness from Allah, doing good deeds, and not losing hope and feeling despair are all prerequisites to curing this problem.
Of course Allah knows best.