Question: Can I masturbate? please I’m troubled and my mind is confused about what is the Islaamic ruling concerning masturbation. I see many of the youths nowadays taking to this action maybe as a result of bad company or after reading pornographic magazines. Is masturbation permitted according to the rules of Allaah and His Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and if yes, is it proper and good in the month of Ramadan?

Response: All Praise is for Allaah and may His peace and blessing be upon the Prophet. As for your question, it has two sides. Majority of the scholars hold that masturbation is haraam because It involves going beyond the legitimate bounds in that which Allaah has made permissible (i.e. lawful sexual relationship). Whoever engages In It is subject to blame and is labeled a transgressor. This is because all sexual acts are haraam except that which is permitted by Allaah with his saying:

"And those who guard their chastity. (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts). except from their wives or (the slaves) that their right hands possess,- for then, they are free from blame; But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors." (Q23:5-7)

Therefore, it is incumbent upon every Muslim to avoid masturbation, because practicing it is in contradiction to the Words of Allaah, the Almighty, the All Powerful and due to its harmful effects on the individual and the society. Indeed it is a sexual perversion.

On the other hand, some of the scholars have said that in a condition where someone is under the great fitnah (temptations and trials) of committing Zina (illegal sexual intercourse) and thereafter meeting with the wrath of Allaah and His punishment, because he is incapable of marriage; masturbation becomes the lesser of the two evils.

Since Zina has its prescribed punishment from AIIaah, while, the punishment for masturbation is as determined by the judge or ruler. This second view may not be weighty because the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessing be upon him) had given us the solution concerning how to preserve our chastity in the hadlth related by Abdullah bin Masud (RA) that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said:

"O Young men! Let him who can afford marriage marry, for It helps to lower the gaze and guard the private parts (i.e. chastity) and let him who cannot afford it fast, for fasting IS repression (of desire) for him." (Bukhari) 

So we should marry when we are capable and or to fast until we are able. As for the factors leading to this noble act, they are themselves haraam just like the act itself is haraam. Allaah warns us against bad companionship when He says:

"O you who believe! Be afraid of Allaah, and be with those who are righteous (those true in words and deeds)." (Q9:119).

The Prophet (peace and blessing upon him) said:

"A man follows the religion of his friends; so each one should consider whom he makes his friends." (Abu Dawood).

In addition Abu Hurairah (RA) related that Allaah's Messenger (peace and blessing be upon him) said: "Souls are troops collected together and those who familiarized with each other (In the heaven from where these come) would have affinity with one another (in the world) and those amongst them who opposed each other (in the Heaven) would also be divergent (In the world). (Muslim).

Therefore examine yourself, lest you are having a great affinity for the evil ones and divergence from the righteous people. A man will be with those he loves on the day when all of mankind will be gathered by Allaah.

The viewing of erotic films and reading its magazines are not part of our way of life. Doing so in Ramadan is a heinous crime. You should be mindful about the use to which you put your sense organs. Indeed, the use of your sense organs will be questioned by Allaah. Allaah says:

"Verily! The hearing, the sight and the heart of each of those of you will be questioned by Allaah."(Q17:36).

And Allaah is the greatest source of help.


This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited


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