Masturbation: Answer from Islam
Online and Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
Answer from Islam Online's Fatwa Bank
Title of Fatwa: Masturbation
Date of Reply: 14/ December/ 1999
Question of Fatwa: What is the point of view of Islam
on the masturbation?
Content of Reply:
The pressing need to relieve himself of sexual tension may
drive a young man to masturbation.
The majority of scholars consider it haram. Imam Malik bases
his judgement on the verse, 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) arguing that the masturbator is one of those who "crave
something beyond that."
On the other hand, it is reported that Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal
regarded semen as an excretion of the body like other excrete
and permitted its expulsion as blood letting is permitted. Ibn
Hazm holds the same view. However, the Hanbali jurists permit
masturbation only under two conditions: first, the fear of committing
fornication or adultery, and second, not having the means to
Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi comments in The Lawful and the
Prohibited in Islam:
We are inclined to accept the opinion of Imam
Ahmad in a situation in which there is sexual excitation and
danger of committing the haram. For example, a young man has
gone abroad to study or work, thereby encountering many temptations
which he fears he will be unable to resist, may resort to this
method of relieving sexual tension provided he does not do it
excessively or make it into a habit.
Yet better than this is the Prophet's advice
to the Muslim youth who is unable to marry, namely, that he seek
help through frequent fasting, for fasting nurtures will-power,
teaches control of desires, and strengthens the fear of Allah.
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, is reported to
have said, "O youth,
whoever of you is able to marry, let him marry, for it spares
one looking at what one should not, or lapsing in adultery. And
if he cannot marry, let him observe fasting, for it is a shield
against evil." (Reported by Muslim).
You should make use of the following:
- Observe fasting, because it bolsters one's faith, preserves
chastity, and protects one from evil thoughts.
- Observe moderation in eating and drinking in order to avoid
stimulating your desire.
- Keep away from anything that is sexually stimulating, such
as pornographic pictures, erotic films and love songs.
- Choose good and righteous friends.
- Keep yourself busy in worship and spiritual acts.
- Interact with activities of the society in such away that
it keeps you away from thinking about sex.
- Avoid gatherings and places that bring men and women physically
close to each other.
- Avoid sleeping on beds that are so soft that they make one
think about sex.
- Try to admire natural things such as flowers and beautiful
scenery, which do not stimulate one sexually, instead of admiring
girls and women.
- If you find the previous things useful, then it is forbidden
for you to masturbate. However, if you find that you cannot relieve
yourself except through masturbation, and you fear you may lapse
in adultry if you do not masturbate, then the juristic rule which
states that "the lesser evil is to be suffered in order
to fend off the major one" applies to you, as masturbation
is deemed to be the lesser of two evils in this case.But, we
would like to stress that this may be done only in the case of
dire necessity, when all soultions prove to be of no avail.
May Allah guide you to the right path and help you keep away
Allah Almighty knows best.