Is masturbation haraam?
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Is masterbation haram if it prevents one from Zina?
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Zina (fornication and adultery) is amongst the kabaair (grave) sins of Islam; for which Allah and His Messenger (saws) has ordained 80 lashes as punishment for fornication and capital punishment for the sin of adultery! These are only the punishments for the sin in this worldly life, and the punishment of one who commits these grave sins and dies without repentance, is much greater in the Hereafter!
The act of masturbation is prohibited in Islam, and must be avoided by the believers. But just to put it into perspective, the sin of masturbation is not as grave as the sin of zina (adultery or fornication). But it definitely is a sin, and an evil act, and must be avoided by the believers.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter24 Surah Noor verse 30:O Prophet, enjoin the believing men to restrain their gaze, and guard their private parts. This is a more righteous way for them. Allah has knowledge of whatever they do.
Allah has commanded the believers to lower their gaze, and guard their chastity. This is a more righteous way for them. The act of zina (fornication or adultery) is a great sin in Islam. The Prophet(saws) warned us against committing zina of the eyes, zina of the feet, zina of the hands, etc. If ones eyes are constantly watching sexual movies, magazines, etc. it would be considered zina of the eyes. If one goes to the place to commit zina or to the place of sexual movies, magazines, etc., it would be considered zina of the feet. Similarly, the act of masturbation, could be considered a zina of the eyes, or hands, etc. It is a sin and an evil act, and must be avoided by the believers.
It has been reported in an authentic narration, that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said, "O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty; and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power."
Thus if one is unable to control his sexual desire, he should get married, rather than get involved in committing sins like masterbation and zina (fornication or adultery). And if one is unable to marry, he should fast, as the Messenger of Allah (saws) says, that fasting reduces the persons sexual desire, and thus will stay away from committing sin.
Under no circumstances can the sin of masturbation be permitted! But if one finds himself in a situation, where he has been swayed by his emotions and finds himself in a situation whereby he is absolutely unable to control himself from the sin of actual zina and the only options left with him is the choice between zina or masturbation, then the scholars have opined that in such circumstances, where the person is absolutely unable to resist himself and avoid committing the sin of zina; he should opt for the smaller of the two sins (masturbation). But again, we reteriate, that both, masturbation and zina are sins in Islam; and one should not put himself in a situation whereby he is compelled by his emotions to disobey and transgress the boundaries set by Allah and His Messenger (saws).
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Surah Israa verse 32:Do not even go near zina, for it is a very indecent thing and a very evil way!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 25 Surah Furqaan verses 68-71:(The true servants of the Merciful are those) who do not invoke any god but Allah; nor kill a soul unjustly, which Allah has forbidden; nor commit zina. He who does this shall be punished for his sin, and his torment shall be doubled on the Day of Resurrection and he shall abide in a state of ignominy. Except the one who may have repented (after those sins) and have believed and done righteous deeds; for then Allah will change his evil deeds into good deeds. He is very Forgiving and Merciful. In fact, the one who repents and does righteous deeds, returns to Allah as one rightly should.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verses 17-18:Note it well that Allahs acceptance of repentance is for those people only, who commit an evil in ignorance, and then repent of it soon after. Allah again turns kindly to such people, for Allah is All Knowing, All Wise. But there is no repentance for those people who persist in their evil deeds until the dying hour comes to anyone of them; then he says, Now I repent!. Nor is repentance for them who die as unbelievers. For such people, We have prepared a painful torment.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,