Is it permissable to masturbate?
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh
Generally, there are two causes that lead to masturbation;
a) Sexual passion,
Instead of focussing on the solution of sexual passion, it is imperative to ponder upon the reasons that lead to sexual passion. If the reason for the sexual passion is natural and due to the biological change within a person, then that is normal. However, other unnatural means that stimulates a person’s sexual passion must be addressed and preventative measures must be taken to avoid unnatural sexual stimulation, for example:
1. Reading literature containing love stories.
2. Seeing pictures of semi-dressed or scantily dressed women.
3. Seeing pictures of women having tight fitting garments where the form and shape of the body is revealed.
4. Being at places where immoral activities take place, like during public holidays by the sea, parks and other entertainment centres.
5. TV and movies. The above are just a few examples.
It is obvious the above will stimulate the sexual desire of an unmarried person and may drive him to fulfil his passion the unnatural way by resorting to masturbation, etc. The solution is not to enquire about the Shar’ee ruling on masturbation but to avoid all those un-Islamic things that enhances and stimulates a person’s sexual desire.
Shari’ah has advised to control oneself by lowering the gazes, separation of sexes and fasting. The natural self must never be fed by any foreign illicit things. However, if one is naturally driven by a sexual drive, he should get married and enjoy the natural way of fulfilling himself. If he cannot marry due to circumstances, then he should fast and contain himself. This is the advise given by Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam).
If the above factors are considered and implemented, then there is no reason to resort to any unnatural way of fulfilling one’s sexual desires, for example, through masturbation.
And Allah knows best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah