For a single Muslim guy, is it more sin to commit zina (fornication) or to masturbate?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

For a single Muslim guy, is it more sin to commit zina (fornication) or to masturbate?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

If you have a choice between touching a burning ember or placing your hand in a fire, will you be ready to carry out any of two? The question of ‘more greater’ or ‘intensity’ will not even cross the mind.  Upon seeing two entities which will turn one’s hand into ashes, one will instinctively do all he can to escape potential harm.  Similarly, whether the act is fornication or masturbation, both the acts have the potential to engulf one in flames in the hereafter.

Both these actions are prohibited.  It is definitely within our capacity to abstain from such evil acts.  Allah Ta῾ālā would not have told us to stay away from these actions if we were not able to.  Practice on the following to the best of your ability:

·        Make sincere ā’ constantly to Almighty Allah that he gives you the courage and strength to abstain from such evil acts.

·        Look for a pious spouse.  Islam does no promote celibacy.  You need to get married.  Marriage is the halāl way to satisfy one’s passion.    

·        Spend time in Tablīgh Jamā’ah and also visit the gatherings of the pious in your locality.  We all need to recharge our Imān constantly.  Tablīgh is a very effective effort which will revolutionise your thinking. 

·        Refrain from all those actions which ignite your passions.  Do not look at internet sites which have filthy and illicit material on it.  Stay away from watching or seeing pictures of women.  Control your eyes when you leave home.   Read the following article on practical ways to refrain from masturbation:

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mawlana Faraz ibn Adam,
Student Darul Iftaa

Leicester, United Kingdom

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.