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Can I Cuddle With a Person of My Gender if I Have Touch Starvation?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad 


I am currently clinically diagnosed with depression and BPD. I also have very severe touch starvation; it’s a condition caused by very scarce human interaction (my society is hard on male-to-male interactions). And I am also something called asexual, meaning that I don’t experience sexual urges of any kind at all. As such, am I, as a male, allowed to hug, hold hands, cuddle with another male? Maybe even sleep with another asexual male?


Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you are suffering from these conditions, as these cannot be easy at all, may Allah give you relief and well-being. Please continue to see a professional and follow your doctor’s orders on how to recover from this.


First, please see the link below on what is impermissible to see and touch from one of the same gender. Temptation also plays a role in this, so even if you are asexual now, could sexual feelings not eventually appear? If temptation exists between those of the same gender or even family, then one may not expose certain parts that one normally could have. See the details here:



There is nothing wrong with hugging or holding a man’s hand, as is common in the East. Cuddling with the same gender is uncommon and may arouse temptation, but I cannot give you a definitive ruling on it. Has all of this outward affection been prescribed by your doctor? Are you talking about cuddling with a male because you have no female around you to cuddle, such as your mother? Please clarify so that we can find an answer for you.

Sleeping with another

Sleeping with another man in the same bed is permissible as long as both have separate blankets, but one should still be wary of undesirable outcomes. See the ruling here:



Although I know that you are not ready for marriage, I advise you to work on your healing, therapy for depression, and BPD, with medication if prescribed by your doctor, to get your health under control. Married life can provide you with all that you need to bring balance and happiness and overcome your condition. Although you have a lot of work to do before marriage, I advise you to distance yourself from male peers with whom you might end up doing something that you regret.


Consider adopting a pet because it seems to have helped many patients with touch starvation. They help one relax, and a cat, for example, can even sleep on your bed with you. Also, try booking a body massage, by a male, without uncovering your nakedness or just a foot massage. Consider getting a haircut that includes a head and shoulder massage. See this article for useful tips:

Turn to Allah

Last but not least, turn to Allah with your problems and know that He loves you and wants you to get better. Ask Allah to guide you through the religion and to place all your hope in Him for good results. Pray on time, read Qur’an daily with the meaning, exercise and take your supplements and supplicate before dawn. Eliminate all the haram from your life.

Please see this excellent lecture as well:

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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