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Islam and masturbation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There are varying scholarly opinions regarding the permissibility of masturbation (Arabic: استمناء‎, romanizedistimnā’) in Islam. Islamic scripture does not specifically mention masturbation. There are a few Hadiths mentioning it, but these are classified as unreliable.[1]


Sahabah view

The opinions of some of the companions of Muhammad reproduced below from Ibn Hazm's Al-Muhalla (vol.11 pg. 393–394) indicate that they did not forbid it:

Abd Allah ibn Abbas said:

  • "marrying slave girl (concubine) is better than it, and it is better than fornication/adultery (zina)"[2][3]
  • "it is nothing but rubbing one's private parts until a fluid comes out"[2][3]

Abdullah ibn Umar said:

  • "a person who does makes a fool of himself"[2][3]

Sunni view

The Sunni schools of jurisprudence (known as madhaahib – the Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki, Hanbali, and Zahiri schools of Fiqh) have differing stances on the issue. Some see it forbidden in certain cases (i.e. if it leads a man/woman to ignore their spouse sexually) but recommended it when they see it as a lesser evil to illicit sex. It is generally prohibited according to the Hanafi and Hanbali madhaahib, unless one fears adultery or fornication, or is under the desire pressure, in which case, it is permissible to seek a relief through masturbation. It is prohibited all the time according to the Maliki and Shafi`i madhaahib.[4] Zahiri Imam Ibn Hazm regards masturbation as permissible.[5] Scholars have also stated that masturbation would not be necessary if one realizes the flexible approach Islam takes to marriage. For example, according to Sheikh Shomeh Yerkity, 'against the clear teachings of Islam, marriage has been rendered another difficult process today due to warped customs and conventions and undue expectations. When we approach marriage from the point of view of pristine Islam, we shall find less and fewer people being forced to exercise the above type of exceptional rulings'.[6] Yet if one's desire is so overwhelming one might perform masturbation but in that case it will be like eating the flesh of a pig to survive from major hunger or starvation when no other food is available.[6]

It is considered permissible for spouses to masturbate each other, with the only sexual acts forbidden in Islam being anal intercourse and vaginal sex during menstruation.[7]

'Hasan bin 'Ali (May Allah be pleased with them) said: I remember (these words) from Messenger of Allah (ﷺ): "Give up what is doubtful to you for that which is not doubtful; for truth is peace of mind and falsehood is doubt".'[8]

Maliki view

It is considered as haram according to the Sunni Imam Malik ibn Anas.[9][10] It is prohibited all the time according to the Maliki madhhab.[4]

At the same, there is a minority opinion within the Maliki school that allows masturbation if done in private and without the use of illicit materials such as pornography and drugs.[11][12]

Shafi'i view

It is prohibited all the time according to the Shafi`i madhhab.[4][9][10] Imam Al-Shafi’i stated that masturbation is forbidden based on the following verses from the Qur'an (interpretation of the meaning):

"And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts). Except from their wives or that their right hands possess, – for them, they are free from blame. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors."[13]

According to his interpretation, the verses are clear in forbidding all illegal sexual acts (including masturbation) except for the wives or that their right hand possess, and whoever seeks beyond that is the transgressor..

Hanbali view

It is generally prohibited according to the Hanbali madhhab, unless one fears adultery or fornication, or is under the desire pressure, in which case, it is permissible to seek a relief through masturbation. According to Ahmad ibn Hanbal, it is permissible for prisoners, travellers and for men and women who have difficulty in finding a lawful spouse.[10]

Zahiri view

Zahiri Imam Ibn Hazm regards masturbation as permissible.[5][2][3]

Hanafi view

Hanafi scholars have stated that it is prohibited [haram] to masturbate via any means other than the hand of one's spouse unless there is an excuse. Some scholars from among the Hanafis maintained that masturbation is undesirable [makruh]. These include:

The Hanafi scholar, Ibn Nujaim who said in Al-Bahr al-Ra'iq SharhKanz al-Daqa'iq (vol.2, p.293), "It is mentioned in the collection of fatawa Al-Walwaljiya that there is no harm [in masturbating] if one only seeks to relieve sexual desire (i.e. excessive sexual desire that distracts a person from religious and worldly matters). Also if one is spouseless or has a spouse, yet it is difficult to reach her/him due to certain circumstances. This opinion is also stated in Al-Siraj Al-Wahaj."

Shi'a view

Any sexual engagement outside marriage including masturbation is a major sin altogether in the Shi'a Islam. Extra-marital sexual engagement causes the doer to be punished in this life and in the afterlife (qiyama). The Qur'an says, "The believers are those who protect their sexual organs except from their spouses... Therefore, whosoever seeks more beyond that (in sexual gratification), then they are the transgressors." (23:5–6)[14] and it is not allowed in any situation.

Pro Masturbation View

The majority of scholars among Muslims forbid masturbation stating that it is an immoral act and argue using the verse in the Quran, "And those who guard their private parts save from their wives which their right-hands own – so there is no blame upon them. Then whoever seeks beyond that (which is lawful), they are the transgressors." (23: 5–6)[15] but a new group of young Muslims have started to question and argue this fatwa. In the conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a group of Saudi Arabians launched a Twitter campaign titled "masturbation is halal" and it went viral.[16] Some Saudi psychologists even went further by stating that masturbation was a human need just like defecating or to eat or drink.[17][18]

See also


  1. ^ Omar, Sara. "[Sexuality and Law]". Oxford Islamic Studies Online. Archived from the original on 2 April 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 June 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b c d "Monthly Renaissance – Query".
  4. ^ a b c Marriage in Islam – Part 1 by Hussein Khalid Al-Hussein, PhD Refer to: Section Al-`Alaqat Al-Mubahah (Allowed Relationships)
  5. ^ a b "Hifz al-Furūj (Guarding the Private Parts)". Javed Ahmad Ghamidi. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Ask The Scholar". Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Ask The Scholar". Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  8. ^ Riyadh al-Saaliheen, Book 1, Hadith 55
  9. ^ a b The Lawful And The Prohibited In Islam, Yusuf Al-Qardawi – 1997
  10. ^ a b c The New Arab Man: Emergent Masculinities, Technologies, and Islam in the Middle East, p 168, Marcia C. Inhorn – 2012
  11. ^ Abdul-wahid, Ibn Ashir. The Guiding HelperThe Guiding Helper The Guiding Helper Main Text & Explanatory Notes (PDF). The Guiding Helper Foundation. p. 190. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  12. ^ Abu Qanit, Al-Hassani. "Kitab al Fatawa wa'l durus". Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  13. ^ Quran 23:5–7
  14. ^ "Surah Al-Mu'minun - 23:1". Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
This page was last edited on 16 January 2021, at 09:39
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