Masturbation - Is It Allowed If It Stops One From Zina?
  • Question:

    Is masturbation allowed if it stops you from committing the actual act of zina?

    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question.

    The majority of scholars considered masturbation haram (forbidden) due to Quranic evidences which prohibit seeking sexual satisfaction outside of the ways Allah made it lawful, and Prophetic traditions in which the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) recommended fasting to young men unable to get married. The reason being is that fasting helps controls desires where as masturbation tends to enhance them.

    There are a few scholars who allowed it if it is an absolute last resort and the only thing between one and zina. However, these fatwas must be taken in context. Even that allowance was before the existence of pornography, television, social media, movies, etc. Most people would look at images when they masturbate and if they don’t then they will eventually be tempted to if they get used to this bad habit. Also, many times this will stop you from lowering your gaze in general as you will look at women and then masturbate while thinking of them as you are alone. Even worse, you will think of your own Muslim sisters, some who may even be married, in your alone time as shaytan will not let your thoughts stop wandering. The evidence also suggests that there is scientific and psychological harm involved. Therefore, the nature of the ruling is far different now then before. So a person should avoid this habit as it will eventually make things even worse. This also applies to women masturbating. And may Allah make it easy for our youth to find halal ways to deal with this issue.

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Omar Suleiman
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Director – Islamic Learning Foundation
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