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Abnormally High Sexual Desire: Can I Masturbate?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jun 29, 2018

Question

I am 16 and living in the USA. Alhamdullillah, I follow the tenants of Islam, but my sexual desire is abnormally high. I try to suppress it, but sometimes I end up looking at inappropriate things and masturbating. I have already read tens of websites about this but still don't understand.

Why is masturbation haram if it is neither mentioned in the Qur’an nor in the hadith? Things are halal by default if Allah doesn't tell us they are haram. If Allah never told us masturbation is haram, then how does he expect us to know that it is? It's haram to say something is haram when it's not and Allah told us not to be like the Jews who kept asking questions. He commanded us to follow what He says and said that it's better for us not to ask questions which could lead to more prohibition.

Could you please clarify this for me with something other than the verse that is on every single website? Also, if masturbating makes my desires suppressed and makes me not view inappropriate material, is that ok? Fasting, from experience, doesn't help me suppress my desires at all and I obviously can't get married now. This is really bothering me and has been for weeks.

Please reply as soon as possible. JazakAllah kahyran in advance.

Counselor

and

Answer


Abnormally High Sexual Desire: Can I Masturbate?

In this counseling answer:

If masturbation is a means to help release your sexual tension and keep you focused on higher goals in life, as a psychologist, I think it can help with your situation. In my opinion, masturbation becomes haram if it is habitual and accompanied by viewing of illicit material.


As-Salaamu ’Alaikum brother,

May God (swt) make this time easy for you. It is difficult to experience the powerful urges of the body and not have the outlet of marriage. Moreover, living in the US does not make this natural drive any easier to discipline. The male is visually stimulated easily and distracting visuals are all around us, sometimes lodged in our faces when we watch television or go out in public.

I will be answering your question as a Muslim psychologist. I am not a scholar of Islamic law, but I am a scholar of human science and have studied Islam as part of my life pursuit.

You are right, things are halal by default. The rulings found in the Qur’an pertain to approximately 500 verses, this is about 7% of the whole book, yet our religion as taught by many today seems to be 70% rules, if not more!

When a position for a sacred law is not explicit, scholars will deduce a ruling based on their understanding of Islam’s principles and virtue. When something is ruled haram it is either (i) explicitly mentioned by God (swt) or the Prophet (saw) with a specific punishment or (ii) has been deduced as haram by a scholar through his own interpretation of the Qur’an and Sunnah. Remember, scholars are people too and as much as they try to help us in practicing sacred law, their positions are influenced by personal understanding and cultural context. The ruling for masturbation was prescribed before modern times in an age when it was easier to marry by many accounts and society as a whole was more reserved in nature.

Today, it is easier to have haram relations, harder to get married, and sexual stimuli inundate our society. Thus, we must gauge the context and sometimes make the hard choice between two wrongs or the lesser evil principle.

If masturbation is a means to help release your sexual tension and keep you focused on higher goals in life, as a psychologist, I think it can help with your situation. In my opinion, masturbation becomes haram if it is habitual and accompanied by viewing of illicit material. If it is used to relieve one’s self of sexual energy in order to function more clearly provided the difficulty of one’s atmosphere, then know that God (swt) is Most Forgiving and understands your situation.

Another strategy you could consider is transferring your sexual energy into other forms of energy such as exercise/sports/creative arts and so on. Energy cannot be destroyed but transferred in physics and there are ways you can take your sexual energy and transfer it into other forms as well.

May God (swt) give you patience and strength during the phase of your life.

Amin.

Answer from our scholar, Sh. Kifah Mustapha:

Salam ‘Alaykum,

There is no direct clear verse or hadith that states the prohibition of masturbation. But the majority of scholars did declare it haram based on interpreting the verse:

” And they who guard their private parts; Except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed – But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors.”(Qur’an 23:5-7) 

Scholars said masturbation was not mentioned as a way to seek pleasure.

Haram also could be called without a direct verse or hadith based on analogy or qiyas. Meaning if harm was the cause for something to be prohibited in a verse and harm was found in a matter that no verse spoke of, then through qiyas a scholar would declare something haram. For example, Qur’an mentioned that liquor is haram but not beer, but through qiyas, beer is haram for the same harm it causes.

Now, for masturbation, much harm could be listed like being addicted to it, health problems, mental stress, carrying it during marriage in which many wives complained about it that husband is seeking pleasure through masturbation outside intercourse, etc.

Finally, try to shift your mental focus to believe in yourself that you have the power to step away from this habit. Now, if it happens randomly in extreme cases once a while, it should be fine by the time you either get married, in sha’ Allah, or leave this habit completely.

Allah (swt) Almighty knows best.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

Masturbation from a Different Perspective

Is Masturbation Healthy?

Does Masturbation Break the Fast?

 




About Karim Serageldin

Karim Serageldin, founder of Noor, completed his BA in psychology & religion, followed by an MA in east-west psychology with a specialization in spiritual counseling. He is a certified life coach with years of teaching and community outreach experience. His practical work and research includes developing a modern framework of Islamic psychology, relationship, family and youth coaching. He provides seminars and workshops in the United States. You can contact Br. Karim at: http://www.noorhumanconsulting.com or facebook.com/noorhumanconsulting


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