I Think My Son Masturbates, What to Do?

28 September, 2020
Q Asalamu alaikum, may Allah reward you for your efforts.

How to discuss sex with a 14-year-old. They don't have a male who can discuss this with them, I'm the only person and I'm the mother.

I know he masturbates because I asked him and he mentioned it to me. He does take a shower when he does this and he does it once in awhile.

How do we teach them what's right and wrong without embarrassing them; how do we tell them that these urges are not something bad but there is a right way to channel them?

Where can we get the resources because I searched online and haven't found any Islamic resources? Thank you!

Answer

In this counseling answer:

• Ensure that he knows what he is feeling is normal, and that you respect him and his sharing this with you.

•Your support, guidance and kind approach in this matter may indicate the outcome. and how he feels about himself.

•If you have male family members who are close to him (or a sister’s husband) perhaps they can step in as a mentor and take him out for social times as well as talk to him “man to man”.

•Discuss with him the wonderful young Muslim man he is becoming and the responsibilities that go with it. This would include his responsibility to please Allah at all times, and his responsibility to himself- to respect his body and mind and remain pure for a future wife.


As salamu alaykum dear sister,

Shokran for writing to us.  It sounds as if you and your son are close and have a very good relationship alhumdulilah.

Your son trusts you with his very personal information. Sexual urges and masturbation are common at his age as you know.

Start a conversation

I would kindly suggest that insha’Allah you ensure that he knows what he is feeling is normal, and that you respect him and his sharing this with you.

One approach to gathering more information would to start a conversation on how boys (and girls) change during adolescence.

This may include physical, mental, and emotional changes relating to puberty.  This conversation would of course surround emerging hormones and sexual desires and activities.

I Think My Son Masturbates, What to Do? - About Islam

The conversation should center around:

1. how he feels regarding his changing body and masturbation.

2. educational information you can provide about the subject.

3. Islamic principles regarding sexual behaviors.

4. tips and advise you can offer for dealing with these feelings and urges.

5. empowerment of him as a young Muslim male who is striving to remain pure.

You may find some useful tips on Aboutislam (1) to discuss with him.  There are also articles (2)on sexual desire which can be helpful to have him read.

Alternately, if he is open, read them together and discuss them insha’Allah.

A main point to consider insha’Allah, is that he is 14 and yes, it may be a difficult conversation to have, but it will insha’Allah, guide him through whatever emotions he may be feeling as well as provide an opportunity for him to ask questions.

Ultimately, your support, guidance and kind approach in this matter may indicate the outcome. and how he feels about himself.


Check out this counseling video


Involving in Social Activites

If there are any classes at the Islamic centers or Masjids in your area perhaps you may want to get him involved in some teen classes or groups.

Any male family members who are close to him (or a sister’s husband) perhaps they can step in as a mentor and take him out for social times as well as talk to him “man to man”. 

If not, often times brothers will mentor a child who does not have a male figure in the home and this has produced positive outcomes in a lot of cases. As a ummah we are to take care of each other as family.

This holds especially true for single moms. I would kindly suggest however that if you do choose this route, that you ensure that the views on masturbation especially, are in alignment with what you want him to learn.  I am not an Islamic scholar but I see two schools of thought concerning masturbation.

One is that it is totally haram and a sin, and the other school of thought states it better than committing Zina, as long as it does not become a habit.

If you are unsure which way you feel, please do consult our Ask the Scholar section for a more concrete Islamic response on this. This will also help you guide your son towards the approach you wish him to take.

Conclusion

Lastly, insha’Allah please do discuss with him the wonderful young Muslim man he is becoming and the responsibilities that go with it. This would include his responsibility to please Allah at all times, and his responsibility to himself- to respect his body and mind and remain pure for a future wife.

It seems like you are doing a wonderful job navigating the teen years with your son sister. It may be uncomfortable at times, but he does trust you and he does look to you for guidance.  May Allah make this easy for you, you are in our prayers.   1. https://aboutislam.net/counseling/youth-q-a/student-how-to-manage-my-sexual-urge/ 2. https://aboutislam.net/tag/sexual-desires/

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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.

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.