Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- We do advise you to approach this girl wisely and kindly as to educate her about Islam and its teachings.
2- Try your best to help her get rid of this bad practice.
Speaking about Islamic ruling on masturbation and how to stop it, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, says:
According to the Qur’an, those who seek fulfillment outside the framework of marriage are deemed transgressors. Referring to this, Allah Almighty says, “Those who guard their sexual organs except with their spouses or those whom their right hands possess, for (with regard to them) they are without blame. But those who crave something beyond that are transgressors.” (Al-Mu’minun 23:5-7)
What we have stated above is the generally accepted view. However, according to some scholars, if a person is so tormented by his intense sexual desire or craving that he fears falling into zina (fornication), in such a case, masturbation is permitted as the lesser of the two evils. His case may be compared to that of a person who is permitted to eat pork because of fear of death by starvation.
However, having mentioned the above, we must state that one hardly needs to resort to it when we recognize the relatively flexible approach towards marriage which Islam adopts.
Unfortunately, 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 less people being forced to exercise the above type of exceptional rulings.
Now, we do advise this girl to do the following:
1- Bring herself closer to Allah Almighty by means of observing the religious duties, reciting the Qur’an, making dhikr, etc.
2- Frequently visit the Islamic center and attend Islamic lectures and activities.
3- Encircle herself with good Muslim sisters.
4- Involve herself in beneficial activities such reading, volunteering activities, sport, etc.
5- Try to admire the beautiful nature and creations of Allah, and ponder on Allah’s miraculous creation.
6- Make du`aa’ to Allah Almighty to help her keep away from such evils.
Having stated the above, we would like to make it clear that there is no kaffarah (ransom) for committing masturbation. It is simply enough for her to ask forgiveness of Allah and make a firm resolution in her mind never to repeat the same again, and promise herself and Allah to stick with it.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.