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:
You must perform ghusl after masturbation. This is because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “What requires water (ghusl) is if you see water (i.e., semen) coming out of you.” (Muslim)
Masturbation is not permissible because it is not the normal way of fulfilling sexual desire. It is a deviation and that is enough to condemn it even though this act does not fall under the category of absolute prohibition like adultery (zina).
However, the law of necessity, which is one of the principles of the Shariah, should also be applied here. For example, if someone is afraid that he would commit a greater sin like adultery or he would be harmed by some psychological disorders, then the ban on masturbation would be relaxed just to remove the hardship, based on the Shariah principle stating, “necessity is judged according to the circumstances that warrant 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.