Sexual relations

What is the Islamic judgement on masturbation?

Question: What is the verdict of the Islamic scholars and the steadfast Islamic jurists on this matter whether Allah commands a sin by masturbating? State and be rewarded.

Sender: Sayyid Muhammad Yusuf Ali Saheb, Gilgit in Pakistan

This act is filthy and haram [forbidden]. Allah ordered only the wife and a lawful slave girl to fulfil this need, and he stated it clearly,
فَمَنِ ٱبْتَغَىٰ وَرَآءَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْعَادُونَ
So those who desire more than this – it is they who are the transgressors. [70:31]
It is stated in the hadith,
ناکح الید ملعون
The masturbators are cursed1
Indeed, if any young person has a strong desire, neither has he a wife, nor a lawful slave-girl, and the passionate desire seriously takes its toll and at that moment the heart does not even subdue by engaging in work or sitting amongst men, in short, the passion does not diminish in any way insofar as it is certain or strongly assumed that at that time, if he does not perform it, there will be entanglement in haram, then in such a state to abstain from fornication and sodomy (i.e. anal intercourse), only for the purpose of subduing the desire, not for the purpose of gaining pleasure or fulfilling the desire – if this act really happens, then it is hoped that Allah Almighty does not order accountability. With it comes then the obligation that if one is able to do so, immediately consider marriage or buy a lawful slave-girl, otherwise he will be gravely sinful and worthy of the curse of Allah. This permissibility is not so that he makes a habit of this unclean act rather than the proper way to please Allah and his Messenger.
It is stated in al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyyah,
اما الاستمناء فحرام الا عند شروط ثلثة ان يکون عزب وبه شبق وفرط شهوة بحيث لو لم يفعل ذلك لحملتہ شدة الشهوة علي الزناء اواللواط والشرط الثالث ان يريد به تکسين الشهوة لاقضائها
As for masturbation, it is haram, but there is room for acceptance with three conditions:
  1. Being unmarried and overwhelmed with desire,
  2. His desire must be overwhelming as such that there is a fear of fornication or sodomy and so on,
  3. The third condition is that he only does it with the intention of subduing the desire, not to gain pleasure.2
The text stops here for al-Tariqah al-Muhammadiyyah, which is expanded with explanation in al-Hadiqa al-Nadiyya.
It is stated in Tanwir al-Absar,
یکون (ای) واجبا عند التوقان
Marriage is incumbent when the desire is overwhelmed3
It is stated in Radd al-Muhtar,
قلت وکذا فیما یظھر لو کان لایمکنہ منع نفسہ عن النظر المحرم او عن الاستمناء بالکف فیجب التزوج وان لم یخف الوقوع فی الزناء
I say, and likewise, it makes something clear that if the state is such that one cannot stop oneself from doing haram and masturbating, then marriage is incumbent. Even though there is no fear of getting caught up in fornication.4
And Allah knows best.
al-Imam Ahmad Raza Khan al-Qadiri al-Barelvi
Shaban-1312 || ≈ Feb-1895 
al-‘Ataya al-Nabawiyyah fi’l-Fatawa al-Ridawiyyah: vol. 22, p. 202, #58
Click for more fatawa’s of Ala Hazrat
  1. al-Hadiqa al-Nadiyyah: 2/491 الصنف السابع من الاصناف التسعۃ || al-Asrar al-Marfuat fi Akhbar al-Mawduat: Hadith #1022, p. 257
  2. al-Tariqah al-Muhammadiyyah: 2/255الصنف السابع من الاصناف التسعۃ الاستمناء   بالید
  3. Durr al-Mukhtar Sharh Tanwir al-Absar: 2/185 کتاب النکاح
  4. Radd al-Muhtar: 2/260  کتاب النکاح
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