Is It Permissible to Masturbate to Avoid Having Sex Due to High Sexual Urge?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

Is it permissible for anyone to masturbate in order to avoid having sex due to a high sexual urge?

Answer

Thank you for your honest question.

Quranic Evidence

In the Shafi‘i school, it is not permitted for you to masturbate in order to avoid fornication, and this is based on the Quranic verse: “Successful indeed are the believers: those who humble themselves in prayer; those who avoid idle talk; those who pay the alms-tax; those who guard their chastity; except with their wives or those ˹bondwomen˺ in their possession, for then they are free from blame, but whoever seeks beyond that are the transgressors.” [Quran, 23:1-7]

Imam Shafi’i deduced from this verse that masturbation is an activity outside of the two realms, and is therefore prohibited. [Ibn Kathir] There are opinions that permit it in other schools, but only under extreme circumstances, such as being imprisoned, traveling, being unable to marry, or being on the precipice of fornication.

The Effects

Please keep in mind that the effect of masturbation can be counter-productive, so it is better to avoid it. Although one may have temporary relief, masturbation causes one to desire orgasm more than ever. Additionally, watching pornography is linked to erectile dysfunction, so the two would make a harmful combination.

Please see this research on the masturbation increasing sex drive:
Yes, masturbating may boost your sex drive — here’s what the research says

The Real Solution

Instead, do as the Prophet advised us, may Allah bless him and give him peace, “O young men, whoever among you can afford it, let him get married, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and guarding chastity, and whoever cannot then he should fast, for it will be a restraint for him.” [Bukhari] The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has given us the best advice to reduce sexual urges, please take that seriously.

Please read the following links about how to stop masturbating and the steps to take to end this destructive habit. If you are not doing it, thank Allah, and continue on the path of patience, restraint, and fasting. If you are, intend to cease immediately and make repentance (tawba).

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) told us, “Verily, you will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Most High but that Allah will replace it with something better.” [Ahmad]

Please check these articles for further details:
A Reader on Pornography and Masturbation
Is Marriage the Solution to My Masturbation Problem?
Telling Future Wife about Pornography Addiction
Can I Get Married to a Chaste Man after Having Masturbated as a Woman?
Is Masturbation Sinful? How Do I Stop?
Is Marriage the Solution to My Masturbation Problem?

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.