Does Masturbation Make Marriage Obligatory?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


A man does not fear falling into fornication per se. He does not look at pornography. On occasion, despite resistance, he lapses into masturbation. Does this obligate his getting married, or is it sufficient that he repents from that action?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

Masturbation is unlawful, but perpetrating this act does not obligate marriage. He should repent sincerely and take practical steps (like regularly fasting) to prevent further engagement in this prohibited act, and Allah knows best.

Who Must Marry?

A man who needs to marry because of a desire for sexual intercourse, and has enough money for the bride’s marriage payment (mahr), for clothing for the current, and the expenditures of one day, is recommended to do so. This is to protect his religion and applies whether he is occupied with religious devotions or not. [Nawawi, al-Majmu‘]

One who needs to marry (has desire) but does not have enough to pay for these expenses is recommended not to marry. Instead, he should fast to suppress his sexual desire. If it is not suppressed by fasting, he should marry. In this case, he should borrow the money to pay the bride’s marriage payment if she will not accept his owing it to her. [Ibid.]

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I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.