Is Masturbation Sinful? How Do I Stop?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question

Is masturbation permitted? How does one stop himself from falling into it?

Answer

Masturbation is prohibitively disliked and so it is sinful to engage in. It has many personal and societal ill-effects that are known and recognized in sane traditional societies and by balanced people.

The early Muslims used to say, “The one who weds his hand is accursed.” [Ibn Humam, Fath al-Qadir]

A person needs to take all the means that scholars mention about controlling one’s desire, including:

  • Guarding one’s gaze;
  • Asking Allah continually to free him from this problem;
  • Involving oneself with acts of worship, remebrance of Allah, etc, because the one who longs for the Infinite Beauty of the One turns to none else;
  • Fasting;
  • Removing the impermissible and doubtful from his life, especially in terms of food, money, and household “family sins”, such as television, free mixing, etc.
  • Whenever feeling overwhelmed with one’s physical temptation to fulfill a lawful lust (food, etc.) to calm down his nafs.

Whenever a bad thought occurs to you:

  • Seek Allah’s forgiveness and mercy
  • Seek protection from the devil by saying “a‘udhu billahi min ash-shaytan ar-rajeem.”
  • Remove the things that result in that bad thought immediately. So, if you see an image on a computer that arouses a desire, turn it off.
  • Thank Allah, wholeheartedly, for giving you the ability to overcome your desires by saying “Alhamdulilah,” as this makes Shaytan despair, and strengthens one s resolve.

If you keep erring, keep repeating these quick and simple steps. Make supplications with your prayers that Allah protect you. If you keep turning to Allah sincerely, He will accept your entreating and free you of these problems.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.