Is Masturbation Still Unlawful after Marriage?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question

I know that masturbation is haram in Islam. But my question is, is it still haram after marriage? When married, are you only allowed to receive sexual pleasure from your partner (and not yourself)? I’m sorry if this question is a bit uncomfortable. I’d like to know.

Answer

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

May Allah guide our hearts, tongues, and deeds to that which perpetually pleases Him.

Masturbation through self-stimulation is unlawful, but spouses may stimulate each other, and Allah knows best.

Self-Stimulation

Imam al-Shafi’i concluded that masturbation (self-stimulation) is unlawful because Allah says: “And those who guard their chastity (i.e., private parts, from illegal sexual acts). Except for their wives or (concubines) that their right hands possess – for them, they are free from blame. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors.” [Quran, 23:5-7]

Sex Limitations

Married couples may enjoy each other’s entire bodies if their enjoyment does not cause any harm. Anal intercourse is unlawful. [Nawawi, Minhaj al-Talibin]

A Marriage-Boosting Opportunity

Enjoy the lawful pleasure Allah has gifted you and use the opportunity to teach one another about what you both find pleasurable. Both partners may have particular likes and dislikes known to them alone, but instead of resorting to unlawful self-stimulation, teach your partner how to make you feel good, and Allah knows best.

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 pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.