Sexual Urge when Spouse Works Overseas

Ustadah Raidah Shah Idil is asked about how to control one’s sexual desires and the urge to masturbate when one’s spouse is away for long periods.


Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I am a wife and mother living in India, while my husband works in Saudi Arabia. I am getting very sexually frustrated because my husband will be living overseas for two years. I love my husband deeply but am finding it so difficult to live apart from him. Is it okay for me to masturbate?


Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.


Dear sister, you are in a difficult situation. However, please know that masturbation is sinful.

Is Masturbation Sinful? How Do I Stop?


It is far better for you, your husband and your children to be together. This is, unfortunately, not always possible. In the meantime, I encourage you to fast, exercise, occupy yourself with good, and visit your husband, if finances permit.


“O you who believe, seek help through patience and prayer. Surely, Allah is with those who are patient.” [Qur’an, 2:153]

Strive to perform the Prayer of Need and ask Allah for ease. Remember that your reward is commensurate with your effort, and nothing is lost on Allah.

Please see How Can I Repent From Masturbation? and Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long.



Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Is It Right to Have Sex With Someone You Love Before Marriage?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Is it right to have sex with someone you love before marriage?

Can you please tell me how far looks or physical attraction is important in Islam ? What if I accept him and people criticise me, how should I respond ? Will it be wise to accept him for the sake of Allah, even if I am not attracted to his colour?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. No, it is not right to have pre-marital sex under any circumstance, no matter how much you love someone.

Everything in the Shari’ah which is forbidden is bad for us, and anything which is encouraged is good for us, in both this world and the next.

The Shari’ah has been ordained to protect five things:

1) religion
2) life
3) intellect
4) property
5) lineage/honour

Sex before marriage runs contrary to religion and jeopardises one’s lineage/honour.

If two believers love each other and wish to make halal their relationship, then they must marry.Temporary marriages are impermissible. However, as is common when emotions run high, if two people discover after marriage that they are incompatible and cannot resolve their differences, then divorce is a permissible last resort. It is better to marry and divorce than it is to engage in unlawful premarital sex.

It is difficult to see through the haze of love, lust or infatuation, which is why Allah commands us all to stay away from zina.

“Do not even go close to fornication. It is indeed a shameful act, and an evil way to follow.” [Qur’an, 17:32]

So much damage can occur after just one unlawful act of premarital sex e.g. Unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, heartbreak, guilt etc.
Repeated sin hardens the heart.

Contrary to what we see in popular media, abortion of an unwanted fetus is not permissible in Islam.

It should be remarked here that pregnancy due to unlawful and illegal sex is no reason and excuse for abortion. The embryonic life farm in the mother’s womb is honoured and sacred even though it is a result of adultery (Hidaya, 2/292).

The only guaranteed form of birth control is abstinence.

Please reflect upon what I have shared with you. It is not easy being a young person struggling with strong sexual urges, while living in a heavily sexualised world. Islam’s solution is abstinence until marriage. Within marriage, sex is a praiseworthy act of worship, and a beautiful means to bring children into this world.

Remember that Allah Most High loves you, and His laws are there to protect your life in this dunya and your standing in the next world. Please pray the Prayer of Guidance to help you decide between ending your relationship or making it halal through marriage. Please seek counsel from a trustworthy and compassionate local scholar.

I pray that Allah grants you both the strength to do what is best for your souls. Remember that whatever you give up for His sake will be replaced by something far, far, better, inshaAllah.


When is having an abortion permitted?
How do students with no money deal with sexual urges?

Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Intimate Conversations on the Phone Before Marriage.

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Recently I spoke to a brother with the intention to get married, but after a while the conversion turned sexual and he would talk about sex acts he would perform on me. He would ejaculate and I would have an orgasm. I know this is wrong and I shouldn’t speak to him, but I enjoy myself. Would phone sex be permitted between husband and wife?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam,

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful & Compassionate

Any intimate contact or conversation is impermissible (haram) before marriage, as clearly established by the Quran, the Sunna and the consensus of the scholars of Community of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).

Not only would the actual intimate contact (such as the sexual phone talk) be impermissible, but the means that lead to the starting of such talk would also be impermissible, because of the decisively established principle that, “The means to the impermissible are themselves impermissible.” [Ibn Abd al-Salam, al-Qawa`id al-Kubra]

Thus, you have to be very wary of such phone conversations: they are absolutely impermissible. It is only permitted to talk to someone of the opposite sex who is unrelated if it is done within the limits of dignity and propriety–within limits of need or benefit.

When you find yourself slipping, remember Allah and the Last Day: If you died this very moment, is this a state you would want to die in?

Faraz Rabbani

Controlling Sexual Desires When Marriage Is “Put on Hold”

Answered by Hakima Fatimah

Question: How can sisters control strong sexual desires when they are trying to get married, or have to put it on hold for whatever reason? Are there herbs or natural remedies that may assist in this?

Answer: As salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

The Nature of the Problem

I pondered your question for some time and although I started to look into various herbs mentioned for “excessive sexuality” I was struck by the fact that all the herbs I looked at were herbs commonly used as sedatives or to decrease tension, irritability, nervousness, etc.  I realized that the condition in question was not in fact a physical condition to be treated with a pill (The AMAercan way)  (AMA=American Medical Association) but rather a spiritual one that will only respond to adherence to a spiritual discipline.  Herbs may help—given the person’s personality / temperament/character is one of an excessive nature (think type-A personality). Allah knows well the natures of His creatures and has given the answers to all of our ills through the advice and practices of the Venerable Muhammad ibn Abdullah (salallahu alaihi wa salim).

We live in a society of constant sexual tension and stimulation.  The sexual culture of movies, music, magazines, in fact all forms of media is promoted heavily with the sole intent of perversion of the innocents.  You cannot take a pill to shield you from this madness.  Unless one denies herself contact with these sources of sexual stimulation, the problem that we are discussing will never go away.

One’s sexual nature is a gift from Allah, however we pollute the gift by denying its rightful expression within marriage. So often marriage is put “on hold” for pursuit of other goals-school, career, the perfect mate, etc.  When natural urges are denied expression then it is easier for the thoughts and actions to become perverted. That is why I say that an herb is not the answer. So what are some answers to a very serious question?


Fasting has been prescribed as a way of dampening the sexual urges.  Many will say that they have tried it but it doesn’t work.  One must look at the way they are fasting—was their niyyat clear and pure, did they ask Allah for the help, did they truly fast or just deny themselves food.  Fasting involves so much more than not eating.  Denying the nafs is the essence of fasting, especially for this issue.  Denying the senses of anything stimulating is the key. Shunning the media in all its forms is the first step, not only during the fast but afterwards as well.  You can’t watch Beyonce shaking her behind and not have thoughts about doing the same.  You cannot listen to singers talk about what they can/will/want to do with you tonight and expect not to fantasize about someone doing the same with you. You cannot watch and ardent kiss or love scene and not become aroused to some point. That is human nature. To be successful deny yourself access to these things as much as possible.

Worship, Staying Busy, and Avoiding Stimulants

Feed the nafs or the soul? Dhikr – the remembrance of the Almighty –gives one the fortitude needed  to keep the nafs in check .  Contemplation on Allah’s creation provides a pivot point that focuses one on something other than what will feed the nafs.  Activity, staying busy doing things for others, avoiding idle time; these are ways to deny the nafs its temptation. Nawwafal salat brings one closer to Allah and further away from the haram.  This is the best time to petition for help and seek forgiveness. Avoiding anything that stimulates the nafs in any way should be avoided. For example, hot spicy foods incite the passions in most people, especially children.  Stay away from those Hot Cheetoes, Hot Tamales, jalepeno chips…you get the message.


The bottom line is that the only way to overcome this problem is to provide the proper way of expression and that is marriage.  Anything else is temporary at best and requires a stringent routine that most of us are unable to follow.

Now, having said all that…here are some herbs that may help but I don’t put much faith in their ability to help unless as I said earlier , the person has a personality that would benefit from some calmness.

Hops, valerian, belladonna, sage, skullcap, coriander, and wild marjoram are some herbs that I have come across.  Be sure to consult someone knowledgeable in the use of herbs before using them as each herb has multiple characteristics and can be used for multiple reasons.

Hope this is helpful.

Hakima Fatimah