Is masturbation allowed or Haram in Islam?

Is masturbation allowed in Islam or it is Haram or Makrooh? We have tried to answer this question here. There is no explicit verse in the Holy Quran addressing this issue.

  • The majority of scholars believe that masturbation is Haram in Islam.
  • A large number of Ulema say that it is Makrooh (disliked).
  • A small number of scholars say that it is allowed in Islam.
  • Does Masturbation break the fast?

Is masturbation allowed or Haram in Islam?

Masturbation by the spouse

All the Islamic scholars unanimously agree that the act of masturbation committed by a wife with the husband or vice versa is allowed in Islam. There is not a single Islamic scholar who prohibits it.

Point of View: Masturbation is Haram

The Shafi and Malki jurists say that masturbation is Haram in Islam based upon the following verses of the Holy Quran.

Success is really attained by the believers who guard their private parts except from their wives and what their right hands possess, as they are not to be blamed. However, those who seek (sexual pleasure) beyond that are the transgressors. Quran 23:5-7

It means that sexual pleasure is only allowed with spouses and what their right hand possesses (slave women) and therefore, masturbation is Haram in Islam.

Point of View: Masturbation is Makrooh

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal is of the opinion that masturbation should not be done but to avoid Zina (fornication). The Hanbali school of thought puts it in the Makrooh category due to the following;

According to them ‘guarding private parts’ in this verse is only restricted to sexual intercourse. As a result, you can have intercourse only with your wives and slave women. According to them, this verse does not refer to other things such as masturbation.

Abdullah Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه said, marriage is better than masturbation and masturbation is better than Zina. – ibn hazam’s al-muhallā (vol:11, pp. 393-4)

Indirectly, it means that masturbation is allowed in Islam but it is a Makrooh act (disliked). Dr. Zakir Naik is also of the same opinion that it is not a sinful act.

Point of View: Masturbation is allowed in Islam

According to Jābir Ibn Zayd and Amr bin Dinar (who are tābi’īn اَلتَّابِعِينَ), there is no harm in Masturbation and hence it is allowed in Islam.

They also refer to a hadith which states that once Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was asked about touching the penis and he said: ‘Rather it is a part of you (your body).'” – Sunan Ibn Majah 484

Tabi’een اَلتَّابِعِينَ is the generation of Muslims who were born after the death of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ but who were contemporaries of the Sahaba.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.