Islam and masturbation

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‘Istimna (استمناء) is the Arabic term for masturbation.

Schools of thought[edit]

Further information: Sexuality in Islam

There are varying opinions on its permissibility. It is forbidden in the Twelver school of the Shi'a denomination of Islam and all of its associated subdivisions.[1] It is considered haram according to the Maliki madh'hab. The Hanafi school has a more permissive outlook. According to Ibn Hazm and the Hanbali madhab, it is halal (permissible) only under two conditions: first, the fear of committing fornication or adultery, and second, not having the means to marry.[2][3] Sheikh Assim al Hakeem stated that masturbation is halal but only if one is otherwise definitely going to fornicate.[citation needed] Various scholarly thoughts concluding it being halal include the following:

Ibn al-Qayyim, a 14th century Sunni Islamic scholar:[4]

Ibn Aqil said: and many of our scholars have ruled that masturbation is makruh (disliked), and never explicitly said he that it was haram.

Next, he cites the opinion of Ibn Aqil on the conditions that make masturbation halaal:[4]

If a man is torn between continued desire or releasing it, and if this man does not have a wife, and he fears that he will suffer because of this (someone like a prisoner, or a traveler, or a pauper), then it is permissible for him to masturbate, and Ahmad (ibn Hanbal) is explicit on this.

And afterwards, Ibn al-Qayyim said:[4]

And the right (correct) for me is that it is illegal, because the Prophet (Peace be upon him) guided one who had a desire, and could not marry, to the fast ...

Those of the view that it is haraam:

Some have quoted one (1) narration from Ahmad ibn Hanbal.[5]


The Quran itself is silent on the subject of masturbation, however many scholars have quoted certain ayats that they claim states that masturbation is forbidden.

Ibn Omid Stanakzai, a 14th century Sunni Islamic scholar that Imaam Shaafi'i and those who have agreed with him have concluded that masturbation is haram from the above verse. He says:[5]

"Masturbation is excluded from these two types which Allah has made Halaal, viz. wives".

Under the exegis of this verse, Qadi Thanaullah Panipati writes:[5]

"Imam Baghawi has deduced from this Aayat that masturbation is haram."


Some hadith that are quoted to in support of masturbation being haram include:

However, Prophet Muhammad recommended fasting and did not mention masturbation.

Ibn Kathir wrote in volume 5 p. 458:[5]

It is worth pointing out that Ibn Kathir's works are an interpretative commentary and not a part of the Quran itself.

This is a Daeef(Weak) Hadith[6]

Other quoted material include from Tafsir al-Mazhari vol. 12 p. 94:[5]

Quoted from those after the Sahaba


  1. ^ Marriage and Morals in Islam
  2. ^ The Lawful And The Prohibited In Islam, Yusuf Al-Qardawi - 1997
  3. ^ The New Arab Man: Emergent Masculinities, Technologies, and Islam in the Midle East, p 168, Marcia C. Inhorn - 2012
  4. ^ a b c Bida al-Fawaid ref
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Is masturbation Haram in Islam? What are the things to control this act
  6. ^ Musalma bin Jafar and his teacher Hassan bin Hameed both are Daeef(weak)