Masturbation is an activity to satisfy oneself. In Islam, it’s arguably forbidden. Allah SWT has said inside the Holy Quran,
“Those who guard their sexual organs except with their spouses or those whom their right hands possess, for (with regard to them) they are without blame. But those who crave something beyond that are transgressors.” (23:5-7)
One of the reason why masturbation is not allowed because it steals away the right of a spouse if someone has married, and for someone who is not married yet, masturbation taking away the fulfillment of getting married.
But according to some people, masturbation is a way to stay away from sin. As it strongly prohibited, there’s a question regarding this matter: is it allowed to do masturbation for health in Islam?
To reach the most perfect description and understanding, let’s start from the whether there is a health purpose in masturbation.
There is No Healthy Purpose of Masturbation
While young people usually argue that masturbation saves them from committing sins when they haven’t get married, it’s strongly prohibited in Islam and there’s no way to make it right.
Masturbation has no health purpose either. It doesn’t cause any harmful effects physically, but masturbation surely leaves guilt about it. Also read Side Effect of Female Masturbation in Islam
Masturbation is denied spiritually, culturally, and many still think it’s dirty and shameful. That’s why people tend to masturbate secretly, but once again, it has no health purpose. So when somebody (especially a Muslim) said that they are masturbating for health purpose, it’s all wrong. It’s neither harmful nor beneficial.
Moreover, masturbation cause severe damage in social life where someone tend to exile themselves from the society, skipping work or school, and suffering from low self esteem. Truly, Allah SWT will not forbid something if it’s good for a Muslim. Seeing that masturbation might cause something bad for oneself, now we know why Allah SWT had forbid us from doing so.
Islamic View on Masturbation
Masturbation is called istimna in Islam. It becomes forbidden to masturbate in Islam because it’s part of lust and desire, where a Muslims should be able to control those two things.
By holding your sexual desire, you are committing one more deed that Allah SWT like. While some people ask is it allowed to do masturbation for health in Islam, here are how Islamic scholars and major schools have said regarding that matter. Also read How to Deal With Desires in Islam
- Shahabah’s View
Shahabahs were the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and they had their own opinion of masturbation which were taken from Al-Muhalla by Ibn Hazm. First were from Ibn Abbas where he said that marrying a slave is better that masturbating. Even doing crimes like adultery, rape, and zina is way better that masturbating yourself.
According to Abdullah Ibn Umar, masturbating is a way for a person to make fool of himself. And despite it’s being haram in Islam, Hasan Basri agreed that masturbation doesn’t cause any physical harm.
- Sunni View
One of the major schools in Islam, Sunni, was using above verse’s from the Quran to define the law of masturbation, which is haram. However, there’s also divided arguments within the Sunni. Masturbation is haram since it may cause someone to forget their spouse, whereas others said that it’s a way to prevent forbidden sex intercourse. Also read Dangerous Type of Lust in Islam
Another opinion in Sunni stated that Islam has flexible approach regarding marriage and sex. In the modern times, marriage is considered difficult so that one is allowed to do masturbation to fulfill their sexual needs.
- Hanafi View
Hanafi said that masturbation is generally forbidden. However, they let it a little loose under certain conditions: when someone fears to commit adultery and zina, so they thought it’s better to masturbate. Hanafi stressed that masturbation only permissible when someone is seeking a relief through it.
- Shafi’i View
Verses 5-7 from Quran surah no. 23 had been made a foundation for Islamic schools to define the law of masturbation. By interpreting the verse, Imam Al-Shafi’i firmly stated that masturbation is forbidden in any cases and conditions. Masturbation is considered as one illegal sexual acts, thus it is made prohibited. Also read Effects of Late Marriage in Islam
- Maliki View
Maliki has stricter rule regarding masturbation: it’s all time a haram deed to be done, regardless of the certain conditions and situations. However, there are still minority opinion within the schools that masturbation is allowed as long as it’s done in secret without any addition of haram materials such as drugs and pornography.
- Shi’a View
Shi’a stated that any sexual activity that is done outside marriage is a major sin altogether, thus haram and prohibited. While masturbation served as sexual engagement outside marriage, the doer will be severely punished both in life and Hereafter. Also read Benefits of Early Marriage in Islam
“The believers are those who protect their sexual organs except from their spouses… Therefore, whosoever seeks more beyond that (in sexual gratification), then they are the transgressors.” (23:5-6)
So according to the verse above, masturbation is not allowed at all, in any situation.
- Hanbali View
Hanbali schools view masturbation as a prohibited act, however it is allowed in certain condition: when somebody is under the pressure of desire, in which makes them allowed to seek relief through masturbation. Ahmad ibn Hanbal said that masturbation is permissible for travelers, prisoners, and anyone who finds it difficult to find lawful spouse.
- Zahiri View
Different opinion comes from Zahiri schools, where they stated that masturbation is a permissible act.
So those are the answer and explanation on is it allowed to do masturbation for health in Islam. Most of Islamic schools and scholars have made it clear that masturbation is not allowed, but among them also stated that it’s permissible under certain conditions.