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Does Islam permit masturbation?

Apparently, this is one of those issues that Muslims have varying opinions on.

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Daily Trust reports that there are at least three perspectives on masturbation which is al-Istimna in Arabic. They are the prohibitive, the ambivalent (mixed feelings) and the permissive.

Those in the first group see it as a sin and considers it as haram (forbidden). Muslims under this category believe that the doer will be punished in this life and in the afterlife (Qiyama).

This is based on the Qur’an, which says, “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)

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Imam Shafi’i also says: “And those who guard their chastity (i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts). Except from their wives or (the captives and slaves) that their right hands possess, — for them, they are free from blame. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors.” Q 23.5–7 Hence, Muslims are encouraged to restrain their sexual desire with fasts.

The Muslims in the second category do not approve but they believe it is permissible in certain situations. They believe that it is forbidden when it makes a man or woman ignores their spouse sexually, but they recommended it for certain cases because it is seen as a lesser evil compared to illicit sex. These cases include avoiding adultery or fornication, being overwhelmed with desire.

We reached to a Muslim that falls under this category. According to him, “A Muslim man can masturbate if he has been in prison, without access to his wife, for at least twenty years.” He added out this is the only situation that he knows where it is allowed.

The third group are the permissive ones. These group’s  argument is based on necessity. They also argue that the Qu’ran does not explicitly forbids masturbation.

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Islamic scholars, Jābir ibn Zayd and Hasan of Basra, both fall under the third category.

Zayd says, “it is your water; you can discharge it(if you want).”  Basra adds, “there is no harm in it.”

What do you think?

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