- What is the Secret Habit?
- Why do People Turn to Masturbation?
- The Islamic Ruling (Hukm) of Masturbation
- Is it Possible to Quit Masturbation?
- How Can One Quit Masturbation?
- What if Masturbation is the Only Way to Prevent the Unmarried from Committing Fornication?
- Something for the Married Readers
- What are the Implications if One Masturbates?
Alhamdulillah infinitely, all praise is due to Allah. All thanks are for Allah. All good is in the Good Hands of Allah. All affairs shall be returned to Allah. No god but Allah. We seek His Forgiveness at all time; and to Him alone we repent. May His Peace and Blessings be upon Habibi Muhammad, His family members, his companions and all those who follow his guided path.
Today’s article, How to Quit the Secret Habit?, comes to discuss one of the most serious social problems, which its victims suffer alone, away from the eyes and supervision of good friends and even relatives, who can guide them. Our topic, insha Allah, will discuss what is known as the secret habit. It will as well guide us to think together, in search for possible solutions.
As we think together, in search for solutions, this article will, however, not give medical prescription, nor is it a religious advice (fatwa). It rather intends to relate to our dear brothers and sisters who are struggling from the problem and are looking for possible solutions that could help them.
This article strives to share with the kind readers of GSalam.Net what I believe that, if those suffering from the addiction of the secret habit follow consistently, will be an alternative solution to their struggle, to the possible best extent, insha Allah.
It’s known to many, that significant number of our brothers and sisters, today, especially the younger, are suffering from physical as well as psychological pressure of what is known as the secret habit. To the best of my knowledge, most of them are searching for solutions to their struggle.
What makes things worst is the inflation of life expenses and the ‘nonsensical irresponsible demands’ of parents and relatives when the youth want to get married and start families lawfully. As a result, young men and women turn to masturbation as they find that to be the best alternative to fulfil their sexual needs, while they stay away from committing fornication and adultery.
All that happen in the time women are exposed just like the tomato is, in an open market. Facebook (and its fellow Social Networking Sites) have also come to make things even more worse.
The fact that these youth are suffering and are in search for solution although quietly, in their own way, is a clear indication that they know that masturbation is religiously unlawful.
They also know that, anyone who commits any kind of sin (including masturbation) only does so, in their state of weakness. Therefore, in order to avoid displeasing Allah, one should avoid deeds that are unpleasant to Allah.
Mostly, things become religiously unlawful (Haram) after they have been determined to be harmful to human health or may cause negative social implications.
Similarly, masturbation is physically harmful, not only that, it’s damaging, as far as the future and the relationship of its addicts with their partners and the society in which they live are concerned. Masturbation weakens one’s body, and takes away one’s youth and sexual ability. This claim is what I’m told by victims of masturbation. So, anyone who is concerned about their health and wellbeing should consider avoiding masturbation.
The Secret Habit is a terminology commonly used in the Middle East and some parts of Africa, to refer to ‘masturbation’. According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 11th Edition, [to] masturbate means to “stimulate one’s genitals with one’s hand for sexual pleasure.”
It’s known that, both male and female genders do practise masturbation. But studies have found that males (mainly boys) are more engaged in the secret habit more than females are. To my surprise, many started practising the secret habit at ages as early as eleven (11) years. This includes boys and girls.
People often turn to masturbation due to the following, among other reasons:
- Being desperate for sexual satisfaction
- Being bored and in need for entertainment
- Being lonely and wanting to be engaged
- Wanting to try and experience one’s sexual potentials (especially school children)
This part is for the information of those who may be reading this article for general knowledge purpose, rather than reading it to find a solution to a problem they are undergoing.
My readings from western sources have shown that in the West, they see no risk from masturbation. Therefore you hardly see articles that discourage masturbation. Instead, they encourage it, in a way or another. I don’t know how that may solve their social problems.
But as far we, Muslims, are concerned, Islam is our guide in our way of living and in our way of taking care of anything we are entrusted with. Thus, we turn to Islam to find solutions to problems like our subject matter.
The majority of the Islamic scholars, from the Maliki and the Shafie schools of thought, have ruled against masturbation. They therefore consider it impermissible (Haram) to masturbate. They supported their opinion with the Qur’anic verse, in which Allah s.w.t. says:
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ * الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُعْرِضُونَ * وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِلزَّكَاةِ فَاعِلُونَ * وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَافِظُونَ * إِلَّا عَلَىٰ أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ
It means, “Successful indeed are the believers; those who are humble in their prayer; those who turn away from all that is frivolous; those who pay the zakat; those who safeguard their chastity. Except with their wives, and what their right hands possess; for then they are free from blame/ But those who seek to go beyond that are transgressors.”
Also Rasulullah s.a.w. advised Muslim singles who are unable to afford costs of marriage to fast. He said in a Hadeeth narrated by Ibn Mas’oud and authenticated by Imam(s) Al-Bukhari and Muslim:
يَا مَعْشَرَ الشَّبَابِ، مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمُ البَاءَةَ فَلْيَتَزَوَّجْ، فَإِنَّهُ أَغَضُّ لِلْبَصَرِ وَأَحْصَنُ لِلْفَرْجِ، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَعَلَيْهِ بِالصَّوْمِ، فَإِنَّهُ لَهُ وِجَاءٌ
It means, “O young men, whoever amongst you is (physically and financially) able should get into marriage; it helps best to lowering the gaze and guarding chastity. And whoever cannot afford it should fast, for it will be a shield for him.”
Had masturbation being the best solution, Rasulullah s.a.w. would have advised the young men to turn to it, especially that, masturbation is a practice which is known in all eras of human history.
Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taimiyyah was asked about masturbation and he said, “Masturbation is Haram according to the majority of the Muslim scholars, and that opinion is also the most authentic from Imam Ahmad’s school of thought.”
On the other hand, scholars from the Hanafi’s school of thought have said that, masturbation is originally impermissible, but one may practise masturbation, if the following three things are applicable on them:
- The person is unmarried.
- The person is doing it because, otherwise, he will commit adultery.
- The person is not doing that just for the sake of achieving orgasm (for fun).
Practically, most of the people who practise masturbation will admit that they are suffering, in a way or another, and are trying to find their way out of masturbation. This is because when one becomes addicted to masturbation, they get stressed easily without practising it. Even after marriage, they may find it difficult to be satisfied by their partners.
In addition to that, some addicts of masturbation practise it more than twice a day. This is something even married couples cannot commit to intercourse that amount of time on daily basis.
Therefore, as long as masturbation can lead to harm, be it physically or psychologically, it’s not allowed for it to be practiced.
This is why Allah forbidden us in Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:195, from endangering oursleves:
وَلَا تُلْقُوا بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ
It means, “Do not cast yourselves into destruction by your own hands.”
Any habit, be it good or bad can be changed and transformed. Thus masturbation is a habit that can be tackled and transformed into a positive habit. Many have been addicted to it, in the past, but with Allah’s Willing, they are able to overcome it and become better and more productive individuals in their communities today.
The possibility of quitting masturbation lies in the hands of its victims. One needs to develop strong will and then follow simple guidelines, and they are set to be free from masturbation, insha Allah.
The fact that you’ve immediately jumped to this part of the article without reading the above parts, supports my assumption that you are looking for a solution, and are willing to quit the secret habit. But again, please make sure you are convinced that one can quit from any bad habit whenever they decide to do so.
Also, I have to say this: Although the suggestion of solutions I’m presenting here are not ‘fatwa’, they are still suggestions from Islamic religious angle. I’m hopeful that you’ll find it beneficial, insha Allah.
To overcome the secret habit, let’s consider the following:
- Make an honest intention from your heart to quit the secret habit: They say, “when there’s a will, there’s a way.” The only one who can motivate one to make decision to achieve something, is oneself. Motivators and preachers only deliver words, but at the end of the day, it’s up to us to change or not. “Allah does not change the condition of a people until they themselves change what is with them” [Surah Al-Ra’d, 13:11].
- Mindfulness of Allah is a powerful weapon: One has to be mindful of Allah. In other words, in order to put a stop to committing the secret habit, it’s important to observe Allah at all time. Anytime one finds him/herself alone, they have to remember that they are never alone. Allah is always with you. Don’t you love Allah? If we love Allah, are we not ashamed that He’s with us, observing us and yet, we can allow ourselves into doing this?
- Let’s observe the fruits our God-Consciousness: One’s God-consciousness should prevent them from:
- Possessing pornography images
- Watching pornography films
- Encouraging others into pornography
- Let’s be punctual in our daily (5 times) prayers: “… and establish the Solat regularly. Surely Solat restrains one from indecency and evil…” [Surah Al-Ankabout, 29:45]. If possible, perform your daily five prayers in the mosque or in a congregation.
- Let’s make it a point to read at least a page of the Qur’an every day: Reading the Qur’an gets one closer to Allah. The closer one is to Allah, the farther they can stay away from Ibliss, and hence the less they may be tempted into immorality.
- Let’s remember Allah often (Zikr): This is actually associated with being God-Conscious, above, but I couldn’t mention it before obligation prayers. Below are a few examples of remembering Allah. These samples of remembrance (zikr), although, they are simple in words, they are powerful in their effectiveness. Most importantly, they are not different from what our teacher and role model, Habibi Rasulullah said or taught.
- Allahumma salli ‘alaa Muhammad
- Laa ilaaha illaa Allah
- Laa haula walaa quwwata illa billa
- SubhanAllah.. Walhamdulillah.. Walaa ilaa illa Allah.. Wallahu Akbar
- Hasbuna Allahu wani’mal wakeel
- We can also consider following the advice of Rasulillah to the unmarried:
- Fast on Mondays and Thursdays.
- Fast three days every month (13, 14 and 15 of lunar months).
- It’s important to practise on lowering our gaze: Lowering our gaze from anything that may draw our attention to sexual desire is important. This includes people we interact with, the type of movies we watch, and the kind of surroundings we choose to associate ourselves with. In fact, extending our eyes to things that trigger our sexual desire is Haram, except looking at one’s spouse or at one’s potential partner.
- We have the right to like food, but let’s eat less: Eat only when you are hungry. Excessive eating does never prolong anyone’s life. It instead makes them sick, as well as it further develops their greediness for sex.
- Exercise regularly: Exhaust your body; let it feel tired and you will have a good sleep and that will free your mind and allow it to focus on good deeds, insha Allah.
- Volunteer yourself: To your local mosque, charity organization or community centre. We gain (unimaginable) happiness when we make others happy.
As we try to shun our Muslim brothers and sisters away from the secret habit, it’s also important that we admit that, there are some types of people, who are given stronger desire for intercourse. Considering the morally polluted era, in which we live, they are unable to control themselves. To them, it’s either they do masturbation or commit greater offence, which can be fornication or adultery. This happens in addition to their financial inability to start lawful families.
To that kind of people, the secret habit may be justifiable. But it remains unlawful to masturbate.
So, it’s important that they do their best, and ensure that, this is the last resort tbey can turn to (Here, we’re adopting the opinion of the Hanafi’s school of thought, partially). They are advised to consider the suggestions which I’ve outlined above in this article. Only if it doesn’t work with them, and it’s unlikely that it’s not going to work, then they may consider masturbation as a last resort.
If they are already married and are financially able, then masturbation is still not a permissible solution. Polygamy is the way out for them.
There are many situations in which married individuals, especially the men, will have to go through difficult times, with regards to our subject matter. Examples of these situations are when their wives are in their period, as well as during the pregnancy period of their wives.
As far as they are concerned, a married couple are allowed (rather it’s rightfully permissible for them) to play with one another in a way that will grant sexual satisfaction to both parties, in a way that does not displease Allah. This is allowed even in normal circumstances.
However, a woman in her period or during her post paternal bleed is not allowed to have a direct intercourse. This is although it’s permissible for the couple to consort one another (without direct intercourse), provided cleanliness is strictly observed.
Sexual intercourse is just a small amount of the love and affection that needs to take place between any legal married couple. The effects of effective intercourse may last and be felt by the married couple for three days or more. In order to achieve that, Islam through the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet has taught us to show (to practise) romance to each another (as legal married couples).
Practising romance varies from (French) kisses, hugs, sharing the same meal plate, (spoon) feeding one another, taking bath together and so on.
All the above mentioned actions are prophetic and most of it are to be done in private. They are not practices only non-Muslims or non-religious can enjoy (as some people wrongly assume). Married Muslims are expected to even enjoy that more, because it’s lawful in their case.
Also, lawfully married couples need to “sweet talk” their spouses, more than they did during the period of engagement (at the time that they were not even legally married). This are what definitely lead to perfect and long lasting orgasm and sexual satisfaction.
The practices mentioned above, may even grant the male the satisfaction he needs even when his partner is not able to offer him vaginal intercourse.
Did I say this part is for the married ones? Don’t forget that. If you are unmarried and yet have read this part, please be informed that this is the kind of happiness and joys every legally married couple is entitled to enjoy in Islam. On top of that, they are rewarded as they practise it.
To experience that, go get married!
Anyone who masturbates finds himself in either situations
- Reached orgasm
- Didn’t reach orgasm
If the person has not reached orgasm (did not release semen), all they have to do, before they can pray, is to take the usual wudhu. And if they are fasting, their fasting remains valid, insha Allah.
If the person has reached orgasm, their fasting becomes void (if they are fasting), and in order for them to pray, they need to take the Holy Bath (Ghusl). Click here to learn “How Do We Perform the Holy Bath (Ghusl)?“
Masturbation is a problem. Every problem has its roots. People engaged with the secret habit have the responsibility of putting in the effort required to quit from it. But every individual in the society (especially the Muslim society) bears the responsibility of eliminating the root cause of masturbation.
How we dress, especially the ladies amongst us, may be a cause for the struggle of innocent persons, especially the bachelors.
Men too, must dress modestly (from Islamic perspective). A Muslim male shouldn’t be seen dressing like Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson or any K-Pop or J-Pop star. They are not our role models.
Let’s please Allah in our dress, and we shall contribute at the same time in solving many social problems.
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Allah knows best.
Allahu Hafiz 🙂