Masturbation and Its Effect upon Worship – Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaymeen


Noble Shaykh, I hope for from you—may Allaah grant you Tawfeeq, and may He benefit me and those listening—and answer to my question; rather, my problem which affects me in my life and my worship; and I fear that it will separate me from my religion. So I want from you a remedy which will heal me and other than myself from the youth; specifically since we are nearing this blessed month. The problem is the secret habit; what is its ruling? Does it make Ghusl obligatory? Does it affect the prayer, fasting, and (other acts of) worship? Open for us a door by way of which we can exit; may Allaah open for you and the listeners the eight doors of paradise.


The secret habit, which is masturbation; i.e., attempting to cause the ejaculation of semen by way of any means; with the hand, by grinding on the mattress, by any means, this is prohibited; whether fasting or not fasting. The proof for this is the statement of Allaah, the Blessed and High:

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَافِظُونَ ٥ إِلَّا عَلَى أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ ٦ فَمَنِ ابْتَغَى وَرَاء ذَلِكَ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْعَادُونَ

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 then, they are free from blame; But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors. (Al-Mu’minun 23:5-7)

Also, due to the statement of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam):

يا معشر الشباب، من استطاع منكم الباءة فليتزوج، فإنه أغض للبصر، وأحصن للفرج، ومن لم يستطع فعليه بالصوم؛ فإنه له وجاء

O assembly of youth, whoever from you is able to marry then let him do so; for it is better to help lower the gaze and more of a safeguard for the private parts. He who is not able then let him fast. For it is a means of protection for him.

The point of reference within the Hadeeth is that if masturbation were permissible then the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) would have directed towards it. This is because masturbation does not contain difficulty. Rather, it contains pleasure for the person. But since he neglected mentioning it and instead mentioned fasting while fasting contains something from difficulty at times, this proves that it—i.e., masturbation—is not permissible. It is Haram.

If semen is emitted then the fast is nullified and the person must make it up. And if semen is emitted then it is obligatory upon the person to perform Ghusl. If he were to pray without performing Ghusl then his prayer is invalid.

Based upon this, I would like to say: Intercourse nullifies the fast even if one does not emit semen. So if there occurs intercourse during the daytime in Ramadan by he upon whom fasting is obligatory, then five rulings are connected to it:

  1. The First: Sin
  2. The Second: The nullification of the fast
  3. The Third: The Obligation of continuing in it (the fast)
  4. The Fourth: The Obligation of making it up
  5. The Fifth: The Obligation of making an expiation; this is by freeing a slave. If he is not able then by fasting for two consecutive months; if he is not able then by feeding sixty poor people.

His wife is similar to him, if she obeyed him in that. As for if he compelled her and she was unable to repel him, then it is not upon her to make it upon nor to make expiation, nor is her fast nullified.

The means by which the person shall be saved from this thing is for the person to turn to his Lord in a correct manner (asking Him) to prevent him from this habit. For if the person takes refuge with his Lord in a distressed state then Allaah will respond to his supplication.

أَمَّنْ يُجِيبُ الْمُضطَرَّ إِذَا دَعَاهُ وَيَكْشِفُ السُّوءَ وَيَجْعَلُكُمْ خُلَفَاءَ الأَرْضِ أَءِلَهٌ مَعَ اللَّهِ

Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations. Is there any Ilah (god) with Allaah? (An-Naml 27:62)

Indeed Allaah answers the supplication of the distressed one even if he may be a disbeliever. The proof is that when they are aboard the ship (at sea) they supplicate to Allaah, making the religion purely for Him. But when He delivers them safely to land they associate partners with Allaah; so they are polytheists and He knew that they would return to Shirk once they were delivered. In spite of this, He responds to them due to their sense of urgency for Him and their taking refuge with Him. So take refuge with Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, and ask Him to protect you from it, then wait for the relief from Allaah, the Glorified and High. If you abandon this for Allaah then Allaah will replace it with that which is better, sooner than later. And perhaps if you continue upon this thing whilst knowing about its prohibition then Allaah will make your affair difficult and you will not acquire a wife.

Moreover, if desires begin to rage within you the resort to performing Wudu, and prayer; or reviewing the Tafseer of the Speech of Allaah, or the explanation of the speech of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), or going out to the Masjid if possible; within the day for example. What is important is that you be free of this, along with seeking the help of Allaah, asking Him, and taking refuge with Him.

Translated by Raha ibn Donald Batts
Source: Silsilah Al-Liqaa’ Ash-Shahree (no. 8)

2 thoughts on “Masturbation and Its Effect upon Worship – Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Al-‘Uthaymeen

  1. Very useful


  2. Very enlightening, may Allāh benefit us from it.


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