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Parenting Series | Part VIII: Sexual Activities Beyond the “Norm” – What Should We Teach Our Teens


Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | | Part V(b) | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX

In the last part of this series, we discussed the most commonly asked questions about sex and sexuality and how to answer those questions. Now let us proceed to additional topics that we should discuss with our pre/teens. Unfortunately, these topics are introduced to 10-year olds in public schools (as I mentioned in Part V(b)), hence the parents should be prepared to discuss these issues with the children at home.


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Additional Sex-Related Topics to Discuss:

Masturbation: Again, depending on your pre-teen/teen’s level of maturity, exposure and circumstances, talk to them about masturbation somewhere around the age of 10.

Explain to them what it is, when they might have the urge to perform it, and how it is not allowed in Islam. Children are taught at schools that masturbation is completely normal and part of human sexuality. Discuss the differences between Islamic prohibition and cultural permission thoroughly.  Here is a good lecture on the subject. Though it cannot be said with surety that masturbation increases risk of prostate cancer, it does have negative emotional and psychological effects, like low self confidence and a sense of guilt, etc.

Offer them tips on how they can stay away from masturbation. The more a person protects himself/herself from reading, watching, and listening to content containing indecencies, the more a person can gain control over his/her desires of masturbation, insha’Allah.

Oral Sex/Anal Sex: Do not underestimate your children’s exposure to these terms. Sex Education curriculum in some public schools starts introducing these terms by the age of 10. If it’s a pre-teen/teen asking, then definitely explain. However, if it is a child asking, then you may be able to tell him/her to wait until they are older. However, I strongly advise parents to not underestimate the level of  a child’s curiosity.

Unfortunately, we are living in a time where we have to open up subjects that could have waited until later. As I said before, it is best that they hear from their parents earlier rather than wait and risk someone else offering their vulgar version of sexual actions. Sadly, some Muslim teens (usually in high school) get involved in oral sex assuming it is not “zina,” hence not a major sin.  Remind your pre-teen/teen:

“And do not even go close to Zina! Truly, it is a gross obscenity and an evil path (to go down).” [17:32]

Anal sex is haraam. Show them the ahadeeth which prohibit anal sex. You can also drop a line or two about the health hazards. Last week I mentioned the “STD Educational Support Groups.” Google one in your local area and attend with your pre-teen/teen.

Homosexuality: Though it is not easy these days to discuss the Islamic concept of homosexuality to our youth, it must be explained. Initially, when they are small and read the story of Prophet Lut, for instance, they can be told that “boys used to marry boys”. Later, as they grow older they can be told in more detail.

Wet Dreams: I have already written an article discussing wet dreams among males and females and about the importance of educating our preteens/teens about them.

Other Sexual Acts:

Dear parents, I wish I didn’t have to ask you to teach more than what we have already discussed. Unfortunately though, we are living in a hyper-sexualized society and it is becoming practically impossible to keep our children sheltered the way we wish to keep them protected. However, as long as you have explained to them what we have discussed so far, I don’t think additional information needs to be offered, unless they ask. The goal is to “break the ice” and keep the communication frank and open.

Be prepared. Keep the conversations alive, sparking them every now and then. Sex-ed is an ongoing education and it can never be covered in just one sitting.

Wrong Information from Overprotective Parents:

Since my counseling is limited to female teenagers, I have often encountered overprotective mothers giving wrong information to their daughters to “protect” them from masturbation and other sexual experimentation. I don’t know if a similar exchange of misinformation occurs among fathers and their sons, but in any case it’s advisable that parents refrain from conveying false information to their children.

Tell them facts: Religious facts, social facts, and medical facts. Plain and simple: nothing but facts.

Are Carnal Desires Evil?

Talking about the restrictions we set to hinder our instinctive desires may give your child a feeling that it is an evil thing to feel them and inflict a negative outlook on intercourse for the rest of their life. It is very important that we clarify their confusion of perceiving sex and sexuality in an evil and wrong way.

Explain to them that carnal desires are not evil but they can lead to evil if one doesn’t protect themselves from satanic whispers. Yes, when it is done properly, i.e. in the beautiful marital bond, then it actually becomes a blessing and a way to earn reward. In a long narration in Muslim, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was describing different actions of sadaqah and he mentioned,

“…and in a man’s sexual intercourse (with his wife) there lies a sadaqah (in his favor).” They (the Companions) said: “Messenger of Allah, is there a reward for him who satisfies his sexual passion among us?” He said: “Tell me, if he were to devote it to something forbidden, would it not be a sin on his part? Similarly, if he were to devote it to something lawful, he should have a reward.”

Let them read the numerous examples from the life of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) of him being intimately playful and romantic with his wives. Let them listen to some lectures on the subject. Start drilling the correct place and time of releasing these natural desires and fantasies from a young age so their perception becomes pure, insha’Allah.

Benefits of Chastity:

From time to time, we must remind our children and pre-teens/teens about the value and significance of chastity, and how Allah ‘azza wa jall Himself honored the virtues of purity and chastity. We must offer them a balance between warnings and rewards from a religious perspective. Additionally, we should also reward them verbally and materialistically even for avoiding indecent actions, like when they turn away their sight from an indecent billboard/ad, or close their eyes during a kissing scene, or close a site with offensive advertisements, etc.

When they are pre-teens/teens it is essential to lay out the benefits of being chaste and keeping away from major/minor acts of lewdness. Remind them of what the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “There are seven whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His Shade: …a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but says: ‘I fear Allah’…”

Ask them: Would they not want to have the Shade of Allah when no other shade will be available and the sun will be only a mile above us?   *Occasional emotional talks are effective reminders.*

A Few Tips on Keeping Away from Fawahish (Indecencies):

Help your pre-teens/teens keep away from fawahish. To suggest a few steps:

Du’a: Every now and then talk to them about the importance of Du’a.

Encourage your pre-teens/teens to make du’a for themselves.  Explain to them that they know their own weaknesses better than anyone else. They must turn to Allah to ask for help and forgiveness whenever they make a mistake.

Adhkaar (verbal remembrance of Allah): I cannot emphasize enough the necessity of reading the morning and afternoon adhkaar. Remember, fawahish are a call of theshayateen:

إِنَّمَا يَأْمُرُكُمْ بِالسُّوءِ وَالْفَحْشَاءِ   “For he commands you to what is evil and shameful/lewd…” (2:169)

Hence, by keeping the shayateen away, one is keeping the temptations away. Though this training should be done from a very young age, it is never too late to help pre-teens/teens memorize the morning and afternoon adhkaars.

Prayers: Prayer is a way to keep away from fawahish:

إنَّ الصَلاَةَ تَنْهَى عَنِ الفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ “Indeed prayers protects from indecencies…”

Lowering one’s gaze: We must start training our young boys to lower their gazes. Here is an excellent read from Ibn Al-Qayyim on lowering the gaze.

Good company: Monitor their friends. Remind them about the importance of keeping good company.

Music: Stay away from music and indecent lyrics.

Movies/TV: Avoid movies with indecent content: Parents, please do not go by the official ratings of the movies. Most of the times, PG-13 is not a movie suitable for 13 year olds. It is not even suitable for 18 year olds. Make your own educated rating. There is an excellent site to look up the content of movies in detail. Visit:

Fasting: Encourage them to fast.  Fast with them. Make fasting Mondays/Thursdays a family ritual.

Social Work: Many times, it is having too much free time that makes minds wander aimlessly. Get them busy with constructive activities, social projects, volunteer work in themasjid/community center, start a girl/boys club. Come up with ways to keep them busy and entertained.

Exercise: Encourage them to exercise to release their physical energy.

Don’t Stay up all Night: Do not let them spend their nights alone especially with the computer. As the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallamadvised, “Do not spend the night alone.” (Ahmad)

Keep the Computer in an Open Area: If this is not feasible, make sure you install parental control software on their computers.

Ask your Parents for Help: If you are a pre-teen/teen reading this article, ask your parents to monitor your computer activities. Ask them to make du’a for you.

These are but a few examples of ways in which parents can help protect their pre-teens/teens from the fitan of fawahish surrounding our society.

We are not Raising Angels:

Talk to your pre-teen/teen about the challenges that they face at school/society and around their friends. Remind them of the beauty of chastity, encourage them to swim against the high tide, appreciate them for listening to you, and ask them about their challenges and how you can be of assistance.

If they are having difficulty or going through some crisis, do not panic. You will lose them entirely if you do. Listen to them calmly. Remember you are not raising angels, even after taking all the precautions you could take; we must keep in mind that our children will slip. This is as long as it is a minor issue, like sexual thoughts or masturbation (major issues like love affairs will have to be dealt with differently).

Remind them of fighting their temptations with du’a and istighfaar. Help them fight the fitnah. Encourage them to pray qiyam’l-layl. Provide them with distractions. Rid them of all the means of falling into sin. Though, be very careful and wise. Do not scare them away by being too tough on them. Remember, they are human beings, and as long as they feel remorse and repent to Allah, you will have to allow them room to sin a little.

Why this education MUST be given with proper Islamic references.

  1. To create a positive effect.
  2. To instill shyness rather than vulgarity.
  3. To emphasize responsibility and cautiousness with the knowledge that Allah severely hatesfawahish.

Mind Shaping:

This is all about instilling Islamic values and disciplining the mind. It is interesting that many psychological diseases are controlled through mind disciplining, like OCD or addictions. Cognitive therapy is about identifying and changing dysfunctional thoughts.

I am very hopeful and optimistic that insha’Allah with Islam as our guide and psychology as our tool, we can control spiritual and social damages caused by sexual prevalence in our societies.

Forming our children’s mindsets from a young age is not only appropriate Islamically, but it’s also the perfect time to start shaping and training their minds to being pure, focused, and free from confusion and doubts. When they are given clear explanations about their sexuality in proper detail (without vulgarity), warned in a timely manner what they are up against, provided with the tools on how to tackle the fawahish, and constantly reminded of the virtues of chastity and purity, they are being given ample training to the positive development of their mind disciplining and shaping.

Perhaps, it may be true that the prevalence of porn/sexual addiction among Muslim men is partially contributed by the lack of proper information and upbringing during their youth. It may be that inappropriate and vulgar information about sex builds a wrong perception of sex, sexuality and women in a person’s mind and hence causes serious problems later in their lives.

On the other hand, it maybe that when the communication is kept open from the very beginning and parents continue to be involved in their children’s lives, the mind is trained and shaped in different way. A person is more open to communication, there is no excitement in secrecy, a person finds more comfort in verbalizing emotions than shutting down and retreating to release stress in “discreet” way, and Allah knows best.

Insha’Allah next week we will conclude this series.

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Saba Syed (aka Umm Reem) is the author of International award winning novel, "An Acquaintance." Saba has a BA degree in Islamic Studies. She studied Arabic Language & Literature at Qatar University and at Cairo Institute in Egypt. She also received her Ijaazah in Quranic Hafs recitation in Egypt from Shaikh Muhammad al-Hamazawi. She had been actively involved with Islamic community since 1995 through her MSA, and then as a founding member of TDC, and other community organizations. in 2002, she organized and hosted the very first "Musim Women's Conference" in Houston, TX. Since then, she's been passionately working towards empowering Muslim women through the correct and untainted teachings of Islam. She is a pastoral counselor for marriage & family, women and youth issues. She has hosted several Islamic lectures and weekly halaqas in different communities all over U.S and overseas, also hosted special workshops regarding parenting, Islamic sex-ed, female sexuality, and marital intimacy.



  1. Anonymous

    June 15, 2011 at 12:20 AM

    Jazakallahu khairan for the information, sister. I realize you have more expertise in this area, however I really feel like discussing masturbation and oral+anal sex at the age of 10 is too young. I went to public schools all of my life and didn’t know about masturbating until age 15 (still sad that I had heard it that young of course). I am 22 now so my generation can’t be that drastically different from the current one. I really think that by discussing these issues this young, it will spark their curiosity and may even push them to try something like masturbation.

    I remember when I was that age, my mom had just gotten a laptop with internet for the first time and made it password protected. She remarked to my older sister that she didn’t want me to access sexual websites, porn, etc. Accessing those sinful sites had never even crossed my mind–yet, lo and behold, as I began going on the internet I looked those sites up out of sheer curiosity. Of course, after discovering them, I was deeply disturbed and never went on them again. But this just paints a picture in my mind of what discussing certain issues with someone as young as 10 can really lead to more curiosity and incitement of sinful behavior, rather than deeply reflecting on the issues. It’s just too young an age for that to take place.

    • AnonyMouse

      June 15, 2011 at 1:10 AM

      Trust me… 10 year old kids these days know wayyyyyyyy more than we give them credit for. Kids in kindergarten already start talking about boyfriends and girlfriends.
      A former Madrasah student of mine, who is only 11 years old, was recently discovered to be dating regularly at school. If you think that 10 is too young to talk about certain aspects of sex education, then you need a bit of a wake-up call…

    • Umm Reem

      June 15, 2011 at 1:13 AM

      JazakAllah khair for ur feedback sister.

      I think discussing them in a educational way will not trigger curiosity rather it will help kill the curiosity. Pre-teen/teens become curious when they don’t get the answers they are looking for and don’t know the evils of certain actions.

      10 is a suggested age, esp. because of what I am reading about sex-ed in schools and because of our hyper sexualized society. Kids learn from other kids also, neighbors/friends. I don’t think homeschooled kids need to know about this until later.

      You mentioned you yourself went out of curiosity anyways even after your parents password protected the computer. Some kids try other people’s computers if they don’t find access at home. Alhamdullialh, you never went again, but others may and find more vulgar stuff, read and experiment. But if they are told and are encouraged to ask then not only it reduces the curiosity but they also learn the “islamic” answers to their queries, they get sufficient warnings about the limits of Allah and consequences of falling into heinous sins.

      I have said it again and again, I would rather teach my children a little early than risking them learning a vulgar version somewhere else.

      • Anonymous

        June 15, 2011 at 7:07 PM

        Yes, I see what you mean. I guess I just feel like if they’ve never heard about it, why bring it up at that early of an age. But I see that you are saying to bring it up with the assumption they’ve heard about it already. I remember people in kindergarten having boyfriends and girlfriends, but never do I remember anyone remotely discussing masturbation. SubhanAllah, perhaps kids really are learning things earlier and earlier as the years go by.

  2. AnonyMouse

    June 15, 2011 at 12:57 AM

    Masha’Allah, many times over!

  3. n

    June 15, 2011 at 1:33 AM

    this is a sorely needed topic that needed this level of depth in terms of how to educate our children.

    I can’t thank you enough!

  4. Mr R

    June 15, 2011 at 2:37 AM

    While reading your article, i felt reel rolling of my teenage. Parents can’t save their angels from this society. I have been through all these stages myself. And i thank Allah (subhana wa tallah) for blessing me parent who educated me in a very decent yet open way.
    We cant hide anything from pre/ teens now, their curiosity shouldn’t be underestimated,they will find it anyway, but it wont be what parents want them to know. They have the power to know it by themselves because of this internet,which could be very much indecent. And what teens perceive in their minds at this age is hard to change unless they experience it themselves so parents should opt for educating their children about sex-ed before anyone. This article is must for parents and to-be. May Allah Reward you for your efforts
    I am a big fan of

  5. Suzan

    June 15, 2011 at 5:16 AM

    JAK sister, I also can’t thank you enough! This is such a difficult topic to approach with our children and it’s essential we do so in an open, yet decent, way. I will be referring to your article and all the examples and references when it’s time to have this talk with our children. This is so needed, may you receive maximum reward for your niyyah and efforts!

  6. AbuMarjaan

    June 15, 2011 at 8:37 AM

    أسلام عليكم

    As a parent ,I understand that I may not be able to shield my children from all the evil things they would come across in their life.But I hope I will be able to teach them how to protect themselves from the evil .

    This series was an eye opener on how to approach this sensitive subject.

    Once again my sincere thanks to the author and muslimmatters.

  7. Aly Balagamwala

    June 15, 2011 at 8:40 AM


    Jazak’Allah Khairin Umm Reem for your wonderful series. Parents in Pakistan never educate their children on Sex-Ed and neither do schools. Up to the point that some people can reach the age where they are getting married and never really officially educated on Sex. The only source is friends, books, porn, and other such avenues.

    This is a disturbing thing and with the rise of the internet and easy-access info this also dangerous. Masturbation and porn is definitely a big problem among teens and even some case of homosexuality when curiosity comes into play. Increasingly in Pakistan the trend of dating has grown and even pre-marital sex is on the rise (May Allah protect our youth). In my days it wasn’t so bad but the youth in those days headed to college (in the west) would proudly talk about their girlfriends and their sexual exploits (some real, some exaggerated).

    Unfortunately, now it is common for middle-school children in the urban areas to be “with someone”. And the trend is regressing from “holding hands” to increase in sexual exploration.

    Sometimes I think that some parents are totally clueless on how to educate their children on sex. And indeed it is a thorny subject that requires good communication channels to already exist between you and your child. If your child thinks of you as just an authority figure who dictates and dominates then even if you do approach the subject they will tend to head towards the forbidden just because you said not to. However, if you are a partner in your child’s life s/he will come to you for guidance and advice for all things including sex.

    May Allah make us all great parents to our children and teach them the proper deen and how to live life as it is meant to be lived. Aameen.

    PS: I still have 7 more years to get ready for “the talk”. Lot of time to prepare Insha’Allah.

    • Umm Reem

      June 16, 2011 at 1:21 AM

      I went to Karachi a few months ago after 16 years and I was shocked!

      Similar situation exist in Middle east also (i’m sure it is worse in Dubai). I do believe that it is a topic of discussion everywhere and not only west, unfortunately though western parents are more open to the idea than most eastern parents….there is a lot of work to be done.

      Elementary schools are still “safe”, problems start at middle school here too. My son gets to hear a lot of things from other students but alhamdullialh he tells me everything. Homosexuality is common in same-gender schools. 40% locals here have pre-marital relationships (i forgot where i read that statistics)

      People are free in western schools/compounds and pretty much everything is allowed in hotels. There are still some restrictions in public places but sometimes niqaab is “abused”!

      It is sad that the protected environment doesn’t exist anymore anywhere. Sometimes I want to keep my kids home for the rest of their lives!

  8. N/A

    June 15, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    As-salaamu alaykum,

    In all of these articles you have dealt with what should be taught, but what should a child do if the parent is not informing them of this stuff. i remember being asked by some one only a few years younger than me if they should take this class and i said no but what if their parents dont teach them? if you are pretty sure the parent wont do the explaining what kind of response are you supposed to give in this situation.

    • N/A

      June 17, 2011 at 8:41 AM

      can someone respond to this?

  9. Sidiq

    June 15, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    Whilst masturbation is clearly not a praiseworthy act, it is not impermissible. Why didn’t Ibn Abbas forbid the young male from committing this act? Is there concrete proof for the claim that a person who engages with it is sinful?

    • just a Student of sacred texts

      June 15, 2011 at 7:39 PM

      Salam alaikum wa rahmatullah brother,

      I understand that perhaps some saying this are simply re-stating a position that was said to them by someone who they consider influential; but in all honesty – while the matter my have some ikhtilaf – that saying being used as proof is almost shocking (if not laughable, forgive me).

      Please remember that for something to be proscribed (haram), there has never been a stipulation of coming across clear cut (qati’ie) texts – however evidences which indicate something, deduced by scholars , is sufficicent – according to the concensus of ulama over the centuries.

      The agreed upon principle is that the Quran and Sunnah – even if general/absolute (aam/mutlaq) cannot be overridden by an isolatory statement of a companion – especially if other opposing views amongst sahabah existed.

      In this particular case we have an all encompassing ayah that was cited by Al-shafi’ (and the majority of scholars as well) “..and those who protect their private parts except from their wives and their female bondservants -then for such they will not be blameworthy” – this was the citation by the majority of the fuqaha of Islam, including al-shafi.

      That cannot be overridden by an incident which, I’m sure you will agree, can have a range of reasons for why ibn Abbas didn’t tell him it was haram; including the man knowing it; including him thinking the man feared in the most serious sense falling into zina immenently; including him having even forgotten (a companion is not infallible and free form forgetting in an isolated incident)!;
      Please remember the man came thinking he had done wrong – so he most likely was aware.

      None of that is sufficient for a person to confidently cast aside the position of the majority of ulama as derived from the Quran and sunnah. And bear in mind that no one will have more rahmah on you than the Prophet sallahu alaihi wa sallam would have: his instruction was to fast – which is harder than this act. Had it been permissible he would have given us both options.

      Finally, you know the command: leave that which makes you doubt for that which doesn’t. Sin will waver in your chest if there is faith there. And whoever leaves that which has real doubt in it, has made his deen safe before his Lord.

      Allah knows best

      • Sidiq

        June 16, 2011 at 7:14 AM

        None of what you said is concrete evidence unfortunately, I know the principles of Fiqh, and the scholars’ opinion is not automatically correct by virtue of their majority status, it is still an interpretation as I’m sure you know. I would like to see evidence that the companions regarded masturbation sinful please if you claim you have some. There needs to be doubt-removing concrete evidence.

        • just a Student of sacred texts

          June 16, 2011 at 8:13 PM

          Ya salam,

          My brother that is the point that was being offered – who said that there has be concrete solid proof that something is haram, for it to be deemed so?

          This is not in accordance with the principles of fiqh at all, my brother.

          Jazakallah khairan

          Wassalam alaikum wa rahmatullah

          • Sidiq

            June 16, 2011 at 10:06 PM


            Of course there needs to be clear evidence, otherwise it remains an ikhtilaafi point. If you’re denying that this is an ikhtilaafi matter you have to provide concrete proof. I don’t see any evidence which makes me believe that it is haram, especially since there is no ijmaa.

          • F

            June 16, 2011 at 10:51 PM

            Not that I support Sidiq’s stance on masturbation but for any acts of non-worship there needs to be an injunction declaring it haram. Otherwise it is halal.

            Now of course, we are all debating how clear this injunction has to be.

      • be

        June 17, 2011 at 1:04 PM

        Assalam Alaikum
        i remember reading the book of the greatest sin in Islam (el kabaeer) 16 years ago (i was 15 y) and I recall reading a chapter on masturbation and how haram it was. That the day of judgement “the hand will come “pregnant”” etc…. Understand it the way you want ..i am so sorry i can’t give you the exact details of the books but it really “struck” me ..elhamdoulleh for that!!

        But on a side note I have a friend who is non practicing as well as her husband day she told me that at the beginning of their marriage they needed to go to see a therapist to help them because her husband could not “perform” the act with her; and it took many months and medications for him to be able to do so…. She told me he used to masturbate for a long time that is why he did not feel the the urge, need and at the end the capacity to do it the proper way….

        I don’t mean to be too descriptive or even vulgar (I apologize if I bothered anyone) here but I just want to give you food for thoughts …it does have consequences and not often good ones….
        My friend who use to roll over her eyes on hallal-haram matters ; when I told her that masturbation is haram she said “oh yeah that is not good einh!? LOL..!

  10. Afeez Womiloju

    June 16, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    Salam Sidiq, if that verse of the Qur’an is not explicit enough to prohibit masturbation then Ibn Abas’ action /inaction is nowhere near justifying it. If this is the case, we need to resort to the clear Sunnahs and commonsense, the Prophet encouraged us to hasten toward marriage and to fast if we’re incapable. No doubt these things ward off evil and carry alot of benefit for truly sincere believers. I don’t think masturbation has done me any good in my life, and many muslims are giving the same complaint. Since no Qur’anic verse or Hadith to just it, then it’s doubt we stay clear. And from sharing, experience and commonsense, for me it’s an evil.
    And Allah knows best.

    • Sidiq

      June 16, 2011 at 10:11 PM


      I don’t need to provide any evidence for the permissibility of masturbation, the burden of proof is for the person who claims that it is haram to prove it beyond doubt.

      • just a Student of sacred texts

        June 17, 2011 at 5:22 PM

        My brother, you said:

        Of course there needs to be clear evidence, otherwise it remains an ikhtilaafi point. If you’re denying that this is an ikhtilaafi matter you have to provide concrete proof. I don’t see any evidence which makes me believe that it is haram, especially since there is no ijmaa.

        The reality habeebi is that there is some incoherence in that statement; or perhaps it was a slip of your pen inshalllah.

        Let us start by clarifying that if a difference of opinion existed within the fuqaha of Islam and persisted – then no matter how clear cut and concrete the proof appears – the ikhtilaf is still an ikhtilaf. (ie clear cut proof doesn’t remove the fact that there had occured, and possibly still exists, an ikhtilaf.) The fact that there is an ikhtilaf de facto means that there wasn’t a clear ijma’ on the given issue.

        Second, no one said that there is ijma on this matter. I certainly didn’t, habeebi. I neither denied any ikhtilaf. BUT:

        – The existence of an ikhtilaf, in principle, does not mean that one can do whatever one wants on the issue. that is fact.
        -What is required is for a person to do what they believe is the correct course of action – based on scholarship, Imams, etc.

        That is to say you do what you believe to be correct (or what some call sometimes the stronger opinion [in one’s view]. To come to that conclusion no one has said that it requires concrete proof. In fact the definition of concrete proof even varies from people to people now a days, with some questioning the proscription of mut’ah (because ibn Abbas held an irregular view) and alcohol because it doesn’t say in the Quran it is haram!

        Clear cut (Qat’i) proof is not required, but the burden of proof in the form of the argument should be stronger altogether for it than against it..included in this is the necessity of exercing caution in matters which are known to lead to more seriosu sins, such as watching/looking at haram etc.

        Brother, ultimately, it will waver in your chest. And ‘sin is what wavers in the heart, and what you wouldn’t want people to know you do’, on the tongue of Nabi sallallahu alaihi wa sallam

        Allah knows best

        • just a Student of sacred texts

          June 17, 2011 at 5:27 PM

          If we were to add a fecetious point brother, one could point out that there even occured a difference of opinion on thie following point: that the basic rule for things is for them to be halal. Some of the ahnaf said the basic rule is that everything is haram, until proven halal. There is no concrete proof to prove otherwise. But there is a much stronger argument to say that, and that is the position of many (if not most) of our ulama.

          As always Allah azza wa jall knows best.


          your brother, who wants an increase in righteousness from me and you both.

  11. o

    June 18, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Re: the discussion on masturbation. This should be investigated more, as some children discover the act of rubbing that area completely on their own (even when they are sheltered from all outside influences) and when prohibited from doing so, resort to doing it in private. In addition, it would seem to me that with sexual images being so prevalent and with marriage partners becoming harder and harder to find, the “totally haraam” approach may not be workable and instead a more nuanced counseling against doing it unless the feeling of tension in that area is overwhelming may have to suffice. It is not ideal, but having dealt with this I don’t see any other alternative.

  12. Londonian

    June 20, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    ‘Alaikum asalaam,

    Masturbation is not fro the makaarim al-akhlaaq (noble actions) according to thos ewho permitted it, such as Ibn Hazm and they held it to be makrooh.

    Imam Ahmad permitted it for soldiers away from their families.

    In this day and age when we are surrounded by a hyper-sexualized society, as the sister points out, and marriage is the only available institution of chastity we recognize, this debate takes on more relevance.

    Ibn Abbas permitted it as a means for the youth to maintain chastity. Yet,once the sexual rge is stimulated, uit may increase rather than decrease. At times, as in Imam Ahmad’s fatwa, it can used for release, as Ibn Al-Qayyim (if I am not mistaken) and others, state that the build-up in the body (without timely release) of semen etc. can cause bodily (physical or mental) harm. And the Shareah seeks to repel harm.

    Yet the prophet, alayhui asalaatu wasalaam, recommended his ummah to marry, or fast and he never mentioned masturbation.

    So, bearing this in mind, it seems that the opinion of those scholars who permitted it in the case of one who feared falling into the major sin of zina, or feared bodily harm, should not be abandoned and relagated to the dustbin of history due to falling out of the majority’s opininion. That was at a time when marriage was relatively uncomplicated, concubinage was customary and people observed Islamic etiquette.

    We live in the West.

    Yes the onus should be on abstention from masturbation as that is closer to the textual evidences and closer to procuring the noble aims of the legislator, but that in itself is a failure to extract the correct ruling for the time and place we live in, if we merely poause there and force people to fit the mold of 4th century Islamic legal verdicts. Yes to the 3rd/4th century methods. No to blindly following that verdict when there is cause to re-examine the issue in light of very different customs and societal circumstances.

    Perhaps the correct hukm would be therefore tahreem (prohibition) except in times of neccessity for a valid Shari’ excuse, and then in a limited manner, much as one would approach alcohol or pork in a life and death situation. And we may say that al-haajaat can take the place of Ad-Daruraat in some cases.

    This would help the youth abstain from zina and not go mental in the process!

    This is a basic suggestion and not an attempt at fatwa. :)

  13. Abu Kamel

    June 21, 2011 at 12:10 AM

    As Salam alaikum

    A timely and poignant article.

    F, the nature of ‘actions’ is to sustain from unless explicitly addressed.
    The nature of “things” is halal unless otherwise addressed.

    And Allah knows best.

  14. A_Revert

    June 21, 2011 at 4:30 AM

    Assalaamu Alaykum,

    I guess, as long as Muslim males treat their wives like objects and their children like posessions, there is no use in trying to act like real parents.
    And I realize that there are many Muslims who are being true parents so, the above is not addressed to them.

    However, how could you expect Pakistan or any other so-called Islamic country to be safe for Muslim children when most men wouldn’t hesitate to kill or abuse their own wives or daughters?

    Everytime I read some sick and twisted writing from our own so-called religious leaders, it makes me want to bring up my breakfast.

    Let us acknowledge what is out there, think about what we did wrong, be honest, open and frank with our kids and other young ones as well as our partenrs; let us truely and sincerely ask Allah for His help and let us refrain from making Haram that which is not haram and making Halal that which is Haram.


  15. Londonian

    June 28, 2011 at 8:55 PM


    Surely your name should be A_Mindless_Troll, as that reflects your racist and gratuitously anti-Islamic sentiment more accurately.

  16. Ali

    July 5, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    And what are movies with decent content? All movies are haram, as you are exposed to the face of the opposite sex.

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