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What’s the Matter? Masturbation Addict

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Assalamu alaykum.
I want to ask this: will Allah pardon my sins even if I repeat it again and again after a tawbah? I also want to let you know that since the day I was born (as a Muslim) I was never interested in fully applying, practicing or studying Islam until 2011 when I really felt the emptiness in me, so I don’t really understands Islam YET. My situation is that I’ve been struggling to stop my masturbating addiction. Once I stopped for a week, then did it again. Feeling guilty, then I stopped again and did it once or twice in another week. I stayed like this for around 4 or 5 months since the day I decided to stop masturbating. I know that masturbating (self-sex, etc) is Haram/forbidden and has no good… I really, really wanted to stop, but it’s so hard! What I fear the most is the thought that Allah has locked my heart and put me way from the Right Path, sirat’l-mustaqim …


Wa alaikomos salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu,

First, I would like to commend you for recognizing your shortcoming and seeking help.  It’s not easy to admit when you have a weakness –  it actually takes a lot of strength.  With the number of people writing in and asking about this same issue I want you to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  Many people suffer silently due to their addiction to masturbation. The fact that you have been able to stop it for 4-5 months is very good progress masha’Allah.  In order to take control of this habit completely you need to make certain adjustments.


Everything that you do is driven by one of 2 principles:  to seek pleasure or to avoid pain.  Therefore; you need to link as much pain as you can to the behavior that you want to end (masturbation).  Ask yourself what will it cost you as far your self-esteem, spirituality and self-control if you were to give in to your addiction?  How will it negatively affect your relationships either now or in the future?  How will you feel about yourself if you succumbed to your lust?  As you reflect on the answers to all these questions, you will start creating a negative association to the act.  The stronger the emotions, the more effective it will be.

Then, you need to create a lot of positive association to your desired goal:  stopping the masturbation.  Reflect on how you will feel about yourself if you constantly demonstrated self-control & self-leadership. How would you feel spiritually knowing that you are giving up your lust for the sake of Allah? How will your relationships enhance once you are no longer addicted?  As you reflect on all the benefits of stopping you will increase your self-control and motivation.


On a physiological level the mind becomes easily addicted to the epinephrine (Adrenaline) and serotonin that is released during sexual arousal and orgasm that it is as addictive as heroine.  With each act the addiction becomes stronger and stronger until masturbation is not only as a means of satisfying sexual curiosity, but also as an out let for other emotions such as boredom, anxiety, fear and loneliness.   This is when it can totally take over your life since it becomes your first line of defense in alleviating negative emotions.  It’s important to realize that the strong craving that you have, like many other physiological impulses, are shaped like a bell curve.  You need to learn to ride out the craving because it is not going to last forever.  If you wait long enough the craving will go away and you will gain control over your impulses.  This is easier said than done, but with enough persistence & positive conditioning it is possible.

Practical Advice

  1. Avoid loneliness & boredom
  2. Keep yourself busy
  3. Stay proactive by volunteering your time
  4. Exert your energy through exercise
  5. Seek the company of righteous friends that can be a positive influence on you and your iman.
  6. Put a content filter on your computer with a complicated override password that you have to look up (or have your friend set the password)  and have the history of your searches sent to a trusted, respected friend who can support you through accountability.
  7. Avoid watching or listening to anything sexual
  8. Pray to Allah to strengthen you

Spiritual strength

Know that regardless of the mistakes you make the door of repentance is always open and Allah is all Forgiving.  The fact that you are striving to improve yourself is admirable and Allah not only sees your struggle but rewards you each time you control your impulses. Think the best of Allah and be sure that He would not seal your heart when you are striving to be better.  Strengthen your bond with Allah by praying  and asking Him to remove this addiction and help you to overcome your weakness.  I pray that you can keep your new commitment to Allah knowing that He will not abandon you just because you get weak from time to time.

If you have a question for our counselors, please submit here.

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Haleh Banani has a Master degree in Clinical Psychology with 20 years of experience working with couples and individuals. She was a featured expert on Al-Jazeera international, Huda TV, Islamic Open University, Mercy Mission and Bayinnah TV. Haleh is an instructor for Ilmflix and Qalam Institute. She is an international speaker and writer.



  1. Avatar


    January 30, 2014 at 6:32 AM

    Wow Haleh Banani, a woman answering about “self-pleasure” by a man lol, are you even aware of human biology and male carnal desires, do you even know how old the asker is?so how can you give advice, when you don’t even know what it’s like to be a young single male with raging hormones in a sexually charged society, and you haven’t even cited any verse in the Quran that forbids it, it’s just that you assumed “touching yourself=zina” hence it’s “haraam”.

    Using examples from “back in the time”, is irrelevant and ignorant because back in the 7th century and even up until a few decades ago, people used to get married as soon as they hit puberty, they didn’t need to wait that long to get married unlike people of my generation, where legally can’t get married until 18 and parents don’t wan their sons to get married until their late 20s, unfortunately Salafists never think about present times or how much our world has changed, 7th century Arabia was even more sexually liberal than Muslims of our times, with their multiple wives,multiple concubines, and they start at age 12.

    So my advice to the asker would be, watching porn and masturbating isn’t haraam if you look at the current circumstances of the world, the last people you would want to take advice from would be Salafist women, who wouldn’t be happy until all men are castrated and we no longer hold carnal desires, they don’t want us to be human.

    Every time I see a mullah give “advice” about such things, especially female mullahs, it makes me cringe because of their sheer ignorance and repulsiveness of anything related to carnal desires.

    • Avatar

      Young Muslim Male

      January 30, 2014 at 8:37 AM

      ^I’m a young Muslim male and I believe your comment is extremely bogus and irrelevant. You accuse the author for not using Qur’anic verses while you yourself make such a big verdict and ruling (that I have never heard from any scholar in my life). What your suggesting is complete utter nonsense, porn and masturbation kills people from the inside. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. #SincereAdvice

      • Avatar


        January 30, 2014 at 6:34 PM

        do you have an alternative?or are you already married to your under-age cousin in the middle east, so you don’t really know the struggle.

      • Avatar

        The Questioner

        March 26, 2014 at 10:11 AM

        Assalamuaalaikuum.. I’m the one who ask this Question..
        alhamdulillah it really helps me to get through the situation i have…

        Keep up the good work, Sister/Ukh Haleh Banani. Of course it is okay to help “male problems” even tho You’re a woman. It’s about what was said not who said, what you know not who knows, I believe so.

        Thank you so much for the response. May Allah guide all of us to the good, Aameen :)

    • Hena Zuberi

      Hena Zuberi

      January 30, 2014 at 2:51 PM

      This is Sr. Haleh’s response to Koshur_Muslim’s comment (she will be on here to respond to any comments soon inshaAllah, we are having a little tech issue):

      “Being a behavioral therapist for the past 15 years and working with clients – both male and female – has given me the experience in helping people change their behavior. I have had numerous of men with this same addiction who were able to take control using these very techniques that you ridicule. One client used to watch porn & masturbate over 5 hours a day and through therapy he reduced it to only once a month. There is a psychological aspect to any addiction which can be overcome with the proper guidance & motivation. I did not pass any Islamic verdict on the act because I don’t have the qualifications to give any form of fatwa.

      Before you start promoting these acts look at what experts & researchers say about excessive porn & masturbation:

      Realize that the questioner is asking for help to stop a behavior. I am not enforcing this change- I am simply giving him the tools to overcome what HE FEELS is a lack of control & feelings of guilt

      For the record there is nothing wrong with carnal desires – it’s actually healthy and fulfilling if it is within the right boundaries of marriage. Non-Muslim marriage experts & psychologists discourage porn & masturbation for how it negatively affects the self-esteem along with future marital relationship so it’s not exclusively a Muslim opinion.”

      • Avatar


        January 30, 2014 at 6:28 PM

        The therapist in this blog didn’t mention addiction to porn, she was implying that watching porn in general is “haraam”.

        If somebody has an addiction, then it’s really bad and they should seek help, however the “therapist” in this blog was telling the asker that he was “sinning”!

      • Avatar


        January 30, 2014 at 6:31 PM

        I don’t promote these acts, but I promote humanity, and having carnal desires is human.

        • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          January 31, 2014 at 4:20 AM

          Dear Koshur_Muslim

          Carnal desire is human and halal. Fulfilling that desire in an avenue that is not allowed is haram. Porn is watching men/women with their entire awrah exposed, possibly engaging in acts of a sexual nature. How do you deem that as halal?

          *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

        • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          January 31, 2014 at 5:10 AM

          Masturbation can be a tough habit to kick, especially if one is engaging in it multiple times a day or even week. Having worked with young men in a mentorship role, I have advised a couple to overcome this habit over the years. According to them this helped.

          In those days computers had almost replaced print as the medium of choice and my advise was to keep it always in a public place but now with technology becoming so mobile that is no longer an option.

          Sister Haleh’s list of practical advice is on the spot. I just wanted to add another suggestion I made to them:

          Every time you feel the urge, get up and start walking while making any type of zikr. Chances are initially your nafs and Shaytan will be on you full time to try steer you back to “fulfilling your needs”. You will give in and masturbate. After you purify yourself pray two rakat of nafl and ask Allah for repentance and the will to fight the urge.

          Keep doing this and slowly you will in sha Allah start feeling embarrassed to stand in front of Allah yet again. It will reduce in frequency and then instead of just doing zikr at the time of urge, make wudu and pray the two rakat nafl. Standing in front of Allah in prayer will kill the urge.

          Like any “addiction” it will be hard and even after a while you will feel the urge. The more you fight the stronger you will get in sha Allah.

          May Allah help all of us fight our addictions and vices.

          Best Regards

          • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            January 31, 2014 at 5:11 AM

            Oh and get married … you will have a halal outlet for your desires in sha Allah.

          • Avatar


            January 31, 2014 at 2:33 PM

            Male carnal desires are at it’s peak in our teenage years, it’s illegal for somebody under 18 to get married, and like I said above most Muslim guys(under pressure from parents and personal reasons) don’t get married until their late 20s/early 30s, when their financially independent and can provide for a family.

            How will you tell a 16 year old kid not to masturbate?There isn’t an alternative, when in “back in the day” guys that old would already have a couple children.

            The problem with the “ummah” is that we don’t interpret the Quran into contemporary contexts and look at the circumstances that affect the Muslims of today, of this generation, that don’t have access to those “halal outlets”.

          • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            February 1, 2014 at 12:15 PM

            Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 4:

            Narrated ‘Abdullah:
            We were with the Prophet while we were young and had no wealth whatever. So Allah’s Apostle said, “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power.”

            So there is an alternate available Alhamdulillah for controlling your desire.

            And remember the Quran says:
            “But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from [unlawful] inclination,Then indeed, Paradise will be [his] refuge.” (79:40-41)

          • Avatar


            February 1, 2014 at 6:10 PM

            Br. Aly,
            I think the hadith cited there referring to youth MUST be seen in
            the context Br. Koshur Muslim described: that of a society where young marriage was the norm. Therefore the Prophet was speaking to a particular group of poor young Muslims or a few others like people with deformities, etc. who were exceptions and whose proposals would not be accepted. Further, even for the vast majority of these folks the wait would be a short time until they made some money or even got help from the Prophet, other sahaba, bait ul maal, etc.

            This can not be applied to the youth of today. Their circumstances are completely different. It’s not like we’re just asking them to fast for a few years till they turn 18 or that the community is helping them get married. We’re asking them to wait until early twenties(if they’re lucky and family they’re proposing to is not money obsessed) or in many cases into mid or late twenties.

            In this environment especially it is absurd bro, to just tell them to fast. They are not even really “youth” at that point. Are they going to fast for a decade or 15 years? Again, this isn’t as MUCH of a problem for women because THEY can marry those older guys at age 19,20 or whatever.

            Perversions will be inevitable if these desires are totally suppressed. Isn’t that the same reason celibacy is haraam? What we are dealing here is much more like an extended if temporary celibacy rather than what youth during the prophets time dealt with. Again, remember you’re asking these men to avoid even masturbation for 10-15 years. Dude, these poor guys heads are gonna explode.

            Bro these kids have GOT to catch a break man. Status quo is not working. Either we need younger marriage and to convince Muslim parents not to put emphasis on wealth, a decent job that provides the basics should be enough,or something man. Banning everything and telling them to fast for like 10-15 years? Dude,that is so not gonna happen. Its fantasy.

          • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            February 2, 2014 at 12:16 PM

            Bro these kids have GOT to catch a break man. Status quo is not working. Either we need younger marriage and to convince Muslim parents not to put emphasis on wealth, a decent job that provides the basics should be enough,or something man.

            You answered your own comment in this….

          • Avatar


            February 4, 2014 at 12:01 AM

            Br. Aly,
            What do you suggest they do until this ideal of girls/womens families or they themselves decide that men w/o degrees YET who show promise for the future and can provide basics now are good marriage material? Bro, you know in our cultures 99% of men will be laughed out of house if they went for khasgari without some college degree, or tons of money in the bank from inheritance or business…preferably professional degree. This has about as much chance as happening any time soon as the men deciding they don’t care about looks anymore. What should they do till then?

          • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            February 4, 2014 at 12:23 AM

            “Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. “Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.” (2:286)

          • Avatar


            February 4, 2014 at 2:28 AM

            Br. Aly,
            The question is whether we are placing an undue burden on OURSELVES by making haraam what Allah did not. Various ayah about bani Israel making it hard on themselves through excessive detailing,questioning and nitpicking come to mind. The position of most Hanafi and Hanbali scholars is that it is makruh or permitted…So are we making it even harder for the youth in our community on top of the many restrictions and challenges they already face?

          • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            February 8, 2014 at 1:58 AM

            But wouldn’t it be better to make the clearly halal (ie marriage) easier than making the doubtful (at best makruh) easier?

            *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

          • Avatar


            February 9, 2014 at 10:15 PM

            Yes brother, it would be better. But what are odds of parents, especially immigrant parents, accepting younger marriage where guy does not have a degree yet…just a job to get by and provide the basics and pay the bills? You are south asian brother, and you know how our communities…Afghan, Arab, Pakistani, Indian..whatever, are with this. What should these guys do until this change occurs? Judging by how slowly if ever things change among Muslims, there will be no change. Status quo goes on.

            I am taking my position out of mercy and pity for these young men…not because I think it’s a great activity to be encouraged and extolled. I would definitely warn them to engage in it as little as possible…to literally treat it like relieving themselves and then go back to life. I’d also warn them that doing it too frequently WILL lead to issues later like premature ejaculation and end up causing intimacy problems with unsatisfied wives when they do get married. I feel for them though man…again, unlike women who can atleast choose to marry the older guys, these guys do not have options. There is no choice or outlet for them whatsoever…and look what they are surrounded by, even in most Muslim nations nowadays. Have you seen Arab or Pakistani music channels lately?

          • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            February 9, 2014 at 11:03 PM

            I get your drift, and yes it is a problem of utmost importance to change the culture. I know the environment in Pakistan as I live there and our youth is increasingly attracted by the western concepts of “freedom” and free mingling and values are starting to erode.

            You are correct about excessive masturbation causing problems as I know of people who have confided their need to continue masturbation as they are unable to either get the same satisfaction through sex or are unable to get enough as they are used to a high frequency of “release” that practically married life with kids and jobs etc does not allow.

            I see some practicing families starting a trend to encourage early marriage but again it is not widespread and the opposite is happening for the general populace. It is indeed a big fitna and a topic for scholars to look into.


            *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

          • Avatar


            February 9, 2014 at 11:54 PM

            Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

            Those strange, weird moments where I happen to wholeheartedly agree with Zai because of principles…….

            “Br. Aly,
            The question is whether we are placing an undue burden on OURSELVES by making haraam what Allah did not. Various ayah about bani Israel making it hard on themselves through excessive detailing,questioning and nitpicking come to mind. The position of most Hanafi and Hanbali scholars is that it is makruh or permitted…So are we making it even harder for the youth in our community on top of the many restrictions and challenges they already face?”

            Even I don’t declare it halal or haram and it’s something I don’t practice.

            I say, some said it was halal, others said it was haram, and others said it was in the middle. What Allah and His Messenger have said suffices.

            Ibn Majah reported that Salman said that Allah’s Messenger was asked about butter, cheese and fur. He said:

            «الْحَلَالُ مَا أَحَلَّ اللهُ فِي كِتَابِهِ، وَالْحَرَامُ مَا حَرَّمَ اللهُ فِي كِتَابِهِ، وَمَا سَكَتَ عَنْهُ فَهُوَ مِمَّا عَفَا عَنْه»

            The allowed is what Allah has allowed in His Book and the prohibited is what Allah has prohibited in His Book. What He has not mentioned is a part of what He has pardoned.

            Of course, what Allah’s Messenger has prohibited is like what Allah aza wa jal prohibited and those who claim to follow the Quran only are in fact disbelievers!!! So let no one misunderstand the above hadith……


            يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَسْأَلُواْ عَنْ أَشْيَآءَ إِن تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ

            O you who believe! Ask not about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble.

            Imam Ahmad recorded that `Ali said, “When this Ayah was revealed,

            وَللَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَـعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً

            And Hajj to the House is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can bear the journey(3:97) they asked, `O Allah’s Messenger! Is it required every year’ He did not answer them, and they asked again, `Is it every year’ He still did not answer them, so they asked, `Is it every year’ He said,

            «لَا، وَلَوْ قُلْتُ: نَعَمْ لَوَجَبَتْ وَلَوْ وَجَبَتْ لَمَا اسْتَطَعْتُم»

            No, and had I said `yes’, it would have become obligated, and had it become obligated, you would not be able to bear it. Allah sent down,

            يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لاَ تَسْأَلُواْ عَنْ أَشْيَآءَ إِن تُبْدَ لَكُمْ تَسُؤْكُمْ

            O you who believe! Ask not about things which, if made plain to you, may cause you trouble.” At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah also recorded this Hadith.

            From Ibn Kathir:

            A Hadith states,

            «أَعْظَمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ جُرْمًا مَنْ سَأَلَ عَنْ شَيْءٍ لَمْ يُحَرَّمْ، فَحُرِّمَ مِنْ أَجْلِ مَسْأَلَتِه»

            (The worst criminal among the Muslims is he who asks if a matter is unlawful (or not), and it becomes unlawful because of his asking about it.)

            It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said,

            «ذَرُونِي مَا تَرَكْتُكُمْ، فَإِنَّمَا أَهْلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ كَثْرَةُ سُؤَالِهِمْ وَاخْتِلَافُهُمْ عَلَى أَنْبِيَائِهِم»

            Leave me as I have left you, those before you were destroyed because of many questions and disputing with their Prophets.
            An authentic Hadith also states,

            «أَنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى فَرَضَ فَرَائِضَ فَلَا تُضَيِّعُوهَا، وَحَدَّ حُدُودًا فَلَا تَعْتَدُوهَا، وَحَرَّمَ أَشْيَاءَ فَلَا تَنْتَهِكُوهَا، وَسَكَتَ عَنْ أَشْيَاءَ رَحْمَةً بِكُمْ غَيْرَ نِسْيَانٍ فَلَا تَسْأَلُوا عَنْهَا»

            Allah, the Most Honored, has ordained some obligations, so do not ignore them; has set some limits, so do not trespass them; has prohibited some things, so do not commit them; and has left some things without rulings, out of mercy for you, not that He forgot them, so do not ask about them.


            So, some say it’s halal, others say it is haram, others say it is somewhere in the middle. I say-whatever Allah and His Messenger have said suffices us and-

            An Nawwas ibn Sam’an, reported that the Messenger of Allah said:

            “Al-Bir (piety and righteousness) entails good conduct, while Al-Ithm (evil) is that which crosses your mind and which you hate for people to find out about”

            Also, Wabisah ibn Ma’bad said: “I came to the Messenger of Allah , who then said:

            “You came to ask about Al-Bir?’ I said “Yes.” He said. “Seek the answer in your heart! Al- Bir is that which your inner self feels good about, and that which your heart feels good about. Al-Ithm is that (evil thought) which crosses your mind and which is persistent (as being evil) in your inner-self, even if the people give you a Fatawa, time and again allowing what you feel unease about”

            And let the issue end!

    • Avatar


      March 11, 2015 at 7:10 AM

      it is the Satan that made you tkink like that…..masturbation is haram and prohibited in Islam.

    • Avatar

      Sara Moasic

      February 9, 2016 at 6:20 PM

      k, this kid is obviously some dumbass tryna troll this place, for any new person here, tbh, personally I wouldn’t say masturbation is haraam because I have never seen proof like this guy said (that’s not to say that I commend the action either) but the view on watching porn is COMPLETELY unfounded.

      You are supposed to guard your gaze, lookit up I don’t remember who said it exactly but, I think it was Ali (ra) with the Prophet (saw) who were walking and Ali glances at a woman, looks away, then glances again. The Prophet (saw) tells him, that first glance you were not accountable for, but the second one you were. Yeah obviously humans have natural desires and we are definitely not punished for them (like the first glance). That’s TOTALLY besides the point of this article though, and the lady does not deny these basic and undeniable human needs WHATSOEVER in her advice, rather she shows a way to deal with those “carnal desires” which not only doesn’t (at least from what I saw) contradict any Islamic teachings, but seems to be supported by some (like how he should not have taken that second glance).
      Islam teaches us to submit to the commandments of Allah, that is basically the point of life, so if it is made known that one is to lower their gaze from the opposite sex WHILE THEY ARE CLOTHED, how in the hell could you POSSIBLY begin to even think to excuse porn as being something that is okay to watch…? Watching basic porn is proven to be wrong with only this proof (and there’s probably others I don’t know/can’t remember rn), and it seems that generally people tend to move onto more disturbing genres like rape porn which is wrong on so many levels. The only person who would come up with an argument in defense of porn-watching is someone who is more or less devoid of Islamic knowledge besides the snippets heard here and there, many, if not all, of which were probably not checked as to their authenticity or if it’s even knowledge from Islam at all and not just some cultural or media quip. And said person who is devoid of knowledge should hold their tongue from passing judgement or advice until they have knowledge.

      Point is Mr. Koshur_Muslim, I don’t know if you’re tryna troll or if you really are just ignorant of the situation. If you’re being a troll, come on buddy, about time to give this stuff up and get a life, and if you really believe in what you’re saying, then I advise you two things:
      1. Rethink your beliefs and research them, find out if this is really based in Islam or if it’s just something you say in order to defend your actions. If you truly believe this and consider yourself a muslim, know that you are wrong in some aspects. If you are genuine in your belief that you are a muslim and that you want to practice Islam correctly, I want you to know that I love you for the sake of Allah and I ask Allah guide you (and anyone else reading this) to the right mindset. I understand where you are coming from, humans are not perfect and we are not expected to be perfect in Islam, in fact it is explicitly stated that if we were perfect, we would have been replaced by others who are not perfect, who make mistakes and then ask for forgiveness for those mistakes. Allah loves us, He is Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem, Ar-Rauf, Al-Wadud. He loves when we turn back to Him in repentance, He is At-Tawaab, He is both al-Ghafoor and al-Ghaffaar. He is the one who pardoned the man who killed one hundred people because of an intention, He is the one who says (in ayah 53 of az-Zumar; paraphrased by me) “Say to my slaves who have transgressed beyond their bounds, do not despair in the Mercy of Allah, Verily Allah forgives sins in groups…” the ayah Ali (ra) said is the most encompassing verse of Allah, that Ibn Mas3ud said This’s the most easing verse in the Quran, that Ash-shawkaani said Thiss the most hopeful verse in the quran, and I think others have said similar things; why? Because it’s mentioning Allahs mercy, not to the infallible angels who are completely obedient and do not make mistakes but to those who have commited sins, and not just any sins, sinners with utmost crimes who’ve transgressed beyond their boundaries, committed evil deeds, evil sins, despair not in the Mercy of Allah, Allah forgives all sins. He is the one who forgives over and over and over AND OVER again, if you do a sin go back to Allah, it doesn’t matter if you do the sin 1 time 10 times 100 times 1,000,000 times, always turn back to Allah in repentance and do not despair in His Mercy. If a sahaba does a double take at a woman in the presence of the Prophet (saw), one can only imagine what the people are doing today who may not be in the best of environments or surrounded by the best of people, and I would rather not let my imagination run free on that subject. I don’t know your situation exactly of course and I don’t want to sound like some condescending self-righteous holier-than-thou preacher, but at risk of sounding like one, I’m going to say don’t feel bad if you have a problem with any sort of addiction. Different people deal with different difficulties, do not feel any less of a person if you are fighting what you know to be wrong, everyone has their own unique battles to fight and it may be that you get a higher reward than one who does not have to struggle with what you struggle with. If you give up something for the sake of Allah, He will replace it with something much better. A good start to getting free of any sort of addiction is to start gathering knowledge on Islam itself (which would help you in much more than just quitting some addiction) and to make du’a (I don’t want to make this any longer than it already is, but many neglect du’a and it is absolutely essential to getting what you want in this life and the next) and istighfaar (for whatever wrong you have done, and we’ve all done something we’e not proud of). Regret the past and move on, do not wallow and say “oh what a terrible person I am,” struggle for the sake of Allah. To change start with making du’a and istighfaar and start reading Quran, getting to know the seerah of our Prophet (saw), and finding out about Usool ath-thalaath (the three fundamental principals).

      2. If you don’t have knowledge on a subject, don’t be so accusatory towards those you are arguing against. It will generally make you out to sound a bit foolish and makes you look like a troll. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know something, but if you disagree with someone and want to comment, be respectful when the situation calls for respect.

      Yeah, so in conclusion to my super-long-answer-whoops-didn’t-mean-to-go-on-like-that-but-ya-,-whatevs; to you mister kosher muslim I would say don’t speak without knowledge and try and brush up on some of the core beliefs of your religion, and to you or anyone else struggling against masturbation or any other addiction, make du’a and do not give up hope (which is actually a sin!), don’t be too hard on yourself, Allah is the most merciful, He loves when you turn back to him often and ask for forgiveness (and to repent you gotta make a mistake first), and from what I understand/have experienced, getting more in-depth knowledge on your religion will help shape you to be the person you should be. Learn His names and try to understand them, a heart that truly knows the meaning of Allah could never belittle a sin, learn about the life of your Prophet (saw), set your tawhid, your aqeedah right, and get to know your book. That’s probably the best advice I could give anyone; make du’a and istighfaar, and do your part by gathering knowledge, WAllahu a3lam to all I’ve said and obv if you’ve found a reputable source disproving what I’ve said, go with the reputable source, and anything good I’ve said is from Allah and anything bad I’ve said is from shaitan and/or myself. May Allah guide all those reading this, may He strengthen and make firm our hearts on the right path, may Allah have mercy on us so that we may achieve what we seek and what is good for us and keep us away from evil, may He bless our efforts and make us find the best places to learn from, may He make us die in the highest state of our Iman and elevate you and me to the highest places in jannah. Aaaaameen.

    • Avatar

      Friendly neighbor

      December 29, 2016 at 12:07 PM

      Friend, before you or I speak, it is an absolute rule that we ask if Allah would be pleased by the language we use. Would the Prophet (pbuh) approve of the way I conveyed my message?

  2. Avatar

    Parvez Khan

    January 30, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    @ koshur

    i am quite surprised by your comment and you rejecting a sincere advice. You yourself did not use any verse from the Quran neither prophetic hadith to back up your strange opinion that watching porn is not haram!!

    What happened to your understanding of the verse;

    “Tell the believing men to restrict their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do.” [Quran Surah Nur verse 30]

    Also you critisised the advice of a Muslima on such topics, then what abt the following athar;

    Abu Musa (RA) said: I got up (and went) to ‘A’isha (RA) and sought her permission and it was granted, and I said to her: 0 Mother, or Mother of the Faithful, I want to ask you about a matter on which I feel shy. She said: Don’t feel shy of asking me about a thing which you can ask your mother, who gave you birth, for I am too your mother. Upon this I said: What makes a bath obligatory for a person? She replied: You have come across one well informed! The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: When anyone sits amidst four parts (of the woman) and the circumcised parts touch each other a bath becomes obligatory. ” [sahih muslim]

    I understand that this issue is difficult thats why the Prophet (saw) adviced us to fast, guard our faculties and to keep good company.

    Allah (swt) will not burden us beyond what we can tolerate as implied in the last verse of Surah Al Baqarah

    • Avatar


      January 30, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      Did you even understand what verse 30 of surah Noor means?It’s telling us to be modest and keep chaste, it doesn’t say anything about masturbation.

      • Avatar

        Parvez Khan

        January 31, 2014 at 11:48 AM

        i did not say anything about masturbation. i agree with abu hanifa’s position that its makru.

        but i am surprised that u considered porn as not haram!

        Prophetic teachings direct us to do dua, fast, keep good company, guard our faculties and keep busy in ibada whether its helping one’s parents or studying Islam.

        i hope that clarifies what i stated

    • Avatar

      Arbab Shazan

      January 31, 2014 at 5:25 AM

      Imam Malik R.A. & Imam Shafai R.A. consider masturbation an offense.

      According to Imam Abu Hanifa R.A, it could be performed in order to get escape from sin and Allah would forgive this act.

      Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi opinion same as Imam Abu Hanifa

      Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal regarded semen as an excretion of the body like other excrete and permitted its expulsion as blood letting is permitted. However, the Hanbali jurists permit masturbation only under two conditions: first, the fear of committing fornication or adultery, and second, not having the means to marry.

      Imam Ibn Hazm same as Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal.Hasan al-Basrī, ‘Amr ibn Dīnār, Ziyād Abū al-A‘lā and Mujāhid are also same as Imam Ibn Hazm.

      The above mentioned facts are only to indicate that there is not a consensus among scholars on the issue and so it is not very clear to declare it haram.

      My personal opinion is mastubation can only be allowed under the doctrine of

      “the lesser evil is to be suffered in order to fend off the major one”.

  3. Avatar

    Riz Khan

    January 30, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    It was amazing that the writer did not mention the option of marriage. The most effective solution to masturbation is marriage….simple. Anyhow I liked this article. The advices given in Practical Advice section are good.The most effective advice is practical advice No.4 . Yes exercise can help. join a gym and adopt a workout schedule of at least 45 minutes per day. The effects may not be evident in the beginning but with the passage of time your muscles would build up and your body would start to spend more and more calories. After six months of continued gym exercise you would have a beautiful healthy body and a controlled sex drive. The reason is that the improved muscles tend to spend more and more energy (calories) which helps in giving you a control on your sexual urges. The 8 tips given in Practical Advice section would certainly help someone who really want to improve.

    • Avatar


      January 30, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      Marriage does not solve any masturbation or porn addiction. This is me talking, a wife of an addict. It makes one muslima’s life unhappy. I urge you not to get married until you get over the addiction.
      I wish I could have known about my husband’s addiction before the marriage. Now I don’t trust any one or anything. There are nights that I can’t sleep thinking about my kid’s future. Can’t go back, hard to move forward. What a sorrow!

      • Avatar

        Haleh Banani

        January 30, 2014 at 8:07 PM

        I’m sorry to hear that you are struggling as a wife with your husband’s addiction. I know how hard it must be – you must feel hurt, alienated and frustrated. It’s important to realize that it is nothing personal. Even if you do your best in every way a man with this type of addiction will still resort to masturbation. Try your best to dissociate him from his actions. He simply needs help. I understand that it’s troubling for you, but I want you to also be grateful that it’s only masturbation and not other forms of addiction. I have had many clients who cheat on their spouse or resort to getting prostitutes. Say Alhamdulillah that you don’t have to deal with these bigger issues and pray that your husband can overcome this weakness.

    • Avatar

      Haleh Banani

      January 30, 2014 at 7:51 PM

      Although marriage generally helps with the majority of people, unfortunately it doesn’t alleviate the problem if the person has an addiction. All the clients that I treated for masturbation addiction were married; therefore the addiction needs to be addressed first before marriage or else as you read one of the readers express the addiction will destroy the marriage.

      • Avatar

        Loving Dove

        February 12, 2014 at 2:09 AM

        Dear Sister Haleh, Assalam o alaikum, what if someone is going through excessive depression after a divorce and not being able to get married again as in our culture girls cant get married themselves even if they want to, they have to wait until some proposal comes or someone likes them and as in divorce case no one wants to marry a divorcee if she has a child also. what can someone do if unwantedly they adapt this bad habit. I personally was a person with Strong belifs and knew that this is wrong but adapted it due to someone’s influence but now its impossible to quit as whole day you can avoid it but later in night you are alone. Very disappointed, very guilty but still unable to help recover myself.

  4. Avatar


    January 30, 2014 at 2:19 PM


    I doubt marriage would resolve the issue that easily. Unfortunately, addiction to self-pleasure does not magically vanish into thin air due to marriage. I agree that there are many issues marriage will solve, however, in this instance, it would be more problematic. Umm Reem, in her articles, mentions stories of how porn and masturbation have seriously jeopardized marriages within the Muslim community.

    A few issues that arise are finding the spouse unattractive, unable to sustain pleasure for a period of time, and wishing for “variety.” Furthermore, this is a powerful addiction that resembles the same pull as heroin…it will not be that easy to forgo.

    MashaAllah, excellent advice sister Haleh. It truly is practical. InshaAllah, whoever follows it will be able to escape their deficits.

    I would like to add that I’ve heard of some brothers who had this problem, but were able to escape it by beseeching Allah in tahajjud for his help. If you have the ability, you should definitely attempt this bro.

  5. Avatar


    January 30, 2014 at 10:52 PM

    Some good points about sexual frustration due
    to delayed marriage and lack of alternative outlets for Muslim youth. Especially for men
    because they are more prone to having to wait longer due to financial readiness or
    some Muslims families seeking outright guarantees of wealthy careers.

    Frankly I’d apply the adage “If you make the allowed impermissible you make the impermissible inevitable” to this and talfiq is a mercy to the ummah. Ibn Hanbal’s position was that masturbation is permissible if there is no alternative and forbidden avenues (like porn in the modern day) aren’t used to aid it.

    I think this Hanbali position makes most sense and is most practical today, and
    in fact I think that it’s always been a better position than that of other schools where the equation of
    masturbation to sex outside of marriage has seemed like a weak argument to me. Of course
    like anything else it can get out of control and taken to an extreme, causing intimacy and addiction
    issues later in life.

    • Avatar


      March 26, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      I understand when you say that its not the same for people today. Men dont get married until thier late twenties. Its difficult to restrain yourselves from such sins in this century. But it was exactly for such reasons that Allah promised that he would grant a greater reward to the Muslims of this era, who are able to avoid themselves from sins and do good deeds. It is indeed a difficult time and not the same as it was in the 7th century, but even the rewards are for avoiding sins are greater than they were in the 7th century.

  6. Avatar


    January 31, 2014 at 1:26 AM

    Salaam alaykum sister Haleh,

    Can you explain the definition of what constitutes an addiction masturbation? I guess I’m a little unclear because the questioner calls their problem an addiction but is that a clinical diagnosis? The questioner appears to be doing it one or two times a week without mention of other areas of life being compromised.

    On the religious question, I do follow that it’s prohibited and not makruh, but on the technical discussion of where the questioner’s behavior falls, beyond a guilty conscience for not containing their physical desires, where is the line drawn between casual vs addiction?


    • Avatar

      Haleh Banani

      January 31, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      WA alaikomos salam,
      You bring up an important point. From a psychological perspective it’s not an addiction unless it interferes with your daily life as you said. However; it sounds like the brother was addicted in the past and has overcome most of his addiction and now just feels remorse and fear for falling into the same trap. I addressed it as an addiction since so many people suffer from it. Thank you for your clarification.


  7. Avatar


    January 31, 2014 at 6:04 AM

    Visit this site regularly:
    Read what people write (ignore the haram things).
    I guarantee(!) you this site will help you alot!
    Save it as your bookmark!

  8. Avatar


    January 31, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    For Muslim’s struggling with pornography/masturbation/sex addictions, regardless of how often you access dirty material or “act out” with yourself, there’s a program for us that has been running for a few years now and Alhamdulillah has helped bring both brothers and sisters onto the road to recovery. No guilt tripping and not filled with information condemning you and telling you to just have more faith (Taqwa). It’s the Purify Your Gaze program by Zeyad Ramadan.

    Check it out and try it. It doesn’t matter how “practicing” or religious you are, an addiction and these habits occur to people regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, or religion.

    This program will give you guidance to get on the road to recovery from the addiction and you’ll be in a community of recovering addicts as well who will help you and be there with and for you.

    Wishing all the best for addicts everywhere, and understanding for those who aren’t addicts.


    • Avatar


      January 31, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      Understandbly it’s an addiction, but we must be cautious of using terminology that makes it seem as if it’s like getting cancer. It’s a sin which brings severe consequences in this life and the next.

  9. Avatar

    Riz Khan

    January 31, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    let us discuss the medical side of masturbation.

    Prostate Cancer is a dangerous enemy of males. It is a really bad disease.

    A 2003 Australian study found that men who ejaculated more than five times a week were a third less likely to develop prostate cancer. Disease-causing toxins build up in your urogenital tract and when you rub one out, you flush the bad guys out of your system.

    so let us say a brother who is unmarried, then for him according to the above study it is better to masturbate.

    • Avatar


      January 31, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      See it’s got health benefits too, and if you don’t masturbate for a like along time(like a week), you will definitely get a ‘wet dream'(a natural phenomena), would you rather ejaculate in your sleep or while you’re awake?The choice is yours.

    • Avatar


      February 2, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      As salaamu ‘alaikum,
      Riz, an American study published in 2004 found no co-relation between ejaculation frequency and prostate cancer (JAMA. 2004; 291(13): 1578-1586). How do you feel about your conclusions now?

      In fact, the study you cite has several flaws including those of design and interpretation of results. For example, their conclusion that masturbatory practices are protective is not supported by their own description of the questionnaire that was used. They clearly state that, “The questionnaire focused on ejaculation irrespective of the context in which it occurred.” Their conclusions were based on unrestrained assumptions. This study is so flawed that even without collecting any data on infectious disease status the authors claimed that prostate cancer was unrelated to STDs. Nevertheless, popular media reported this study with further spin to promote these unfounded conclusions.

      The study itself and the media reports, both, were criticized in further comments published in the same journal (BJU International, 93 (1), page 180, January 2004, and BJU International, 93 (3), page 422, February 2004).

      The comment by Dr. Brody cites a study that differentiated between masturbation and conventional intercourse and found that it is the latter that is protective. Moreover, a review of several studies revealed that prostate cancer is associated with a lower frequency of conventional intercourse and a higher frequency of masturbation.

      • Avatar

        Riz Khan

        February 4, 2014 at 5:23 AM

        Brother Inqiyaad!
        The medical consensus is that masturbation is a medically healthy and psychologically normal habit. You can search all the internet on this topic. You would not be able to understand and recognize this medical consensus, If you would only look for the exceptions (a minority as presented above) .

        • Avatar


          February 4, 2014 at 10:00 PM

          Just as smoking was considered healthy during the 50’s and 60’s with “scientific backing”.

          I am not saying that what you say is incorrect- I would just say to be very very skeptical. After all, pornography is a massive industry; they would do whatever in their control to show masturbation/pornography in the best light.

          On the same note, many people now argue pornography is a healthy “outlet”. They also argue open relationships are normal. At some point, you have to ignore what everyone is saying and trust your fitrah.

        • Avatar


          February 8, 2014 at 10:19 AM

          There is no medical consensus as you state. Instead of the internet, can you cite some peer reviewed articles?

        • Avatar


          February 13, 2014 at 12:53 PM

          I cited the JAMA article to point out the correct approach to discussing data of this kind instead of the sensational approach the Australian authors adopted. For example, the authors acknowledge that these kind of studies do not establish a cause-effect relationship. To quote, “Mechanisms other than the link between androgenicity and ejaculation frequency should be evaluated as potential etiological factors underlying the inverse association between ejaculation frequency and prostate cancer.” Another aspect of the careful approach, one that you seem to have missed again, is the qualification these authors state forthrightly, “Thus, our exposure definition encompasses a wide range of variability in exposure to sexual activity.”

          I have commented on the other studies you have cited. However, for reasons I do not understand, they are being rejected. I hope they will be posted soon.

    • Avatar


      February 2, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      Don’t I remember reading the opposite about masturbation? I’m very suspicious about this article.

    • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      February 3, 2014 at 8:42 AM

      I remember reading a study that a glass of wine a day is good for the heart. Now would that make alcohol halal??

      *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

      • Avatar

        Parvez Khan

        February 3, 2014 at 9:43 AM

        Salam Sheikh Aly.

        Yes you are definetly right abt submitting to Allah (swt) by following wht the Quran and sahih hadith clearly state.

        Then we aql, science and other aspects of usul.

        i did not want to argue again for i realised that too much debating hardens the heart. but i agree that the best solution is the prophetic teachings.


        • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          February 4, 2014 at 12:50 AM

          WaAlaikum Assalam Parvez:

          I’m neither a Sheikh in terms of knowledge, nor age. :) It is a test of Allah that many youth fail. It is indeed necessary for parents to be open to their children who reach that age and educate them about the feelings they will experience at that point. I am still several years from that point where I have to face that parenting hurdle but I pray that when I reach it, I am blessed with the correct approach to educating my boys.


          *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

          • Avatar


            February 5, 2014 at 12:10 PM

            Thank you for your reply Maulvi.

            i just want to know if a person will be punished for the act of self-pleasure?

            thank you.

          • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            February 8, 2014 at 2:08 AM

            If we go by the masturbation is haram opinion then it would be punishable, if we go by the makruh opinion then it wouldn’t.

            And ultimately it is upto Allah (SWT) who will Forgive whom He Wills.

            This is my limited understanding of the issue.

            *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

          • Avatar

            Parvez Khan

            February 23, 2014 at 3:18 PM

            Salam Maulvi Aly

            I wanted to ask if a person would be punished for having feelings for the opposite and having a constant thought of intimacy?
            also are there are signs for us to know if we are forgiven in this world?

            thank you

          • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            February 23, 2014 at 9:49 PM

            WaAlaikum Assalam:

            You will have to ask a scholar as I am not qualified to answer this.


          • Avatar

            Parvez Khan

            February 24, 2014 at 3:53 PM

            Salam Maulvi Aly.

            I’m too embarassed to ask a scholar directly about this so may i ask is thinking of women in an intimate way a minor or major sin ?

            thank you

          • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            February 27, 2014 at 1:08 AM

            Dear Parvez Khan

            I understand your shyness and would advise you to submit the question to our “What’s the Matter” column by going to

            Best Regards

      • Avatar


        February 3, 2014 at 11:54 PM

        Aly wrora,
        I don’t think that a good analogy, though I agree with your point about
        logical conlclusions. Khamr is explicitly haraam no matter what any medical study says, but
        masturbation is NOT haraam according to Hanafi and Hanbali positions.
        Must admit this is a legit khilaaf issue and neither side can say
        “halaal” or “haraam” as if it’s indisputable and set in stone…only as
        an opinion.

        • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          February 4, 2014 at 12:26 AM

          Yes but they do not allow use of porn and other aids which is the deciding factor in making it haram. And frankly speaking there are very few kids out there who would just be masturbating using just physical stimulation and no “mental” stimulation.

          *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

          • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            February 4, 2014 at 1:14 AM

            I just would like to state that I am in no way suggesting that it is easy to not succumb to the feelings that arouse at that age. As I suggested I have had a little experience in counseling young men of that age and sometimes they are shy to approach their parents but if they build a rapport with an “elder brother” he is more likely to ask such questions that trouble him. We all have gone through that stage and most fail also may Allah forgive us for our shortcomings.

          • Avatar


            February 4, 2014 at 2:19 AM

            Br. Aly,
            No argument that porn is haraam.
            As for whether most men use it during masturbation, perhaps it is so…but not all and is still a legit khilaaf issue. You are entitled to your opinion and to choose to follow the opinion that seems most plausible to you. I’m simply pointing out that we cannot throw the baby out with the bathwater as it were in this case. Large portion of scholars do not consider it haraaam, unlike pornography…and it’s a valid opinion.

          • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            February 8, 2014 at 1:56 AM

            I agree with you that masturbation without any porn (visual, auditory, or written) is a legitimate khilaaf issue. And for the handful that may do it without this stimulus we can argue it is not haraam but still disliked. But that would be a real small percentage of people.

            *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

  10. Avatar


    January 31, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    assalam u alaykum y’all,

    For those who understand urdu and want to take some advice on marital issues check this out:

    For those who wanna know what havoc pornography is creating:

    • Avatar


      January 31, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      wa alaykumusalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      He doesn’t just have Urdu lectures on marital problems, he has loads, likely more lectures on marital problems in English.

  11. Avatar

    The Undertaker

    January 31, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    I can’t believe that people are talking about masturbation as though it is some kind of disease.

    • Avatar


      January 31, 2014 at 2:28 PM

      I know…what’s next…having affairs….are we going to treat “sex addiction” as some sort of a disease when in reality it’s a shameless thing which brings severe consequences in this life and the next.

      • Avatar

        Al Ghafur

        February 20, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        I wish I knew earlier or had researched for the side effects of overmasturbation. am at the age of 24 and have a penile size of a today born baby. am not joking here. I have wasted sperms that were meant to make babies. nw I am impotent. all I cry for is what life do I have left to live. what will I say on the day of judgement?

        • Avatar


          June 27, 2019 at 4:35 PM

          What do you mean you are now impotent?….

    • Avatar

      Parvez Khan

      February 3, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      masturbation is a distraction and also its has negative impacts on one’s character.
      its makes a person weak spiritually.

      actually excessive maturbation can even have negative medical effects.

      thats why the best solution is fasting. fasting of all faculties (jihad).

      masturbation does not solve anything. lets not get decieved by our lusts.

  12. Avatar


    January 31, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    First of all, if a man is addicted to this type of thing or if they use the excuse well i cant get married, so i might as well….it will cause problems later on in marriage, and now this man is ruining not only his life but also some poor woman’s as well! these types of people get used to a certain type of satisfaction that is not the same as intimacy with one’s wife and it will lead to huge problems in all aspects of the marriage. like the saying goes if the intimacy is not good in a marriage, then it becomes 90% of the problem. so a brother needs to seriously think about getting help with this issue and read up on the negative medical side effects of this activity as well as the issues they will experience later on in marriage if they dont stop or try to stop.

  13. Avatar


    January 31, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    I am doing psycho-therapeutic counseling and hypnotherapy courses these days and think this would also be a good way to get the subconscious mind to rid one’s urge/habit; through hypnotherapy one can learn and seek other pleasurable ways to occupy the mind and body!

  14. Avatar

    Riz Khan

    February 2, 2014 at 3:35 AM

    Brother Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi you cited and wrote
    Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 4:
    Narrated ‘Abdullah:
    We were with the Prophet while we were young and had no wealth whatever. So Allah’s Apostle said, “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power.”

    So there is an alternate available Alhamdulillah for controlling your desire.

    And remember the Quran says:
    “But as for he who feared the position of his Lord and prevented the soul from [unlawful] inclination,Then indeed, Paradise will be [his] refuge.” (79:40-41)

    But it seems to me that you overlooked the following the hadeeth from Sahih Bukhari
    Sahih al-Bukhari Book of Wedlock, Marriage (Nikaah) No.5076

    Narrated Abu Huraira:

    I said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! I am a young man and I am afraid that I may commit illegal sexual intercourse and I cannot afford to marry.” He kept silent, and then repeated my question once again, but he kept silent. I said the same (for the third time) and he remained silent. Then repeated my question (for the fourth time), and only then the Prophet said, “O Abu Huraira! The pen has dried after writing what you are going to confront. So (it does not matter whether you) get yourself castrated or not.”
    The explanation (given in the original version or full version) is that Hadrath Abu Huraira (Radi Allah Taala Anhu) used to fast a lot but his (Radi Allah Taala Anhu) Sexual desires/urges were not controlled.Therefore the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) did not advised him to fast in this hadeeth.

    It means that fasting can/may not work in each and every case.

    • Avatar


      February 2, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      I’m grateful to the man who prevents himself from committing rape or zina because then he is only harming himself.

      Similarly, I’m grateful if some people drink alcohol instead of murder and steal.

      Likewise, I’m grateful if someone is Muslim, even though he may be a major sinner, instead of a kaffir.

      However, while I’m grateful for that, sin is still sin.

      Is masturbation haram? Some people say yes. Others say no. Others say the answer is in the middle.

      I say-there is Allah’s area between halal and haram we should stay away from.


      An Nawwas ibn Sam’an, reported that the Messenger of Allah said:

      “Al-Bir (piety and righteousness) entails good conduct, while Al-Ithm (evil) is that which crosses your mind and which you hate for people to find out about”

      Also, Wabisah ibn Ma’bad said: “I came to the Messenger of Allah , who then said:

      “You came to ask about Al-Bir?’ I said “Yes.” He said. “Seek the answer in your heart! Al- Bir is that which your inner self feels good about, and that which your heart feels good about. Al-Ithm is that (evil thought) which crosses your mind and which is persistent (as being evil) in your inner-self, even if the people give you a Fatawa, time and again allowing what you feel unease about”

      Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami said “This Hadith is among the Messenger’s unique speeches, and one of the richest in meaning. Al-Bir is a unique word that entails each and every act of righteousness and piety. As for Al-Ithm, it is also a unique word that entails each and every act of sin and evil, whether major or minor. This is why the Prophet gave a contrast between the two words, treating them as antonyms.”

      Literally, Al-Bir entails meanings of obedience and truthfulness, as stated in Lisan Al ‘Arab (Arabic Dictionary). The scholars have described Al-Bir as:”Al-Bir means to keep the relations, to be kind, to be grateful and to be kind with the friends and with one’s company that he keeps. It also means to obey; and all these attitudes and types of good behavior combined describe good conduct.”

      Also, Ibn ‘Hajar Al-Haytami said: “Al-Bir is a unique word that entails all acts of righteousness and good conduct”. This is the general definition that conforms with the Hadith related by An-Nawwas ibn Sam’an, in which the Prophet describes Al-Bir as, “good conduct” while in the Hadith by Wabisah, he defines it as, “that which your inner-self feels good about.”

      Al-Bir, therefore, is general in meaning, and it entails treating the creation, such as and especially the parents, with kindness. Also, Al-Bir entails each and every act of piety and righteousness. Allah azza wa jal said:

      “It is not Birr that you turn your faces towards the east and (or) west in prayers; but Al-Birr is the quality of one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, the Prophets and gives his wealth, in spite of love for it, to the kinsfolk, to the orphans, and to the poor, and to the wayfarer, and to those who ask, and to set slaves free, performs As-Salat, and gives the Zakat, and who fulfill their covenant when they make it, and who are As-Sabirin (the Patient Ones) in extreme poverty and in ailment (disease) and at times of fighting (during battles). Such are the people of the truth and are Al-Muttaqun (The Pious).” 2 :177

      Sometimes, Al-Bir is coupled with the word Taqwa, such as:

      “Help you one another in Al-Birr and Taqwa; but do not help one another in sin and transgression.” 5:2

      In this case, Al-Birr means to treat people with kindness, while At-Taqwa means to obey Allah in what He has commanded and to refrain from what he has Prohibited. Furthermore, Al-Birr sometimes means, “To practice the obligations”, while at-Taqwa means, “To avoid the prohibitions.”

      We ask Allah aza wa jal for Birr and Taqwa and we take refuge in Him from coming near dangerous territory and all forms of ithm.

      • Avatar

        Riz Khan

        February 4, 2014 at 4:42 AM

        Brother Mehmud!
        There is a very strong Hanafi Position on the matter..which say it is permissible if a person fears that without masturbation he/she would commit zina.In fact under such circumstances masturbation becomes an obligation (wajib) according to hanafis…

        • Avatar


          February 9, 2014 at 11:59 PM

          Read my very lengthy comment way above. I basically say, some people said this act was halal, others said it was haram and others said it was somewhere in between. I also mentioned a lot of ahadith on how we should not ask about these matters.

          However, for me, the book of Allah aza wa jal and the Sunnah, especially that hadith on birr and ithm above, are enough for me.

    • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      February 3, 2014 at 8:45 AM

      Does this allow masturbation?

      *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

      • Avatar

        Riz Khan

        February 4, 2014 at 3:27 AM

        Brother Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi!
        As far as my knowledge is concerned “Haram” (forbidden/prohibited) is something which is forbidden in Islam. While “Halal”(allowed) is something which is not “Haram”.

        So the question Does this allow masturbation? should be Deoes it forbid/prohibit masturbation?. Evidense is required for proving something “Haram”. If something is not “Haram” then automatically it is “Halal”.

        • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

          February 8, 2014 at 2:01 AM

          You and I are not qualified to declare it halal or haram. However, the ulema over years have ruled it haram or makruh (disliked).

          *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

        • Avatar


          February 8, 2014 at 9:27 AM

          It seems that it is clear to you that, in our current societal context, there is a blanket ban on sexual gratification except with spouses (Surah 23: 6). Anyone who seeks beyond this has been warned (Surah 23: 7). The strictly qualified tolerance for masturbation per some jurists is not intended as a means of instant gratification. Rather, it is a means of avoiding crimes for which hadd punishment is prescribed. Each individual is the best judge as to his/her situation. Instead of advertising for masturbation, you will do well to leave it to individuals to decide whether they will be able to explain this to Allah as means of avoiding greater crimes or a means of instant gratification.

          Whether one wants to indulge in instant gratification (Surah 79: 38-39), avoid instant gratification (Surah 79: 40-41), constantly expose oneself to temptations and struggle to meet bare minimum expectations, or trust Allah’s Forgiveness and Mercy and fear Him as He deserves to be feared and then aim for higher goals, is personal choice. The better choice is quite clear.

      • Avatar

        Riz Khan

        February 4, 2014 at 3:55 AM

        The sacred verse of The Holy Quran “who guard their private parts, except from the spouses or whom their right hand possess

  15. Avatar

    Riz Khan

    February 2, 2014 at 3:36 AM

    read advise instead of advised in the second last paragraph.

  16. Avatar


    February 2, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    My recommendation is you should join “Purify Your Gaze” program. You have to spend a bit for this program but insyaallah, it’s worth the money.

  17. Avatar


    February 2, 2014 at 11:28 PM

    how do i submit questions in whats the matter. i am accessing your site thru my mobile n i cant find where to post.

  18. Avatar

    Riz Khan

    February 5, 2014 at 6:09 AM

    Brother ubaidullah!
    Nothing can be more anti-porn and anti-zina than a timely prophylactic masturbation for an unmarried brother. Of course excess is to be avoided.

    • Avatar


      February 10, 2014 at 12:02 AM

      As a matter of fact, fasting is even better. Prolonged masturbation can induce the brother to want the real thing more and more.

      • Avatar

        Riz Khan

        February 13, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        Brother! Islam teach us to be moderate in our approach. Even excessive fasting can really harm your stomach and kidneys. A boy reaches puberty at 14 and in the current circumstances it would be hard for him to marry before he reaches 25. You expect him to fast for 10 or 11 years?. My opinion is based on a almost position of almost consensus among the scholars i.e. it is allowed under the doctrine of choosing the lesser evil. Such an unmarried person should resort to the methods mentioned in the article to control his sex drive but complete abstinence from masturbation may not be beneficial for him. He should masturbate according to his need may be weekly or bi weekly to relieve his sexual tension and avoid excessive addiction by using methods which are mentioned in the article. Some words for you to consider… just look at the rape statistics .. Saudi Arabian among the highest weighted rape rates…If the rapists had some sense and had avoided the sexual tension earlier on, many of the rapes would have been avoided.

        • Avatar


          February 13, 2014 at 2:17 PM

          I don’t at all know what you mean by majority of scholars… seems that most considered it haram and some considered it ok to prevent a greater sin. So yes, if a person is about to rape, let him masturbate, but you seem to make it like it SHOULD be something that’s done, almost, encouraged by Islam……

          Which is by no means the case. Moderate fasting is enough to curb the urge enough for a person to restrain himself inshaa Allah, so no health problems are necessary….if masturbation was a solution, we would have had it from Allah and His Messenger and we don’t.

          Furthermore, by seeking the aid of Allah aza wa jal he can get married.

          If we take your logic further, we will find advocation for pre-marital sex as long as the couple is engaged and planning to get married…..

          And the slippery slope descends.

          I don’t even say the act is haram myself and I can seek that the line you are taking is extremely dangerous.

  19. Avatar


    February 7, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    Where is the proof that masturbation is haram ? Need not a scholar’s opinion but evidence from Qura’n, Sunnah or Hadith. I do agree that its an issue and must be handled through counselling or sex education, neither of which our communities do well in.

    • Avatar


      February 8, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      Actually there is no verse in the Quran or sahih hadith prohibiting masturbation.
      i’ve read some weak hadith on this topic but weak hadith cannot be used for Fiqh rulings.
      Strongest position is that masturbation is makru (discouraged).
      Best solution is from Quran and hadith; lower the gaze, fast, keep busy in ibadah or important activities, guard the faculties, avoid watching scenes that induce such feelings, keep doing dua and remember that such makru act is a trap of satan to weaken the soul and body.

    • Avatar


      February 10, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      The evidence of those who state it is forbidden is that Allah (swt) tells what is permitted for us in terms of sexual behavior, and all other forms of sexual behavior is forbidden. Likewise, the Prophet (SAW) advised fasting for the one who did not have a means of sexual gratification rather than masturbation. For those who advocate that the Prophet (SAW) always chose the easier of two options, this is something to think about.

      • Avatar


        February 17, 2014 at 5:18 AM

        I do know that Shiekh Yaser Qadhi said that there is no harm in it. I personally think it probably is harmful (perhaps because it can lead to porn, zina etc) but the whole issue is puzzling as it is hard to find any detailed discussion on this issue. Obviously it shouldnt be a major source of contention but it would be intersting to knwo what the rest of the MM team think (perticularly the rationale behind it etc)?

  20. Avatar

    O H

    February 13, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    We as laymen and non-scholars have to rely upon the righteous scholars on all issues of religion and to see the reasons/conditions that have been cited as to why something has been deemed haram or makrooh. Just because some scholar says it is allowed doesn’t make it unconditionally permissible. We have to check the context and conditions that have been mentioned as to when it may become permissible in their opinion. Even in that case many scholars are on the opinion it is directly haram citing CH23V7 of the Qur’an. We as laymen have to know our limits in knowledge and issuance of fatawa.

  21. Inqiyaad


    February 17, 2014 at 4:13 AM

    Let us look at some statements from the first of the two studies you have cited here.

    “Feelings of guilt about masturbation are common.” “Masturbation makes potential study participants very uneasy, and polygraph tests have indicated that masturbation is one of the least accurately reported sexual behaviors.”

    An-Nawwas bin Sam’an (RAA) narrated, ‘I asked the Messenger of Allah (P.B.U.H.) about virtue and sin and he replied, “The essence of virtue is (manifested in) good morals (Akhlaq) whereas sinful conduct is that which turns in your heart (making you feel uncomfortable) and you dislike that it would be disclosed to other people.” Related by Muslim.

    “…research examining other common sexual activities, such as masturbation, is rare. We have yet to determine the influence of masturbation on early sexual development and on one’s capacity for healthy sexual relationships later in life.”

    “Evidence indicates that people who report masturbating actually report increased engagement with other sexual activities, including risky activities, such as having multiple partners.”

    More importantly, this study did not ask questions regarding the benefits of masturbation. Rather, it asked questions about perceptions about masturbation in a specific sub-population.

    *Posted by Comments Team on behalf of commenter due to some technical issues on his end*

    Quite frankly, this search for a scientific consensus is a distraction. What really matters is this behavior encouraged in Islam?

    Wa salaamu ‘alaikum

  22. Avatar

    Fighting addiction

    July 24, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    For other brothers stumbling on this addiction, a method I am following
    1. Create a new email address. Change its password to random characters which you do not remember. Copy this password and keep it on a notepad (in your PC) temporarily.
    2. Install a software like K9 which has many features which a tech-savvy individual would be able to set.
    3. Use the above new email as the user id for the blocking software and the random characters as the password.
    4. Delete the password from your notepad.
    5. Use a service like which sends email on a future date. Send this random character password to your personal email address at a future date. This step will ensure that you can modify the K9 settings in the future if you want to.

    Better is skip step 5 and just delete the random character password. You will have no way of bypassing the filter software installed in your computer.

    Do this immediately after a session and your guilt is at the highest.
    In sha Allah, it will work. Do lots of duas. In my opinion, this is the modern day jihad.

  23. Avatar

    Stella Anton

    May 13, 2015 at 5:37 AM

    I am surprised that there doesn’t seem to be a single person here relieving this poor young man’s anxiety by letting him know that masturbation is totally normal, and actually beneficial. I’m not talking about masturbation to porn (I’ll get to that later on), just masturbation. Sure it can be addictive, but of all addictions, it’s probably the healthiest one. It releases feel-good hormones, relieves sexual and emotional tension that you definitely don’t want to suppress (to do so is both unhealthy and dangerous), and allows you to explore your sexuality so that you can show your future partner/wife/husband how to please you later on. Unless you masturbate so much and so compulsively that you neglect other areas of your life (like you don’t work or do your homework because you are in your bed masturbating, or you don’t get out to meet people because you are in your place masturbating for hours -which is even physiologically impossible, at least for males), there is no harm in masturbation. As for the “Unhappy” married Muslimah who commented above that she suffers from her husband’s masturbation, I don’t even understand what she means. Just because women and men get married, it doesn’t mean that any of them stops masturbating, it’s pleasurable, totally harmless, healthy thing to do. You could even do it together. It certainly makes both of you better lovers. If you don’t know how to satisfy yourselves, you most certainly can’t show your partner. Masturbation doesn’t make for an unhappy marriage, and it most certainly doesn’t compromise the kids’ future.

    Now, masturbation to porn is another story. Addiction to porn can be quite tricky -it has a definite effect on the socialization of a man/woman in a given culture, it has a definite effect on sexual interaction within marriage, and it does alter one’s sexuality. Especially in internet porn, because there is an endless supply of sexualized images (notice how I’m saying sexualized, not sexual), and no emotional connection or desire for a particular person, the viewer gets desensitized, and eventually need larger variety and novelty in order to be stimulated like before (to put it simply, they need constantly to view “new stuff”). Today’s mainstream internet pornography achieves novelty and variety by introducing more and more extreme and violent sex acts on the female porn performers -painful and often multiple vaginal and anal penetrations, abusive oral sex that causes the woman visible discomfort or vomit, verbally degrading communication, etc. Making love in contemporary porn has turned into making hate, and it reinforces a misogynistic and sexist culture where women are already disrespected anyway. While men often assume that they can tell the difference between reality and the “fantasy” of the porn world, there is significant research now showing that porn images do infiltrate their private lives, that they often cannot get satisfaction in their marriages and relationships unless they perform “porn sex” on their wives and girlfriends, or unless they masturbate to porn or bring images of porn to their mind while they have sex, or unless their partners groom themselves to imitate the appearance of a porn performer (shaved genitals, surgically enhanced breasts, etc). Porn has a particularly negative effect on men who did not have a sex life before they started watching it -young boys who discovered their sexuality with porn, and for whom porn was their sex education. This is dangerous, and I don’t mean morally or spiritually -because I am not Muslim and what is moral within mainstream Orthodox Islam is not my personal concern- but it is dangerous psychologically, socially, and for the own person’s sexuality. Hugging, cuddling and kissing -the most widely used acts of intimacy- are becoming increasingly absent in porn. Violence is instead sexualized in porn. Thrusting a penis inside a woman as if you want to smash her internal organs, and humiliating her, is presented in porn as sexual and pleasing for both parties. This has clearly very negative repercussions. Porn is a huge industry run mostly by a handful of corporations in US California (yes, thousands of porn sites, even supposedly “amateur porn”, does come down to them, and is run by them). These corporations do not care about making people’s sexual imagination and sexual lives better, they only care about making money -on the expense of anyone or anything. It is a huge shame for Western society that in the name of freedom of speech we have permitted a bunch of capitalists in California to shape the sexualities of young children -because the average age for boys first viewing porn today is 11 years.

    So, masturbating to porn? I agree, quit it. Disable porn sites from your computer if you have to. But you have no reason -and it is in fact very unhealthy and unadvisable for you- to stop masturbating altogether. You are not harming yourself or anyone else, and you are certainly not harming Allah, who gave you your sexuality to begin with.

  24. Avatar


    June 2, 2015 at 12:34 PM

    while applying these techniques given by sister Haleh do one thing more. after committing masturbation (or any other sin) recite meditation or do any tasbeh as much easily as u can and give some money to a needy person, stick with it ( recitation and paying money ) after doing it few times you will feel change in your attitude (your desire for committing that sin will reduce Insha Allah).

  25. Avatar


    July 29, 2015 at 9:24 PM

    what about problems having to deal with the consequences when one has engaged in this disgusting practice in his youth and no longer is.

  26. Avatar


    July 29, 2015 at 9:36 PM

    as a recovering adult i based on my own experiences know for a fact how it damages you possibly for the rest of your life. i have to reject proposals and wont get married as i wont be able to ever find intimacy with a real woman and cant explain to my parents why and even though i try to they go into denial ( i wouldn’t be able to get married when i was younger as “its not in our culture”) im pakistani by the way. it devastates your self esteem and as a grown man i cant help but cry as to what i have done to myself. As a kid i was advised by my family doctor that it is perfectly normal as it is still considered by many well educated doctors here even in pakistan. Please any young person who is reading this leave it. It has to much regret attached to it. for me i had to do it after learning the hard way.

  27. Avatar


    July 30, 2015 at 7:34 PM

  28. Avatar


    March 11, 2016 at 2:48 PM

    I’m having addiction of masturbating I came across porn when I was 10 in my uncles laptop I am also a disabled in a sense my left arm muscles are weak so I don’t think myself eligible for any life partner my parents are divorced my sister has died the one I loved left me alone my best friend left me my grades fell I faced failures I am depressed I am just 18 I feel lonely at nights I was so closed to my sister that I cry every night my family do love me but they have disputes with each other I get stressed by their everydays quarrel the day my dad left my mom she couldn’t stabilize herself mentally after that her daughter died in an accident I have good friends but they are never available I consider myself abandoned though I am positive that there must be some wisdom behind all my hardships but I really need counseling Ya Allah Save Me for I’m being worse with myself I want a cure I couldn’t be consistent after trying my best any help I don’t wanna expertise my personal life but these are the reasons for my instabilities

    • Avatar

      Struggle to success

      November 26, 2016 at 1:22 AM

      I am no counsellor and far from a scholar. …But from my humble opinion I would say that, maybe through all of this Allah wants you to truly depend and turn to him for help and comfort. Truly with Allah’s remembrances do our hearts find ease!! I too am facing some hardships in life and have no one (human) to turn to for comfort and support but knowing that Allah is all hearing and wise puts me at ease. I literally just sit there and talk and talk and talk knowing that the one that truly matters KNOWS EXACTLY what i am going through and really who else can help besides Allah? After the many tears and the release of all my emotions i feel great. Ready and determined to do my best in regards to my responsibilities and obligations. I guess my point is that even through your hardships and trials, if you keep the right perspective and attitude, you can be happy and at peace knowing that it is all by the permission of Allah and just do YOUR best. Thats it.

    • Avatar

      Struggle to success

      November 26, 2016 at 1:28 AM

      Also why in the world would you not be eligible for marriage because you have a disability?1 That’s not what matters. It’s your character and Deen. I would marry a man with a disability and I’m positive many, many , MANY women out there would! Don’t put yourself down brother! Allah created you like that!!!… appreciate it, respect it, LOVE IT!
      Okay rant over haha

  29. Avatar

    Nasir Uddin

    October 30, 2016 at 9:05 PM

    Assalamu alaikum, I have been addicted masturbation and pornography for some years now, but they both didn’t happen at the same time. It was one after another for me, so basically first I got addicted to masturbation when I was 13 years old and then later I got addicted to pornography when I was 15 years old, but I tried many times to stop from happening again like; reading a book or praying even still it is there inside my head. This made me become really depressed this year, where I emotionally upset and was seriously crying, because I really wanted to make a change and I never wanted to become like; someone who people would hate. I have lost a lot of weight in the past, because of this reason and still can’t change my life round when all you wanted to do was to study hard and get the good grades that you need and so I did back in college, but not at university. This first addiction happened when I left mosque and it was during the summer holidays and my mum told me not to do touch my private parts, because it was haram to do that, but I just mainly didn’t act upon it, so that this won’t keep on repeating itself.

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The American Muslim Reaction To The Death Of Kobe Bryant

Kobe Muslims
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By Dr. Osman Umarji & Sh Mohammed Faqih

A memorial was attended by thousands of fans earlier today (2/24) to remember the life of Kobe Bryant. Kobe was tragically killed in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles on January 26th, along with his daughter, Gianna, and seven other passengers (John, Keri, and Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah and Payton Chester, and Ara Zobayan). The news came as a shock to many people from all over the world, as Kobe was an international celebrity. The Muslim community in the United States was also shocked by his unexpected death. Friday sermons touched on the topic of his death, as his sudden passing weighed on the minds of congregants. Youth events were specifically held to help the youth process his death and learn the Islamic perspective on death and grieving.

One may wonder why the death of Kobe got so much attention from the Muslim community, whereas countless other deaths of non-Muslim celebrities and Muslims have typically received substantially less attention. Here are a few reasons that may explain why his death received more attention and had such an impact. First, Kobe’s death was an absolute shock to people. He died at a relatively young age of 41, at least according to our cultural standards. For the past 20+ years, his basketball career had been observed in an era where sports had become a 24/7 industry. Even when he was not playing, people were following the details of his personal life, business ventures, and much more through television, radio, podcasts, and social media. He was incredibly successful in his basketball career, having spent his entire career with the Lakers and winning five championships, which brought tremendous joy and happiness to Laker fans everywhere (and agony to fans of other teams). Thus, an entire generation had practically watched him grow up from a teenager to a world champion to a father of four girls, and the numerous memories people had about his life likely made them feel incredibly close to him. These memories of watching Kobe deliver game-winning shots and holding up trophies were often created in the presence of friends and family, making them more personal and emotional. We say all of this not to glorify anyone, but simply to explain why his persona was so grand, even amongst a broader media culture of celebrity obsession.

This aforementioned context may have been missing to some religious educators who were neither basketball fans nor aware of the memories people had of Kobe. Many Imams, khateebs, and youth educators expressed confusion at how community members were reacting to his death and coping in ways they felt were unnecessary and inappropriate. They were further surprised that the advice they gave on the topic failed to resonate with some members of the community. 

With a desire to better understand the community reaction to Kobe’s death, we administered a 14 question online survey to measure the reactions and coping mechanisms of Muslims to the death of Kobe. Our intention was to provide information to religious educators and extract lessons based on actual beliefs and behaviors of the American Muslim community. The survey was deployed two weeks after his death and was shared via social media. The rapid response to this survey was astounding. Within two days, we received nearly 340 responses. We believe this speaks to the relevance of the topic and the strong emotions that Kobe’s death has elicited. We discuss the results of our survey data below.

Who Responded?

The participants were quite diverse in terms of age. Most participants were between the ages of 26 to 34 (n=124) and 35 to 44 (n=103). 65% were male (n=221) and 35% were female (n=119). Participants were very diverse in their attitudes towards the Lakers and Kobe. Nearly 23% considered themselves absolute Laker fans, whereas 28% were not fans of the Lakers at all. Approximately 26.5% followed Kobe’s career a lot and 22% followed his career quite a bit. In terms of religiosity, 47.5% considered themselves to be very religious, 45% somewhat religious, and 7% a little religious.

We find it important to highlight that nearly half of the sample followed his career while also self-reporting high levels of religiosity. Being a basketball and Kobe fan and being religious were not mutually exclusive. 

What were peoples’ immediate feelings and reactions upon hearing about Kobe’s death?

Participants expressed a variety of emotions and reactions upon hearing about his death. The most common reactions were shock (74%), sadness (59%), and not believing it was true (46%). Many participants also reported crying (15%), feeling nothing (13%), and feeling numb (12%). Less frequently experienced were feelings of sickness (3%) and anger (5%). Participants were also asked whether the news of Kobe’s death disrupted their day in any way. Nearly a third reported that their day was not disrupted at all (32%), another third reported that their day was a little disrupted (35%), and a third reported their day was either quite a bit or completely disrupted (33%).

How did people cope with his death?

Participants were asked about how they coped with his death. The most common methods of coping were thinking about one’s mortality (68%), watching old videos and pictures (50%), praying for his family (44%). Participants also reported communicating with friends and people on social media (36%) and communicating with friends on the phone (32%). Other coping mechanisms included making a personal tribute, such as a social media post (19%), deciding to improve oneself (22%), and attending a community event about Kobe (5%). Lastly, and perhaps most interestingly, more than a quarter of participants reported making dua for Kobe himself (26%).

As coping with death is a topic that has been mentioned in sufficient detail in the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), we were especially interested in the ways in which participants felt religion informed their own coping. As already explained, approximately 44% made dua for his family and 26% made dua for Kobe. Therefore, we asked participants “If Kobe had followed your religion, would you grieve or cope differently?” 21% responded that they would not cope any differently had Kobe been Muslim, 52% said they would cope differently, and 27% said they might cope differently. We further asked, “Did you find comfort in your religion’s perspectives on death and coping”, and 92% said yes, 4% said no, and less than 2% said they did not know Islam’s perspective. 

Correlates of Reactions and Coping Mechanisms

While the previous results described the participants in our sample and frequencies of experiencing particular emotions and coping strategies, we wanted to better understand what factors predicted these reactions and coping mechanisms. More specifically, we were curious to understand how religiosity, age, and gender influenced these behaviors? We ran three different sets of analyses to answer these questions (see the appendix for detailed results).

In our first of regression analyses, we investigated the predictors of the immediate reactions to the death of Kobe and how disrupting his death was to one’s day. The key findings were:

  • The more people reported following Kobe’s career, the more likely they were to cry, be sad, feel numb, feel sick, could not believe he died, feel anger, and report their day as being more disrupted.
  • Being a woman substantially increased the odds of crying, being sad, feeling numb, sick, not believing that he died, and reporting their day as more disrupted. This was particularly surprising as women reported following his career far less than men.
  • Increased self-reported religiosity decreased the likelihood of crying, feeling numb, anger, and having one’s day disrupted. However, religiosity was unrelated to feeling sad, sick, and not believing he died.
  • Older people were less likely to cry and more willing to accept he had died.

For our second set of analyses, we wanted to understand what predicted six different coping behaviors (dua for Kobe, dua for his family, reflect over one’s mortality, make a personal tribute, attend a community event, and watch videos). The key findings were:

  • The more people followed his career, the more likely they were to make a personal tribute, watch videos, attend an event, and make dua for him and for his family.
  • Being a woman increased the likelihood of making dua for him and his family, but not of any other coping mechanisms.
  • Increased self-reported religiosity reduced the likelihood of making dua for him, making a personal tribute for him, or attending an event. Religiosity also increased the odds of thinking about one’s own mortality.

Discussion of the Results

There are many topics worthy of discussion based on the findings of this survey. As one participant commented, “I saw so many social media posts from Muslims saying RIP, eulogizing Kobe, speaking to him (“you’ll be missed, you were the best”), and saying his death was “too soon”, “untimely”, and “not fair.” I wish we could have more education on how to react to such news and why it matters.” Other folks felt the opposite, with one saying, “All people die. I am among the group who don’t understand why a non-Muslim celebrity entertainer’s death is so significant for the Muslim community.” We hope to answer these concerns.

First, Kobe’s death clearly affected the participants in this sample, who we believe represent more than a small segment of the American Muslim population. Men and women of all ages reported strong immediate reactions and coping in various ways. We believe this is important to highlight, as many people may have assumed that it was only the young males who were affected by Kobe’s death. Another interesting finding was that many people reported coping by watching old clips of Kobe. We suspect that the memories people had of Kobe were likely created in the presence of friends and family and that people felt nostalgic about their own lives watching his old highlights. Regardless of the exact reasons why his death was impactful, which may include difficult conversations about our culture of celebrity worship and the role of the media and marketing agencies making superstars’ personalities larger-than-life, these emotions and coping mechanisms are real and need to be understood to both educate and guide our community. Although the death of countless orphans, refugees, and innocent people all over the world warrant our empathy, the truth is that we will likely grieve more for people with whom we have some personal connection with, although people may have never met him. This sentiment was captured in the comment of one young male adult, who said, “Kobe taught me mamba mentality. He showed the whole world what true hard work looks like. That is why I was sad because I felt like a mentor had passed away.” 

With this acknowledgment that the pain people felt was real, we want to discuss the Islamic view of specific ways of coping for a non-Muslim, especially making dua for a deceased non-Muslim. We feel this is especially important, as both the data and many of the comments addressed this topic. From the data side, we found more than 1 in 4 Muslims made dua for him and more than half saying they would grieve differently had he been Muslim. As for the comments, many people, especially those who considered themselves very religious, echoed the same principle: Had he been Muslim, then we could have prayed janaza for him and made dua for him. Another convert sister, who hardly followed Kobe or the Lakers expressed, “I know my religion is the truth, but not being able to pray for a deceased non-Muslim is a hard concept, especially as a convert with all my blood family not being known Muslims.” Most people understood that Islam does not permit making dua for the forgiveness of deceased non-Muslim. In fact, there is scholarly consensus on this issue, as stated by Ibn Taymiya and Nawawi. We want to add that this was also an issue faced by the Prophet Muhammad and his companions, many of whose parents and loved ones died outside the fold of Islam. Abu Huraira reported in an authentic narration that the Prophet visited his mother’s grave and wept, and everyone there wept with him. Then, the Prophet said, “I sought my Lord’s permission to seek forgiveness for her, but He did not permit me. Then, I sought permission to visit her grave and He permitted me to visit her grave.[1] We hope this clarifies the matter to those who may have been misinformed and gives strength to those who struggled with this issue. 

Regarding the issue of making dua for the family of the deceased, this is considered permissible and noble action, as it shows compassion and empathy for others. However, what seems even more vital and valuable, is that we learn from the death of Kobe to make dua for non-Muslims that we care for while they are alive. This includes making dua for their health, well-being, and most importantly their guidance. This is the best expression of love that we can offer to those who do not share our faith and the best way for us to show our appreciation for whatever we have benefited from them.

Another adaptive and Islamic way of coping that was commonly practiced was to reflect over one’s own mortality. What is astounding to us about Kobe’s death was that the night before he died he was in the news because LeBron James had just passed him for third place on the NBA all-time scoring list. Kobe had called LeBron to congratulate him that same evening. The following morning Kobe’s helicopter crashed. This moment should be a gut-check to us all about the fragile nature of life and remind us that our time on this earth is unknown. Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar used to say, If you survive till the evening, do not expect to be alive in the morning, and if you survive till the morning, do not expect to be alive in the evening. Take advantage of your health before your sickness, and take advantage of your life before your death.”[2] 

Although sports superstars like Kobe almost seem invincible because of their ability to conquer the moment in the games they play, his death should be a reminder that this life is not a game. We do not know when, where, or how we will die. O Allah, let us live in a state of Islam and let us die in a state of Islam. That is the greatest success. 


[1] Related by Muslim, Ahmad, and Abu Dawud.

[2] Related by Bukhari


Author Bios:

Dr. Osman Umarji received his B.S in Electrical Engineering from UC Irvine. After working as an engineer for many years, he went to study Islam at Al-Azhar University. He has a PhD in Educational Psychology from UC Irvine and currently works at Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research as the Director of Survey Research and Evaluation. He is an adjunct professor in the School of Education at UC Irvine. He recently published The King, the Queen, and the Hoopoe Bird, a novel on the life of Prophet Sulaiman, in order to contribute to the production of culturally relevant educational material for Muslim youth in the West. 

Shaikh Mohammed Faqih completed a B.A. in Islamic Studies from the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America in Fairfax, VA, and graduated in Quran Memorization and Recitation from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Previously, he held the position of Imam at the Islamic Community Center of Laurel in Laurel, MD, the Islamic Center of San Diego in San Diego, CA, and Islamic Institute of Orange County, CA. He is currently the Imam at the Memphis Islamic Center.

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7 Powerful Techniques For Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

Studies show the most common New Year’s resolutions revolve around finances and health.  Unfortunately, they also show only a relatively small number will keep most or all of them. The rest will mostly fail within the first few weeks. Here are 7 powerful techniques to make sure you’re not one of them.

New Year's Resolutions
Who uses sticky notes on a cork board #stockimagefail
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It’s the end of the year, and I’m pretty sure I know what you’re thinking – after wondering if New Year’s is halal to celebrate, you probably want to lose some weight, make more money, talk to family more, or be a better Muslim in some way.  The New Year for many of us is a moment to turn a fresh page and re-imagine a better self. We make resolutions and hope despite the statistics we’ll be the outliers that don’t fail at keeping our New Year’s resolutions.

Studies show the most common New Year’s resolutions revolve around finances and health. Unfortunately, they also show only a relatively small number will keep most or all of them. The rest will mostly fail within the first few weeks.

Given such a high failure rate, let’s talk about how you can be among the few who set and achieve your goals successfully.

1. Be Thankful to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)

Allah Gives You More if You’re Thankful

You’ve been successful this past year in a number of areas. Think of your worship, career, relationships, personality, education, health (physical, mental, social, and spiritual), and finances. Take a moment to reflect on where you’ve succeeded, no matter how trivial, even if it’s just maintaining the status quo, and be thankful to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for those successes.

When you’re thankful to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), He increases you in blessings.  Allah says in the Qur’an:

“And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you give thanks (by accepting faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My blessings); but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily, My punishment is indeed severe’” [14:7] 

In recent years, there’s been more discussion on the benefits of practicing gratitude, though oftentimes it’s not clear to whom or what you’re to be grateful towards. We, of course, know that we’re not grateful simply to the great unconscious cosmos, but to our Creator.

Despite this difference, there exist interesting studies on how the practice of gratitude affect us. Some of the benefits include:

  • Better relationships with those thanked
  • Improved physical health
  • Improved psychological health
  • Enhanced empathy and reduced aggression
  • Better sleep
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Improved mental strength

Building on Your Successes

In addition to being thankful to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), reflect on why you were successful in those areas.  What was it you did day in and day out to succeed? Analyze it carefully and think of how you can either build on top of those present successes, or how you can transport the lessons from those successes to new areas of your life to succeed there as well.

In the book Switch by Dan and Chip Heath, they note that we have a tendency to try to solve big problems with big solutions, but a better technique that has actual real-world success in solving complex problems is to instead focus on bright spots and build on those bright spots instead. You have bright spots in how you’ve worked and operated, so reflect on your successes and try to build on top of them.

2. Pick One Powerful, Impactful Goal

Oftentimes when we want to change, we try to change too many areas.  This can lead to failure quickly because change in one area is not easy, and attempting to do it in multiple areas simultaneously will simply accelerate failure.

Instead, pick one goal – a goal that you are strongly motivated to fulfill, and one that you know if you were to make that goal, it would have a profoundly positive impact on your life as well as on others whom you are responsible to.

In making the case based on scientific studies, James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, writes:

Research has shown that you are 2x to 3x more likely to stick with your habits if you make a specific plan for when, where, and how you will perform the behavior. For example, in one study scientists asked people to fill out this sentence: “During the next week, I will partake in at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise on [DAY] at [TIME OF DAY] at/in [PLACE].”

Further down, he states:

“However (and this is crucial to understand) follow-up research has discovered implementation intentions only work when you focus on one thing at a time.”

When setting your goal, be sure to set a SMART goal, one that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time Bound.  “I want to lose weight” is not a SMART goal.  “I want to achieve 10% bodyfat at 200 lbs in 9 months” is specific (you know the metrics to achieve), measurable (you can check if you hit those metrics), achievable (according to health experts, it can be done, realistic (it’s something you can do), and time-bound (9 months).

3. Repeatedly Make Du’a with Specificity

Once you lock onto your goal, you should ask for success in your goal every day, multiple times a day.  Increasing in your du’a and asking Allah for success not only brings you the help of the Most High in getting to your goal, it also ensures it remains top of mind consistently.

A few of the best ways to increase the chances of a supplication being accepted:

  • Increase the frequency of raising your hands after salah and asking for your intended outcome.
  • Asking while you are in sujood during prayers.
  • Praying and supplicating in the last 3rd of the night during qiyam ul-layl.

When you make your du’a, be specific in what you ask for, and in turn, you will have a specific rather than a vague goal at the forefront of your mind which is important because one of the major causes of failure for resolutions themselves is lacking specificity.

4. Schedule Your Goal for Consistency

The most powerful impact on the accomplishment of any goal isn’t in having the optimal technique to achieve the goal – it is rather how consistent you are in trying to achieve it.  The time and frequency given to achievement regularly establishes habits that move from struggle to lifestyle. As mentioned in the previous section, day, time, and place were all important to getting the goal, habit, or task accomplished.

In order to be consistent, schedule it in your calendar of choice. When you schedule it, make sure you:

  • Pick the time you’re most energetic and likely to do it.
  • Work out with family, friends, and work that that time is blocked out and shouldn’t be interrupted.
  • Show up even if you’re tired and unmotivated – do something tiny, just to make sure you maintain the habit.

A Word on Automation

Much continues to be written about jobs lost to automation, but there are jobs we should love losing to automation, namely, work that we do that can be done freely or very cheaply by a program.  For example, I use Mint to capture all my accounts (bank, credit card, investments, etc) and rather than the old method of gathering receipts and tracking transactions, all of it is captured online and easily accessible from any device.

Let’s say you wanted to give to charity, and you wanted to give a recurring donation of $5 a month to keep MuslimMatters free – all you have to do is set up an automated recurring donation at the link and you’re done.

Likewise, if you’re saving money for a goal, you can easily do so by automating a specific amount of money coming out of your bank account into another account via the online banking tools your bank provides.  You can automate bill payments and other tasks to clear your schedule, achieve your goals, and keep you focused on working the most important items.

5. Focus on Behaviors, Not Outcomes

We’re often told we should set up SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timebound.  However, one way to quickly fail a goal is by defining success according to outcomes, which aren’t necessarily in your hand.  For example, you might say as above:

“I want to be at 10% body fat in 9 months at 200 lbs.”

This is a SMART goal, and it’s what you should aim for, but when you assess success, you shouldn’t focus on the result as it’s somewhat outside the scope of your control. What you can do is focus on behaviors that help you achieve that goal, or get close to it, and then reset success around whether you’re completing your behaviors.  As an example:

“I want to complete the P90X workout and diet in 90 days.”

Here, you’re focused on generally accepted notions on behaviors that will get you close to your goal.  Why? Because you control your behaviors, but you can’t really control the outcomes. Reward yourself when you follow through on your behavior goals, and the day-to-day commitments you make.  If you find that compliance is good, and you’re getting closer to your goal, keep at it.

Read the following if you want to really understand the difference in depth.

6. Set Realistic Expectations – Plan to Fail, and Strategize Recovery

After too many failures, most people give up and fall off the wagon.  You will fail – we all do. Think of a time you’ve failed – what should you have done to get back on your goal and complete it?  Now reflect on the upcoming goal – reflect on the obstacles that will come your way and cause you to fail, and how when you do fail, you’ll get right back on it.

Once you fail, ask yourself, was it because of internal motivation, an external circumstance, a relationship where expectations weren’t made clear, poor estimation of effort – be honest, own what you can do better, and set about attempting to circumvent the obstacle and try again.

7. Assess Your Progress at Realistic Intervals

Once you’re tracking behaviors, simply mark down in an app or tracker that you completed the behavior.  Once you see you’re consistent in your behaviors over the long-term, you’ll have the ability to meaingfully review your plan and assess goal progress.

This is important because as you attempt to perform the work necessary to accomplish the goal, you’ll find that your initial assessments for completion could be wrong. Maybe you need more time, maybe you need a different time. Maybe you need a different process for accomplishing your goals. Assess your success at both weekly and monthly intervals, and ask yourself:

  • How often was I able to fulfill accomplish my required behaviors?  How often did I miss?
  • What was the reason for those misses?
  • Can I improve what I’m doing incrementally and change those failures to successes?  Or is the whole thing wrong and not working?

Don’t make changes when motivation dies after a few days.  Don’t make big changes on a weekly basis. Set an appointment on a weekly basis simply to review successes and challenges, making small tweaks while maintaining the overall plan. Set a monthly appointment with yourself to review and decide what you’ll change, if anything, in how you operate.

Be something of a Tiger mom about it – aim for 90% completion of behaviors, or an A grade, when assessing whether you’ve done well or not.  Anything below 90% is a failing grade.

(ok, so Tiger Moms want 100% or more, but let’s assume this is a somewhat forgiving Tiger Mom)

Putting it All Together

Set ‘Em Up

  • First, take a moment to reflect and be thankful to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) for what you’ve achieved, and reflect on what it is you’ve accomplished and what you’ve done in the way you worked and operated that helped you succeed.
  • Next, pick one goal and one goal alone to achieve, and use the SMART goal methodology to be clear about what it is.
  • Once this is done, make du’a with strong specificity on a regular basis during all times, and especially during the times when du’as are most likely to be accepted.

Knock ‘Em Down

  • Schedule your goal into a calendar, making sure you clear the time with any individuals who will be impacted by your changed routines and habits.
  • On a daily basis, focus on completing behaviors, not the outcomes you’re aiming for – the behaviors get you to the outcomes.
  • Plan on failing occasionally, especially a week after motivation disappears, and plan for how you’ll bounce back immediately and recover from it.
  • Finally, on a daily and weekly basis, assess yourself to see if you’re keeping on track with your behaviors and make adjustments to do better. On a monthly basis, assess how much closer you are to your goal, and if you’re making good progress, or if you’re not making good progress, and try to understand why and what adjustments you’ll make.

What goals do you plan to achieve in the coming year?

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MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

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Loving Muslim Marriage Episode #5: Male Sexual Entitlement vs. Female Sexual Guilt

Support MuslimMatters for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Everyone knows that sex in marriage is halal, so why do so many Muslim women struggle with it? From reluctance to guilt, and even shame – Muslim women often carry baggage from cultural teachings related to sex, even when there is nothing to be ashamed of. Our guest in this episode is Dr. Ahmed Basheer, a licensed psychiatrist.

If you have a private question to send the LMM team, email privatequestions at muslimmatters dot org.

Previous episode:

Loving Muslim Marriage Episode #4: Are Men Sexual And Women Emotional?

You can view all episodes in the Loving Muslim Marriage series here:

LMM : Loving Muslim Marriage


Support Our Dawah for Just $2 a Month

MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Continue Reading