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Dr. Zakir Naik & The Fatwa on masturbation

QUESTION

Muhtaram Mufti

We have come across a video by Zakir Naik wherein he gives a lengthy discussion with regards to masturbation.

After reviewing the video, one is left with the strong impression that masturbation is permissible.

Till now, the youth knew it to be Haram. However, this has created doubts in their minds and hearts and left them confused.

Surely, such a ruling would open a door that was best left closed till now. The youth till now refrained or atleast tried to

refrain from this act due to the sin involved with it. If a fatwa were to remove the sin associated with this act, the youth

would surely fall into this tempting trap of Shaytaan.

 

We request Mufti Sahebs ruling on the matter. Furthermore, what is Mufti’s opinion about Zakir Naik?

We would appreciate your Fatwa in this matter.

Jzakallah

 

ANSWER

Zakir Naik is a well-known personality famed for his skill in comparative religion studies. Alhamdulillah, he has served and continues serving that important field with much dedication.

Having said that, the field of Fiqh and Iftaa is vastly different to comparative religious studies. The field of Fiqh and Iftaa contains many intricacies which an untrained, undiscerning eye will not easily identify. Therefore, it is necessary upon an individual seeking a Fatwa to refer to reliable qualified Muftis who have years of experience in this field.

Nevertheless, in the video in reference, Zakir Naik says that there are 3 opinions regarding masturbation.

1. The overwhelming majority of Scholars who say that it is Haram to masturbate.

This view is deduced from the following verse of the Holy Quran,  وَالذِينَ هُمْ لفُروجِهِمْ حَافظونَ إلََّّ عَلى أزوَاجِهِمْ أوْ مَا مَلكَتْ أيْْانُُمْ فإنَُّمْ غيُْْ مَل وِمينَ )المؤمنون: 5، 6 (

Translation: “Those (will have succeeded) who safeguard their private parts except with their wives and what their right hand possesses.”

It is clear from the verse that all forms of satisfying one’s desires are prohibited. However, two exceptions have been made i.e. marriage and bondswomen. This implies that anything besides these two exceptions reverts to the default position of prohibition. Therefore, masturbation is prohibited.

One cannot claim that the verse is silent with regards to masturbation. Clearly, the verse has initially outlawed every means/method of satisfying one’s sexual desires (this includes masturbation) and then makes only two exceptions to the rule. This shows that everything besides these two exceptions reverts to the default position of prohibition.

The second proof cited is the following hadith,

عَنْ عَبْدِ الَّلَِّ، قالَ قالَ لنا رسُولُ الَّلَِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم : يََ مَعْشَرَ الشَّبابِ مَنِ اسْتطاعَ مِنكُمُ ال بَاءةَ فَ لْيَ تَ زَوجْ فإنهُ أغضُّ للْبصَرِ وَأحْصَنُ

 للْفَرجِ وَمَنْ لََْ يسْتطِعْ فَ عَليْهِ بِِلصَّوْم فإنهُ لهُ وجَا ء

Translation: “Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said, 0 young men, those amongst you who can support a wife should marry, for it restrains the eyes (from casting evil glances) and preserves one from immorality; but he who cannot afford it should observe fast for it is a means of controlling the sexual desire.”

Once more, one cannot claim that this hadith too is silent regarding masturbation. The fact is that the purpose behind the hadith is to stop young men from falling into the temptation of zina and Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has offered practical solutions to overcome that temptation. The first solution is marriage, and the second is to fast as fasting is known to curbs one’s desires.

It is well known that ejaculation via masturbation will completely lower one’s desires but despite that, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) did not offer it as a solution. This implies that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) deliberately ignored masturbation as it is prohibited and hence, cannot be a solution.

  1. Those who state masturbation is ‘makruh’.

Firstly, it is important to understand the definition of the term ‘makruh’.

Whenever the Fuqaha, especially within the Hanafi school, have utilized the word ‘makruh’, it refers to Makruh Tahrimi. Makruh Tahrimi are those acts whose prohibition is accepted and proven, however, due to other reasons, it will not be given the label of Haram.

In simpler terms, this group too agrees that masturbation is prohibited, however, it will not be called Haram due to other reasons. Therefore, this group and the first are in agreement with regards to the prohibition of masturbation. This only leaves an extremely fringe group as the third opinion.

2. An extreme minority who permit masturbation.

The one scholar relied upon for this view is Ibn Hazm (Rahimahullah) who is known for his radical views on numerous issues which non besides him have accepted. To base a ruling, despite the clear proofs of an overwhelming majority of scholars throughout history, on an irregular (Shaadh) opinion of Ibn Hazm (Rahimahullah) is succumbing to one’s desires.

Furthermore, to permit masturbation is to give free reign to the assortment of vices that accompany masturbation in today’s time. It is virtually impossible to find an individual who will masturbate without the use of pornography or at the very least, illicit thoughts regarding other women.

It is worth mentioning that the youth are expected to avoid any such act that will aggravate their desires.  They should lower their gazes, avoid mixed gatherings, avoid reading immoral literature, etc.  On the contrary, to issue a ruling of permissibility of masturbation to youth who aggravate their desires and lead their passion to unavoidable situations lacks foresight and will prove detrimental in the long run.

The major consequence of issuing such a ruling is that firstly, we have given the youth who have indulged in this abominable practice an excuse to vindicate themselves. Prior to such a ruling, they atleast acknowledged the act to be sinful, leaving room for Tawbah in the future.

However, by telling them it is permissible to masturbate, we have permitted them to indulge in this practice without a care.

Secondly, such a ruling will impact those youth who have so far protected themselves from this act. By removing this abhorrence towards the act, we have removed the fear of sin and the sanctity of purity and chastity from their hearts.

We therefore categorically state that masturbation is not permissible and has long lasting negative implications. This is also the view of the vast majority of our Fuqaha. This act is abominable in the eyes of men and is said to have been a practice of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah who had incurred the wrath of Almighty Allah. Almighty Allah destroyed the nation by upending the land on them and burying them deep in the earth. The dead sea is a manifestation of the dead values of Sodom and Gomorrah. 

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Bilal Yusuf Pandor

Student Darul Iftaa

Lusaka, Zambia

 Checked and Approved by,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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