Home Deliberation Masturbation: Beyond the Pleasure, Examining its Negative Impacts

Masturbation: Beyond the Pleasure, Examining its Negative Impacts

Masturbation can lead to serious health issues, which can have a significant impact on a person's social and marital life. Addiction does not always require the use of chemical substances; some behaviors' can be just as addictive. Masturbation is an example of such an act. It should also be remembered that masturbation is the gateway to pornography, which has a multitude of neurological harms. Masturbation and porn limit the sexual experience to oneself, whereas the entire concept of sex requires the involvement of another person. Humans are social creatures who crave social connections. Keeping this in mind, we can assume that the biological proclivity to connect extends to sexual practices as well. Self-pleasure can never truly replace partnered sex; if anything, it reduces the desire to engage with others.

398
0

Masturbation is a vile practice that many people have adopted because they believe it is harmless. When it is normalized and portrayed as a morally correct and healthy element of a person’s lifestyle, the issue worsens.

Sitting alone at night. Nothing interesting to do. The mind is empty. And the devil is lurking.

Nowadays, entertainment is more readily available and cheaper than ever. It’s all about satisfying your nafs. People are rapidly becoming addicted to various behaviors’, yielding to their whims and desires. Add to that the constant bombardment of sexually explicit material on the internet, and you have a setup for developing sexual addictions like masturbation. All of this, however, contradicts the purpose that Islam assigns to mankind.

Masturbation has become a common practice among the youth, and unfortunately, even Muslims are not immune to this fitnah. It is now presented as a healthy part of one’s daily routine, and individuals are encouraged to accept it and let go of the guilt. As a result, many people, particularly young men and women, have adopted this habit. The bigger issue is that some people have come to believe that there is nothing ethically wrong or sinful about committing this act. So let us first look at what the Qur’an and the Sunnah have to say about it.

Allah says in the Qur’an (23:5-7), “And they who guard their private parts, except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors.” Here the verses are clear in forbidding all illegal sexual acts (including masturbation) except for the wives or what their right hand possesses. [And whoever seeks beyond that is the transgressor.]

Some scholars used as evidence the ayah (24:33), “And let those who do not have the means to marry keep themselves chaste until Allah enriches them out of His bounty.” This verse also clearly orders whoever does not have the financial means to marry to keep himself chaste and be patient in facing temptations (including masturbation) until Allah enriches them of His bounty.

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud said, “We were with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) while we were young and had no wealth whatsoever. Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) 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.” (Al-Bukhari 5066)

It is well known that when presented with two options, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) always chose the easier one for his ummah, as long as it was halal. Masturbation would have been much easier in this case than fasting. However, the youth were advised to fast (if they are unable to marry) to diminish their sexual urges, rather than allowing them to masturbate in order to relieve sexual tension. The verses of the Qur’an mentioned above together with this narration of the Prophet (SAW) are enough evidence with regards that masturbation is not considered halal in usual circumstances. The permissibility will be in time of extreme needs such as a person being in a situation where he fears he will commit adultery. Scholars have written that such a person will be excused in order to save himself from the sin of adultery, adopting the lesser of two evils. But this should be seen as similar to eating pork in the condition of extreme starvation, i.e. when nothing else is available.

Harms of masturbation:

This practise of self-pleasure has spiritual, physical, as well as psychological harms. All these should be noted as its awareness can help in getting the motivation to get rid of this practice.

Spiritual harms:

The inability to remain steadfast on Allah’s deen is the greatest spiritual harm caused by this act. As long as a person engages in this filthy habit, he will find it increasingly difficult to resist his desires, until he is completely barred from living the life of a Muslim. How many young people have been deprived of Tahajjud, fasting, recitation of the Qur’an, acquiring knowledge, and socializing as a result of the commission of this evil? It is one of the main reasons which lead many youngsters to abandon their salah. When a person commits this sin, he becomes weak in front of Shaytan, and his nafs-e-ammarah (lowly-self) instructs him to do evil. As a result, he will be unable to oppose his nafs in order to carry out Allah’s commands. People who commit this act feel guilty afterward, which is a sign of their faith, however, as they indulge and make it a habit, the guilt fades and the sin becomes routine.

Physical and mental harms:

Masturbation can lead to serious health issues, which can have a significant impact on a person’s social and marital life. Many articles and discussions on this topic frequently ignore its physical dangers, even claiming that it may be healthy if done at a moderate rate. However, the problem is that in most of the cases, it leads to addiction, after which the negative effects worsen rapidly. Energy drain, mental deterioration, swollen genitals, reduced penile sensitivity, low sperm count, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and nightfall problems are some of the adverse effects. Related to these are the side effects such as poor self-esteem, feeling of guilt, loss of vitality, and poor focus.

Addiction does not always require the use of chemical substances; some behaviors’ can be just as addictive. Masturbation is an example of such an act. Dopamine and endorphins are two brain chemicals that cause addiction. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which helps in the experience of pleasure. Endorphins, on the other hand, are hormones that are released during times of stress and physical activity. Endorphins aid in the recovery process. When you masturbate, your body releases dopamine, a chemical that allows you to feel sexual pleasure, as well as endorphins after you have finished masturbating. Your body will require this release of brain chemicals more frequently as time goes on. When your brain produces dopamine, you have similar feelings to a heroin addict. This is the root of the addiction.

It should also be remembered that masturbation is the gateway to pornography, which has a multitude of neurological harms. As University of Cambridge lead researcher Valerie Voon said, “[Porn addicts] compared to healthy volunteers had significantly more difficulty with sexual arousal and experienced more erectile difficulties in intimate sexual relationships but not to sexually explicit material.” When a couple gets together, this can lead to serious problems. Either partner may feel inadequate because they are unable to perform sexually or appear to be unable to elicit sexual desire in the other person. It has caused a great deal of shame and embarrassment in many men, as well as a sense of failure in their partners. Masturbation and porn limit the sexual experience to oneself, whereas the entire concept of sex requires the involvement of another person. Humans are social creatures who crave social connections. Keeping this in mind, we can assume that the biological proclivity to connect extends to sexual practices as well. Self-pleasure can never truly replace partnered sex; if anything, it reduces the desire to engage with others.

Psychological and Social harms:

As previously stated, masturbation becomes even more dangerous when combined with pornography, which has a wide range of social repercussions. Porn has been found to promote aggression towards women, shape negative attitudes towards women, affect healthy relationships, harm the performers’ lives, and much more. Aside from that, constant indulgence in masturbation causes internal conflict. One is aware that he is committing a sin, but is unable to stop himself. Excessive practice of this heinous act leads to cowardice, increased nervous agitation, lack of self-confidence, overwhelming shame, a decrease in the desire to study, and a desire for isolation and introversion. Ibn Qayyim (rahmatullah alaihi) has said: “Many sinners sin without deriving any pleasure from it and without any urge to do it except that they experience pain in quitting it.”

Steps to quit:

• First of all, the motive to seek a cure for this problem should be solely to follow Allah’s orders and fearing His punishment.

• Do not dwell on it. Decide to leave it today itself.

• The best solution is to work on yourself, both spiritually and physically. Develop taqwa by learning about Islam through books and videos. Remember that Allah sees everything and is aware of everything you do. This will make you feel embarrassed while performing this act. It will help you in quitting the habit because shamefulness prevents immorality.

• Keeping oneself busy with what is good for this world and the Hereafter is critical in breaking this habit before it becomes second nature, after which it is extremely difficult to break. It is recommended that you engage in physical activity such as jogging, swimming, yoga, or sports.

• Marriage, as soon as the person is able, is a permanent and quick cure for this problem, as demonstrated by the Prophet’s (SAW) hadith. Scholars believe that if parents have money, they should assist their children in getting married at an early age.

• Lowering your gaze. Allah commands both men and women to keep their gaze away from forbidden objects such as inappropriate pictures, movies, and so on. It will assist in suppressing the desire before it leads to the haram. Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, “Do not follow a casual (unintentional) look (at forbidden things) with another look.” (Al-Tirmidhi, 2777) This is a general instruction by the Prophet (SAW) to abstain from all that may sexually excite a person as it may lead him/her to commit an immoral act.

• Following the Prophet’s aforementioned hadith and fasting when possible, because fasting will temper one’s sexual desire and keep it under control.

• Avoiding the illusion that some youth have that masturbation is permissible because it prevents them from committing illegal sexual acts such as fornication or even homosexuality.

• Identifying and avoiding and blocking the triggers which lead to masturbating.

• Striving hard to be patient and chaste, because persistence will eventually, Allah willing, lead to attaining those qualities as second nature.

• Repenting, asking forgiveness from Allah, doing good deeds, and not losing hope are all prerequisites to curing this problem. Note that losing hope is one of the major sins punishable by Allah.

• Finally, Allah is the Most Merciful and He always responds to whoever calls on Him. So, asking for Allah’s forgiveness will be accepted, by His will.

In conclusion Self-stimulation is just another form of entertainment for the hedonistic mind. However, being a Muslim means submitting to God (in totality). We believe that neither our bodies nor our right to pleasure belong to us. The Creator has authority over our body and has given us instructions on how to treat it. Whatever we do should be in accordance with the Creator’s will. Furthermore, being the Most Merciful, Allah does not tell us to suppress our emotions, but rather has made provisions for us to channel them appropriately. So, when a large number of people are leaving this foul practice just due to its physical harms, can’t we leave it for the sake of Allah? The Most Glorified, the Most High.

LEAVE A REPLY