The human mind during the teen years, due to physiological changes, is constantly reminded of sex and sexuality. At this age a human's sexuality is the most active. It is very important that Muslim teenagers learn how to deal with it, and it is our duty to teach them on this important subject.
Required understanding: Who are the best believers? What does being Muslim really mean?
Being Muslim means submitting to Allah. True Muslims are those who have completely, totally, devoted their lives to Islam. Their only wish is to serve Allah. They spend all of their everyday lives doing what they believe is Allah's wish. They live for Islam. They have let go of their ego, of their 'personal lives', they know their owner, their master and their guide is Allah. You might ask, "THIS IS SLAVERY!". Yes it is. We are Allah's powerless slaves. Do you think otherwise?
The best Muslims during the Prophet's times were those whose only desire was avoiding the fire of Jahannam and entering Jannah. This is what they thought about most of their waking time, as Surah Al-Imran mentions:
Those who remember God (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): "Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire. [Quran, 3:190]This is the type of humans that Islam aims to create.
In contrast, most unguided people are obsessed with gratifying their desires. They eat, please themselves in different ways and sleep, as the Quran says, just like animals.
Islam's Ruling on Masturbation
The late prominent scholar Sheikh Mustafa Az-Zarqa, may Allah bless his soul, has analyzed the issue of masturbation in detail and, after discussing the different views of scholars and jurists regarding it, issued the following fatwa:
“The only legal text used as evidence for the prohibition of masturbation is Allah’s saying describing the believers: “Those who guard their sexual organs except with their spouses or those whom their right hands possess, for (with regard to them) they are without blame. But those who crave something beyond that are transgressors.” (Al-Mu'mun: 5-7)
Commenting on this verse, some scholars hold the view that this habit (masturbation) falls under the category of those who seek fulfillment of their sexual desires outside the framework of marriage, and as such they are deemed transgressors. Those scholars put masturbation under the list of the forbidden categories of sexual fulfillment since it constitutes transgression of boundaries. This view is held by the Shafi`ites (followers of the Shafi`i school of Fiqh).Is it haram or not then?
It is haram. Masturbation is not allowed and it is a sin. You might have a good reason, but it will still be a sin, just like the way you can have a good reason for stealing.
Some people say (including a scholar) that semen is something that needs to excreted. I don't think this is correct. Because a male's body does this automatically when he has too many sperms. He will have what is known as a wet dream, which is a perfectly normal and acceptable thing.
Problems that stem from masturbation
- To Masturbate is to fall short of Islam's high morals. The best believers would never masturbate since they have completely devoted their lives to Islam. They welcome pain and hardship since they know it is better for their future. And resisting sexual temptations is a great act of self-discipline and contribute greatly to a person's spiritual growth, and there will sure be great rewards for it in the Hereafter.
- Masturbation edges on sin. And as humans in a situation like this, we can never be sure if our actions are according to Islam or we have transgressed.
- Masturbation can obsess a person's mind with sex. Some teenagers report on online forums that all they think about during the day and night is sex. How can someone like this help the world become a better place?
- Masturbation will make the person lose self-respect.
- For a male, losing semen can cause problems. To quote one of their readers: "I didn't masturbate until I was 17 years old. I didn't exercise much and yet I had this amazing 8 pack. I started masturbating about 1- 5 times a day and my 8 pack turned into a vague 4 pack. I noticed muscle loss in other parts of my body as well and I started having back problems and my eyes started getting really dry." The problem could have been caused by the high frequency. A book called The Garden of Fertility says typically a man needs 36 hours to replenish ejaculated sperm [copyright 2004, Katie Singer]. I expect when a man ejaculates more frequently than is healthy, his body will go into overdrive, trying to compensate for the lost semen by burning muscle protein to create energy. And for the dry eyes, I have read that tears and semen share some components. Since the body gives priority to procreation, the amount of fluid in the eyes and/or the helpful lubricants inside the fluid decrease.
- Masturbation can cause the individual to miss prayers, since a male cannot pray after ejaculation until he makes ghusl (takes a shower). This can be problematic when he lives with parents, who might embarrass him by asking why he showered twice in one day.
- For females, inserting a finger or an object into the vagina can break the hymen.
Muslims are not allowed to invigorate their sexual appetite so that they have to masturbate.
The best Muslims are those who dedicate all of their time to serving Allah by (but not limited to) doing useful work, learning about Islam, socializing with people, and making a living. A Muslim must also take care of his or her mind and body's needs. One should eat and enjoy food when hungry. But watching porn is like swallowing a pill that induces hunger after you have eaten. It traps the person in a vicious cycle of never ending desire, exhausting the person's body and mind.
As mentioned earlier, it is the unguided nations that are only after gratifying their desires. Islam is the opposite of this.
Punishment for watching pornography
Watching porn is, as I said, like taking a hunger pill. By watching porn one is rejecting all of Islam's great teachings, transgressing on Allah's limits, and accepting to descend the ladder of enlightenment to the darkest pits of ignorance. That is what a Muslim is not, that is what Islam came to stop people from doing.
By watching porn a person doesn't just commit one crime, rather a plethora of others. Such as wasting time, weakening relationships, abusing the body and mind, letting life pass one by, forgetting the Day of Judgment, and most importantly, ignoring Allah's existence. Therefore, watching porn, even though it is a simple act in itself, indicates critical deviation from Islam's teachings.
From this study I have realized that watching porn is not the problem, it is a symptom of deeper problems. A well educated Muslim knows that the purpose of life is not chasing pleasures, it is accomplishing Islam's missions.
About resisting temptation
Researchers from Duke University, the University of Southern California, and the University of Pennsylvania found that asking college students about their vices actually causes them to stop resisting temptation. "We demonstrate that asking consumers to report their expectations regarding how often they will perform a vice behavior increases the incidence of these behaviors." Resisting temptation is difficult when you think about that which you're trying to resist!
It's a self-fulfilling prophecy: the study participants thought they'd succumb, so they did. Resisting temptation was difficult because of their thought processes.
Resisting the temptation to shop
Regarding purchasing power, these researchers found that even seemingly kind or harmless questions about advertised products lowers consumers' will. That is, even a few gentle questions leads people to purchase products they wouldn't normally buy - which makes resisting temptation difficult. The more they talk about the product, the more they give into their desires and the less they resist temptation. In fact, the Law of Attraction came alive and their thoughts became action.
Not surprisingly, these results were especially evident in people with low self-control. The lower your self-control is, the more trouble you'll have resisting temptation.
To resist temptation, turn temptation around. Instead of thinking about not eating chocolate chip cookies, focus on eating fresh fruit or veggies, or going out for a walk or run. Your focus will go far in resisting temptation. Instead of focusing on not gambling, think about other ways to spend your money. Those other ways will help you resist temptation. Instead of thinking about not surfing the internet, consider the benefits of sleeping all night long or spending time with family or friends. The more you learn about resisting temptation, the easier it'll get.
How to serve Allah
What kinds of things can you do to serve Allah? I know that each of us is different, and some of my suggestions might not work for you. That is why you have to get creative. Use that brain!
- Submit your soul to Allah. Tame your mind. Learn to think like this; "Everything, every second of my life, is meant to serve Allah. I am made for serving Allah. What is the best thing I can do right now to serve Allah?" This will reprogram your brain to start working for Allah's favor, not your own personal one.
- Educate yourself in Islam. Start with books about Islamic belief, not Shari'ah ! Shari'ah won't do you much good if you do not have a strong moral and spiritual base that can allow applying it. It is like wanting to play a CD without a CD-player. The first thing you should do is read books on correct Islamic thinking.
- Follow Islam to the fullest. Don't miss fajr prayers. Pray all of the prayers on time. Train your self-discipline. It is like a muscle, the more you train it, the stronger it gets.
- Read Qur'an.
- Start learning Arabic.
- Start a blog on Islam. Make some friends. This will help you feel more accountable to your actions. Write about your growth in Islam. (But as a commenter pointed out, getting online is dangerous in itself because of all the tempting things we are shown on most websites. So it might be a good idea to stay away from the internet until you have enough self-discipline to resist temptation.)
- Don't give up. I've read that a person needs 21 days to start a new habit. Spend all of this time teaching your brain the fact that you are Allah's servant, not your own personal desires'. And...
- You will be sure to succeed. If you follow the teachings of this study follow, it will be impossible for you to fail.
- Islam is not an easy religion. Giving up masturbation and resisting temptation is very hard too. Islam is very challenging. There is no 'beating' it. There are always higher grounds to conquer. But it is fun and will make you a strong, mature person. I wouldn't trade the sense of working for a higher purpose (the highest purpose!), the sense of having a great mission, for all the money and power in the world.
- Tell your friends about this page.
Masturbation and porn are both parts of the darkness that Islam has come to enlighten. We have to devote our souls, our selves, totally to Islam. We have to stop thinking from a "me" perspective, we should train ourselves to think from an "Allah's servant" one.