Should Masturbation be legalized in Islam?
Sexual deprivation among ‘young’ unmarried generation, inarguably, ballooned by ‘religious and cultural conservatism’ plays an essential role in the causing of a situation where youth envisages a world ‘you shut a door on me, I will try to find ten others’.
In accordance, to satisfy their hunger for sex; a need indeed, this generation has invented dozens of ways: watching pornographic content, masturbating, resorting to phone sex, adultery, doing ‘sexting’ (a lewd chat involving text), establishing a live-in relationship, recognition of coarse sex scenes and nudity in movies and other shows (don’t you love watching Game of Thrones and Hollywood movies), chatting with ‘virtual’ girlfriends/boyfriends on social media comes handy for sexually starved youth.
Now, these methods, until a marriage happens (though post-marital sexual affairs question the logic), could contain the excruciating pain that stems because of vigorous activity of sex hormones. Great! unless it doesn’t harm any other being. The atmosphere reeks of tension when religious principles, cultural obligations prevent sexually deprived people from adopting these new plans.
What a young unmarried human is supposed to do when sexual hunger defies all the ‘patience barriers’ and the religious codes rejects to pacify it?
Though, many religions including Christianity and Islam forbid the these sexual practices among unmarried people, but science has always been a fan of masturbation: declared sinful activity by both the religions, corroborating its genuineness by highlighting the health benefits like: making you happy, helping you become generous, lowering the risk of breast cancer, preventing heart diseases, boosting your immune system, reduces the risk of prostate cancer and above all, it is fun!
To rationalize the debate and to delve further into the discussion of masturbation, here are the viewpoints of two antagonistic unmarried persons.
“Unlike adultery, fornication, that involves and harms the thread of society, masturbation is a headache for my bathroom tiles, my underwear, and mostly, my bed-sheet. It stresses me down, helps me to get over with emotional breakdowns. This 60s trial makes my day and bridles the tongue of sexual demons, who, if left unattended make the things worse. I do it to speak for the testosterone, if not for its health benefits, says Atif (name changed), a college student.
Ajaz Ahmad, an Islamic Scholar thinks:
“Everything a human possess belongs to God, and He will never approve of wasting millions of sperms for a short moment of pleasure. Masturbation leads to loss of manhood! It tops the list of all grave sins!”
He further added, “To prevent such kind of bearing in children, parents should marry their children off at early age, for a marriage caps this growing urge of sexual desires, largely. ‘until you won’t get a job, you can’t marry’ trend in our society has catalyzed the concept of late marriage, which ultimately is a major cause of indulging in ‘immoral’ sexual practices.”
Some Islamic scholars with whom I spoke alleged the covert role of parents and family in pushing their offspring to submit to these ‘unislamic’ practices. With no real or virtual help knocking their door, the sexually starved youth turns himself up for other means to satisfy their hunger for sex. And in contemporary times, with ‘JIO effect’ (free 4G and free voice calls) coming into play, youth purge themselves of sexual hunger on different platforms.
To put a full stop on exercising these ‘unislamic’ practices, a senior Islamic scholar vouched for the re-implementation of an age-old Islamic tradition referred to as mut’ah, a temporary marriage. This time-bound marriage contract was very much practiced even in the era of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). And was consequently dismissed by successor Islamic rulers. Though, it is still in vogue in the Baltistan area of Pakistan, but this practice continues to be a ‘dead memory’ in major Islamic regions.
Under the umbrella of Islam itself, different schools of thought have varied viewpoints regarding the practice of satisfying the sexual greed among young people, particularly masturbation. While as according to Ibn Hazm and the Hanbali school of thought, it is halal (permissible) only under two conditions : first, the fear of committing fornication or adultery, and second, not having the means to marry, the Twelver Shia sect outrightly forbids this practice and vouches stern punishment for it.
On one hand, religious and cultural codes continue to condemn these ‘sexual appetizers’ as ‘unislamic’ and on the other side, sexually starvation in youth continues to haunt them.
Author is a student of Journalism in University of Kashmir