Ruling on swearing not to masturbate but returning to it

Question:

I committed masturbation several times. Once I took an oath by the Mus-haf (copy of the Qur’an) that I will never masturbate again. However, two weeks after taking the oath, I masturbated to evade committing the major sin of fornication - may Allah save us from that. What is the ruling on breaking this oath and what is the Kaffarah (expiation)? Is there any difference between making an oath on the Mus-haf while holding it and making an oath without holding it?

Answer:

Masturbation is unlawful; because it is an unlawful way to get sexual pleasure. You have to repent of it and never do it again. The Prophet (peace be upon him) advised the young man who is unable to marry and fears temptation to observe Sawm (fast); because Sawm helps alleviate the sexual desire and prevent the person from committing Zina (sexual intercourse outside marriage). Since you said that you took an oath to quit masturbation then practiced it once more, you have to offer the Kaffarah (expiation) of a broken oath. This Kaffarah is freeing a Muslim slave, feeding ten needy people or clothing them. If you are unable to do so, you have to fast for three days. But if you are able to feed the needy, the amount of food you should provide is half a Sa’ (a Sa’= 2.172 Kg) according to the measure of the people of Madinah which amounts to 1.5 kg of the common foodstuff in your country such as dried dates, rice, or others of their like. If you are able to clothe ten needy people, you have to provide a Qamis (long shirt), Izar (garment worn below the waist) and Rida’ (a gown) for each one of them. Finally, there is no need to take an oath by the Mus-haf because this has no origin in the sanctified Shari’ah.

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

  • Date: Muharram 10, 1442 AH
  • Source: Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Da'imah no. 17042-3
  • Muftis: Shaykh Abdul-'Aziz ibn Baz , Shaykh Abdul-Razzaq al-Afify , Shaykh Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan , Shaykh Salih Fawzan , Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Aal al-Shaykh , Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd