Masturbation: Is it prohibited in the Quran?


Could you please let me know what does the Quran say about masturbation? Some ulamas are saying that it is haram, but I cannot see this in the Quran.


Initially, we do not find the word masturbation or any reference to it in the Quran. This indicates that, as an act, it is not sinful nor is it prohibited by God. If it were, the Quran being fully detailed would have mentioned it.
The rule is that nothing is prohibited by God in the Quran unless there are clear unambiguous Quranic words that state such a prohibition. Prohibitions should not be derived from the personal interpretation of one Quranic verse or another. There is no prohibition in the Quran against masturbation.
Nevertheless, there are those who claim that masturbation is haram and they base their claim on their interpretation of 23:5-7.

"...... those who guard their private parts except from their spouses, or what their right hands possess, with whom they are free from blame. Then whoever seeks beyond that, then they are the transgressors." 23:5-7

The immediate observation that we derive when we read the 3 verses above is that the word masturbation is not mentioned directly or indirectly. Nevertheless, they claim that God allowed sex only with the spouses and those whom the right hand possesses, and therefore what we do when we are on our own is prohibited.

The words in the 3 verses above speak of 2 categories of people with whom sex is allowed, they are the "spouses" and "what their right hands possess".

The words "guard their private parts except from" and specifically the word "from" indicates that God is speaking about external categories of people from whom we should guard our private parts from. It makes no sense to say that we should guard parts of our bodies from ourselves!

The words continue to say whoever seeks "beyond that". The words "beyond that" once again speak about external categories of people beyond the 2 categories of people mentioned.

Masturbation does not involve people beyond the categories of people mentioned in the verse, and thus it is not subject to the prohibition found in these verses.

Masturbation would only be prohibited if another person (not from the 2 categories mentioned) performed the act of masturbation on the person. That would be haram, not because masturbation in itself is a sinful act, but because it would constitute a sexual act with another person who is "beyond" the 2 categories mentioned.

Finally, those who claim that masturbation is haram need to answer the following question:
What if a wife performed the act of masturbation on her husband, would that be haram?
Naturally, they would say no because no matter how much they attempt to juggle the words in the verses above, they would never have a justification to claim that it is haram.
Once again, this confirms that the act of masturbation in itself is not a sinful act nor that it is prohibited by God.