I’m a father of three. Recently, I discovered that my 13-year old was masturbating. At first, I started to notice that he takes really long showers and stays for long time in his room alone. One day I returned home early from work and his door was open as I was coming up the stairs, I caught him doing masturbation, I was shocked and didn’t know what to do. Please help, how to handle this with my son?
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As-salamu alaykum brother,
I am sure you were shocked to discover your son has been masturbating. Especially that you caught him doing it, I am sure your son was embarrassed as well. This is a very emotionally charged age, with budding hormones, bodily changes as well as sexual needs surfacing.
Allah SWT is most merciful and forgiving. While the Islamic point of view is that masturbating is haram, it could also lead to an addiction if not curbed now. Often times children/young adults try to uphold Islamic values however the sexual urges become too strong for them to contain. If not redirected into other activities to keep their minds busy, or if their relationship with Allah and Islamic principles are not strong, they often chose to ignore their Islamic upbringing as their desires are too strong for them to handle and they know of no other outlet for their sexual energy.
I would kindly suggest that you take this opportunity to maintain your close relationship with your son. Insha’Allah you can remember how you felt when you were his age, and the steps that you perhaps took to avoid masturbation. This is a critical point in time which can affect which way he will turn. The approach you take in dealing with your son’s masturbation is very important right now. I would kindly suggest that you have a heart to heart talk with him, just the two of you perhaps. Try not to be accusatory and punitive although it may be hard, as this will only push him away.
You may want to discuss with him insha’Allah your feelings when you were his age and how you handled sexual desire and avoided haram behaviors. Explain the benefits of refraining from masturbation such as not displeasing Allah, not developing an addiction, and not taking it “one step further” such as actually engaging in intercourse.
Explain to your son that insha’Allah, refraining from masturbation will help to further develop self respect, self love and having the satisfaction of knowing he waited for his future wife to explore these pleasures with. You may also want to consider making yourself open and available for any questions or concerns he may have regarding sexuality & his changing body. If your local Islamic center offers classes such as these for young teens, I would kindly suggest enrolling him as well.
Insha’Allah, remind him of his value as a young Muslim, as well as his Islamic duties, principles, obligations and accountability to Allah SWT. Please do express the importance of remaining chaste as discussed in the Qur’an
“And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way”.
Insha”Allah try to instill a sense of sacredness for his body as well as the real presence of Allah in his life so that insha’Allah he will be able to resist temptation.
Additionally, try to keep your son engaged in positive activities so he does not have too much idle time for his mind to think about his desires.
While of course his desires are normal and to be expected, insha’Allah he will learn self mastery and control over his impulses and needs. Discuss alternative activities to subdue or divert his desires such as taking up a hobby, engaging in a sport or focusing more on his future and career aspirations. While these suggestions are meant to help divert needs, they are real needs brother and will not totally go away. I would kindly suggest that you encourage him to pray, to attend the Masjid more (if he is not already), and encourage him to make friends with young brothers who are serious about being successful in this life and the hereafter.
We wish you the best brother. The teen years can be tiring, but if we can remember how it felt to be a teenager; rely on the teachings of Al-Islam, and ask Allah for ease it will insha’Allah help us in dealing with the issues that arise.
You are in our prayers, please let us know how you both are doing.
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