Please note: The answers on Hawramani.com constitute friendly advice rather than fatwas. Where relevant, we translate the opinions and fatwas of respected scholars and present them in our answers.

Why are we supposed to control our sexual desires in Islam?

Why do we have to suppress our sexual desires in Islam? I'm unmarried and always have sexual thoughts, but in Islam we're told masturbation is haram and that we should fast to control our desires. It just doesn't seem fair to those who are struggling to find someone.

Masturbation is not clearly forbidden as I explain here. And sexual fantasies are not sinful as I explain here.

The reason we have to control our sexual desires is so that we can satisfy them in civilized, rather than destructive, ways. We do not want our societies to descend into being like jungles where everyone has sex with everyone else. Even though some may imagine a sexual utopia where everyone is free to do whatever they want with their sexuality, that does not lead to happiness. It actually creates a hellish world that is devoid of love and the warmth of human interactions. The British philosopher Roger Scruton speaks of this in detail in his important 1986 book Sexual Desire: A Philosophical Investigation.

If you are interested in reading more about this please check out the chapter “Women and Sexuality in Islam” from my new book An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Understanding Islam and Muslims (you can download the book for free here).

And God knows best.

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