I cannot afford to get married, so please advise me on what to do to avoid lustful sins?

Question: I am from a poor family; therefore, I cannot think of marriage at any time in the near future. What shall I do with my pressing lust? I am religious, and I do not want to become polluted with the sins that invite me towards them everyday. Please, give me a scientific solution, for theories neither nourish nor do they release one from hunger!

The answer: The Prophet (S) has said, ‘O youth, whoever of you is able to get married, let him get married, for it is better to protect his eyes from unlawful looking and his genitals from sins; and whoever is unable, let him fast, because fasting is as a protection to him (stops his lust).’

Based on this Prophetic tradition, I say, dear brother, there is no way before you except to either get married or to fast. There are two kinds of marriage. One is permanent marriage, which is required firstly and lastly. I advise you to this kind of marriage in spite of your financial difficulties. Look for a young woman who accepts your weak financial condition and tell her: Allah has promised to enrich us with His favor after marriage. Let us believe in Him and His promise and rely on Him. He has said in His Book, (And marry those among you who are single and those who are virtuous among your male slaves and your female slaves; if they are needy, Allah will enrich them out of His grace; and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing).

Once, a young man from the Prophet’s companions came to the Prophet (S) and said to him, ‘My mother and I have had nothing at all for lunch today.’ He expected that the Prophet (S) would give him something, but the Prophet (S) said to him,

‘Get married!’

The young man thought that the Prophet (S) did not hear him properly, so he said again, ‘O messenger of Allah, I have had nothing even for lunch today. How can I get married?’

The Prophet (S) said again, ‘Get married!’

The young man repeated his saying and the Prophet (S) said to him, ‘Get married!’

The young man was astonished that the Prophet (S) did not give him anything, though the generous Prophet (S) would give his clothes and food even to his enemies.

The young man went back to his mother and told her what the Prophet (S) had said.

The mother said, ‘Surely, the Prophet (S) sees a wisdom in that.’ She asked for her son’s permission to ask for their neighbor’s hand. He agreed and the girl came to her husband’s house so simply and with no cost that the wedding was on the same day.

The young man thought to himself that he could not leave his wife with no means of livelihood. Therefore, he went out of the town to collect some firewood. He sold the firewood for two dirhams. He bought some food with one dirham and saved the other to buy an axe. When he had collected four dirhams, he could afford to buy an axe to cut firewood with, in order to not hurt his hands with thorns.

After some days, he could afford to buy a camel to carry the firewood on to the market. Every morning, he went to the desert to collect firewood with his axe and then carried it on his camel to the market to sell it. On the fortieth day of his marriage, the Prophet (S) saw him in Medina leading his camel. The Prophet (S) asked him about the camel. The young man told the Prophet (S) his story. The Prophet (S) said to him, ‘Did I not tell you to get married?’ Later on, this young man became one of the wealthiest people of Medina35.

Dear brother, do not fear poverty, because fearing poverty will keep you in it! Rely on Allah sincerely and try your best to find how the promise of Allah will shine in your joint life with your wife!

However, if you cannot get married and your lust is furious as you say, you can extinguish it through fasting and worshipping. If this cannot extinguish your lust, you have to practice the last solution: temporary marriage, which Allah has made lawful but some ignorant people have prohibited and therefore, they have involved themselves and their followers in adultery and psychological complexes that result from suppressing this instinct.

Temporary marriage, if you obtain the acceptance of the other side (a divorced woman or a widow), is a preferable solution in certain cases. Do not trouble yourself since Allah has permitted this thing! The wording of the agreement of this type of marriage, after agreeing with the other side on the dowry and the period of marriage, is that she should say first (I marry myself to you on the specified dowry and for the specified period) and then you reply by saying (I agree). Then, you both have to adhere to the legal conditions of this marriage. The most important condition is that she must, after the period of your temporary marriage ends, undergo the idda36 and then divorce between you takes place automatically. You can remarry again if you want but with agreeing on another period and dowry. The idda of temporary marriage is the passing of two menstruation cycles if the woman intends to get married with another man, but with the same man, there is no need for the idda. I advise you not to let a child be formed, because it will be your legal child and then you must undertake its rights as your and her child, and hence, this requires you, due to morals, to get married in a permanent marriage and live happily.

source: For a Better Future