The basics for a man who wakes up finding that his lower garment is moist

Answered by Shaykh Sohail Hanif, SunniPath Academy Teacher

1. What is the basic rule for a man who wakes up to find that his lower garment is moist?
2. What if he notices a somewhat thick, milky-white discharge at the end of urination?

Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalamu alaykum

To understand the answer, one needs to know the various fluids that can leave a person’s sexual organs.  There are three basic types of fluid that are related to this.  These are:

 

  • Mani (sexual fluid): With respect to men, it is a white thick fluid that exits with ejaculation.  The sexual fluid of a woman is thin and yellow.  [Maraqi alFalah, 1:144, Maktaba al-‘Ilm al-Hadith]
  • Madhi (pre-sexual fluid): a white thin fluid that exits when sexually excited but does not accompany an ejaculation.  It can often be released without one being aware of it.  It is more prevalent in women with respect to whom it is termed qadhi. [ibid, 1:150]
  • Wadi: a white, cloudy, thick fluid that exits either before or after urinating.  It tends to be released if one is constipated or has been carrying a heavy load. [ibid, 1:150, & Hashiya alTahtawi, 1:150, Maktaba al-‘Ilm al-Hadith]

Only sexual fluid (mani) obligates a ritual bath (ghusl).  The latter two only necessitate a ritual ablution (wudu’) but are legally considered filth (najasa) and so have to be washed if one’s body or clothing is affected.

As for the case that one awakes and finds moisture on or around one’s sexual organ then there are a number of scenarios that the scholar mention for this depending on whether one knows it to be a particular one of the above mentioned fluids or whether one doubts and depending on whether one remembers seeing a dream that can ordinarily lead to ejaculation or not.

The various scenarios are summarised in the following table:

Is it mani?

 

Is it madhi (pre-sexual fluid)?

 

Is it wadi?

 

Was a wet dream seen?

 

Is a ritual bath obligatory?

 

Yes I feel sure

 

 

 

Yes

 

Yes I feel sure

 

Yes

Yes

 

Yes I feel sure

 

No

No

 

 

Yes I feel sure

 

No

Unsure

Unsure

Unsure

Yes

Yes

Unsure

Unsure

Unsure

No

No

[from Radd alMuhtar, 1:110, Bulaq]

It might seem strange that it is obligatory to perform a ritual bath when one is unsure as to whether the fluid is sexual fluid and that it is also obligatory when one is certain that the fluid is madhi (pre-sexual fluid) if it was accompanied by a dream.  The scholars explain the latter by the fact that mani can sometimes become thin over time such that it resembles madhi (pre-sexual fluid).  As for the former it is based on the precaution that is necessary in acts of worship.  [from Maraqi alFalah, 1:148]

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,
Sohail Hanif
Amman, Jordan.