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Fatwa – Things or acts which make ghusl obligatory

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Darulihsan.com


1. If semen is discharged out of passion while one is awake or asleep, ghusl becomes wajib irrespective of whether it is discharged by touching a person of the opposite sex, or by having any such thoughts or fantasies, or by any other way -in all cases, ghusl will be wajib.

2. If one awakens and sees semen on his clothing or body, ghusl will be wajib irrespective of whether one sees a dream or not.

Note: At the time of excitement, in the beginning a particular fluid which increases the excitement, comes out. This fluid is called mazi (pre-coital fluid). When climax is reached and one is satiated, the liquid which comes out at that time is called mani (semen). That which distinguishes the two is that when semen comes out, one becomes satisfied and his passion is cooled, while the coming out of mazi does not decrease the excitement but increases it. Furthermore, mazi is thin while semen is thick. The discharge of mazi does not make ghusl obligatory; however, wudu breaks.

3. When the glans of the penis enters the vagina and is not visible, ghusl becomes wajib irrespective of whether semen was discharged or not. The insertion of the penis in the front makes ghusl obligatory irrespective of whether semen is discharged or not. If it is inserted in the anus, then too ghusl will be obligatory. However, it is a major sin to insert or ask someone to insert the penis into the anus.

4. That blood which is discharged monthly is called haid (menstruation, or monthly period). When this blood stops flowing, ghusl becomes obligatory. That blood which is discharged after child-birth is called nifaas. Ghusl also becomes obligatory when this blood stops flowing. In short, ghusl becomes obligatory in four conditions:

(1) Discharge of semen out of excitement.

(2) Entry of the glans of the penis into the vagina (or anus).

(3) At the end of menstruation.

(4) At the end of nifaas.

5. If a person has sexual intercourse with a minor girl, ghusl will not be obligatory on her. But in order to get her into the habit, she should be made to bath.

6. While sleeping, one has a wet dream and even experiences some excitement. However on awakening, one notices that no semen was discharged. Ghusl will therefore not be obligatory. However, if semen was discharged, ghusl will be obligatory. If there is any wetness on the clothing or body, but one is in doubt as to whether it is mazi or semen, then too it will be obligatory to make ghusl.

7. A little semen comes out and one therefore had a bath. After bathing, more semen comes out. It will be obligatory to bath again. If after bathing, the husband’s semen comes out of the wife’s vagina, the ghusl will be complete and it will not be necessary to repeat it.

8. If, due to some sickness, or some other reason, semen comes out of its own accord, and there was no excitement or desire, then ghusl will not be obligatory, but wudu will break.

9. The husband and wife were sleeping on one bed. When they awoke, they saw stains of semen on the bed-sheet. However, neither the husband nor the wife remember seeing any dream. As a precaution, both of them should have a bath because it is not known as to whose semen it is.

10. If any non-Muslim accepts Islam, it is mustahab for him to have a bath.

11. If someone gives ghusl to a dead person, it is mustahab for that person to have a bath.

12. If one upon whom ghusl is obligatory, wishes to eat or drink something before going for a bath, he should first wash his hands, face and gargle his mouth. Thereafter he should eat and drink. But if he eats or drinks without washing his hands and face, there is no sin in this.

13. It is not permissible for the one on whom ghusl is obligatory, to touch the Quran, read it or to enter a musjid. However, it is permissible to take the name of Allah, to read the kalimah or to read durood shareef (salutations upon Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). Rules similar to these will Insha Allah be explained in detail in the chapter on menstruation.

14. To touch the books of tafsir (commentaries of the Quran) without bathing or without wudu, is makruh. To touch a Quran with its translation is haraam.(Note: this prohibition is in regard to the one upon whom ghusl is obligatory).

Bahishti Zewar

This answer was collected from DarulIhsan.com. It’s the official website of Darul Ihsan, which is an Islamic organisation (PBO) based in Durban, South Africa.

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