Question # 476: How should I check if I had maniy or madhiy or wadhiy? By using tissue paper in my private part? Or how? And every time when I wake up should I check it? And if I forget to check when I woke up and wash myself and after that I suddenly remember that I didn’t check it and can’t remember whether I had a wet dream or not then what should I do ? Do I need fard ghusl then?
bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,
Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.
Shorter Answer: When a person wakes up and finds wetness but he is unsure of whether it is maniy (semen) or madhiy (prostatic fluid), then in such a situation, he has two options (because of the difference of opinion among the scholars):
- By applying rulings for both maniy and madhiy, i.e., perform ghusl to remove the janabah (impurity following sexual activity) on the basis that it may be maniy, and cleanse his clothes of the impurity on the basis that it might be madhiy; or
- If his sleep was preceded by thoughts of desire or he engaged in playing with his wife, then he should treat this wetness as madhiy and should cleanse his clothes by sprinkling them with water, and he does not have to perform ghusl. Alternatively, if his sleep was not preceded by thoughts of desire or similar activity, then he should treat this wetness as maniy and should perform ghusl, even though he does not remember having an erotic dream.
As for knowing the difference between Maniy (semen/sperm), Madhiy (prostatic, pre-seminal, pre-ejaculation fluid) and Wadiy (white penile secretion), Refer Question # 282.
Long Answer: When a person wakes up and has had an erotic dream, but he does not find any wetness on his clothes, then he does not have to do ghusl, according to scholarly consensus, because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was asked by a woman, “O Messenger of Allah, Allah is not shy of (telling you) the truth. Does a woman have to do ghusl if she has an erotic dream?” The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Yes if she sees water.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim) This indicates that it is not obligatory to do ghusl is one does not see water. (Al-Mughni)
But if one finds wetness, this must mean one of three things:
- That one is certain that it is maniy (semen), in which case ghusl is obligatory according to scholarly consensus. (Al-Mughni)
- That one is certain that it is not maniy, in which case ghusl is not obligatory, but this liquid must be washed away because in this case, the ruling is the same as the ruling on urine. (Al-Sharh al-Mumti’)
- If he is not sure what it is and does not know whether it is maniy (semen) or madhiy (prostatic fluid). In this case, there is a difference of opinion among the scholars:
Al-Nawawi (Shafi’i school) stated in al-Majmoo’ that the rulings on both maniy and madhiy apply, so he should do ghusl to remove the janabah (impurity following sexual activity) on the basis that it may be maniy, and he should cleanse his clothes of the impurity on the basis that it might be madhiy – because he cannot discharge his duty of purifying himself without doing that. Al-Nawawi said: “…this is the view chosen by Ash-Shiraazi, …it is also the opinion reported by Ar-Raafi’ee, and this is what appears to be the preponderant opinion.”
The madhhab of Imam Ahmad, which was also the view preferred by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, is that if he was thinking thoughts of desire before he fell asleep, or if he had played with his wife or looked at her, then this wetness should be counted as madhiy, because the liquid that is emitted because of those things is usually madhiy and the basic principle is that it is not anything else. So, he should cleanse his clothes off the madhiy by sprinkling them with water, but he does not have to do ghusl.
But if he did not think thoughts of desire, or play with or look at his wife before falling asleep, then this wetness is to be considered as maniy, because of the report narrated by ‘Aa’ishah (رضي الله عنهما) who said: “The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was asked about a man who finds some wetness and does not remember having an erotic dream. He said: ‘He should do ghusl.’ And he was asked about a man who thought that he had had an erotic dream but he did not find any wetness. He said, ‘He does not have to do ghusl.’” (Narrated by Abu Dawood; classed as hasan by al-Albani in Saheeh Abi Dawood)
Al-Khattabi said in Ma’aalim al-Sunan: “The apparent meaning of this hadith is that ghusl is obligatory if one sees wetness, even if he is not certain that it is maniy. This opinion was narrated from a group of the Tabi’een, including ‘Ata’, al-Shu’bi and al-Nakha’i.”
This wetness has to have come out for a reason, and there is no apparent reason other than an erotic dream, and the water that usually comes out because of an erotic dream is maniy. So, this uncertainty may be dealt with by going by what is most usual. (al-Mughni and Sharh al-‘Umdah)
Furthermore, the Maaliki jurists stated that doubting whether or not one is in a state of sexual impurity is like he is in a state of sexual impurity. For instance, Ibn ‘Arafah said: “Doubting about being in a state of sexual impurity or not is like being in a state of impurity.” Moreover, Khaleel from the Maaliki school of jurisprudence said: “If one doubts whether the discharge he had was maniy or madhiy, he should perform ghusl”
Both opinions are valid, but if you follow the second view it will be sufficient, in sha Allah. If you want to be on the safe side and be sure that your prayer is valid, and you follow the first opinion, that will be better.
(The above reply is based on the following resources:
- Answer provided by Islamqa.info on a similar topic
- Islamweb.net, a web site belonging to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in the State of Qatar)
Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.