Question # 372: Today after I start my fast, I slept after fajr, and I had a wet dream of sexual intercourse) and I ejaculated in sleep, my question is, is my fast for that day broken, even though I didn’t have control over it?

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).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: Having a wet dream during the day in Ramadan does not invalidate the fast, because this is a matter that is beyond a person’s control. He/ She has to perform ghusl to cleanse himself from janabah (impurity), if maniy (semen) was emitted. Also Refer to Question # 302: Engaging in Secret Habit while fasting.

Long Answer: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “The Pen is lifted from three (i.e., their deeds are not recorded): a child until he reaches puberty; an insane man until he comes to his senses; one who is asleep until he wakes up.” (Recorded in Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah)

[Therefore,] having a wet dream during the day in Ramadan does not invalidate the fast, because this is a matter that is beyond a person’s control, and he cannot prevent it. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope” (Soorah al-Baqarah, 2:286)

“If a man experiences a wet dream this does not invalidate his fast, because it was involuntary on his part; it is similar to the case when something enters his throat whilst he is sleeping.”
(al-Mughni by Ibn Qudaamah)

The Standing Committee said: “Whoever has a wet dream whilst he is fasting or is in a state of ihram for Hajj or ‘Umrah, there is no sin on him and he does not have to offer expiation (kafarah). It does not affect his fast, but he does have to do ghusl to cleanse himself from janabah (impurity) if maniy (semen) was emitted. (Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah)

Ihtilaam (wet dream) means seeing intercourse in one’s dream. This is one of the things that Allah has created in human nature for men and women alike. Hence it was narrated from Umm Salamah the Mother of the Believers that she said: “Umm Sulaym the wife of Abu Talhah came to the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, verily Allah is not shy of (telling you) the truth. Is it necessary for a woman to take a bath (ghusl) after she has a wet dream?’ The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, ‘Yes, if she notices a discharge.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, al-Ghusl; Muslim, al-Hayd).

What is meant by a wet dream is when a person who is sleeping imagines intercourse. And al-Bukhari narrated from Abu Salamah that Abu Qutadah al-Ansari said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) say: ‘Dreams come from Allah and bad dreams come from the Shaytaan. So if any one of you sees a dream that he dislikes, let him spit drily to his left side and seek refuge with Allah from it, and it will not harm him.” (al-Ta’beer; Muslim, al-Ru’yaa). This does not mean that the Shaytaan is the one who causes that.

The fact that the maarids (strong jinns) are chained up during Ramadan does not mean that the devils stop whispering into people’s hearts and urging them to do evil; but that happens to a lesser extent in Ramadan than in other months. The effects of this are well known and can be seen. Also Refer to Question # 79: Chained devils (Shayateen) in Ramadan.

Ibn Hajar said: the fact that bad dreams are mentioned in conjunction with the Shaytaan means that they share his characteristics of lying and exaggeration, etc., unlike true dreams which are mentioned in conjunction with the name of Allah by way of honor, even though all of them are created and decreed by Allah. (Fath al-Baari)

(Most part of the above reply is based on various answers provided by Islam Q&A on the topic)

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.

Wassalaam