I have a question. Is it wajib for a person to perform the obligatory bath if a person masturbates without ejaculating, even if it is for a woman? And if she is in doubt as to the liquid excreted and decided to just perform the obligatory bath, is this sufficient? Hope for an explanation on this matter.
Waalaikumussalam wbt. Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
We will start with the statement of Allah SWT:
وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَافِظُونَ إِلَّا عَلَىٰ أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ فَمَنِ ابْتَغَىٰ وَرَاءَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْعَادُونَ
“And they who guard their private parts. Except for their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed - But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors.”
Surah al-Mukminun (5-7)
Most scholars ruled masturbation as haram (prohibited). Imam al-Syafie when commenting on this verse said:
فَلَا يَحِلُّ الْعَمَلُ بِالذَّكَرِ إلَّا فِي الزَّوْجَةِ أَوْ فِي مِلْكِ الْيَمِينِ وَلَا يَحِلُّ الِاسْتِمْنَاءُ
“It is impermissible to use the penis except to one’s wife or owned woman slaves. And istimna’ (ejaculating on purpose) is also impermissible.” (See al-Umm, 5/102)
We will first explain the definition of masturbation. Masturbation is the act of using one’s hands to ejaculate. (See Kamus Dewan Edisi Keempat, pg. 1097). The word الاستمناء or masturbation originated from the derivative word استمنى an effort to ejaculate. Whereas the term means to ejaculate without the process of intercourse, through prohibited means such as using one’s hands to fulfil one’s desires or through permissible means such as using one’s wife’s hands. (See al-Mausu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah, 4/97)
Reasons Which Obligate Obligatory Bath
Among the reasons which obligate a person to perform the obligatory bath is janabah. The lexical meaning of janabah is far away. Janabah also means ejaculated semen or intercourse. Thus, a person in the state of junub is impure because of ejaculation or intercourse. It is named junub because a person in the state of junub is far from prayer for as long as he is in this state. The word junub is also used in general, regardless of whether it is a man or woman, singular or plural.
And a person is considered to be in the state of junub due to two reasons:
- Ejaculation of semen whether for man or woman due to many reasons such as dreaming, kissing, looking at another with desires, or fantasizing.
- Intercourse even without ejaculation
(See al-Fiqh al-Manhaji, Dar al-Qalam Publication, 1/73-74)
Masturbation Without Ejaculation
Generally, the act of masturbation obligates its doer the obligatory bath bound with the condition that semen is ejaculated. If semen is not ejaculated because he holds it in from being ejaculated through his penis and according to his knowledge (there is no signs of ejaculation) he did not ejaculate afterwards, then the majority of scholars including the scholars of madhhab Syafie state that it is unnecessary to perform the obligatory bath. (See al-Majmu’ Syarh al-Muhazzab, 2/140)
Likewise, it is stated in the book al-Mausu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah (4/99):
يَجِبُ الْغُسْل عَلَى الْمَرْأَةِ إنْ أَنْزَلَتْ بِالاِسْتِمْنَاءِ بِأَيِّ وَسِيلَةٍ حَصَل
“It is wajib on a woman who masturbates to perform the obligatory bath if semen is ejaculated because she masturbates through any means.”
Thus, it should be understood from the above statement that if a woman masturbates but she did not ejaculate, then it is not wajib for her to perform the obligatory bath.
This is in accordance with a hadith from Aisyah R.Anha, where she said:
سُئِلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنِ الرَّجُلِ يَجِدُ الْبَلَلَ وَلاَ يَذْكُرُ احْتِلاَمًا قَالَ : يَغْتَسِلُ. وَعَنِ الرَّجُلِ يَرَى أَنَّهُ قَدِ احْتَلَمَ وَلاَ يَجِدُ الْبَلَلَ قَالَ: لاَ غُسْلَ عَلَيْهِ. فَقَالَتْ أُمُّ سُلَيْمٍ: الْمَرْأَةُ تَرَى ذَلِكَ أَعَلَيْهَا غُسْلٌ قَالَ: نَعَمْ ، النِّسَاءُ شَقَائِقُ الرِّجَالِ
The Prophet (ﷺ) was asked about a person who found moisture (on his body or clothes) but did not remember the sexual dream. He replied: “He should take a bath.” He was asked about a person who remembered that he had a sexual dream but did not find moisture. He replied: “Bath is not necessary for him.” Umm Salamah then asked: “Is washing necessary for a woman if she sees that (in her dream)?” He replied: “Yes. Women are counterparts of men.”
Sunan Abu Daud (236)
Coming back to the above question, the ruling for a woman who masturbates is the same as the ruling for a man who masturbates, which is it is obligatory to perform the obligatory bath if semen is ejaculated due to the masturbation and if there is no ejaculation, then the obligatory bath is not obligated.
How to Determine Semen is Ejaculated (Inzal) Which Obligates A Woman to Perform the Obligatory Bath?
However, what should be considered by a woman is how to determine that inzal (ejaculation) occurred which obligates obligatory bath. Regarding this matter, Imam al-Nawawi stated in his book:
وَلَوْ أَنْزَلَتْ الْمَرْأَةُ الْمَنِيَّ إلَى فَرْجِهَا فَإِنْ كَانَتْ بِكْرًا لَمْ يَلْزَمْهَا الْغُسْلُ حَتَّى يَخْرُجَ مِنْ فَرْجِهَا لِأَنَّ دَاخِلَ فَرْجِهَا فِي حُكْمِ الْبَاطِنِ وَلِهَذَا لَا يَلْزَمُهَا تَطْهِيرُهُ فِي الِاسْتِنْجَاءِ وَالْغُسْلِ فَأَشْبَهَ إحْلِيلَ الذَّكَرِ وَإِنْ كَانَتْ ثَيِّبًا لَزِمَهَا الْغُسْلُ لِأَنَّهُ يَلْزَمُهَا تَطْهِيرُ دَاخِلِ فَرْجِهَا فِي الِاسْتِنْجَاءِ فَأَشْبَهَ الْعُضْوَ الظَّاهِرَ
“If a woman’s semen reaches her vagina, then if she is a virgin (was never married or had intercourse), then it is not wajib for her to perform the obligatory bath until her semen flows out of her vagina for the inner part of her vagina follows the ruling of inner parts of the body (internal and unapparent). Thus, it is not wajib for her to clean her vagina when she is performing istinja’ and obligatory bath the same as the ruling of the urethra (urinary tract) of the penis. While if she is thayyib (was married and has had intercourse before), then it is wajib on her to perform the obligatory bath for it is also wajib for her to clean and wash her inner part of the vagina when performing istinja’. Thus, it follows the ruling of visible body parts (apparent).” (See al-Majmu’ Syarh al-Muhazzab, 2/140)
Habib Hasan bin Ahmad al-Kaff and Khatib al-Syirbini explained that for a woman, it is not obligatory for her to perform the obligatory bath except if she ejaculates. For a virgin (never married and had intercourse), it is wajib for her to perform the obligatory bath after the semen flows out of her vagina. While for thayyib (was married and has had intercourse), it is wajib on her to perform the obligatory bath when her semen has reached the area where it is obligatory for her to wash when performing istinja’ (even when it is not ejaculated out of her vagina), which is the visible parts when she sits with both legs open (squatting) or when she urinates. (See al-Taqrirat al-Sadidah, pg. 114, Mughni al-Muhtaj, 1/214 and al-Mausu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah al-Kuwaitiyyah, 16/49). This is also the opinion of Imam al-Hattab al-Maliki. (See Mawahib al-Jalil fi Syarh Mukhtasar Khalil, 1/307)
Doubtful as to Whether the Excreted Liquid is Semen or Otherwise
First, we would like to state several characteristics stated by scholars that it is semen and it is obligatory for a person who experiences one of the signs to perform the obligatory bath, regardless of whether it is a man or woman. They are:
- It is ejaculated with the feeling of fulfilment of desires.
- It is excreted through ejaculation (gushes in spurts).
- It has a kneaded dough-like odour when still wet and a fishy smell like an egg white when dried.
However, Habib Hasan bin Ahmad al-Kaff also emphasizes that it is not a condition for the semen to be white or it is followed by a weakening or drained feeling in the body or penis. However, this is the usual situation. (See al-Taqrirat al-Sadidah, pg. 116)
Hence, if a woman is uncertain or doubtful about the liquid excreted, whether it is semen or mazi (urethral discharge) after masturbation, where there are no other signs or feelings that prove semen is ejaculated. Then, in this case, the woman has a choice of whether inclined towards considering it as semen or mazi. If she is inclined to consider it as semen, then it is wajib for her to take her obligatory bath. While if she is inclined to consider it as mazi, then her ablution is invalidated and she has to wash and clean it. However, it is prioritized for her to perform both of them, which is to take the obligatory bath and wash the parts that came in contact with the liquid. (See al-Taqrirat al-Sadidah, pg. 116-117). The third choice is the safer choice and this avoids any khilaf.
According to the above discussion and arguments, we can conclude several matters:
- First, we would like to emphasize that masturbating is prohibited and has negative side effects in terms of it affects one’s emotions, body strength and other negative effects.
- For a woman who masturbates, it is wajib for her to perform the obligatory bath if she ejaculates because of her masturbation. And if she did not ejaculate, then it is not wajib for her to take the bath.
- However, what should be taken into consideration by women is the determination that inzal (ejaculation of semen) has occurred which obligates bath. If she is a virgin (who has never been married or had intercourse), then it is not wajib for her to take the bath until after the semen is ejaculated out of her vagina. Whereas if she is a thayyib (has been married or had intercourse), it is wajib for her to take her bath when the semen reaches the area that is wajib for her to wash during istinja’ (even when it hasn’t been ejaculated out of her vagina), which is the area visible when she sits with both her legs open (squatting) or when she urinates or defecates.
- Likewise, if the woman is uncertain as to whether the liquid that was excreted is either semen or mazi after masturbation. In this case, if there is an absence of signs or feeling that shows that she has ejaculated semen, then she has a choice to consider semen or mazi. If she chooses to consider it as semen, then it is wajib for her to take her bath. And if she so chooses to consider it as mazi, then her ablution is invalidated and she has to wash and clean it. However, it is prioritized for her to consider both which means she is prioritized to perform the obligatory bath and wash the parts that came into contact with the liquid. The third choice is the safer choice and it avoids any khilaf.
May Allah SWT give us all a clear understanding of practising the religion in our daily lives. Ameen.