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Fatwas Regarding Women

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Questions Related to Physical Purification

The Ruling Concerning Stating One's Intention

Question: What is the ruling concerning stating one's intention for the prayer and ablution?

Response: The ruling is that such is an innovation. It has not been narrated from the Prophet (peace be upon him) or from his Companions. Therefore, one must avoid it. The place of the intention is the heart. It is never needed to state an intention.

Shaikh Ibn Baz

A Baby Vomits on Clothing

Question: Is it allowed to pray in clothes that a breast feeding baby has vomited on?

Response: One must wash the clothing by splashing water over it if the child is breast feeding and does not eat hard food. It is similar to his urine, which is moistened with water and then one can pray in that clothing. The clothes are not to be prayed in until they are splashed with water.

Shaikh Ibn Baz

If a Woman Washes Her Baby, Is Her Ablution Nullified ?

Question: I have children and I wash and clean my child's impurities. Does this nullify my ablution or not?

Response: Washing the impurities off of the body that is being washed or otherwise does not invalidate the ablution unless one touches the private part. In that case, the ablution is nullified as is the case if a person touches his/her own private part.1

The Standing Committee


1. This is an issue in which there is a difference of opinion and the opinion expressed in this answer, although the safest opinion, may not be strongest opinion. In a few pages, similar question is put to Shaikh Ibn Jibreen and he comes to the opposite conclusion. Allah knows best.-- JZ

Ruling About the Secretion that Comes from a Woman's Vagina

Question: I heard from a scholar that the liquid1 that comes from a woman's vagina is pure and not impure. Since the time I heard that fatwa, I do not remove my underpants when I want to pray. After a lengthy period, I heard another scholar say that such liquid is impure. What is the correct opinion?

Response: Everything that secretes from the private part, of liquid or otherwise, nullifies the ablution. The clothes and bodily parts that are touched by it are to be washed. If this happens on a continuous basis, the ruling is the same as that of istihaadha2 and continuous seeping of urine [due to a lack of bladder control]. The impurity is to be washed off and the person makes ablution for every prayer, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated to the woman with continuous bleeding,

"Make ablution for the time of every prayer."3

However, this is not done in the case of passing gas. There is no washing in that case although one has to make ablution due to it. This ablution is to wash the face and hands, wipe the head, wash the feet, and rinse the mouth and nose while washing the face. Similarly, with respect to Sleeping, touching one's private parts, eating camel's meat, one does not wash anything but one simply has to make ablution.4

Shaikh Ibn Baz


1. The term used in the question, ratooba, when used by earlier scholars, such as al-Shafi'i and al-Nawawi, is referring to the fluid that is produced upon sexual excitement. Many scholars consider that fluid pure analogy with semen. However, this particular question and others put to contemporary scholars is more in reference to the vaginal fluids that come out on a normal basis, especially in relation to ovulation.

2. This is referring to the case of prolonged or continuous vaginal bleeding outside of the menses. It has specific rulings as described above in the response.-JZ

3. This translator was not able to find this hadith with this exact wording. The authentic narrations in al-Bukhari and Muslim simply state that she is to make ablution for every prayer.-JZ

4. This question perhaps needs some more deliberation. It is very common for almost all healthy women to experience what is called leukorrhea. This is the secretion of vaginal mucous related to ovulation or other causes. It comes from the uterus and not through the urethra. Although this is something that must have afflicted women during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), there is no clear pronouncement about it as there is about, for example menses and al-istihadha. The statement that everything that exits from the private parts is impure and nullifies ablution is not a hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and, therefore, unchangeable but it is simply the conclusion of many scholars based on the known examples. If this particular liquid nullifies ablution, then such women would have to make ablution for every prayer as this fluid exits from the body, like the case of istihadha. (Note that some women sometimes feel this fluid inside the body before it actually flows from the body. Until it flows out from the body, there is no question about its nullifying the ablution.) However, since there is no evidence for that in the hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him), since this is a very common occurrence and since such a conclusion would involve hardship upon the women (especially at the time of the Prophet), it seems there is no evidence to declare such a secretion as nullifier of the ablution. Allah knows best.-- JZ

Ruling Concerning Doubt with Respect to Ablution

Question: What is the ruling concerning a person who doubts whether he nullified his ablution or not?

Answer: If a person has doubt whether he nullified his ablution or not, then his original state of being pure remains and his doubt does not have any effect. This is based on the Prophet's statement, when a man asked him about feelings he has in his stomach during the prayer,

"Do not leave [the prayer] until you hear a sound or you perceive a smell."1

The Prophet (peace be upon him) made it clear to him that the basic ruling is that of purity until one is certain that something has occurred to nullify it. As long as the person is simply in doubt, his state of purity is sound and confirmed. Therefore, he may continue to pray, circumambulate the Kaaba, read the Quran from a mushaf and so forth. That is the original ruling. This is, all praises are due to Allah, from the magnanimity and easiness of Islam.

Shaikh Ibn Baz


1. Recorded y al-Bukhari and Muslim.-JZ

How Does a Woman Wash Herself After Sexual Defilement and Menses

Question: Is there any difference in the manner that a man and a woman wash themselves after sexual defilement? Does a woman have to undo her braids or is it sufficient for her just to pour three handfuls of water over her hair as mentioned in the hadith? What is the difference between the washing after sexual defilement and the washing after menses?

Response: There is no difference between men and women when it comes to ghusl after sexual defilement. Neither of them have to undo their hair for ghusl. It is sufficient to pour three handfuls of water over their hair and then to pour water over the rest of their bodies. This is based on the hadith of Umm Salama who said, "O Messenger of Allah,

"I am a woman who has closely plaited hair on her head, should I undo it for making ghusl from sexual defilement?" The Prophet (peace be upon him) told her, "No, it is sufficient for you to throw three handfuls of water on your head and then pour water over yourself, and you will be purified." (Muslim)

However, if the man or woman has sidr, dye or something of that nature in his hair that would keep the water from reaching to the roots of the hair, he or she must remove that. If it is something light and does not keep the water from reaching the roots, it does not have to be removed.

As for the woman making ghusl after her menses, there is a difference of opinion over whether she must undo her hair or not.

The correct opinion is that it is not obligatory upon her to do so. This is because it is mentioned in one of the narrations from Umm Salama, recorded by Muslim, that she said, to the Prophet (peace be upon him) 'LO Messenger of Allah,

"I am a woman who has closely plaited hair on her head, should I undo it for making ghusl from menstruation and sexual defilement?" The Prophet (peace be upon him) told her, "No, it is sufficient for you to throw three handfuls of water on your head and then pour water over yourself, and you will be purified."1

This narration is a clear text that it is not obligatory upon the woman to undo her plaits after either menses or sexual defilement.

However, it is best for her to undo her hair while making ghusl after menses as a precautionary measure, as a means of avoiding the thing in which there is a difference of opinion and as a way of reconciliation of the different evidences.

The Standing Committee


1. The probable problem with this narration, mentioning both sexual defilement and menstruation, was discussed earlier.--JZ

The Ruling Concerning Praying in a Dress and Thin, Translucent Stockings

Question: What is the ruling concerning a woman dressing in a thin cloak that shows her clothing? Similarly, what is the ruling concerning wiping over thin, translucent stocking, called nylon stockings?

Response: It is not allowed for a woman to pray in a very thin garment or any other thin garment. The prayer in such clothing is not correct. Instead, it is obligatory upon her to pray in clothing which is covering and through which one cannot see what is behind it or the color of her skin. This is because the woman is aurah (meant to be covered). It is obligatory upon her to cover all of her body in the prayer, except for her face and hands. If she covers her hands also, that is better. As for her feet, she must either cover them with socks that cover and conceal them or with clothing [a dress, for example] that rests over them.

Shaikh Ibn Baz

Ruling Concerning Wiping Over Thin, Translucent Socks

Question: What is the ruling concerning wiping over thin, translucent socks?

Response: From the conditions of wiping over socks is that the socks must be thick and concealing. If they are thin and translucent, it is not allowed to wipe over them. This is because, in that case, the foot is considered uncovered.

Shaikh Ibn Baz

A Slight Tear in Socks is Overlooked

Question: What is the ruling if someone notices after prayer, either a short or long time afterwards, that he had a medium size tear in one of his socks? Should he repeat his prayer or not?

Response: If the tear is small or the hole is small according to convention or custom, it is overlooked and the prayer is correct. However, it is safest for the believing men and women to be very careful about keeping their socks free from any kind of tear or hole. This is being more cautious with respect to their religion and it also avoids the difference of opinion [that exists concerning such torn socks]. This approach is indicated by the Prophet's statement,

"Leave what makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt."1

The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said,

"Whoever avoids the doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor."2

Shaikh Ibn Baz


1. Recorded by al-Tirmidhi and al-Nasal. It is an authentic hadith.--JZ

2. Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.-- JZ

Ruling Concerning Vaginal Discharge

Question: Is the discharge that comes from a woman's vagina pure or impure? May Allah reward you.

Response: What is well-known among the scholars is that anything that comes out of the private parts is impure, except for one thing, that is sperm which is pure. Otherwise, anything of mass or weight that comes from the private parts is impure and nullifies the ablution. Based on that principle, every liquid that flows from a woman's vagina is impure and requires ablution.

This is my conclusion after consulting with some scholars and doing some research. However, I have some problem with this conclusion because some women have such fluids at all times. If the flow is persistent, then the solution is to treat it in the same way

that one treats the problem of uncontrollable urine flow. The person should make ablution for the prayer after the time of the prayer begins and then she prays. Then I researched this question with some doctors. They made it clear that if the liquid is from the urethra, then the ruling is as I have just stated. However, if it is from the uterus, then it is also as we have just stated, but, in that case, the liquid is considered pure and one does not have to wash it off of whatever it touches.

Shaikh Ibn Uthaimin

Changing the Baby's Diapers Does not Nullify Ablution

Question: If I were in a state of ablution and then I changed my baby's diaper, does that nullify my ablution or not?

Response: If someone touches somebody else's private parts with lust, then that invalidates his ablution. However, there is a difference of opinion when such is touched without lust. The strongest opinion is that touching the private parts of a baby in order to clean the baby does not nullify ablution because such is not a cause of sexual desire. Furthermore, it is something that almost all people have to go through and if it were to nullify ablution it would cause great hardship. And if it did nullify ablution, this would have been well-known among the Companions and those who came afterwards.

Shaikh Ibn Jibreen

Kissing Does not Nullify Ablution

Question: My husband always kisses me when he is leaving the house, even if he is leaving to the prayer in the mosque. Sometimes, I feel that he is kissing me in a lustful manner. What is the ruling concerning his ablution in that case?

Response: Aisha narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) kissed one of his wives and then went to pray without making ablution.1 This hadith clarifies the question of touching or kissing a woman: does that nullify ablution or not? The scholars have different opinions on this point.2 Some scholars say that it nullifies ablution in all cases- if one touches a woman it nullifies his ablution in all cases. Some say that if he touches a woman in a lustful way it nullifies ablution; otherwise, it does not. Some others say that it does not invalidate ablution in any case. This last opinion is the strongest opinion. That is, if a man kisses, touches or embraces his wife and he does not ejaculate or release any fluid, then his ablution is not ruined nor is hers. This is because the principle is that his ablution continues to be valid until there is some evidence that it has been nullified. There is no evidence, either in the Quran or the Sunnah, to show that touching a woman invalidates ablution. Based on that, if a person touches a woman even without anything between their skins and even if in a lustful manner or a kiss or hug, all of that does not nullify the ablution. Allah knows best.

Shaikh Ibn Uthaimin


1. This hadith was recorded by Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, al-Nasal and Ibn Majah. Historically, there has been a great deal of difference of opinion over the authenticity of this hadith. Al-Albani, Shuaib al-Amaut and al-Zailai concluded that it is authentic. See Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani, Sahih Sunan al-Tirmidhi (Riyadh: Maktab al-Tarbiya al-Arabi li-Daul al-Khaleej, 1988), vol. 1, p. 26; Al-Husain al-Baghawi, Sharh alSunnah, Zuhair al-Shawish and Shuaib al-Amaut, eds. (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1983), vol. 1, p. 346, fns. 1 and 2.-- JZ

2. One important reason for that difference of opinion is that many scholars do not accept the above hadith as being authentic.-- JZ

Yes, She Must Make Ghusl

Question: Does my wife have to make the ghusl due to sexual defilement after insertion [of the male organ] during sexual intercourse but without ejaculation inside the vagina? Does she have to make that ghusl when she has inserted an IUD inside her vagina or is it sufficient for her just to wash her body and extremities?

Response: Yes, she must make ghusl due to penetration [of the male organ into the female], even if it is simply a little penetration. This is due to the hadith,

"When anyone sits between the four parts of her [his wife's] body and then makes an effort, ghusl becomes obligatory, even if he did not ejaculate."1

Another hadith states,

"If the circumcised parts enter2, ghusl is obligatory."3

She also must make ghusl even if she had an IUD in her vagina because of the penetration [of the male organ] and usually some ejaculation. However, she need only make ablution (wudhu) if there was simply touching without penetration.

Shaikh Ibn Jibreen


1. Recorded by Muslim. Also recorded by al-Bukhari but without the words, "Even if he does not ejaculate."-JZ

2. That is, if circumcised part of male organ is covered by female organ, ghusl is obligatory.

3. Recorded by Ibn Majah. Others have hadith with the same meaning. This hadith is graded authentic by al-Albani. Al-Albani, Sahih al-Jami alSagheer, vol. 1, p. 130.--JZ

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