Assalamualaikum SS Mufti, I’m a woman and I used to masturbate and climax (ejaculate semen). However, at the time, I did not know that I have to perform the obligatory ghusl (bath) after masturbating and just pray as usual. I would only perform the obligatory bath after my menstruation cycles. My question is, what is the status of my marriage and fast during that time?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the many 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.
To answer this issue, we detailed it as follows:
First: The Ruling of masturbation for man and woman
We would first define the word masturbation. Literally, the word comes from the word استمنى which means an effort to ejaculate semen. In Islam, the term is used to describe: “Ejaculation of semen or climax without intercourse, through the prohibited way, such as using hands to fulfil one’s sexual desires or through the permissible way, such as using his wife’s hands.”
Allah SWT states:
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 from 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-Mu’minun (5-7)
According to the above verse, the majority of scholars ruled masturbation as prohibited. Imam al-Syafie commented on the verse:
فَلَا يَحِلُّ الْعَمَلُ بِالذَّكَرِ إلَّا فِي الزَّوْجَةِ أَوْ فِي مِلْكِ الْيَمِينِ وَلَا يَحِلُّ الِاسْتِمْنَاءُ وَاَللَّهُ تَعَالَى أَعْلَمُ
“It is impermissible to use penis with the exception towards his wife or woman slave. Istimna’ (climax/ejaculation) is impermissible.” Refer Al-Umm, Al-Syafi’e (5/102).
The scholars prohibit this act for both men and women. Imam al-Ruhaibani (Hanabilah fuqaha) said: “And whoever masturbates, whether a man or woman without a necessity, it is prohibited and he or she should be punished through takzir for their act is a sin and transgression.” Refer Mathalib Ulil Nuha, Al-Ruhaibani (6/226).
According to fiqh, purposely ejaculating semen through intercourse, masturbation, watching something that increase someone’s sexual desires, or unintentionally through dreams, all of these obligates someone to perform the obligatory bath, for one of the reasons for obligatory bath is when one is in impure state due to semen ejaculation. A hadith from Zainab binti Ummu Salamah state that Ummu Sulaim went to see the Prophet PBUH and asked:
يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَسْتَحِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ هَلْ عَلَى الْمَرْأَةِ غُسْلٌ إِذَا احْتَلَمَتْ قَالَ نَعَمْ إِذَا رَأَتِ الْمَاءَ
“O Allah’s Messenger! Allah is not ashamed of the truth. Is a Ghusl (bath) compulsory for a woman when she has a sexual dream?” He (ﷺ) replied, “Yes! When she sees signs of liquid (semen).”
Sahih al-Bukhari (6091)
Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani said: “The above hadith states the obligation of obligatory bath for woman who ejaculates semen.” Refer Fath al-Bari, Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (1/462).
As a conclusion, masturbation until one climax (ejaculates semen) obligates the obligatory bath. If obligatory bath is not performed, then the person’s prayer is invalid for one of the valid conditions of prayer is to be in pure state.
Hence, prayers performed during this time (in janabah) does not release the person from the person’s obligation to pray. Consequently, these prayers need to be replaced according to his/her capability.
Second: Marriage in Impure State
Regarding this issue, lets first analyse the conditions of marriage. Syeikh Dr Wahbah al-Zuhaili states there are two valid conditions for marriage:
- The wife must be among the husband’s non-mahram (ajnabi woman)
- The akad for the marriage must be in the presence of two witnesses. This is a condition set by the scholars of mdhzhab Hanafi, while other madhhab state (the presence of two witnesses) is a requisite of marriage. Refer Al-Feqh al-Islami wa Adillatuh, Dr. Wahbah Al-Zuhaili (9/6532-6533).
Thus, according to the above conditions, being in a pure state is not included as a valid condition of marriage. Hence, a marriage that happen while the bride is menstruating or in impure state is valid as long as it fulfils the conditions and requisites of marriage.
However, if the marriage is held in mosque, then there are several other rulings need to be considered.
Allah SWT states:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَقْرَبُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَارَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَعْلَمُوا مَا تَقُولُونَ وَلَا جُنُبًا إِلَّا عَابِرِي سَبِيلٍ حَتَّىٰ تَغْتَسِلُوا ۚ
“O you who have believed, do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying or in a state of janabah, except those passing through [a place of prayer], until you have washed [your whole body].”
Surah al-Nisaa’ (43)
The above verse states the prohibition of man and woman in impure state to enter mosques except if they are just passing through the place of prayer.
There is an in-depth discussion regarding this issue that we have addressed in Al-Kafi Series 906: The Ruling for Menstruating Women to Enter Mosques. Readers can easily access the article through the link https://bit.ly/2Tq3hd4
Furthermore, readers can read an article regarding the issue of weddings and marriages held at mosques, in al-Kafi Series 770: Marriage in Mosques through the following link https://bit.ly/2tGMl5S
To conclude, we state that a marriage held while one is in an impure state (janabah) is valid. However, if the marriage is held in a mosque and the bride is on her menstruation, then she should not enter the mosque or stay inside the mosque as have been stated by Syafie’yyah scholars.
Third: Fasting While in Janabah
Regarding this issue, we have to review the valid conditions of the act of fasting. According to Al-Feqh Al-Manhaji, there are three valid conditions for fasting:
- The fast of a disbeliever is invalid
- The fast of a crazy person or a child who is not mumayyiz is invalid
- There are no reasons that restricts fasting. Such as menstruation and nifas or post-natal bleeding (for woman), being unconscious or insane for a whole day. Refer Al-Feqh al-Manhaji (1/339).
This means, being in a pure state (not in janabah) from intercourse or ejaculation of semen is not included as one of the valid conditions for fasting. Hence, if someone ejaculates during the night, and he has the intention to fast the next day, if he wakes up after sunrise, he can just continue with his fast.
However, he has to perform the obligatory bath to perform his prayers and the obligation of the bath is not for his fast. We detailed the rulings regarding this issue in Al-Kafi Series 305: Performing Obligatory Bath After Subuh During the Month of Ramadhan. This article can be accessed through the link https://bit.ly/2VmGpLC
However, if intercourse or masturbation until one climax happens when someone is already fasting, then the fast is invalidated. This issue is explained in Al-Kafi Series 395: Things that Invalidates Fast and can be accessed through https://bit.ly/2EfsmAr
As a conclusion, answering the question asked, prayers performed after masturbation without first performing obligatory bath are invalid. While prayers performed after obligatory bath after menstruation is valid.
Lastly, may Allah SWT give us understanding in practising our religion. Ameen.