Performing Ghusl Immediately and Semen Coming out Later

<QUESTION>

Are you allowed to perform Ghusl straight away after having sexual intercourse with ones wife? I have read that if after having performed a farz Ghusl (As a result of intercourse) Semen happens to come out Ghusl will have to be repeated.

Do you have to wait for some time to allow any remaining semen to come out before you perform Ghusal? I myself always urinate before going for a Ghusal. How would one know that semen has come out anyway?

<ANSWER>
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

It is permissible to take a ritual purity bath (ghusl) straight after having sexual intercourse; rather one should not delay taking it. To delay taking a bath to the extent that one misses his/her prayer will be sinful.

As for the exiting of semen (mani) after completing the bath is concerned, one should first remember that, exiting of semen only necessitates a ritual purity bath (ghusl) if it is accompanied by sexual gratification and enjoyment (shahwa).

It is stated in the famous Hanafi Fiqh book, al-Hidaya:

“From among the things that necessitate a ritual purity bath (ghusl) is the exiting of semen with force (dafq) and sexual enjoyment (shahwa), from a man or a woman, whilst awake or sleeping…..Then, according to Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad (Allah have mercy on them both), sexual gratification and enjoyment is considered at the time of the semen leaving its original place of storage, whilst according to Imam Abu Yusuf (Allah have mercy on him), its exiting from the private parts with gratification is also necessary.”(al-Hidaya, 1/31)

The meaning of the above text is that, according to Imam Abu Hanifa and his student Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani (Allah have mercy on them both), if semen exits from its original place (which is the spinal column) with sexual gratification and desire (shahwa), then a ritual purity bath becomes necessary. Shahwa is not a condition or a requirement at the time of the semen exiting the private parts (penis) in order for a bath to become necessary.

However, according to the other student of Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Abu Yusuf (Allah have mercy on him), If semen exits from the private parts without sexual gratification (shahwa), then Ghusl will not be necessary.

For example, when close to ejaculation, one blocked the tip of the penis, or held on to his penis, thus prevented the semen exiting, and then after the disappearing of his sexual passion and desire (shahwa), he released the semen. In this case, According to Imam Abu Yusuf, a bath will not be necessary, for at the time of the semen exiting his penis, he had no Shahwa. However, according to Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad, a bath will be necessary, for Shahwa was found when the semen left its original place of storage.

The preferred opinion and the Fatwa position is that of Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad (Allah have mercy on them both). Therefore, Shahwa at the time of the semen exiting the private parts is not a condition for a ritual purity bath becoming necessary.

Having understood the above, it becomes clear that any left over semen that exits after taking the bath will oblige one to repeat the bath, for Shahwa is not required at the time of the semen exiting the penis.

However, if semen exited after urinating or sleeping, then it will not be necessary to repeat the bath, for sleeping and urinating clears the passageway. Thus, any semen to exit thereafter will not be attributed to the initial gratification and desire (shahwa), and the current drops of semen will be considered to have exited (from its original place of storage) without sexual desire and passion. (See: al-Lubab fi sharh al-Kitab, 1/40 & Radd al-Muhtar)

In conclusion, if the drops of semen exited before urinating or sleeping, then one will have to repeat the ritual purity bath (ghusl). However, if they exit after urinating or sleeping, then one will not have to repeat the bath. Thus, it is always advisable that one urinates before taking the bath, for urinating cleans the passageway. Thereafter, if something was to exit, only a ritual ablution (wudu) will be needed.

And Allah Knows Best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK