Chapter 3: Important Fiqh Rules 1, For Married Couples

State of Janābat

Janābat is a ritual impurity caused by the discharge of semen or by sexual intercourse, and the person on whom Ghusl al-Janābat becomes obligatory is known as a mujnib.
Things that are Makrūh for someone in the state of janābat1

1. Eating
2. Drinking

However, if the person in this state of janābat washes his hands, face and mouth, then eating and drinking in that state will not be Makrūh. It is therefore easier that one performs Wuďū.

3. Sleeping

However, if the junub does not have water, or on account of water not being available, tayammum can be performed instead of Ghusl.

4. To touch with any parts of the body, the cover, margin, border of the Noble Qur`an or the space between its lines.

5. To have sexual intercourse when one is in the state of Iĥtelām (i.e. discharge of semen during sleep).

6. To dye one’s hair with henna.

7. To apply oil on one’s body.

8. To keep the Noble Qur`an with oneself.

9. To recite more than seven verses of the Noble Qur`an other than those in which obligatory sajdah occur (to recite these verses is ĥarām).

NOTE: The definition of ‘Makrūh of worship (°Ibādat)’ is different to the general ruling of Makrūh, which is that it is better that one does not perform the action. For example it is Makrūh for a traveller to recite Dhuhr, °Asr and Ishā Ŝalāt behind someone who is a non-traveller and vice versa2 or it is Makrūh to recite Qur`an in Sajdah3. This ‘Makrūh of worship (°Ibādat)’ does not mean that it is better that one does not perform the action, but rather it means that if you do perform the act, then the amountof reward received is less as compared to normal.

Things which are forbidden for someone in the state of Janābat4

1. To touch with any part of one’s body script of the Noble Qur`an, or the name of the Almighty Allāh (SwT) in whatever language it may be. It is better that the names of the 14 Ma°ŝūmīn (as) are also not touched in this state.

2. Entering Masjid al-Harām or Masjid al-Nabī.

3. To stay or halt in all other Masājid, and similarly on the basis of obligatory precaution to stay in the shrines of the Noble Imāms is also ĥarām. However, there is no harm in if one crosses or traverses through a Masjid, entering from one door and exiting through the other.

4. To enter a Masjid with the intention of lifting something up or placing something in it.

5. To recite verses of the Noble Qur`an in which performance of the sajdah becomes obligatory: Surat °Alīf Lam Mim Sajdah (32:15), Surat Ha Mim Sajdah (41:38), Surat Najm (53:62) and Surat al-°Alaq (96:19).

Ghusl al-Janābat

Times when Ghusl al-Janābat becomes obligatory

1. When a man enters the woman up to the point of circumcision or more, even if ejaculation does not occur, Ghusl al-Janābat becomes obligatory on both parties.5

2. If after performing sexual intercourse a man does not do Istibrā for discharge of semen (which is only urinating) and then performs Ghusl, and thereafter sees an emission and could not determine whether it was semen or not (i.e. urine) it will be deemed as semen and thus Ghusl al-Janābat will become obligatory on him again.6

3. If a man ejaculates inadvertently during sleep.7

Times when Ghusl al-Janābat does not become obligatory

1. If one doubts whether or not his penis penetrated up to the point of circumcision, Ghusl does not become obligatory on either party.8

2. The liquid, moisture which is discharged by a man during foreplay is called Mazī and is ritually clean. The liquid that comes out after ejaculation is called Wazī, it is also ritually clean. The liquid that sometimes comes out after urine is called Wadī is ritually clean (unless urine reaches it) and none of these require Ghusl. If one performs Istibra after urinating and then discharges a liquid and doubts whether it is urine or one of the above mentioned liquids, the liquid is ritually clean.9

3. If one engages in sexual intercourse once and wants to engage in it once or twice more in a night, Ghusl is not obligatory after each act.

4. If one has discharged in his sleep and would like to engage in sexual intercourse, it is not obligatory for him to first perform Ghusl and then engage in the act. It is however mukrooh to enagage in the act during this state.10

Important rules of Ghusl

Ghusl al-Tartibī (under a shower)

a. One must first make the intention for Ghusl and then wash the head and neck and then the body. It is better to wash the right side first then the left side. The body cannot be washed before the head.11

b. It does not matter if while washing the neck, one also washes a bit of the right side of the body.12

c. If part of the body is najis it is not necessary to first make it ritually clean and then do Ghusl; whilst doing Ghusl it can be made ritually clean.13

d. If any part of the body is left dry (even the amount of a needle head) the Ghusl is invalid.14

e. Unlike Wuďū, in Ghusl it is ok not to observe muwālāt, i.e. after washing the head and the neck, one then does something else (e.g. soap the body), it is ok for them to come back and wash the body next; it is not necessary for the Ghusl to be started again from the beginning.15

f. All conditions that break the Wuďū, break the Ghusl.

g. If one happens to urinate while doing Ghusl or pass wind, it is not necessary that the Ghusl is restarted; the same Ghusl can be completed. However, if one wants to pray, then according to obligatory precaution, Wuďū is performed as it is not permissible to pray with the same Ghusl.16

h. Ghusl with as many intentions as desired, mustaĥab and obligatory, for example, the Ghusl of Jumu°ah (Friday) can be done at the same time as Ghusl al-Janābat.17

i. After Ghusl al-Janābat is performed, one must NOT perform Wuďū for Ŝalāt. This is the case for all obligatory Ghusls. If multiple intentions were made, e.g., intentions for mustaĥab and obligatory Ghusl, then again, Wuďū is not necessary.18


Times when tayammum can be performed instead of Ghusl

There are six conditions of when tayammum is allowed instead of Ghusl, of which the following are the most applicable to married couples:

1. When it is not possible to obtain sufficient water to perform Ghusl

If one is living in a populated area, one should make their best efforts to procure water for Ghusl until such time that all hope is lost.19

Therefore, if one would like to do Ghusl in order to pray and there is currently no water available, but one is sure that before the Ŝalāt becomes qaďā water will become available one must wait until water arrives so that Ghusl can be performed. Tayammum cannot be performed in this case even if the time of Ŝalāt has set in (it is fadhilah) or if congregational prayers is being recited.20

Even if there is a glimmer of hope that the water will become available before Ŝalāt time, one cannot perform tayammum to pray until one loses hope altogether that water will not become available before the prayers become qaďā.21

However, if one is absolutely sure that water will not be available before qaďā, then one can perform tayammum and pray at the earliest possible time.22

2. When it is almost qaďā time

A person should perform tayammum when the time remaining for the Ŝalāt to become qaďā is so little that if a person does Ghusl, there will be no time left to offer the Ŝalāt.23

Even if a person doubts whether or not enough time will be left for prayer if he performs Ghusl or Wuďū, he should perform tayammum.24

3. Danger to health

If a person fears that if he uses water he will suffer from some ailment or physical defect, or the illness he is already suffering from will be prolonged, or become acute or some more complications may arise, then he should perform tayammum. For example, if a person has an eye disease or an injection where water is not permitted over it for 24 hours, tayammum should be performed.

However, if one can avoid the harm by using warm water, they should prepare warm water and do Ghusl.25

It is not necessary to be absolutely certain that water is harmful to someone. If one feels that there is a probability of harm and that probability is justified by popular opinion, giving cause for some fear, then tayammum should be performed.26

Method of doing tayammum27

Contrary to the common perception, performing tayammum is actually very easy and simple; it is easier than performing Wuďū. It should be performed as follows:

Step 1: Make the intention of doing tayammum (same as Wuďū or Ghusl).

Step 2: With both hands opened flat facing the object on which tayammum is permissible (earth, dust, sand or stone); strike (or place) both hands together in tandem on the object that tayammum is being done on.

Step 3: Raise your hands and put them together like one is doing qunut, then place the base of the palms on the forehead from the point of hair growth. Slide the hands down over the eyebrows and the tip of the nose, then slide the palms to the right of the forehead and then the left. Then bring the hands back to the centre of the forehead and slide them down together towards the nose, ensuring the fingers also slide down over the eyebrows and the tip of the nose. The whole forehead should be completely covered until the eyebrows (it is recommended to go beyond the eyebrows).

Step 4: Hold out the right hand ensuring that the palm is facing down, fingers and thumb are together and the thumb is not tucked under the fingers. Then, place the back of the left hand in a perpendicular position slightly above the wrist (i.e. only the little finger should be pressed on the right hand wrist, the palm of the left hand should be facing you). Slide the left hand (bringing the palm down) carefully over the whole of the back of the right hand, ensuring all areas of the back of the right hand are covered. Repeat the same procedure on the left hand (without re-striking the hands on the ground again).

Important points relating to tayammum

a. If you leave out even a small part of your forehead or the back of your hands in tayammum intentionally or forgetfully, or even due to ignorance, your tayammum will be void. You should be careful but not be overly particular, if it can be adequately assumed that the forehead and the backs of the hands have been wiped it would be sufficient.28

b. As a precaution the wiping of the head and the hands should be done from up to down.29

c. It is Ihtiyat mustaĥab that the forehead, the palm of the hands and the palms and the back of the hands be ritually clean.30

d. When performing tayammum, rings have to be removed and any obstructions to the forehead or the palms or the back of the hands have to be removed.31

Making things ritually clean that are stained by Semen

Clothing or Bed Sheets

If the bed sheets or an item of clothing or a towel becomes najis with semen it can be made ritually clean in the following ways:

a. Using running water

1. If the item is still wet with semen, one needs to be careful that it does not come into contact with other clothes or things because they will also become najis.

2. One must wash the najis item once under a tap (kurr water) in such a way that:

a. Water reaches every part of the najis area

b. There is no trace of the actual semen left on the clothing (i.e. rub and squeeze the clothing during the wash in such a way, that there is no trace of semen left on the clothing, discolouration)

3. It the item is a piece of clothing then it is not necessary to wring or squeeze it after it has been made ritually clean (as per the above method), although this is generally done out of habit.

4. When the item has been washed once and made ritually clean (per the above method) this is adequate; it does not have to be washed twice or three times.

5. If a najis thing is immersed once in kurr water or running water, in such a way that water reaches all its najis parts, it becomes ritually clean. And in the case of a carpet or dress it is not necessary to squeeze, wring or press it.32

b. Using washing machines

The ruling applicable to a washing machine is that of kurr water.33 Thus, an item that has become najis by semen can be put directly into the washing machine, and as long as there is no trace of semen left after the cycle is completed, then the item is deemed to have become ritually clean, and it does need to be washed again, or squeezed and wrung.

However, as a precautionary measure, it may be a good idea to make the najis clothing ritually clean first (per above) and then put it into the washing machine, because if one puts the item straight into the washing machine and for whatever reason the semen still remains on the clothing after the wash it will not become ritually clean, and if that clothing comes into contact with other wet clothes those clothes will also become najis.

A Mattress

a. Using running water

If a mattress becomes najis by semen for whatever reason, it is possible to make it ritually clean by running water from a tap or hose:

‘If one wants to purify the mattress by using pure water connected to the kurr source (eg by using a hosepipe or a tap) there is no need to wipe the water off using the cloth or a vacuum cleaner etc. As soon as the kurr water covers the najis area it will become pure [as long as the ayn najasat has been removed – the semen] (and the water will also be considered as pure)’.34

It is important to remember the following when a mattress has become najis by semen: The semen only transfers from the mattress to another item through flowing wetness (i.e. there is so much wetness in the najis item that it permeates to another item and makes it najis). The najasat is not transferred when it is dry, so if you place your body or hand on the dry najis mattress your hand or body will not become najis.

Therefore, it is possible to sleep on a mattress that has become najis without your clothes becoming najis, provided that the patch that has become najis remains dry so that the najasat does not get transferred to the clothes from the mattress.

b. Using water less than kurr (Qalīl)

Water less than kurr is used in cases where either kurr water is not available or that you cannot take something like a mattress under kurr water (a tap).

The method of making something ritually clean with qalil water is as follows:

Step 1: Removing the najāsat

The semen has to be removed from the mattress. A possible method of doing this is to first pour water from a glass covering the whole area of the stain. Then take a towel and place it over the wet area and apply pressure and press over it in such a way that the water is sucked out and no semen is left behind. When the water dries up there should be no trace of semen left behind. The towel used will become najis and needs to be made ritually clean.

Step 2: Pouring water less than kurr

After removing the semen the area needs to be made ritually clean. This is done by taking another glass of water and re-pouring water over the whole area again (that had become najis).

The water must be squeezed and wrung out of the mattress before it becomes ritually clean. This can be done by taking a separate towel and placing it over the wetted area in such a way that when pressure is applied over the towel all the water is squeezed out. The mattress has now become ritually clean. As a confirmed opinion and not as an obligatory precaution, the towel and the water removed from the mattress will be considered najis.

If anything becomes najis with an impurity other than urine, it becomes ritually clean by first removing the impurity and then pouring under kurr water once, allowing it to flow off. But if it is clothing etc. it should be squeezed and wrung so that the any remaining water should flow off.35
NOTE: It is important to note that even if the surface of the mattress is made ritually clean with qalīl water by following the above method, the inside of the mattress will become najis due to the rules of qalīl water. Even if the mattress is angled, it will inevitably seep through the mattress.36

RECOMMENDATION: To avoid this extra workload and hassle of cleaning the mattress, it is extremely useful that one puts a plastic sheet in between the bedsheet and the mattress, so that if any semen leaks on to the bedsheet it does not leak through to the mattress.

The Body

If a part of the body is najis because of semen, it can be made ritually clean by pouring kurr water over it once in such a way that there is no trace of semen left on the body. This can be done by standing under a shower.

However, this rule is different if the najasat is urine, for which one washing is not enough, the body must be washed twice. It is not necessary to walk in and out of water to achieve two washings. If the najis part is wiped by the hand allowing water to reach there again, it will suffice.37

  • 1. Islamic Laws, Rule 362
  • 2. Islamic Laws, Rule 1499
  • 3. Islamic Laws Rule 1101
  • 4. Islamic Laws, Rule 361
  • 5. Islamic Laws,Rule 355
  • 6. Islamic Laws, Rule 354
  • 7. Islamic Laws, Rule 351
  • 8. Islamic Laws, Rule 356
  • 9. Islamic Laws, Rule 74
  • 10. Islamic Laws, Rule 362
  • 11. Islamic Laws, Rule 367
  • 12. Islamic Laws, Rule 369
  • 13. Islamic Laws, Rule 378
  • 14. Islamic Laws, Rule 380
  • 15. Islamic Laws, Rule 386
  • 16. Islamic Laws, Rule 392
  • 17. Islamic Laws, Rule 395
  • 18. Islamic Laws, Rule 397
  • 19. Islamic Laws, Rule 655
  • 20. Islamic Laws, Rule 723
  • 21. Islamic Laws, Rule 723
  • 22. Islamic Laws, Rule 723
  • 23. Islamic Laws, Rule 686
  • 24. Islamic Laws, Rule 688
  • 25. Islamic Laws, Rule 677
  • 26. Islamic Laws, Rule 678
  • 27. Islamic Laws, Rule 708
  • 28. Islamic Laws, Rule 710
  • 29. Islamic Laws, Rule 712
  • 30. Islamic Laws, Rule 714
  • 31. Islamic Laws, Rule 715
  • 32. Islamic Laws, Rule 160
  • 33. Confirmed with the office of Ayatullāh Sīstānī, Qom
  • 34. A Code of Practice for Muslims in the West, Ayatullāh Sīstānī.
  • 35. Islamic Laws, Rule 163
  • 36.
  • 37. Islamic Laws, Rule 172