Is Ghusl Required for Foreplay?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi

Question

I wanted to know if foreplay between husband and wife, such as kissing and touching but no actual sexual intercourse, necessitates ghusl.

I’m a female, and after kissing and cuddling, I sometimes feel wet and discharged, but I do fresh wudhu for prayer and no ghusl because intercourse did not occur.

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

No ritual bath (ghusl) is required following foreplay as long as no orgasm is reached and the tip of the male organ has not disappeared inside the female private parts. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

If orgasm is reached without actual intercourse, then a ghusl is needed to be allowed to pray. [Ibid]

If the tip of the male organ has disappeared inside the female private parts, then a ritual bath is needed even if there is no orgasm from either party. [Ibid]

Foreplay, where only pre-ejaculate/pre-orgasm sexual fluid (madhi) has exited one’s private part, requires only wudu to be allowed to pray. [Ibid]

Foreplay not accompanied by exiting any sexual fluid does not break one’s wudu in the Hanafi school. [Ibid]

Reason for This ruling

When there is foreplay without orgasm or penetration, the state of Janaba (full impurity, literally the state reached by a human being after fully fulfilling his sexual needs) has not been reached. Thus no ritual bath is needed. [Marghinani, Hidaya]

Allah, Most High, says: “And if you are in a state of full impurity (janaba), then take a full bath.” [Quran, 5.6]

Linguistically the word “janaba” conveys the meaning of abstaining from doing something. As a legal term, the word “janaba”  refers to the duty to avoid praying, touching the Quran, reciting it, or entering a mosque as long as one has not performed a ritual bath. As long as one is prevented from doing these things, one is called “junub.” Janaba is reached when there is orgasm or penetration. [Jassas, Ahkam al-Quran]

And Allah knows best.
Wassalam
[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Sufyan Qufi is an advanced seeker of knowledge, originally from Algeria, who grew up in France. He began searching far and wide for answers to the fundamental questions of life and was disappointed at the answers he found. Then he connected with various traditional teachers and gradually connected with SeekersGuidance. He embarked on his journey of learning through the various teachers at SeekersGuidance, including his mentor Shaykh Faraz Rabbani. He studied numerous texts in Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith, and other areas with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other teachers, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Sha‘ar, Shaykh Ali Hani, and others. He is an active instructor at SeekersGuidance and answers questions through the SeekersGuidance Answers Service.