When Does Ghusl Become Obligatory as per Hanafi Fiqh?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question

I struggle pretty severely with OCD and waswas, but I try to fight it. I saw a dream, and when I awoke, there was a small amount of madhy inside the shaft and a drop on the tissue I kept in my underwear (separate bladder issue). So I make Ghusl and offer dhusr because I know Hanafis consider madhy to need Ghusl if a dream is seen. After Dhusr, I used to toilet, and wadi came out (which occasionally happens to me). Then I started to panic because I remembered I had forgotten to use the toilet before Ghusl. So I was afraid that something left in the passage may have exited when using the bathroom and broke my Ghusl. And I couldn’t tell because wadi is naturally sticky and white anyway.

I asked my Imam, and he told me that if I was uncertain about what came out just do wudu. But I’m panicking. I don’t think any semen exited because, in my sleep, I think it was only madhy. So I don’t believe semen was involved.

My question is: because of my doubt about what exited with wadi, am I pure? and because I don’t think any semen came out in my sleep, it is unlikely any would have been in my shaft if there was any madhy from my sleep stuck there this wouldn’t break Ghusl would it?

Also, because of my difficulty (waswas) performing Ghusl and the strain, it puts on my grandparents, can I follow Abu Yusuf’s opinion that discharge only necessitates Ghusl if there is desire? So even if anything exited, I am pure? If not in all cases, should I repent and repeat prayers?

Answer

I pray you are well. Firstly, in your situation, you only need to perform a ghusl if you ejaculate semen while experiencing pleasure. If you had a sexual dream and saw semen discharged, you need to have a bath.

The Hanafis state that if you are sure that the discharge is madhy, then ghusl is not necessary. One has a bath out of precaution if there is confusion between it being madhy or semen. This is a rare scenario due to the distinction between mani and madhy.

For most men, madhy usually comes out in small amounts, and semen comes out in large quantities. There is no way of really confusing the two.

Therefore, if you see a large amount of discharge, it is semen. If there is not this large amount, treat it as madhy, and perform wudu.

Also, if one sleeps or moves around a few steps after ejaculating and then sees some semen, the ghusl does not need to be repeated. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Tahtawi, Hashiya al Tahtawi ʿala Maraqi al-Falah]

You need to relax. Instead of trying to fight the OCD-which makes it worse-seek some form of treatment for it. Make an intention for Allah, and you will be rewarded for it.

Following the above will remove the need to follow the position of Imam Abu Yusuf.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.