How Do I Deal with Wet Dreams and Involuntary Arousal?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I know what an orgasm feels like. It causes an immediate removal of the sexual feelings, and in most cases, causes muscular contractions. Sometimes, after performing ghusl, I get confused and search for rulings on the internet. While reading, I feel something in my private part.

And I’m afraid they’re sexual feelings, even though I don’t intend them. I think that soon I’ll reach orgasm. But these feelings of somewhat pleasure continue, and I try so much to deviate my mind from them, and sometimes, I do succeed in doing so, but after some time, I again start feeling them.

Then I get involved in my work, and these feelings gradually disappear. And most of the time, I’m not aware of them going away. And if I think about them going away after some time, I again start feeling them. Is this an orgasm too? If it’s not an orgasm, then what about the discharge that takes place during all this? I don’t know what kind of discharge is this. So I get confused. I think that I’m got impure again, then I again fall into secret habit. So this cycle goes on. What should I do?

And sometimes so happens, I experience like 2 or 3 muscular contractions. But they’re not intense. This usually happens when I’m not thinking about sexual stuff. But sometimes, it happens when I’m trying to take my mind away from sexual stuff, and I start feeling in my private area. I try hard not to think about it, and I succeeded in it too, but these muscular contractions, as I explained before, occur, and I’m so tense that I’m junub again. What to do?

Answer

Thank you for your question sister. It would be better for your to fight off this secret habit. If you find that your lust is very strong, you should do as the Prophet said (may Allah bless him and give him peace). Fast a couple of days a week regularly. I am not sure how you are reaching orgasm, but if it is through masturbation, you must cease immediately. These habits can ruin things for you later on in marriage. It is impermissible and requires you to repent.

When you are feeling something in your private, that doesn’t seem like an orgasm, I believe it is arousal/thrill in the private part. This discharge is arousal fluid (madhy) and this invalidates your wudu and is considered filth, so you should purify your clothes from it before praying. You do not require a ghusl.

Remember that you only require a ghusl after the exiting of orgasmic fluid. Its discharge is different from arousal fluid and has one of the following characteristics. Either it comes in spurts (n: by contractions); or (b) with sexual gratification; or (c) when moist, it smells like bread dough, and when dry, like egg-white. [Reliance of the Traveller, p.80] If you have any one of these, a ritual bath (ghusl) is obligatory.

 

Question

If I’m Unsure about the Type of Discharge, What Should I Do?

Answer

If you feel muscular contractions, but you are not sure what exited, then check for one of the three signs of orgasmic fluid above, and decide if you are in need of a ghusl or not. It seems to me that it would only be arousal fluid and not orgasmic fluid. If you are still unsure, see the following excerpt:

If one does not know whether one’s discharge is sperm or whether it is madhy, then one may either:

  • consider its sperm, and perform the purificatory bath (0: in which case washing the portions of clothes and so forth affected with it is not obligatory, as it is legally considered a pure substance);
  • or consider it madhy, and wash the affected portions of the body and clothes (N: which is obligatory, as it is legally considered filth), and perform ablution, though not the purificatory bath. The best course in such cases of uncertainty is to do all of the above (0: of bathing, washing the affected portions, and ablution, so as to take due precaution in one’s worship). [Reliance of the Traveller, p. 81]

 

Question

My fourth question is about wet dreams. Sometimes, if I do see some men in my dream, does this mean it’s a wet dream? Should I perform ghusl? I read that if a person isn’t sure about orgasm during the wet dream, one is not obliged to perform ghusl. Correct? Otherwise, it will be hard for me. Since women’s private part is always wet, it’s not easy to tell. And I don’t remember having an orgasm during that kind of dream. However, once it happened that I had a large amount of discharge when I woke up, and I think that might be due to a wet dream. But what if I see something sexual in a wet dream, but upon awakening, I don’t remember having an orgasm? Should I perform ghusl?

Answer

Your answer is in the following articles.When Should I Perform a Ghusl After Having a Wet Dream?

To What Extent Should I Go in Checking the Nature of a Discharge After Waking Up?

 

Question

In the past, when something would happen to me regarding ghusl, I would get confused about whether or not I should perform ghusl. So I did perform ghusl with the intention that: “If that actually requires ghusl, this ghusl is for that.” (my method of performing ghusl is completely different from the bath) This happened to me twice or thrice in the past. So my ghusl, in this case, is valid? (I considered myself pure after this in the past). Please consider that I did use to mention the means while making intention for ghusl, although sometimes it became conditional.

Answer

The basis is that you should never make a ghusl unless you are certain that you need it. Ignore baseless misgivings and make a firm intention for an obligatory ghusl.  Please see this link:  Is It Valid to Make a Conditional Intention When Performing a Ghusl?

 

Question

For about 2 months now, at the end of my menstrual cycle, I perform ghusl for both janaba and menses. Sometimes, it so happens that when I’m junub due to a secret habit, then I think I get a wet dream or an orgasm (I’m unsure as in this, I sometimes experience muscular contractions without sexual feelings), until the day I perform ghusl. So this means that I become junub due to multiple reasons i.e., Secret habit, perhaps an erotic dream(unsure/or even if I’m sure), and orgasm(unsure/or even if I’m sure). And also I’m impure due to menses. So when I perform ghusl, then do I have to intend to purify myself from Janabah and menses (without remembering the means which made me junub), or do I have to intend to purify myself from menses, Secret habit, orgasm, erotic dream?

Answer

You should no longer make any ghusl that you are unsure of its reason. Certainty is not removed by doubt. If you are not sure if you had a wet dream or orgasmic fluid, then you don’t need to take a ritual bath. When you take your ghusl after your menstrual cycle, just make the intention for an obligatory ghusl (ghusl fard) to lift your state of major ritual impurity (al-hadath al-akbar), and it will lift everything (menses and janaba).

 

Question

About 7 months ago, I woke up with a lot of flowing discharge. At that time, I didn’t know about wet dreams. I don’t remember whether or not I performed ghusl with the conditional intention for it at that time. One or two months later, I realized it was a wet dream. During that time, I had to perform ghusl due to something. I kind of remember that I performed that ghusl with the intention to purify myself from (the required act) and due to that wet dream if I hadn’t performed ghusl for that before. But I’m getting doubts now. What should I do?

Answer

You must ignore everything about that time because you have made many ritual baths since then. Forget about it completely, you need to focus on ridding yourself of baseless misgivings (waswasa) first. Please do not make any more conditional intentions. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, never taught us to take ritual baths like that and you are making your life very complicated.

 

Question

I became junub due to a secret habit, orgasm (sure/unsure) and I was impure due to menses. However, this time I performed ghusl with the intention to purify myself from menses and janaba. I didn’t mention the means which caused me to become junub. Is my ghusl valid? If it’s valid, then if any impurity in the past due to janaba was left, then did it also get removed with this ghusl, even if I don’t remember that there was any impurity due to that?

Answer

When you take a ritual bath (ghusl), it is not obligatory, nor sunna, nor necessary to mention the reason for being in janaba. If you are in that state, you can just intend an obligatory ghusl. Your ghusl will purify you from any janaba that you ever had.

 

Question

Suppose that a person becomes junub due to an erotic dream. Then she became junub due to a secret habit. Then if she performs ghusl, with the intention of purifying herself from the secret habit (she forgets about a wet dream or she is not sure whether or not the wet dream required ghusl in her case), did she get purified from every means that made her junub as explained in this case? Even if she doesn’t remember or is unsure whether or not it required ghusl?

Answer

I am still wondering whether you mean masturbation when you say secret habit. Either way, the answer is yes. If she is sure that orgasmic fluid has exited or that she definitely had a wet dream, she should take her obligatory ghusl from janaba and she is purified from any janaba in the past.

 

Question

What should a woman do if she has to make a conditional intention for ghusl? In this case, if gets unsure whether or not the things require ghusl?

Answer

She should never make a conditional intention ever. She should be sure that she needs to take a ghusl, by looking at the three signs of orgasmic fluid to see if one sign is there. Otherwise, she should only make wudu.

 

Question

Does dead skin on the scalp that is dandruff invalidate ghusl and wudu? I have a problem that I normally get in winter, that on my scalp, some little bumps of dead skin are formed. Do I have to remove them from my scalp

Answer

No, you don’t need to remove them, and you shouldn’t.

 

Question

What if there’s a small wound on our skin? Do they have to be removed for ghusl and wudu? Sometimes, if we scratch our arm, very small wounds are formed there. Do they have to remove? Because they are too small.

Answer

No, you do not need to remove them and you shouldn’t remove them for wudu.

 

Question

If we wash our private parts before ghusl, do we have to wash them during ghusl, although water reaches them without touching them during ghusl, so our wudu doesn’t break.

Answer

If you have washed them before the ghusl, and water already reaches the area without touching them during the ghusl, you do not need to touch them during the ghusl.  Does a Ritual Bath (Ghusl) Eliminate the State of Minor Ritual Impurity? (Shafi’i)

 

Question

If there’s a little impurity on our body, but it’s difficult to remove it all, despite doing our best and a small amount of it is still left, and although we do our best to remove it some is still left, they can be overlooked? Is ghusl valid if it doesn’t prevent water from reaching this skin? And wudu?

Answer

There should be no impurity left on the body after ghusl. Natural human filth is not difficult to remove. Even dried-up vomit and feces and be removed easily with warm water. A ghusl and wudu would still be valid but one’s prayer might not be with the presence of filth.

 

Question

Can several impurities be removed with a single ghusl? For example, if a woman is junub due to multiple reasons and also due to menstruation, and she performs a single ghusl with the intention to purify from janaba and menses, is her ghusl valid? If any other impurity might be left in the past, which she doesn’t know about, or she’s confused whether she performed ghusl for that or not, or she’s confused that whether a particular act in the past required ghusl or not, did this also get removed?

Answer

Yes, all of her major ritual impurity can be lifted if she is just an obligatory ghusl, or intends to lift menses and janaba or if she intends to lift a state of major ritual impurity (al-hadath al-akbar).

 

Question

If a person is junub due to multiple reasons, then should she intend like “I intend to purify myself from janaba” or like “I intend to remove myself from (mentioning all the means that made her junub)?”

Answer

She should only intend once to lift her state of janaba.

 

Question

In the past, I’ve delayed ghusl-e-janaba many times. But I did perform it. So when I performed it, even I delayed it, was that valid?

Answer

Yes, it was still valid.

 

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.