What Is the Explanation for Bukhari’s Hadith, When One’s Discharge Dominates the Other?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


There is a hadith that says during sexual intercourse, if the husband discharges first, then the child will resemble his father, and when the wife discharges first, then the child will resemble her mother.

But we know that pregnancy or birth of a child has nothing to do with women’s discharge. Every month, a woman releases an egg from her ovaries, which then further goes into the fallopian tube where a sperm fertilizes an egg and a fetus is formed. Please explain this hadith.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question.

You are correct; it is not the discharge that determines the pregnancy or birth of a child. The hadiths regarding gender determination tell us how a child sometimes resembles the father’s side and, at other times, the mother’s side. Based on this, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) meant that when the male factor, i.e., the Y chromosome, is dominant, it is a boy, but when the female factor, i.e., the X chromosome, is dominant, then it is a girl.

Creation of Adam and His Offspring

Anas (Allah be please with him) narrates that when ‘Abdullah bin Salam heard the arrival of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) at Madina, he came to him and said,

“I am going to ask you about three things which nobody knows except a Prophet: What is the first portent of the Hour? What will be the first meal taken by the people of Paradise? Why does a child resemble its father, and why does it resemble its maternal uncle?”

Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Jibrail has just now told me of their answers.” ‘Abdullah said, “He (i.e., Jibrail), from amongst all the angels, is the enemy of the Jews.” Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The first portent of the Hour will be a fire that will bring together the people from the east to the west; the first meal of the people of Paradise will be extra-lobe (caudate lobe) of fish-liver. As for the resemblance of the child to its parents: If a man has sexual intercourse with his wife and gets discharged first, the child will resemble the father, and if the woman gets discharged first, the child will resemble her.”

On that ‘Abdullah bin Salam said, “I testify that you are the Messenger of Allah.” ‘Abdullah bin Salam further said, “O Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace)! The Jews are liars, and if they should come to know about my conversion to Islam before you ask them (about me), they would tell a lie about me.”

The Jews came to Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace), and ‘Abdullah went inside the house. Allah’s Messenger asked (the Jews), “What kind of man is ‘Abdullah bin Salam amongst you?” They replied, “He is the most learned person amongst us, and the best amongst us, and the son of the best amongst us.” Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace said, “What do you think if he embraces Islam (will you do as he does)?” The Jews said, “May Allah save him from it.” Then ‘Abdullah bin Salam came out before them, saying, “I testify that None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah.” Thereupon they said, “He is the evilest among us, and the son of the evilest amongst us,” and continued talking badly of him. [Bukhari]

Gender is Determined by the Water of One Over the Other

Some hadiths mention gender determination clearly, like in Musnad Ahmad below; when the water of the woman dominates and overcomes the man’s, the child will resemble its maternal ancestry, and if the man’s water overcomes her water, the child will resemble the paternal ancestry.

No Contradiction in Hadiths

There is no contradiction in the hadiths. When looking at all the hadiths, only when one reads narrations that mention the pronouns only one can misunderstand. If one reads hadiths that mention the wording of man and woman categorically, then it will give an explanation to those hadiths that mention the pronouns.

This has all been explained in previous answers. Please have a look at the links below.


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I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.