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Do Women Have to Perform Ghusl after Orgasm?

12 February, 2024
Q As-salam `alaykum. When with my husband, I may reach orgasm but without actual intercourse (i.e., without his penis penetrating me). I find that the place is wet. Do I have to perform ghusl (washing of the whole body) even if there is no actual intercourse?


Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

If a woman ejaculates when she reaches orgasm, she is required to perform ghusl even if there is no actual intercourse.

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Answering your question, the Fatwa Center at Islam Q & A, states:

The Muslim should be devoted to being physically and spiritually pure. A Muslim has to purify the heart of all spiritual diseases and purify the body from all impurities.

If a woman ejaculates without intercourse, she has to perform ghusl. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) commanded women to perform ghusl if they notice the ejaculation fluid, as was reported by Malik in Al-Muwatta’, and by Al-Bukhari and An-Nasa’i on the authority of Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said: Umm Sulaym, the wife of Abu Talhah, came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allah, there should not be shyness in asking about matters of truth. Does a woman have to perform ghusl if she has an (erotic) dream?” He said, “Yes, if she notices a discharge.”

In this hadith, he (peace and blessings be upon him) commanded women to perform ghusl if they find that there is a discharge.

Al-Baghawi said in Sharh As-Sunnah: “Ghusl for janabah (major impurity) is obligatory if either of the following applies: either the tip of the penis penetrates the vagina, or the gushing liquid is emitted by the man or the woman.”

Muslim scholars said that ghusl does not become obligatory unless one is sure that the wetness one feels comes from the gushing liquid.

Ibn Qudamah said in Al-Mughni: “The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) connected doing ghusl to the discharge when he said: “If she notices a dischargeand “if the fluid gushed out, then perform ghusl.” The ruling does not apply if there is no discharge.

Ibn Hajar said in Al-Fath: “This indicates that ghusl is obligatory for women, if they emit fluid at the point of climax.”

Ibn Rajab said in Al-Fath: “This hadith indicates that if a woman sees an erotic dream and notices the fluid when she wakes up, she has to perform ghusl. This was the view of the majority of scholars and no dissenting view is known except for that of An-Nakha`i, who holds another view.”

This hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) makes the matter quite clear, which is that if any fluid is emitted by the woman—whether it is a little or a lot—then she has to do ghusl.

On the basis of the above, if a woman feels that some fluid has come out of her vagina, even if it is only a little, then she has to perform ghusl, because of the report to that effect. It is not sufficient for her to do wudu (ablution) in this case unless the fluid which was emitted was not the kind of fluid for which ghusl is required, such as madhi (lubricating secretion), in which case wudu’ (ablution) is sufficient.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.