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Secretion that Comes from a Woman's Vagina
Question#1021


I heard from a scholar that the liquid that comes from a woman's vagina is pure and not impure. Since the time I heard that fatwa, I do not remove my underpants when I want to pray. After a lengthy period, I heard another scholar say that such liquid is impure. What is the correct opinion?


Everything that secretes from the private part, of liquid or otherwise, nullifies the ablution. The clothes and bodily parts that are touched by it are to be washed. If this happens on a continuous basis, the ruling is the same as that of istihaadha2 and continuous seeping of urine [due to a lack of bladder control]. The impurity is to be washed off and the person makes ablution for every prayer, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated to the woman with continuous bleeding,

"Make ablution for the time of every prayer."3

However, this is not done in the case of passing gas. There is no washing in that case although one has to make ablution due to it. This ablution is to wash the face and hands, wipe the head, wash the feet, and rinse the mouth and nose while washing the face. Similarly, with respect to Sleeping, touching one's private parts, eating camel's meat, one does not wash anything but one simply has to make ablution.4

Shaikh Ibn Baz

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Footnote

1. The term used in the question, ratooba, when used by earlier scholars, such as al-Shafi'i and al-Nawawi, is referring to the fluid that is produced upon sexual excitement. Many scholars consider that fluid pure analogy with semen. However, this particular question and others put to contemporary scholars is more in reference to the vaginal fluids that come out on a normal basis, especially in relation to ovulation.

2. This is referring to the case of prolonged or continuous vaginal bleeding outside of the menses. It has specific rulings as described above in the response.-JZ

3. This translator was not able to find this hadith with this exact wording. The authentic narrations in al-Bukhari and Muslim simply state that she is to make ablution for every prayer.-JZ

4. This question perhaps needs some more deliberation. It is very common for almost all healthy women to experience what is called leukorrhea. This is the secretion of vaginal mucous related to ovulation or other causes. It comes from the uterus and not through the urethra. Although this is something that must have afflicted women during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), there is no clear pronouncement about it as there is about, for example menses and al-istihadha. The statement that everything that exits from the private parts is impure and nullifies ablution is not a hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and, therefore, unchangeable but it is simply the conclusion of many scholars based on the known examples. If this particular liquid nullifies ablution, then such women would have to make ablution for every prayer as this fluid exits from the body, like the case of istihadha. (Note that some women sometimes feel this fluid inside the body before it actually flows from the body. Until it flows out from the body, there is no question about its nullifying the ablution.) However, since there is no evidence for that in the hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him), since this is a very common occurrence and since such a conclusion would involve hardship upon the women (especially at the time of the Prophet), it seems there is no evidence to declare such a secretion as nullifier of the ablution. Allah knows best.