Imam al-San’ani


‘Ā’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated that “Allah’s Messenger, may the peace and blessing of Allāh be upon him, used to wash off the semen, then depart for prayer in that garment, while I could still see the trace of the washing on it.” It is agreed upon. 

Muslim reports, “I used to scrape it from the garment of Allah’s Messenger, may the peace and blessing of Allāh be upon him, then he would pray in it.” In one wording of his, “I used to scrape it, while dry, from his garment with my fingernail.”

From ‘Ā’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, she is the Mother of the Believers, the daughter of Abū Bakr al-Siddīq. Her mother is Umm Rūmān, the daughter of ‘Āmir. The Prophet proposed marriage for her in Makkah and then married her in Shawwāl in the tenth year of the Prophethood while she was six years old. He consummated the marriage in Al-Madīnah in Shawwāl in the second year of the hijrah – when she was nine years old – and there are other opinions. She was widowed at the age of eighteen, and he did not marry another virgin besides her. She asked the Prophet for a kunyah so he told her, “Take a kunyah based on the son of your sister, ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr.”

She was a faqīhah and a scholar. She was eloquent and noble and narrated many adīths from Allāh’s Messenger. She was also knowledgeable concerning the history and poetry of the Arabs. A number of the Companions and theTābi’īn narrated from her and ten verses from Sūrah al-Nūr were revealed to prove her innocence (of adultery). Allāh’s Messenger died in her house and was buried in it. She died in Madīnah in the year 57 – and it is also said 58 – on the night of Wednesday, the seventeenth day of Ramaān. She was buried in al-Baqī’ and Abū Hurayrah prayed over her. At the time, he was the khalīfah (deputy) of Marwān in Madīnah.

It is agreed upon. It was also reported by Bukhārī from the adīths of ‘Ā’ishah with different wordings that she would wash the semen from his (the Messengers) garment. In some of them, it is reported as, “While the mark of washing on his garment was like spots of water.” In another wording, “So he would depart for prayer while spots of water were on his garment.”  Also in another wording, “While the mark of washing on it was like spots of water,” Another has it as, “Then I would see it on it as if it were a spot or spots.”

However, al-Bazzār said, “This adīth of ‘Ā’ishah revolves around Sulaymān ibn Yasār and he did not hear from ‘Ā’ishah.” Al-Shāfi’ī preceded him in this view in al-Umm, citing it from someone else. The response to what al-Bazzār said is that al-Bukhārī’s authentification of it – as well as Muslim – necessitates that he heard from ‘Ā’ishah and that the correct view is that it is marfū’.

This adīth is used as a proof by those who hold the opinion that semen is impure such as the Hādawīyyah, the Ḥanafīyyah, and Mālik; and it is a narration from Aḥmad. They said that washing is not for anything except that which is impure, and they made qiyās between it and other filthy bodily excretions like urine and feces. The reasoning is that they all end up in the same place, they are all transformed from sustenance (food and drink). Also, any bodily excretions that require purification are impure (according to their argument), and semen is from those. Another reason is that it comes from the same route as urine, so it should be washed with water like the rest of the impurities. They formulated explanations to reconcile the following statement with their view.

Muslim has from ‘Ā’ishah, a wording which Bukhārī did not narrate, and it is her statement, “I used to scrape it from the garment of Allah ’s Messenger, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, by rubbing (farkan).” This is a madar of emphasis to confirm that she was rubbing it and scraping it. Al-farkis is to rub, so it is said, “he faraka the garment” if he rubbed it.

“Then he would pray in it.”  In one wording of his, that is from Muslim from ‘Ā’ishah, “I used to scrape it, referring to the semen, while it was in the state of being dry, from his garment with my fingernail.”

Muslim is alone in narrating the mention of scraping and it was not reported by Bukhārī. However, rubbing and scraping were also narrated by al-Bayhaqī, al-Dāraquṭnī, ibn Khuzaymah, and ibn al-Jawzī from the adīths of ‘Ā’ishah. The wording from al-Bayhaqī is, “Sometimes I would scrape it from the garment of Allāh’s Messenger while he was praying.” The wording from al-Dāraquṭnī and ibn Khuzaymah is, “She used to scrape the semen from the garment of Allāh’s Messenger while he was praying.” The wording of ibn Ḥibbān is, “I have found myself scraping the semen from the garment of Allāh’s Messenger while he was praying.” Its narrators are from the narrators of the aī.

Similar to this adīth is the adīth of ibn ‘Abbās found with al-Dāraquṭnī and al-Bayhaqī that Allah’s Messenger was asked about semen getting on the garment so he said, “It is of the same status as mucus and spit,” and he said, “It is sufficient that you wipe it with a rag or idhkhirah.” After reporting it, al-Bayhaqī commented, “It was narrated by Wakī’ and ibn Abī Laylā in mawqūf fashion from ibn ‘Abbās and that is what is correct.”

So those who hold the opinion that semen is impure interpreted these adīths to mean scraping along with washing with water and that is a far-fetched explanation. Conversely, the Shāfi’īyyah say that semen is pure, and they use these adīths as a proof for its purity. They said the adīths of washing are understood to mean that it is preferable and washing is not a proof for impurity because it could have been done for the sake of cleanliness and removal of filth and similar to that. They said that his likening it to spit and mucus is also a proof that it is pure, and the order for wiping it with a rag or idhkhirah is for removing filth that is disliked to remain on the garment of the muallī. If it was impure, it would not be sufficient to just wipe it.

As for likening semen to the filthy excretions like urine and feces as those who say it is impure did, then there is to be no qiyās in the presence of a text. They (those who regard it impure) also say that these adīths about scraping and rubbing are only in regards to his (the Prophet’s) semen, and his (the Prophet’s) excretions are pure so others are not included in this. The response to this is that ‘Ā’ishah has informed about the scraping of the semen from his (the Propehet’s) garment, so it is possible that it was due to sexual relations and could have been mixed with the female ejaculate as well, therefore it would not be his (the Prophet’s) semen alone. Wet dreams are not possible for the Prophets since it is from the toying of the devil, and he has no power over them (the Prophets).

It is also said that it was his (the Prophet’s) semen alone and that it came from the effects of desire that came about after the causes for it coming out, such as foreplay and similar to that, and nothing else was mixed with it. Since this is possible, it cannot be used as an evidence in the presence of this possibility. The Ḥanafīyyah held the opinion that semen is impure, like others, however they said it is purified by washing or scraping or removing it with idhkhir or a rag, in acting upon both adīths. There are numerous debates and lengthy, drawn out discussions between those who say it is impure and those who say it is pure, which we have mentioned in full in the footnotes to Shar al-‘Umdah.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!