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Question on Female Discharge

Posted on Thursday, 21st March 2013 in Blog

Question:

I have been told that what comes from the human body breaks your ablutions. However, can you confirm that whether a clear/white discharge breaks your ablutions and whether there is an exception on the amount of discharge? Could you please advise as I find it difficult to repeat my ablutions due to eczema?

Answer:

The default is that anything that exits from either private parts nullifies ritual ablutions, for both men and women. Such discharge itself is considered ritually impure. This includes all female discharge, except one type. The discharge that does not nullify ritual ablutions and is considered ritually clean is the chronic vaginal discharge (rutubah al-farj) that comes out normally and regularly, and is clear and not discoloured. Some scholars explain it to be akin to the sweating of the vaginal walls. When reasonably possible, one should renew one’s ritual ablutions in such cases. However, when it is difficult to do so, such as at work or school, there is nothing wrong with following this ruling. It should be noted, again, though that all other discharge, even if slightly discoloured, nullifies ritual ablutions and is ritually impure.

On a side note, if you suffer from chronic eczema, whereby the regular use of water causes your skin to flare up on your arms and face if you were to make your ablutions, you are not required to make ablutions. Rather you should make dry ablutions (tayammum). You can carry a small natural rock on you or you can use a natural surface on which you touch with your hands and then wipe your full face, and then you touch your hands on a second time on it and then wipe your right and left arms. As long as you know through experience or by an experienced Muslim doctor who is aware of the Islamic rulings on these issues, you can continue to resort to dry ablution (tayammum) in place of having to regularly wash your limbs. As for a ritual bath (ghusl), due to the lack of need to regularly take them, it is unlikely they will cause your skin to flare up and so if one falls into a state of major ritual impurity (janābah), one should not resort to dry ablution (tayammum) unless one suffers from extreme eczema whereby even the slightest contact to water causes it to flare.

©Abu Zahra Foundation

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