Beginning the Fast in Ramadān in a State of Janābah (Sexual Impurity) ―or after a Wet Dream

Beginning the Fast of the Day in a State of Janābah (Sexual Impurity)

‘Ā’ishah and Umm Salamah (radiyallāhu ‘anhā) reported that: “The Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) awoke in a state of ritual impurity (janābah) due to sexual intercourse. So, he took a bath (ghusl) and then fasted.” And Umm Salamah (radiyallāhu ‘anhā) stated: “And he did not make up the fast.”[1]

This hadīth proves that it is permitted to begin one’s fast in a state of janābah―and then he takes a bath before praying Fajr. This because he had sexual intercourse in the night before the fasting day began. So, he reaches Fajr in that state without taking a bath (ghusl) and he had the intention to fast, then his fast is correct. The Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) reached Fajr in Ramadān whilst in janābah, and he was fasting, he performed ghusl and he prayed Fajr. That is because Allah (the Most High) allowed eating, drinking and sexual relations up until Fajr:

أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَائِكُمْ ۚ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ ۗ عَلِمَ اللَّهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتَانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ ۖ فَالْآنَ بَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۚ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ

“It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of the fasts. They are a garment for you, and you are the same for them. Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He turned to you and forgave you. So, now have sexual relations with them and seek that which Allah has ordained for you from offspring and eat and drink until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread.”[2]

The hadīth quoted in this chapter proves that the intention for fasting does not require one to be in a state of purification. It further proves that it is allowed to sleep after sexual relations without first performing ghusl (taking a ritual bath). However, it is better to make ablution (wudū) and ghusl (bath) after sexual intercourse before sleeping. [3]

This also applies to the one who wakes up after a wet dream whether during the night or the day, it does not break his fast.


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[1] Al-Bukhāri (no. 1925), Muslim (1109).

[2] Al-Baqarah: 187.

[3] See Tas’hīl Al-Ilmām (vol. 3) of Shaikh Al-Fawzān.

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