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Clarification And Laws Of Vaginal Discharge


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In the books of Fiqh (Jurisprudence), the Fuqahā (Jurists) generally state the rulings for three types of fluids (discharges) experienced by women. They are as follows:


  1. Fluid produced in the Farj al-Khārij (Vulva-the external region of the vagina)
  2. Fluid produced in the Farj ad-Dākhil (Vagina)
  3. Fluid produced anywhere beyond the Farj ad-Dākhil (beyond the vagina)


With regards to the first type of fluid, the Fuqahā state that any moisture produced in the Vulva is pure and does not invalidate Wudhū.



Regarding the second type of fluid, there is a difference of opinion among the Fuqahā. Imām Abū Hanīfah Rahimahullāh states that fluid produced in the Farj ad-Dākhil (vagina) is pure and the discharge of such fluid does not nullify Wudhū.



However, Imām Abū Yūsuf Rahimahullāh and Imām Muhammad Rahimahullāh are of the view that discharge produced in the vagina is impure and nullifies Wudhū. According to the principles of Iftā (giving Fatwā), the view of Imām Abū Hanīfah Rahimahullāh is the preferred view.[ii]



Regarding the third type of discharge, the Fuqahā agree that discharge produced in any region beyond the Farj ad-Dākhil (vagina) is impure and nullifies Wudhu. This includes discharge produced in the uterus.


According to medical research, the normal discharge experienced by women is produced in the vagina and at times it may be produced in the cervix.[iii]


The difficulty and real challenge is to determine the purity or otherwise of a women’s discharge from the cervix. This depends much on the position and classification of the cervix:


  1. If the cervix is part of the vagina, then discharge produced in the cervix is pure and does not nullify Wudhū.
  2. If the cervix is part of the Uterus, then discharge produced in the cervix is impure and it nullifies Wudhū.
  3. If the cervix is neither part of the vagina nor part of the cervix, rather it is a region between the two, then discharge produced in the cervix is still impure and it nullifies Wudhū since it is in an area beyond the vagina.


According to medical research, the cervix is part of the uterus and not part of the vagina.[iv]

In support of this, we have come across the following reference:


وَالْحَاصِلُ أَنَّ رُطُوبَةَ الْفَرْجِ ثَلَاثُ أَقْسَامٍ طَاهِرَةٌ قَطْعًا وَهِيَ مَا تَكُونُ فِي الْمَحَلِّ الَّذِي يَظْهَرُ عِنْدَ جُلُوسِهَا وَهُوَ الَّذِي يَجِبُ غَسْلُهُ فِي الْغُسْلِ وَالِاسْتِنْجَاءِ، وَنَجِسَةٌ قَطْعًا وَهِيَ مَا وَرَاءَ ذَكَرِ الْمُجَامِعِ، وَطَاهِرَةٌ عَلَى الْأَصَحِّ وَهِيَ مَا يَصِلُهُ ذَكَرُ الْمُجَامِعِ شَيْخُنَا اهـ بُجَيْرِمِيٌّ (حاشية الشرواني على تحفة المحتاج في شرح المنهاج، باب النجاسة وإزالتها)



In essence, there are three types of female discharges. The first type is pure. This is discharge that is produced in the region that is visible when a female is in the sitting position. This is also the same region that needs to be washed during Ghusl and Istinjā (vulva).


The second type of discharge is impure. This is discharge produced in a region that is beyond the area a man’s private part reaches during intercourse (cervix and uterus).


The third type of discharge is pure according to the preferred view. This is discharge produced in the area a man’s private part reaches during intercourse (vagina). (Hāshiyah ash-Shirwānī)


It is understood from the text of the second type of discharge that the cervix is beyond the vagina as the cervix is beyond the area of intercourse. Therefore, the fluid discharged from the cervix is considered impure and invalidates Wudhū.


Based on the aforementioned explanation, if a female is certain that the discharge she is experiencing is produced only in the vagina then such discharge is pure and does not nullify Wudhū. However this ruling is applicable on condition the discharge is clear or white (normal color). If it is mixed with blood or discharge due to arousal (Madhi)[v] the Wudhu will be invalidated.


However, if a female is unaware of the exact origin of her discharge (the vagina or the cervix), then she must renew her Wudhū and purify herself before Salāh. This is so because of the possibility the discharge may be from the cervix and thus impure.


Note: The previous Fatāwā issued by the Darul Iftaa on normal vaginal discharge were concise and did not address the position and discharge of the cervix. The present finding on the location of the cervix and the discharge from there being impure is based on precaution. If any woman regarded the cervical discharge to be pure based on the previous concise Fatwā, and performed Salāh, her Salāh will remain valid.


It should be borne in mind that the term precaution should not mean that there is flexibility on the issue and the discharge of the cervix could be pure. Often, the Fuqahā have issued official decrees based on Ihtiyāt (precaution). Therefore, as a matter of precaution, the official ruling of the discharge from the cervix is that it is impure.


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


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