Oral Sex: Is Ghusl Obligatory?

Question #: 6514
Date Posted: 11-01-2011
<QUESTION>

I just wanted to know if a ghusl becomes necessary on the husband and/or wife if they were to have oral sex. Can you please explain the ruling for both situations, i.e. when ejaculation takes place and when there is no ejaculation?

<ANSWER>
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

The Islamic viewpoint on engaging in 'Oral Sex' was discussed in detail in a previous answer posted on our website titled, 'The Issue of Oral Sex' and in my recently published book, 'Islamic Guide to Sexual Relations'. Nevertheless, if a husband does have oral sex with his wife, whether a ritual bath of purification (ghusl) becomes necessary or not, it depends on the manner in which it was practiced.

A ritual bath (ghusl) is necessitated by:

1) The emission of sperm (mani) from a man or sexual fluid from a female, that leaves its place of origin inside the body with pleasure [even if it exits without pleasure], due to any reason.

Sayyiduna Ali (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, 'Upon the emission of pre-ejaculatory fluid (madhi), a ritual ablution (wudu) is obliged, and upon the emission of sperm (mani), a ritual bath (ghusl) is obliged.' (Sunan Tirmidhi 114)

2) The disappearance of the head of the penis into the vagina or anus of a living human being [even if without emission of sexual fluid].

Sayyida A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) relates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, 'When the [man's] organ goes beyond the [woman's] organ, a ritual bath becomes necessary' (Sunan Tirmidhi 109 and Musnad Ahmad). In the Hadith of Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, '…even if he does not ejaculate' (Sahih al-Bukhari 287 and Sahih Muslim 348).

3) The ending of menstruation (hayd) or postnatal bleeding (nifas) for a woman. (See: Al-Hadiyya al-Ala'iyya and Maraqi al-Falah 1/1444)

Based on this, in the case of a wife performing oral sex on her husband (fellatio), if the husband ejaculates sperm, a Ghusl becomes necessary on him. If he only releases the pre-ejaculation fluid (madhi), then only a Wudu is required, and if nothing is discharged, then even a Wudu is not required, since entering the penis into the wife's mouth does not, in of itself, necessitate a Ghusl or Wudu, as opposed to entering it into her vagina or anus. As for the wife, she is not required to perform a Ghusl or Wudu unless she has an orgasm by merely practicing oral sex on her husband, in which case she is required to do a Ghusl, or discharges fluid [without an orgasm], in which case she is required to perform Wudu. She must also wash her mouth thoroughly if fluids come into contact with her mouth.

In the case of a husband performing oral sex on his wife (cunnilingus), if the latter reaches sexual climax (has an orgasm), a Ghusl becomes necessary on her. If she discharges fluid without an orgasm, then only a Wudu is required, and if nothing is discharged, then even a Wudu is not required. As for the husband, he is not required to perform anything unless he ejaculates sperm by merely practicing oral sex on his wife, in which case he is required to do a Ghusl, or releases the pre-ejaculation fluid (madhi), in which case he is required to perform Wudu.

However, couples should bear in mind that it is impermissible to intentionally swallow sexual fluids or introduce them into the mouth. For more details on this, please refer to the detailed answer on oral sex as mentioned above.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK