Praise be to Allaah.
When a person wakes up and has had an erotic dream, but he
does not find any wetness on his clothes, then he does not have to do ghusl,
according to scholarly consensus, because the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked by a woman, “O Messenger of
Allaah, Allaah is not shy of (telling you) the truth. Does a woman have to
do ghusl if she has an erotic dream?” The Messenger of Allaah (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Yes, if she sees water.”
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 282; Muslim, 313). This indicates that it is not
obligatory to do ghusl is one does not see water. Al-Mughni, 1/269.
But if one finds wetness, this must mean one of three
1 – That one is certain that it is maniy (semen), in
which case ghusl is obligatory according to scholarly consensus.
2 – That one is certain that it is not maniy, in which
case ghusl is not obligatory, but this liquid must be washed away, because
in this case the ruling is the same as the ruling on urine. Al-Sharh
3 – If he is not sure
what it is, and does not know whether it is maniy (semen) or
madhiy (prostatic fluid). In this case there is a difference of opinion
among the scholars:
Al-Nawawi stated in al-Majmoo’ (2/146) that the
rulings on both maniy and madhiy apply, so he should do
ghusl to remove the janaabah (impurity following sexual activity)
on the basis that it may be maniy, and he should cleanse his clothes
of the impurity on the basis that it might be madhiy – because he
cannot discharge his duty of purifying himself without doing that.
The madhhab of Imam Ahmad, which was also the view preferred
by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, is that if he was thinking thoughts of
desire before he fell asleep, or if he had played with his wife or looked at
her, then this wetness should be counted as madhiy, because the
liquid that is emitted because of those things is usually madhiy and
the basic principle is that it is not anything else. So he should cleanse
his clothes of the madhiy by sprinkling them with water, but he does
not have to do ghusl.
But if he did not think thoughts of desire, or play with or
look at his wife before falling asleep, then this wetness is to be
considered as maniy, because of the report narrated by ‘Aa’ishah who
said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) was asked about a man who finds some wetness and does not remember
having an erotic dream. He said: ‘He should do ghusl.’ And he was asked
about a man who thought that he had had an erotic dream but he did not find
any wetness. He said, ‘He does not have to do ghusl.’” (Narrated by Abu
Dawood, 236; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood,
Al-Khattaabi said in Ma’aalim al-Sunan: “The apparent
meaning of this hadeeth is that ghusl is obligatory if one sees wetness,
even if he is not certain that it is maniy. This opinion was narrated
from a group of the Taabi’een, including ‘Ata’, al-Shu’bi and al-Nakha’i.”
This wetness has to have come out for a reason, and there is
no apparent reason other than an erotic dream, and the water that usually
comes out because of an erotic dream is maniy. So this uncertainty
may be dealt with by going by what is most usual.
See al-Mughni, 1/270; Sharh al-‘Umdah, 1/353.
Both opinions are valid, but if you follow the second view
it will be sufficient, in sha Allah. If you want to be on the safe side and
be sure that your prayer is valid, and you follow the first opinion, that
will be better.
We ask Allaah to enable us to understand our religion, and
Allaah knows best. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet
Muhammad and upon all his family and companions.