Praise be to Allah.
Does discharge break wudu?
It seems that the questioner is asking about the ruling on the wetness that comes from a woman’s vagina. The scholars differed concerning this, and in order to explain it we must look at two issues.
Is that wetness tahir (pure) or najis (impure)?
1- The first opinion is that it is tahir. This is the view of al-Shafi’i and Ahmad.
2- The second opinion is that it is najis.
The more correct opinion is the first one, because there is no evidence to suggest that this wetness is najis. It says in al-Mughni: “Because ‘Aishah used to scratch the semen from the garment of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) – after intercourse – and that semen is usually mixed with the wetness of the vagina. And because if we deem the woman’s vagina to be najis that means that we deem the fluid emitted from it to be najis too.”
Does that wetness invalidate wudu’?
The scholars differed concerning this and there are two views:
- The first opinion is that it does invalidate wudu. This is the view of the majority. They quoted as evidence the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told the woman who was suffering from irregular bleeding (istihadah) to do wudu for every prayer, and that wetness or discharge is akin to istihadah.
In Sahih al-Bukhari, ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: Fatimah bint Abi Hubaysh came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, I am a woman who suffers irregular bleeding (istihadah) and I do not become pure; should I stop praying?” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “No. That is just a vein and it is not menses. When the time of your regular menses comes, stop praying, then when it ends wash the blood from yourself and start praying again.” He (Hisham) said: My father (‘Urwah ibn al-Zubayr) said: “Then do wudu for every prayer, until that time comes.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, no. 228)
Al-Hafiz said in al-Fath concerning the additional material which speaks of wudu: Some of them say that this is mu’allaq, but that is not correct, rather it was narrated with the isnad mentioned from Muhammad, from Abu Mu’awiyah, from Hisham. Al-Tirmidhi explained that in his narration. Someone else claimed that the words “Then do wudu” are the words of ‘Urwah, but this is debatable, because if they were his words, he would have spoken in the third person, and said, “Then she should do wudu” etc. But as it appears in the imperative, it goes with the instructions mentioned in the marfu’ report when he said, “Then wash the blood from yourself.” (Al-Fath, 1/332; see also 1/409 and al-Irwa 1/146, 224)
- The second opinion is that it does not invalidate wudu. This is the view of Ibn Hazm.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah has two views on this issue, like the two views mentioned above. In al-Ikhtiyarat he favoured the view that it does not invalidate wudu and in Majmu’ al-Fatawa he favoured the view of the majority. (See Majmu’ al-Fatawa (21/221) and al-Ikhtiyarat, p. 27)
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymin discussed the two views in detail and said:
“After researching the matter, it seems to me that the discharge that comes from a woman, if it does not come from the bladder and it comes from the uterus , then it is tahir, but it invalidates wudu even though it is tahir, because it is not essential for the thing that invalidates wudu to be najis. The wind that comes from the back passage has no substance, but it still invalidates wudu. Based on this, if it is emitted by a woman and she has wudu, then her wudu is invalidated and she has to renew it. But if it is continuous , then it does not invalidate wudu, but she should not do wudu for prayer until the time for the prayer begins. Then she may offer both obligatory and nafl prayers, read Quran and do whatever she wants of permissible things, as the scholars said concerning one who suffers from urinary incontinence .
This is the ruling on this discharge with regard to purity; it is tahir and does not make clothing or the body najis.
As for the ruling with regard to wudu, it invalidates wudu unless it is continuous. If it is continuous it invalidates wudu but the woman does not have to do wudu for any prayer until after the time for it has begun, and she has to wear sanitary pads.
But if it comes and goes, and it usually stops during the times of prayer, then she should delay her prayer until the times when it stops, so long as there is no fear of the time for prayer ending. If she fears that the time for prayer will end, then she should do wudu and wear a sanitary pad and pray. It makes no difference whether there is a little or a lot, because all of it is coming from the same place and a little of it or a lot invalidates wudu.
With regard to the belief of some women that it does not invalidate wudu, I know of no basis for this apart from the view of Ibn Hazm (may Allah have mercy on him), who said that it does not invalidate wudu, but he did not mention any evidence for that. If he had any evidence from the Quran or Sunnah or sayings of the Sahabah, that would be proof. Women should fear Allah and strive to purify themselves, because prayer is not accepted without purity, even if a woman prays one hundred times. Some scholars even say that the one who prays without being pure is a kafir because this is a kind of mocking the signs of Allah.” (Majmu’ Fatawa Ibn ‘Uthaymin, 1/284-286)
For more information please see questions no. 7776 and 13948 .