As far as Taharah (purification) from male secretions is concerned, Ghusl is obligatory only in two cases: ejaculation of sperm and sexual intercourse. Any other thing that does not end in ejaculation of sperm or having sex does not require Ghusl. If one releases Madhy (pre-seminal fluid or ejection), then Wudu’ is only obligatory. In case of sexual intercourse, Ghusl is obligatory even if one does not ejaculate sperm.

As for oral sex, it is only permitted as a way of stimulation and foreplay. Scholars say that it is Makrooh to do it with the intention of ejaculating in wife’s mouth. This is based on the jurists’ views regarding the impurity of sperm and Madhy. Anyway, if a husband does have oral sex with his wife, and ejaculates sperm, then Ghusl is obligatory; however, if he only releases Madhy then Wudu’ is only required, and the wife has to wash the Madhy away because it is Najis.

Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, answers: “There is a difference of opinion among the founders of the Four Schools of Jurisprudence regarding whether Mani (semen) is Najas (impure) or not. While both Imams Abu Hanifah and Malik consider it Najas, both Imams Shafi`i and Ahmad do not consider it as such. These differences notwithstanding, all of them insist on washing it away if it is wet, and if dry, scrubbing or erasing it from body, cloth or any other surface it may have come into contact with.

When we inquire into the cause behind the above differences of opinion, we can readily see that it stems from the different ways the Imams interpreted the various traditions of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, as well as from the analogies they based their views on. The traditions from the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, do not insist that we must wash semen away in all cases, but clearly state that we should do so if it is wet. The traditions also suggest that it is sufficient to scrub it away if it has dried up. Thus, the Imams asked the question: Are we to compare semen to bodily secretions such as breast milk and spittle, which are considered pure, or are we to consider it analogous to feces and urine, both of which are undoubtedly considered Najas (impure)?

As far as the “oral sex” question is concerned, we had deliberately avoided the phrase “oral sex” to avoid confusion with “oral stimulation”. Further, we must clearly indicate that any deliberate act of sexual intercourse must be done in the place created for it (i.e., the vagina), while oral stimulation itself is permissible. If, however, during the course of oral stimulation, ejaculation takes place, one must wash it away if it gets in one’s clothing or mouth. We must further add that no Muslim should ever consider consuming it in any way.

As far as Madhy (pre-seminal fluid) in males as well as its lubricating equivalent in females is concerned, it is considered Najas (impure) in all of the accepted Schools of Fiqh (Jurisprudence) and, therefore, one must definitely wash it away.”