Semen or Manī (Arabic: مَني) is a white thick spurting fluid. When it is discharged from a man's body, he will be junub and should perform the ghusl of janaba. From a jurisprudential point of view, signs of a fluid counting as semen include: lust, spurting, and the loosening of the body. The semen is najis, and in some cases, its discharge from the body invalidates the fast.
In Arabic, the word, "mani", refers to the water in the back of a man or a woman which comes out of their genital usually as a white, thick, and spurting fluid out of lust.
Semen in Men
According to the majority of Shiite jurisprudents, the discharge of semen in a healthy man is accompanied with 3 signs:
- Loosening of the body.
If one or all of the signs are absent, the fluid does not count as semen, unless one knows that it is semen in other ways.
Some scholars do not require the third condition, and some scholars believe that if the discharge is accompanied with lust and spurting or spurting and the loosening of the body, it counts as semen. If the man or the woman is sick, the body does not need to be loosened, and if the discharge is accompanied with lust and spurting, it counts as semen.
Semen in Women
According to the majority of fuqaha (jurisprudents), if a woman's vaginal secretions are accompanied with lust (or orgasm), they count as semen or "mani", and it is obligatory for her to perform ghusl of janaba. It will count as semen even if the discharge takes place without spurting and the loosening of the body.
On the contrary, some jurisprudents require that a "woman's semen" be accompanied with the loosening of the body, and others require the spurting of the fluid as well. Thus, if one of the conditions does not hold, the fluid will not count as semen and ghusl of janaba will not be obligatory, unless they know that it is semen through some other way.
Secretions discharged after orgasms count as semen and ghusl of janaba will be obligatory, but if she doubts whether she has an orgasm, it will not count as semen, and other secretions which are not accompanied with pleasure count as "madhy" and are clean.
It is said that physiologists believe that women do not have semen as a secretion.
Difference between Jurisprudential and Medical Definitions
In medical terms, semen is a relatively thick and more or less white fluid consisting of the aggregation of testicular secretions, seminal vesicles, prostate, and Bulbourethral glands, containing spermatozoon that does not necessarily come out of the body with orgasm.
Jurisprudential fatwas are concerned with the discharge of semen via ejaculation and orgasm. But from a medical point of view, semen might come out of the body in some diseases (such as prostatosis) or in some normal conditions (such as morning urination that contains spermatozoon or pressure on urethra and relevant glands), but from a jurisprudential viewpoint, such semen counts as clean.
Other than urination and semen, some other fluids also come out of an adult: "madhy", "wadhy", and "wady".
A fluid coming out of the body after a low degree of sexual arousal or flirtation is called "madhy" which is clean and does not invalidate the fast. Madhy is a fluid that is slightly sticky and viscous and usually comes out after sexual arousal (such as seeing an arousing scene, or thinking about it, or seeing and talking to a person of the opposite gender, or having fun with one's wife). If this fluid is not mixed with urine, it is clean and it does not invalidate ghusl and wudu.
"Wadhy" is a fluid that sometimes comes out of the body after the discharge of the semen. If it is not mixed with semen or urine, it is clean and it does not require ghusl.
"Wady" is a fluid that sometimes comes out after urination and looks like semen, but since it does not have the signs of semen discharge, it does not count as semen, and if it is not mixed with urine, it is clean.
- Semen is najis and it is forbidden to swallow.
- The intentional discharge of semen from the body (either via sexual intercourse or via masturbation) invalidates the fast.
- The discharge of semen from the body requires ghusl of janaba.
- There are different views about whether semen of animals is najis or not. Some scholars take the semen of animals with blood that gushes forth when their large vein is cut to be najis; others take halal animals to have najis semen, and some others take haram animals to have najis semen.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from منی in Farsi WikiShia.