Saturday, February 16, 2013

God worries about front bottom farts - it's official!

I'm sorry but I just can't resist this any longer. I know, I know... but, hey, we're only young(ish) once... And surely to goodness if we can't all laugh at "front bottom farts" once in a while, then what is the point in living frankly.
So, at the risk of causing distress and embarrassment to readers of a sensitive disposition (in fact it might be an idea for you to step out of the room for a minute whilst the rest of us regress for a while...), here's a recent fatwa  from a site recommended to me by my convert friend as being a "sensible and traditional" source of information about Islam.

The title of this fatwa ought to say it all:
Difference of opinion concerning the ruling on emission of wind from a woman’s front passage
but it doesn't do the crazily obsessive nature of the query just doesn't.
So here's how the poor benighted questioner framed his query. 
As is known, women sometimes have air (like gas or bubbles or wind) coming out from the front passage. Sometimes it has a sound, but more often not. As you have written on this site previously about this issue  (really??), it has been made clear that this does not invalidate ones wudu’.
Note for non-Muslims: wudu is the Islamic procedure for washing parts of the body using water, typically in preparation for formal prayers (salah).  (wikipedia) 
 But there is another question related to it. A woman often experiences that some wind comes out of her while for example moving, sitting down, praying, etc. The problem is that its often difficult to tell from where the wind came; whether from the front or the back passage. Because even though shes often certain she felt something come out, shes not certain from exactly where, so she cant know for sure if she has invalidated her wudu. What is a woman to do in these situations? (What indeed...) Especially since the confusion and the fact that it happens often makes staying in wudu very difficult. Even relaxing during prayer often becomes difficult because of it. Should she then re-do her wudu, or if it happens during the prayer, stop praying and go make wudu again and repeat the prayer... Or should she go by the principle on doubt & certainty, and since she can't be sure for 100% that she actually broke her wudu, only that something came out from somewhere, should she then go with that she's still has wudu unless she's completely certain that it was from the back? So, should this sister either: A) Continue doing as she does right now: if the possibility seems greater that it came from the front, she goes on that and considers herself still in wudu’. B) If it is certain something comes out, always consider it to be from the front always unless she is completely certain without any doubt that its from the back, following the general principle of doubt & certainty regarding passing gas, and hence considers herself still in wudu’ C) If it is certain that something comes out but it is uncertain from exactly where, then consider it to be from the back and therefore breaks the wudu’, as to be on the safe side D) or do none of the alternatives above, and instead do something else completely? (or E) tell her husband to get a life and mind his own damn business)
And here is the fatwa (I hope you're ready for this) As Mrs Spinoza commented: "This makes debating the number of angels that can fit on the head of a pin look positively sane"
Praise be to Allah.Firstly:
The fuqaha’ differed as to whether wudoo’ is invalidated by the emission of wind from a woman’s front passage. There are two views:
1.     That it does invalidate wudoo’. This is the view of the Shaafa‘is and Hanbalis.
Imam an-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Anything that comes out of the front or back passage of a man or woman invalidates wudoo’, whether it is stools, urine, wind, worms, pus, blood, stones or anything else. There is no differentiation in that regard between what happens rarely and what happens regularly, and there is no differentiation between wind coming out of the front passage of a man or woman or from the back passage. This was stated by ash-Shaafa‘i (may Allah have mercy on him) in al-Umm, and our companions are unanimously agreed on that.
End quote from al-Majmoo‘, 2/3; see also Tuhfat al-Muhtaaj by Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, 1/127
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Saalih narrated from his father concerning a woman from whose vagina wind is emitted: Whatever comes out of either (the front or back) passage, wudoo’ is required for it. al-Qaadi said: Emission of wind from the penis 
(Am I lacking an ability? Are there really men with musical genitalia out there?)  or the woman’s vagina invalidates wudoo’. 

End quote from al-Mughni, 1/125. See also al-Insaaf by al-Mirdaawi, 1/195
2.     That it does not invalidate wudoo’. This is the view of the Hanafis and Maalikis.
It says in Radd al-Muhtaar ‘ala ad-Durr al-Mukhtaar, 1/136: Wudoo’ is not invalidated by emission of wind from the front passage or penis, because it is a twitch or tremor, i.e., it is not really wind; even if we say that it is wind, it does not come from a site of impurity, therefore it does not invalidate wudoo’.
End quote. See Badaa’i‘ as-Sanaa’i‘ by al-Kasaani, 1/25
Al-‘Allaamah ad-Dardeer al-Maaliki (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
If something usual is emitted from somewhere other than the two usual passages, such as if it is it emitted from the mouth, or if urine is emitted from the back passage, or wind is emitted from the front passage or even from the woman’s vagina, or from a hole (er...?), then it does not invalidate wudoo’.
End quote from ash-Sharh al-Kabeer ma‘a Haashiyat ad-Dasooqi, 1/118
Undoubtedly in order to be on the safe side and to ensure that one has discharged one’s duty it is better to do wudoo’ in the event of this wind, because there is such a strong difference of opinion concerning it and because this is more on the safe side, as we have said. It is also closer to the apparent meaning of the evidence, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no wudoo’ unless there is a sound or a smell.” Narrated by at-Tirmidhi, 74; he said: a hasan saheeh hadeeth.
This hadeeth and similar hadeeths on this topic were quoted as evidence by Imam Ibn al-Mubaarak and others to show that wudoo’ is rendered invalid by emission of wind from the back passage.
Imam at-Tirmidhi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
This is the view of the scholars, that he does not have to do wudoo’ except if he breaks wind and hears a sound or notices a smell. Abdullah ibn al-Mubaarak said: If he is uncertain as to whether he has broken wind, he does not have to do wudoo’ unless he is so certain that he would swear to it. And he said: If wind is emitted from a woman’s front passage, she has to do wudoo’.
This is also the view of ash-Shaafa‘i and Ishaaq. End quote.
For more information, please see fatwas no. 14383 and 114793 (go on - I dare you)
The view that wudoo’ is required becomes stronger in the case of uncertainty as to whether it came from the front passage or the back passage. It is known that wind emitted from the back passage invalidates wudoo’ according to scholarly consensus. If the source of the wind is uncertain – is it from the back passage, which invalidates wudoo’ according to scholarly consensus, or is it from the front passage, which invalidates wudoo’ according to many of the scholars? – the view that it does invalidate wudoo’ becomes very strong, especially since the basic principle concerning wind is that it comes from the back passage. As for that which is emitted from the front passage, it is rare and is not a regular occurrence; this is the basis on which those who said that it does not invalidate wudoo’ based their opinion.
And Allah knows best. 
Well, I did warn you. (And that's only half of it!)

Now just for a moment picture, if you will, the "scholars" who have debated at length this issue. That fact that any sane person could possibly think it worthwhile spending time to make "rulings" on such issues (or think that God would give a flying f*ck anyway) is crazy enough, but when you also remember that these "scholars" are all MEN,  it defies belief that we're reading this in the 21st century! Oh for an Arabic Monty Python...
The scene is a book-lined chamber with a large table in the middle, around which are sat a group of mufti. At the head sits a serious looking scholar...
"Right, gentlemen. Number one on the agenda today: wind emerging from a lady's parts. What do we think? Does it invalidate wudu?"
"Tricky one!"
"Mmm..yes..I suppose it really depends on whether the sister in question feels it."
"Do they feel it?"
"Well I certainly know when I've cut the cheese!"
"Thank you, Yusuf - but the question is: would you feel it if it came out of your know..."
"Dunno - not having a "you know" makes the debate rather academic"
"Exactly! This is an academic debate and we'd do well to remember the fact!"
"I suppose if it's an angel's whisper then the sister might not."
"She would know if it were a real room-clearer - like one of Shaafi's tile-peelers!"
"Right! That's it! Yusuf - go and get some sandwiches. I can see this is going to be a long one."
"Just don't make them egg!"

(Note on fatwas (for the enlightenment of non-Muslims) taken from here
A fatwa is an Islamic religious ruling, a scholarly opinion on a matter of Islamic law. A fatwa is issued by a recognized religious authority in Islam. But since there is no hierarchical priesthood or anything of the sort in Islam, a fatwa is not necessarily "binding" on the faithful. The people who pronounce these rulings are supposed to be knowledgeable  and base their rulings in knowledge and wisdom. They need to supply the evidence from Islamic sources for their opinions [...]

 (And I hereby claim my prize for the most bizarre blog post title of the day - being #1 in a series entitled Weird and Wonderful Fatwas)


  1. I have NEVER seen anything like this.
    Defies belief...

  2. "Musical genitalia"!? ROFL! You've made my day, Spinoza! :)

  3. This an example of that filibustering that I have commented on before

  4. Spinoza,
    Your friend may say the source is "sensible", but the Sheikh there endorses Maurice Bucaille (How I love that guy!) when the former criticises Judaism (, but not when Bucaille rejects the ahadith ( Sensible or not, definitely inconsistent.

  5. @ jasmine
    r u suggesting this sort of obsessing is atypical?
    in my experience it's pretty common!

  6. The burning question is :
    Would you redo your wudu?

  7. @ Anon re: r u suggesting this sort of obsessing is atypical?

    No, I'm saying this is the central of Spinoza's previous posts addressed the issue of a lack of development / progress in Islamic Communities & my response was that the community spend all of their time debating minor things like which hand or foot goes first, what is the best way to wash - all these minor things which I likened to filibustering. My conclusion was that all of this delays progress, because you cannot progress without conclusions, you cannot move forward without closure

    Hope that clarifies my stance