|Question: I came across a statement in the Sunnah wherein the Prophet (peace be upon him) says: "Yes indeed. A man's fluid is thick and white and a women's fluid is thin and yellow. Whichever of the two ejaculates first will be the one the child would resemble." Does a woman does actually ejaculate? And isn't resemblance based on genetic make-up and not on which partner ejaculates first?
Answered by Sheikh Sulaymân al-`Îsâ, professor at al-Imâm University in Riyadh
This is an important question requiring a detailed answer.
The first part of the question regards whether a woman releases a fluid during sexual intercourse the same as a man does. We say if the hadîth is authentic, then it is true and it should be accepted. The hadîth you have mentioned is related in Sahîh Muslim and is of undoubted authenticity.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) states in the hadîth that women has a fluid that is thin and yellow.
Allah says about his Prophet (peace be upon him): "Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) desire, it is no less than inspiration sent down to him" [Sûrah al-Najm: 3-4]
This issue was discussed by Dr. Muhammad `Ali al-Bârr in his book Human Creation between Medicine and the Qur'an under the heading "Does the woman release a fluid" (page 149).
This had been a matter of disagreement. Sheikh al-Fakhr al-Râzî in his wonderful book, al-Mabâhith al-Mashriqiyyah, mentions that Aristotle denied that women have a fluid. Then Galen, the prominent Greek doctor strongly criticized Aristotle for that and proved that women have a fluid that differs in its nature from the fluid of men. It does not come out as an ejaculation but flows on the member and is a white moisture. Dr. al-Bârr continues:
Al-Râzî then mentions that Umm Sulaym came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: "O Messenger of Allah, Allah does not shy from the truth. Must a woman have a bath if she has has a sexual release while sleeping?"
He replied: "Yes, if she sees the fluid." [Sahîh Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]
The release of fluid from woman's vagina is something natural. It takes place during sexual intercourse or while sleeping. It is obligatory for her to have a bath thereafter. During sexual intercourse the woman's fluid mixes with the man's.
The woman releases two types of fluid. The first is a sticky fluid that flows inside her vagina and has nothing to do with the creation of the fetus. The second is a liquid that is released at a single occasion from the Graafian follicle in the ovary when the follicle is full of a yellow liquid.Turning our attention to the child resembling one of its parents, this is also confirmed by the prophetic hadîth. The child may sometimes resemble his father, his mother, one of his uncles, his grandparents, or he may closely resemble none of them.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The man's fluid is white and woman's is yellow."
Dr. Muhammad al-Bârr, in the same book (page 164) writes:
In brief, the factors governing the child's resembling one parent, grandparent, or even coming with new attributes that do not belong to any of his relatives - like what happened at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) when al-Farâzî's wife gave birth to a black baby while none of their relatives were black - is a very complicated matter. Genetics plays a very complicated role. Some of these genes follow the Mendelian model with respect to dominant and recessive genes and others do not.
Even those genes that submit to such laws might at times not act in accordance with those laws. The gene may or may not be fully expressed.
Modern medicine is still ignorant of many of the determining factors that bring about how much a child will resemble either of its parents. Until now, we do not know the role that may be played by the release of one fluid before the other in how the child will resemble one of his parents. Until and unless this is decisively determined in the future, we have no other choice but to simply believe what our Prophet (peace be upon him) said. He does not say anything except the truth.
In fact, this should encourage medical scholars to investigate these matters and discover new things.
I have given you the answer of Dr. Muhammad al-Bârr, because this is an important issue and I found his answer to be sufficient.
We have to believe in what Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) tell us. We are certain of the fact that Allah says: "Of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you." [Sûrah al-Isrâ': 85]
And Allah knows best.
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