chapter  5
15 Pages

Purity lost, purity regained

Pollution has nothing to do with sin and it may derive just as easily from lawful acts as from an unlawful act. Even sexual relations within the legitimate framework of nikāḥ produce pollution. But, conversely, an act of zinā that does not involve ejaculation produces no pollution if one of the two partners is impotent or if the act is abandoned prior to ejaculation. It is ejacu­ lation, a physiological and material phenomenon, that produces pollution, not zinā. The fiqh poses, for example, the problem of the validity of the fast of a man who practises sexual intercourse with a boy or an alien woman in broad daylight. The answer is unanimous: no orgasm, no breaking of the fast. Which is not the same as to say that there is no sin!