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Sérgio Valle Duarte, Abstract spermatozoon, moving, C.E.1995

Sperm is the male reproductive cell, or gamete, in anisogamous forms of sexual reproduction (forms in which there is a larger, female reproductive cell and a smaller, male one).

Sperm cells cannot divide and have a limited lifespan, but after fusion with egg cells during fertilization, a new organism begins developing, starting as a totipotent zygote. The human sperm cell is haploid, so that its 23 chromosomes can join the 23 chromosomes of the female egg to form a diploid cell with 46 paired chromosomes. In mammals, sperm is stored in the epididymis and released through the penis in semen during ejaculation.


  • When a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his whole body with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Any clothing or leather that has semen on it must be washed with water, and it will be unclean till evening. When a man has sexual relations with a woman and there is an emission of semen, both of them must bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.
    • Book of Leviticus 15: 16-18 (NIV)
  • The man regards her as a receptacle into which he has emptied his sperm, a kind of human spittoon, and turns from her in disgust.
    • Greer Germaine. 2006. The Female Eunuch. London: Harper Perennial.
  • I used to wash the traces of Janaba [semen] from the clothes of the Prophet and he used to go for prayers while traces of water were still on it [water spots were still visible].
    • Hadith, Bukhari vol. 1, book 4, no. 229.
  • A person stayed in the house of A'isha and in the morning began to wash his garment. A'isha said: In case you saw it (i. e. drop of semen), it would have served the purpose (of purifying the garment) if you had simply washed that spot; and in case you did not see it, it would have been enough to sprinkle water around it, for when I saw that on the garment of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). I simply scraped it off and he offered prayer, while putting that on.
    • Sahih Muslim [1] “Book of Purification.” Book 2, Hadith 134
  • I used to scrape off the (drop of) semen from the garment of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).
    • Sahih Muslim [2] “Book of Purification.” Book 2, Hadith 135
  • I asked Sulaiman b. Yasar whether the semen that gets on to the garment of a person should be washed or not. He replied: A'isha told me: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) washed the semen, and then went out for prayer in that very garment and I saw the mark of washing on it.
    • Sahih Muslim [3] “Book of Purification.” Book 2, Hadith 138
  • I stayed in the house of 'A'isha and had a wet dream (and perceived its effect on my garment), so (in the morning) I dipped both (the clothes) in water. This (act of mine) was watched by a maid-servant of A'isha and she informed her. She (Hadrat A'isha) sent me a message: Whatprompted you to act like this with your clothes? He (the narrator) said: I told that I saw in a dream what a sleeper sees. She said: Did you find (any mark of the fluid) on your clothes? I said: No. She said: Had you found anything you should have washed it. Incase I found that (semen) on the garment of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) dried up, I scraped it off with my nails.
    • Sahih Muslim [4] “Book of Purification.”  : Book 2, Hadith 140

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