The Purity ()

AbdulRahman Bin Abdulkarim Al-Sheha

 

The author said in his introduction, \”Purity (Tahârah) is a beautiful word that is pleasing to the eye, and a quality which everyone wishes to maintain. From an Islamic perspective, purity has a general meaning. Thus it may mean, on one hand, physical cleanliness which is the purity (of the body) from perceptible filth or ritual purification. On the other hand, it may mean spiritual purity which is the purity of the self from vices, sins and abandoning disobediences, and getting used to good deeds and words.\” This book talks about wudu (ablutions), ghusl (washing one\’s body), tayammum (using the clean earth to perform prayer) and wiping over kuffain (boots).

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 THE PURITY

الطهارة



 Introduction

Praise be to Allah! May Allah exalt the mention of Prophet Muhammad and render him, his family and his companions safe from all evil.

Purity (Tahârah) is a beautiful word that is pleasing to the eye, and a quality which everyone wishes to maintain. From an Islamic perspective, purity has a general meaning. Thus it may mean, on one hand, physical cleanliness which is the purity (of the body) from perceptible filth or ritual purification. On the other hand, it may mean spiritual purity which is the purity of the self from vices, sins and abandoning disobediences, and getting used to good deeds and words. This comprehensive meaning of purity is expressed in the words of Prophet Muhammad, ﷺ‬ (This symbol means “may Allah send His blessing and peace upon him”), as reported by Abu Hurairah, (may Allah be pleased with him):

What do you think if there was a river at the door of one of you in which he bathes five times a day: Does this leave any dirt on him?’ They answered, ‘Nothing is left.’ The Prophet ﷺ‬ said, ‘That is like the five prayers with which Allah remove sins.”   (Bukhari & Muslim)

Ritual purity is a prerequisite to prayer (Şalât); this comprises either ablution (wudu’) for minor impurity or ceremonial bath (ghusl) for major impurity. If a Muslim purifies himself in accordance with Allah’s commandments and the Prophet’s instructions, his prayer will purify him of sins. Islam is the religion of both outward and inward purity. Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ warned those who neglected physical purity which is considered a prerequisite for validity of certain devotions, like prayer, touching or holding the Holy Qur’an, etc. Ibn ‘Abbass reported Allah’s Messenger’s words when he passed by two

graves:

They are being punished for something which seemed trivial to them: this one used not to clean himself of urine; whereas the other was used to tale bearing.” Then he requested a wet branch which he split into two halves and put a half on either grave, then said, “With that, punishment will be reduced unless they (the branches) become dry.”   (Bukhari & Muslim)

Training his companions to love purity, he used to say the following supplication:

“O Allah! Praise be to You as much as that which fills the heavens and the earth and as much as You will. O Allah! Purify me with snow, hail and  cool water. O Allah! Purify me of sins as a white dress is purified of dirt.”   (Ahmad)

The teachings of Islam urge cleanliness. Jâbir narrated that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ once came to them and saw a man with shaggy hair. He said,

“Couldn’t he find something to tidy his hair up?” When he saw another man with dirty clothes, he said, “Couldn’t this man find water to clean his dress?”

(Ahmad ,Nasai and Abu Daud)

Ibn Al-Qayyim stated: "If a person purifies himself and then meets Allah in the Hereafter he will enter Paradise without obstacles. However, in case he does not purify himself in this world: if his impurity persists, like the disbeliever, he will not be allowed into Paradise; but if his impurity is transient, he will be allowed to enter Paradise after he is purified in Hell of that impurity for a period of time.” (Ighathatullahfan 1/57)

What demonstrates the comprehensive meaning of purity in the Islamic perspective is the fact that was expressed in the Holy Qur'an in one word (i.e. Taharah) which gives several meanings:

  1. Purity from sins: The Qur’an says in this regard of which the meaning is translated as:

(Take alms from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it.)   (9:103)

According to Ibn Abbass, may Allah be pleased with him,

The Prophet ﷺ‬ prescribed Zakatul-Fitr as a purification of the fasting person from empty and obscene talk and as food for the poor. If anyone pays it before the Eid prayer, it will be accepted as Zakat, and if anyone pays it after the prayer, it will be counted as alms (Sadaqa) like any other alms.”   (Abu Daud & Ibn Majah)

  1. Purity (freedom) from idols, as indicated in the words of Allah, the Exalted (the meaning of which is):

(Purify My House for those who perform tawaf (circumambulate) and those who stay therein for worship and those who bow down and prostrate themselves (in worship).)   (2:125)

  1. Purity in the sense of glorification and veneration:

(Those who disbelieve among the people of the Scripture and the idolaters could not have left off (erring) till the clear proof came unto them, a messenger from Allah, reciting purified scriptures).)   (98:1-3)


  1. Purity also means what is lawful:

(Upon them will be garments of fine green silk and heavy silk. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a purifying drink.)   (76:21)

  1. Purity of the heart from suspicion:

(And when you ask them (the Prophet’s wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a partition: that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts.)   (33:53)

  1. Purity from unchastity:

(And (remember) when the angels said: O Mary! Lo! Allah has chosen you and made you pure, and has preferred you above (all) the women of the world (of her times).)   (3:43)

Purity from dirt and filth:

(And as for those who believe and do good works, We shall make them enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow, they abide therein for ever; there for them are purified mates (wives), and We shall make them enter plenteous shade.)   (4:57)

  1. Purity from ritual impurities:

(O you who believe! When you rise up for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands up to the elbows, and wipe your heads (with wet hands), and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. And if you are in a state of major ritual impurity (janabah), purify yourselves (by taking a bath). And  if you are sick or on a journey, or one of you comes from the answering of call of nature, or you have had contact with women, and you find no water, then go to clean earth and wipe your faces and hands with some of it. Allah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you and to perfect His grace upon you that you may give thanks.)   (5:6)

A'ishah, (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: Asma asked the Prophet, ﷺ‬ about washing after menstruation. He said:

Everyone amongst you should use water (mixed with the leaves of the lote-tree) and cleanse herself well, and then pour water on her head and rub it vigorously till it reaches the roots of the hair. Then she should wash herself well in that area. She should then take a piece of cotton smeared with musk and purify herself with it.”

Asma said: How should she cleanse herself with the help of that? Upon this he (the Prophet ﷺ‬) observed:

“Far removed is Allah from every imperfection! She should cleanse herself. Asma further asked about bathing after sexual intercourse. The Prophet ﷺ‬ said: She should wash herself well or complete the ablution and then pour water on her head and rub it until it reaches the roots of her hair and then bathe the rest of her body. A’isha said: How good are the women of Ansar! Their shyness does not prevent them from learning religion. (Bukhari & Muslim)


 Qualities of Purification

w It is equal in excellence to half the faith: The Prophet of Allah, ﷺ‬ said in this regard:

Cleanliness is equal to half the faith and saying: “Praise be to Allah (i.e. Alhamdu Lillah) makes the scale of good works become hefty. The utterance ofSubhan Allah’ (Far removed is Allah from every imperfection!) and ‘Alhamdu Lillah’ (Praise be to Allah!) fill the space between the heavens and the earth (with blessings). Salat (prayer) is light, alms giving is a proof (of one’s faith) and the Holy Qur’an is a plea in your favour or against you. Everyone begins his morning ready to bargain with his soul as a stake and frees it or loses it.” (Muslim)

w Purification is beloved and pleasing to God. Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported the Prophet ﷺ‬ as saying:

“The following verse was revealed concerning the people of Quba: “Wherein are men who love to purify themselves.” They used to cleanse themselves with soul and water (after answering the call of nature), so this verse was revealed about them.” (Abu Daud & Tirmidhi) 

w It is one of the qualities of believers because it is a type of worship seen only by Allah. The Prophet ﷺ‬ said:

“You should know that prayer is the best of your deeds. Only a believer keeps observing wudu’ (ablution).” (Ibn Majah, Darmi and Baihaqi)

w Maintaining purification is an act that leads to acceptance of supplication. The Noble Prophet ﷺ‬ said,

“If a Muslim sleeps while he is pure (having performed ablution) then when he wakes up during night he mentions the name of Allah and asks Allah anything of the good things in this life and the Hereafter, Allah will surely give him what he asked.” (Ahmad & Tabrani(

w It also rasies one rank in the sight of God. The Prophet ﷺ‬ said to Bilal at the time of the Fajr (Dawn) prayer:

“O Bilal, Tell me the most promising work you have done in Islam, for I heard the knock of your shoes in the Heavenly Gardens. Bilal answered: I haven’t done an act more hopeful to me than this: I have never performed ablution during daytime or night but (after that) I performed what I could of voluntary prayers.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

w The act of maintaining  purity removes the sins. The Prophet ﷺ‬ said:

When the time of a prescribed prayer comes, if any Muslim performs excellently its ablution, humility and bowing. It will be an expiation for his past sins, so long as he has not committed a major sin, and this applies to all times.”

“May I tell you something by which Allah obliterates the sins and elevates the ranks (of a man)? They said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah.” He said: Performing the ablution thoroughly despite odds, traversing of more paces towards the mosque, and waiting for the next prayer after observing a prayer. This is (as good as) Rabat (watching in the night in the cause of Allah.” (Muslim)

w Amr ibn Absah asked the Messenger of Allah ﷺ‬ about ablution. The Messenger ﷺ‬ said:

As for ablution when you wash your hands, your sins will be removed from underneath your nails and finger-tips. If you rinse your mouth and nostrils, wash your face and hands and arms up to the elbows, wipe your head and wash your feet up to the ankles, you will have all your sins washed away. When you have placed your face on the ground in prostration to Allah, you will be purified of all your sins as you were on the day of your birth.” (Nasai)

w It is one of the qualities of true nature. The Prophet ﷺ‬ said:

Ten acts are demands of true nature, namely: clipping the moustache, letting the beard grow, brushing the teeth with Miswak, snuffing up water in the nose, clipping the nails, washing the finger joints, plucking the hair under the armpits, shaving the pubes, and cleaning the private parts with water (after call of nature) The narrator said: I have forgotten the tenth, but it may have been rinsing the mouth.” (Muslim)

w One more feature of ablution is indicated in the tradition narrated by Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ once visited the graveyard and said:

“Peace be upon you! The abode of the believing people and we, if Allah so wills, are about to join you. I love to see my brothers. They (his Companion) said: ‘Aren’t we your brothers, Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘You are my Companions, and our brothers are those who have, so far, not come into the world.’ They said: Messenger of Allah, how would you recognize those persons of your Ummah who have not yet been born? He said: Supposing a man had horses with white blazes on foreheads and legs among horses which were all black, tell me, would he not recognize his own horses? They said: Certainly, Messenger of Allah. He said: They would come with white faces and arms and legs owing to ablution, and I would arrive at the Cistern (the basin from which the Prophet gives his followers fresh water to drink on the Day of Judgment) before them. Some people would be driven away from my Cistern as the stray camel is driven away. I would call out: Come, come. Then it would be said (to me): These people changed themselves after you, and I would say: Be off, be off.” (Muslim)

Maintaining purity and cleanliness is a major means of protection from infections. It is common knowledge that ‘prevention is better than cure’. In the olden days, it was said: “A dirham of prevention is better than a hundred weight of cure.”

This book will deal only with purification from tangible or visible impurities. I pray to Allah to make it useful. Ameen

Abdul Rahman Al-Sheha

P O Box 59565,

Riyadh 11535

E-mail:  [email protected]


 Purification From Tangible Impurities

For anyone who intends to perform prayer, wudû’ (ablution) is a must, as it is a prerequisite for prayer. If one wants to perform prayer, he is required first to perform ablution in case of minor ritual impurity or ceremonial bath (ghusl) in case of major impurity (janabah). On relieving oneself, excrement or urine must be cleansed from the body either with water or by using tissue paper or stones. If he chooses to use either of them, water is better because it cleans in a more effective manner and removes filth itself:

w The urine, excrement and other discharges from the body (such as pre-seminal fluid) must be cleansed with water until the unclean matter is removed.

w Removal of such filthy matter can be executed by the use of stones, cloth, tissue paper and the like. The use of three clean stones[1] for removing the filthy matter is a minimum. If it is not removed, the number of stones must be increased until cleanliness is achieved. Generally, odd number of stones is preferable, for the Prophet ﷺ‬ said:

If one uses cleaning stones, let him use them three times.” He also said: “If one answers the call of nature, he must use three stones for cleaning; this will be sufficient.” (Ahmad, Abu Daud & Nasai)

w The right hand must not be used for cleaning of private parts, since this was forbidden. This is supported by the narration of Abdur-Rahman ibn Zaid, may Allah be pleased with him who reported:

Salman was asked if the Prophet ﷺ‬ had taught them everything including cleansing after relieving oneself, on that he answered: “Yes. He forbade us to face the Qiblah when defecating or urinating, to use the right hand for cleaning ourselves, to use less than three stones, or to clean ourselves with dung or a bone.” (Muslim, Abu Daud & Tirmidhi)

 What is Wudu’?

It is cleaning with water specific parts of the body, namely: the face, both hands, the head and both feet. It is a prerequisite for both obligatory and voluntary prayers after minor impurity (like urinating, defecating passing gas/wind and eating camel meat). The Wudu’ was prescribed along with prayer (salat) one year before Hijrah and it is a privilege of the Muslim Nation over other nations.

Ablution is a prerequisite for the following acts:

w Prayer (Salat), whether obligatory or voluntary. The Prophet ﷺ‬ said:

The prayer of none amongst you would be accepted in a state of impurity till he performs ablution.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

w Tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka’bah): as Prophet Mohammad ﷺ‬ said:

Circumambulation of the (Holy) House is a prayer, except for the fact that Allah has made talk permissible during it.” (Musnad Shafai)

w Touching the Noble Book (The Qur’an): Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Amr said,

The Prophet ﷺ‬ wrote a letter to the people of Yemen which read: “Nobody is allowed to touch the Qur’an unless he is pure.” (Nasai, Darqutni & Baihaqi)

 Full Description of Wudu’

w Intention (or: niyah), which is an act of the heart and has nothing to do with the tongue. It denotes willing or planning to do something. Thus a person intends (in his heart) to perform wudu’ (ablution) in order to be permitted or able to perform acts that require wudu’ as a prior requirement, such as prayer, tawaf, and touching the Holy Qur’an. He may intend to remove the state of impurity without uttering such intent. That is because there is no Hadith that the Prophet (ﷺ‬) pronounced the intention in case of wudu’, prayer or any of his acts of worship. Besides, Allah is Well-Aware  of the content of the heart. The proof of the necessity of intention (niyah) is the tradition narrated by Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, reading:

“The (integrity of) acts is based on intentions, and each person will be rewarded according to what he intends.” (Agreed upon)

w Saying at the beginning of wudu’: “Bismillah,” (i.e. by the name of Allah) on account of Abu Hurairah’s tradition which states that:

“No prayer is valid without wudu’, and no wudu’ is valid without mentioning the Name of Allah.” (Ahmad, Abu Daud, Ibn Majah etc.)

The noble Prophet ﷺ‬ also said:

“Every important matter will be imperfect (or lacking in blessing) if it is not started with the name of Allah.” (Ahmad)

w Washing the palms of hands three times at the beginning of the wudu’. Aws ibn Aws Al-Thaqafi, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

“I saw Allah’s Messenger, ﷺ‬, wash his palms three  times when he performed wudu’.” (Ahmad & Nasai)

The Prophet ﷺ‬ also said:

“If any of you wakes up, he should not dip his hand into a container unless he washes it three times, for he does not know where it was (what it was doing or touching) during the night.” (Agreed upon)

w Rinsing the mouth and nostrils three times.

“Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, had water brought to him, upon which he rinsed his mouth and nostrils, then cleared his nose with his left hand. He did it three times, then said: Such is the ablution of Allah’s Prophet ﷺ‬.” (Ahmad & Nasai)

The Prophet ﷺ‬ also said:

If a person performs wudu’ let him clear his nose, and if he cleans himself (with pebbles after urinating or defecating) let him do it with odd numbers.” (Bukhari)

A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, reported the Prophet ﷺ‬ as saying:

Rinsing the mouth and nostrils are an essential part of wudu’.” (Darqutni)

It is recommended to use the right hand when rinsing the mouth and nostrils (when putting water into them) and the left hand when rinsing the nostrils out (clearing them from dirt). This is based on the behaviour of Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him).

When he entered his hand in the container and took a handful of water, he then rinsed his mouth and nostrils, and cleared the latter with his left hand (He did this three times). After this he said: This is the wudu’ of Allah’s Prophet ﷺ‬.” (Nasai)

w Washing the face once, as a minimum. It is optimum to do it three times, by pouring water on the face. The face must be covered with water from the top, where hair grows, down to the bottom of the chin or beard, and from right to left earlobe. The  Qur’an says of which the meaning is translated as:

“O you who believe! When you rise to offer the prayer, wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows, wipe (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to the ankles.” (Al-Maidah: 6)

w Washing the hands from the tips of the fingers up to the elbows including the elbows once as a minimum, but three times is better. It is recommended to start with the right hand, then the left, and move the ring and watch (if any) so that water should reach under them. This is supported by the same verse mentioned in the former section.

Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, washed his right hand up to the upper arm, then the left hand like that. He washed his right foot up to the leg, then the left foot like that. Then he said: I saw the Messenger of Allah ﷺ‬ perform ablution like this.” (Muslim)

w Wiping the head once with wet hands from front to back then the other way round. Abdullah ibn Zaid, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that:

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ wiped his head from the forehead to the back of his head and then back to the forehead with his wet hands.” (Sunan narrators)

wIn another description of the Prophet’s wudu’, it was mentioned that:

He wiped his head (with water) only once.” (Agreed upon)

w Wiping the ears once (from the inside with index fingers and from the outside with thumbs). Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them, in his description of the Prophet’s wudu’, said:

He wiped his head and ears once.”

In another narration, he said:

He wiped his head and then his ears from the inside with the index fingers and from the outside with his thumbs.”( Ahmad & Abu Daud)

w Washing the feet once as a minimum. It is better, however, to wash them three times from the toes up to the ankles. The ankles should be included in washing. Ibn ‘Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

“We were with the Prophet ﷺ‬ on a journey, and Al-‘Asr prayer was over-due. We were performing ablution and passing wet hands over our feet (not washing them thoroughly), when he said to us in a loud voice: Woe to the heels because of the hell-fire.” (Agreed upon)

w Doing the above steps in order, and succession just like they have been mentioned in the Holy Qur’an of which the meaning is translated as:

“O you who believe! When you rise up for prayer, wash your faces, and hands up to the elbows, and lightly wipe your heads and (wash) your feet up to the ankles.” (Al-Maidah :6)

Succession here means that one should not delay washing of a part of the body until the previous one has become dry. Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that:

“The Prophet ﷺ‬ saw a man praying, but a portion of his foot as large as a dirham was not touched with water. Therefore, the Prophet ordered him to repeat his wudu’ and prayer.”


 Supererogatory Acts of Wudu’

w Starting on the right side. A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated that:

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ liked beginning with the right side when putting on his shoes, combing his hair, his purification and in all his affairs.” (Agreed upon)  

He also said:

On performing ablution, begin with your right side.” (Ibn Majah(

w Washing the parts three times each, except for the head which is wiped once.

A bedouin came to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ to ask him about wudu’. The Prophet ﷺ‬ demonstrated for him three times each and said: This is wudu’. If anyone exceeds this, he will commit a wrongful act.” (Ahmad & Nasai)

w The use of miswak or tooth-stick. The Prophet ﷺ‬ said:

Were it not that I might over-burden my people, I would have ordered them to use tooth-stick with every wudu’.” (Ahmad)

w Running fingers through the beard. Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that:

The Prophet, when performing wudu’, used to take a handful of water and pour it on his beard, running his fingers through it, and then say: Thus my Lord, glory be to Him, has commanded me.” (Abu Daud, Baihaqi & Hakim)

w Rubbing washed parts. Abdullah ibn Zaid, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated:

The Prophet  ﷺ‬ was brought a third of a Mudd (i.e. about six hundred grams) of water. He performed ablution and rubbed his arms.” (Ibn Khuzaimah)

w Increasing the brightness of forehead by washing the top of it up to the roots of the hair, when washing the face, as well as washing the hands up to elbows and the feet above the ankles. The Prophet ﷺ‬ said:

My people will come on the Day of Judgment with bright faces, hands

 and feet from the traces of wudu’. If any of you can lengthen his brightness, let him do it.” (Agreed upon)

w Running fingers between the fingers of the hands and the toes. Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them, reported the Prophet ﷺ‬ as saying:

When you perform wudu’, run your fingers between the fingers of  your  hands  and  toes  of  your  feet.” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi & Ibn Majah)

w This includes moving the ring so that water will reach beneath it. Abu Rafe’a, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that:

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ used to move his ring when he performed wudu’.”

w Sniffing water up well inside the nose except for those who are fasting. Laqit ibn Saburah said:

O Messenger of Allah ﷺ‬, tell me about wudu’. The Prophet ﷺ‬ answered: Perform a perfect wudu’, run your fingers between the fingers of the hands and the toes, and sniff water up well inside the nose unless you are fasting.” (Sunan narrators)

w Avoiding waste of water. Abdullah ibn Mughaffal, may Allah be pleased with him, heard his son say: ‘O Allah! I beg You  to give me the white palace on the right side of Paradise if I enter it.’ He said to him: ‘My son! Ask Allah for Paradise and seek refuge from Hell. I heard Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ say:

There will be in this nation some people who trespass in matters of purification and supplication.” (Abu Daud)

Our example in this regard is our Prophet ﷺ‬ for:

“He used to bathe himself with a Saa’[2] (about 2.5  liters) up to five Mudds, and to perform wudu’ with a Mudd (about .6 liter).” (Agreed upon)

w Invocation following it. Omar, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ said:

“If one of you performs ablution in a perfect manner then says: “I testify that there is no true god but Allah the Alone, has no associate with Him, and testify that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger”, the eight gates of Paradise will be opened for him to enter through any of them.” (Muslim)

w Performing two rak’at after wudu’ (i.e. wudu’ prayer), based on Allah’s Messenger tradition narrated by ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Amer, may Allah be pleased with him:

If a person  performs  ablution well, then prays two rak’at dedicating his heart and body to them, he will surely be entitled to Paradise.” (Muslim)

 Things That Invalidate Wudu’                       

w Relieving oneself (defecating or urinating), or passing wind. God, the Exalted, says:

“..or one of you comes after answering the call of nature.” (Al-Maidah: 6)  

The Prophet  ﷺ‬  said:

“The prayer of any of you who is in a state of impurity (hadath) will not be accepted until he performs ablution.”

One man asked Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him: What is “hadath”, Abu Hurairah? He said:

“Breaking wind.” (Agreed upon)

w Urethral discharge or pre-seminal fluid (madhi) and secretion of prostate (wadi). Ali said:

“I was a man whose pre-seminal fluid flowed readily. So I requested a man to ask Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ about it (in view of his relationship to his daughter). When he asked the Prophet ﷺ‬ he said: Wash your penis and perform ablution.” (Bukhari)

w Complete sleep (during which one loses consciousness). Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, reported Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ as saying:

“The eye when awake precludes breaking wind. If anyone sleeps he must perform ablution.” (Ahmad, Abu Daud & Ibn Majah)

However, drowsiness during which one is still conscious does not invalidate wudu’.

w Eating camel’s meat. Jabir ibn Samurah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that a man asked the Prophet ﷺ‬:

“‘Should we perform ablution after eating mutton?’ He replied: ‘If you wish perform ablution, otherwise don’t perform it.’ The man asked (again): ‘Should we perform ablution after eating camel’s meat?’ He said: ‘Yes, perform ablution after eating camel’s meat.’ He asked: ‘Can we perform prayer at camel’s rest places?’ He answered: ‘No.” (Muslim & Ahmad)

w Loss of one’s senses or state of unconsciousness resulting from lunacy, epilepsy, fainting, drug or drunkenness, because integrity of the mind is a prerequisite to the validity of wudu’.

w Touching sexual organs (i.e. the penis, vulva or anus) with the exposed palm of the hand. The Prophet ﷺ‬ said:

“If a man touches his penis he should perform wudu’, and if a woman touches her vulva she should (also) perform wudu’.” (Ahmad)

w Vomiting. It was narrated that:

“The Prophet ﷺ‬ vomited and then performed wudu’.” (Ahmad)

w Excessive bleeding. The Prophet ﷺ‬ said:

“Whoever vomits, bleeds through the nose during prayer should perform wudu’.”

w Touching a woman (such as his wife) with desire that leads to pre-seminal discharge, based on Ibn Abbas’ saying: Semen necessitates having a bath. As for pre-seminal fluid (madhi) and secretion of prostrate (wadi), he said: Wash your penis and perform wudu’ as that for prayer.

 Wudu’ is Recommended for the Following

w On going to sleep. Al-Bara’ ibn Azib, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated: the Prophet ﷺ‬ said:

Whenever you go to bed perform ablution like the one you perform for prayer, lie on your right side and say: “Allahumma aslamtu wajhi ilayk, wa fawwadtu amri ilayk, wa alja’tu Zahri ilayk, raghbatan wa rahbatan ilayk, la malja’a wala manja minka illa ilayk. Allahumma amantu bikitabikal-ladhi anzalta, wa binabiyikal-ladhi arsalta.” (O Allah! I surrender to You and entrust all my affairs to You, and depend upon You for blessings, both with hope and fear of You. There is no fleeing from You, and there is no place of protection and safety except with You. O Allah! I believe in Your Book (the Qur’an) which You have revealed and in Your Prophet (Muhammad ﷺ‬) whom you have sent.) Then if you die on that very night, you will die on the religion of pure nature (i.e. Islam). Let the aforesaid words be your last utterance (before sleep).” (Bukhari)

w In case of major ritual impurity (Janabah) if one wants to eat, drink, sleep or practise (with one’s wife) sex again. Ammar ibn Yasser said:

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ recommended the person who has Janabah to perform wudu’ like the one performed for prayer in case he/she wants to eat, drink or sleep.” (Ahmad & Tirmidhi)

The Prophet ﷺ‬ also said:

“If a person goes to bed with his wife and then intends to have her again, let him perform wudu’.” (Narrated by all except Bukhari)

w Just before the ritual bath for Janabah, and after menstruation and postpartum (childbirth) period. A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, reported that:

“Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ on taking a bath for Janabah, used to wash his hands, and use his right hand to pour water on his left hand to wash his private parts, then perform wudu’ like that for prayer.” (Agreed upon)

w Renewal of wudu’ at each prayer. The Prophet ﷺ‬ said:

“Had it not been difficult for my nation (Muslims), I would have ordered them to perform wudu’ for each prayer, and to use the tooth-stick with each wudu’.” (Ahmad)

He also said:

“If a person performs wudu’ while he is (ritually) pure, the reward for his wudu’ will be ten-fold (i.e. ten hasanat will be recorded for him).” (Abu Daud, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

 Some Infractions during Wudu’

w Uttering the intention to perform wudu’. According to Ibn Al-Qayyim, the Prophet ﷺ‬ used not to say (aloud) at the beginning of wudu’: “I intend to remove ritual (minor) impurity or make prayer permissible.’ Neither he nor any of his Companions did that; not even one word has been ascribed to him in this respect, whether through authentic or doubtful chain of transmitters.

Imam Ibn Taymiyah said: The intention to perform purification (i.e. wudu’, major ritual purification (ritual bath), tayammum, prayer (salat), obligatory charity (zakat), expiations, and other devotions) need not be uttered, as agreed between the Imams of Islam. Intention is in the heart. If a person pronounces unintentionally contrary to what he has intended in his heart, what he intends, not what he utters, shall be valid. (Fatawa Kubra p. 213 The Book of Purification)

w Supplications while washing wudu’ parts, such as saying on washing one’s right hand: ‘O Allah! Give me my Record on the Day of Judgment in my right hand.’ On washing the face, one may say: ‘Oh Allah! Make my face bright on the day when some faces grow bright and others grow dark.’ According to Ibn Al-Qayyim, nothing has proved to have been said by Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬  during wudu’ except ‘Bismillah’ at its beginning and the testimony. “There is no true god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger. O Allah! Make me among those who turn to You in repentance and those who purify themselves.”

In another tradition narrated by Nasa’i, the following supplication is mentioned:

O Allah! Glory and praises be to You. I testify that there is no true god but You. I seek Your forgiveness and turn to You in repentance.”

Wiping the neck after wiping the head. Imam ibn Taymiyah, Allah’s Mercy be upon him, said: There is no proof that the Prophet ﷺ‬ wiped his neck in wudu’; no authentic Hadith was reported in this regard. The authentic traditions that described the Prophet’s wudu’ did not contain any indication that he ﷺ‬ wiped his neck. Therefore, the majority of Muslim scholars have not recommended this act. Those who recommended it relied on a tradition narrated by Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, which is weak. If a person does not wipe his neck, his wudu’ is unanimously considered valid. (Fatawa Kubra, P.280, The Book of Purification)

w Incomplete wash of wudu’ parts.

The Prophet ﷺ‬ saw a man praying and noticed that a portion of his foot as large as a dirham was not covered with water. So he ordered him to repeat his wudu’.” (Narrated by Imam Ahmad, by Abu Dawood, who added ‘and prayer,’ and by Al-Hakim)

w Repetition of wudu’ without performing a prayer (salat) between two wudu’s. Imam Ibn Taymiyah stated: Jurists only discussed the case of the person who performs prayer after the first wudu’: whether it is recommended for him to renew wudu’. In case he does not perform prayer after it, it is not recommended for him to renew his wudu’; such renewal would even be an act of heresy which is in conflict with the Prophet’s Sunnah and the practice of Muslims ever since the times of the Prophet ﷺ‬ up to the present.

w Exceeding three times when washing the parts of wudu’, since this in conflict with the Prophet’s instruction when he said:

If a person innovated in this religion something which does not belong to it, it would be rejected.” (Agreed upon)

w Some people, when having filth on their bodies or clothes, do not only remove the filth (by washing it away), but also think that they must re-perform wudu’. Sheikh Saleh Al-Fozan’s answer to a question about this matter was as follows: If filth falls on a person’s body or garment (after he has performed wudu’), his wudu’ is not affected thereby as he has done nothing that invalidates wudu’. The only thing he has got to do is to wash the filth or impurity off his body or garment and perform his prayers, and there is nothing wrong in this. (Fatawa noorun ala-Darb, p.107)

w On washing the face, one must wash the whole face, including the area between the beard and the ears.

w Some women, after performing wudu’, may clean the private parts of babies with bare hands and then go to prayer, though their wudu’ has been invalidated by touching the private parts of their babies.

w Some women may have their nails polished. It should be noted that this would prevent water from reaching the nails, so it makes the wudu’ incomplete, hence invalid, and prayer would thereby be invalid. Such women must reperform their prayer after performing a valid wudu’. The same applies in case there is a screening layer of any paint or substance on any body part that is to be washed during wudu’, unless there is a legal excuse.

w Some people think that washing the private parts is required with every wudu’, which is not true. It is only required from the one who answers the call of nature (by urination or defecation). In case of sleep or passing wind, it is not required to wash such parts of the body; wudu’ can be performed directly.

w Some people may think that touching the penis of an animal invalidates wudu’. According to Imam Ibn Taymiyah: Touching the penis of an animal, living or dead, does not invalidate wudu’. (Fatawa Kubra, P.280, The Book of Purification)


 Some Verdicts on Wudu’

Q

 If a person performs ablution then goes to prayer, is his prayer invalidated in case he feels as if something (i.e. urine) were dripping from him?

A

 Mere feeling based on doubt does not invalidate prayer, so he should not interrupt his prayer.

The Prophet ﷺ‬ was asked about a man who feels something occurring to him during his prayer, and he answered: ‘He should not leave his prayer unless he hears a sound or smells a scent.” (Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Ahmad)

However, if he is sure that drops of urine are really passed from his penis, his wudu’ will be invalidated and he is required to wash the urine, unless he is incontinent of urine (then his prayer would not be invalidated if he does what is due from him. (Fatawa Kubra, P.281, The Book of Purification)

Q

 If a man kisses or hugs his wife and consequently passes pre-seminal fluid, is he required to re-perform wudu’ or not?

A

 His wudu’ becomes invalidated. He should clean his private (sexual) organs and perform wudu’. (Fatawa Kubra, p. 294, The Book of Purification)

Q

 If pus is continually coming out from a man’s penis, would his prayer be still valid?

A

 He must not stop his prayer, but he prays as is possible for him. If the flow of pus does not stop for a time enough for wudu’ and prayer, he should perform his prayer even if the pus keeps coming out. However, he should use some protection that prevents the pus from spreading. (Fatawa Kubra, P. 310, The Book of Purification)

Q

 Is the ritual bath (ghusl) enough so that you can do without wudu’?

A

 If one is required to have a ritual bath, he would be advised to perform wudu’ beforehand. Thus he performs a complete wudu’, then has the bath thereafter. When he completes his bath he, is not required to repeat wudu’. But if he performs the ritual bath (ghusl) only (without wudu’), observing the sequence of wudu’ organs it would be sufficient for him and the wudu’ is not necessary. (Islamic verdict by a group of scholars p1/191)

 Wiping over Socks

The permissibility and validity of this is based on Jarir ibn Abdullah’s tradition:

“I saw Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ pass urine then perform wudu’ and wipe over his Khuff (socks).” (Agreed upon)

To perform ablution then put on your socks and wipe over them for other ablutions would be better than putting them on without ablution and taking them off thereafter for the next ablution. Al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah said:

“I was with Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ on a journey. I intended to take his leather socks off but he said: ‘Leave them for I put them on after performing wudu’,’ and he wiped over them.” (Agreed upon)

 The Area to be Wiped

The upper surface of the boots should be wiped, as the Prophet ﷺ‬ did this. Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

Had religion been based on personal opinion, then wiping over the bottom surface of the socks would have been more appropriate. I saw Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ wipe over the top of his leather socks.” (Abu Daud and Tabrani)

 Pre-requisites for Wiping over Socks

  1. The leather socks and the like should be put on after performing wudu’. This is based on the aforesaid Al-Mughirah’s tradition.
  2. Boots or socks must be clean from filth. If they are impure or filthy they cannot be used (for wiping or prayer).

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ one day led his Companions in prayer wearing the shoes. During  prayer, he took off his shoes because Jibril (Gabriel) had told him that his shoes were not clean.”

  1. Wiping over leather socks and the like applies only in case of wudu’, not in case of ritual bath (ghusl). Safwan  ibn  Assal said:

Allah’s  Messenger ﷺ‬ told us to keep wearing our boots while on travel for three days and nights except in case of  major ritual impurity (Janabah). Only in case of urinating, defecating and sleeping (we can wipe over them).” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi and Nasai)

  1. Wiping over boots must be within the prescribed time limit, which is one day and night for residents and three days and nights for travellers. Ali ibn Abi Talib asked about the time limit for wiping (over boots) and the Prophet’s answer was:

For a person travelling: Three days and three nights; for a resident: one day and one night.” (Muslim & others)

  1. Boots must cover the area of the feet as required to be washed.

 Description of Wiping over Boots

Having put on clean boots or socks after performing ablution, a Muslim can wipe them with water, instead of taking them off and washing his feet. He should pass his wet right hand over his right foot from the toes to the leg, then his wet left hand over the left foot likewise. Al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah, may Allah be pleased with him, described the Prophet’s wudu’ saying:

Then he performed wudu’ and wiped over the boots placing his right hand on his right boot and his left hand on his left boot, then wiped their top surface once as if I am looking at the traces of his fingers on the boots now.”

 Time Limit

w Three days and nights for a traveller, and one day and night for a resident based on Ali’s tradition mentioned earlier.

w The period starts as from the first wiping after minor ritual impurity (hadath) (based on the strongest verdict of scholars) and ends after the elapse of 24 hours for the resident and 72 hours for the traveller.

 Things that Terminate the Validity of Wiping

w Major ritual impurity (janabah), based on the fore mentioned tradition narrated by Safwan.

w Expiry of the prescribed wiping duration (That is, one day and night for residents, and three days and nights for travellers), as stated in the tradition narrated by Ali ibn Abi Talib ( may Allah be pleased with him).

w Taking off both or either of the boots.


 Major Ritual Purification (Ghusl)

It means washing the whole body with water. It is necessitated by one of the following:

w Ejaculation (of semen) because of coitus, masturbation, reflection, wet dream, or other reasons. This is based on the Qur’anic guidance which meaning is translated as:

“If you are in a state of Janabah (i.e. after sexual discharge), purify yourselves (bathe your whole body).” (Al-Maidah: 6)

The Prophet ﷺ‬ said:

Ghusl (major ritual bath) is a must after ejaculation of semen.” )Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Ahmad(

w Sexual intercourse by inserting the glans completely into the vulva, even if no ejaculation takes place, in which case both spouses are required to take a bath (ghusl). The Prophet ﷺ‬ said:

If he (the husband) sits between her legs and penetrates her, ghusl (bath) is obligatory, whether he ejaculates or not.” (Muslim)

w The stopping of bleeding resulting from menstruation or postpartum (confinement) period. The Qur’an says of which the meaning is translated as:

“They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: It is a harm, so keep away from women at such times and go not in unto them till they are purified. And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah enjoined upon you. Truly Allah loves those who turn unto Him, and loves those who have purified themselves.” (Al-Baqarah:222(

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ said to Fatimah Bint Abi Hubaish:

Leave prayer throughout the days of menstruation, then perform ghusl and do prayer.” (Agreed upon)

w Death. Thus if a Muslim dies, living Muslims are required to bathe him/her. Umm ‘Atiyyah, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated:

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ came to us when his daughter died and said: ‘Wash her three, five or more times with water and sidr (lote-tree leaves) if you think it is required and sprinkle camphor or something of it on her at the end.’ When we finished, we informed him and he gave us his waist-sheet and told us to shroud her in it.” (Agreed upon)

w If a disbeliever embraces Islam, he should take a ritual bath. This is base on the tradition reported by Qais ibn Assem:

I came to the Prophet ﷺ‬ to embrace Islam, so he ordered me to bathe with water and sidr.” (Abu Daud & Nasai)

Abu Hurairah narrated that:

When Thumamah Al-Hanafi embraced Islam the Prophet ﷺ‬ sent him to Abu Talha’s farm and required him to perform a ritual bath. There, he took a bath and performed two rak’at, upon which Allah’s Messenger said: ‘The faith of your brother has improved.” (Ahmad)

 Description of Complete Ritual Bath (Ghusl)

w He intends (in his heart) to perform ghusl to remove major ritual impurity (Janabah, menstruation or postpartum period) without uttering such intention, because nothing has been reported that proves that the Prophet ﷺ‬ uttered the intention to perform ghusl, wudu’, prayer or any other act of worship. Besides, Allah is Best Aware of what is in the minds of men. This is based on the Prophet’s tradition narrated by Omar, may Allah be pleased with him:

Acts are based on intention. Each one shall have (the harvest of) what he intends.” (Agreed upon)

w He says: ‘Bismillah!’ (i.e. By the name of Allah). Then he washes his hands, then his private parts and removes the filth. A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, reported:

When Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ bathed because of sexual intercourse, he first washed his hands, he then poured water with his right hand on his left hand and washed his private parts. He then performed ablution as is done for prayer. He then took some water (in his hand and put it on his head) and put his fingers and moved them through the roots of his hair. And when he found that these had been properly moistened, then poured three handfuls on his head and then poured water over his body and subsequently washed his feet.” (Muslim)

w Next, he performs complete wudu’ (like that for prayer), except for his feet, which he can delay until he finishes his bath. This is based on the above-mentioned tradition reported by A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, in which  she  says:

He then performs ablution as is done for prayer.”

w He pours three handfuls on his head and runs his fingers through his hair and beard so that water should reach his scalp. Maimounah, may Allah be pleased with her, reported:

I placed water for the Prophet ﷺ‬ to take a bath. He poured water over his hands, and washed them once or twice. Then he poured water with his right hand over his left one and washed his private parts. He rubbed his hand over the earth (and washed it). He rinsed his mouth and washed his nose by putting water in it and blowing it out. He washed his face and forearms, then his head three times. He poured water over his body and then withdrew from that place and washed his feet. I brought him a piece of cloth (towel), but he returned it. He (only) shook water off his hand.” (Agreed upon)

w A person should pour water over the whole of his body, rubbing whatever he could of his body, beginning with the right side, then left side. He should take care to make water reach the arm-pits, ears, the navel, and the recesses of skin, as in the case of fat people in whom the upper layers of flesh prevent water from reaching, those areas of the skin concealed beneath the fatty areas of the body. A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, reported:

When Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ took a bath because of sexual intercourse, he called for a vessel and took a handful of water from it and first (washed) the right side of his head, the left, and then took a handful (of water) and poured it on his head.” (Agreed upon)

 Satisfactory Ghusl

w He should clean filth with water.

w He intends (in his heart, not tongue) to remove major ritual impurity (hadath).

w Pours water all over his body or plunges himself into water so that it should reach the armpits, ears, navel, and recesses of the skin (for fat people). The Prophet ﷺ‬ said to Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, about ghusl:

It is enough for you to throw three handfuls of water on your head and then pour water over yourself, and you shall be purified.” (Muslim)

 Cases in which Ghusl is Recommended

w Friday Prayer: Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported:

The Prophet ﷺ‬ said, He who takes a bath and then comes to Al-Jumu’a (Friday) prayer and then prays what was fixed for him, then keeps silent till the Imam finishes the sermon, and then prays along with him, his sins (committed) between that time and the next Friday will be forgiven and with an addition of three days more.” (Muslim)

w Prayer of the two Festivals, based on the tradition narrated by Al-Fakeh ibn Saad that:

The Prophet ﷺ‬ used to perform ghusl on Friday, and for Fitr and Adha festivals.” (Ahmad Ibn Majah and Bazzar)

w Entering the state of Ihram for Hajj or Umrah.

Zaid ibn Thabit saw the Prophet ﷺ‬ take off his clothes and take a bath for Ihram.” (Tirmidhi, Darqutni, Baihaqi and Tabrani)

w Entering Makkah.

Whenever Ibn Omar wanted to enter Makkah, he slept at Dhu Tuwa till the morning, performed bath and then went to Makkah in the daytime. He mentioned that the Prophet ﷺ‬ did it.” (Muslim)

 Acts of Worship that Cannot be Done When One is in a State of Janabah

w Prayer (Salat): The Qur’an says which meaning is translated as:

“O you who have believed! Approach not the prayer (salat) when you are in a drunken state, till you know (the meaning of) what you utter, nor when you are in a state of sexual impurity (Janabah), save when passing through(a place of prayer), till you wash your whole body.” (Al-Nisa: 43)

w Circumambulation of the Sacred House (Ka’bah). A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said:

“I came to Makkah while in my monthly period, so I could not circuit the Sacred House or between Safa and Marwah. I complained to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬. He said to me: ‘Do what a pilgrim does except for circumambulation of the Sacred House until your period is over.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

w Touching or carrying the Holy Book (the Qur’an), as stated in Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Amr’s (earlier) tradition:

That the Prophet ﷺ‬ wrote to the Yemenites a letter which included this rule : ‘Nobody should touch the Qur’an unless he is pure.” (Nasai, Darqutni and Baihaqi)

w Recitation of the Holy Qur’an. Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

“I saw Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ perform wudu’, then read some passages from the Qur’an. He said: “This is for those who are not in a state of Janabah. Those who are in a state of Janabah are not allowed to recite even a verse.” (Ahmad and Abu Ya’la)[3]

w Staying in the mosque. Allah’s messenger ﷺ‬ said :

“A mosque is forbidden for a woman during her monthly period and (both man and woman) in a state of Janabah.” (Ibn Majah & Tabrani)

 Some Offences and Errors in the Ritual Bath (Ghusl)

w A man may neglect taking a bath after sexual intercourse, and even does not tell his wife to take a bath, unless he ejaculates. In  fact, both must perform the ritual bath (ghusl). This is clear from the tradition quoted above:

If he (the husband) sits between her legs and penetrates her, ghusl (bath) is obligatory, whether he ejaculates or not.” (Muslim)

w A man may have intercourse with his wife then delays ghusl till before dawn, thus he is sleeping without wudu’. This is in conflict with the Prophet’s Sunnah. Ammar ibn Yasser, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ has recommended the person who is in a state of Janabah to perform wudu’ (the same as that for prayer) in case he wants to eat, drink or sleep.” (Ahmad & Tirmidhi)

w Some people may sleep in a state of major ritual impurity (janabah), then if he wakes up a little before sunrise he performs tayammum instead of ghusl, which is not proper or permissible for him. Sheikh Abdul Aziz ibn Baz, may Allah’s mercy be upon him, delineated the right practice in such a case by saying to the one who asked him about this matter: ‘You must perform ghusl and complete your purification, then perform prayer; tayammum is not permissible in your case. That is because a person who is asleep or forgets a prayer is required to hasten to perform it along with all its requisites as soon as he wakes up or remembers it. Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ said:

If someone sleeps (without performing prayer) or forgets to perform it, he must perform it when he remembers it. This is the only expiation for it.”

It is well-known that prayer cannot be accepted without purification, based on the Prophet’s tradition:

A prayer is not acceptable without purification.”

If one has or finds water, he must use it for purification; otherwise, he can perform tayammum for prayer. Allah says which meaning is translated as:

And (if) you find no water, perform tayammum with clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands. Truly, Allah is ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.” (Al-Nisa:43) (Islamic verdict by a group of scholars. p1/199)

w Some women who become pure of puerperium (postpartum period) before the elapse of forty days do not take a bath (ghusl) and observe prayer or fast (in Ramadan). In this regard, Sheikh Abdul Aziz ibn Baz, may Allah’s mercy be upon him, said: If a woman who is in a childbirth (confinement) period becomes pure before the elapse of forty days, she must take a bath (ghusl) and perform prayer, as well as observe the fast in Ramadan. It is also permissible for her husband to go to bed with her, as this is unanimously agreed upon among Muslim Scholars. There is no limit to the minimum of postpartum period. (Islamic verdict by a group of scholars. p1/225)

w Some men go to bed with their wives after the elapse of their confinement, but before ghusl. Sheikh Abdul Aziz ibn Baz said about this: Practising sexual intercourse with a wife during her monthly period is forbidden. Allah, glory be to Him, says which meaning is translated as:

 “They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: That is a harmful thing, therefore, keep away from women during menses and go not unto them till they are purified (from menses).” (Al-Baqarah: 222)

If one commits such an act, he will have to ask Allah for forgiveness and give one or a half dinar out of charity in atonement for (this offence). Ahmad and other compilers of Sunan books narrated, on the authority of Ibn Abbas that the Prophet ﷺ‬ said (about the person who goes to bed with his wife during her monthly period):

Let him donate one or a half dinar.’ He may donate either of the two values.”

However, he must not have sex with her before she stops bleeding and has a bath. This is based on the Qur’anic verse which meaning is translated as:

And go not unto them until they are purified (from menses). And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah has ordained for you.” (Al-Baqarah:222)

Thus Allah has not permitted sex with a wife until the blood of menses stops flowing and she takes a bath. If sexual intercourse is practiced before she takes a bath her husband would thereby commit a sin and should pay the atonement value. If she conceives a child after having sex during her monthly period and  prior  to taking a bath, her child cannot be said to be a bastard; it is a legitimate child. (Islamic verdict by a group of scholars. p1/218)

w Some people think that a woman should not go out of her house before her postpartum period is over . The truth is that she like any other woman, may go out if she needs to. If she does not need to go out, it would be more appropriate not to go out if she does not need to. The Qur’an says which meaning is translated as:

And stay in your houses, and do not display your selves like that of the times of ignorance.” (Al-Ahzab:33) (Islamic verdict by a group of scholars. p1/223)

w Some women think that reading books on Hadith and commentaries on the Holy Qur’an is a sin at this time. Sheikh Ibn Baz said in his reply to a question about this: It is no sin for a woman in her menses or after childbirth to read commentaries or the Holy Qur’an without touching it. That is in accordance with the more correct verdict of Muslim scholars. As for the person who is in the state of janabah, he must not recite the Qur’an at all until he has had a bath. He can read the books on Hadith and commentary books etc, without reciting the verses included therein. It was narrated that nothing prevented the Prophet ﷺ‬ from reciting the Qur’an, except janabah. In another tradition narrated by Imam Ahmed (with a good chain of transmitters) the Prophet ﷺ‬ said :

As for one in a state of janabah, he cannot recite even one verse.” Islamic verdict by a group of scholars. p1/223

w Some women whose monthly period is over would postpone taking a bath until the end of the time allotted for a prayer. Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Uthaimeen said: A woman may get purified of her menses during the time of one of the daily (five) prayers, but she postpones bathing to a later time on the plea that the remaining time would not allow complete purification. Such a plea is not acceptable, for she can perform the minimum requirement of purification and perform the prayer on time. Later, she can have sufficient time for complete or longer purification. (The book “The Natural Blood of Women” p, 41.)

w Some women, after their menses are over and they have a bath, do not perform the prayer they missed when their menses started. Sheikh Muhammad ibn Uthaimeen said: If the monthly period commences after the time of a prayer has begun (e.g. half an hour after the beginning of Noon prayer), she can make up for the missed prayer after her period is over. The Qur’an states which meaning is translated as

Indeed prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.” (Al-Nisa: 103) (Fatawa about women: p25)

w A woman who is purified of her menses may not perform the prayer incumbent on her at that time; she performs the next prayer. Sheikh Ibn Uthaimeen says: If she is purified (of the menses) and there is still enough time for one rak’ah before the time of the next prayer begins, she must perform the prayer during whose time she was purified The Prophet ﷺ‬ said:

Whoever completes one rak’a of the afternoon (Al-Asr) prayer before sunset, he has the whole prayer within its time.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

Thus if her period is over during the afternoon prayer or before sunrise and there was time enough for one rak’a before the afternoon prayer time expires or the sun rises, she performs the afternoon prayer in the first case and dawn prayer in the second. (Fatawa about Women: p, 25.)


 Tayammum

It is a form of purification that replaces and substitutes wudu’ and ghusl in case water is lacking or inaccessible. It enables us to do whatever wudu and ghusl allow us to do, including prayer, touching the Qur’an and the like. The Qur’an says which meaning is translated as:

“And if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes after answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women and you find no water, perform Tayammum with clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands. Truly, Allah is Ever Oft-pardoning, Oft-forgiving.” (Al-Nisa: 43)    

 Factors that Make Tayammum Permissible

w Lack of water. Umran ibn Al-Hussain narrated that:

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ saw a man sitting alone and that he did not perform prayer in congregation. He asked him what prevented him from joining prayer. The man told him that he had major ritual impurity (Janabah) in absence of water. The Prophet said: Make use of earth, for it suffices you.” (Agreed upon) 

w In case water is harmful to the body if the latter is wounded or sick and the use of water is likely to delay healing or increase sickness. Jabir said:

We set out on a journey. One of us was hit with a stone that wounded his head, then he had a wet dream He asked his companions if it was permissible for him to perform Tayammum. They said: We do not think that you can use earth while water is accessible, so he took a bath and died. When we came back to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬, he was told of the story. He said: ‘They killed him! May Allah kill them! Why didn’t they ask if they didn’t know? Inquiry is the cure of ignorance. It would have been enough for him to perform Tayammum, or bandage his wound, wipe over the bandage and bathe the rest of his body.” (Abu Daud ,Ibn Majah & Darqutni)

w If a person has water, but he needs it now or later for drinking and cooking, in such a case he may perform Tayammum and keep water for drinking. Abu Dhar heard Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ say:

Clean earth is a means of purification for Muslims even if they stayed without water for ten years. When they find water it will be good for them to use it.” (Tirmidh,Nasai, Abu Daud etc.(

Ali ibn Abi Talib, answering a question about a passenger who hasJanabah” while he has little water and he is afraid of thirst, said:

“He should resort to Tayammum and should not wash with water.” (Daraqutni) 

w If the search for water will risk his life, honor or wealth, such as: if there was an enemy or there was a distance from water that would expose him to the danger of wild animals.

w In case it is too cold and he cannot heat water, being almost sure that the use of cold water will cause him harm. Amr ibn Al-As said:

At a very cold night during Dhat Al-salasel expedition, I had a wet dream. I was afraid to risk my life if I took a bath, therefore, I performed Tayammum and lead my companions in prayer. They told the Prophet ﷺ‬ about the incident, upon which he called me and asked me: ‘O Amr! Did you led your companions in prayer while you were in state of Janabah? I told him the reason that prevented me from taking a bath, and said to him: I heard Allah, glory be to Him, say which meaning is translated as: “Do not kill yourselves.” Verily Allah is All-Merciful towards you. Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ laughed and said nothing. The Prophet’s silence is a sign of an approval because he never accepts or keeps silent if he sees a wrongful act.” (Abu Daud)

 Description of Tayammum

A person who wants to perform Tayammum should intend purification or the removal of ritual impurity. Then he says ‘Bismillah’ and touches or strikes the clean earth once with the palm of his hand while his fingers are spaced. Then he should wipe his face using the inner side of his fingers and wipe his hands with his palms up to the wrists. As in the narration of Ammar (may Allah be pleased with him) ‘I had a seminal emission and did not find water (for taking bath), I rolled in dust and did prayer. I mentioned that to the Prophet of Allah ﷺ‬, he said:

“It was enough for you to do like this” the prophet ﷺ‬ struck the ground with his palms and then blew (the dust) and then wiped his face and palms.” (Agreed upon)

In another narration by al DarqutneeIt was enough for you to strike your palms on the ground, then blow and then wipe your face and palms’.   

 Things That Invalidate Tayammum  

w   Every thing that invalidates wudu’ similarly invalidate Tayammum.

w   Finding water (for those who have no water for wudu).

w When the excuses or constraints that prevent from using water one over.

 Notes:

w If a person performs Tayammum and prayer, then finds water or constraints are over after completion of prayer, he is not required to repeat that prayer, even if there is still time. Abu sa’id Al-Khudri said:

Two men set out on a journey. When time for prayer came they had no water, so they performed Tayammum and prayed. Later they found water, one of them re-performed that prayer, but the other did not. When they met Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ and told him what happened to them, the Messenger ﷺ‬ said to the latter: ‘you have done the sunnah’ and said to the former: ‘You have double reward.’” (Abu Daud & Nasai)

w However if he finds water or restraints are over during his prayer, his prayer becomes invalid and he is required to perform wudu’ and repeat the prayer. Abu Dhar said: I heard Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ say:

“Clean earth is a means of purification for a Muslim if he does not find water, even for ten years. When he finds it he must use it, for that would be better for him.” (Tirmidh, Abu Daud, Nasai etc) 

w A person who performs Tayammum in case of major ritual impurity (Janabah, for instance) for some acceptable reason that justifies Tayammum, is not required to repeat his prayer. On finding water or when reasons for one’s Tayammum are over, he must take a bath to remove ritual impurity. Omran ibn Al-Hussain narrated that:

Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ saw a man sitting alone and that he did not perform prayer in congregation. He asked him what prevented him from joining prayer. The man told him that he had major ritual impurity (Janabah) in absence of water. The Prophet ﷺ‬ said: “Make use of earth, for it suffices you.” Omran added that after they had found water, Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ gave a container of water to the man who was in a state of Janabah and said to him: Go and pour it on yourself.” (Agreed upon)


 Some Verdicts on Tayammum

Q

A person in hospital is unable to use water for wudu, so he performs tayammum by striking the carpet with his hands. Is his prayer valid?

A

A patient is required to perform wudu’ for prayer in case of ability; but in case of inability to use water he should use dusty earth for tayammum if it is available; other wise, he can use his bed, the floor or anything else if it is covered in some dust. The Qur’an says which meaning is translated as:

So keep your duty to Allah and fear Him as much as you can.” “Allah does not charge a soul except its capacity.” (Islamic verdict by a group of scholars. p1/197)

Q

A person whose hand is wounded and cannot let water touch the wound, performs tayammum on account of his wound. Once he forgot and performed  prayer without tayammum. During his prayer, he remembered, so he performed tayammum without interrupting his prayer. What is the status of that prayer, is it valid or invalid?

A

If one of the wudu’ parts is wounded, and the wound cannot be washed or wiped with water (for water will worsen the wound or delay its cure), then tayammum is required. If he performs wudu’ without washing the wounded area or performing tayammum instead, and enters into prayer, then remembers during that prayer that he has not performed tayammum he is required to perform tayammum and repeat the prayer because the portion of the prayer he performed before tayammum was not valid. Purification is prerequisite to prayer and leaving an organ or part of the parts that are be washed in wudu’ makes the whole wudu’ invalid. “The evidence of that is instruction of the Prophet of Allah ﷺ‬ to the man who made his wudu and left an area that equal to a “dirham” untouched by water. The Prophet ﷺ‬ ordered him to repeat his wudu (ablution).”

Since it was impossible to wash or wipe with water that area, it would be required to make use of its replacement, which is tayammum. The Qur’an says which meaning is translated as:

“And if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes after answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women and you find no water, perform Tayammum with clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands. Truly, Allah is Ever Oft-pardoning, Oft-forgiving.” (Al-Nisa: 43)    

Ibn Abbas narrated that:

The Prophet ﷺ‬ said about the man whose head had been badly wounded: he could have washed his body except his head, which was wounded. In Abu Daud’s narration, which he referred  to Jaber that the Prophet of Allah ﷺ‬ said: It would have been enough for him to perform tayammum. Thus, he is required to do it again.” (Islamic verdict by a group of scholars. p1/197) 

 Wiping over Splints and Bandages

Splints, bandages and the like should be wiped with water. Jabir said:

“We set out on a journey. One of us was hit with a  stone that wounded his head, then he had a wet dream. He asked his companions if it was permissible for him to perform Tayammum. They said: we do not think that you can use earth while water is accessible, so he took a bath and died. When we came back to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ‬ he was told of the story. He said: ‘They killed him! May Allah kill them! Why didn’t they ask if they didn’t know? Inquiry is the cure of ignorance. It would have been enough for him to perform Tayammum, or bandage his wound, wipe over the bandage and bathe the rest of his body.” (Abu Daud Ibn Majah and Darqutni) 

Wiping over splints or bandages is obligatory on performing wudu’ or ghusl instead of washing or wiping the infected part. If a person has a fracture and wants to perform wudu’ or ghusl, he must wash all his wudu’ parts or body respectively. If he fears harm on washing the damaged part, such as the aggravation of illness or pain or delay of healing, he shall move to the phase of wiping over that part or area with water. If the wiping is going to cause harm, he moves to the next phase by bandaging the damaged part and wiping over the bandage. It is not required to perform ablution or ghusl prior to applying the splints or bandages. He continues to wipe over them so long as the damage is there. However, if the damage ceases to exist that area or part must be washed with water.


 Some Verdicts on Wiping Over the Splints

Q

 Are there conditions for wiping over splints, for example: in case they are in excess requirements?

A

Wiping over splints should be in accordance with its respective requirements. The area of wudu or pain is not the only area to be covered with splints or bandages, but also the surrounding area needed for fixing the splints; adhesive tape. (Fatawa about wiping over Khuffain, p. 26)

Q

Do these splints and bandages include dressing material, such as gauze, etc?

A

Yes, besides wiping over splints are not the same as wiping over boots, so it has no time limit and can be practiced as long as it is needed. Splints are different than boots and can be wiped in both wudu’ and ghusl. (Fatawa about wiping over Khuffain, p26)

Q

How are splints wiped? Should they be covered with wiping or only part of them?

A

Yes, they should be covered since the substitute has the same status as that of the original. That is, such as the whole part should be washed the whole splints also should be wiped. As for wiping boots, it is just a concession, and the Sunnah has stated that it suffices to wipe over part of the boots. (Fatawa about wiping over Khuffain, p27)


 How to Purify a Sick Man                 

(Based on Islamic verdicts by a group of scholars)

w   A patient is required to use water for purification (both wudu’ and ghusl).

w   In case a patient cannot use water due to his disability or for fear of aggravation of disease or pain. He should use tayammum as a substitute.

w   If he cannot purify himself, another person can help him by washing the wudu’ organs or wiping his face and hands for him in case of tayammum.

w   If one of the wudu or ghusl parts is wounded he should wash it with water. If water causes the wound any harm or damage he should wipe over it. If wiping affects the wound he can perform tayammum for the wounded area.

w   If he has a broken bone or body part in plaster, splints or bandages, he should wipe over them with water. He need not perform ablution since wiping replaces washing.

w   For tayammum, he can strike a clean wall or other dusty object with his hand. If the wall is covered with some material different from the ground substance, such as paint, he should not use it for tayammum unless it is dusty.

w   If Tayammum is not performed by striking the ground, wall or other dusty object, earth can be placed in a container or tissue and used for tayammum.

w   If he performs tayammum for a given prayer (Salat) and keeps his tayammum (commits nothing that invalidates it) till the time of the next prayer, he can perform it with the same tayammum as he still has ritual purity and has done nothing that invalidates it.

w   A patient must clean filth and impurities from his body. If he cannot, he performs prayer as he is, his prayer is valid and he is not required to do it again later.

w   A patient must put on clean clothes for prayer. If his clothes become filthy or impure he is required to clean or replace them, otherwise, he should perform prayer in the same clothes without having to repeat (make up for) his prayer later on.

w   A patient must perform prayer on a clean place. If the place becomes filthy or impure he must cleanse it or replace it (in case it is a rug, for example) or he may spread something clean over it. Otherwise, he can pray on that place, his prayer would be valid and he is not required to re-perform it.

w   It is not permissible for a patient to delay a prayer beyond its prescribed time due to inability to purify himself. Nevertheless, he should purify himself as far as he can, then perform prayer on time even though he has on his body, clothes or place a filth which he is unable to cleanse.

w   A person who is suffering from incontinence of urine (enuresis) and is not healed despite treatment is required to perform a new wudu’ for each prayer after the commencement of its time. He should wash any filthy matter on his body and assign a clean garment for prayer if it is not difficult; otherwise he will be absolved from that. He should also guard against the spread of urine over his clothes, body or prayer place. (Islamic verdict by a group of scholars, p. 1/1173 - Shaikh ibn Baz)



[1] In this day and age, toilet paper is the normal substitute for stones.  

[2] A weight of measure that is equal to about 2.5 litres of water.

[3] This is a weak narration.