Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 1: Ablution (Wudu')

Introduction to Fiqh-us-Sunnah


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Ablution means to wash one's face, hands, arms, head and feet with water.

Volume 1, Page 25a: Part of Islamic law

This is proven from the three major sources of Islamic law:

-1- The Qur'an. Says Allah in the Qur'an, "O you who believe, when you rise for prayer, wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows and lightly rub your heads and (wash) your feet up to the ankles (al-Mai'dah 6).

-2- The Sunnah. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "Allah does not accept the prayer of one who nullified his ablution until he performs it again." (Related by al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmizhi.)

-3- The Consensus. There is a consensus of scholarly opinion that ablution is part of Islamic law. Therefore, it is a recognized fact of the religion.

Volume 1, Page 25b: Its virtues

Many hadith state the virtues of ablution. We shall mention just a few:

-1- 'Abdullah ibn as-Sunnabiji stated that the Messenger of Allah said, "When a slave makes ablution and rinses his mouth, his wrong deeds fall from it. As he rinses his nose, his wrong deeds fall from it. When he washes his face, his wrong deeds fall from it until they fall from beneath his eyelashes. When he washes his hands, his wrong deeds fall from them until they fall from beneath his fingernails. When he wipes his head, his wrong deeds fall from it until they fall from his ears. When he washes his feet, his wrong deeds fall from them until they fall from beneath his toenails. Then his walking to the mosque and his prayer give him extra reward." (Related by Malik, an-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah and al-Hakim.)

-2- Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "If good characteristics exist in a person, Allah makes all of his acts good. If a person purifies himself for prayer, he expiates all of his sins and his prayer is considered an extra reward for him." (Related by Abu Ya'la, al-Bazzar and at-Tabarani in al-Ausat.)

-3- Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "'Shall I inform you (of an act) by which Allah erases sins and raises degrees?" They said, "Certainly, O Messenger of Allah." He said, "Perfecting the ablution under difficult circumstances, taking many steps to the mosque, and waiting for the (next) prayer after the (last) prayer has been performed. That is ribat. (Related by Malik, Muslim, at-Tirmizhi and an-Nasa'i.)

-4- Abu Hurairah also reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, passed by a grave site and said, "Peace be upon you, O home of believing people. Allah willing, we shall meet you soon, although I wish I could see my brothers." They asked, "Are we not your brothers, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "You are my companions. My brothers are the ones who will come after (us)." They said, "How will you know the people of our nation who will come after you, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "If a man has a group of horses with white forelocks amidst a group of horses with black forelocks, will he recognize his horses?" They said, "Certainly, O Messenger of Allah." He said, "They (my brothers) will come with white streaks from their ablutions, and I will receive them at my cistern. But there will be some who will be driven away from my cistern as a stray camel is driven away. I will call them to come. It will be said, 'They changed matters after you,' then I will say, 'Be off, be off."' (Related by Muslim.)

Volume 1, Page 27: The obligatory parts of the ablution

Ablution has certain components which, if not fulfilled according to the correct Islamic procedures, make one's ablution void.

Volume 1, Page 27a: Intention

This is the desire to do the action and to please Allah by following His command. It is purely an act of the heart, for the tongue (verbal pronouncement, and so on) has nothing to do with it. To pronounce it is not part of the Islamic law. That the intention is obligatory is shown in the following: 'Umar related that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "Every action is based on the intention (behind it), and everyone shall have what he intended..." (Related by "the group.")

Volume 1, Page 27b: Washing the face

This involves "pouring" or "running" water from the top of the forehead to the bottom of the jaws, and from one ear to the other.

Volume 1, Page 27c: Washing the arms to the elbow

The elbows must be washed, for the Prophet, upon whom be peace, did so.

Volume 1, Page 27d: Wiping the head

This means to wipe one's head with his hand. It is not sufficient just to place the hand on the head or to touch the head with a wet finger. The apparent meaning of the Qur'anic words, "...and wipe over your heads..." does not imply that all of the head needs to be wiped. It has been recorded that the Prophet used to wipe his head three different ways:

-1- Wiping all of his head. 'Abdullah ibn Zaid reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, wiped his entire head with his hands. He started with the front of his head, then moved to the back, and then returned his hands to the front. (Related by "the group.").

-2- Wiping over the turban only. Said 'Amru ibn Umayyah, "I saw the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, wipe over his turban and shoes." (Related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari and Ibn Majah). Bilal reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "Wipe over your shoes and head covering." (Related by Ahmad.) 'Umar once said, "May Allah not purify the one who does not consider wiping over the turban to be purifying." Many hadith have been related on this topic by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others. Most of the scholars agree with them.

Wiping over the front portion of the scalp and the turban

Al-Mughirah ibn Shu'bah said that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, made ablution and wiped over the front portion of his scalp, his turban and his socks. (Related by Muslim.) There is, however, no strong hadith that he wiped over part of his head, even though al-Ma'idah: apparently implies it. It is also not sufficient just to wipe over locks of hair that proceed from the head or along the sides of the head.

Volume 1, Page 28: Washing the feet and the heels

This has been confirmed in mutawatir (continuous) reports from the Prophet, upon whom be peace, concerning his actions and statements. Ibn 'Umar said, "The Prophet lagged behind us in one of our travels. He caught up with us after we had delayed the afternoon prayer. We started to make ablution and were wiping over our feet, when the Prophet said, 'Woe to the heels, save them from the Hell-fire,' repeating it two or three times." (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)

Needless to say, the preceding obligations are the ones that Allah has mentioned in (al-Ma'idah 6).

Volume 1, Page 28a: Following the prescribed sequence

Allah mentioned the obligations in a specific order. He also differentiated the legs from the hands--though both of them have to be washed--from the head, which only needs to be wiped. The polytheists of Arabia would not differentiate items unless there was some benefit in doing so. The way Allah structured the ablution made it easier for them to comprehend it. Al-Ma'idah 6 explains what is obligatory and it falls under the generality of the Prophet's statement, "Begin with what Allah began with." The Prophet used to follow that sequence as one of ablution's principles. There is no such report that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, ever departed from that sequence. Ablution is part of worship, and in matters of worship there is no room for anything except doing what has been commanded.

Volume 1, Page 28c:

This section deals with those acts connected with the ablution, but which are not obligatory, as the Prophet, upon whom be peace, did not rigorously stick to them or censure anyone for not doing them. They are as follows:

Volume 1, Page 29: Mentioning the name of Allah at the beginning

There are some weak hadith that mention this act, and all of the chains of these hadith point to the fact that there is some basis for this act. In any case, it is a good act in and of itself and, in general, it is part of the Islamic law.

Volume 1, Page 29a: Dental Hygiene

This involves using a stick or similar object to clean one's teeth. The best type to use is that of the arak tree found in the Hejaz. Such a practice strengthens the gums, prevents tooth disease, helps digestion and facilitates the flow of urine. This sunnah is fulfilled by using any object which removes yellow stains on the teeth and cleans the mouth, such as a toothbrush, and so on. Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "Were it not to be a hardship on my community, I would have ordered them to use a toothbrush for every ablution." (Related by Malik, ash-Shaf'i, al-Baihaqi and al-Hakim.) 'Aishah reported that the Prophet said, "The toothbrush purifies the mouth and is pleasing to the Lord." (Related by Ahmad, an-Nasa'i and at-Tirmizhi.)

Using a toothbrush is liked at any time, but there are five times in which it is especially liked:

-1- ablution,

-2- prayer,

-3- reading the Qur'an,

-4- rising from sleep, and

-5- when the taste in one's mouth has changed. Fasting and non-fasting people may use it at the beginning, the end, or at any other time during the day. 'Amr ibn Rabi'ah said, "I have seen the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, on countless occasions using a toothbrush while fasting." (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmizhi.)

When one uses a toothbrush, it is sunnah to clean it afterwards. Said 'Aishah, "When the Prophet, upon whom be peace, used his toothbrush, he would give it to me. I would wash it, use it, wash it again and give it back to him." (Related by Abu Dawud and alBaihaqi.)

It is part of the sunnah that one who has no teeth may use his fingers to clean his mouth. Asked 'Aishah, "O Messenger of Allah, how should a toothless person cleanse his mouth?" "By putting his fingers into his mouth," he replied. (Related by at-Tabarani.)

Volume 1, Page 30: Washing the hands three times at the beginning

This is based on the hadith of Aus ibn Aus al-Thaqafi who said, "I saw the Messenager of Allah make ablution, and he washed his hands three times." (Related by Ahmad and an-Nasa'i.) Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "When one of you rises from his sleep, he should not put his hand into a pot until he has washed it three times, for he does not know where his hand was (while he slept)." (Related by "the group", al-Bukhari did not mention the number of times.)

Volume 1, Page 30a: Rinsing the mouth three times

Laqit ibn Sabrah reported that the Prophet said, "When one performs ablution, he should rinse his mouth." (Related by Abu Dawud and al-Baihaqi.)

Volume 1, Page 30b: Sniffing up and blowing out water three times

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "When one of you performs ablution, he should sniff water up his nostrils and then blow it out." (Related by al-Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawud.)

The sunnah is to put the water into the nostrils with the right hand and blow it out with the left. 'Ali once called for water for ablution, rinsed his mouth, sniffed up water into his nostrils and blew it out with his left hand. He did that three times and then said, "That is how the Prpohet, upon whom be peace, would purify himself." (Related by Ahmad and an-Nasa'i.)

This sunnah is fulfilled by putting water into the mouth and nostrils in any way. The practice of the Prophet was to do both acts at the same time. 'Abdullah ibn Zaid said, "The Prophet would rinse his mouth and nose with just one hand (at one time, together). He did that three times." In one narration it says, "He would rinse his mouth and nose with three scoops of water." (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.) It is also sunnah to be plentiful (with water) while performing this sunnah, except if one is fasting. Laqit asked the Prophet, "Inform me about your ablution." He replied, "Complete and perfect the ablution and (put water) between your fingers. Use lots of water while sniffing it up your nostrils, unless you are fasting." (Related by "the five." At-Tirmizhi said it is sahih.)

Volume 1, Page 31: Running one's fingers through his beard

'Aishah reported that the Messenger of Allah would run his fingers through his beard. (Related by Ibn Majah and at-Tirmizhi, who classified it as sahih . )

Anas said that when the Messenger of Allah performed ablution, he would take a handful of water and put it under his jaws and pass it through his beard. He said, "This is what my Lord, Allah, ordered me to do." (Related by Abu Dawud, al-Baihaqi and al-Hakim.)

Volume 1, Page 31a: Running water through one's fingers and toes

Ibn 'Abbas said that when the Messenger of Allah performed ablution, he would run his fingers through his fingers and toes. (Related by "the five," except Ahmad.) It is also related that it is preferable to remove jewelry, for example, rings, bracelets, and so on, while performing ablution. Even though these reports are not accepted as fully authentic, one must follow them, for they fall under the general category of completing and perfecting the ablution.

Volume 1, Page 31b: Repeating each washing three times

This is a sunnah that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, almost always followed. If he acted otherwise, it was just to show that the other acts are permissible. 'Amr ibn Shu'aib related on the authority of his father from his grandfather who said: "A bedouin came to the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, and asked him about the ablution. He showed him how to wash each part three times and said, 'This is the ablution. Whoever does more than that has done wrong, transgressed and committed evil." (Related by Ahmad, an-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah.) 'Uthman also reported that the Messenger of Allah would repeat each washing three times. (Related by Ahmad, Muslim and at-Tirmizhi.) It is also proven that he performed each washing only once or twice. According to most of the reports, he wiped his head only once.

Volume 1, Page 31c: Beginning each action with the right side

Said 'Aishah, "The Messenger of Allah loved to begin with his right side while putting on his shoes, straightening his hair and cleaning (or purifying) himself." (Related by al-Bukhari and Musilm.) Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said, "When you clothe or wash yourself, begin with your right side." (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmizhi, and an-Nasa'i.)

Volume 1, Page 32: Rubbing the limbs with water

This means to rub the hands over the bodily parts with water. 'Abdullah ibn Zaid reported that the Messenger of Allah was brought a pot of water which he used to perform ablution, and then rubbed his arms. (Related by Ibn Khuzaimah.) He also related that the Messenger of Allah performed ablution, then rubbed his limbs. (Related by Abu Dawud at-Tayalisi, Ahmad, Ibn Hibban and Abu Ya'la.)

Volume 1, Page 32a: Close sequence

Each bodily part must be washed right after the other in the prescribed sequence (without separating the washing of the different parts of acts not related to the abution). This is the customary practice of the early and later generations of Muslims.

Volume 1, Page 32b: Wiping the ears

The sunnah is to wipe the interior of the ears with the index fingers and the exterior portions with the thumbs. The water used to wipe the head is also used for the ears, as the ears are part of the head. Al-Miqdam ibn Ma'd Yakrih reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, wiped his head and his ears, the interior and exterior, while making ablution. He also put his finger inside his ear. (Related by Abu Dawud and at-Tahawi.)

While describing the ablution of the Prophet, upon whom be peace, Ibn 'Umar said, "He wiped his head and ears with one wipe." (Related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud.) In one narration it states, "He wiped the inner portion of his ears with his index finger, and the outer portion with his thumb."

Volume 1, Page 32c: Elongating the streaks of light

This refers to washing the complete forehead, a practice which is more than what is obligatory in washing the face, and will increase the streak of light (on the Day of Judgement). It also refers to washing above the elbows and ankles. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "My nation will come with bright streaks of light from the traces of ablution." Abu Hurairah then said, "If one can lengthen his streak of light, he should do so." (Related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari and Muslim.) Abu Zar'ah related that when Abu Hurairah made ablution, he washed his arms above his elbows and his feet up to his calves. He was asked, "Why do you do this?" He said, "This is the extent of the embellishment." (Related by Ahmad. ) According to al-Bukhari and Muslim, its chain is sahih.

Volume 1, Page 32d: Economizing the use of water, even if one is in front of the sea

Anas said, "The Prophet, upon whom be peace, used to perform ghusl (the complete bathing) with a sa'a of water (1.616 cm) 3 to 5 madd (each 4 madd equals one sa'a). He also used to make ablution with one madd (404 cm) of water." (Related by al-Bukhari and Musim.) 'Ubaidullah ibn Abu Yazid narrated that a man asked Ibn 'Abbas, "How much water is sufficient for ghusl?" He answered, "One madd." "And how much is sufficient for ghusl?" He said, "One sa'a." The man said, "That is not sufficient for me." "Ibn 'Abbas said, "No? It was sufficient for one better than you, the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace." (Related by Ahmad, al-Bazaar and at-Tabarani in al-Kabeer. Its narrators are trustworthy.) 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah passed by Sa'd while he was performing ablution and said, "What is this extravagance, Sa'd?" He said, "Is there extravagance in the use of water?" He said, "Yes, even if you are at a flowing river." (Related by Ahmad and Ibn Majah with a weak chain.)

Extravagance is to use water without any benefit, like washing the parts more than three times. Ibn Shu'aib's hadith, quoted earlier, illustrates the point in question. 'Abdullah ibn Mughaffal narrated that he heard the Prophet say, "There will be people from my nation who will transgress in making supplications and in purifying themselves." (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and an-Nasa'i.)

Says al-Bukhari, "The scholars do not like one to use water beyond what the Prophet, upon whom be peace, used for ablution.

Volume 1, Page 33: Supplication while performing ablution

There is nothing confirmed from the Prophet, upon whom be peace, regarding supplications during ablution save the hadith of Abu Musa al-Ash'ari who said, "I came to the Messenger of Allah with water. While he was performing ablution, I heard him supplicate, 'O Allah, forgive my sins. Make my residence spacious for me and bless me in my provisions.' I said, 'O Prophet of Allah, I heard you supplicating such and such.' He said, 'Did I leave anything out?" (Related by an-Nasa'i and Ibn as-Sunni with a sahih chain.) An-Nawawi includes this event under the chapter, What is to be said after one completes the ablution, and Ibn as-Sunni has it under, What is to be said when one is in the state of ablution.

An-Nawawi holds that both meanings may be implied from the hadith.

Volume 1, Page 34: Supplication after ablution

'Umar reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "If one completes (and perfects) the ablution and then says, 'I testify that there is no god except Allah, the One Who has no partner, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger," the eight gates of paradise will be opened for him and he may enter any of them that he wishes." (Related by Muslim.)

Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri reported that the Prophet said, "Whoever makes ablution and says, 'Glory be to Thee, O Allah, and the praise be to Thee. I bear witness that there is no god except You. I beg Your forgiveness and I repent unto you,' will have it written for him, and placed on a tablet which will not be broken until the Day of Resurrection. This hadith is related by at-Tabarani in al-Ausat. Its narrators are of the sahih. An-Nasa'i has it with the wording. "It will be stamped with a seal, placed below the throne, and it will not be broken until the Day of Resurrection." The correct statement is that it is mauqoof.

As for the supplication, "Allah, cause me to be from among the repentant, and cause me to be from among the pure," it has been narrated by at-Tirmizhi who said, "Its chain is muzhtarib and there is nothing authentic concerning this (supplication)."

Volume 1, Page 34a: Praying two rak'ah after ablution

Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said to Bilal, "O Bilal, tell me what good deed you have done in Islam that I hear the sound of your footsteps in Paradise?" Bilal said, "That after I purify myself during the day or night, I pray with that purification as much as Allah has destined for me." (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.) 'Uqbah ibn 'Aamr related that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said, "If one performs and perfects his ablution and prays two rak'ah with his heart and face (completely on his prayer), Paradise becomes his." (Related by Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah and Ibn Khuzaimah in his Sahih.) Khumran, the client of 'Uthman, added, "I saw 'Uthman call for water for ablution, pour it from the pot onto his right hand and wash it three times. He then put his right hand into the container, rinsed his mouth and nose and blew the water out. Then he washed his face three times, followed by his arms up to the elbows. Then he washed his feet three times and said 'I saw the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, make ablution like this.' And then he would say, 'Whoever makes ablution like this and then prays two rak'ah without having any other concern on his mind, all his past sins will be forgiven." (Related by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others.)

Other practices (protecting the eyes and wrinkles, removing any rings, wiping the neck, and so on) have not been mentioned here as their narrations are still questionable. But, one may follow them as part of general cleanliness.

Volume 1, Page 35: Nullification of ablution

It is not desirable that one who is making ablution should leave any of the sunan that have just been mentioned. The person would then lose the great reward of these (simple)acts. Anytime one abandons the sunnah, he has done a disliked deed.

Volume 1, Page 35a: An excretion of the penis, vagina or anus

This would include urine, feces (Allah says, "...or one of you comes from relieving himself," thus proving that such an act obligates a new purification), and releasing gas from the anus. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "Allah does not accept the prayer of a person who has released gas until he makes a new ablution. A person from Hazhramaut asked Abu Hurairah, "What does releasing gas mean?" He answered, "Wind with or without sound." (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.) He also narrated that the Prophet said, "If one of you finds a disturbance in his abdomen and is not certain if he has released any gas or not, he should not leave the mosque unless he hears its sound or smells its scent." (Related by Muslim.)

Hearing the escaping gas or smelling it is not a condition for nullifying ablution, but he stressed that one should be certain of the action. As for al-Mazhi (prostatic fluid), the Prophet said, "Make ablution." Concerning sperm or al-mani, said Ibn 'Abbas "It requires ghusl and for al-mazhi and al-wadi, wash your sex organs and make ablution." This was related by al-Baihaqi in his Sunan.

Volume 1, Page 35b: Deep sleep that makes a person completely unaware of his surroundings

If the person did not keep his bottocks firmly seated on the floor while sleeping, he must make a new ablution. Safwan ibn 'Asal said, "The Prophet, upon whom be peace, used to order us while we were travelling not to take our socks off unless we were in post-sex impurity (i.e. not for defecation, urination or sleep)." (Related by Ahmad, an-Nasa'i and at-Tirmizhi, who graded it sahih.) If one's buttocks has remained firmly on the floor during his sleep, no new ablution is necessary. This is implied by the hadith of Anas who said, "The companions of the Prophet were waiting for the delayed night prayer until their heads began nodding up and down (from drowsiness and sleep). They would then pray without performing ablution." (Related by ash-Shaifi, Muslim, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmizhi.) The wording that at-Tirmizhi recorded from the chain of Shu'bah is, "I have seen the companions of the Prophet sleeping to the extent that one could hear some of them snoring. But, they would stand for prayer without a new ablution." Said Ibn alMubarak, "In our opinion, this happened when they were sitting."

Volume 1, Page 36: Loss of consciousness

This nullifies the ablution regardless of whether it was owing to insanity, fainting, drunkenness, or some medicine. It also does not matter if one was unconscious for a short or long period of time, or if one was sitting, or fell to the earth, and so on. The aspect of unawareness here is greater than that of sleeping. The scholars are agreed on this point.

Volume 1, Page 36a: Touching the sexual organ without any "barrier" between the hand and the organ

Busrah bint Safwan narrated that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "Whoever touches his sexual organ cannot pray until he performs ablution."

This hadith is related by "the five." At-Tirmizhi classified it as sahih and al-Bukhari called it the most authentic report on that topic. Malik, ash-Shaifi, Ahmad and others also narrated it. Abu Dawud said, "I asked Ahmad, 'Is the hadith of Busrah authentic?' He said, 'Certainly it is authentic." In the narration of Ahmad and an-Nasa'i, Busrah heard the Prophet saying, "Ablution is to be made by the one who touches his sexual organ." This is general and encompasses touching one's own sexual organs or touching somebody else's. Abu Hurairah reported the Prophet as saying, "Whoever touches his sexual organ without any covering (between them) must perform ablution." (Related by Ahmad, Ibn Hibban and al-Hakim, who classified it as sahih, as did Ibn 'Abdul-Barr.)

Said Ibn as-Sakin, "That hadith is from the best of what has been related on this topic." Ash-Shaf'i related: "Any man who touches his penis must perform ablution. Any women who touches her vagina must perform ablution." Commenting on its authenticity, Ibn alQayyim quotes al-Hazimi who says, "That chain is sahih." The Hanifiyyah are of the opinion, based on the following hadith, that touching the sexual organ does not nullify the ablution: "A man asked the Prophet if a man who touches his penis has to perform ablution. Said the Prophet, upon whom be peace, "No, it is just a part of you." (Related by "the five." Ibn Hibban classified it as sahih, and Ibn al-Madini said, "It is better than the hadith of Busrah.'')

Volume 1, Page 37: Touching a woman

'Aishah related that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, kissed her while he was fasting and said, "Kissing does not nullify the ablution, nor does it break the fast." (Related by Ishaq ibn Rahawaih and al-Bazzar with a good chain.)

Evaluating its authenticity, 'Abdul-Haqq says, "I do not know of any defect in the hadith that could cause its rejection."

'Aishah also said, "One night, I missed the Messenger of Allah in my bed, and so went to look for him. I put my hand on the bottom of his feet while he was praying and saying, 'O Allah, I seek refuge in Your pleasure from Your anger, in Your forgiveness from Your punishment, in You from You. I cannot praise you as You have praised Yourself" (related by Muslim and at-Tirmizhi, who classified it as sahih.), and she also reported, 'The Prophet kissed some of his wives and went to prayer, without performing ablution." (Related by Ahmad and "the four,'' and its narrators are trustworthy.) She also said, "I would sleep in front of the Prophet, upon whom be peace, with my feet in the direction of the qiblah (to him). When he made prostrations, he would touch me, and I would move my feet." In another narration it says, "When he wanted to prostrate, he would touch my legs."

Volume 1, Page 38: Bleeding from an unusual place

This involves bleeding due to a wound, cupping or a nosebleed, and regardless of whether the amount of blood is small or large.

Said al-Hassan, "The Muslims still prayed even while wounded." (Related by al-Bukhari.) He also reported, "Ibn 'Umar squeezed a pimple until it bled, but he did not renew his ablution. Ibn Abi 'Uqiyy spat blood and continued his prayer. 'Umar ibn al-Khattab prayed while blood was flowing from him. 'Ibbad ibn Bishr was hit with an arrow while praying, but continued his prayers." (Related by Abu Dawud, Ibn Khuzaimah, and al-Bukhari in mu 'allaq form.)

Volume 1, Page 38a: Vomit

Regardless of whether the amount of vomit was great or small, there is no sound hadith that it nullifies ablution.

Volume 1, Page 38b: Eating camel meat

That this does not nullify the ablution was the opinion of the four rightly guided caliphs, the companions and the following generation, although there is an authentic hadith that states one should make ablution after it.

Said Jabir ibn Sumrah, "A man asked the Prophet, 'Should we make ablution after eating mutton?' He said, 'If you wish, make ablution. If you do not, do not make ablution.' The man asked 'Should we make ablution after eating camel meat?' He said, 'Yes."' Al-Barra' ibn 'Aazib related that someone asked the Prophet about praying in the dens of camels, and he said, "Do not pray therein, for they are of the devils." He asked about the dens of sheep, and he said, "Pray therein, for they are blessings. (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and Ibn Hibban. ) Ibn Khuzaimah said, "I know of no dispute over the authenticity of this report." In summation, an-Nawawi can be quoted as saying, "This opinion has the strongest proof, although the majority of the scholars differ from it."

Volume 1, Page 39: Of doubts whether or not one has released gas

This is the case where the person cannot quite recall if he is in a state of purity or not. Such a state of mind does not nullify ablution, regardless of whether the person is in prayer or not, until he is certain that he has nullified his ablution. 'Abbad ibn Tameem related that his uncle queried the Prophet about a person who feels something in his abdomen while praying. Said the Prophet, "He should not leave (the prayer) until he hears it or smells it." (Related by Muslim, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmizhi). It does not mean that its sound or bad smell nullifies ablution, but that the person must be certain about the fact that he has nullified his ablution. Says Ibn al-Mubarak, "If one is uncertain about his condition of purity, he does not need to perform a new ablution." If one is certain that he has nullified his ablution and doubts whether he has purified himself or not, he must perform a new ablution.

Volume 1, Page 39a: Laughing during prayer

This does not nullify ablution, for there are no confirmed reports that state such a thing.

Volume 1, Page 39b: Washing a dead person

This also does not require a new ablution, for the reports that say it nullifies ablution are weak.

Volume 1, Page 39c: Any type of ritual prayer

This involves only obligatory, voluntary, or funeral prayers, not the supplications (du'a). This is based on Allah's statement, "O you who believe. When you get up to perform a prayer (salah) wash your face and your arms up to the elbows and wipe your head and feet to the ankles." Also, the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said, "Allah does not accept a prayer (that was performed while the person) was not in a state of purity. Nor does he accept charity from misappropriated booty." (Related by "the group," except for al-Bukhari.)

Volume 1, Page 40: Circumambulating the Ka'bah

Ibn 'Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "Circumambulation is a type of prayer, but Allah has permitted speaking during it. Whoever speaks during it should only speak good."

This hadith is related by at-Tirmizhi, ad-Daraqutni, al-Hakim, Ibn as-Sakin and Ibn Khuzaimah, who classified it as sahih.

Volume 1, Page 40a: Touching a copy of the Qur'an

Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad related from his father on the authority of his grandfather that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, sent a letter to the people of Yemen which stated, "No one is to touch the Qur'an except one who is purified."

This hadith is related by an-Nasa'i, ad-Daraqutni, al-Baihaqi and al-Athram. Of its chain, Ibn 'Abdul-Barr says, "It appears to be a continuous transmission." 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "No one is to touch the Qur'an unless he has purified himself." (Al-Haithami mentioned it in Majma' az-Zawaid and said its narrators are trustworthy.) Apparently, this hadith has a problem. The word "purify" must have one particular meaning here. Therefore, to say that one who has a minor defilement may not touch the Qur'an makes no sense. Concerning Allah's statement, "...which none touches save the purified," (alWaqi'ah 79), apparently the pronoun refers to "the Book kept hidden" (from the preceding verse) and that is "the well-preserved tablet" and the "purified" refers to the angels, which is similar to the verses, "On honored scrolls, exalted, purified, (set down) by scribes, noble and righteous" (Abasah 13-16). Ibn 'Abbas, ashSha'bi, azh-Zhahak, Zaid ibn 'Ali, al-Mu'aiyad Billah, Dawud, Ibn Hazm and Hammad ibn Abu Sulaiman are of the opinion that one who has a minor defilement may touch the Qur'an. Most of the scholars, however, agree that such people may recite the Qur'an without touching it.

Volume 1, Page 40b: While mentioning the name of Allah

Al-Muhajir ibn Qunfuzh related that he greeted the Prophet, upon whom be peace, but that the latter did not return his salutation until he had made ablution: "There is nothing that prevented me from responding to you except that I do no like to mention the name of Allah unless I am in a state of purity." Said Qatadah, "Because of this, al-Hassan hated to recite the Qur'an or mention Allah's name unless he had performed ablution. (Related by Amad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah.) Raeported Abu Juhaim ibn al-Harith, "The Prophet, upon whom be peace, met a person at the well of Jaml, who greeted him, but he did not return his greeting until he had wiped his face and hands." (Related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and an-Nasa'i.) This action was one of preference, not of obligation. Mentioning the name of Allah is permissible for the one who is in a state of purity, one who has a minor impurity, a person in post-sex impurity, or one who is standing, sitting, and so on. Said 'Aishah, "The Messenger of Allah used to remember Allah at all times." (Related by "the five," except for an-Nasa'i.) Al-Bukhari recorded it in mu'alliq form.) Reported 'Ali, "The Messenger of Allah would come from relieving himself, recite to us and eat meat with us. Nothing would stop him from the Qur'an except post-sex impurity." (Related by "the five." At-Tirmizhi and Ibn as-Sakin categorized it as sahih.)

Volume 1, Page 41: Going to sleep

Al-Barra' ibn 'Aazib reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said, "When you go to your bed, perform ablution, lie on your right side and then say, 'O Allah, I submit my soul to You, and I turn my face to You. I entrust my affairs to You. I retreat unto You for protection with hope and fear in You. There is no resort and no savior but You. I affirm my faith in Your books which You revealed and in Your prophets you sent.' If you die during that night, you will be along the natural path. Make it your final statement (of the night). He reported that he repeated this supplication to the Prophet, upon whom be peace, and he said, "...and Your messengers." The Prophet interjected, "No,...'and the prophets You sent." (Related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, and at-Tirmizhi.) This also applies to one who is in post-sex impurity . Ibn 'Umar asked the Prophet, "O Messenger of Allah, can one of us sleep while he is in post-sex impurity?" The Prophet answered, "Yes, if he makes ablution." Reported 'Aishah, "When the Prophet, upon whom be peace, wanted to sleep in a state of post-sex impurity, he would wash his private parts and perform ablution." (Related by "the group.")

Volume 1, Page 41a: To remove a sexual impurity

If a person in a state of post-sex impurity wants to eat, drink or have intercourse again, he should perform ablution.

Said 'Aishah, "When the Prophet, upon whom be peace, was in a state of impurity because of intercourse and wanted to eat or sleep, he would perform ablution." 'Ammar ibn Yasar reported that the Prophet permitted a person in post-sex impurity to eat, drink or sleep if he performed ablution first. (Related by Ahmad and at-Tirmizhi, who classified it as sahih.)

Abu Sa'eed reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "If one has intercourse with his wife and wants to repeat the act, he should perform ablution." (Related by "the group," except for al-Bukhari. Ibn Khuzaimah, Ibn Hibban and al-Hakim recorded it with the addition, "It makes the return more vivacious.")

Volume 1, Page 42: Before performing ghusl

It is preferred to perform ablution before ghusl regardless of whether that particular ghusl was an obligatory or a preferred act. Said 'Aishah, "When the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, performed post-sex ghusl, he would begin by washing his hands and then pour water from his right hand to his left and wash his private parts. He would then perform ablution.." (Related by "the group.")

Volume 1, Page 42a: Before eating food touched by fire

Said Ibrahim ibn 'Abdullah ibn Qarizh, "I passed by Abu Hurairah while he was performing ablution and he said, 'Do you know why I am making ablution? It is because I ate some yoghurt dried over a fire, for I heard the Messenger of Allah say, 'Perform ablution before eating food touched by fire." (Related by Ahmad, Muslim and "the four.")

'Aishah related that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "Perform ablution from whatever touches fire." (Related by Ahmad, Muslim, an-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah.) This order is one of preference as the following hadith makes clear: 'Amr ibn Umayyah azhZhamari said, "I saw the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, cutting a piece of a sheep's shoulder and eating it. He was then called to prayer. He put the knife down, prayed, and did not perform another ablution." (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)

Volume 1, Page 42b: Renewing the ablution for every prayer

Said Buraidah, "The Prophet, upon whom be peace, made ablution for every prayer. On the day of the conquest of Makkah, he made ablution, wiped over his socks and prayed a number of times with just one ablution. 'Umar said to him, 'O Messenger of Allah, you did something that you have not done (before).' He answered, 'I did it on purpose, 'Umar."' (Related by Ahmad, Muslim and others.)

Said Anas ibn Malik, "The Prophet, upon whom be peace, used to make ablution for every prayer." He was asked, "And what did you people use to do?" Malik said, "We prayed the prayers with one ablution unless we nullified it." (Related by Ahmad and al-Bukhari . )

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said, "Were it not to be a hardship on my people, I would order them to make ablution for every prayer." (Related by Ahmad with a hassan chain.)

Ibn 'Umar reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "Whoever makes ablution while he is already in a state of purity will have ten good deeds written for him."~ (Related by Abu Dawud, at-Tirmizhi, and Ibn Majah.)

Volume 1, Page 43: Notes of importance concerning ablution

It is permissible to speak while performing ablution. There is nothing reported from the sunnah that prohibits it.

Making supplications while washing the extremities is based on false hadith. It is best for the person to use only the supplications mentioned under the Sunnah Acts of Ablution.

If the person who is making ablution has a doubt concerning how many times he has washed a particular part of the body, he should go by the number he is certain about.

If any barrier or substance with weight, such as wax, is found on the body, it would invalidate one's ablution unless it is removed and the ablution is performed again. Coloring, like henna, is permissible, as it does not affect the ablution's correctness.

People with unusual circumstances (i.e. women with "prolonged flows of blood"), people who cannot control their urine, people with flatulence, and so on, should perform one ablution for each prayer whether their problem exists all or part of the time. Their prayers will be acceptable even while their problems are occuring.

One may be assisted by others in performing ablution.

One may use a towel to dry himself during any time of the year.

Volume 1, Page 44: Proof of its legitimacy

Wiping over the socks is part of the sunnah. An-Nawawi states, "All those who qualify for ijma' (consensus) agree that it is allowed to wipe over the socks--during travelling or at home, if needed or not--even a woman who stays at home or a handicapped person who cannot walk can do so. The Shi'ah and Khawarij reject it, but their rejection is not valid. Says Ibn Hajr in Fath al-Bari, "All of the preservers (of hadith) are of the opinion that wiping over the socks has come through a continuous transmission. Some have collected all of its narrations (from among the companions), and its number exceeds eighty. This includes hadith from the ten pepole who were promised Paradise." The strongest hadith on this point has been related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmizhi on the authority of Hammam anNakha'i who said, "Jarir ibn 'Abdullah urinated, performed ablution and wiped over his socks." It was said to him, "You do that and you have urinated?" He said, "Yes, I saw the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, urinate and then do likewise." Said Ibrahim, "They were amazed at that hadith, because Jarir had embraced Islam after surah al-Ma'idah was revealed (10 AH). One of its verses calls for washing one's feet. This hadith helps us understand the verse by confining it to one who is not wearing socks. This constitutes a particular case, and the person who wears socks can just wipe over them.

Volume 1, Page 44a: Wiping over slippers

It is allowed to wipe over slippers, as this has been related from many companions. Says Abu Dawud, "Wiping over sandals (has been done by) 'Ali ibn Abu Talib, Ibn Mas'ud, al-Barra' ibn 'Aazib, Anas ibn Malik, Abu Umamah, Sahl ibn Sa'd and 'Amr ibn Hareeth. It has also been related from 'Umar ibn al-Khattab and Ibn 'Abbas." 'Ammar, Bilal ibn 'Abdullah ibn Abu Aufi and Ibn 'Umar also have hadith on this subejct. In Ibn alQayyim's Tahzhib as-Sunan, he relates from Ibn al-Munzhir, "Ahmad made a statement about the permissibility of wiping over slippers because of his fairness and justice. Nevertheless, the basis of this permissibility is the practice of the companions and a manifest analogy. There is no real difference between socks and slippers. It is correct that they take the same ruling. Most scholars say that one can wipe over either one." Those who permit it include Sufyan al-Thauri, Ibn al-Mubarak, 'Ata, al-Hasan and Sa'eed ibn alMusayyab. Commenting on this subject, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad said, "It is allowed to wipe over them if they are thick and completely hide what they cover."

Abu Hanifah did not approve of wiping over thick slippers, but he changed his mind three or seven days before his death. He wiped over his slippers during his illness and said to his visitors, "I did what I used to tell people not to do." Al-Mughirah ibn Shu'bah reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, made ablution and wiped over his socks and slippers. This is related by Ahmad, at-Tahawi, Ibn Majah and at-Tirmizhi, who called it hassan sahih. Abu Dawud graded it weak.2

As it is permissible to wipe over socks so is it permissible to wipe over any foot covering, which has been used to avoid the cold or protect the wound, and so on. Of its permissibility, Ibn Taimiyyah says, "It is all right to wipe over foot covering because it takes precedence over wiping socks or slippers, for usually a foot covering is used for some need and to protect the feet from some harm. If wiping over the socks and slippers is allowed, then wiping over any foot covering should come first. Whoever claims that there is a consensus on the inadmissibility of wiping over foot coverings does so with a lack of knowledge. Not to speak of a consensus, he cannot prove its forbiddance even from the works of ten famous scholars." He goes on to say, "Whoever ponders over the words of the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, and gives analogy its proper place, will know that the license from him was spacious on this subject and in accord with the beauty of Islamic law and the monotheistic magnanimity with which the Prophet had been sent." Even if there are some holes or cuts in the socks, it is permissible to wipe over them, as long as the person has only such socks to wear. Says al-Thauri, "The slippers of the emigrants and helpers were not free of cuts or holes, like the slippers of the people (in general). If this were a matter of concern, it would have been mentioned and related by them."

Volume 1, Page 45: Conditions for wiping over the socks

One must have put his socks (or whatever covering he is using) while in a state of purity.

Said al-Mughirah ibn Shu'bah, "I was with the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, one night during an expedition. I poured water for him to make ablution. He washed his face and arms and wiped his head. Then I went to remove his socks and he said, 'Leave them on, as I put them on while I was in a state of purity,' and he just wiped over them." (Related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Al-Humaidi related in his Musnad that al-Mughirah reported, "We said, 'O Messenger of Allah, may we wipe over our socks?' He said, 'Yes, if you put them on while you were in a state of purity." The stipulations by the jurists that the socks must completely cover the foot to the ankle, and that one must be able to walk (a distance) in them alone, has been shown by Ibn Taimiyyah in his al-Fatawa to be weak.

Volume 1, Page 46: The place to be wiped on a sock

Islamic law prescribes that the top of the sock is to be wiped.

Said al-Mughirah, "I saw the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, wipe over the top of his socks." (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmizhi, who called it hassan.) 'Ali observed, "If the religion was based on opinion, the bottom of the sock would take preference in being wiped to the top of the sock." (Related by Abu Dawud and ad-Daraqutni with a hassan or sahih chain.) What is obligatory in the wiping is what is meant by the lexicographical meaning of the word "wipe." There are no specifications authentically mentioned with respect to the wiping.

Volume 1, Page 46a: The duration of the wiping

For the resident, this period is one day and night. For the traveller, it is three days and nights. Said Safwan ibn 'Assal, "We were ordered (by the Prophet) to wipe over the socks if we were in a state of purity when we put them on, for three days if we were travellers, and for one day and night if we were residents. We did not remove them unless we were in post-sex impurity." (Related by ash-Shaf~i, Ahmad, Ibn Khuzaimah, at-Tirmizhi, and an-Nasa'i, who graded it sahih.)

Shuraih ibn Hani said, "I asked 'Aishah about wiping over socks and she answered, 'For the traveller, three days and three nights; for the resident, one day and night." This hadith is related by Ahmad, Muslim, at-Tirmizhi, an-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah. Of its authenticity, al-Baihaqi says, "This is the most authentic report on this topic." Some say that the duration begins with the time of the wiping, while others say it begins from the time of nullifying the ablution after wearing the socks.

Volume 1, Page 46b: The description of the wiping

After the person completes his ablution and puts on his socks or slippers, it is proper for him to wipe over them later on when he wants to perform ablution. He is permitted to do that for one day and night if he is resident, and for three days and nights if he is a traveller. But if he is in post-sex impurity, he must remove his socks, in accordance with the preceding hadith of Safwan.

Volume 1, Page 47: What invalidates the wiping

The following invalidates the wiping:

-1- The end of the permissible time period for wiping.

-2- Post-sex impurity.

-3- Removal of the socks. If (i) or (iii) occurs while the person was in a state of purity, he need only wash his feet.

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