One: Taharah -- Chapter One: Wudhu
One: Taharah -- Chapter One: Wudhu
1. In Shari’a law, wudhu consists of washing the face, hands,
wiping the front part of the head and the upper parts of the feet.
The way to go about wudhu is to wash your face with pure and
clean water, starting from the hairline down to the farthest end of
the chin. Then wash the right hand, starting from the elbow down to
the finger tips. The left arm must be treated in exactly the same way.
both hands, you should wipe the front part of the head with the
wetness left in your right palm, even with one finger. Wiping the
upper part of the right foot should come next. The way to do it is by
placing your right hand or palm on the tips of the right foot and
pulling it up to the end of the foot. The same should be applied to
the left foot.
In so doing, you should aim for completing the wiping process in such
speed that you should not allow the moisture in your hands to
evaporate. This will be elaborated later on.
called for as a way of taharah. The person performing it is
rendered tahir. The taharah which one confers on
themselves is upheld until they pass urine, stool or any other hadath.
Later, we will discuss the things or occurrences that nullify wudhu
as well as the requirements of wudhu.
an act of worship; it will, therefore not be in order, if it is not
observed with the niyyah of qurbah. That is, it is
carried out either for showing regard for Allah’s dictates, or He is
worthy of worship, or for yearning for His reward or fear of His
punishment. The person performing wudhu should therefore do it
for the sake of Allah.
In as much as wudhu
is both an act of submission and a voluntary one, it becomes
obligatory in some situations, such as for performing prayer and other
acts of worship as will be discussed in detail later on.
cannot be performed without water for the latter is the means with
which the person can wash their face and hands, and wipe their head
and feet. Hence the term "taharah ma’iyyah", or
ritual cleansing with water.
should follow a certain procedure. That is, there are conditions to be
satisfied, parts to be completed and occurrences that break the wudhu.
It has obligatory integral parts as well as mustahab
(volantatry desired) ones... as follows:
Requirements of Water Used for Wudhu
2. These are:
a. Water must be mutlaq (pure, i.e. not mixed), in that wudhu
will not be deemed in order if it was performed with mudhaf
(mixed, i.e. not pure) water, such as rose water.
Suppose there were two utensils, one containing pure water and the
other rose water and both were tahir. They look so identical
that you cannot distinguish between them. In this case, you should
perform wudhu with one of them and repeat it with the other. In
so doing you will be sure of the validity of wudhu.
b. Water must be tahir, as wudhu is deemed null and
void, if it was performed with najis water.
c. Water must be mubah (free for public use) ; Wudhu is
therefore not in order, if it was performed without the permission of
A person knew that one of two cans, full of water, was najis
and the other tahir. Let us assume that one belongs to them and
the other belongs to someone who did not want to give them permission
to use it. The person in question must do away with both cans.
If they performed wudhu using water from either of them, their wudhu
is not valid, unless they were aware which one of them najasah
or belongs to the other person. They should therefore avoid that
particular can and are free to use the other one for performing wudhu.
If wudhu water was tahir, it is not conditional that it
should have never been used before, such as for wudhu, ghusl,
or removing khabath as has been discussed in para. (27)
concerning the rules of Water.
There are therefore no restrictions on using any water, that is both
mutlaq and mubah, for wudhu.
3. Is wudhu in order if the water was mubah, but the can
containing it maghsoub (usurped, i.e. acquired by unlawful
A. If the person performing wudhu was using the water by
scooping it from the can, his wudhu is valid. Yet, they would
be committing a sin. If the use of water was by immersing one’s face
in the water, and it was widely believed that such action is
disallowed, the wudhu is not in order. However, apparently the wudhu
is valid due to the fact that it is commonly believed that the utensil
itself has not been used.
It is not necessary for the validity of wudhu that drops of
water scattered from the limbs and other parts of the body of the
person performing wudhu should fall in a place that is mubah.
4. Wudhu performed with water contained in gold or silver is in
5.Wudhu is not permissible with water owned by the owners,
except with their explicit or implicit permission. Doubt as to their
acceptance or otherwise is not sufficient.
It is permissible though to drink and perform wudhu in water of
rivers, streams, springs, with abundant source of supply, as is
commonly acknowledged that the owners have no right to prevent other
people from using it for those purposes.
It is also permissible to perform wudhu with water dedicated
for public use, of the kind found in mosques, schools, and other
public places. That is, unless it is commonplace that such water is
for the exclusive use of the worshippers frequenting the mosque or
students of the school.
Suppose that someone knew that the water was for the exclusive use of
the worshippers who frequent the place. Having performed wudhu
with this intention, they did not say prayer in that place for one
reason or the other. Would their wudhu be in order?
A. Yes, the wudhu would be in order.
6. He who performs wudhu, not knowing or forgetting that the
water is (najis, mudhaf, maghsoub), should know
that his wudhu remains valid, unless he deliberately persuaded
himself of forgetting. The same rule applies to the person who
unlawfully gained possession of the water. Performing wudhu
with najis or mudhaf water is absolutely forbidden.
7. Requirements that
should be satisfied by worshipper
fulfillment of these requirements, wudhu is not deemed in
A-Parts of the body, i.e. the face, hands , head, and feet, that are
washed and wiped during the course of wudhu should be tahir.
If the person, performing wudhu embarked on it with any of them
bearing najasah, wudhu is considered inconclusive.
However, this should not mean that they must clean all these parts at
the outset. That is, if for example, on embarking on wudhu, the
person washed his face only to find out that his left hand was
unclean, he must get it cleaned, and get on with the rest of wudhu.
Wudhu thus performed is in order..
The criterion is therefore that every part of the body should be tahir
when he washes or wipes it.
This is also true of the head and feet. It is sufficient for that part
of head or foot to be tahir to be wiped, i.e. not the whole
head or foot. This is going to be elaborated later on.
b. It is not essential for the place of wudhu to be mubah
to perform wudhu in it. This could though be the case, if we
were to apply the principle of ihitiyat mustahab
c. Wudhu should not pose any grave danger to one’s well
being. If the danger is of the sort which is prohibited by Shari’a
law for the worshipper to stray, tayamum becomes wajib.
But if they go against the grain of this injunction, their wudhu
will be void. Tayammum should also be sought as an alternative
to wudhu, if the latter should pose a lesser degree of danger,
e.g. mild fever.
d. The niyyah of qurbah, in that it should be the prime
motivation for the worshipper to embark on wudhu as it is a
religious observance that is being upheld in pursuit of achieving
proximity to Allah and for His sake. Any act of worship is of no value
without such niyyah .
He who performs
an obligatory wudhu for Allah, his wudhu is in order.
Thus, it is immaterial whether such wudhu was performed after
the prescribed time for, prayer or before it. By the same token, the
person who performed a voluntary wudhu out of submission to
Allah and that it is mustahab, such wudhu is in order,
irrespective of the time of conducting it.
8. It is also immaterial to specify in the niyyah of qurbah
whether you are carrying out the wudhu as an obligation or a
voluntary act, since your motives are gaining Allah’s pleasure.
9. Continuity of the niyyah, during the course of wudhu,
is a must. However, a wandering mind will not detract from this
continuity so long as one is aware that they are still holding the niyyah,
so much so that if someone asked them what they were doing, they can
come up with a positive answer, i.e. performing wudhu for the
sake of Allah.
10. If there was not ample time to perform both wudhu and
prayer, tayamum became obligatory. Yet, if he
contravened the injunction and performed wudhu, would it be
A. Wudhu thus performed is in order, except in one situation.
It is the case of a person, claiming that the prayer, whose time has
become very short, made it obligatory on them to perform wudhu
rather than tayammum. This is in spite of the fact that they
know that the ruling in the circumstances necessitates tayamum
not wudhu. In this case the wudhu is batil.
If the worshipper performed wudhu out of ignorance, or did so
on voluntary basis, i.e. wudhu is called for as an act of
worship in itself, or for, say, the recitation of Holy Qur’an, the wudhu
is in order.
11. In a situation where there is little water, hardly sufficient to
use for wudhu, using it to quench one’s thirst takes
precedence over that of wudhu. The person in that situation can
perform tayammum. If however they could put up with thirst and
preferred wudhu to drinking the water, their wudhu is
12. Performing wudhu with the object of hypocrisy detracts from
the validity of niyyah of qurbah. Wudhu thus
performed is batil.
A sense of achievement for performing wudhu should not
downgrade the niyyah of qurbah, and render wudhu batil,
although the tayamum is not as good.
Should the desired effect be cleanliness, cooling down, or shrugging
off lethargy etc... which are considered among the benefits of wudhu,
it should not adversely affect the niyyah of qurbah, so
long as the main motive is trust in Allah, the Most High.
are three conditions that should be satisfied when performing wudhu.
13.a. It should be up to the person to carry out the procedure of wudhu
themselves. That is, they are not permitted to depend on other people
to do it for them, except for a valid reason, e.g. incapacity or
emergency. However, seeking the help of other people in, say, pouring
water from a pitcher or a jug into the hand of the person performing
the wudhu can be tolerated. The same goes for any other part of
the procedure of wudhu, such as bringing one’s face closer to
the water poured from jug. Certain situations, such as sickness, may
permit the help of others to carry out the procedure of wudhu.
However, the persons concerned should hold the niyyah
themselves. The second party should do the washing of the face and
hands of the sick person; where the state of the person permits, the
helper may intervene in holding their right hand to do the wiping of
the head and the feet. If this was not possible, the helper should do
it for them.
14.b. The actions that form the whole procedure of wudhu should
be carried out without pausing. Also, no time should unnecessarily be
allowed to pass between any one action and the other, lest it should
let dryness creep in to the former part of the body before finishing
the one in hand. However, there is no harm in any part becoming dry
due to high temperature or fever.
15. The order of the different steps of wudhu should be adhered
to. That is, you should start with washing the face before the right
hand; the latter should take precedence over the left hand and so on.
16. Should someone contravene this order inadvertently or
deliberately, they should restart with the right order, giving due
attention to observing constancy. If in rectifying the order one
upsets constancy, rendering it void, they should repeat the wudhu.
These are four.
Washing the face and hands, and wiping the head and feet.
a. Washing the
17. The area that should be washed: After initiating the niyyah,
the person should wash his face by pouring water on it from the top at
the point of the hairline down to the tip of the chin. As for the
breadth of the face, it should be the area that falls within the
expanse of an open hand between the thumb and the middle finger. It is
however not required to pay attention to what is left of the face,
only as a matter of making sure what is required of them has been
18. Those with hairy forehead or who are bald should assume that they
are not different from any other ordinary person. As for those with
bigger, or smaller, than the normal face, they should resort to the
thumb and middle fingers which are proportionate to their face. The
person with disproportionate fingers should resort to using the
average size fingers of theirs.
19. It is not compulsory to wash what is underneath facial hair. It is
obligatory though to wash the exposed parts of the hair. This applies
to both men and women. It also covers beard hair. The only conditions
is that the hair should be thick and capable of covering that
particular area of the face, e.g. moustache and eyebrow. If, however,
it was so thin that the flesh underneath it shows, it is obligatory to
wash it as well as the said hair.
20. It is not obligatory to wash the eyes while they are open, neither
is it obligatory to the wash the mouth, the interior of nose, the
whole length of a beard, and the extended part of hair dangling over a
21. a. It is obligatory to start washing the face from the top to the
bottom; so, if one starts with the middle area of the face or the
chin, wudhu shall not be deemed valid. This should, however,
mean that one should follow the hierarchy of organs in the face, e.g.
washing the whole of the forehead, then moving to the eyes, and so on.
If water is to stream down from the forehead either down the right eye
and cheek, or the left side, the wudhu is in order.
22. b. It is obligatory that water poured over the face should be with
the aim of wudhu. This could be done in any of the following
ways, taking into account that the starting and finishing points be
top to bottom:
i. Pouring water with one’s hand, then using it to cover the
entirety of the face.
ii. Placing the face under the tap.
iii. Immersing the face in a tub full of water, or
iv. Any other means.
Wudhu performed with such aim is acceptable. If however the
water came into contact with the face, without contemplating the aim
of wudhu, then, on a second thought, the person decided to give
it a go with the intention of performing wudhu, it is not
i. Assume water, such as that of rain, was falling over the face of a
person then streaming down. Under the spur of the moment, they decided
to perform wudhu with it. Such wudhu is not good enough.
Conversely, if at the outset, they were intent on wudhu by
standing in the rain, provided that the water covers all their face,
even though they did not use their hand in the washing, their wudhu
ii. Setting about washing their face or head without the intention of
performing wudhu, a person decided on having a wudhu
with the water covering their face. The wudhu is unsound.
Conversely, if they went about having a wudhu from the very
start, observing the washing from top to bottom, the wudhu is
23. c. The water should directly reach the skin, i.e. there should be
no barrier masking the outer skin. It is therefore obligatory on the
worshipper to be aware of the areas affected, such as the immediate
area surrounding the eyes and eyebrows. Vague knowledge of
non-presence of an object masking the skin would not be sufficient to
forgo proper insvestigation to ascertain the existence or otherwise of
the barrier. This rule becomes even more applicable, if the person was
absolutely sure of the presence of something, yet they were not sure
of its effect in preventing or not preventing the water from reaching
the skin directly.
24. d. The quantity of water used for wudhu should be
sufficient to cover the whole face and be capable of flowing over it.
Conversely, if it was little, yet the worshipper used it as though
they were applying some sort of ointment, it would not be acceptable.
b. Washing the Hands
The second of wudhu requirements relates to washing the two
hands, starting with the right hand.
25. The area that should be washed starts from the elbow and ends with
If the forearm was amputated, washing should be carried out of what is
left of it. Should the whole forearm be amputated, i.e. from the
elbow, or above it, washing it becomes redundant.
26. The hair growing on the arm and hand should be washed alongside
them, irrespective of whether it was thin or thick.
27. Fissures at the back of the hand which are caused by cold weather
should be washed thoroughly, especially when they are deep.
Superficial cracks do not warrant thorough washing. If someone cannot
determine whether the cracks were superficial or severe ones, no
washing of the interior parts of cracks should be required.
28. If any part of the hand or forearm got exposed as a result of an
injury, the exposed part must be washed. If a piece of flesh was left
attached to the main body of flesh, it should be washed, even if it
was only left attached by a piece of skin.
the hands should be carried out in exactly the same way as that of the
29.a. You should start from the elbow downward, ending with the
fingertips. Of no consequence is starting with fingers, or the middle
of the forearm, upward.
30.b. The intention to embark on wudhu should be present right
from the outset, i.e. the moment the water comes into contact with any
part of the body designated for washing. If, for example, a person
immersed their arm in water without contemplating wudhu, yet
having moved and taken it out, they thought of having wudhu, it
will not be good enough.
31.c. The person performing wudhu should make sure that there
is nothing, such as dirt or deposits formed after sweat had
evaporated, left on the skin which may form a barrier to the water
reaching the skin. Such dirt or deposits, no matter how minuscule they
may be, have to be removed before setting out about washing those
parts of the body designated for wudhu. As for the dirt which
may form under the nails, you are not required to remove it. That
said, if the dirt extends to the areas, which it is obligatory to
wash, it has to be removed, e.g. when you cut your nails, thus
exposing the dirt.
The general rule is that whichever bare skin intended for washing must
be washed, not its hidden parts. When in doubt as to whether this or
that part is of the exposed type or otherwise, you should not worry.
That is, unless you were sure that particular part is among the
exposed parts, and that this certainty turned into doubt at a later
stage, in which case you have to wash it.
Picking a prick that is embedded in the skin or flesh is not called
for, unless it was protruding and forming some sort of barrier to
water reaching the immediate area of skin.
It is also not compulsory to remove any crusts that had formed over a
32. d. The quantity of water used for wudhu should be
sufficient to cover the whole face and capable of flowing over it.
Conversely, if it was so little that as though one were applying some
sort of ointment, it would not be acceptable.
c. Wiping the Head
Wiping the head is the third of the parts of wudhu. It should
be done with the moisture still left in the right hand.
The area that should be covered
33. Wiping should be applied to the front area of the head above the
forehead to the summit. Trying to reach the scalp while wiping is not
obligatory. Wiping the hair in that area would be sufficient, provided
that the hair is not overgrown. Should this be the case that the
worshipper gathered their hair in the area intended for wiping and
carried it out, the wiping will not be deemed good enough. The same
rule applies to the long hair from other parts of the head, if it were
piled up over the immediate area of wiping and got wiped.
34. Wiping should be applied with the palm, or the fingers, of the
right hand, not its back. The minimum is wiping with one finger. It is
mustahab to do it with three fingers. If it is not feasible to
wipe with the fingers, using the palm of the hand should do. And if
the latter was not possible, using the arm should be the alternative.
Manner of Wiping
35. No particular way is called for. You can do the wiping,
horizontally, diagonally, upward, downward, etc. The most important
thing to be observed is that wiping should be done with moisture left
in the right hand, and that it should be done immediately after
washing the face and hands is over and done with. If a person used new
water, irrespective of the quantity used, to wipe their head, their wudhu
will be deemed null and void.
36. If the moisture in the right hand got mixed with a moisture from
the other parts of wudhu, in a way or another, would this
invalidate the wiping?
A. No, it would not, unless the water was new, i.e. other than water
left on the parts of the body already washed.
37. If the moisture in the right hand dried up, would this bring the wudhu
to an end?
A. The person performing wudhu could use the moisture left in
any other part of the body, such as beard, moustache, and eyebrows. If
all the parts dried up, wudhu should be repeated.
However, if the drying was recurrent, because of, say, hot weather or
sickness, tayamum should be applied.
38. Nothing, no matter how small or flimsy it may be, should come in
the way between the hand performing the wiping and what is being
wiped. Jabirah (lit. splint; a generic name used for any form
of dressing applied to any part of the body as a result of injury or
illness) is the only exception, i.e. wiping could be done with the
moisture left therein.
d. Wiping the Feet
The fourth integral part of wudhu is wiping the top of the
The part to be wiped
39. It is obligatory to wipe the upper part of feet, starting from the
fingertips to the ankle; as for the width to be covered, any area will
do. Wiping will be in order on a feet with normal hair growth. If,
however, the growth was out of the ordinary, the worshipper must
ensure the skin is wiped, i.e. wiping the hair only is not good
If some fingers, or part of the foot, were missing, wiping what is
left of it will do. Should the whole foot be missing, no wiping is
40. As a matter of ihitiyat, it is obligatory to wipe
the right foot with the right hand and left foot with the left hand.
It is essential that the wiping is carried out with the palm or the
How to go about wiping
41. What is applicable to wiping the head is applicable to wiping the
feet. That is wiping should be carried out with the moisture left from
the wudhu water in the hand. As for the rest of the rules,
please refer to paras.(36-38).
42. No doubt, the proper way to perform wiping is by placing the palm
of the hand or its fingers on fingertips of the foot and gradually
dragging it to the ankle. It would more likely suffice, if the whole
hand was placed on the upper part of the foot and pulled over.
Performed with Jabirah
43. Jabirah could take the form of bandage, plaster, etc used
to protect an injured part of the body. Wudhu of Jabirah
is the one where the jabirah replaces the skin in applying the
wiping. Such wudhu will be deemed in order in given
People nursing wounds, broken bones, or lesions may have different
requirements when performing wudhu, as will be discussed:
44. a. The unsound non-wudhu part of the body may adversely be
affected by the use of water, but washing poses no danger to the parts
intended for wudhu. The worshipper should go about washing
those parts in the normal way.
45. b. If the unsound non-wudhu part of the body would be
affected by washing wudhu parts because of its proximity to
those parts, it is obligatory on the worshipper to resort to tayamum
46. c. If the cut, fracture, or pimple was in the immediate area of wudhu
parts, and the place was tahir and open, in that it could be
washed without the fear of worsening the injury, the worshipper should
go about wudhu in the normal way.
47.d. The injury could be in a wudhu part. The place is tahir
and bandaged. That the place could, after the bandage is removed, be
washed without any danger to the injury. However, since the removal of
the bandaged needed professional attention to remove, that was not
available, wudhu and wiping over jabirah is sufficient,
although one should, as a matter of voluntary ihitiyat,
do both, i.e. wudhu and tayamum, if the jabirah
was placed on any of the tayamum parts.
e. Let us assume that it was made possible for the water to reach the
injured area without disturbing the bandage. In this case, wudhu
becomes obligatory, provided that the order of steps of wudhu
is observed, i.e. from top to bottom.
49. f. Suppose
that the bandaged injury was in one of the parts that should be washed
in wudhu, that it was possible to undo the bandage, and that
proper wudhu could be conducted without undue damage. The only
problem is that the place of the injury became najis with, for
example, blood or puss, and that it was not feasible to render it tahir.
In such hypothesis, wudhu would be good enough with wiping the jabirah.
That is, regardless of whether the najis place was common to
both wudhu and tayamum, such as forehead, or other
parts, such as nose, cheek, and foot.
50. g. In the undoing of bandage and rendering the place tahir,
much ado may ensue that may lead to worsening the injury or delaying
its recovery. It may as well affect the general well-being of the
person; it is therefore obligatory that they perform wudhu.
They should, however, avoid what could pose threat to their health.
Accordingly, if the injury was masked, wiping should be applied to the
bandage itself, thus avoiding any potential damage. If the injury was
not dressed, it is sufficient to wash the bordering area. The
alternative wiping will then be as good as washing and the original
wiping, as the case maybe. It is immaterial though whether the injury
was self-inflicted, in which case the perpetrator be deemed sinful, or
it was caused by the others.
51. Jabirah could be covering a part of the body that should be
washed, i.e. the face and hands. It could be masking a part that is
intended for wiping, i.e. the front part of the head and feet. It
could be in the hand responsible for performing the wiping.
In the first case, wiping the jabirah should lawfully be a
substitute to washing the part it masks. In the second one, wiping the
jabirah itself should lawfully be a substitute to the actual
wiping of that part it masks, if nothing was left unmasked. In the
third instance, wiping should be performed to the jabirah when
washing is performed on that part, and it should then be used for
wiping instead of the original wiping, if no exposed part was to be
found with which wiping should be conducted.
In order for the jabirah to be a lawful substitute for the
actual skin it should fulfill the following requirements:
52. a. It should be tahir. What is of importance here is that
the outer part of jabirah should be tahir, i.e. not what
is inside it, in that there is no harm in its hidden part being najis.
According to this premise, if the jabirah was najis, it
is possible to restore taharah to its exposed part by securely
wrapping it with a tahir piece of cloth. Then one can wipe it
with a moist hand.
53. b. The jabirah or bandage should not be out of what is
generally accepted as normal both in size and appearance. So, if it
was disproportionate to the area surrounding the injury, wiping it
will not do. It should therefore be made smaller where feasible.
Therefore, if the jabirah’s place was not in the forehead or
the hands, the most applicable practice is a combination of wiping and
Tayamum, as a matter of ihitiyat. If it was in
the forehead or feet, performing wudhu of jabirah should
do, even though the jabirah was covering the whole part.
So long as the jabirah falls within what is generally
recognized as normal, it should not be curtailed or trimmed. However,
it is permissible to cover it with something else, even if this was
not needed, provided that it forms part of it.
54.c. Jabirah should not cover all parts of the body that must
be washed in wudhu. Conversely, a combination of jabirah wudhu and tayamum should be the norm. However, wudhu
by way of wiping cannot be ruled out.
55.d. It should be mubah, in that wiping will not be
acceptable, if the jabirah was maghsoub.
56. Unlike the case in the clothes of a male performing prayer, where
pure gold or linen, or the hide of an animal whose meat is not for
human consumption, cannot be worn, there is no harm in using a jabirah
made of these products.
57. Should there be more than one jabirah on any given part of
the body destined for washing and there were parts still not covered,
those parts must be washed or wiped as is applicable.
58. If there was a need for dressing a cut, it is obligatory to wash
and render the surrounding area tahir before dressing it with a
tahir bandage, just to ensure that there should not be a need
later on to cleanse the area
should be done to other forms of masks?
59. Any other form of screen surrounding the skin or attached to it
cannot be treated in the same way as those jabirahs just
However, if that mask was a kind of medicine whose application was
necessary to the immediate area of the part that sustained the injury,
wudhu including wiping the area could be carried out.
60. Accordingly, if, for example, paint was present on any part of the
wudhu parts, and it was very difficult to remove, the person
performing wudhu must perform tayamum. If the
stain was in a part which is applicable for both tayamum
and wudhu, both should be carried out, although it is more
likely, as a matter of voluntary ihitiyat, that wudhu
alone will be good enough.
61. A najis substance, such as a combination of solidified puss
and medicine, may form a crust on a healing injury, making it
difficult for wudhu water to reach the skin. If this barrier
was not in the parts of the body applicable for both wudhu and tayamum,
the latter should be performed. And if it was in those parts, the
person should perform both tayamum and wudhu.
Here the place of najasah should not be touched; instead it
should be covered with a piece of cloth that is tahir over
which wiping should be performed. However, if by lapse of time the
crust turned into something else that blended with the skin, it should
be treated as part of it. In this case wudhu cannot be ruled
out, either by washing the surrounding area of the injury, or masking
it by a tahir piece of cloth and wiping over it.
62. In addition to the people who sustained wounds, fractures, and the
like, any person, who are not feeling well for any reason and fearing
that the use of water might undermine their health further, should
take to tayamum instead.
63. People who have not received any injury, but whose wudhu
part or parts came into contact with najasah, should perform tayamum
if they could not find enough water or innnnnn case
the water harms them… . It is not permissible for them to mask
the najasah and wipe it, as is the case in the wudhu of jabirah.
Whether the part that became najis is among those parts, which
are used in tayamum and wudhu, or the latter
alone, is immaterial.
64. The jabirah must be removed when no subsequent harm is
foreseen. Conversely, it must be left where it is; all rules governing
jabirah should therefore be observed, even with the possibility
Effects of Wudhu of Jabirah and its Rules
65 If a person with jabirah reckoned that he would be able to
remove the jabirah and perform proper wudhu, had he
waited until later in the day to say prayer, which had become due, he
should do so. However, if he preferred to perform wudhu of jabirah
and say prayer in the earlier part of prayer time, this will not be
If, however, the person, in the previous example, believed that
waiting is not going to change anything, he is allowed to hasten to
prayer as early as he could. If in the course of time for prayer, his
excuse of having the jabirah, was no longer sustainable, i.e.
contrary to their belief, he should repeat both the wudhu and
66. A sick person had performed wudhu of jabirah. Having
said prayer during its prescribed time, his condition remained
unchanged until the time of the following prayer. Since he did not
break his wudhu, can he still say prayer with the same wudhu,
i.e. of jabirah, although he can now perform proper wudhu,
having no valid reason not to do so?
A. Yes, he can say prayer with the original wudhu of jabirah,
although it is preferable to perform wudhu afresh and say
prayer, as a matter of voluntary precaution (ihitiyat mustahab).
67. Should there be no excuse for retaining the jabirah before
the expiry of prayer time, yet removing it may take up all what is
left of the prescribed time, wudhu is not permissible. Tayammum
should be performed instead.
68. A person mistakenly believed that harm would befall him if he was
to wash the injured part of their body. So, he bandaged it and
performed wudhu of jabirah. Such wudhu is not
good enough (batil).
69. If we were to reverse the example in the preceding paragraph,
would wudhu and washing be acceptable?
A. This wudhu is deemed batil, if the harm was real,
i.e. of the kind which sensible people would normally avoid. Whether
the harm was great or minor is immaterial, unless it was negligible.
70. The above rule applies to the person who knows that wudhu
would harm him. Nevertheless, he shied away from performing wudhu
of jabirah, and took to wudhu or ghusl instead.
Where Wudhu Becomes Wajib or Mustahab
71. Wudhu in itself is a manifestation of obedience to Allah;
it is a means of seeking closeness to Him and eagerness to achieve His
reward. At the same time, it becomes wajib for other acts of
worship, such as prayer, be it wajib or mustahab; this
means that a mustahab prayer performed without wudhu is
not acceptable, although the person has the choice not to embark on it
at the outset. Also of no consequence is whether the prayer was
performed on its prescribed time )ada’)or at a later time (qadha’).
Wudhu is also wajib for the prayer of ihitiyat
(reserve or precautionary prayer), the details of which shall be
discussed in paragraphs at a later stage.
Wudhu is obligatory for performing parts of a forgotten prayer,
tawaf prayer, and tawaf of umrah and hajj.
These things are called objectives (ghayaat) that make
performing wudhu wajib, in that it will not be good
72. Wudhu is mustahab for a voluntary tawaf and
all rituals performed during hajj, for du’a
(supplication), reciting the Holy Qur’an, prayer for the dead,
staying at the mosque, and performing visitation rites to the holy
These things are called the mustahab objectives of wudhu
because they can still be accepted even without wudhu;
nevertheless, with wudhu, they are more complete and superior.
73. When we discussed what is required of the person setting out to
perform wudhu, we have already said that niyyah of qurbah
is obligatory without which wudhu will not be deemed in order.
Such niyyah is realised by setting one’s mind on performing wudhu
either because it is called for in itself, or the person is desirous
to achieve any of its wajib or mustahab objectives.
Since wudhu is mustahab, renewing it, even if it was not
broken, is recommended too. In some narrations, it has been described
as enriched light.
Governing the Person with Broken Wudhu
74. Such a person is not allowed to touch the writing, print,
engraving, etc of the Holy Qur’an, not even a single letter or a
punctuation mark. The prohibition covers the whole of the body of the
person, including their hair. It is permissible, to touch the paper or
cover, the names of surah (chapter), and the numbers.
75. The same applies to the Qur’anic diction, contained elsewhere,
such as in a letter, book, card, or ring.
76. It is permissible to touch the name of "Allah" and His
attributes found outside the Holy Book.
77. He who wants to come into contact the writing of the Holy Book can
perform wudhu for this purpose in particular, lest they should
touch it, especially kissing, without wudhu, and thus
committing a haraam act.
5. Things that invalidate Wudhu
Technically, it is anything that renders wudhu void, i.e. by
breaching the state of taharah. Each one of these things is
called hadath. These are:
78. a. Passing urine. Apart from semen on ejaculation of which ghusl,
and not wudhu, becomes obligatory, fluids secreted by male or
female reproductive organs do not invalidate wudhu; neither do
they render the place they come into contact with najis. This
will be discussed in the Chapter dedicated to Types of Najasah.
79. b. Passing stool. Passing urine or stool invalidates wudhu,
irrespective of the way they are brought about, be it natural through
sexual organs, or drawn, or through an opening in the body, such as
the one done on medical grounds.
80. If urine and stool found their way outside the body, not from the
natural passages, e.g. through an incision, they invalidate wudhu,
provided that their passing was not brought about by artificial means.
If the latter was the case, it does not invalidate wudhu.
81. A person resorted to using a syringe to facilitate passing stool.
If some of the water only seeps out, wudhu remains intact. If,
however, there was faeces mixed with, or without, the water no matter
how small the quantity was, wudhu is deemed broken. Doubt as to
any or none of it was secreted should not invalidate wudhu.
82. c. Breaking wind from the posterior, i.e. there is no consequence
to wind coming out from any other source.
83. d. Deep sleep, madness, drunkenness, and passing out.
84. e. Istihadhah (undue menses). This will be discussed in
some detail under the topic of Ghusl.
85. Regardless of the number of hadaths, one wudhu would
restore taharah to the person.
86. It is not obligatory on the person performing the wudhu to
set their mind on removing a particular hadath, neither should
they contemplate that they are performing wudhu to eliminate
the hadath. It suffices to carry wudhu out with the niyyah
87. It is all right for a person who have performed wudhu to
invalidate it, so long as they were in a position to renew their wudhu,
in that water was available and they were able to use it. They can
also invalidate wudhu, even if they were aware they could not
renew it before the prescribed time of prayer; this is the case even
with the knowledge that they could become unable to do it, depending
on performing tayamum instead. After the prescribed
prayer time has become due, they cannot invalidate wudhu so
long as they were not in a position to renew it.
Incontinent and the One with Intestinal Ailment
According to jurists, the person afflicted with any of the two
disorders is described as suffering from ongoing hadath. Rules
governing both the cases vary.
88. a. There may be a respite for either during which taharah
could be restored and prayer performed on time, even if it is
curtailed as to include wajib sections only. The sick person
should therefore wait for that point in time, be it at the start,
middle, or end of the whole duration, to hasten for wudhu and
prayer. Outside that time, the rules governing the person in a state
of hadath should be applied.
89. b. The hadath may be continuous, or with so little room
that one can hardly become tahir again, let alone say the whole
prayer. In this case, they should perform wudhu and prayer.
They are allowed to perform two prayers or more with one wudhu,
for they are deemed in a state of taharah, so long as no other hadath,
such as sleep, takes place, or one recovers to go to lead a normal
life, even though for one day.
90. c. There may be a period of respite, yet it is so short that it
can hardly accommodate both the taharah and part of the prayer.
The person should wait until that time comes, perform wudhu and
say prayer; He needs not worry if the hadath occurs during
prayer. He should carry on with prayer, even though he may not
encounter any trouble or difficulty in renewing wudhu. However,
on a mustahab note, it is more befitting if he did not say two
prayers or more with one wudhu. It is advisable if he performs
one wudhu for each and every prayer, including a voluntary one,
and that of ihitiyat.
There is however no need for a separate wudhu for sujood
)prostration) tashahhud )bearing witness that there is no god but
Allah and that Mohammad is His Apostle) which might be performed after
the worshipper finished prayer, having forgotten to say them.
91. Any prayer performed with an unbroken wudhu is good enough,
i.e. if a person performed wudhu for a particular prayer and
maintained their wudhu to perform a second prayer both prayers
92. Just as the incontinent and the person suffering from an
intestinal ailment can say their prayer, after having performed wudhu,
so can they touch the writing of the Holy Qur’an.
93. Should the people mentioned in the preceding paragraph do their
best not to allow urine and solid waste matter spread to the body and
A. Yes, they
should do so, especially with the aid of modern devices. Furthermore,
they should render tahir the foreskin of penis, anus, and what
has become najis as a result of coming into contact, i.e. of
body or clothes.
and Doubtful Wudhu
While wudhu could be deficient, i.e. not performed properly,
Doubt is the uncertainty that creeps into the mind as to whether wudhu
was performed as it ought to be.
94. If a person was certain that he maintained his wudhu and taharah,
yet after a while he became doubtful as to whether or not he sustained
a hadath, he should assume that his wudhu and taharah
are still intact.
But if the person was certain that a hadath occurred to him,
yet he doubted as to whether or not he performed wudhu to
remove the hadath, he should assume that the hadath
still exists and no wudhu was performed. However, if he
inadvertently said prayer, i.e. without wudhu, the prayer is
deemed batil; accordingly, he should say prayer afresh should
there still be time for it; otherwise it has to be said qadha’.
95. A person knew he had performed wudhu and sustained a hadath.
However, he did not know which came first. What should he do?
A. The judgement that applies to him is as though he is in a state of
non-taharah because of the hadath. He should therefore
perform wudhu for that which it called for. Neither the
knowledge, or otherwise, of time of the occurrence, nor which of which
came first is of any significance.
96. If, during prayer, someone became doubtful as to whether or not he
performed wudhu prior to the prayer in progress, he should
perform wudhu and say his prayer afresh.
97. If, on finishing prayer, a person had doubts about not having wudhu,
the prayer stands. However, he should perform wudhu for the
next one. This does not apply to the doubt occurring before embarking
on prayer, which should have been addressed at the time and according
to the rules.
For example, a person, who has just finished prayer, had doubts about
the procedure of wudhu, in that he was not sure whether the
washing of face and hands he carried out prior to prayer had been for
the purpose of cleaning or wudhu. However, he knows very well
that when he hastened to prayer he was not aware of this. On this
assumption, wudhu has to be performed afresh and the prayer
repeated. Should the doubt arise after the appointed prayer time,
there will be no need to perform it by way of qadha’.
98. A person, who is in the process of performing wudhu,
realized that he had skipped an integral part of it. He should make
good the defect and follow it through with the subsequent steps,
observing in all what he does the necessary rules. The same applies in
the case of a person who has just finished wudhu, if it was
feasible to complete it without infringing upon the requirements. The
lapse could have been realized after a while. And it just so happened
that it was not possible to rectify the situation with due regard to
the rules because of the length of time or for any other reason. In
this case, there is no doubt that wudhu has to be renewed.
99. A person, who is in the process of performing wudhu,
doubted that he may have skipped certain parts of wudhu. He
should make good the subject of his doubt, following the same lines in
the previous point.
The person may have doubt about washing his right arm while he is busy
washing the left arm, or wiping the head, and so on. He should go back
to make good the part they doubted and the parts that follow it in
The doubt could be about something else. For example, while he was
busy washing the right arm, the person realized that he might not have
washed it properly, i.e. from the elbow to the fingertips. Such doubt
should be overruled, irrespective whether the doubt took place before
embarking on the next step or before it.
If the doubt arose after finishing wudhu, one should not pay
attention to it. The doubt might revolve around wiping the left foot,
i.e. the last part of wudhu. The person should rectify it if
the chain of steps of wudhu was still intact, or he has not
engaged himself in some other business, such as drying his hands up,
or embarking on prayer.
100. After finishing wudhu, a person harbored doubt as to
whether or not he moved the ring in his finger to allow the water to
reach the skin under it. In this case, he must start his wudhu
101. A person was not sure of the presence or otherwise of a mask of
the sort which may prevent water from reaching the skin. That is, he
did not know whether it was there before he started wudhu or
after he had finished it. The wudhu is in order, if he was
aware of the presence of the screen and took necessary action to
remedy the situation at the time. If this was not the case, he should
perform new wudhu.
102. A person, with a second wudhu, performed prayer. After
finishing prayer, he realized that the first wudhu was batil
for this reason or the other. The second wudhu should do;
accordingly, his prayer is in order. Moreover, he needs not perform a
new wudhu for a subsequent prayer.
103. A person performed wudhu and said prayer. He then
performed a second wudhu. He came to know that one of the two wudhus
was batil because, he was, for example, certain that he did not
wipe their head. He neither needs to repeat the prayer, nor perform a
new wudhu for a forthcoming prayer.
104. A person had a wudhu and said prayer. He then broke his wudhu
through hadath. He performed a new wudhu and said
another prayer. He then realized that one of the two wudhus was batil. He should renew his wudhu and repeat whatever
prayers he has said.
105. A person performed wudhu twice. He performed prayer
thereafter. He then realized that he sustained a hadath; he
could not tell when the hadath took place, i.e. after the first
or the second wudhu. The prayer stands, if it was likely that
he was aware of the hadath and its consequences at the time. It
is obligatory though that he should perform a new wudhu for the
106. On finishing wudhu, a person knew that he skipped a part
thereof. He however does not know if the skipped part was among the wajib
ones, such as wiping the head, or mustahab, e.g. rinsing the
mounth. The wudhu stands.
107. A person was sure that he embarked on wudhu and performed
a great part of it, such as washing the face and hands. However, due
to unforeseen circumstances, which upset their concentration, he was
not sure whether he finished the wudhu. Such wudhu is batil;
he has to repeat it.
108. On finishing wudhu, a person was absolutely sure that he
did not carry out certain steps of wudhu. For example, he wiped
over the bandage in his foot instead of wiping the foot itself.
However, he did not know whether what he has done is justified, such
as in the case of wudhu of jabirah, or his action was
brought about inadvertently. In either case, he has needs not worry as
his wudhu stands.
Etiquette and Voluntary Acts of Wudhu
There are certain mustahab works and manners pertaining to wudhu.
Should the worshippers feel the urge to do and uphold them, they will
be rewarded. If not, they will not be punished.
109. Prior to embarking on wudhu, a person could wash his
hands, rinse their mouth, and sniff water. Once he start with the
original parts of wudhu, he may, if he so wish, wash his face
and hands ]from the elbow to the fingertips[ twice. The second washing
will be considered mustahab.
At the point of pouring water, it is mustahab to say,
"Bismillahi wa Billah; Allahumuma Ij’alni Minat Tawwabeen, waj
’Alani Minal Mutatahhireen". (In the name of Allah, O Lord!
Make me among the repentant ones, and gather me together with those
who wish to be tahir).
On finishing wudhu, you recite, "Alhamdu Lillahi Rabil
’Alameen". (May praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds).
Guidelines on Using the Toilet
As has already been discussed, Urine and faeces are among the things
that invalidate wudhu. We are going to discuss the rules of
conduct when using the toilet.
Hadith has it, "Whoever felt the need to use the toilet should be
aware not sit facing the qiblah or turning their back to it".
There are some rules that have to be observed when urinating or
110. One should cover his sexual parts from the gaze of adults, and
those who have not attained adulthood, if they were looking to those
parts in a dubious way.
Women can look at the sexual parts of their counterparts, if there was
a need for it, such as medical examination.
Women are free not to cover their genitals from their spouse and vice
versa. Genitals here mean the posterior and anterior. However,
covering the sexual parts from the gaze of adults, and those who have
not attained adulthood, is obligatory at all time, except in
111. Famous jurists agree on the total ban of sitting, during passing
urine or stool, with one’s front side or back pointing to the
direction of qiblah. The only exceptions are situations of difficulty
or potential damage. However, it is most evident )al adhhar)
that there should be no prohibition, but there is no harm in upholding
it on the basis of ihitiyat.
Removing the najasah from the place and
rendering it tahir.
113. The place through which urine has passed should be made tahir
on contact with abundant water. If water was little, two washes must
be performed; one for removing the najasah. Should the najasah
disappear, it is evident that one wash would do. Should the water be
kept running to the tune of two washes or more, it is apparent that
one wash is sufficient. That said, in all the cases, washing more than
once is more preferable as a matter of ihitiyat.
However, no fluid, other than water, can do the job.
114. Should fasces go beyond the immediate area of the anus, water
should be used for cleansing. If this was not the case, the person is
free to use either water or any other means, such as toilet paper or
stones. Yet, water remains superior to any other object of cleansing.
We have to stress though that if excrement was laced with something
else, e.g. blood that could have made the anus and the area around it najis,
it is obligatory to use water alone to restore taharah to the
115. Should there be no alternative to cleansing with stones and the
like, these should be tahir and more than one, if need be,
three have to be used, as a matter of ihitiyat.
There is no harm if, after the najasah has been removed by any
means, there remains either smell or color.
116. It is not permissible to use other people’s property to pass
urine or stool, unless with their permission, be it explicit or
implicit. Neither is it permissible for someone, other than the
students, to use schools’ toilet, especially if it was known that
they are there for the exclusive use of students and staff.
117. One should not be mindful to avoid coming into contact with the
water which has been used for cleansing the organs after passing urine
or stool. Nevertheless, there are some restrictions, in that the used
water should not have undergone any change, such as color and smell;
the najasah should not have spread to areas other than the
passage points; it should not have polluted other areas in an
extraordinary way; the used water should not carry any trace of najasah.
However, this used water is not good enough to either remove khabath
or eliminate hadath.
118. After they have passed urine, it is mustahab for men to
ensure that no more urine is left in the urethra. This called
istibra’ in Arabic.
This could be achieved by wiping, three times, over the area from the
anus up to the root of the penis. By placing the thumb over the penis
and the index finger below it, it should be pulled up to the glance
three times, and jerked three times.
119. The advantage of this is to ensure that wetness (other than
semen) that may have passed through the penis be considered tahir,
if the person has performed istibra’. This is unlikely when the
person has not, in that any wetness that may be detected is treated as
urine, which renders the place najis and consequently
If women detect any wetness and they doubt whether it is urine or any
other fluid that is not najis, it should be deemed tahir,
unless they are certain that it is urine.