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Friday, June 08, 2007

What Does Not Break Ablution

1, Touching a woman
'Aishah (ra) 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)


'Aishah (ra) 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), and she also reported, 'The Prophet kissed some of his wives and went to prayer, without performing ablution." (Related by Ahmad ) 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."

2, 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 (saw) 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.

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


What Breaks ablution

1, 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 (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "Allah does not accept the prayer of a person who has released gas until he makes a new ablution. A person from Hadramaut asked Abu Hurairah (ra), "What does releasing gas mean?" He answered, "Wind with or without sound." (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.) He also narrated that the Prophet (saw) 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.



2, Deep sleep that makes a person completely unaware of his surroundings

3, 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.

3, Touching the sexual organ without any "barrier" between the hand and the organ
Busrah bint Safwan (ra) narrated that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "Whoever touches his sexual organ cannot pray until he performs ablution." (At-Tirmizhi)

In the narration of Ahmad and an-Nasa'i, Busrah heard the Prophet (saw) 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 (ra) reported the Prophet (saw) as saying, "Whoever touches his sexual organ without any covering (between them) must perform ablution." (Related by Ahmad)

Ash-Shaf'i related: "Any man who touches his penis must perform ablution. Any women who touches her vagina must perform ablution."






Action That Require Ablution As A Pre-requisite


1, 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.)

2, Circumambulating (Tawaf) the Ka'bah
Ibn 'Abbas (ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "Circumambulation is a form of prayer, but Allah has permitted speaking during it. Whoever speaks during it should only speak good."

3, 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 (ra) 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)



Actions For Which A State Of Purity (Wudu) Is Preferred

1, While mentioning the name of Allah

Al-Muhajir ibn Qunfuzh (ra) 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 (ra), "Because of this, al-Hassan (ra) 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 (ra), "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 (ra), "The Messenger of Allah used to remember Allah at all times." (Related by "the five," except for an-Nasa'i.) Al-Bukhari) Reported 'Ali, "The Messenger of Allah (saw) 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)

2, Going to sleep
Al-Barra' ibn 'Aazib (ra) 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). (Related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, and at-Tirmizhi.) This also applies to one who is in post-sex impurity . Ibn 'Umar (ra) asked the Prophet, "O Messenger of Allah (saw), can one of us sleep while he is in post-sex impurity?" The Prophet (saw) answered, "Yes, if he makes ablution." Reported 'Aishah (ra), "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.")

3, 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 (ra), "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 (ra) reported that the Prophet (saw) permitted a person in post-sex impurity to eat, drink or sleep if he performed ablution first. (Related by Ahmad and at-Tirmizhi)

Abu Sa'eed (ra) 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.")

4, Before performing ghusl (Bath)
It is preferred to perform ablution before ghusl regardless of whether that particular ghusl was an obligatory or a preferred act. Said 'Aishah (ra), "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.")

5, Before eating food touched by fire
Said Ibrahim ibn 'Abdullah ibn Qarizh, "I passed by Abu Hurairah (ra) 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 (ra) 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 (ra) 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.)

6, Renewing the ablution for every prayer
Said Buraidah (ra), "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 Khuff's and prayed a number of times with just one ablution. 'Umar (ra) said to him, 'O Messenger of Allah (saw), 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 (ra), "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 (ra) reported that the Prophet (saw)said, "Were it not to be a hardship on my people, I would order them to make ablution for every prayer." (Related by Ahmad)

Ibn 'Umar (ra) 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.)



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, Inshallah.


One may be assisted by others in performing ablution.


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

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