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Does Looking at a Woman Break Wudu?

12 June, 2023
Q As-Salmu `alaykum. I would like to ask some questions about wudu'. Is it correct that one’s wudu' is invalidated by looking at a woman who is not wearing hijab or by laughing?


In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

Though Islam prohibits lustful looking at members of the opposite sex, this act does not break one’s wudu (ablution) unless madhi (pre-seminal fluid) is emitted.

Answering your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

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There is no evidence in the authentic sources of Islam to suggest that either looking at a woman or laughing invalidates one’s wudu.

However, if you look at a woman with lust, then it may cause your wudu to break, due to the onset of madhi.

It goes without saying that many scholars are of the view that touching a woman with desire breaks wudu for it is associated with madhi.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.