Wa`alykum As-Salaamu Warahmatullahi Wabarakaatuh.
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:
1- If you cannot keep wudu due to flatulence which causes you such hardship and great suffering as you mentioned, then you have an excuse not to make wudu repeatedly.
2- You need only to make a new and separate wudu for each prayer when the time comes.
3- However, we recommend you to consult a physician who may find you a medical solution to your problem.
Elaborating on this issue, Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author, states:
Aishah said: “Fatimah bint Abi Hubaysh came to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, I am a woman who experiences Istihadah and I do not become clean from bleeding. Should I forget about Prayer?’ He said: ‘No, that is from a vein; it is not menses. When your period starts, then stop praying, and when it ends, wash the blood from your body and pray again.’” (Al-Bukhari)
In another version, Abu Muawiyah said: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘Do wudu for each prayer, until the time for the next prayer comes…’” (Al-Bukhari)
Abu `Isa said: “The Hadith of Aishah is a Sahih Hasan (good and authentic) Hadith, and this is the opinion of more than one scholar among the Companions of the Prophet and the successors of the Companions).
It is also the opinion of Sufyan Ath-Thawri, Malik, Ibn Al-Mubarak and Ash-Shafi`i that when the woman who suffers from istihadah finishes her regular period, she should do ghusl, then do wudu for each prayer.” (At-Tirmidhi and Al-Bukhari)
Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “The ruling on non-menstrual blood (istihadah) is the same as the ruling on anything that breaks wudu: she should do wudu for each prayer, but she should not pray more than one obligatory prayer with that wudu, whether she is praying on time or is making up the prayer later, because of the apparent meaning of the hadith, “You should do wudu for each prayer.” This is the opinion of the majority of scholars. (Fat-h al-Bari)
The same ruling applies to the person who suffers from continual incontinence or wind. You can pray as many Nafl prayers as you like with the wudu you made for a Fard prayer, until the time for that fard prayer is over.
However, performing only one obligatory prayer is the opinion of the Shafi`i scholars. The Hanafi and Hanbali scholars are of the view that people with such unusual circumstances should make a new wudu for the time of each prayer and then they can perform whatever they like of obligatory and supererogatory prayers as long as the time of the prayer did not elapse.
Based on the aforementioned facts, we would like to state that if you cannot keep wudu due to flatulence which causes you such hardship and great suffering as you mentioned, then you have an excuse not to make wudu repeatedly. You need only to make a new and separate wudu for each prayer when the time comes. However, we recommend you to consult a physician who may find you a medical solution to your problem.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.