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What Does Not Invalidate Wudu

10 July, 2023
Q What are the things that do not nullify your wudu?


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:

The things that do not invalidate wudu are: touching a woman, bleeding from an unusual place, vomit, eating camel meat, laughing during prayer, and washing a dead person.

In his famous work, Fiqh As-Sunnah, Sheikh Sayyid Sabiq, elaborates on the subject as follows:

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The things that do not invalidate wudu are:

Aishah related that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) kissed her while he was fasting and said, “Kissing does not nullify the wudu, nor does it break the fast.” (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” (Muslim and at-Tirmidhi, who classified it as sahih)

She also reported, ‘The Prophet kissed some of his wives and went to prayer, without performing wudu.” (Ahmad and “the four,” and its narrators are trustworthy)

She also said, “I would sleep in front of the Prophet (peace be upon him) 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.”

  • 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.” (Al-Bukhari)

He also reported, “Ibn `Umar squeezed a pimple until it bled, but he did not renew his wudu. 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.” (Abu Dawud, Ibn Khuzaimah, and al-Bukhari in mu ‘allaq form)

  • Vomiting

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

  • Eating camel meat

That this does not nullify the wudu 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 wudu after it.

Said Jabir ibn Sumrah: “A man asked the Prophet, ‘Should we make wudu after eating mutton?’ He said, ‘If you wish, make wudu. If you do not, do not make wudu.’ The man asked ‘Should we make wudu after eating camel meat?’ He said, ‘Yes.”‘

Al-Barra’ ibn ‘Azib 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. (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.”

  • 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 wudu, regardless of whether the person is in prayer or not, until he is certain that he has nullified his wudu.

‘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.” (Muslim, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi)

It does not mean that its sound or bad smell nullifies wudu, but that the person must be certain about the fact that he has nullified his wudu.

Says Ibn al-Mubarak: “If one is uncertain about his condition of purity, he does not need to perform a new wudu.” If one is certain that he has nullified his wudu and doubts whether he has purified himself or not, he must perform a new wudu.

  • Laughing during prayer

Laughing during prayer does not nullify wudu, for there are no confirmed reports that state such a thing.

  • Washing a dead person

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

Almighty Allah knows best.