The Things that Nullify Wudoo : Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbaad

His explanation of Shuroot as-Salaat of Imaam Ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab
Al-Ibaanah.com

The author (Imaam Muhmmad bin ‘Abdil-Wahhaab) stated: “The things that nullify (nawaaqid) the ablution are eight:

(1) Whatever comes out from the two private parts;
(2) Any foul impure substance that comes out from the body;
(3) Loss of consciousness (i.e. sleep/insanity);
(4) Touching a woman with sexual desire;
(5) Touching one’s private part with the hand, whether it is the frontal or rear (private part);
(6) Eating the meat of camels;
(7) Bathing a deceased person; and
(8) Apostating from Islaam, may Allaah protect us from that!”

The Explanation:

First: “Whatever comes out from the two private parts”: This refers to everything that comes out from the two private part areas, such as feces, urine, passing gas, blood, sperm, female ejaculation and so on. The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Allaah does not accept the prayer of any of you if he releases (something) from his private parts, until he performs wudoo.” [Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (6954) and Muslim (537) from Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu)]

Second: “Any foul impure substance that comes out from the body”: The scholars have differed concerning blood that is emitted from other that the two private parts – does it nullify the wudoo or not? Some of the scholars have taken the view that this does not cancel out the wudoo, since nothing has been authentically reported on the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) concerning that. Some other scholars have taken the view that it only cancels out the wudoo if a lot of this foul substance is emitted. This is the view that was reported on some of the Sahaabah and Taabi’een, and this is the same opinion that the author has preferred here, may Allaah have mercy on him. This is taking the view that is most cautious and more removed from differing. See al-Mughnee (1/247), the Majmoo’ Fataawaa of Shaikh Ibn Baaz, may Allaah have mercy on him (10/159) and the Fataawaa of the Permanent Committee for Verdicts (5/261).

Third: “Loss of consciousness (i.e. sleep/insanity)”: Wudoo is nullified by the loss of consciousness, whether due to insanity, drunkenness, fainting or deep sleep. As for the sleep in which one is drowsy and lightly dozes without him losing his sense of feeling, such as when one is sitting or standing and he dozes off, so his head bops back and forth, then he becomes conscious, this does not nullify the wudoo. Muslim reported in his Saheeh (376) from Anas (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) that: “The Companions of Allaah’s Messenger would sleep then pray without performing (new) wudoo.” The wording of this hadeeth as reported by Abu Dawood (200) states: “The Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would wait for the ‘Ishaa prayer to the point that their heads would bop around. Then they would pray without performing (new) wudoo.” This proves that the loss of consciousness does not nullify wudoo in itself, but rather that it is just the most likely scenario where one’s wudoo will be broken. What also proves this is the statement of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): “The drawstring of the anus is the eyes. So whoever falls asleep must perform (a new) wudoo.” [Reported by Abu Dawood (203) from ‘Alee (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) and its chain of narration is sound. See Irwaa-ul-Ghaleel (113). An-Nawawee, Al-Mundhiree and Ibn as-Salaah have also been quoted as declaring it hasan (sound).]

Fourth: “Touching a woman with sexual desire”: The opinion preferred here by the author is just one of the three opinions that exist on this issue. The second view holds that touching a woman nullifies one’s wudoo absolutely without exception. The third view states that touching a woman does not break one’s wudoo in the absolute sense, regardless of whether it is done with sexual desire or not, so long as nothing is emitted (i.e. ejaculation) with desire. This (last) opinion is the most correct of all the opinions because of the lack of there being any authentic texts that indicate that this nullifies the wudoo. See the Fataawaa (10/132-138) of Shaikh Ibn Baaz, may Allaah have mercy on him.

Fifth: “Touching one’s private part with the hand, whether it is the frontal or rear (private part)”: This view that has been preferred here by the author is the view of the majority of the scholars, and it is the correct view. This is if the touch occurs without any barrier between the hand and the private part, regardless of whether one touches his own private part or the private part of someone else, or if the one being touched is young or old, dead or alive. This is based on the hadeeth narrated by Busrah bint Safwan (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) who reported that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever touches his penis must perform wudoo.” [Reported by At-Tirmidhee (82) and others and he said it was a “hasan saheeh hadeeth.” See Irwaa-ul-Ghaleel (116) and the Fataawaa of the Permanent Committee for Verdicts (5/263-266)]

Sixth: “Eating the meat of camels”: There are two opinions from the scholars concerning the wudoo of one who eats the meat of camels. The first is the view of the majority of the scholars, which is that one is not required to perform wudoo from eating their meat. The second view states that one is obligated to perform wudoo because of that regardless of whether the meat is raw or cooked. As for the milk that comes from camels and the juice (gravy) of their meat as well as the food that is cooked along with its meat, then these things do not nullify one’s wudoo. What proves that one is required to perform wudoo because of eating the meat of camels is the hadeeth of Jaabir bin Samurah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) that a man once asked the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): ‘Should I perform wudoo after eating the meat of sheep?’ He (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘If you wish, perform wudoo and if you wish do not perform wudoo.’The man then asked: ‘Should I perform wudoo after eating the meat of camels?’ He (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Yes, perform wudoo from the meat of camels.’ The man asked: ‘Can I pray in the sheep stables?’ He (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Yes.’ The man asked: ‘Can I pray in the camel resting areas?’ He (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘No.’ ” [Reported by Muslim (360)]

Then there is also the hadeeth of Al-Baraa bin ‘Aazib (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) in which he said: “The Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was asked about performing wudoo after eating the meat of camels, so he replied: ‘Perform wudoo from that.’ And he was asked about the meat of sheep, so he replied: ‘Do not perform wudoo from that.’ Then he was asked about praying in the resting area of the camels, so he replied: ‘Do not pray in the resting areas of the camels for indeed these places are from the devils.’ Then he was asked about praying in the sheep stables, so he replied: ‘Pray in them for indeed these areas are a blessing.’” [Reported by Abu Dawood (184) and others with an authentic chain of narration]

The fundamental principle with regard to a command (from the Prophet) is that that matter becomes an obligation. And the fundamental principle with regard to the mention of wudoo here is that it refers to the Islamic definition of wudoo. So this command is not to be interpreted as a recommendation nor is the wudoo here to be interpreted according to its linguistic meaning, which is washing the hands and rinsing. This is due to the lack of there being something that turns away this fundamental principle. See Irwaa-ul-Ghaleel (118). In his explanation of Saheeh Muslim, An-Nawawee mentioned the difference of opinion of the scholars concerning having to retake wudoo from the meat of camels, saying: “Ahmad bin Hanbal and Ishaaq bin Raahwaih reported two hadeeths concerning this – i.e. performing wudoo from the meat of camels – the hadeeth of Jaabir and the hadeeth of Al-Baraa. This is the view with the strongest proofs even if the majority of the scholars disagree with it.” Also refer to Majmoo’ Fataawaa of Shaikh Ibn Baaz (10/156-158), may Allaah have mercy on him, and the Fataawaa of the Permanent Committee for Verdicts (5/273-277).

Seventh: “Bathing a deceased person”: The scholars have differed into two opinions on the ruling of whether one is required to perform wudoo as a result of washing a dead person’s body. The first opinion is that it is obligatory to perform wudoo after washing the body of a deceased person, while the second states that it is just recommended. Ibn Qudaamah mentioned these two opinions in al-Mughnee (1/256) and inclined towards the view that it is recommended. Abu Dawood (3161) reported from the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah in marfoo’ form: “Whoever washes a dead person, should perform ghusl. And whoever carries his body, should perform wudoo.” Al-Albaanee mentioned it in Irwaa-ul-Ghaleel (144) and in the book Ahkaam-ul-Janaa’iz (53), quoting Ibn Al-Qayyim, Ibn Al-Qattaan, Ibn Hazm, and Ibn Hajr Al-‘Asqalaanee as declaring it authentic. He (i.e. Al-Albaanee) also mentioned that it most likely indicates its recommendation not its obligation, due to an authentic hadeeth in that regard from Ibn ‘Abbaas as well as a narration from Ibn ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with them.

If while washing the body, a person touches the private part of the person he is washing without there being a cover between him and the private part, he then becomes obligated to perform the wudoo for having touched the private part, not because he washed the deceased body. Also see the Fataawaa of Shaikh Ibn Baaz (10/165), may Allaah have mercy on him.

Eighth: “Apostating from Islaam, may Allaah protect us from that”: What the author, may Allaah have mercy on him, mentioned here from one losing his wudoo due to apostasy, is what Ibn Qudaamah attributed to the madh-hab of Imaam Ahmad in al-Mughnee (1/238). Furthermore, he attributed the view that apostasy doesn’t nullify the wudoo to the other three Imaams. So if a person performs wudoo and then apostates from Islaam, then returns back to it before committing one of the things that would break his wudoo, except apostasy, then he remains in his state of wudoo, according to the second opinion. So he is not required to repeat the wudoo. However, according to the first view, he is required to repeat the wudoo. But as for the opinion mentioned by the author, then it is the most cautious one and the farthest removed from differing, based on the statement of the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): “Leave that which makes you doubt for that which doesn’t make you doubt.”

Published: July 6,2005 | Modified: July 6, 2005