Tahaara – Lesson 4

Ablution Validity

Lesson Notes

Actions which invalidates the wudhu:

There are certain actions that invalidate the wudhu. One is then considered in a state of Minor impurity. Meaning one has to perform wudhu again in preparation for prayer. These actions are:

  1. Anything that comes out from your private parts, front or back. Such as urine, wind, feces or blood.
  2. Deep sleep.
  3. Losing consciousness or intoxication.
  4. Touching your private parts with the palm of your hand (skin on skin)
  5. Eating Camel’s meat
  6. Removing your socks, if you wiped over them
  7. If the time limit expires if you wiped over your socks.

The following does not only invalidate the wudhu, but it requires a ghusl (bath), and one is considered in state of Major impurity.

  1. Menstruation (Ghusl is performed once the menstruation ends).
  1. The discharge of seminal fluid as a result of sexual feeling whether the person was awake or asleep (wet dream).
  1. Sexual intercourse. Once the private parts have come into contact, even without ejaculation.
  1. Bleeding after childbirth (Ghusl is performed once the bleeding stops).

Actions which do NOT invalidate the wudhu:

There also many misconceptions on this subject. In Level II the details and evidences are discussed. There are many actions that do not invalidate wudhu. They are:

  1. Touching a member of the opposite sex.
  1. Looking at a member of the opposite sex.
  1. Bleeding from a wound or your nose.
  1. Swearing (using bad words).
  1. Doubt whether wudhu has been invalidated. If uncertain, assume that the wudhu is still valid.
  1. If you are not sure if you passed a wind, then the rule is that you haven’t, unless you hear or smell it.

Dry spots:

Wudhu should be done slowly and carefully to ensure that all of the parts to be washed are properly done. Remember that wudhu is a pre-condition for salah. Salah is not valid without wudhu hence this is a very important point.

There are numerous ahadith (covered in detail in the Tahaara Level II units) that relate that even if you leave the size of a fingernail dry (unwashed), then you must redo it.

Special care should be taken when washing the feet, as the most common place to be left unwashed is the small area behind the ankles. Pay special attention to this part.

If after you have completed wudhu and before you dry yourself or while you are drying yourself you find a dry spot on your feet, then you have to redo that part. If you find say part of your left arm dry, then you have to start again from that point onwards and redo the rest of the steps. At the same time, if you are in a very hot climate, part of your arms may be dry before you complete your wudhu, and this may confuse you. Hence the best is to do the wudhu slowly and carefully in the first place.

Special rules concerning women:

Menstruation (Haid) and Postnatal bleeding (Nifaas):

Menstruation, periodical (monthly) discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from the uterus lasting in most cases for six to eight days. While postnatal bleeding is the discharge of blood from a woman subsequent to childbirth. A woman during either period should refrain from observing prayer, perform tawaaf, Fast, or touch the Qur’aan. She does not have to make up any of the prayers she missed during this time, but must make up any missed Fast if it is in Ramadaan. She is also illegal to her husband for marital relations (sexual intercourse) during this time.

At the end of menstrual or postnatal bleeding a woman must perform ghusl (major purification). Normally all traces of blood (whether red, blackish, brown or yellow) must be completely gone before she can take her bath for purification.

There is no minimum time for bleeding after childbirth. Whenever all traces of blood cease, she must take a bath (ghusl).  She is then considered purified in all respects and must re-establish prayers. However, the maximum time for refraining from the acts of worship listed above is 40 days. If after that she is still bleeding, then this is regarded as extended flow of blood. Sometimes women suffer from this even without childbirth. This is known as Istihadah.

The rules that apply to the circumstances after childbirth, also apply to the circumstances following a miscarriage. Blood following normal surgical procedures does not prevent prayer and fasting.

Other bleeding (Istihada):

Sometimes a woman has vaginal bleeding at times other than the usual monthly period or longer than the maximum 40 days after childbirth. If it is an extension of the normal period of bleeding, she should perform ghusl at the end of the specific time (her normal menstruation days). She is then considered to be in a pure state and must do everything required of her (i.e., prayer, fasting, etc.). If bleeding or spotting occurs between monthly periods, no bath is required. However, in all of these cases certain rules apply:

  1. Renewal of wudhu is required for every prayer. After the adhaan is called she must clean her private parts and replace any sanitary items to prevent the flow or spotting of blood onto the clothing. Then she must make wudhu and pray. Any flow occurring after wudhu is excused.
  1. In spite of continued bleeding, she may have sexual relations with her husband and perform all acts of worship as usual.
  1. There is no need for a second bath whenever the flow finally ceases, although some scholars prefer it.

When must a prayer be made up:

If a woman gets her period or starts post-childbirth bleeding during the time of prayer and has not yet offered that prayer, then that prayer becomes a debt upon her. The prayer must be made up immediately after she stops bleeding and has performed ghusl. For example: if the time for Dhuhr salah has started and she has not offered the prayer before the onset of blood, she must pray that Dhuhr prayer before any other prayer once she is again purified  (even though it may be days or weeks later).

This matter should not be treated lightly. A woman should make a special note if she has to make up any prayers.

Just to remind her that prayer is the first act that we will be called to account for:

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (*) also told us:

The first act that the slave will be accountable for

on the Day of Judgment will be prayer.

If it is good, then the rest of his acts will be good.

And if it is bad, then the rest of his acts will be bad. ”


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