There are 7 Nullifiers of Wudhu:
- Anything that exits from the front or back passages. The scholars have a unanimous ijma on this.
- Whatever impurity comes from other parts of the body and it is large in quantity. Ex: Blood. This is the madhab, but other opined that it does not invalidate wudu’ unless what comes out is either defecation or urine.
Small amounts of blood or pus touching the clothes doesn’t make the clothes impure nor does it break the wudhu.
Some scholars opine that even though blood could be deemed impure, it does not break the wudhu. They base their arguments on the lack of proof for this from the Sunnah and the contrary action of the sahaba who used to pray even when their wounds would bleed.
- The loss of consciousness except for the slight sleep or slumber especially if a person is standing or sitting. If a person is to do this by lying on his side then the wudhu is considered to be invalid.
A strong opinion states that as long as a person is aware of his surrounding and has not completely lost consciousness because of his sleep then irrespective of the position, the wudhu is considered to be valid.
Traditionally, how can it be differentiated if one is in a light or heavy sleep? If someone were to wake them up, they take time to comprehend where they are or are startled then this would indicate that they were in a state of deep sleep.
We see from the hadith, narrated Ibn Juraij from Nafi`: Abdullah bin `Umar said, “Once Allah’s Messenger ﷺ was busy at the time of the Isha, so the prayer was delayed so much so that we slept and woke up and slept and woke up again. The Prophet ﷺ came out and said, ‘None amongst the dwellers of the earth but you have been waiting for the prayer.” [Bukhari]
Other cases of losing consciousness is a person becoming insane, fainting, intoxication where a person loses track of what they are doing etc.
- If he touches his private part without a barrier then according to the madhab, the person loses his wudhu.
Narrated Talq bin ‘Ali: A man said: “I touched my penis” or he said, “Does a man who touch his penis during the prayer should perform Wudu (ablution)?” The Prophet ﷺ replied,
لَا, إِنَّمَا هُوَ بَضْعَةٌ مِنْكَ
“No, it is only a part of your body”. [Reported by Al-Khamsa. Ibn Hibban graded it Sahih (sound).
Hadith of Talq Ibn Ali signifies that the penis is a part of the body and that touching the private part with a barrier in between doesn’t nullify the Wudhu.
On the other hand, Narrated Busra bint Safwan: Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said:
مَنْ مَسَّ ذَكَرَهُ فَلْيَتَوَضَّأْ
“He who touches his penis should perform ablution”. [Reported by Al-Khamsa, and At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Hibban graded it Sahih (sound).
Some scholars opined that this Hadith is more authentic than the previous one. Others say that since this is an issue related to males then how is it that such a report is coming only from a female narrator and no one else.
The Ahnaf say that the Wudhu is not nullified going by the hadith of Talq and this is a matter of dispute. The ruling applies to only touching by the hand and not any other part.
- As per the madhab if the skin of a man touches the skin of a woman with lust or desire, then it nullifies the wudhu.
If there is no desire and there is a touch then that doesn’t nullify the Wudhu. Some opined that touching a female even without desire would nullify the Wudhu and this was the position held by the Shafi’iyyah.
This is based on the mention of Allah in the Quran,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَقْرَبُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَارَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَعْلَمُوا مَا تَقُولُونَ وَلَا جُنُبًا إِلَّا عَابِرِي سَبِيلٍ حَتَّىٰ تَغْتَسِلُوا وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَىٰ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لَامَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُوا
مَاءً فَتَيَمَّمُوا صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُوا بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوًّا غَفُورًا
O you who have believed, do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying or in a state of janabah, except those passing through [a place of prayer], until you have washed [your whole body]. And if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and find no water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and your hands [with it]. Indeed, Allah is ever Pardoning and Forgiving. [Surah an-Nisa, Ayah 43]
Touching here in this context refers to sex as per Ibn Abbas.
As per the majority position, touching a woman and even so with desire doesn’t nullify the wudhu. As for the mention of “أَوْ لَامَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ” in the ayah above then this isn’t the mere touching of bodies but rather it refers to sexual intercourse. Allah has used many other words to refer to sexual intercourse which seem to refer to touching like “تَمَسُّو” in Surah al-Baqarah, ayah 237.
The other side: The verse has a word pronounced as “lamastum or laamastum” (meaning: touch). Some scholars recite the word as “laamastum”, and others recite it as “lamastum”. Laamastum (two ‘a’) means sexual touch, while lamastum (one ‘a’) means touch without involving intercourse.
The Shafi’i fuqaha recite this word without the elongation of the Alif after the lam. So it is recited as: لمستم (lamastum). The literal meaning refers to,”the touch that is less than coitus (intercourse)”. Others recite by elongating Alif after the lam. Both recitations are reported authentically. In fact, this method of recitation (of the Shafi’ee) was transmitted from the Prophet Muhammad through Hamzah and Al-Kisa’i.
Imam Shafi’e stated in his Kitab al- Al-Umm, “Lams (touching/contact) is done by the hand”.
Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah writes, “It is well-known that touching women is among the things that have become rampant and men always touch their wives. If touching one’s wife breaks wudhu the Prophet ﷺ would have told the people about it, and it would have been famous among the Companions of the Prophet. No Companion of the Prophet ﷺ has been reported to have renewed his wudhu upon touching his wife or another woman, and there is no single hadith from the Prophet ﷺ to support that.
Another strong opinion states that touching a woman irrespective of desire doesn’t invalidate the wudhu as long as nothing comes out from the privates like mani’.
Narrated Aisha: The Prophet ﷺ kissed one of his wives and went to pray without performing (fresh) ablution. [Ahmad]
Narrated Aisha: I used to stretch my legs towards the Qibla of the Prophet ﷺ while he was praying; whenever he prostrated he touched me, and I would withdraw my legs, and whenever he stood up, I would restretch my legs. [Bukhari]
- To Commit an Act of Apostasy
- To Eat Meat of Camel
Al-Bara bin Azib narrated: Allah’s Messenger was asked about performing Wudu for camel meat. He said: “Perform Wudu for it.” He Was asked about Wudu after eating goat meat. So he said: “Do not perform Wudu for it.” [Jami’ at-Tirmidhi]
As per the jumhur of the Ulema other than the Hanabila, they say that renewing the Wudhu after having camel meat is recommended and not obligatory. The ruling of wujub or obligation is specific (mufradat) of the Hanabila.
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