Invalidators of Wudu in Hanbali Fiqh

There is a difference of opinion among Muslims scholars as to what exactly breaks one’s wudu. The evidences behind the rulings are discussed in more advanced classes. In the Hanbali school, the following eight things are considered to invalidate one’s wudu:

  1. Anything that comes out of the two private parts
    • It does not matter if it’s something impure like urine or pure like a stone, as long as it comes out of one of the two private parts, it will invalidate the wudu.
  2. Any impurity that comes out of the rest of the body
    • If it is urine or stool, then it will invalidate the wudu even if it is in small amounts. If it is any other type of impurity (blood, vomit, pus, etc.), then it will only invalidate it if it comes out in large amounts. The amount is based on each person’s individual estimation of large vs small amount.
  3. Any loss of consciousness
    • This includes things like fainting or deep sleep when you cannot hear or understand anything around you. If it is slight sleep, such as, one who is asleep while standing or sitting without a support, then it does not invalidate the wudu.
  4. Washing the deceased
    • Regardless of whether the deceased is young or old, male or female, Muslim or not.
  5. Eating camel meat even if raw
    • Liver, spleen, milk, tongue, brain, kidneys, heart, stomach, fat, head, teeth, shins, its broth, etc. are not included because they are not considered meat. The meat is generally what is attached to the bones.
  6. Touching the penis, vagina, or anus of a human with the hand skin on skin without a barrier
    • Children under 7 years of age are not included
    • Includes touching one’s own private parts
  7. Touching the opposite gender with desire skin on skin without a barrier
    • Even if the one touched is deceased, old, or a mahram.
    • It will not invalidate the wudu of the one who is touched
    • The following are excluded from the touch, thus, will not invalidate the wudu when touched with desire: hair, teeth, and nails
  8. Apostasy from Islam
    • In fact, anything that necessitates ritual bathing (ghusl), such as, menses, postpartum bleeding, major spiritual impurity (janabah), etc., necessitates wudu as well, except for death which necessitates ghusl only. Since converting back into Islam would require him/her to make ghusl, it would also necessitate wudu.

The following are prohibited for the one who is in a state of minor ritual impurity (i.e. does not have wudu) in Hanbali law:

  1. Touch the Arabic Qur’an (mushaf) without a barrier
  2. Salah
  3. Tawaf around the Ka’bah

4 thoughts on “Invalidators of Wudu in Hanbali Fiqh”

  1. Salam,

    JazakAllahu khayr for posting this. A few questions:
    1. Does sperm fall under #1 or #2? Also, is there a difference between when the sperm is ejaculated in intercourse and when/if there is more of a discharge from excitement/foreplay?
    2. If liver and spleen isn’t considered meat, what is it considered to be? Do those have to be zabihah/ahl-al-kitab if not considered to be meat?
    3. How do we understand the following hadith in light of #7? “Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) would kiss one of his wives and then leave for prayer (salat) without performing ablution (wudu). Urwa says that I asked A’isha: “It must have been you?” (Upon hearing this) A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) smiled.”(Sunan al-Tirmidhi, no. 86, Sunan Abu Dawud, no. 181 & Sunan al-Nasa’i, no. 170))”

    Jazakum Allahu khayran!

    1. WS,

      1) Sperm that comes out during ejaculation requires taking a bath (ghusl) so also breaks wudu as I mentioned under number 8 because the person has entered the state of major ritual impurity (janaba). Pre-ejaculatory fluid during foreplay breaks the wudu only and does not require ghusl. Another difference between the two is that sperm is considered pure while the pre-ejaculatory fluid is considered impure.

      2) Liver and spleen are considered blood as mentioned in a hadith by the Prophet (pbuh) and not technically the Arabic “lahm” which is ususally translated as flesh or meat. Generally the meat is what is attached to the bones and does not include the internal organs. This is why other non-meat parts will also not break the wudu, such as, stomach, kidneys, tongue, brain, teeth, etc.

      3) We say that the Prophet (pbuh) did not kiss her with desire because it is possible to kiss or touch without desire. There are two conditions required for it to break the wudu: there is desire and it is done without a barrier in between.

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