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Simplified Islamic Jurisprudence Based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah / Al-Fiqhul-Muyassaru minal­ Qur’ani was-Sunnah – االفقه الميسر من القرآن والسنة

  • Book Title:
 Simplified Islamic Jurisprudence Based On The Quran And The Sunnah
  • Book Author:
Muhammad M. 'Abdul-Fattah
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Ablution is called attahtirah al-ṣughra or minor purification, and it consists of washing some organs and rubbing (water) over some other organs.

‘”Washing” refers to the process of making water flow over the specified organs, and it becomes legally sufficient even if some drops of it drip from the washed organ. It is not a stipulation that a great deal of water should be poured; rather, it is legally detestable.  On the other hand, “rubbing” is to pass one’s wet hand over one’s head, without repeating this action, unlike “washing” as it is an act of the Sunnah that one washes the specified organ three times.


The wisdom behind ablution is to clean certain organs of the body and keep them purified. This is because Islam is a religion of purity and cleanliness and a Muslim who washes his organs five times every day protects himself from many diseases and keeps his body healthy and sound and his soul fresh and lively.

Moreover, ablution is a means for having one’s sins forgiven, as narrated in the authentic Ḥadith which reads that once the Prophet (PBUH) said, “(What) do you think: if one of you has a river at his door and he washes himself in it five times every day, will any of his dirt remain?” The listeners answered, “None of his dirt will remain?” He (PBUH) said,

“This resembles the Five (obligatory) Prayers: Allah takes away sins with them. “((Narrated by Muslim)) Besides this, ablution will be a light for the believer on the Day of Resurrection and with this light the Prophet (PBUH) will recognize his followers on that Day, as he (PBUH) told his Companions.

That was when he passed by the inhabitants of Al-Baqi’ (i.e., the dead Muslims at that place) and greeted them saying, “Peace be upon you, (0 the inhabitations of) the residence of believing people! \-Ve, Allah willing, will catch up ·with (i.e., follow) you. I wish we (could) see our brothers! ” Those who were with him asked, “Are we not your brothers, 0 Messenger of Allah?” He replied,”You are my Companions, and (by) our brothers (I mean) those who have not come (to the world) yet.”

How prophet will recognize Muslims

They asked, “And how do you recognize your brothers, 0 Messenger of Allah?” He (PBUH) said, “They will come on the Day of Resurrection with (bright) signs on their faces and hands because of ablution.”((Narrated by Muslim))

How truthful are the words of Allah:

 (On the Day you shall see the believing men and the believing women their light running forward before them and by their right hands … ) (Qur’an al-Hadīd: 57: 12) And how great is Islam, the religion of cleanliness and purification!

The Conditions of the Validity of Ablution – SIMPLIFIED ISLAMIC JURISPRUDENCE 1

Washing the face once, for Allah says, (… wash your faces …) Thus, the first act of washing is obligatory while the second and the third acts are for following the Sunnah. This has been derived from the honorable Prophetic Sunnah, as it has been narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) performed ablution (doing every act of it) one time for each (organ) and said, “This is the ablution of a person whose prayer is not to be accepted except with it.”

He also performed ablution (doing every act of it) twice for each (organ) and said, “This is the ablution of a person whom Allah grants a double reward.” And he performed ablution (doing every act of it) three times for each (organ) then said, “This is my ablution and that of the Prophets before me: “((Narrated by Ad-Dāruqutnī.))

The wisdom behind washing three times is to make sure that water has for certain reached every part of the organs that are to be washed. Accordingly, if a person falls short the first time, he can make up for this the second and the third times. By this he can wash these organs perfectly and completely.

2.Washing the two hands up to the two

elbows one time, for Almighty Allah says, (O you who believe! When you intend to offer prayer, wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows … ) (Qur’an al-Māidah: 5: 6) This means: wash your hands along  with the elbows. The first time is obligatory and the second and the third tilnes are acts of the Sunnah, like washing the face. Actually, the hands 1nust be washed along with the elbows because the elbow is an organ whose structure is connected to both the upper a.rm and the forearm, so the whole part that constitutes it must be washed. It has been authentically narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) “passed water around his elbows,” meaning that he washed his forearms along

with the elbows.

3. Rubbing the head (with one’s wet hands) one time, because Almighty Allah says,( … rub (by passing

wet hands over) your heads .. .) (Qur’an: 5: 6) This must not be done 1nore than one time because it becomes an act of washing (and not an act of rubbing) by repetition while what is prescribed here is the rubbing.

Besides, Malik views that it is obligatory to rub the  whole head whereas rubbing a part of it is sufficient according to Ash-Shafi’i. Abu Hanifah however asserts that it is sufficient to rub one fourth of the head because once the Prophet (PBUH) was on a journey when he performed ablution in which he rubbed his forelock. Any way, it is an act of the Sunnah to rub the whole head, as agreed upon by scholars.

4. Washing the two feet with the two ankles

one time, for Almighty Allah says, (… and ( wash) your feet up to ankles .. .) (Qur’an: 5: 6) Once the Prophet (PBUH) saw a n1an performing ablution and he did not get the water to his ankles, so he (PBUH) said, “Woe to the heels because of Hell-fire! “((Narrated by AI-Bukhārī and Muslim))

There are many acts of the Sunnah related to ablution. Below are some of them.

  • Pronouncing tasm(yah at the beginning of ablution by saying “Bismi-lltlhi-rahnitlnir-rahim (In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful)”.
  • Washing the two hands up to the two wrists three times.
  • Rinsing the mouth three times.
  • Rinsing the nose three times.
  • Using siwak, for the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Siwdk is a means of purifying the mouth and a means of satisfying the Lord. “
  •  Starting with the organs on the right side, by washing the right organ before the left one. It has been narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) used to start with the right side in all 1natters, even when wearing· his shoes and combing his hair ((Narrated by Muslim)).
  • Running one’s fingers through one’s beard by passing water on to the roots of the beard hair. Whenever the Prophet (PBUH) performed ablution, he would take a hanclf’ul of water and run his fingers through his beard. He (PBUH) commented, “This is how my Lord, Glorified and Exalted Be He, has commanded me (to do) ((Narrated by Abu Dawud))”.
  • Running one’s fingers through the fingers of one’s hands and feet. This is an act of the Sunnah, yet it is obligatory to get water to the areas between fingers because Allah has commanded that they (i.e., the hands and the feet as a whole) should be washed. Running one’s fingers through the fingers is for the sake of 1nakiing sure that they have been washed perfectly and that is why this is an act of the Sunnah and not an obligation.

Also rubbing the head

  • Starting the rubbing of the head with the forelock, that is, from the upper part of the head following the forehead. In order to do so, one should put one’s two hands on one’s forelock from the beginning of the place where the hair grows then stretches the hands to the end of the head.
  • Rinsing the nose and the mouth with the right hand. One should exaggerate in doing so (i.e., by doing that enthusiastically with much water relatively and positively) except in the case where one is fasting. It has been narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said to one of his Companions, “Exaggerate in rinsing the mouth and the nose except when you are fasting. “1
  • The Proprieties of Ablution
  • For considering the etiquettes and proprieties of ablution the Muslim should bear the following in mind:
    • Not to use a large amount of water.
    • Not to wash the organ in question more than three times.
    • To embrocate his organs.
    • Not to seek the help of anyone else to perform the acts of ablution for him except when disable to do that himself.
    • To say after finishing his ablution, “I testify that there is no god but Allah, and I testify that MuhaIDinad is His servant and His Messenger.” It has been narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said,

“No one of you performs ablution perfectly then says, ‘I testify that there is no god but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger,’ except that the eight gates of Paradise will be open for him to enter from whichever gate he wishes ((Narrated by Muslim and others))”


There are certain things that nullify ablution. They can be pinpointed in brief as follows.

  1. Uribe and excrement and whatever goes out of stool and urine ducts such as pre-seminal fluid (madhy) and wind. It has been narrated that ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I was a n1an who used to secrete 1nuch pre-seminal fluid, and I was shy of asking the lVIessenger of Allah (PBUH) because of the position of his daughter (Fatimah, ‘Ali’s wife). Therefore, I asked Al-Miqdad Ibnul­Aswad to ask him and he (PBUH) said, ‘Let hini wash his genital organ and perform ablution. “‘1

This in turn 1neans that ablution is nullified by such pre-seminal excrement. As for performing ablution because of urine and stool, it is because Almighty Allah says, do you mean by hadath, 0 Abu Hurayrah?” He replied, “Passing wind, (both) audible and inaudible.”

Hayd (Menstruation) and Nifas (Postnatal Bleeding)

This part is very important in Islam because it has a direct connection with various rulings related to prayer, fasting, recitation of the Quran, and intercourse. In addition to this, it is not significant only on the part of women but also on the part of men.

Almighty Allah says in this connection; (They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: that is an adha (a harmful thing), therefore keep away from women during menses and go not unto them till they have purified (from menses and have tahen a bath).

And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah has ordained for you (go in unto them in any manner as long as it _is in their vagina). Truly, Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves.) (Qur’an al-Baqarah: 2: 222)

Thus, men are commanded not to have intercourse with their wives during their 1nenses, and that is why they must be aware of such rulings, just like women.

Hayd (Menstruation)

According to Isla1nic Shart’ah, hayd represents the blood which goes out of a woman’s uterus at the beginning of puberty, and it is a sign indicating that she is ready for pregnancy. This is because a woman who does not menstruate can neither conceive nor give birth to children.

Also, when a woman conceives, she does not have any period until she delivers her baby and the menses blood starts to serve as a bed for the baby to settle on during the pregnancy period; it is known as “secundines”. To this effect, menstruation is not a sign of illness but a natural thing with which a girl reaches puberty, just as a boy reaches puberty when he has a wet dream.

The minimum of 1nenstruation is three days along with their rrights and the maximum of it is ten days with their nights. This is according to Abu Hanifah. As for Ash-Shafi’i and Ahmad, they maintain that its minimum is one day and one night and its maximum is fifteen days.

To prove his judgment, Abu Hanifah has quoted the Ḥadith reading that “the minimum of menstruation is three days with their nights and the maximum ofit is ten days with their nights.”(( ‘See Sunnan-al-Tirmidhi, 1/228))

Malik, however, views that there is no minimum of 1nenstruation and so it can last even for an hour, while its maximum, he says, is fifteen days.


Nifās refers to the bfood which goes out of a woman right after delivery. Its minimum is unknown as it expires once the bleeding stops. Its maximum, on the other hand, is forty days, according to the Hanafis and the HanbaUs, whereas the Shafi’is and the Malikis say that it is sixty days.

The Hanbalis and the Hanafis prove their judgment with the hadith narrated by Abu Da.wud and At-Tirmidhi on the authority of Umm Salamah, who said,

“A woman during the postnatal period would remain (as being in confine1nent) for forty days or forty nights during the time of the Prophet (PBUH).”

At-Tirmidhi mentions in his Sunnan that scholars from a1nong the Companions and their successors (Tabi’un) have unani1nously agreed that a woman who has postnatal bleeding does not perform prayer for forty days unless the bleeding comes to an end before that, as she must then perform the required ghusl and resume performing prayer.

If the bleeding continues after forty days, most scholars maintain that she must not stop performing prayer any more. It is also the view adopted by most faqihs. (( Sunnan al-Tirmidhi, 1/257))

The first opinion, that is of the Hanbalis and Hanafis, is 1nore correct, because it is very scarce that the postnatal bleeding remains for more than forty days, and the hadith narrated on the authority of Umm Sala1nah is explicitly indicative to this effect.

Hayd and Nifas: the Lawful and the Prohibited The following rulings must be considered as far as menstruation and postnatal bleeding are concerned:

It is prohibited for a husband to have intercourse with his wife during menses or postnatal bleeding, because Allah says,

(… and go not unto theni till they have purified (from menses and have taken a bath) .. .} (Qur’an: 2: 222)

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