How Can I Maintain Purity and Pray When I Have a Weak Bladder that Constantly Leaks?
Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan
Question: (1) I have a very weak bladder such that it leaks (in small amounts) almost all the time. I am aware of suggestion that so long as the stain on the underwear is no more than a 50pence piece that is acceptable.
Is this right? What is the position with the other schools of thought?
What is the position since the weak bladder causes oftentimes a smell. It is not practical/possible during the day to change underwear.
(2) Since I work I skip Zuhr prayer. By the time I get home it is time for Asr prayer. Can I combine the 2 prayers?
I change underwear before Maghrib prayer. But if I am out and about it is not possible.
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.
(1) In the Hanafi school, the excused amount of filth is the surface area of a circle of approx. 5cm in diameter. Praying with this much filth on one’s garment would be valid, while with more than that would be invalid under normal circumstances.
For someone with a chronic excuse, however, there is some leeway with respect to the filth of their excuse (such as the urine of someone with urinary incontinence).
Basically, if one is able to wash it off (or change into a new underwear) and make wudu and then perform the prayer, such that by the time one is done praying, there has not leaked more than the excusable amount mentioned above, then one must do that for each prayer.
However, if by the time one is done praying, more than the excusable amount would have leaked, then one would not have to wash it off (or change underwear) before each prayer.
If this still proves too difficult, there is another opinion in the Hanafi school (which is also a position of the Maliki school), that one with chronic urinary incontinence can in any case simply ignore the urine that leaks.
[Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Tahtawi ala Maraqi Falah]
It is also worth mentioning that in the Hanafi school, someone with a chronic excuse must renew wudu after each prayer time ends in order to pray the following prayer, since the end of a prayer time would break the wudu of such a person, while they are excused for their chronic excuse (i.e., urine leakage would not break wudu for someone with chronic urinary incontinence).
If that proves too difficult, then in the Maliki school, it is only recommended for such a person to renew wudu for each prayer.
(2) You should pray zuhr at work, on time. Ask Allah for help and try your best. If you fall short, pray when you get home and seek forgiveness.
And Allah knows best.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani
The Fiqh of Chronic Excuses and Ablution
Chronic Excuse: Can I Pray As Many Prayers As I Want With A Single Ablution?