How Should I Pray With a Wound on My Forehead?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi

Question

Two weeks ago I had surgery in which a scar is removed from my forehead. According to my doctor, my forehead is infectious and susceptible to bacteria for another week.

How can I pray when I need to touch the prayer mat with my forehead and how can I make wudhu if I need to go over my forehead with my fingers?

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

Fear of getting sick or fear of an extension of the duration of your recovery are excuses for merely prostrating on the nose while keeping your forehead away from the ground. Your prayer will be valid as long as this fear is present. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

If it will be harmful to wash your forehead during wudu, you can simply wipe with water the problematic area. If this wiping can be also harmful you are allowed to leave the area untouched. Your wudu will be valid as long as the fear of being harmed by water is there. [Ibid.]

If your forehead is covered by a bandage to help the healing there is no need to remove it for the prayer or for wudu. If you can you have to wipe the bandage with your wetted hand during wudu. If it is harmful you can leave the bandage untouched. [Ibid.]

Harm

A delusion of potential harm is not enough to follow the rulings above. What is needed is a legitimate fear recognized by the Sacred Law (sharia).

This entails either

  1. past experience, even if of someone else with the same sickness;
  2. an obvious sign of potential harm; or
  3. an opinion of a qualified, Muslim physician who does not sin in public. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar through Ascent to Felicity]

Allah, Most High, says:  “Allah does not require of any soul more than what it can afford.” [Quran, 2:286]

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,
[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Sufyan Qufi is an advanced seeker of knowledge, originally from Algeria, who grew up in France. He began searching far and wide for answers to the fundamental questions of life and was disappointed at the answers he found.

Then he connected with various traditional teachers and gradually connected with SeekersGuidance. He embarked on his journey of learning through the various teachers at SeekersGuidance, including his mentor Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

He studied numerous texts in Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith, and other areas with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other teachers, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Sha‘ar, Shaykh Ali Hani, and others.

He is an active instructor at SeekersGuidance and answers questions through the SeekersGuidance Answers Service.