Is My Prayer Valid If I Am Unsure about the Purity of My Body and Clothes?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question

I have an issue with needing to urinate often, and it takes a bit of time (up to 10 mins to ensure drops have emptied). Another thing is that sometimes something can come and dry up on the tip after a while (which I’m undergoing treatment for).

My concern is that sometimes I would check to see if there had been anything coming out, and if not, I would go to pray, and afterward, I may have checked to ensure nothing came out. Though I have a specific pattern or I know of a certain regularity with this, sometimes, when a long time had passed, I would check and then go to pray. However, I would wait to see after the prayer if anything had come out because the time had been long from when I went bathroom last; based on this, would my prayer be valid in such a state because I would not be 100% sure if anything would come out during praying. My check would be after prayer, so have I started the prayer with doubt about purity?

Secondly, it happened that I would see something dried up at the tip after some time. Then I knew it would return quickly after wiping this thing away. Still, it may give me enough time to pray, so if I wiped that out and made quit and prayed quickly, and then afterward I look to see if anything had come out, if nothing had come out would my prayer be valid because again I could doubt purity?

In a translation of Maraqi al-Falah, I read about the one who prays when he thinks the prayer had not entered or wears impute clothes for prayer. Still, after prayer, he finds that the time had come in or that his clothes were pure, making me think that sometimes I may not be 100% sure about purity. Still, I know that wudu is Fard for prayer, so that’s why I check before and after to ensure there was wudu but is me checking after the prayer a state of doubt?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

I pray that Allah Most High gives you ease from this difficulty.

Regarding your questions, keep in mind the following principle:

Checking for Impurities

You are only responsible, after urinating, for being reasonably sure that the drops of urine have stopped. Beyond that, you are not accountable.

You are not required to check unless you are confident or reasonably sure that something has come out.

Certainty or reasonable surety is only established by proof; otherwise, it is mere doubt. For example, if you feel wetness, you can assume impurity. If not, you are not required to check.

The principle of certainty or reasonable surety also applies to your second question.

Impurities on the Clothing

If you are reasonably sure or confident that there is less than the excused amount of impurity on your person or clothing, you are permitted to pray.

Thus being 100% sure is not a requirement, as it may be challenging to be so sure in these matters.

Remember that this applies to impurity that exceeds the excused amount. Impurity less than the excused amount does not affect the validity of the prayer.

Urine on the clothing or body that does not exceed the size of a dirham is excused. Prayer with it is also valid. The dirham is equivalent to 5 centimeters or 2 inches in diameter. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

Practical Steps

For the one who faces difficulty in matters related to urine, the scholars have given the following advice.

One should sprinkle some water on their underpants after using the toilet. This way, If they doubt something came out, they will attribute the wetness to the water.

This will help save a person from falling into misgivings and doubts.

Hope this helps
And Allah knows best.

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.