Answered by Ustadha Jameela Jafri
Question: Assalaamu alaykum
When I am doing my wudhu the water on my face, particularly the cheek area, dries up really quickly even though I try to do it as fast and as properly as I can. I usually repeat my wudhu wondering whether it was valid or not. How much of your body part is required to have dried up before the end of wudhu for the wudhu to be invalid?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.
InshAllah, this finds you in the best of states.
In wudu, it is a confirmed sunnah (sunnah mu’akkadah) to wash the limbs one after another such that the previous limb does not dry in normal circumstances [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]. It can also be understood as not having an excessive interruption between washing the limbs in wudu [Tahtawi, Sharh Maraqi al-Falah].
If the limbs dried by themselves for an external reason such as the heat of the sun, a strong wind, etc., then this would not be considered as leaving the confirmed sunnah. Also, if one had a reason to dry their skin in between the washings (e.g. dry skin) or pause in the middle of their wudu (e.g. knocking on the door, running out of water, etc), then this would also be excused.
If parts of your face happen to dry quickly in wudu on their own naturally, you would not be considered as leaving this confirmed sunnah. It is best to leave doubts and not repeat your wudu again, particularly since you are certain that you washed your entire face. In addition, this continuity in washing is a confirmed sunnah and not an obligatory element of wudu. Therefore, even if the previous limb completely dried before washing the next limb, the wudu would be valid.
Finally, a separate confirmed sunnah in wudu is to rub each limb when one washes it the first time. This ensures that the water completely covers and reaches the limb. It will likely ward off your doubts if you rub your face during the first washing.
InshAllah, this proves helpful.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani