Nosebleed & Nullification of Ablution

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Naielah Ackbarali

Question: I am a Hanafi and recently I have been suffering from nosebleeds.  I wanted to know to what extent does blood from a nose bleed break my ablution (wudu). For example if I put a tissue in my nose and see slight blood, will this break my wudu?  Also if after praying I blow my nose and blood comes on the tissue, does this mean my prayer is invalid?  Finally,if by mistake I leave bloodied tissues in my pocket and pray, is my prayer valid?

Bismi Llahir Rahmanir Rahimi

I pray this message reaches you in the best of health and happiness.

In the Hanafi school, ritual ablution (wudu) is nullified when blood both exits and flows beyond the point of exit to a place on the body that is required or recommended to wash in the ritual bath (ghusl). This is the ruling for filth exiting from other than the private parts. As for filth exiting from the private parts, ablution is nullified merely by the appearance of filth at the point of exit. [Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar]

Thus, the following situations would nullify one’s ablution:

a. if one is sure that he has a wound in his nose and blood exits from this wound and flows beyond the opening of the cut.

b. if blood flows from the head down to the nose [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar], even if it flowed only to the bony upper part of the nose because this area is recommended to wash in ghusl.

The following situations would not nullify one’s ablution:

a. if one puts his finger in his nose and blood is found on the finger, this does not break ablution unless one is reasonably sure that it flowed. [Maydani, Lubab] The same ruling would apply with a tissue.

b. if one blew his nose and a blood clot came out. [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

If one is experiencing severe problems where he cannot make ablution and pray the obligatory prayer of the time without his wudu breaking, then he should look into the rulings of the excused person so that the matter can become easier for him.

If one blew his nose after praying and saw blood, then he would assume that his prayer is valid and the blood flowed at the time of blowing his nose (which was after the prayer) because certainty is not lifted by doubt.

In terms of leaving a bloody tissue in one’s pocket and then praying with it, one’s pray would be valid as long as the overall filth on one’s body or clothes did not exceed a dirham in size (about 4 cm in diameter for liquid filth and 4 grams in weight for solid filth). If one is unsure and doubts how much filth was on the tissue, then for past practices he would assume that his prayers were valid and there is no need to make them up unless he is certain that the filth amounted to more than a dirham. For future practices, one should avoid placing the bloody tissue in one’s pocket. Praying with filth that equals the size of a dirham is prohibitively disliked (makruh tahrimi) and it is slightly disliked if it is less than a dirham (makruh tanzihi) if one has the ability to remove it. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

Barak Allah fikum

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Naielah Ackbarali is a female student of Islamic knowledge from the US. She studies with leading Hanafi scholars from Syria and elsewhere.