Answered by Sidi Tabraze Azam

Question: At the masjid, I have sometimes seen bearded people do the following in wudu:

After washing the face 3 times, splash some water on the beard on both sides and the chin (making a total of 3 ‘splashings’)

I asked the imam about this and he didn’t see anything wrong with it so I have adopted this practice. I have a thin beard which, I understand, makes it necessary to wet the skin under the beard and therefore I see this additional ‘beard splashing’ as a precaution. Is there anything wrong with doing this? Does it fall in the category of bid’ah?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

If one can see the skin under one’s beard, from a normal distance, it would be necessary (wajib) and operationally, obligatory, to wash the skin itself. Otherwise it would be sufficient to wash the hair which covers the skin.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

According to the Hanafi school, splashing water on the face, as Imam Shurunbulali (Allah be pleased with him) states in his detailed primer on the Fiqh of Worship, is disliked due to the nobility of the face. Imam Tahtawi (Allah be pleased with him) mentions that the dislikedness applies, similarly, to splashing water on any limb. Imam Shurunbulali (Allah be pleased with him) then goes on to say, explicitly, that one washes one’s face gently.

A Note on Splashing Water and Misgivings

Moreover, the believer acts with dignity and splashing water onto one’s face, or any other limb for that matter, goes against dignified conduct. To consider splashing water on the face as something one must do for the validity of one’s ablution (wudu) would be highly problematic. There is no need for such “caution”. One simply washes one’s face and one has fulfilled one’s duty.

Misgivings are from the devil and come about through ignorance of the sunna of the Beloved of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). May Allah give us all the tawfiq to learn and practise the sunna of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace).

And Allah knows best.

Wassalaam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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