How to Deal with Wudu, Waswasa, and Maintaining Purity During Tawaf?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question

Although I am not chronically excused, my regular problem of passing very tiny amounts of gas makes me anxious during prayer times. I am particularly nervous about performing umrah – I am so fearful that I will lose my wudu before completing the tawaf. It is almost paralyzing.

When I leave my hotel room to perform tawaf, instead of focusing on the spiritual aspect of the ibadah, I am anxious about having to leave the Haram – mid-tawaf, make wudu again and rejoin the tawaf.

During our past visits to Makkah/Madina, I frequently returned to the hotel to re-do my wudu and prayers after having prayed in the Haram. I pray on the sidewalk since I cannot secure a spot in the Masjid.

I am literally afraid of being outside of my house during a prayer period because it is so difficult to re-do my wudu. Please advise me regarding whether I can do anything to make my life easier when I’m outside.

Answer

I hope that you are doing well, insha’Allah.

A golden rule to remember is the legal maxim: Certainty is not lifted by doubt. You should ignore any feelings and sensations that you have. Such suppositions are of no legal consequence. Unless you have strong reason to believe that something has exited, there is no need to renew your ablution (wudu).

Certainty is the basis. Nothing came out until clearly proven otherwise. If you hear or smell something, you can be sure something came out. Feelings do not count.

The mind, with the assistance of the devil, often plays tricks on people, and they begin thinking excessively about such purificatory matters assuming, “something may have exited,” “I think something came out,” “I’m fairly sure,” “it looks like it,” and so on.

Listening and acting on such misgivings is contrary to the sunna. It is not piety. Anything short of absolute certainty is not certainty and thus not acted upon.

Getting lost in a sea of misgivings (waswasa) will only make life more and more difficult. Learn the sunna. Seek Allah. Ask Him for assistance and to give you the sweetness of faith. Express your gratitude and neediness toward Him, and doors will open.

Please also see: Key Principles Relating to Certainty, Doubt, and Baseless Misgivings

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

[Ustadha] Tabraze Azam
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan, and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.