How Should I Fulfil My Religious Obligations If I Suffer from Chronic Flatulence?
Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
My prayers are almost constantly challenged by the frequent passing of gas. It just happens that several times I have a massive feeling of passing gas that undermines my focus during prayer. I have to repeat ablution and prayer, and I get depressed. I don’t have to go to work during these periods, because I am afraid these problems will also happen at the workplace, where a person cannot spend too much time on prayer and ablution. Even if I repeat ablution, I can break it again during prayer, but then I can stay 30-40 minutes without passing any wind, so I don’t know what to do and think. I feel I can break ablution at any time, and these are not merely doubts in my mind.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to that which is pleasing to Him. Amin.
All symptoms that make it difficult or impossible to maintain a state of purity should be treated with the measures prescribed by Sacred Law for a woman with chronic vaginal bleeding (mustahada).
A woman with chronic vaginal discharge preparing to pray should wash her private parts, apply something absorbent to them and a dressing, and then perform ablution. She may not delay commencing her prayer after this except for reasons of preparing to pray, such as clothing her nakedness, awaiting the call to prayer (adhan), or for a group to gather for the prayer. If she delays for other reasons, she must repeat the purification. She is obliged to wash her private parts, apply a dressing, and perform ablution before each obligatory prayer (though she is entitled, like those mentioned below, to perform as many non-obligatory prayers as she wishes, carry and read the Quran, etc. until the following prayer’s time comes (n: or until her ablution is broken for a different reason) when she must renew the above measures and her ablution). [Keller, Reliance of the Traveler]
Incontinence and Similar Issues
People unable to hold back intermittent drops of urine coming from them must take the same measures as a woman with chronic vaginal discharge. And likewise, for anyone in a state of chronic annulment of ablution, such as continually breaking wind, excrement, or madhy ( though washing and applying an absorbent dressing are only obligatory when filth exits.)
If a person knows that drops of urine will not stop until the time for the following prayer comes, then he takes the above measures and performs the prayer at the first of its time. [ibid.]
I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.