Does Finding Traces of Filth on My Underwear Invalidate My Previous Prayers?

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi


At the beginning of the day, I took a pair of clean underwear from the drawer to wear. I thought nothing of this. Before the Isha prayer, I visited the bathroom and noticed dried white streaks on one side of the underwear. To my knowledge, that day, there was no possibility of there having been an emission from my private parts. My suspicion was that the stains had not been properly washed in the washing machine. I removed these underwear before praying Isha, but I did not wish to act on this uncertainty with regard to making up my previous prayers.


In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

Yes, you were right in following your personal judgment in this situation, and all your previous prayers were valid. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Upon discovering these stains, you were sure that you were in a state of purity.

The presence of these stains brought doubts regarding your state of purity.

By deeming yourself pure despite those stains, you correctly applied the following legal principle:

“Certainty is not lifted by a doubt.” [Ibn Nujaym, al-Ashbah wa’l Nadha’ir; Majallat al-Ahkam al-‘Adiliyya]

Basis of This Legal Principle

This principle is based on the following verse of the Quran:

“Most of them follow nothing but conjectures. Surely, conjectures are of no avail in the matter of truth at all.” [Quran, 10:36]

Moreover, it is based on the teachings of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) established in many sahih hadiths making us understand how to apply this principle.

One example is this hadith narrated by ‘Abbas bin Tamim (may Allah be pleased with him): My uncle asked Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) about a person who imagined to have passed wind during the prayer. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) replied: “He should not leave his prayers unless he hears sound or smells something.” [Bukhari]

And Allah knows best.
[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Sufyan Qufi is an advanced seeker of knowledge, originally from Algeria, who grew up in France. He began searching far and wide for answers to the fundamental questions of life and was disappointed at the answers he found. Then he connected with various traditional teachers and gradually connected with SeekersGuidance. He embarked on his journey of learning through the various teachers at SeekersGuidance, including his mentor Shaykh Faraz Rabbani. He studied numerous texts in Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith, and other areas with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other teachers, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Sha‘ar, Shaykh Ali Hani, and others. He is an active instructor at SeekersGuidance and answers questions through the SeekersGuidance Answers Service.