How Should I Wipe My Head in Wudu?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi

Question

How do you wet your hand in wudu before wiping your head? How do you know if it is too dry or too wet? What if the hands aren’t exactly parallel when wiping?

Answer

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

Simply wetting your hands under the tap is enough to wipe your head validly for wudu. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

Validity

In fact, even the leftover wetness on your hands after washing your arms is enough to perform a valid wiping of your head. What is needed for a valid wudu is for one-fourth of your head (the area above your ears and your forehead) to be affected (i.e., touched) by water. Your hands are merely a tool to accomplish this wiping. If you were to walk in the rain without touching your hair, you have performed the obligatory wiping of your head for a valid wudu. Thus the way your fingers are arranged while performing the wiping is of no consequence to the validity of your wudu as you are sure that water has affected one-fourth of your head. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Allah, Most High, says: O believers! When you rise up for prayer, wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows, wipe your heads and wash your feet to the ankles.” [Quran, 5:6]

Sunna

It is sunna to wipe all your head (i.e., the area above your ears and your forehead) once during your wudu. You will be rewarded for doing it. But failing to do so won’t invalidate your wudu. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

The best way to perform this wiping is by placing your wetted palms and fingers on the front part of the head and by wiping all your head up to the rear part. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar quoting Zaylai]

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.