Does Laughing Outside of Prayer Break My Wudu?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


When does laughing out lead break the wudu and prayer? Does laughing with an open mouth with ablution outside of prayer break your ablution, or is this only in prayer?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

In the Shafi’i School, laughing with an open mouth, whether outside of Salah (prayer) or during Salah, does not invalidate one’s wudu (ablution). Wudu remains intact unless one of the four factors that nullify the ablution is found, and Allah knows best.

Four Factors That Nullify Ablution

The Factors that Invalidate Wudu (Ablution) are Fourfold:

Exiting from the Private Parts: Anything that exits from either the front or the rear private parts, be it wind or any other substance, except for semen, nullifies Wudu.

Loss of Intellect: This occurs through sleep or other causes, except when one sleeps while firmly seated on the ground. It is important to note that loss of intellect means the inability to distinguish, excluding drowsing and daydreaming, which do not break Wudu. An indicator of drowsing is the ability to hear words without comprehension.

Skin-to-Skin Contact: When an adult, non-mahram (marriageable) male and female come into direct skin-to-skin contact without any barrier, Wudu is invalidated. This applies regardless of whether the contact is accompanied by sexual desire, unintentional, or even if it involves the use of the tongue or a malfunction surplus limb. However, contact with teeth, nails, hair, or a severed limb does not break Wudu. Additionally, touching an aged person or a corpse of the opposite sex also invalidates Wudu.

Touching Private Parts: If one touches the private parts of a human with the palm or inner surface of the fingers, Wudu is broken. This specifically refers to those parts of the palm that come into contact when the hands are joined palm to palm. [Nawawi, al-Majmu‘ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab]

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.