Validity of My Wudu and Prayer

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about the limits of the face in relation to wudu and if one has doubts about this whether one should repeat prayers.


Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I have recently noticed that the part to be washed in wudu includes the sideburns also and the skin between the hair on the sides of the head and the ear and also whatever is above it till just below the hairline. I haven’t been washing that part and it might have occurred to me on its importance but I don’t know why I seem to ignore that part and also I’m a frequent sufferer of waswas.

Do I now need to repeat all my prayers I have been praying with this wudu?

Would appreciate a fast response. Thanks.


Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

The assumption is that you washed your face soundly, unless you are reasonably certain that you didn’t get the entire area.

The face is defined as the lengthwise area between the top of the forehead and the bottom of the chin, and from earlobe to earlobe in width. If you have a beard or sideburns, you need to ensure that you are washing up to your ears. Everything in that imaginary circular shape must be washed.

Practically, all you need to do is to cup water into your hands and then pour it over your face, ensuring to pass your wetted hands over the entire area. Ignore misgivings.

Please also see A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings).

And Allah Most High knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Forced to Sit without Tahiyat al Masjid

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat is asked about the sunna of tahiyat al masjid and whether it is best to sit down during the iqama or to stand.


Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I live in an area where there is only one mosque within walking distance and it is the local mosque affiliated to no organization or jamaat.

I have the same right over the mosque as they have, but when there is no time for tahiyat al masjid, I tend to stay standing until one or two minutes before the iqamah is given. Sometimes people will force me to sit down saying it is a sunna.

I want any unbiased islamic fatwa/hadith/Qur’anic interpretation from any faqih/mufti that will help me make wiser/less fitna-inducing decisions.

Jazak Allah khayr.


Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Sitting During the Iqama

It is better for you to sit. Firstly because it is disliked to remain standing whilst the Iqama is being given until the statement of “hayya ‘ala ’l-falah.” (Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar).

Getting On With People

Secondly, because the Messenger of Allah said, “The believer gets on [with people].” (Ahmad) Going against the regular practice of people causes friction, and a believer is someone who leaves a positive mark on people with a smile, a light joke, or an endearing gesture.

Doing something that rubs people the wrong way will make you a bullseye for a lot of glares and comments. This could leave you with an unpleasant feeling about the masjid and its people, or even put you off from going there.

It is best to overlook minor annoyances, or, even better, to deal with them with a sense of humor. We have all dealt with the uncles in the mosque who have a heart attack if someone walks in with their socks on, or if the Iqama is not called when the second hand reaches “12” on the clock – sometimes, even if the imam is not present!

In many cases these people are the ones who gave their hard-earned money to build the masjid in the first place, and they are particular about how things are done. Give them a smile, make a joke about something, and walk away having shown good character, honoured the elderly, and done something to please Allah. A pleasant sentence is charity (Bukhari).

Following a Weaker Position to Avoid Friction

Sometimes, it is better to do something sub-optimal in fiqh if it means not causing friction – unless it means that something impermissible will be done. An example of this is what to after the prayer ends.

The position of the Ḥanafī school is to ask for forgiveness (astaghfirullah) three times, and then say a short sentence of duʿa or praise (Allahumma Anta ’s-Salam, wa minka ’s-salam…) before immediately getting up for the sunna prayers. To sit and say one’s devotional prayers and praises is slightly disliked. Even reciting Ayat al-Kursi is deemed too long a wait. (Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah).

However, in many mosques, the imam will sit and make a collective supplication after the prayer. Getting up at this point could cause offence§, so it is better to sit and do what everyone else does, and then get up for the sunna prayers.

The Point is Allah

Going to the masjid is about pleasing Allah. He should be focus of the entire endeavor. If a particular masjid resembles a concentration camp then it might be better to pray in another masjid, if possible, where you can focus on Allah.

May Allah make our hearts attached to the mosques and shade us with His shade on the day where there is no shade save His. Amin.


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Can I Follow Another Madhhab When Traveling?

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about taking a dispensation from another madhhab in one thing and how that affects other actions.


Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I am Hanafi. In the Hanafi madhhab, it is not permissible for a woman to travel without a mahram. However, this website states that their is a reliable opinion within the Maliki that allows travel without a mahram subject to certain conditions.

So my question is, if I am traveling do I need to do everything according to the Maliki madhhab – e.g., praying according to Malikis, doing wudu with rubbing whole head etc. – in order to avoid talfiq (impermissible mixing)? Or can I continue with my normal worship as a Hanafi and just take rukhsa (dispensation) for the issue of travel?

Jazak Allah khayr.


Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

You may take the Maliki dispensation permitting travel, with its requisite conditions, while continuing to pray as normal according to your chosen school of law (madhhab). Travel isn’t inextricably connected to prayer.

Impermissible mixing between legal schools (talfiq) is understood to be in the context of a single action such that no school would deem the action to be valid. When dealing with separate actions, it is acceptable to join between them if there is a need to do so.

Please also see Can a Woman Travel Alone for More Than 48 Miles If There Is a Benefit?, Can I Travel by Plane Without a Mahram? and A Reader on Following Schools of Thought (Madhabs).

And Allah Most High knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Should I Renew My Wudu If I Touch a Woman? [Maliki]

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Assalam ‘aleykum,

Should I renew my wudu if I touch a woman?

Answer: Wa alaykum as salam wa rahmatulah.

If someone touches another person from whom pleasure can normally be derived from, and pleasure is either intended or found, wudu is broken.

Thus, if a man touches a woman either intending pleasure or finds it after touching with no intention, then the wudu is broken.


Shaykh Rami Nsour teaches The Rights of Parents and Prohibitions of the Tongue at SeekersHub. He is also the Founding Director of Tayba Foundation.

Photo: James Merhebi

Is Writing Qur’an on the Wall Impermissible?

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Is it permissible to write Quranic calligraphy directly on a wall?

Answer: Assalāmu ʿalaykum,

I hope you are well.

Writing the Qur’an on the wall is, God willing, permissible, if:

-it is written in a proper, suitable environment
-it is highly unlikely that it will be open to abuse
-the writing is for a good purpose such as remembrance

Scholars across the schools have generally held that writing the Qur’an on the wall is disliked, not that it is impermissible (for example: al-Majmuʿ; al-Sharh al-Kabir ʿala Mukhtasar Khalil; Hashiyat ibn ʿAbidin).

This is because of the potential that:

-The letters will fall and will be walked upon, or that the walls themselves will be walked upon;
-It will be open to abuse, like defacement or vandalism;
-It will distract people from praying (such as if it is in a place of worship)
-It will be in places where impermissible activities occur

If this potential exists, it remains a disliked action.

Shuaib Ally

ISIS – is it a Legitimate Expression of Islam?

Islam’s stance on ISIS

The Islamic State in Syria and Iraq ( ISIS ) constitutes the most serious threat Islam has ever faced. To justify its horrible crimes and appeal to Muslims around the world, ISIS has based its ideology on a superficial and literalist approach to the Sacred Texts of Islam – the Holy Qur’an and the Prophetic Tradition. They manipulate the religion to brainwash angry young Muslims, who have little knowledge of Islamic theology and jurisprudence. Therefore, the Muslim scholars are obliged to respond with a counter-narrative that elucidates the reality of Islam and its commitment to tolerance.isis

CNN: Syrian Scholar, Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, condemns.

Islam vs. ISIS: A Letter to Baghdadi from Leading Scholars

On War & Beheading: How ISIS Manipulates Hadiths, by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Refuting ISIS – Lecture by Syria’s Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi

Paris Attacks: Response and Responsibility

Islam’s stance on jihad

WATCH: Jihad, Revolt & Revolution In Islam (Shaykh Ahmed Saad & Shaykh Faraz Rabbani)

Jihad, Abrogation in the Quran & the “Verse of the Sword”

Understanding the Qur’anic Verse “Slay them wherever you find them”: Balance, Justice, and Mercy in Islamic Rules of Jihad

Understanding the Hadith, “I Was Ordered to Fight the People Until They Testify…”

The Menace of So-called “Jihad” – Imam Zaid Shakir

ISIS and the Apocalypse

The Crisis of ISIS: A Prophetic Prediction | Sermon by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

The root of ISIS ideology

The Root Problem Of Extremists – Shaykh Habib Ali Jifri

Who or What is a Salafi?

Who should we learn religion from?

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani answers the question: who do we take knowledge from?

Further reading

Refuting ISIS: A Rebuttal Of Its Religious And Ideological Foundations

The author, Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi, a renowned scholar and one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world today, presents in this invaluable book a thorough refutation of ISIS’ beliefs and crimes. Providing authentic quotes that destroy the allegations of ISIS, Shaykh Al-Yaqoubi reaches the conclusion that this group does not represent Islam, its declaration of a caliphate is invalid, and fighting it is an obligation upon Muslims.

Is the Knee Cap Included in the Minimum Nakedness?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam ‘aleykum,

(1)Is the knee cap included in the minimum nakedness in the Hanafi school?

(2)What is the minimum nakedness in the Shafi and Maliki school?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you well, insha’Allah.

The minimum nakedness (‘awra) in the Hanafi school is from below the navel to the bottom of the knee. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) is reported to have said, “The knee is from the nakedness.” [Daraqutni]

Accordingly, the entire knee is considered to be part of the nakedness in the Hanafi school, contrary to the Shafi​`​is and Malikis who don’t consider it to be​ as such.​ [Ibn Hajar, Tuhfat al-Muhtaj fi Sharh al-Minhaj; Dardir, al-Sharh al-Kabir]

Please also see:​ ​A Detailed Exposition of the Fiqh of Covering One’s Nakedness (awra) and: Covering the Nakedness for a Man: Answers

And Allah knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is It Permissible to Eat the Meat of an Animal Slaughtered by a Dull Blade? (Maliki)

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Assalamu Alaykum,

1. The brother who was slaughtering my goat did not realize that the blade was not sharp enough, until after the blade had already cut into the goat, so he continued with it. Does this make the meat of this animal impermissible?

2. Also, does the one slaughtering have to mention the name of Allah, or can a Christian slaughter the animal, while a Muslim standing with him mentions the name of Allah instead?

Answer: Wa alaykum as salam wa rahmatullah,

1. As long as the blade could cut through the skin, it will be permissible to eat. It is highly encouraged to have the blade be sharp, as it will prevent undue suffering of the animal.

2. For a Muslim, it is an obligation to mention the Name of Allah. For a person of the Book (Ahlul Kitab), it is not an obligation to mention the Name of Allah. There is no need to have a Muslim stand by and say it.

And Allah knows best.


Does Touching Pigskin Break Wudu? (Maliki)

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Assalamu Alaykum,

Concerning shoes with pig leather: if you have to touch the shoe to take the outer cover off, would that break your wudu?

It is quite difficult to find shoes without pigskin and I’m going a little OCD about this. What should I do?

Answer: Wa alaykum as salam wa rahmatullah,

It is not permissible for a person to use, wear or sell pig skin in the Maliki school. Touching pig skin does not break wudu in any situation. If a portion of the pig leather got on one’s body or clothes, that would have to be removed before prayer.

If you are not sure whether leather is from pig or not, it is considered pure until proven impure. If you find that you are experiencing “OCD” or waswasa, it is an obligation to do whatever is needed to remove those constant thoughts. You may take an opinion from another school or a weak opinion from within your school.

If the constant thoughts are interfering with your life, you may seek out help from a mental health professional.

And Allah knows best.


How Should I Position My Hand During Tashahud? (Maliki School)

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: Asalaamu Alaykum,

I read that Ibn Abi Zayd (Risalah) and Al-Azhari (Thamr Ad-Dani) said that the position in the Madhab is that one should point with his index finger uppermost (such that his palm faces the left) while moving his index finger left to right (Mukhtasar Khalil). Al-Kharashi explained that this is to make it look like a butcher’s knife (against the Shaytan) as Al-Baji said Sufyan reported this from Muslim ibn Abi Maryam.

Is it confirmed that this is how Malik or Ibn Qasim pointed in the Salah or did it come later from the Imams of the School?

Answer: Wa alaykum as salam wa rahmatullah,

Between Ibn Abi Zayd and Malik are four teachers. Ibn Abi Zayd took from Ibn Al Lubab who took from Al-Balwi who took from Ibn Habib and Shanun who took from Ash-hab and Ibn Al-Qasim who took from Malik. The strongest chain in the Maliki school is Sahnun from Ibn Al Qasim from Malik.

The positions mentioned in the Mukhtasar are taken from the Mudawwanna, it’s commentaries and many of the early mujtahideen of the madhab.

You may choose to look at those other sources but it will be difficult for them to contradict the strength of the above two sources. As you mentioned, the opinion of the palm facing the left is in the Risala and the Mukhtasar.

And Allah knows best.