Permanent Dental Retainer and Wudu

Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan is asked about the validity of wudu and ghusl when wearing a permanent retainer.

I have a permanent retainer fixed to my top teeth. If they are removed my teeth will move.

In the past I have committed sins but now I want to do the right thing.

In terms of prayers will my wudu be valid with the fixed retainer? Before having the fixed braces put in I wasn’t making ghusl and had the bad habit. Does that mean I will not be in a state of purity unless the permanent brace is removed?

I don’t want my teeth to move, but I want my prayers, wudu, and ghusl to be accepted too.

Shukran for your question.

The presence of a retainer in your mouth does not impact the validity or invalidity of your wudu or ghusl.

In the Shafi‘i and Maliki schools, rinsing ones mouth (madmadah) in wudu and ghusl is not compulsory, but recommended. Even if you were to omit the madmadah all together, your wudu and gusl will still be valid.

In addition, it is not a requirement that the entire inside of the mouth be rinsed during madmadah. Accordingly, madmadah will be valid with the presence of retainers or braces in one’s mouth.

And Allah knows best.

Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

OCD Causing Hardship with Impurities

Ustadh Salman Younas advises on how to deal with impurities when suffering from OCD.

I have been struggling with OCD for the past few years. It’s mainly obsessive thoughts about impurities (najas).  I have read that certain things that are considered najis in the Hanafi madhab aren’t najas in, for example, the Maliki maddhab.

My life would become easier if I could consider less things to be impure since I am very afraid of touching impure things. Is it possible to follow the ruling of other madhabs when it comes to things being impure?

Yes, this would be permitted and particularly if there is a genuine reason to do so in cases of hardship.

Leading Sunni scholars have stated that it is not obligatory for a person to follow a single madhhab on every issue. Rather, he may follow different schools on different issues so long as he does not systematically seek out dispensations, or combine opinions in a way where the end action is one unacceptable in all schools. (Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar)

In your case, if your OCD makes it difficult for you to deal with certain types of impurities, you may treat them as pure if there are other opinions stating so, to avoid the mental anguish that comes with OCD. However, I would advise you to only do this as a temporary solution until you are able to overcome your OCD.

For this, you should seek professional help and advice, and, for the time being, avoid the more technical aspects of fiqh. Rather, focus on the very basics and don’t overburden yourself with details, which might aggravate your situation.

Salman

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Excusable Filth in the Four Madhhabs

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat answers a series of questions about the excusable amount of filth according to the four madhhabs.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I have a big problem. I suffer from OCD. It’s driving me crazy. I need to know how much filth (najasa) is excusable. I know what the four Madhhabs say about excusable amounts of filth for prayer, but I don’t know which is the best and correct position.

Sometimes when urinating I feel a tiny drop on my foot or when I’m washing myself I feel used water drop on my feet but when I check my feet, I don’t see anything. The Shafi‘is say that tiny drops we cannot see are excused and they think its true.

Please tell me which madhhab’s position is true and please explain why? And please tell me if the water of istinja is impure? (Water flows while I’m washing myself.) It doesn’t seem so to me, because there is more water than urine, so the color and smell doesn’t change.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

The Four Schools of Law

All of the four schools of law are correct, because they are based on sound understandings of the the greatest scholars of the Umma. These scholars had the highest levels of knowledge, understanding, and ability. They did not make rulings up; rather they interpreted the Qurʾan and the Sunna to give the the rulings of the Shariʿa.

So if they are all valid, and all their rulings are correct, which one should you choose to follow? The answer is, the easier one for you, and the one which you can easily learn and apply.

I personally feel that the Hanafi school is very easy to learn; and there is a lot of flexibility in the rulings relating to purity. I think the Shafi‘i is slightly harder in this matter. See which school you can easily learn with local scholars or with a course at SeekersGuidance, and apply it.

Purity

As for the water for istinja, you cannot tell if it is actually impure. Also the fact that it is flowing means it is pure as long as the colour, smell or taste of impurity do not show. You can assume the drops are pure. Even small drops of urine in situations like this are excused (Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab; Shurubnulali, Maraqi al-Falah).

I advise you to learn a school with a qualified scholar, and have your questions on purity answered. Also, please look at our OCD archives and get some therapy if you need it to get over the issue.

May Allah facilitate every good for you in this world and the next.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Dried White Substance in One’s Underwear

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat is asked about finding dried white substance or discharge in one’s underwear after prayer and how to deal with this.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

What should one do in the event when one finds dried white substance in one’s underwear? There have been numerous occasions when I have prayed and then gone to the bathroom only to find this.

What are the correct methods of cleaning and does one have to repeat prayer?

Shukran.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Practical Steps to Ascertain Validity

You can, in general, assume that your prayers are valid. The default assumption with anything that breaks your wudu (Hadath) is that it happened at the earliest possible moment (Ibn Nujaym, Al Ashbah wa al Nazaʾir). Meaning, if you see some dried discharge on your clothes you should ask “When is the last possible moment it could have come out and dried?”

The discharge you see is most likely prostatic fluid (wadi). Let us assume that after the initial discharge it takes ten minutes to dry. So, the next time you see this discharge on your underwear, you can assume it occurred ten minutes before that.

Then you should see how much there is. If it is more than the excused amount, and you prayed in the last ten minutes, you should repeat the prayer. If it is less than that, and therefore excused, you assume that your prayer is valid, and carry on with your life.

Excused Impurities

The amount of impurity which is excused for the purpose of the prayer is equivalent the circular depression in the middle of an outstretched palm. This is roughly equal to a £2 coin.

Impurities on your body which, when accumulated, would be less than this amount, do not affect the validity of the prayer. It is, however, superior to remove them before praying.

Removing the impurities is simple. You can wash the discharge under a tap, or by pouring water on it. When the impurity disappears the garment is considered to be pure.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


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.

Question:

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.

Answer:

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.

Wassalam,

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.

Rami

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