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.

Using a Menstrual Cup

Shaykh Jamir Meah is asked about the permissibility of using menstrual cups.

I would like to ask a question regarding menstrual cups and if a Hanafi women can use one while on her period. Menstrual cups are inserted into the vagina to collect blood and can be re-used which makes them very eco-friendly and better for the environment than disposable sanitary products. Is it permissible to use it in any of the four schools of thought?

Thank you for your question.

In the Shafi‘i school, tampons, cotton wool inserts (hashu), and by extension, menstrual cups, are permitted to use (without dislike), during menstruation or abnormal vaginal bleeding (istihada). At times, using the above maybe be obligatory. This is irrespective of whether the woman is a virgin or not. (Al-Hawashi al Madaniyya, Tuhfat al-Muhtaj)

In the Hanafi school, using a tampon and it’s similar would be disliked (makruh) and best to avoid, especially for unmarried women. For more details on the Hanafi position, please refer to this comprehensive answer.

Scholars of both schools hold that if there is a proven harm in using the tampon for women (and likewise the menstrual cup), then it would be impermissible to use it, and a safe alternative must be found.

Warmest salams,

Jamir

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Purity and Judging Pigskin

Ustadh Farid Dingle gives guidance on prayer and items made of pigskin.

I have been using a leather wallet and recently found out that it is made of pig skin leather. I have performed some prayers while this wallet was in my pocket. Will I have to repeat such prayers? 

Jazakum Allah khayr.

The Short Answer

Please see Praying with a pig-leather wallet… do I have to make up such prayers?

General Advice

Please bear in mind that the default on everything is purity until proven 100% otherwise. A “guesstimate” from a non-specialist that the leather is actually pig leather (and not peccary leather, for example) is not sufficient. You should be genuinely sure that it is indeed pigskin, and be wary of being OCD about everything and anything.

Also, in the future, you should actively ask what type of leather the item you are buying is made of. Pigskin is common in gloves and the insides of shoes.

Guiding Others

Oftentimes, we ask question for others, others who look up to us for guidance, but don’t necessarily have to drive to find out what is right and wrong, or even apply what we have to say to them.

We have to be understanding and merciful, but that doesn’t mean we have to bend the truth or water-down Allah’s religion.

That said, in this particular case, if you did find out that you had definitely prayed many years of prayers wearing or carrying filth, there is a strong position in the Shafi‘i school that says that the prayer does not have to be repeated. (Rawda al-Talibin, al-Nawawi)

This is in addition to the fact that there is some debate over pigskin being pure or not. (Hashiyat al-Tahtawi; al-Mabsut, Sarakhsi; al-Sharh al-Kabir, Dardir) You could guide others of less religious resolve to follow such an opinion in retrospect so that they do not have to make up such prayers. This do not entail that one could go ahead and knowingly use pigskin in the future.

Our religion is based on objective knowledge and genuine keenness to do what Allah wants us to do. It is between strictness and ease, and does not turn into inflexible harshness any more than it does into a lackadaisical neglect. We should be as strict on ourselves (within reason) as we can; and yet be as soft as possible with others as long it doesn’t spoil what they already have of resolve.

Imam al-Bayhaqi quotes one the Early Muslims saying: “Trials in religion are three: the trial of the common man is in the loss of religious knowledge, the trial of the learned is in the existence of dispensations and alternative interpretations, and the trial of those who know and appreciate [Allah] is in having a duty to be done at a particular time and then delaying it.” He also quotes another saying, “Whoever wants to do nothing and be nothing, let him see well to following [all sorts of] dispensations.” (Shuab al-Iman, al-Bayhaqi)

It is worth noting the al-Bayhaqi’s book is called the The Branches of Faith. That is to say the these points guide us in helping our faith grow and come to full fruition. This is what our religion is about, and something that we should always be working on.

I pray this helps.

Farid

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.


Speaking in the Bathroom

Shaykh Farid Dingle is asked about the permissibility of speaking in a place that is built for relieving oneself such as a bathroom.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

What is the ruling in the Shafi‘i school about speaking beside the sink in a bathroom if one is far from the toilet?

Jazak Allah khayr.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

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

Speaking in a place built for relieving oneself is permissible does not any name of Allah or any other noble name, and one is not in the process of relieving oneself. This is the position of Ibn Hajar al Haytami. According to a number of other late Shafi‘i scholars, it would still be offensive. (Al-Hawashi al-Madaniyya)

That said, given that the discussions of the Shafi’i on this topic revolve around ‘a place build for relieving oneself’ or ‘a filthy place’, are modern bathrooms, that are built both for relieving oneself and for washing, especially large ones that are kept clean—are they really the same as what our scholars were talking about?

The default is that they are. However, what we have seen and heard from some modern Shafi‘i scholars is that by being at a distance from the toilet itself, or by the toilet seat being down, they no longer consider a person to be in a place built for relieving oneself or “a filthy place,” and hence they do not find any problem in speaking or even saying Allah’s name or the like in such places.

So in answer to the question, the default is that either permissible or offensive, as mentioned above, to talk next to a sink in a bathroom with a toilet. However, it may well be simply permissible given the nature of certain modern bathrooms.

And Allah knows best.

Farid

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.


How Do I Clean Pre-Sexual Fluid That Is on the Floor? (Shafi’i)

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

How do I clean pre-sexual fluid that is on the floor (Shafi’i)?

Answer: Assalam ‘alaykum. Thank you for your question.

Pre-sexual fluid, madhy, is considered a medium impurity (najasa mutawassita). The way a medium impurity is cleaned depends on what is present of the impurity.

The Three Types of Impurities

Impurities are of three types:

1. Heavy impurities (najasa mughalladha): This is moist contact from a dog or a pig.

2. Light impurities (najasa mukhaffafa): This is the urine of an infant less than two year old, with conditions.

3. Medium impurities (najasa mutawassita): This is all other impurities, such as madhy, alcohol, urine etc.

Cleaning Medium Impurities

When cleaning medium impurities one first observes what is present of the impurity. In this regards there are also two types of impurities:

1. Perceptible Impurity (najasa ‘ainiyya): This is that which has a body, or has the qualities of taste, or smell, or colour (some or all).

2. Imperceptible Impurity (najasa hukmiyya): This is that which there is no body of filth, and there is no taste, smell, or colour to it. For example, the impurity may have dried and become undetectable.

To wash perceptible impurity, one must first remove any body of the filth. If all of its qualities (smell, taste, and colour) have been removed as well, then one simply pours clean water over the area.

If the smell, colour, or taste remains, then ones must keep washing with water. If water alone is not enough one must use soap or similar substances if one expects it will remove the filth. After removing the body and qualities of filth, one removes any soap used either by wiping (with tissue or a cloth for example) or washing and draining it away, and then one pours clean water over the area. It is not obligatory to wring out the area, but it is recommended.

To wash imperceptible impurity, it suffices to simply pour water over the area, such that the water runs over the area, even if one does this just once.

[Bushra al Karim, Nail al Raja]

In conclusion, determine the area in which the madhy is and observe whether it falls under the category of perceptible impurity or imperceptible impurity, and then wash accordingly.

May Allah purify our limbs and hearts from all forms of impurities.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

How to Avoid to Spread Filth When Washing My Hands?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

1. When washing my hands that have najasah on them, does the water that splashes from my hands onto the sides of the sink become dirty or remain clean?

2. One opinion says that madhi (pre-ejeculate) is impure, but is then considered Pure when mixed with mani (semen), because foreplay is a recommended act, and madhi comes from foreplay, and mani comes from orgasm.

In other words, at the beginning of intimacy, madhi exits, and then later mani exits, so can both the fluids be taken as pure in this instance, according to Shafi fiqh?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

Shukran for your question.

Water and soap that comes in contact with najasah is contaminated with najasah and consequently najis. If you observe this contaminated water splashing on the sides of your basin or on the floor of your shower, then it should be washed away. Please note that all it would require to wash that najasah away, is to pour clean water over it. If however, you have not observed contaminated water splashing anywhere, and merely have doubts that it may or may not have splashed, then there is no need to wash that area. The default ruling is that an area is considered pure until you have certainty that it has been contaminated.

Regarding the question of madhi. Madhi or pre-ejaculate is impure while mani or semen is pure.

What may be causing some confusion here is the fact that semen is made up of two components, 1. sperm which looks like a tadpole and 2. pre-ejaculate. The question thus is, why is pre-ejaculate considered impure individually, but pure when combined with sperm to make semen? And the answer is found in the legal maxim that reads, “the follower receives the ruling of that which it follows”. When pre-ejaculate exists alone it is impure; when it is combined or follows sperm, which is pure, it receives the ruling of that which it follows, and is thus considered pure as well.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.

Should I Repeat My Prayers After Realizing My Hairdresser Owns a Dog?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I am a shafii, recently it has come to my realization that the hair dresser I have been going to for years owns a dog and sometimes brings the dog into the shop. I have not seen her touching the dog with wet hands. I am worried that my hair has been contaminated with filth. I am worried my prayer for many years may not count.

What should I do?

Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam

Thank you for your question.

The default rule or maxim in relations to possible contamination with najasah, is purity until definite contamination is established. The maxim reads, “certainty will not be removed through doubt”.

Since it’s established that whenever you entered the hairdresser you were in a state of purity, with certainty, and that there is doubt whether your hair was contaminated or not, the above rule and maxim means that your would have maintained a state of purity. Consequently, there is not need to worry about further contamination at your home. Also, while the Maliki position may be a viable alternative, there is no need to depart from your madhhab in this instance.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Shaykh Abdurragmaan
received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.