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Is It Obligatory to Wash the Area Under the Chin for My Wudu to Be Valid?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

Is it obligatory to wash the area under the chin for my wudu to be valid?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

No, it is not necessary to wash underneath the chin, namely the area which is not considered to be part of the face, because the command to wash applies only to the face itself.

However, the jurists define the limits of the face as being from the top of the forehead till the bottom of the chin, and from earlobe to earlobe. Thus, it is necessary to wash this area in its entirety, without being lax or excessive.

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And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Is the area under the chin from the nakedness of a woman?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question: Until recently I was under the impression that the area bellow the Chin of a woman is not awrah. Occasionally I have seen some ladies covering that part of their face and thought they are most probably being cautious. But I heard it from a “major female scholar” that this part women are supposed to cover as it is not considered part of the face which we hanafi women are allowed to show. I have been praying, as well as making up years of my prayers for a long time now, without covering that part. Does it mean all my prayers until now would be considered invalid and I have to make them all up again as well as the make ups that I have been doing?
Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Walaikum assalam,
I asked Mufti Mahmoud Ashraf Usmani about this last year: He said that the scholars do not emphasize that the area under the chin is necessarily from the awrah that must be covered, because of the difficulty of covering it (and the wide hardship in insisting on such a ruling).
However, it would seem to fall under the legal definition of awra. Therefore, one should try to cover it. Many scholars emphasize it strongly.
I had asked Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah preserve him in good health and spirit), about this a few years ago. He said that the area should be covered, but because it is small in area, and little of it is generally visible from the sides, it would not invalidate the prayer if left uncovered.
And Allah knows best, and He alone gives success.
Wassalam,
Faraz.