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Uncertainty Ruining my Prayers

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat gives advice on how to deal with uncertainty about wudu and purity when one has chronic gas troubles.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I know that Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said that in case of doubt, wudu doesn’t break unless one hears the sounds or finds smell. My problem is that, most of the time, I have gas in my stomach and this is the default state. This gas is accompanied with sound, so most of the time I can’t figure out if this sound is from stomach only or my wudu actually broke.

The problem is due to the confusion caused by sound, which causes to me to do wudu multiple times for a prayer, and my entire day passes like that, trying to complete my prayers.

Sometimes it takes an hour to offer four rakas. I remain so occupied with this affair that I find very little time for my worldly duties and my life is all messed up due to this. Please tell me what should I do?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Basing Rulings on Certainty

If you cannot distinguish when you have broken your wudu through sound then you should disregard it – unless you are certain that a particular sound is of wind exiting. Scholars mention the legal maxim ‘Certainty is not removed by doubt’ for situations like this (Zarqa, Sharh al-Qawa’id al-Fiqhiyya). Otherwise, just rely on smell, and other certainties.

It may also be of benefit to familiarise yourself with the rulings related to chronic excuses from our answers section.

Practice of the Religion Is Easy

The Messenger of Allah told us that “Practice of] the religion is ease [itself].” (Bukhari). Do not feel overwhelmed. This is a test, so you should turn to Allah through supplication, salat al haja, and other means and ask for this difficulty to be removed.

Taking the Means to a Solution

Please refer to this answer for possible solutions. Traditional Chinese Medicine is quite effective in dealing with you issues. I have known people to have gut issues due to stress and trauma. Perhaps looking into a therapy which deals with psychosomatic issues, like EFT, will help. There are all means; Allah is the one who makes things happen in reality. Ask Him for help.

May Allah facilitate the matter for you. Amin.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


How Should I Deal With Frequent Flatulences Regarding the Prayer?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

My doctor says I might be suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This is the reason behind my frequent flatulence. I asked a sheikh about my wudu problem, and he advised that I need to make only one wudu for every prayer. I understood and have been doing that, but now a doubt has appeared in my mind.

The doubt is that some wind must come out because I am not holding strong enough.

Should I hold it with all my strength? How would I know that I have tried my best?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Ignore misgivings.

If you hear or smell something, you should repeat your ritual ablution (wudu) and prayer. Otherwise, you should continue praying and assume that nothing happened.

There are some specifics related to establishing and maintaining an excused status. (See: The Fiqh of Chronic Excuses and Ablution)

Please also see: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings) and:How Should I Deal With Chronic Gas Problems in Prayer?

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Flatulence Problem and Praying in Congregation

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: I have a flatulence problem but the problem is not bad enough to establish a chronic excuse so i would like your advice in what i should do in certain cicumstances. [1] If i feel the urge to release wind during jamat i leave the jamat and i feel embarassed. Should i feel embarrassed? or this a wrong feeling to have because i should only be concerned with Allah Most High and not what other people think. [2] And i have read that if one feels the urge to break wind during prayer one should leave the jamat and break wind and then do wudu and then rejoin jamat. I would like to ask if we can leave the prayer in jamat and then wait until the urge goes away and then rejoin the prayer and carry on? Is this not better because then we can make sure that we have read with jamat? [3] Also when i feel the flatulence worse at a particular time i won’t go to the masjid to pray with jamat, is this a mitigating circumstance or should i still strive to pray with jamat in the masjid?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.
[1] If you need to relieve yourself in such a way, you should leave the prayer, renew your ablution, and then rejoin. If you are in such a situation, you should put your hand over your mouth and nose pretending to have a nose bleed or some other similar issue.
[2] No, you should remain in the prayer and ignore the urges. Unless it becomes overwhelming or you are certain that something will exit, you should not leave the prayer.
[3] Yes, you should still try to make the congregation if it is reasonably possible. The sunna for men is to pray in congregation and unless you are certain otherwise, mere suppositions and doubts should not prevent you from doing so.
If it is a recurring issue, seek some medical attention, constantly turn to Allah in asking for this to be lifted from you, and realize “When Allah desires good for someone, He afflicts him.” [Bukhari]
And Allah alone gives success.
Wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

When Do I Make Wudu When I Have a Chronic Excuse?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I am a person who has a problem of constant breakdown of wudu. So, due to this reason I perform the wudu once when the time of prayer begins and pray as much as I want till the end of prayer time. At the time when my wudu breaks most after using the toilet, at that time can I do wudu once at the beginning of prayer time and pray as much as I want till the end of prayer time? Can I do this at situations such as when paying in school because at that time I cannot go to toilet or other situations when if I go to toilet then my prayer may become qada.

 

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

If you are considered excused (ma`dhur), you would perform the ablution for each prayer. (Please see here: The Fiqh of Chronic Excuses and Ablution

Otherwise, you must wait until the traces of urine have ended before praying. Please use the following guidelines as mentioned in this article: What Should I Do About Left Over Drops of Urine?

a. After using the toilet, wait a few moments to make sure all remaining drops exit,
b. Squeeze and slightly twist the private part,
c. Wipe the private part with toilet paper,
d. Wash the private part with water three or so times, as mentioned in the Maraqi al-Falah, and
e. Sprinkle water onto your clothes and private parts.

After this, any doubts of urine being admixed with the water can be and should be ignored.

Please see: Chronic Gas Problems and Consistent Flatulence and Tarawih Prayer

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Consistent Flatulence and Tarawih Prayer

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I suffer from consistent flatulence.  Every year during Ramadan I get discouraged from taraweeh, tahajjud, and reading the Qur’an due to the extreme flatulence I experience. I know I am suppose to disregard doubts but sometimes i might be like 70 to 99% sure i passed gas. keeping my wudu during taraweeh gets so difficult that i end up missing a lot of rakats due to consistent gas.  Please advise me.

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

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

We have a legal principle: Certainty is not lifted by doubt. Hence anything short of certainty should be completely ignored. Period.

When it comes to misgivings (waswasa), Khadimi, the commentator of the Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya, said that even strong doubts are not acted upon. Being ‘almost certain’ is not the same as certainty. From now on, unless you hear or smell something, assume nothing happened.

If it is easier to keep your ablution (wudu) and pray sitting for tarawih prayers, then you should do so.

Don’t lose heart as this is exactly what the devil wants. Realize that Allah is calling you to his mercy, forgiveness and Paradise. Take from the blessed nights of Ramadan.

It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Every night, when a third of the night remains, Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, descends to the lowest heaven saying, ‘Is there anyone calling on Me that I may answer him? Is there anyone asking anything of Me that I may give it to him? Is there anyone asking forgiveness of Me that I may forgive him?'” [Bukhari]

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani