Is Rinsing One’s Nose Obligatory?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


I experienced a blocked nostril for the Fajr prayer, so I improvised by using my palm to block one nostril while rinsing water into the other. This method was successful, as I observed water coming from my nostrils. However, to ensure thorough purification, I also briefly inserted a wet finger into my nostril. I assumed this would be adequate, especially since I had to redo my wudu (ablution) afterwards. Please advise me on whether I need to repeat my prayer.


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

May Allah guide every dimension of our lives to that which pleases Him.

Based on your description, your ablution and prayer were valid, and there is no need to repeat the prayer. Washing the nose and sniffing water up the nostrils are Sunna (recommended) in ablution according to the Shafi‘i School, and Allah knows best.

The Integrals of Ablution

Ablution has six obligatory integrals:

  • to have the intention when one starts washing the face;
  • to wash the face;
  • to wash the arms up to and including the elbows;
  • to wipe a little of the head with wet hands;
  • to wash the feet up to and including the anklebones;
  • and to do these things in the order mentioned.

The sunnas of ablution are all its actions besides the above. [Nawawi, Minhaj al-Talibin]

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.