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Search Fatawaa

Subject : Scholars` Difference as to whether Wudoo` is Invalidated by Touching a Woman or not

Fatwa Number : 1895

Date : 21-07-2011

Classified : "Ablution "Wudhou

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

Does touching wife without desire invalidate Wudoo`?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Touching wife is amongst the famous matters on which scholars of the four juristic schools have differed since apparentlythere is some conflictingevidence stated in this regard. Each school held on to the view it arrived at from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet {PBUH}, and all of them have done their Ijtihad (Logical reasoning) and we pray that Allah rewards them for that. Shafie scholars said that if a man touches his wife or a non-Mahram woman, his Wudoo` is invalidated, even if he touched her without a desire. They have based their opinion on the following verse: "If ye are in a state of ceremonial impurity, bathe your whole body. But if ye are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from offices of nature, or ye have been in contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands" {Al-Ma`idah, 6}.

Al-Imam Al-Shaafie interpreted "Lamstum An-Nisaa`" as touching the skin of women, even without an intercourse, for many reasons. Some of these are: First: Allah, The Almighty, has mentioned the word (Janabah: state of ceremonial impurity) at the beginning of the verse, then mentioned Lams An-Nisaa`(contacting women) after (J`aahadukum min Al-Gha`it: coming from the offices of nature). This indicated that touching women is similar to the minor impurity (Al-Gha`it) and that differs from Janabah. Therefore, the intended meaning is touching women with the hand and not having intercourse with them.

Second: In the Arabic language, the apparent meaning is that {Laamasa}is from {Lamas} meaning,"touched", as mentioned in another style of Quranic recitation. Both verbs mean skin touching skin. Allah, The Almighty, Said (What means): "they could touch it with their hands"{Al-An`am, 7}.

Third: The following Hadith: "Yahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from Salim ibn Abdullah that his father Abdullah ibn Umar used to say: "A man's kissing his wife and fondling her with his hands are part of intercourse. Someone who kisses his wife or fondles her with his hand must do wudu." [Muwatta` Malik].

However, Hanafie scholars have disagreed with this view by saying that touching a woman-wife, Mahram or non-Mahram-never invalidates Wudoo`, whether he touched herwith or without desire. Al-Sarkhasi, a Hanafi scholar, said, "It isn`t imperative to make Wudoo` after kissing or touching a woman."{Al-Mabsoot,vol.1/pp.121}. Hanafi scholars have based their view on the following evidence:

First: In principle, purity is valid unless there is a clear text proving otherwise.

Second: There are many authentic Hadiths indicating that the Prophet (PBUH) haven`t done Wudoo` after he touched Aisha {May Allah be pleased with her}. Narrated `Aisha' the wife of the Prophet: "I used to sleep in front of Allah's Messenger (PBUH) with my legs opposite his Qibla (facing him); and whenever he prostrated, he pushed my feet and I withdrew them and whenever he stood, I stretched them." `Aisha added: "In those days there were no lamps in the houses." {Related by Bukhari& Muslim}.In addition, Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: "One night I missed the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) from his bed. I searched for him. When I found him he was in bowing or prostrating posture and was reciting: Subhanakawa bi hamdika. La ilahailla Anta (You are free from imperfection and I begin praising You. There is no true god except You)." Another narration is: "My hand fell over his feet while he was in prostration with his feet erect. He was supplicating: "Allahummainnia'udhubiridaka min sakhatika, wa bi-mu'afatika min 'uqubatika, waa'udhubikaminka, la uhsithana'an 'alaika, Anta kamaathnaita 'alaNafsika (O Allah! I seek protection against Your Wrath in Your Pleasure. I seek protection in Your Pardon against Your chastisement, I am not capable of enumerating praise of You. You are as You have lauded Yourself)." {Related by Muslim}.

Third: Touching women {Al-Lams} mentioned in the verse: " or ye have been in contact with women," is interpreted as having intercourse. This is similar to the verse in which Allah Said about Mary: " when no man hath touched me" {Al-Imran, 47}.

Moreover, Maliki and Hanbali scholars have reconciled the evidence presented by the Shafi and Hanafi schools of thought. They said: The touching that invalidates Wudoo` is when the skin of a man contacts that of a woman with desire, and this is what is intended in the afore verse. But, if there is no desire-as reflected in the Hadiths narrated by Aisha-then Wudoo` isn`t invalidated. Kindly check the following reliable books of the Maliki and Hanbali schools: [Hashiat Ad-Dusookhi, vol.1/pp.411], [SharehMontaha Al-Eradat, vol.1/pp.73] and [Al-Moghni,vol.1/pp.142] by Ibn Qhodamah.

The Iftaa` Department adopts the Shafie view since it is the safest opinion indicated by the apparent meaning of the verse: "or ye have been in contact with women." As for the Hadith narrated by Aisha, An-Nawawi said: "The Prophet (PBUH) touched Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) from behind a barrier, but this doesn`t mean that his Wudoo` wasn`t invalidated. {Shareh Muslim, vol.4/pp.230}. And Allah Knows Best.



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