Sun 20 Jm2 1435 - 20 April 2014
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He is not sure whether his sleep was deep or not; is his wudoo' invalid?

I read the answer number 36889 and knew that deep sleep invalidates the wudu’. Sometimes I sleep in the train or in the car and I can’t be sure if my sleep was deep or not. In this case is my wudu’ considered invalid?.

Praise be to Allaah.

If a Muslim does wudoo’, this wudoo' cannot be ruled invalid unless there is certainty that what invalidates wudoo' has occurred. Mere uncertainty -- even if this uncertainty is strong – does not mean that wudoo' is invalidated. 

Al-Bukhaari (137) and Muslim (361) narrated that a complaint was made to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) about when one thinks that something has happened whilst he praying. He said: “Do not stop until you hear a sound or notice a smell.” 

Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Sharh Saheeh Muslim

The words of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), “until you hear a sound or notice a smell” mean: until it is known that one of them is present; hearing and smelling are not conditions of wudoo’ being ruled invalid according to the consensus of the Muslims. 

This hadeeth is one of the basic matters of Islam and an important principle of fiqh, which is that things are ruled to remain as is until there is certainty to the contrary, and mere doubt does not affect them. An example of that is the issue in the chapter in which this hadeeth is narrated, namely: If a person is certain that he is in a state of purity and is uncertain as to whether it has been broken, then he is regarded as still being in a state of purity, and it makes no difference whether this uncertainty arises during the prayer or outside of prayer. This is our opinion and the opinion of the majority of scholars, both earlier and later. 

Our companion said: There is no difference between a case where his uncertainty is fifty-fifty and a case where he thinks that one or the other is more likely. He does not have to do wudoo' in either case. End quote. 

If he is uncertain as to whether his sleep was deep or not, then his wudoo’ is not invalidated thereby. 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 21/394:  

The kind of sleep in which a person is uncertain as to whether he broke wind or not does not invalidate wudoo’, because purity is established and certain, and cannot be removed by uncertainty. End quote. 

And Allah knows best.

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