Thursday 9 Shawwal 1445 - 18 April 2024

Is wudu valid if the limb is only wiped with water?


When wiping over the hijab I put my hands under its edges so as to reach the edges of the face that must be washed when doing wudu. Is that sufficient? Because some people have told me that this is regarded as wiping and not washing the face.


Praise be to Allah.

What is required in wudu is to wash the face with water, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! When you intend to offer As-Salat (the prayer), wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows…” [al-Maa’idah 5:6]. 

Washing means pouring water over the part of the body; just wiping it is not sufficient. 

Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: It is stipulated when washing the parts of the body that the water should flow over them; if the water touches but does not flow, then his purification is not valid. Our companions are agreed on this."(Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, 1/491). 

And he (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The Muslims are unanimously agreed that the water that is acceptable in wudu and ghusl is not a specific amount; rather a little or a lot may suffice if the condition of washing is met, which is that the water should flow over the parts of the body."(Sharh Saheeh Muslim, 2/20)

Al-Bahooti (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Proper washing means making the water reach all of the part of the body being washed, so that it flows over it; it is not sufficient just to wipe it."(Daqaa’iq Ooli an-Nuha, 1/88)

To sum up: in order for wudu to be valid, the water must flow over the part of the body in question – apart from the head. But if the water does not flow on the part of the body, and he merely transfers what is left on his hand of water, then that is wiping, in which case his wudu is not valid. 

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A