Islamic Studies

Did I Break My Wudu?

Did I Break My Wudu?

Asalamu alaykum,

Imam Saab:

I pray in a masjid close to campus and usually get their after classes, pray my Zuhur Namaz, then sit and wait for the Asr Salat. I’m very tired and most of the time I fall asleep, but not to the point where I’m not aware what’s going on around me. Is it incumbent upon me to make abolition before I pray again?

The Answer:

Asalamu alaykum,

Imam Ibn ‘Ashir states in The Guiding Helper:

نواقض الوضوء ستة عشر…………………….
وغائظ نوم ثقيل مذى

“The invalidators of wudu are sixteen………………
“[Natural] defecation, heavy sleep and pre-ejaculate

In the text above the author identifies one of the invalidators of wūdu as “heavy sleep.”  Therefore, it is not incumbent upon you to make wūdu again because you did not fall into a deep slumber. What you experienced is light sleep.

Sheikh al-Fasī, in his abbreviated explanation of the Guiding Helper, says that light sleep does not invalidate one’s wūdu. He notes that light sleep occurs when one is aware of what is happening around him- if something falls from his hand [and he realizes it], or if people were chatting next to him and he was aware of their chatter.

It is recommended to renew your wūdu if your light sleep lasts long

Al-Fasī al-Malikī states, “It is recommended for a person to renew his wūdu if his light sleep lasted long.”

Allah knows best


About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010.

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  • السلام عليكم ورحمتالله

    Is not one of the conditions also that you must be sitting up while sleeping, in such a way that whatever you lean on can be removed and you would not fall? I remember reading this in some scholarly work.

    جزاك الله خير for the clarification.

  • Salam ustadh Suhaib,

    Can you mention the source for this actually, who is shaykh al-Fasi al-Maliki? Thanks, jazzak Allah.

    Take care wa salam,

    your brother Harun

  • Can somebody ‘Please’ tell me about clear pre ejaculation for a man and what it implies for wuddu.
    Do we have to rinse or have a full shower?
    Do we merely do wuddu again or change underwear, shorts etc?
    It has been driving me mad. Thankyou in advance.

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