Wudu questions

3 years 6 months ago #550 by Anwar
Replied by Anwar on topic Wudu questions
Why the need for so much detail? Wudu' just means to wash in order to cleanse. The Quran tells us what to wash. Some believe in pouring water directly onto the feet or immersing the feet like the hands because of the concept of ghusl, Some see only wiping, but as long as they are wiping their feet clean with wet hands, why does this matter. The point is tahaarah or cleanliness. This should be done to clean ourselves of general filth. But if we have recently taken a bath and have not been exposed to filth or unhygenic conditions like excessive sweath, blood, food residues, dirt, dust, or the like why clean yourself again before prayer?

Why does going to the bathroom break the state of cleanliness if one washes ones privates after going to the bathroom and ones hands after touching one's privates?

Why does cleanly passing gas (with no fecal residue) constitute a problem? Aside from trying to avoid unpleasant smells in the prayer area or distraction with bodily sounds, why do we have to wash as the Quran say again just after cleanly passing gas?

Why is it obligatory to sniff water up the nose and rinse one's mouth. Aside from being highly encourages because of cleanliness, breath and mouth health, like the miswaak, why is this obligatory? This inside of your mouth and nose is no more part of your face then the inside of your ears are apart of your head. Or your eyeballs part of your face. Should we be rinsing our eyeballs as well?

I know these are hard questions. I don't mean to be rude. But shouldn't our deen be base don the Quran and logic first and foremost. Shouldn't the hadeeth we follow be confirmed and sure, i.e., tawaatur? And should't they add only in a way that they don't command what has not already been commanded in the Quran? Rather they should give us perspective as to how the Quran can be interpreted without violating consistent logic and the Quran itself. And shouldn't what isn't confirmed by tawaatur, having the possiblity of being false, only be followed and encourage if based on clear wisdom, benefit and logic, and even still not be made obligatory because of the possibility of its falsehood.

Seeking the Yaqeen in this vast ocean of our deen,

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3 years 6 months ago #551 by Anwar
Replied by Anwar on topic Wudu questions
I have one more question about ightisaal or ghusl of the whole body after sexual intercourse. Why? Isn't it enough to bathe and cleanse the parts that were soiled and around that area? If the whole body was soiled then bathe the whole body. If the whole body is clearly not soiled then why bathe the whole body? Why not just bathe the soiled parts of the body? Just as when one relieves him/herself.

Why not tell the people:

"So bathe the soiled parts of the body and Quranic wudoo' if those parts (hands, arms, face, feet) must be bathed as well. Or bathe the whole body if the body has been soiled in many parts so that it is impractical to just bath certain parts without spreading or possibly overlooking the impurities."

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3 years 5 months ago - 3 years 5 months ago #553 by Imam Rassi Society
Replied by Imam Rassi Society on topic Wudu questions

Thank you for your questions! I think that the root of your confusion lies in the difference between the literal (haqiqi) meaning of an Arabic word and its technical usage (istalahaat). Basically, we cannot apply the literal meaning to every word we encounter because it would lead to confusion. For example, the literal meaning of salaat simply refers to supplication or dua. However, the technical meaning refers to the various postures and sequence, recitation of Qur'an, bowings, prostrations, etc. If we were to apply the literal meaning of salaat to every instance it appears in the Qur'an, it would lead to a host of problems. That withstanding, the word wudu has a literal meaning and a technical meaning. The literal meaning is as you said "to wash," and the technical meaning refers to the act of washing and wiping the various limbs with the intent to purify oneself for worship.

The purpose of the wudu is not simply to clean from physical filth as you surmise. Instead, the purpose of wudu is to ritually purify one for the prayer and other acts of worship. If the purpose of wudu was simply cleanliness, then why would the alternative (i.e. tayammum) incorporate the use of dust? Similarly, the word tahaara literally means "cleanliness" but the technical meaning is "ritual purity."

Anyways, the difference between washing and wiping in the Arabic language is very clear. Passing the wet hand over a limb is wiping; however, pouring water on the limb and rubbing is washing. Immersion without rubbing is insufficient. Having a knowledge of the haqqiqi and istalahaat meanings are essential to understand our sacred law.

We perform the ritual wudu before the prayer because we are commanded to in the Qur'an. If one were to bathe or shower before the prayer and perform the ritual wudu in the shower, one's wudu will be sound as long as the essentials are covered.

Going to the bathroom does not break the state of cleanliness, rather it breaks one's state of ritual purity. There is a difference as I mentioned. As for the Quranic proof that relieving oneself breaks one's state of ritual purity, please refer to the verse: {O ye who believe! when ye prepare for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; Rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles. 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} (Q. 5:6). The ruling is derived from this verse. The verse begins by stating that to approach the prayer, one is to perform the ritual ablution with water. Then the verse goes on to say that in the absence of water, if one is ill, travelling, relieved oneself or had contact with women, one is to use high, pure earth and wipe the face and hands with it. If it were a matter of simply using the dust to clean impurities, why would the Qur'an specify the face and forearms only with specifying cleaning the place of filth with it? Rather, the performance of the tayammum takes the place of the wudu and ghusl as an act of ritual purification. This is the only explanation that makes sense. Since one is requested to perform the tayammum if one is ill, travelling, relieved one self or had intercourse with women in the absence of water, it logically follows that one is to perform the wudu or ghusl in the presence of water. Therefore, one makes the ritual ablution after relieving oneself. Interestingly enough, there is no explicit command in the Qur'an for one to wash one's privates after relieving oneself, so I don't know how you derived this ruling.

As for the passing of gas invalidating the wudu, one of our scholars wrote a book called Al-Fiqh al-Qur'aani which I recommend you read. It covers the various rulings of the religion utilising the Qur'an and logic/analogy. Anyways, he said that the word (al-ghaa`it) used in the verse is often translated as "relieving oneself" however, the word is more encompassing and denotes everything that takes place in the context of relieving oneself--beit urine, defecation and passing wind. Therefore, it is analogically derived that passing wind invalidates one's ritual purity.

Regarding the obligation of rinsing the nose and mouth with the washing of the face, it is known logically that the insides of the nose and mouth are a part of the face just as between the fingers and toes are a part of the hands and feet respectively. The exclusion of the insides of the face when washing the face would necessitate a definitive proof to the contrary. In fact, it is those who hold to the authority of narrated traditions that state that rinsing the nose and the mouth are Sunnah actions and not obligations. If one relied solely on the text of the Qur'an for the manner of wudu, I don't see how such person would exclude the inside of the face from the command to wash the face. Such can be alluded to by the verse {…they will be relieved with water like dark oil, which burns their faces. Wretched is the drink} (Q. 18:29). Notice how the word face is connected to the entering of liquid into the mouth! Also, the inside of the ears are considered a part of the head and are similarly wiped along with the head in the wudu. As for your analogy of the insides of the eyeballs, such assertion is invalid because the eyeballs are not orifices such as the mouth, nostrils and ears.

As for the performance of ghusl after sexual intercourse, the verses of the Qur'an are clear on this matter. Allah says: {Approach not the prayer in the state of intoxication until you know what you are saying nor [approach the prayer] in the state of major ritual impurity (junub) until ye have bathed...} (Q. 4:43). Notice that the verse does not simply command us to wash the private parts. The word used is taghtasilu which means to wash oneself completely. If Allah wanted to convey the idea of washing the private parts, He simply would have placed the pronoun after the verb to indicate the object of the washing. Instead, He says "wash/bathe yourself" without indicating an object. The assumption from that is the whole body since no singular limb or body part is specified.

These questions are not hard at all! Rather, the conclusions and assumptions made imply a host of inconsistencies that further complicate matters which are easy. Our deen is based on Revelation. But I would argue that our jurisprudence is not based solely on the Qur'an and logic. Logic is a tool used to derive rulings when the Qur'an and sunnah are either silent on an issue or too implicit. Allah has graced us with our intellect and we can use analogical reasoning on matters; but this must not be a tacit approval to apply our own logic to all matters related to fiqh. Otherwise, we would run into a host of issues and inconsistencies frequently encountered by those Quran-only folk.

Of course, precedence is given to mass-transmitted traditions (mutawaatir) but they are not the only source of fiqh for us.

Hopefully this helps!

And Allah knows best!

Last edit: 3 years 5 months ago by Imam Rassi Society.

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