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Home » Worship and Jurisprudence » Purification » Ablution

Sleep invalidates Wudhu

I have observed some people sleeping in the Scared House (i.e the House of Allah in Makkah) before Zuhr and Asr prayers, for example, then the one who wakes the people for prayer comes, and they stand up for prayer, without making Wudhu'. I have also observed some women doing the same thingso what is the ruling on this? Please benefit us, and may Allah reward you.

Sleep invalidates ablution, if it is deep, causing loss of the senses, according to the narration of the noble companion, Safwan bin Asal al Muradi, who said:

"Allahs Messenger (salallaahu 'alaihi wassallam) ordered us not to remove our leather socks for three days and nights when we were travelling, unless we were in a state of major impurity (al-Janabah), but due to defecation or urination (we need not do so)."

[at-Tirmithi no.95 and an-Nisaai no.127].

And according to the narration of Muawiyah, may Allah be pleased with him, who reported that the Prophet (salallaahu 'alaihi wassallam) said:

"The eye is the drawstring of the anus, so whoever sleeps then let him make Wudhu'.

[Ahmad 4:96, ad-Darimi no.722 and an-Nisaai in al-Kubra no.582.]

Thus, it is clear that whoever slept, be it man or woman, in the sacred mosque or any other mosque, his state of purity is invalidated and he must renew his ablution. Should he pray without Wudhu', his prayer would not be correct.

The legitimate ablution consists of washing the face, madhmadhah (to rinse the mouth) and istinshaq (inhalation of water), washing the hand including the elbows, wiping over the head and the ears and washing the feet including the ankles. There is no need to wash the pubic area (istinja) due to sleep, or the like, such as breaking wind, touching the private parts, or eating camel meat. Washing or cleaning the pubic area with stones (istijmar) is only required due to defecation, urination, or their like before Wudhu.

As for drowsiness, it does not nullify ablution, because it does not cause loss of senses, and in this regard the hadiths are in agreement. And Allah is the Granter of Success.

Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez Bin Baz
Fatawa Islamiyah, Vol.2, p50, Darussalam.
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