It-haf: Obligatory Acts of Wudu -Pt.2

Salam, another addition alhumdulilah to the fiqh series I hope to put up Inshallah. As mentioned previously, its from It-haf al-Talib by Sh. Abu Bakr al-Mulla, with explanatory notes taken from his and Sh. Yahya al-Mulla notes.

The Book of Purification
– The conditions for purification being compulsory (wajib) are eight in number[1]:

1) Sanity
2) Maturity
3) Islam
4) Ability to use a sufficient amount of purifying water
5) Being in a state of ritual impurity (hadath)
6) Absence of menstruation
7) Absence of post birth bleeding
8) Time constraint

The conditions for it being valid/correct are three[2]:
1) Covering the area to be washed with purifiying water
2) Absence of that which negates it such as menstruation and post birth bleeding
3) The removal of that which prevents water reaching the body[3]

The pillars (arkan) of washing (wudu)
– A pillar (rukn) is an obligatory act which exists within the form of an act of worship, as for a condition (shart) it exists outside of this act of worship. Obligatory (fard) is a more general term and applies to them both.

are four:
– Due to His (taala) words: ‘O you who believe, when you stand for prayer then wash your faces, your hands up to the elbows, wipe your heads, and your feet up to the ankles’ [al-Maida:6]

Washing the face,
– Washing is the flowing of the water over a body part such that atleast two drops drip according to the strongest opinion[4]
The definition of the face lengthwise is from the top of the forehead where the hairlines usually begins to below the chin[5] and width wise that which is between the two earlobes[6]. It is also compulsory to wash the corner of the eyes[7] and that which remains apparent from the lips when they are closed. Likewise the area which is between the beard and the ear.
It is not compulsory to wash the inside of the eyes[8]
As for facial hair: if it is copious and covers the skin then it is compulsory to wash the outer part of it[9]. As for the facial hair which is light then it is compulsory for water to reach the skin beneath it.

washing the hands including the elbows,
– Meaning from the hands, including the arms all the way up to and including the elbows

wiping a quarter of the head[10],
– The area of the head to be wiped is that which is above the ears, from any of the four sides of the head, with new water.
In the case of rainwater dripping on the head and covering a quarter of it then it would be regarded as valid, likewise wiping the head with moisture/wetness remaining on the hands after having washed a body part is valid, however wiping the head with moisture on the hands after having wiped another body part is not valid except if the hands are wet such that water drips from them.[11]
If someone wipes their head and then shaves their hair then they are not required to wipe the head again.

washing the feet including the ankles
– The ankles are the bones protruding from the sides of the feet

[1] The conditions for washing (wudu) becoming compulsory means that when all of the above are found in a person, then they it becomes compulsory for them to purify themselves. In the sacred law a condition (shart) is that which the existence of something is dependent upon. See Sharh Muniyah al-Musalli (p.12).
[2] The conditions for validity/correctness means that the purification is correct when these conditions are met. Menstruation and post birth bleeding are mentioned in both sets of conditions, in the first (conditions for purification being compulsory) they are present to indicate upon whom purification is compulsory, and here they are to indicate that this compulsory purification has been performed correctly. See Rad al-Muhtar (1/86).
[3] Such that if something the breadth of a hair or head of a needle was covering the skin area to be washed then the washing is not valid. An example of this is nail polish worn by women which creates a barrier over the nail and prevents water reaching the nails. As for dyeing with henna then there is no harm in this, because it does not leave a substance which prevents water reaching the skin.
[4] It is apparent that if someone washes an amount such that only two drops of water drip then this will not be regarded as being insufficient washing of the body part. It also possible that this definition of washing is a clarification of the amount which would make the washing valid/correct and therefore limiting oneself to washing by which only two drops of water drip is disliked (makruh). See Hashiyah al-Tahtawi ala al-Dur (1/61).
[5] Meaning the bottom of the bone upon which the lower teeth are. See al-Dur al-Mukhtar with al-Hashiyah (1/71)
[6] Te earlobes are soft part of the ear at its bottom
[7] Mulla Ali al-Qari in his Sharh Mishkat al-Masabih (1/317) mentions that it is referring here to the corner of the eye adjacent to the nose and the substances which accumulate in the corner of the eyes.
[8] Rather it is not recommended to wash the inside of the eyes due to the harm involved, such that the scholars have mentioned that if a person was to apply antimony to the eyes which was impure, even then washing the insides of the eyes would not be compulsory. See Rad al-Muhtar (1/90).
The author of al-Binayah (1/91) mentioned that those of the companions such as Ibn Abbas and Ibn Umar who did wash inside their eyes suffered problems with their eyesight in old age.
[9] This excludes the facial hair which hangs from the face such as the beard. See Ibn Abidin (1/72)
[10] A quarter of the head has been specified as being the obligatory amount to be wiped due to that which is reporte
d by Muslim (81) that Mughriah bin Shubah said that the Prophet (s): ‘Performed wudu and wiped his forelock and his turban and his socks’. The forelock is front part of the head, which is a quarter of the head. For a more detailed discussion refer to Fath Bab al-Inayah of Mulla Ali al-Qari (1/44).
[11] The difference between the moisture/wetness remaining after wiping and washing is that water by its mere contact with a washed limb does not become used aslong as it does not flow, as ritual impurity is not removed except by the water flowing over an area. With the case of wiping the waters coming in contact with the skin of the head becomes used, as wiping is defined as the water coming in contact with the skin and does not have to flow in order to purify. See al-Siayah fi Sharh al-Wiqayah of al-Luknawi (1/76).

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