The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani

Question & Answer » Wudhu

1 Question: َAssalamu Alaikum; I hope that the answer of my question is published in the website so everybody especially my husband can read it, although it sounds a common sense or silly but a lot of men don't do it or don't know how to do it in the propery way. My husband does the prayer as required but he does not use any water after urinating, what is (al-hukm al-shar'ei) about that? I repeat please publish the answer so he can read it because its very hard for me to convince him so when he reads it here it will be a different issue. Thank you and I appreciate it.
Answer: It is necessary to use water after Istibra because ritual purity (taharat) is obtained by use of water only. If a man does not use water, his prayers would be void. For details about Istibra see Islamic Laws please.
2 Question: Some women let their nails grow longer than necessary for beauty. Sometimes a nail breaks up, requiring a cover that must be placed over the broken nail. Knowing that such a cover prevents water from reaching the nail in wudhu and ghusl, is it permissible to use it? How should wudhu and ghusl be performed with that cover?
Answer: Wudhu and ghusl with such a cover over the nail is not valid; therefore, it is necessary to remove it for ablutions. And the purpose mentioned above for the cover is not justifiable.
3 Question: Is cream a barrier to water reaching the skin, and if so should it be removed prior to wudhu and ghusl?
Answer: Apparently the effect left on the skin after it is applied is nothing but just moisture, and so it does not constitute a barrier to water reaching the skin .
4 Question: Is the ink that had dried [on our hands, for example] a barrier to perform wudhu or ghusl?
Answer: If it does not form a mass that would prevent water from reaching the skin, the wudhu and ghusl is valid. However, if one has doubt whether it forms a mass or not, it must be removed.
5 Question: A person used to make mistakes in the way he performed his wudhu (minor ablution) or ghusl (major ablution). After many years, he comes to realize his mistakes. When he inquires as how to solve his problem, he is told: "Repeat all your prayers and perform the pilgrimage again." Since saying all the prayers and doing the pilgrimage again is difficult, is there a solution which would salvage his prayers and pilgrimage performed with wudhu and ghusl that he thought was correct? Is there such a solution as a concession to this person so that he does not become disheartened and rebellions against religious obligations in a society which encourages such kind of rebellion?
Answer: If he was ignorant out of innocence, and therefore made mistakes without causing harm (e.g., did not follow the proper sequence in washing the head and the other parts of the body in ghusl; or did the wiping of the head or feet [mash] with a new water), then his wudhu and ghusl will be considered correct; and, consequently, his past prayers and pilgrimage will also be considered correct.
But if he was ignorant out of negligence in learning the Islamic laws or did mistakes which do invalidate the act in general (e.g., leaving out some parts of the body which must be washed in wudhu or ghusl), there is no way to validate his past prayers and pilgrimage.
However, if there is the fear that he would totally rebel when asked to make up all the past prayers and pilgrimage, then it is not appropriate to ask him to do so. Maybe Allah will improve his situation in future.
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