Are Acts of Worship Valid If Not Performed in a State of Purity?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: [1] Is the salaat or other ibadat (e.g. fasting, zikr) invalidated if offered by a person who thought he was in a state wudu but found out later that he did not have wudu when he performed that act of worship? If invalid, how are such acts of worship made up?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I hope you are in the best of health and spirits, insha’Allah.

Being in a state of ritual purity (wudu) is a condition for the validity of the prayer. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; `Ala al-Din `Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya]

“O believers, when you stand up to pray wash your faces, and your hands up to the elbows, and wipe your heads, and your feet up to the ankles. If you are defiled, purify yourselves; but if you are sick or on a journey, or if any of you comes from the privy, or you have touched women, and you can find no water, then have recourse to wholesome dust and wipe your faces and your hands with it. God does not desire to make any impediment for you; but He desires to purify you, and that He may complete His blessing upon you; haply you will be thankful.” [5:6]

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah does not accept a prayer without purification.” [Muslim]

Nawawi notes that this narration is explicit in stating the obligation of purity for the validity of prayer. He continues that the umma has concurred that purification is a condition for the validity of the prayer. [Nawawi, Sharh Muslim]

[1] However, the validity of one’s voluntary acts of worship such as recitation, fasting, remembering Allah (dhikr), and other such works are not dependent upon being in a state of ritual purity (wudu). Thus, they would be considered valid and one will get the full reward, insha’Allah.

[2] If one is absolutely certain that one prayed the aforementioned prayers whilst one was not in a state of ritual purity (wudu), one would need to make these up. One would do this by making a reasoned, safe estimate of the number of prayers one prayed in such a manner and then commit to praying them, consistently, until one lifts them from one’s dues.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani