Falling Asleep and Wudhu

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Q: 1) If a man is sitting in the ‘Tashah-hud’ position in the middle of the prayer hall and he falls asleep, without leaning on anything and he wakes up while still sitting in the same position i.e. he does not wake up due to falling or even jerking, does his wudu break? Please provide evidence from a Hanafi’s point of view.

2) I have also heard from an Aalim that if a person is sitting whiles both his buttocks are firmly on the ground and he falls asleep leaning on a pillar or a wall his wudu does not break on the condition that he wakes up from that exact same position without falling or jittering/jerking and without his buttocks being raised. Is that a correct understanding of mine?

3) If you conform to the same conditions but instead of sitting on the ground you sit firmly on a chair does the wudu still remain intact i.e. does the same ruling apply?

A: Your queries refer. The answers are numbered accordingly:
1) Falling asleep in the position described by you does not break wudhu. (Bahishti Zewar, quoting Raddul-Muhtaar. Also found in other Hanafi Fiqah works)

2) Falling asleep while leaning against something breaks wudhu. This rulling, too, is found in the books of Fiqah, as it is standard mas’ala of Shariah. What your Alim could have meant is that a person fell asleep in this position but woke up immediately without falling over. In that case, wudhu will not break. However, REMAINING asleep like this, while leaning against a pillar or support will definitely break the wudhu, as mentioned above.

3) The same rules as above will apply to one seated on a chair, except that if the chair has arm-rests and these arm-rests prop up the sleeping person in such a way that should they be removed, the sleeping one will fall, then wudhu will break.

And Allah Ta’ala knows best

Mufti Siraj Desai

This answer was collected from, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Siraj Desai of Darul-Uloom Abubakr, South Africa.

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