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Does light sleeping break the wudhu?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Assalamu Alaikum i would like to ask, does ones wudhu break if he falls into a light sleep for a brief moment, whilst making dua, whereby the elbows are resting on the thighs, with the buttocks firmly seated on the sofa?


In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

Sayyidina Anas Ibn Maalik raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) said that the sahabah of Allah’s Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) slept, then got up and offered salah without making ablution. (Sunan Tirmidhi).

The contention of the four imams and the majority of scholars is that if the sleep overwhelms then ablution is nullified, otherwise not.

The sleep which is mentioned in the hadith is referring to sleep which does not overwhelm. (Dars Tirmidhi p296 v1)

Regarding this sleep which does not overwhelm, what is its limit?

“The Preferred view of the Ahnaaf is that until ones buttocks is clinged to the place of sitting then his wudhu will not break. If this clinging to the place of sitting is not found for example, by lying down on a bed, or by lying on ones side, similarly if a person was sleeping by leaning on something, and his sleep was so overwhelming that if you was to move the thing which he was leaning on, he would fall down, then in these situations his wudhu will break.” (Dars Tirmidhi p 294-295 v1).

“That sleep which is caused by leaning breaks wudhu, but buy sitting and sleeping or falling asleep in sajdah does not nullify wudhu” (Fatawa Darul Uloom Deoband p110-111 v.1)

Only Allah Knows Best

Written by Molana Ishaaq Hussain

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham.

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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