A bunch of my muslim friends get together and play basketball at the park. Around Magrib time, they all pray on the courts. I did not join them because I had no wudu. Are their prayers accepted or is it haraam to pray that way without a FULL wudu (face, arms, feet, etc)?
Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.
There is nothing wrong with praying in public, if done right. Rather, one must fulfill one’s obligation to pray, and take the means to fulfill this obligation in the right way. This would include taking the means to do wudu (even if only with a bottle of water over some grass, or by going to the washroom in time to perform wudu), properly.
Allah Most High has commanded us to have wudu for prayer:
“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.” [Qur’an, 5.6]
This makes the prayer conditional upon being in a state of ritual purity.
And the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) confirmed this when he said, “Allah does not accept the prayers of the one who is in a state of ritual impurity until they perform wudu.” [Bukhari (6554), on the authority of Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him)]
And Allah alone gives success.
صحيح البخاري – (ج 19 / ص 69)
6554 – حدثني إسحق بن نصر حدثنا عبد الرزاق عن معمر عن همام عن أبي هريرة
: عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال ( لا يقبل الله صلاة أحدكم إذا أحدث حتى يتوضأ )