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Why Intention is not Obligatory in Wudu or Ghusl?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Could you explain further with evidences why intention is not a condition for wudu or ghusl?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

In brief:

Wudu and ghusl are both conditions for the validity of prayer. They are only worship, in the Hanafi school, insofar as they are a means to acts of worship. They are not worship that is sought for itself. As such, it would not be worship (rather, it would be sinful and wasteful) to keep repeating wudu or ghusl, ‘for the reward,’ unlike prayer.

The requirement for conditions (shurut) is that they be met, not that they be sought (i.e. with intention). This is a general rule that we see right across the chapters of fiqh, such as: facing the qibla or one’s clothing being free of filth for prayer; the presence of witnesses in marriage…

As for the legal ruling: the fact that intention is not obligatory (but, rather, sunna) in wudu is mentioned in all the 4 main primers (mutun) of Hanafi fiqh [Quduri, Mukhtar, Kanz, Wiqaya], the major commentaries, and reference works.

Walaikum assalam,
Faraz Rabbani.

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.