Validity of wudu: not washing the face due to proactive acne solution

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Sidi Fadi Qutub Zada

My older sister has been suffering from severe acne problems over the past couple of years. Initially she was on antibiotics (erythromycin) but she had to stop taking it because of the long-term side-effects that can result from taking antibiotics over a long period. Recently she has been taking “Proactive Acne Solution”, which is applied to the face. She told me that more or less, this solution must be applied on the face all day. Because of this for certain prayers, when she makes wudu, she does not wash her face.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the name of Allah, most Gracious and Merciful

Wa Alaykum Assalam wa Rahmatullah

I am assuming that your sister avoids washing her face in wudu because she is afraid that it will remove the acne solution from her face. If this is the case, then she has no excuse for not washing her face. This is an obligatory action that if left out invalidates the wudu. Therefore, she would have to repeat every prayer that she prayed with this type of wudu.

One solution would be to have her dry her face as soon as she finishes washing it. Tell her that washing the face once is sufficient for the validity of the wudu, though washing it three times is a confirmed sunna.

If, on another assumption, she has a genuine fear of harm if she washes her face, then the sacred law permits her to merely wipe on the face with wet hands. If this too is harmful, then she may leave out the face in the wudu. (al-Haddiya al-Alaiyya with footnotes by Muhammad Said al-Burhani, page43)

Let her know that Allah commands us to ask those who know well in the matters of religion if we do not know. May Allah give us understanding of the religion.

Fadi Qutub


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