Purity, Work and Prayer: My husband works on building sites, and is unable to change into clean

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My husband works on building sites and is unable to change into clean clothes to do his prayer. He worries alot that he is not clean, the toilets do not have washing facilities, he tries to find disabled toilets so he can atleast wash himself. My question is: is it permissible to do namaz in his work clothes and in this state?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Bismi Allah arRahman arRahim

Dear Sister,

Your husband may pray in his work clothes as long as they are ritually pure, even though he may feel unclean due to his work. Ritually pure here means being clean form filth (e.g. urine, feces, blood, etc.) the size of a half dollar. That is, the filth or impurity which prevent one from prayer is the filth which has reached the size of a half dollar or more. If one has this amount of filth on his person, being certain of this, he must remove it and his prayer is not valid unless he does so.

As for using the bathroom, it is likewise not obligatory to wash oneself with water unless the filth has spread beyond its exit such that it has affected an area which is equal to the size of a half dollar. In such a case, it becomes obligatory to use water to wash away the filth. Otherwise using toilet paper and the like suffices to clean oneself and fulfills the strongly confirmed sunna of doing so.

One should keep in mind that in these cases one must be certain of the presence of the filth on one’s person. Mere suspicion is not enough to oblige one to undertake measures of purification. For example, if one merely suspects there to be filth on his clothing, she is not obliged to wash it and her clothing is considered pure.

For more information on this topic see Baseless Misgivings (Waswasa): Some General Principles

It is important to differentiate in matters of purity between that which the Sacred Law demands and personal preferences. Many people go through unnecessary hardships which the Sacred Law does not demand of them. Rather, the Divine Law is a mercy to the worlds, as the Messenger who brought it, peace and blessings be forever upon him, was.

You may also look at Severe Doubts & Misgivings for advice on what to do when one has doubts about the validity of an act of worship.

And success is only through Allah.

Shaista Maqbool


Ustadha Shaista is a student of knowledge currently studying with Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, Shaykh Muhammad Jumu`ah, and other Hanafi ulema of Damascus.


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