What is the ruling for a person who performs wudu naked or just wearing underwear?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
The validity of wudu is not affected by one’s clothing or lack thereof.
However, according to the relied upon the position in the Hanafi school, it is necessary for one to cover their basic ‘Awra (nakedness) even when alone, unless there is need. A minority opinion in the Hanafi school deems this a sunna. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
Covering One’s Nakedness (‘Awra) and Modesty
One of the meanings found throughout the Sunna of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) is modesty.
He (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Shamelessness has never entered into something except that it makes it ugly; modesty has never entered into something except that it beautifies it.” [Ahmad]
Modesty is one of the core Sunan of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace), and it is a quality that is beloved to Allah Most High.
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) was asked regarding covering one’s nakedness and replied, “Protect you nakedness except for your spouse….” I (i.e., the narrator of this hadith) said, “What if one of us is alone?” He (may Allah bless him and give him peace) replied, “Then Allah has more right to be shown modesty.” [Nasai’]
Thus it is from the sunna of the Messenger (may Allah bless him and give him peace) to minimize the extent and length that one is uncovered.
It is permissible to uncover in the case of need, such as intimate relations between spouses, when relieving oneself and when grooming.
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.