Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
I have gas incontinence, which makes it difficult for me to keep wudu; some days, I pass wind multiple times in 15 minutes. I wondered if it was permissible for me to recite the Quran after my wudu had broken. Or would the reward be the same if I just listened to a recitation?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
The Excused Person (Ma‘dhur)
Suppose your gas incontinence is so severe that you cannot perform a wudu and complete prayer without one instance of passing wind occurring, which continues for any entire prayer time. In that case, you are considered excused, and passing wind, in your case, is not considered an immediate invalidator of the wudu. However, if the wind was passed in a prayer time, the wudu is considered invalid when that prayer time exits. Thus you must make a new wudu for the following prayer time.
After performing the ablution, the excused person may perform any act of worship that a person in the state of ablution (wudu) can perform – including touching the text of the Quran.
See the rulings of the “excused person” for more detail.
Less Severe Cases
If your gas incontinence is less severe than the above case, then you may try to perform wudu and sit to read the Quran when you are reasonably sure that passing wind is less likely. You are aware of your body. It may be possible that the incontinence is more frequent at times or in certain circumstances and others less frequent.
However, if the incontinence is continuous but not to the extent of the “Excused Person”, consider the following options:
- Recite the Quran without touching the copy of the Quran (Mushaf);
- Recite the Quran touching the copy of the Quran (Mushaf); however, using a cloth of some sort as a barrier from direct skin contact.
The latter option can be a simple solution. Take a thin cloth, like that of a handkerchief, and use it to handle to copy of the Quran. Place the Quran on a stand or table before you, so you do not have to hold it in your hands continuously. Use the cloth or something else (such as a pencil/pen) to help you turn the pages. This way, you can recite the Quran and achieve the maximum reward.
Listening to the Quran
Listening to the Quran is also a very rewarding act. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) himself listened to the recitation of the Quran from His companions.
‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud (Allah be pleased with him) narrates, saying, “The Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said to him, ‘Recite to me.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, should I recite to you when upon you it was revealed.’ ‘Yes,’ he said. So I recited to him Surat al-Nisa, till I reached the verse, ‘And how will it be, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you as a witness upon them all.’ He said, ‘That’s enough.’ So I looked at him, and his eyes were flowing with tears.” [Bukhari]
Though both are virtuous, if one can have a portion of each, that is best. Reciting the Quran, arguably, entails listening to it as well.
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani