Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed
Translated by Shaykh Hamza Karamali, SunniPath Academy Teacher
If a person is in a state of chronic annulment of ablution (da’im al-hadath), because of abnormal uterine bleeding (istihada) or because of continual exiting of [s. drops of] urine, is it recommended for him or her to perform the sunnas of the wudu? Are there other things that are desirable for this person to do to make sure his or her purification and prayer are valid? And when is a person considered to be in a state of chronic annulment of ablution?
1. Is it recommended for someone in a state of chronic wudu annulment to do the non-obligatory parts of wudu and prayer?
Yes, it remains recommended for someone in a state of chronic wudu annulment (da`im al-hadath) to perform the recommended actions of ablution as well as the recommended actions of the prayer, just as these actions are recommended for a normal person.
2. What is the criterion for determining whether someone is in a state of chronic wudu annulment?
A person is considered to be in a state of chronic wudu annulment if a substance exits from their private parts [thereby continuously invalidating their wudu] with such a frequency that they cannot find enough time to purify themselves and then pray without their wudu being invalidated through the exiting of this substance.
3. What if I have gaps of time in between the exiting of the substance, but these time-gaps are of unpredictable length?
According to the fatwa of the learned scholar Habib Zayn ibn Sumayt al-Hadrami, a person is also considered to be in a state of chronic wudu annulment if they do sometimes have enough time to pray in between wudu annulments but they are unable to exactly predict when this will occur.
4. What if my ablution is frequently invalidated but there is enough time in between invalidations for me to pray and perform ablution?
If someone finds that something often exits from their private parts but there is enough time in between excretions for them to purify themselves and pray without invalidating their wudu, then such a person is not considered to be a person in a state of chronic wudu annulment [and they are hence not subject to the dispensations available to such a person and they must pray as a regular person would pray]. Such a person should seek out the time in which nothing exits and pray during that time.
5. Are there special rules that a person in a state of chronic wudu annulment must follow in order for their wudu and prayer to be valid?
The wudu of someone in a state of chronic wudu annulment is not valid until the time of the prayer that they wish to perform has entered. After the prayer time enters, such a person must wash their private parts of filth, plug the private part with something like a piece of cotton, and then tie it with a cloth to minimize the exiting and spreading of the filth that exits continuously.
They should then immediately perform wudu and pray immediately after that without any delay delaying in order to minimize the invalidation of their wudu to the extent possible. If, while such a person is prayer, anything exits from them, it does not affect the validity of their prayer because they are in a special state that causes them to be legally excused from certain rulings that apply to normal people.
It is only permissible for someone in a state of chronic wudu annulment to pray a single obligatory prayer with this type of ablution, although they may pray as many supererogatory prayers as they wish. If they want to to pray a second obligatory prayer, they must repeat the whole process of purification. This is the ruling of our school.
6. Are there any dispensations that such a person may follow to prevent him from making frequent ablutions when performing obligatory makeup prayers, for example?
The scholars of the Maliki school differ slightly with this position: they say that, if the wudu of such a person is constantly invalidated for the duration of half of the whole prayer time (or more), then [they enter into a state where] their wudu is not considered to be invalidated at all [by the exiting of this substance], as is stated in Minah al Jalil (1/65) by the great Maliki scholar, `Ulaysh al-Maliki. The [great Shafi`i scholar], sultan of scholars, al-`Izz ibn `Abd al-Salam, has indicated in his Fatawa (p. 360) that following this ruling is permissible [for someone who follows the Shafi`i school].
– Amjad Rasheed