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What is the basis of the Shafi’i ruling that touching women nullifies wudu?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed

What is the basis of the Shafi’i ruling that touching women1 nullifies wudu? Did the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) not kiss some of his wives and then pray without making wudu?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The well-known basis for our Imams’ ruling that touching a non-mahram nullifies wudu is Allah’s saying: “Or if you touched women”. Lexicologists have stated that “touch” (lams) can refer to touching with one’s hand as well as to sexual intercourse. The proof [that it is used to refer to touching with one’s hand] is:

a) Allah’s saying “They touched him (lamasu) with their hands”

b) the Prophet’s saying to the Companion Ma’iz upon confessing that he committed adultery: “perhaps you kissed her or touched her (lamasta)”

c) the hadith “The adultery of the hand is touch (lams)”, in addition to other examples from lexicology and jurisprudence.

In the book Al-Majmu’, after mentioning the above, Imam al-Nawawi says: “Our companions said, and we confirm that [wudu’ is nullified upon] all kinds of lams, whether the lams is by hand or through intercourse. Imams Malik, Shafi’i and their companions present as proof the hadith of Malik ibn Shahab Salim bin Abdullah bin ‘Umar his father who said: ‘A man’s kissing his wife or touching her with his hand are both considered touch (mulamasa). Therefore, whoever kisses his wife or touches her with his hand, should make wudu.’ And as you can see, this chain of narration is at the utmost limit of authenticity.”

As for what the questioner mentioned regarding the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) kissing his wives, then praying, this hadith is narrated by Habib bin Abi Thabit Sayyida Ayesha (Allah be pleased with her). It is a weak hadith according to the consensus of the scholars.

Imam al-Nawawi mentions in Al-Majmu’: “In response to their using Habib bin Thabit’s hadith as proof, there are two possible replies:

a) The best and most well-known reply is that according to the consensus of the memorizers of hadith it is a weak hadith. Of those who rate the hadith as weak are Sufyan al-Thawri, Yahya bin Sa’eid al-Quttan, Ahmad bin Hanbal, Abu Dawoud and Abu Bakr al-Neisabury, Abu al-Hasan al-dar Qutni, Abu Bakr Bayhaqi and other early and late scholars. Ahmad bin Hanbal, Abu bakr al-Neisabury and others say: Habib made a mistake between kissing while fasting and kissing while on wudu’. Abu Dawoud narrated that Sufyan al-Thawri said that Habib only narrated on the authority of ‘Urwa al-Muzani (meaning that he did not relate from ‘Urwa bin al-Zubair) who is not known. What has been rigorously authenticated is Ayesha’s hadith that “The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to kiss while fasting.”

b) The second possible reply is that if the hadith is rigorously authenticated, then it is taken to mean kissing with a barrier in between. In this way all proofs are taken into consideration.”

– Amjad Rasheed

(Translated by Lida Kahi)

1 What is meant here is the opposite sex.

السؤال: ما دليل الشافعية على أن لمس المرأة ناقض للوضوء ؟ ألم يقبل رسول الله صلّى الله تعالى عليه وسلّم بعض نسائه ثم صلى من غير أن يتوضأ ؟ الجواب : دليل أئمتنا على أن لمس الأجنبية ناقض للوضوء بالشروط المعروفة هو قوله تعالى : ( أو لامستم النساء ) قالوا : واللمس يطلق على الجس باليد كما قد يراد به الجماع كما صرح به أهل اللغة, ودليل ذلك قوله تعالى: ( فلمسوه بأيديهم ) وقول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم للصحابي ماعز رضي الله عنه لما أقرَّ على نفسه بالزنا :” لعلك قبلت أو لمست “. وفي الحديث الآخر :” واليد زناها اللمس ” . وغير ذلك من شواهد اللغة والشرع ، قال الإمام النووي في “المجموع” بعد أن ذكر ما تقدم :” قال أصحابنا : ونحن نقول بمقتضى اللمس مطلقاً , فمتى التقت البشرتان انتقض سواء كان بيد أو جماع , واستدل مالك ثم الشافعي وأصحابهما بحديث مالك عن ابن شهاب عن سالم بن عبد الله بن عمر عن أبيه قال :” قبلة الرجل امرأته وجسها بيده من الملامسة , فمن قبل امرأته أو جسها بيده فعليه الوضوء “. وهذا إسناد في نهاية من الصحة كما تراه “. اهـ أما ما ذكره السائل من أن النبي صلى اله عليه وسلم كان يقبل نساءه ثم يصلي فرواه حبيب بن أبي ثابت عن السيدة عائشة رضي الله عنها ، وهو حديث ضعيف باتفاق أئمة الحديث كما قال الإمام النووي في “المجموع” ، ونص عبارته :” وأما الجواب عن احتجاجهم بحديث حبيب بن أبي ثابت فمن وجهين ؛ ( أحسنهما وأشهرهما ) : أنه حديث ضعيف باتفاق الحفاظ , ممن ضعفه : سفيان الثوري ويحيى بن سعيد القطان وأحمد بن حنبل وأبو داود وأبو بكر النيسابوري وأبو الحسن الدارقطني وأبو بكر البيهقي وآخرون من المتقدمين والمتأخرين . قال أحمد بن حنبل وأبو بكر النيسابوري وغيرهما : غلط حبيب من قبلة الصائم إلى القبلة في الوضوء , وقال أبو داود : روي عن سفيان الثوري أنه قال : ما حدثنا حبيب إلا عن عروة المزني يعني لا عن عروة بن الزبير وعروة المزني مجهول , وإنما صح من حديث عائشة :” أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يقبل وهو صائم “. ( والجواب الثاني ) لو صح لحمل على القبلة فوق حائل جمعاً بين الأدلة “. اهـ

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