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How to Understand the Nullifiers of Wudu and Fast Due to Illness?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

When I was a small kid, I frequently did water-based masturbation (using a very high-pressure bidet spray). I stopped soon after puberty. After five years, I decided to visit a doctor, and she wrote that I had ‘vaginal and vulval candidiasis’ without running any tests. She prescribed medication, and there was an improvement. The redness went away, discharge decreased, the area felt less irritated overall, and no more itch. I also made lifestyle changes: avoiding tight clothing, wearing only cotton, oiling for some time, and wearing less irritating pads.

Should I make up all my prayers for these six years, assuming that I had an infection for that entire span, so that any discharge would have nullified my wudu and invalidated my prayers?

I get scared that if I have an infection or feel an itch, it nullifies my wudu (and prayers). Is it best to ignore such fears, or should I investigate this further? Do infections even affect wudu?

The vaginal area generally feels dry and irritated when fasting, especially a few days into Ramadan. To avoid painful vaginal burning, I drink lots of water at suhur and end up sitting on the toilet each morning and urinating for a long time. Would this affect the validity of my prayers (both my past and present prayers)?

Answer

Alhamdulillah, you stopped the habit with the bidet spray; this is very harmful to a child and could cause your suffering now. Thank you also for informing us of a potential problem with sprays so that parents can be prudent.

  • In the Shafi’i school, having a vaginal infection in and of itself does not invalidate one’s wudu. The exiting of thick white discharge indicative of infection would invalidate one’s ritual purity (wudu). You would wash off the discharge out of precaution and hygiene and repeat your ritual purity. Certainty is not removed by doubt. You should only make up the prayers that you were sure were invalidated by the exiting of this discharge from your infections. A generous estimate is enough.
  • If you feel an itch, it doesn’t mean that discharge has exited. You don’t need to worry about your prayers being invalid unless you have seen the discharge. If you see it, wash it, repeat your ritual purity (wudu) and pray. It would help if you ignored any waswasa (baseless misgivings) on the matter.
  • Drinking a lot of water at your pre-dawn meal (suhur) is praiseworthy, especially if you are doing it to prevent a health problem. Using the bathroom afterward for a long time does not affect your prayers.

Rest assured, your prayers should be fine as long as you make wudu after washing your discharge and praying afterward. Also, consider taking a probiotic every day to fight the yeast and starve the yeast but cutting out sugar and white flour.

May Allah give you health and well-being.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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