Question # 378: I have a problem when I’m starting to pray or sometimes even when I’m making wudu, I passing winds repeatedly and I’m unable to control. Every time it happens I break out of my Salah and go make wudu again. Sometimes I have to make wudu more than 3 times to be unable to do a prayer. This problem always occurs whenever I decide to pray. It’s hard for me concentrate during salah because I am more focused on stopping the gas than on the prayer itself. Even then most of the times I am not sure if I were able to keep my wudu or not. I’m unable to offer nafl salah because doing even fard is very hard for me. Sometimes people force me to lead the prayer which I try to avoid but at times I have to do it. This makes me feel guilty that I am responsible for invalidating the other people’s salah due to my condition.

bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: The basic principle concerning emission of wind is that it invalidates wudu’, but if a person passes wind continually, he should just perform wudu’ for each prayer when he wants to pray, then if wind comes out of him whilst he is praying, that does not invalidate it; he has to continue with his prayer until he completes it. This is a dispensation granted by Allah to make things easier for His slaves and not to cause them any hardship.

Furthermore, if it is difficult for one to do wudu’ for every prayer and offer the prayer on time, then it is permissible for him/her to join Dhuhr and ‘Asr and pray them at the time of either with one wudu’, and to join Maghrib and ‘Isha’ similarly with one wudu’, according to the Hanbali school of thought; however, Shafi‘is and Hanafis do not allow combining the prayers.

Lastly, if the prayer of the imam becomes invalid for some reason which has nothing to do with the prayer of the one who is praying behind him, then the prayer of the latter is not rendered invalid, such as if the imam prays without wudu’ by mistake, or he loses his wudu’ during the prayer.

Long Answer: A person who is praying may sometimes imagine that he has passed wind whilst praying, when that has not in fact happened. This may be due to the whispering of the Shaytaan who wants to spoil his prayer and make him not focus with proper humility in it. The worshipper should not stop praying unless he is certain that something has come out of him.

It was narrated from ‘Abbaad ibn Tameem that his paternal uncle asked the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) about a man who thought he felt something whilst praying. He said: “He should not stop praying unless he hears a sound or detects an odor.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari (this version was narrated by him); Muslim)

What is meant by the hadith is not that the ruling depends on hearing a sound or detecting an odor, rather what is meant is being certain that something has come out even if one does not hear a sound or detect an odor. (Sharh Muslim by al-Nawawi)

The basic principle concerning the worshipper is that if he has done wudu’, then his wudu’ cannot be broken by something doubtful, rather he must be certain that he has broken it. If he is certain that he has broken his wudu’, then he should stop praying and do wudu’ again.

What breaks or invalidates wudu’ can only be that which comes out of the front of back passage for certain, so that one is sure of it and not doubtful or confused. Simply feeling that there is gas in one’s stomach is not one of the things that invalidate wudu’, unless something comes out… (al-Sharh al-Mumti’)

[However, if it is] continuous and there may be no time when it stops; it could happen all the time. In this case you should do wudu’; for each prayer after the time for the prayer begins, and pray with this wudu’; it does not matter whatever comes out of you even if that happens during wudu’ or during the prayer.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Whoever cannot keep his wudu’ for the duration of the prayer should do wudu’ and pray, and it does not matter what comes out of him during the prayer, and his wudu’ is not invalidated by that, according to the consensus of the imams. The most he has to do is to do wudu’ for each prayer. (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa)

It also says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah: “The basic principle concerning emission of wind is that it invalidates wudu’, but if a person passes wind continually, he has to do wudu’ for each prayer when he wants to pray, then if wind comes out of him whilst he is praying, that does not invalidate it; he has to continue with his prayer until he completes it. This is a dispensation granted by Allah to make things easier for His slaves and not to cause them any hardship, as Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an:

  • “Allah intends for you ease” (Soorah al-Baqarah, 2:185)
  • “and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship” (Soorah al-Hajj, 22:78)”

The researching scholars held that the ruling that applies to the woman suffering from non-menstrual vaginal bleeding applies to whoever suffers from a continuous invalidator of ablution (such as urinary or wind incontinence).

[Further,] the Maliki school of jurisprudence states that if you perform Wudu’ and then later nullify your Wudu’ (due to passing wind) for more than half of the time (of a given prayer), then you do not have to perform Wudu’ again, as you are given the same ruling of those suffering from incontinence and women who bleed outside their menses.

[Next], if it is difficult for one to do wudu’ for every prayer and offer the prayer on time, then it is permissible for him/her to join Dhuhr and ‘Asr and pray them at the time of either with one wudu’, and to join Maghrib and ‘Isha’ similarly with one wudu’. [This is based on the following hadith, where] the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) granted a concession to the women who suffered from istihadah, allowing her to join her prayers. (This was classed as sahih by al-Albani in Saheeh Abi Dawood)

The scholars who held that it is allowed for the person who suffers from incontinence to combine two prayers (Dhuhr and ‘Asr together, and Maghrib and ‘Isha’ together) are the Hanbalis, but the conditions required for combining the prayers according to the Hanbali view must be fulfilled in this case, one of which is performing the two combined prayers right after each other… As for the scholars who held that it is not allowed for one to combine the prayers, such as the Shafi‘is and Hanafis, their view in this regard is clear.

Lastly, if the prayer of the imam becomes invalid for some reason which has nothing to do with the prayer of the one who is praying behind him, then the prayer of the latter is not rendered invalid, such as if the imam prays without wudu’ by mistake, or he loses his wudu’ during the prayer.

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “If the imam leads a congregation in prayer and he does not have wudu’, or he is junub, but he does not realize that he is not in a state of purity, and neither he nor the people praying behind him are aware of it until after they have finished praying, their prayer is valid but the prayer of the imam is invalid. This was narrated from ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, ‘Ali and Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah have mercy on them), and it was the view of Malik and al-Shaafi’i.

It was narrated from ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) that he led the people in praying Fajr prayer, then he found some wetness as the result of having had an erotic dream on his garment, so he repeated the prayer but they did not.

‘Uthman (رضي الله عنه) led the people in Fajr prayer, then when morning came and the sun had risen, he found traces of janabah, so he repeated the prayer but he did not tell them to repeat it.

It was narrated that ‘Ali (رضي الله عنه) said: If a person who is junub leads the people in prayer and completes the prayer, I would tell him to do ghusl and repeat the prayer but I would not tell them to repeat it.

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) led them in praying Fajr, then he said that he had prayed without wudu’, so he repeated it but they did not repeat it.

All these incidents were narrated by al-Athram” (al-Mughni)

(The above answer is based on various answers provided by Islamqa.info and Islamweb.net, a web site belonging to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in the State of Qatar on the topic)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam