Question # 118: While performing wudu’ (ablution), I forget to wash one part must be washed and I remembered immediately after wudu’. Should I repeat wudu’? Secondly, if I forget to wash one part completely and remembered it while in prayer? What is the ruling in this regard?
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).
First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.
Shorter Answer: If someone forgets to wash a limb required in Wudu‘, or even a small part of it, and remembers it while performing Wudu‘ or immediately after when the washed parts are still wet, they may wash the part they forgot and the subsequent limbs only and does not have to repeat the entire wudu’. However, if someone remember having forgotten to wash a limb that is required to be washed during Wudu‘, or even a small part of it, after it is dry, or while or after performing Salah (Prayer), they should repeat Wudu‘ and perform the entire Salah again.
Long Answer: Al-Hajaawi said in al-Zad, in Baab Furood al-Wudoo’ wa Sifatuhu (The obligatory parts of wudu’ and its description): “The obligatory parts (of wudu’) are six: Washing the face – of which the mouth and nose are part; washing the hands; wiping the head – of which the ears are part; washing the feet up to the ankles; doing these actions in order; and doing them continuously, without interruption, which means not delaying the washing of one part until the part before it has dried.” (Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid)
One of the conditions of Wudu‘ is washing all the parts in close sequence. Thus, if a person forgets to wash a limb required in Wudu‘, or even a small part of it, and remembers it while performing Wudu‘ or immediately after when the washed parts are still wet, they may wash the part they forgot and the subsequent limbs only. However, if they remember having forgotten to wash a limb that is required to be washed during Wudu‘, or even a small part of it, after it is dry, or while or after performing Salah (Prayer), they should repeat Wudu‘ as prescribed by Allah and perform the whole Salah again. This is because the condition of washing the required body parts in sequence was not met. Moreover, Allah made it obligatory that all the required body parts should be washed during Wudu‘. Accordingly, whoever omits even a very small area of a limb, it is as if it were wholly omitted. This is supported by the Hadith narrated on the authority of `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (رضي الله عنه) who said: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) saw a person performing Wudu‘ (ablution), but he left a nail-size space on his feet (unwashed). The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) commanded him to repeat the Wudu‘ and Salah. The man went back and repeated Salah. (Related by Muslim and Ibn Majah in his Sunan; moreover, Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud related a Hadith similar in meaning) (Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’; Bakr Abu Zayd, `Abdul-`Aziz Al Al-Shaykh, `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz)
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.