Question # 434: Asalam alykum; I am asking is it compulsory for one to be in wudhu while doing dhikr of Allah (swt)

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: It is permissible for a person to recite wird (a portion of the Qur’an) and adhkaar even when one is in a state of minor (without wudu’) or major impurity (in the state of janaabah), but it is more appropriate for one to be in a state of purity while supplicating Allah. What is forbidden is dhikr that consists of reciting Qur’an, whether that is read from the Mus-haf or recited by heart. In other words, it is permissible to recite ayat of the Qur’an with the intention of du’aa’, however it is not permissible to recite even one ayah with the intention of reciting the Qur’an.

Long Answer: According to the Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas: “It is permissible to recite wird (a portion of the Qur’an) and the adhkaar for morning and evening without wudu’, because ‘Aishah (رضي الله عنها) said: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) used to remember Allah in all situations.” (Al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baz, Al-Shaykh ‘Abd-Allah ibn Ghadyan, Al-Shaykh Salih al-Fawzan, Al-Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez Al al-Shaykh, Al-Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd)

It is permissible for a person, if he is junub, to make du’aa’ to Allah and remember Him, including the adhkaar before sleeping and others, because of what is reported in the hadith of ‘Aa’ishah (رضي الله عنها), who said, “The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) used to remember Allah in all circumstances.” (Narrated by Muslim, al-Hayd). Some of the commentators on this hadith said: this hadith is stating a basic principle, which is the remembrance of Allah in all circumstances, even when one is in a state of minor or major impurity. Dhikr in the form of tasbeeh (saying ‘Subhaan Allah’), tahleel (saying ‘Laa ilaaha ill-Allah’), takbeer (saying ‘Allahu akbar’), tahmeed (saying ‘al-hamdu Lillaah’) and other similar adhkaar is permissible in all situations, according to the consensus of the Muslims. What is forbidden is dhikr that consists of reciting Qur’an, a full ayah or more, whether that is read from the Mus-haf or recited by heart, because the prohibition of doing so has been narrated. But it is mustahabb for the person who is junub to wash his private parts and do wudu’ when he wants to go to sleep, because of what is stated in the hadith of ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه), who said, “O Messenger of Allah, may one of us sleep when he is junub?” He said, “Yes, if he does wudu’.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, al-Ghusl) (See al-Sharh al-Mumti’ by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen; Tawdeeh Ahkaam by al-Bassaam; Fataawa Islamiyyah)

Shaykh Ibn Baaz said: “There is no harm in offering du’aa’ without performing Wudu’, and even if you are in the state of Janabah (major ritual impurity related to sexual discharge). Wudu’ is not one of the preconditions of du’aa’. This is a mercy from Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) because a slave is always in need of du’aa’. However, offering du’aa’ whilst in the state of Wudu’ and during the prayer increases the likelihood of your du’aa’ being answered, especially whilst in prostration because of the Prophet’s  saying: ‘The position during which the slave is nearest to his Lord, is when he is in prostration, so abundantly supplicate (in this position)’. (Muslim).”

The person may also supplicate in any situation, whether he is lying down, sitting, or standing. Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “And when affliction touches man, he calls upon Us, whether lying on his side or sitting or standing; but when We remove from him his affliction, he continues [in disobedience] as if he had never called upon Us to [remove] an affliction that touched him. Thus, is made pleasing to the transgressors that which they have been doing.” (Soorah Yusuf, 12:12) Imam Al-Qurtubi said: “Allah mentioned the three situations of supplication because a person would only be in one of these three. Some (scholars) said: ‘Allah started mentioning a person lying on his side because his affliction is harder in general, so he supplicates more and endeavors more; then the one who is sitting down, and then the one who is standing.”

(The above reply is based on the following resources:

  • Islamweb.net, a web site belonging to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in the State of Qatar
  • Various answers provided by Islam Q&A on similar topics)

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