#168: Ablution Using Wet Wipes

Question:

Assalamualaikum wbt. Recently, I saw a video on YouTube that teaches how one can take his ablution using wet wipes for umrah. My question is whether ablution using wet wipes valid? Hope for an explanation. Thanks.

Answer:

Waalaikumussalam wbt.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.

We’ll begin with the statement of Allah SWT:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ

“You who believe! When you rise for prayer wash your faces, and your arms to the elbows, and wipe over your heads and your feet up to the ankles,” [1]

Al-Maraghi stated that the above verse describes the situation when a person rises to perform prayer – but is in a minor impure state. The reason is the whole Muslims agreed in stating that purification (ablution or obligatory bath) is not obligated for a person who wants to pray except when he is in an impure state. [2]

Habib Hasan bin Ahmad al-Kaff stated that there are 6 requisites of ablution. Four of them is taken from the verse of al-Quran which are washing the face, both hands, part of one’s head and both feet. While the remaining two requisites are based on sunnah which is setting an intention and the actions are done in order. [3]

Definition of wet wipes

A wet wipe is a small cloth or tissue that is disposable and used once to clean something and it is usually sold in small packages. [2] Wet wipes or wet tissue used for babies and adults are different in terms of the ingredients used, however, both contain ingredients other than water such as alcohol, detergent mixed with moisturizer, fragrance and preservative. [5]

The ruling of ablution using wet wipes

Ablution is the most important medium for purification from the minor impure state, permitting a person to perform actions or deeds of which one of its conditions is for one to be in a pure state – such as performing prayer, holding the al-Quran mushaf, tawaf and others. [6]

An ablution is an act of using water to clean certain body parts preceded with intention. It is named as such because of the act of beautifying and perfecting the parts that are washed and cleansed. [7] A person ablution is considered valid when it fulfils all of its requisites and valid conditions.

Thus, coming back to the question asked, taking ablution using wet sipes is invalid, for it doesn’t fulfil two of the valid conditions of ablution which are:

  • First, water in the wet wipe is no longer considered mutlak water for it is mixed with other ingredients. While one of the valid conditions of ablution is to use water that is pure and purifying – which means mutlak water – for a person can only be purified with mutlak water. [8] In simple terms, mutlak water is water that remains in its original state it was created by Allah SWT. [9]
  • Second, among the valid conditions of ablution is to let the water flow on the body parts being washed [10] and just wiping some water on the body parts is not sufficient without letting the water flow, for this isn’t named as washing. [11] Hence, as we know wet wipes is not really wet, rather they are just damp and even if it is squeezed, no water will flow out of them.

Conclusion

Performing ablution using wet wipes is invalid because it doesn’t fulfil the valid conditions of ablution which are one must use mutlak water and the water must flow on the ablution body parts being washed.

Likewise, the characteristics of wet wipes are different from the characteristics of water (liquid). Thus, the safe opinion and ihtiyat, it is impermissible to use wet wipes as a replacement of water.

May Allah SWT give us all a clear understanding in religion. Ameen.

Wallahu a’lam.

 

[1] Surah al-Ma’idah: 6

[2] See Tafsir al-Maraghi, 6/61

[3] See al-Taqrirat al-Sadidah, pg. 82

[4] See https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/wet-wipe. Accessed on 27th October 2021.

[5] See https://www.personalcaremagazine.com/story/10272/the-preservation-of-wet-wipes. Also, see http://www.madehow.com/Volume-6/Baby-Wipes.html. Also, see https://my.theasianparent.com/tisu-basah-untuk-bayi. Accessed on 27th October 2021.

[6] See al-Mu‘tamad fi al-Fiqh al-Syafi‘i, 1/69

[7] See al-Fiqh al-Manhaji, 1/53

[8] See al-Taqrirat al-Sadidah, pg. 96 and 57

[9] See al-Fiqh al-Manhaji, 1/31

[10] See al-Mu‘tamad fi al-Fiqh al-Syafi‘i, 1/70

[11] See Hasyiah al-Syeikh Ibrahim al-Baijuri ‘ala Fath al-Qarib al-Mujib, 1/95

Kami amat mengalu-alukan sumbangan anda untuk penyelenggaraan operasi Maktabah Al-Bakri.

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