Things that Nullify Ablutions
There are substances or actions that vitiate or 'spoil' ablution. These include:
a) Excretions from Private Parts and Anus: That is faeces and 'gas' from the anus; urine, al-mani, al-wadi and al-mahdi from the private parts. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
''Allah does not accept that prayer of person who has released ‘gas' until he makes a new ablution. 'Gas' with or without sound" (Bukhari).
When you are not certain whether you've gased (farted) or not, Rasulullah (PBUH) urges
"He should not leave prayer until he hears it or smells it" (Muslim.)
Al-mani is sperm, one needs to perform ghuslu (ritual bath) to cleanse the body of the semen. Al-wadi is a thick white fluid discharged sometimes after urinating, while al-mahdi is prostatic fluid which is white and sticky that comes when thinking about sexual intercourse or foreplay. For these two types of fluid, wash, your private parts and any clothing it is on and perform a new ablution; ghuslu is not required.
b) Deep Sleep: when one sleeps and is not aware of the happenings around him/her.
c) Loss of Consciousness: i.e. a state of unconsciousness, regardless of whether it was due to drug, insanity or fainting. You'll have to make a new ablution once you become conscious.
d) Touching of Private Parts: if one touches the sexual organs directly without any barrier, the ablution is no longer valid.
Things That Do Not Nullify Ablution
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
"Kissing doesn't nullify ablution ..." (al-Bazzar)
so a married couple may kiss one another after performing ablution. When bleeding is from an unusual place such as a wound, nose bleed, cupping regardless of the quantity of blood, one's ablution' still holds. Also vomiting whether small or large, washing a dead body and laughing even during prayer does not violate ablution.
Similarly, neither eating nor drinking renders one’s ablution void. All that needs to be done, is to rinse the mouth; except when the food is camel meat/or roasted food. Then it is recommended that ablution is performed again. Some people hold opinions that are different from the ones stated above.
However, the above opinions are based on the meanings of the authentic sayings (sahih hadith) of Rasulullah (PBUH) as known to us. Wallahu a'alam! (Allah knows best)
Points to Note:
• If one is certain that he has nullified his ablution, but not sure whether the ablution has been renewed, he must perform a new ablution.
• It is permissible to speak while performing ablution, there is nothing in the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH) that forbids it. It is however, discouraged to aid concentration.
• Also permitted is that one could be assisted in performing ablution.
• A Muslim is allowed to wipe over socks/ leather sandals provided they are clean and they were put on while one was in a state of ablution. The period for wiping for the resident is a day and a night, while for the traveller is 3 nights and 3 days provided one does not remove it. One is to wipe over the top of the socks as shown by the Prophet (PBUH) Ahmad & Tirmidhi).
• People with problems e.g. uncontrollable urine, prolonged menstrual blood flow e.t.c. should perform an ablution for each prayer, whether the problem exists all or part of the time.
• While making ablution and the believer doubts the number of times a part has being washed, he/she should go by the one he/she is certain of.
• A substance that would not allow water to penetrate e.g. nail polish or a substance with weight such as wax, if present on the body would make the ablution unacceptable. Such substance should be removed and the wuduu' done again. Henna (lali) allows water to penetrate.
Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said:
''Prayer without ablution is not accepted." (Muslim)
'Without ablution means wuduu' that is not done properly and correctly. Hence, we have to take extra care as regards our ablution, an oversight or a negligent act might make a seemingly correct and wuduu, incomplete.
The Prophet (PBUH) laid emphasis on ablution and urged us to do it well for a good reward:
"He who makes his ablution carefully will find that his defaults leave his and body, even from below his nails" (Muslim).