Islam and the Quran

What are ablution breakers?

Question: What are ablution (wudu) breakers?

Situations which break the ablution of people, are summarized in the following verse:

يَاۤ اَيُّهَا الَّذ۪ينَ اٰمَنُوۤا اِذَا قُمْتُمْ اِلَى الصَّلٰوةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَاَيْدِيَكُمْ اِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُؤُۧسِكُمْ وَاَرْجُلَكُمْ اِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ وَاِنْ كُنْتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُوا وَاِنْ كُنْتُمْ مَرْضٰىۤ اَوْ عَلٰى سَفَرٍ اَوْ جَاۤءَ اَحَدٌ مِنْكُمْ مِنَ الْغَاۤئِطِ اَوْ لٰمَسْتُمُ النِّسَاۤءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُوا مَاۤءً فَتَيَمَّمُوا صَع۪يدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُوا بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَاَيْد۪يكُمْ مِنْهُ مَا يُر۪يدُ اللّٰهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْ حَرَجٍ وَلٰكِنْ يُر۪يدُ لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

“… But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not desire to put on you any difficulty, but He wishes to purify you that you may be grateful.” (Al-Ma’idah/The Feast 5:6)

In the verse, what breaks ablution seems to be “coming from the toilet”. This is a metaphor that symbolizes the things that are ought to be done at the toilet. These are: urinating, defecating and wind. Going to toilet is because of good manners. Actually, people can perform these without going to toilet, too.  To wind is also to be done at the toilet habitually; so there is no difference between it and others.

It is possible that during sleeping hours elbows soften in the body, so that unconsciously a person may wind and break his/her ablution. Therefore, sleeping is also listed under ablution breakers.

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