Assalamualaikum Dato’. If a husband touches his wife, does this invalidate his ablution? Such as when he shakes his wife’s hand when he is going to work and others, for there are some who claimed that it does not invalidate ablution.
Waalaikumsalam. Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Wuduk (ablution) is a word taken from the Arabic word (الوضاءة) which means cleanliness and purity. From syarak, wuduk is the usage of water to wash certain specific parts of the body. It is named as wuduk for its attribute of cleaning and purifying. It has its own conditions, requisites and sunnah for it to be completed. (Refer: Al-Mu’tamad Fi Al-Fiqh Al-Syafie: 1/69)
Sanctioning of Ablution
Allah SWT commanded in the Quran:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ
“O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles.”
Surah al-Maidah (6)
Matters that Invalidate Ablution
To conclude this issue, in Al-Taqrirat Al-Sadidah, the matters that invalidate ablution is stated as the following:
- Something is discharged from the private parts with the exception of semen. The reason is, if semen is discharged, then he is obligated to perform the obligatory bath and it is the prioritized purification before ablution.
- Loss of consciousness; whether when one is sleeping or others. Unless (does not invalidate ablution) if he does not move while he sleeps on his back (his back side is unmoved).
- Physical contact (skin contact) between ajnabi man and woman (of which they can marry) without a liner between them.
- Touching the private parts with one’s palms.
(Refer: Al-Taqrirat Al-Sadidah: 103)
In terms of physical touch between man and woman (ajnabi), this has been stated by Allah SWT in the Quran:
وَإِن كُنتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُوا ۚ وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَىٰ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لَامَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُوا مَاءً فَتَيَمَّمُوا صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا
“And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. 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.”
Surah al-Maidah (6)
Imam al-Nawawi stated in his book:
أَنَّ الْتِقَاءَ بَشَرَتَيْ الْأَجْنَبِيِّ وَالْأَجْنَبِيَّةِ ينتقض سواء كان بشهوة وبقصد أم لا ولا ينتقص مَعَ وُجُودِ حَائِلٍ وَإِنْ كَانَ رَقِيقًا
Indeed, skin contact between a man and woman (ajnabi) is among the matters that invalidate ablution with or without desire. It does not invalidate ablution if there is a liner between them even if it is a thin liner. (Refer: Al-Majmu’ Syarah Al-Muhazzab: 2/30)
Syeikh Muhammad Zuhaili in his book stated: “What is meant by ajnabi woman is a woman who is permissible for him to marry. And mahram means a woman who he is prohibited from marrying. Skin contact with a young female child does not invalidate ablution (if it is not with desire), the same as touching the hair, nail or teeth. Skin contact with an elderly invalidate ablution even if without desire.” (Refer: Al-Mu’tamad Fi Fiqh Al-Syafie: 1/87)
The final opinion in madhab Syafie states that skin contact between husband and wife invalidates ablution; whether it is with or without desire for both are considered as ajnabi. (Refer: Al-Taqrirat Al-Sadidah:102)
According to the above question of skin contact between husband and wife, it invalidates the ablution of both of them. However, if there is a liner, then it does not invalidate the ablution. And this is the final opinion in madhab Syafie that is practised in our country.