Assalamualaikum SS Mufti. I want to ask about the ablution of a person who wears contact lenses. Since the face is included as the obligatory parts for ablution, does this mean that a person has to remove his contact lenses before performing the ablution?
Waalaikumussalam wrt wbt,
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.
Allah SWT states:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ …
“O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows,”
Surah al-Maidah (6)
The above verse clearly states the commandment of ablution from Allah SWT before performing prayer. As we know, the face is one of the obligatory parts of ablution and the eyes are on the face. Thus, coming back to the question asked, what is the ruling of wearing contact lens while performing ablution?
Definition of Contact Lens
According to the 4th edition of Kamus Dewan contact lens is a correctional ocular prosthetic device, cosmetic or therapeutic lenses which are placed on the cornea. Contact lens are usually used to correct a person’s vision the same as when a person wears spectacle, but it is lighter and less visible when worn – there are also coloured contact lens such as light blue. Refer https://ms.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanta_lekap
Refer to our previous article regarding the ruling of wearing contact lenses:
IRSYAD AL-FATWA 144: THE RULING OF WEARING COLORED CONTACT LENSES (http://bit.ly/31Gg3bO)
Are the eyes included as the obligatory parts to be washed for ablution?
According to madhhab Syafie, the inner part of the eyes is not included as the obligatory part to be washed for ablution.
Imam al-Syafie said: “And I did not know of any difference of opinions that the face is obligatory to be washed for ablution and only the surface of it where the inner parts is not included, and it is not obligatory to wash both the eyes.” (Refer Al-Umm, 1/40)
Imam al-Nawawi said: “As for the ruling for this issue, then it is not obligatory to wash the inner parts of the eyes according to the consensus of scholars and there is an opinion saying that it is sunnah but the sahih opinion which is the majority of scholars opinion states that it is not sunnah.” (Refer Al-Majmu' Syarh al-Muhadzzab, 1/404)
Imam al-Syarbini said: “And between the obligatory washing is the washing of the surface of a face… and the parts excluded from the face, which are the inner parts of the mouth, nose and eyes, thus, these parts are not obligatory to be washed, nor is it sunnah to wash the interior of the eyes, where some scholars even ruled it makruh (to wash the interior parts of the eyes) for it could harm or injure the eyes.” (Refer Mughni al-Muhtaj, 1/153)
It is stated in Fatwa Dar al-Ifta’ al-Misriyyah: “And the sahih opinion on this matter is: As for washing the inner parts of the eyes when purifying oneself, it is not a condition nor is it permissible. Thus, wearing contact lens does not affect purification ruling, regardless of whether it is worn for medical or adornment purposes. The reason is washing the eyes is not mentioned in the narration of the Prophet PBUH, whether through the Prophet PBUH’s words or actions and it could also cause pain and harm.” Refer https://www.amrkhaled.net
As a conclusion, after analysing the above discussion, it is permissible to wear contact lens while performing ablution and the ablution is valid. Furthermore, the contact lens does not prevent water from entering the eyes. And even if the contact lens is impermeable to water, it is not an issue. The reason is washing the inner parts of the eyes is not obligatory or even sunnah. It is considered as makruh according to the sahih opinion because it is harmful to the eyes. Thus, a person does not have to remove his contact lens before performing the ablution or obligatory bath for it does not affect the validity of purification. Wallahua’lam.