Leaving a spot on the body unwashed in Ghusl from Janaabah
Fatwa No: 250972

Question

I have been performing ghusl for almost a year, but one thing i recently realized is that i forgot to wash a small part of my body during ghusl for all these months. Does that mean I have to repeat my prayers that i prayed over the last several months? Please note that Allah has not laid any hardship in religion for us, and that it would be difficult for me to make up all these prayers.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

First of all, we noticed from the previous questions of this brother that he has a severe case of Waswasah (obsessive whisperings) with regards to the subject of Kufr (disbelief) and the actions that take a person out of the fold of Islam. We wonder if he is experiencing similar whisperings with regards to ritual purity and validity of the Prayer.

What we say in brief is that if you have doubts that you had left out a spot on your body unwashed and that the water did not reach it during Ghusl, then these doubts do not count and should be disregarded. The basic principle is that your Ghusl is valid and that you have performed it in the proper manner. You should pay no attention to such doubts that you have after finishing Ghusl because the doubts that a person has after performing the act of worship do not count and should simply be disregarded.

The Fatwa of the Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fataawa in this regard reads, “The fact that the questioner noticed once or twice that he had left out a spot on his foot unwashed during Wudhoo' does not mean that all his other Wudhoo's are invalid because the basic principle is that he performed Wudhoo' in the proper manner and that his Wudhoo' is valid. Verily, certainty is not overruled by mere doubts. The same applies to the Ghusl of Janaabah (major ritual impurity)…

However, if you are certain that you had left out a part of the body unwashed during the Ghusl of Janaabah, then in this case the state of Janaabah has not been removed and the prayer is invalid until Janaabah is removed. Therefore, it becomes incumbent on you to make up for all the prayers performed while you were still in the state of Janaabah after that invalid Ghusl. Ash-Shaafi‘i  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote about leaving out a part of the body unwashed during the obligatory Ghusl: “If the person leaves out a spot of the body – large or small and the water does not reach it during the Ghusl – and he prays afterwards and then realizes that a part of his body had been left out unwashed, then he should wash (only) the part that he missed and repeat the prayer after washing it…” [Al-Umm]

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 83727 and 130050.

Allaah Knows best.

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