Performing ghusl without washing the ears
Fatwa No: 317887

  • Fatwa Date:26-12-2015 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 15, 1437
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Assalaamu alaykum. I am a Hanafi, but I did not know that you had to wash your ears until today. Does this mean that all my previous ghusls (ritual shower) were invalid, and all my acts of worship based on those ghusls too? Is it obligatory to wash the feet if a person showers and then walk a few steps while doing so; for example, to get something from the shelf, because I did not know that you had to wash your feet.


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 ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

If you are certain that you did not wash your ears during ghusl and did not know of the obligation of washing them during ghusl, then the validity of your prayer in this case is subject to different views of scholars. The majority of the scholars, including the Hanafis, held that in such case you must repeat the prayers that you performed with doubtful ghusls. However, Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him and some other scholars held that the prayers are valid in this case because when the person fails to fulfill any of the conditions of the validity of prayer out of ignorance, he is not obliged to repeat the prayer. This view is based on the verse (which means): {And there is no blame upon you for that in which you have erred but (only for) what your hearts intended. And ever is Allaah Forgiving and Merciful.} [Quran 33:5], as well as on other pieces of evidence to the same effect.

We believe that there is no harm in following the view of Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah in this regard, especially if you are suffering from waswaas (obsessive whispering). This is of course as long as you are certain that you did not wash your ears. If you only doubt whether you washed them or not, then you should know that having doubts after finishing the act of worship does not affect its validity. For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 119112.

Also, you are not obliged to repeat washing your feet during the ghusl if you walk a few steps to get something or the like. It is enough to wash the feet once during ghusl. For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 81405.

Allaah knows best.

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