Dipping in water to make ablution
Fatwa No: 328663

Question

Can we dip in water to make ablution?

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

If what you mean is swimming in water with the intention of ablution (Wudhoo'), then the answer is that if the water is two Qullahs or more (the size of two Qullahs, as defined by jurists, is one and a quarter cubits in length, width and depth. A cubit often equals 50 centimeters. So two Qullahs are approximately 160.5 liters) and the person intends ablution, then this is sufficient. Most scholars are of the view that rubbing is not obligatory in ablution, and it is enough that water reaches the body.

What Imaam An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him stated illustrates this:

Our view is that rubbing the limbs (body parts) in Ghusl and in ablution is a Sunnah and not an obligation. So if a person pours water on his body and the water reaches the totality of his body without him using his hands (to rub it), or he dives in a large body of water or stands under a pipe of running water or under rain with the intention of Ghusl or ablution and the water reaches his hair and skin, then his Ghusl or ablution is sufficient. This was stated by all the scholars with the exception of Imaam Maalik and Imaam Al-Muzani, as they conditioned rubbing for the validity of Ghusl and ablution. Their evidence is that Ghusl is passing the hand, and we do not say that a person who is standing in the rain has performed Ghusl. Al-Muzani said, 'It is a condition in Tayammum (dry ablution) to pass the hand (over the limbs), so it is also the same case here. The scholars of our School provided evidence from the saying of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) to Abu Tharr  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him ‘If you find water, then let it touch your body,’ and he did not order him to do more than this; and it is a saheeh (sound) hadeeth.'” For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 326854.

Based on the above, swimming in water is sufficient for ablution if the doer intends to perform ablution, the water reached all the body parts that must be washed in ablution, and the water was two Qullahs or more. Two Qullahs is a measure of volume approximately equivalent to 160.5 liters.

If the water is less than two Qullahs, then some scholars still hold that ablution is sufficient. The Hanbali scholar Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

If a person who is in a state of sexual impurity or a person whose ablution is invalidated immerses themselves in water while intending to remove the state of impurity, then the water becomes used and his state of impurity is not removed. Ash-Shaafi’i said that the water becomes used and the state of impurity is removed because it becomes used due to him having removed the state of impurity in it.

For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 246043.

This is based on the view that the sequence [order in washing the body parts that must be washed in ablution] is a Sunnah, but according to those who are of the view that the sequence is obligatory, as adopted in the Hanbali and Shaafi'i Schools, then immersing in water is not sufficient for ablution until he washes the body parts in order (following the correct sequence).

Allaah knows best.

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