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|Description of Wiping Over the Head in Wudoo’
How is the head wiped in wudoo’?
Praise be to Allaah.
The way in which parts of the body are washed or wiped over in wudoo’ is not obligatory. What is obligatory is to wash the parts that are to washed, and to wipe the parts that are to be wiped, in any manner that that is done. But undoubtedly following the way which is narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is better and more perfect.
See al-Mughni, 1/171.
Two ways of wiping over the head in wudoo’ have been narrated:
1 – After wetting the hands in water, you place them at the front of the head and wipe the head until you reach the back of the head, then you bring them back to the front of the head.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Sharh Muslim that the scholars are unanimously agreed that this is mustahabb.
This is proven in a number of ahaadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
Al-Bukhaari (185) and Muslim (235) narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Zayd (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he described the wudoo’ of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): … Then he wiped his head with his hands, front to back. He started at the front of the head and (wiped) until his hands reached the back of the head, then he brought them back to where he started.
Abu Dawood (124) narrated that Mu’aawiyah (may Allaah be pleased with him) did wudoo’ for the people as he had seen the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) doing wudoo’. When he reached his head, he scooped up some water into his left hand and put his hands onto the middle of his head until the water dripped down or almost dripped down. Then he wiped it from front to back, and from back to front. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
Abu Dawood (122) narrated that al-Miqdaam ibn Ma’di Yakrib (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) doing wudoo’. When he reached the wiping of his head, he put his hands at the front of his head (and wiped) until he reached the back, then he brought them back to the place where he had started. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
This way of wiping the head suits one whose hair is short and will not be messed up by bringing the hands back to the front of the head.
2 – Wiping the whole head, but in the direction of the hair only, so that the hair is not changed or messed up.
This way of wiping suits one whose hair is long – man or woman – lest the hair be messed up by bringing back the hands.
Ahmad (26484) and Abu Dawood (128) narrated from al-Rubayyi’ bint Mu’awwidh ibn ‘Afra’ (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did wudoo’ in her house, and he wiped his entire head from the top of the head to the end of the hair, but he did not move the hair out of place. Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
Al-‘Iraqi said: What is meant is that he used to start wiping at the top of his head and end at the bottom, doing that on all sides of his head. End quote.
Ibn Raslaan said: This method is only for one who has long hair, because if he moves his hands back again to make the water reach the roots of his hair, he will mess up his hair.
It was narrated from Imam Ahmad that he was asked how a woman or one who has long hair like a woman should wipe their heads? He said: If he wishes he may wipe it in the manner narrated from al-Rubayyi’, then he said, Like this: And he placed his hand at the top of his head and brought it down to the front, then he lifted it up and placed it where he had started (at the top of his head) and brought it down to the back.
It may be understood that what is meant by qarn (translated above as “the top of the head”) is the front of the head, i.e., the wiping starts at the front of the head covering all sides of it to the back of the head, i.e., he wipes his head once from front to back, and he does not bring his hands back again, to avoid messing up the hair. Al-Rubayy’i (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: Do not mess up the hair.
Se ‘Awn al-Ma’bood Sharh Sunan Abi Dawood, Nayl al-Awtaar (1/189) and al-Mughni (1/178).
The point is that this way is to be used by one who fears that his hair will get messed up, so he wipes his hair in the direction that the hair is growing, so that his hair will not get messed up.
And Allaah knows best.
Question Date: 2011-04-10
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