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The requirement of intention for the validity of ablution

MIT
11/20/2017
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All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings be upon the Messenger, his household and Companions.

The intention (niyyah) is essential for all acts of worship and it is the most important principles in the religion of Islam, specifically in regards to the acceptance one’s religion and deeds by God, and generally to all other normal every day activity in which a person involves himself. No act of worship is considered Ibadah without the intention.

The scholars of Islamic jurisprudence have two main opinions concerning requirement of intention for the validity of ablution . Many of the scholars said intention is an obligatory and an essential condition for ablution to be valid. This is the opinion of Al-Maliki, Shafi'iy and Hambali schools of thought.

The second group of scholars are those of Hanafi school of thought. The opined that making intention for ablution is not essential, nor obligatory. They cited as evidence the verse in Q5:6 while Allah, the exalted explained the essential parts of ablution. They said if intention is required for ablution to be valid, Allah would have mentioned it in the verse

But the majority of scholars who opined that it is essential, even it is obligatory part in ablution have cited many evidences to support their view.  Among of it;

They quoted as evidence the words of Allah:

وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاءَ

 “And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him)” [al-Bayyinah 98:5].

From the Sunnah, they quoted the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “Actions are but by intentions.”  What is meant is that the ruling on an action is based on the intention behind it.  Another piece of evidence is the hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Every person will have but that which he intended

 Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The intention is an essential condition of wudoo’, ghusl and tayammum being valid, and there is no difference of opinion among us concerning that. This is the view of Maalik, al-Layth ibn Sa’d, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Dawood. They quoted as evidence the words of Allah:

وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاءَ

 “And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him)” [al-Bayyinah 98:5]

Worshipping none but Allah with sincere devotion is an action of the heart; this is intention, and the command here shows that it is obligatory.

The preponderant view is that, Intention(Niyyah) is an essential and an absolutely obligatory condition for ablution to be valid in Shariah and one make the intention to purify oneself before one starts one his ablution

Thus, if one washes all of the body parts required by Shariah for one to perform the wudu, but one did not have the intention to purify oneself before they washed themselves, they will not be considered to be in the state of wudu in the Sight of Allah.

However, it is mustahabb to form the intention before washing one's hands, so that the intention will cover both the Sunnah parts of the purification and the obligatory parts because if he formed the intention after washing his hands, he will not be rewarded for it since it took place before the intention.

Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni, 1/159: The intention must precede the entire act of purification, because it is an essential condition thereof, so it is regarded as being essential throughout. If any of the obligatory parts of the act of purification take place before the intention, they do not count….

Based on this, it is better to form the intention before starting to do wudoo’, and it is obligatory to have the intention when doing the first of the obligatory actions of wudoo’. The scholars differed as to which is the first obligatory action of wudoo’. It was said that it is saying Bismillaah, or rinsing out the mouth – which is the correct view – or washing the face.

But if a person forms the intention with the first obligatory action of wudoo’, he will not be rewarded for whatever Sunnahs of wudoo’ he did before that, such as saying Bismillaah and washing the hands three times, as stated above in the words of Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him).






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