Q&A (Fatwa)

#255: Ruling on Washing the Head Three Times during Wudhu


“Salaam Alaikum. Good morning. May Allah reward for all the good work you are doing. Please, I have a question regarding ablution. When talked washing parts three times, does that include the head and ears too?”


Wa alaykum Salām Warahmatullāh Wabarakātuh

Āmīn, may Allāh reward you too, āmīn.


There are Ahādith that point to the fact that the hair is to be wiped three times, and so the ears.

Of them is that recorded by Abū Dāwud – rahimahullāh – from ‘Uthmān Ibn ‘Affān – where he taught how the Wudhū is to be observed. In it is the wiping of the hairs three times.

For this reason, the verdict of Imām Ash-Shāfi’ī – rahimahullāh – and some of thr Imams of his school is that the wiping of the hair is to be done three times.

The majority of the Ulamā disagree with this position citing the weakness of the Hadīth referred to. It is the position of the Malikis, the Hanafīs, and the more dominant of the Hanbalī schools. It is also the position narrated from Ibn ‘Umar, Sālim, An-Nakha’ī, and others among the Tābi’īn.

Imām At-Tirmidhī – rahimahullāh – said:

“And this is what is acted upon by many of the People of Ilm among the Companions of the Rasūl – salallāhu alayhi wasallam”

Al-Hāfidh Ibn Hajar – rahimahullāh – said:

“And the narrations that reffered to wiping the head three times – if they are authetic – are taken as a necessity to ensure that the entire head is wiped and not as independent wipings. This is the way to reconcile the evidences.”

In Al-Mughnī, Ibn Qudāmah – rahimahullāh – maintained that the Ahādith showing the wiping to be three times are weak. He was followed in this regard by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, Ibn ‘AbdilBarr and Ash-Shawkānī – Rahimahumullāh.

However, the position of Imām Ash-Shāfi’ī was shared by the Dhāhirī school and some of the Muhaqqiqūn.

That which is right, and Allāh knows best, is that there is nothing wrong in adding the second and the third wiping.

This is because the Ahādith that have come with three wipings, though weak in themselves, strengthen one another in accordance with the Precepts of Reconciliation of Ahādith among the ‘Ulamā.

For this reason, Al-Adhīm Abādī – rahimahullāh – said:

“There is nothing wrong with making it three times”.

Some of the Ulamā that declare the Ahādith Sahih by virtue of its various narrations is Imām Ahmad Shākir and Shaykh Muhammad Nāsiruddīn Al-Albānī – rahimahumullāh.

That said, wiping the hair, and by extension the ears three times is established by the evidences of the Hadīth.

And one may observe that or observe that which was held as opinion by the Majority of the Fuqahā.

And Allāh knows best.
Bārakallāhu fīkum


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