The Lajnah ad-Da’imah was asked the following:
If while performing Wudu’ (ablution), I forget to wash a small part of a limb that must be washed during Wudu’, which I remembered immediately after Wudu’, should I repeat Wudu’ in this case, or is it enough to wash the part I forget?
One of the conditions of Wudu’ is washing all the parts in close sequence. Thus, if a person forgets to wash a limb required in Wudu’, or even a small part of it, and remembers it while performing Wudu’ or immediately after when the washed parts are still wet, they may wash the part they forgot and the subsequent limbs only. However, if they remember having forgotten to wash a limb that is required to be washed during Wudu’, or even a small part of it, after it is dry, or while or after performing Salah (Prayer), they should repeat Wudu’ as prescribed by Allah and perform the whole Salah again. This is because the condition of washing the required body parts in sequence was not met. Moreover, Allah made it obligatory that all the required body parts should be washed during Wudu’. Accordingly, whoever omits even a very small area of a limb, it is as if it were wholly omitted. This is supported by the Hadith narrated on the authority of `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Prophet (peace be upon him) saw a person performing Wudu’ (ablution), but he left a nail-size space on his feet (unwashed). The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) commanded him to repeat the Wudu’ and Salah. The man went back and repeated Salah. (Related by Ibn Majah in his Sunan) Moreover, Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud related a Hadith similar in meaning.
May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!
Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta
AbdulFattaah bin Uthman