Purification and prayer for one who has urinary incontinence
1 – Whoever has a problem that constantly breaks his wudoo’, such as one who suffers from urinary incontinence and constant wind, should do wudoo’ at the time of each prayer, and pray as much as he likes of obligatory and naafil prayers with that wudoo’, until the time for the next prayer begins.
That is because of the report narrated in al-Saheehayn from ‘Aa’ishah who said: Faatimah bint Abi Hubaysh came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allaah, I am a woman who suffers from constant non-menstrual bleeding (istihaadah), and I never become pure. Should I give up prayer?” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “No, rather that is from a vein, and it is not menstruation. When your regular time of menstruation comes, then stop praying, and when that time is over, then wash the blood off yourself and pray, then do wudoo’ for every prayer until that time comes.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 226 – this version was narrated by him; and Muslim, 333.
The scholars regarded the one who suffers urinary incontinence as coming under the same rulings as the woman who suffers from istihaadah (irregular non-menstrual bleeding).
But if he knows that the urine will stop within the time when he will be able to purify himself and pray, then he has to delay the prayer until that time.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:
When a person suffers from urinary incontinence, one of two scenarios must apply:
(i) If it is constant and does not stop, and every time any amount collects in the bladder it comes out, then when the time for prayer comes, he should cover his private part with something and pray, and it will not matter if something comes out.
(ii) If it will stop after he urinates, or ten minutes or a quarter of an hour after that, then he should wait until it stops, then do wudoo’ and pray, even if he misses prayer in congregation.
As’ilah al-Baab al-Maftooh, Q. 17, no. 67.
The scholars differed with regard to the tahaarah (putification) of the woman who suffers from istihaadah and others like her – is the tahaarah invalidated when the time for prayer ends or when the time for the next prayer begins? For example, one who does wudoo’ for Fajr prayer – can she pray Duha prayer or Eid prayer with this wudoo’ or not?
Those who say that her wudoo’ is invalidated when the time for (Fajr) prayer ends say that she is not allowed to do that, because when the sun rises, her wudoo’ comes to an end.
Those who say that her wudoo’ is invalidated when the time for the next prayer begins, say that it is permissible for her to pray Duha or Eid prayer with the wudoo’ for Fajr, because her wudoo’ lasts until the time for Zuhr begins.
Both views are narrated in the madhhab of Imam Ahmad and others (al-Insaaf, 1/378; al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 3/212)
To be on the safe side, she should do wudoo’ again for Duha and Eid prayer; this was stated in a fatwa by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him). See question no. 22843.
2 – Based on the above, you cannot do wudoo’ before the time for prayer, whether that is so that you can pray in congregation or for some other reason, because your wudoo’ will be invalidated when the time for the next prayer begins.
But we would like to point out that this ruling applies only when the impurity is ongoing. But if we assume that the person who has incontinence does wudoo’, then nothing comes out of him until the time for the next prayer begins, he does not have to do wudoo’, and his first wudoo’ is still valid.
The words of the fuqaha’ – let him do wudoo’ for each prayer – apply if something comes out of him.
Al-Bahooti said in al-Rawd al-Murabba’ (p. 57): For the woman who is suffering istihaadah and those who suffer incontinence or continual emission of madhiy (prostatic fluid) or wind… should do wudoo’ when the time for each prayer begins, if something comes out, and should offer obligatory and naafil prayers so long as that time lasts. If nothing comes out then they do not have to do wudoo’.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The woman who is suffering from istihaadah has to do wudoo’ at the time for each prayer, if something comes out; if nothing comes out of her then her first wudoo’ remains valid.
Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 1/438.
3 – If you are outside the home and your wudoo’ is invalidated because the time for the next prayer begins, and you want to pray, then you have to repeat your wudoo’, after washing the private part and covering it with something that will prevent the emission coming out as much as possible.
Underwear is purified by washing it. If you single out a clean garment for prayer which you can carry with you, that will be easier for you. If it is too difficult to wash your clothes or change them, then pray as you are.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
The sick person who is suffering with urinary incontinence and cannot be cured with treatment has to do wudoo’ for each prayer after the time for prayer begins. He should wash off whatever has gotten onto his body and set aside clean clothes for prayer, if that is not too difficult for him. If he cannot do that then he is excused, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship”
“Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you”
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If I command you to do a thing, then do as much of it as you can.” He should take precautions to prevent urine spreading on his body or clothes or the place where he prays.
End quote. From Fataawa Islamiyyah, 1/192
If it is too hard for you to do wudoo’ and wash your clothes for every prayer, then it is permissible for you to join Zuhr and ‘Asr and pray them with one wudoo’ at the time of either of them, and to join Maghrib and ‘Isha’ likewise, whether that is in your house or elsewhere.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 24/14:
Those who are sick or suffering from istihaadah may join their prayers.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 4/559:
It is permissible for the woman who is suffering from istihaadah to join Zuhr and ‘Asr, and Maghrib and ‘Ishah’, because it is difficult for her to do wudoo’ for every prayer.
4 – You can pray Taraaweeh with the wudoo’ you did for ‘Isha’, even if the Taraaweeh prayers last until after midnight.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:
Is it permissible for a woman who is suffering from istihaadah to pray qiyaam al-layl if it will end at midnight, with the wudoo’ of ‘Isha’?
This is an area concerning which there is a difference of scholarly opinion. Some of the scholars said that when midnight comes she has to repeat her wudoo’, and some said that she does not have to repeat her wudoo’ – this is the more correct opinion.
Fataawa al-Tahaarah, p. 286.
And Allaah knows best.