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Tirmidhi s1.1: Salah without wuḍu is invalid
By Mft. M. Saifur Rahman Nawhami
18 Muharram 1442 AH / 6 September 2020 CE

Allah Almighty does not accept that which is impure; be it salah with impurity or charity with impurity. Allah is pure and loves that which is pure. Salah without purity is invalid and charity from impure sources is invalid. If there is water or soil, salah without wuḍu 1 is invalid and it will not be accepted. There is ijmaʿ upon this. If there is no water or soil, with the exception of Imam Ahmad, the majority state that one must not or need not pray salah keeping to the generality of the hadith. They differ whether qaḍa should be done later. If one breaks wuḍu mid-salah, none allow them to continue in that state. The Shawafi state they must restart salah after renewing wuḍu. The Ahnaf allow for them to continue from where they left off so long as they did not do any other action that negates salah other than to fro to perform wuḍu.


باب ما جاء لا تقبل صلوة بغير طهور

حدثنا قتيبة بن سعيد حدثنا أبو عوانة عن سماك بن حرب ح وحدثنا هناد حدثنا وكيع عن إسرائيل عن سماك عن مصعب بن سعد عن ابن عمر عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال لا تقبل صلاة بغير طهور ولا صدقة من غلول قال هناد في حديثه إلا بطهور. قال أبو عيسى هذا الحديث أصح شيء في هذا الباب وأحسن. وفي الباب عن أبي المليح عن أبيه وأبي هريرة وأنس وأبو المليح بن أسامة اسمه عامر ويقال زيد بن أسامة بن عمير الهذلي

Sanad 1: Qutaybah b. Sa'īd -> Abu ʿAwanah -> Simak b. Harb -> Musʿab b. Saʿd -> Abdullah b. ʿUmar -> The Prophet ﷺ:

Sanad 2: Hannad -> Wakiʿ -> Isrāʿīl -> Simak b. Harb -> Musʿab b. Saʿd -> Abdullah b. ʿUmar -> The Prophet ﷺ:

Salah will not be valid without cleanliness and charity will not be accepted from stolen plunder.

In Hannad's report, he states 'إلا بطهور'.

Imam Tirmidhi states this is the most ṣaḥiḥ thing on this matter and the best.

On this issue [there are reports] from:

  • Abu-l Malīh -> His father. Abu-l Malīḥ b. Usāmah. His name is ʿĀmir. It is said [his name is] Zayd b. Usāmah b. ʿUmayr Huzali.
  • Abu Hurayrah
  • Anas


لا تقبل / Root ق ب ل / Lit: acceptance (قبول إجابة), valid (قول إصابة) / Qabul can mean 'acceptance' which is when something occurred as it was desired2 . Qabul can also mean 'valid' which is when something occurred inclusive of all the requisite criteria.3 . In this case, we will say 'salah not valid' as a core criterion is missing. This is the view of the majority. We will discuss this further in the fiqh section below. Imam Tirmidhi may have intended the meaning of acceptance (قبول إجابة) in this instance rather than validity as he brings a separate section on validity two sections down (Sect 3) titled "مفتاح الصلوة".

صلوة / Lit: any ṣalāh / Here the word is nakirah (an indefinite noun). As the nakirah follows a nafi (لا) the meaning of ṣalah becomes general (عام). Meaning the ruling is general for any ṣalah rather than a specific set.

طهور / Lit: cleanliness / According to the Shariah ṭahārah is the removal of hadath (internal impurity) or khabath (external impurity). This is according to the Ahnaf and they apply the term irrespective if it is related to ṣalāh or not. The Shawafiʿlimit the definition of ṭahārah to removing any impurity which is a barrier to ṣalāh. The Malikiyyah limit the definition further and confine it to the removal of hadath (internal impurity).

صدقة / Lit: charity / Something given for the sake of Allah with the intent of gaining reward from Allah as a result of that which was donated rather than the act of donation itself.

غلول / Lit: stolen camel, stolen plunder, / Ghulūl actually was said for a stolen or plundered camel. The meaning was expanded and applied to any stolen plunder. The rule is that any booty captured in battle must be deposited centrally after which the commander allotted an amount accordingly. Any booty which is taken secretly is considered a form of theft and classed as ghulūl which is a major sin. Allm. Nawawi et al. suggest the meaning of ghulūl is deception as in wealth gained through treachery. Allm. Qurtubi suggests a broader meaning and suggests ghulūl means any forbidden wealth. Regardless, all will agree on the overall meaning that charity is invalid or not accepted if the source of the wealth is harām.

Link between taharah and sadaqah / In both cases it is clarified that we should only give that which is pure. If impurity attaches to something pure the impurity should be removed. If the act or item in inherently impure, it cannot be purified and should be discarded appropriately.

Usul Hadith

Imam Tirmidhi put the sanad with the shorter chain (عالي) as the primary narration and Hannad's narration as secondary as it was the longer chain (نازل). Qutaybah's sanad has two links to Simak whilst Hannad had three.

Abu ʿAwanah's name is Wadhdhah b. Abdullah. The Isrāʿil in the sanad is Isrāʿīl b. Yunus b. Abu Ishāq al-Sabīʿī.

Both sanads are reliable. Simak b. Harb is reliable but his reports from Ikramah are criticised. Simak does not narrate from Ikramah in either of the sanads. Rather he relates from Mus'ab, hence, the authenticity is unaffected.

This hadith has been narrated by other sahabah also with the same or similar wording. Imam Ibn Majah, Imam Ahmad and Imam Ibn Abi Shaybah also report it in their works. Imam Tabrani reports it as 'لا صلاة لمن لا طهور له'. Imam Bukhari reports it via Abu Hurayrah RA as 'لا تقبل صلاة من أحدث حتى يتوضأ'. However, in the chapter heading he brings up the hadith in this section. Imam Muslim reports both wordings in his Sahih.

Imam Tirmidhi reports that the most correct and best is that which he has narrated. However, Imam Bukhari's sanad is stronger4 than Imam Tirmidhi's sanad which has Simak b. Harb. Simak is reliable but not as strong as others.

Hf. Ibn Hajar Asqalani5 states that it has also been reported by Abu Bakr Siddiq RA, Zubayr b. Awwam, Abu Bakrah RA and Abu Saʾīd Khuḍri RA.

Amongst the sahabah who narrated this hadith is the father of Abu-l Malīh b. Usamah b. Umayr of Banu Lihyan b. Huzayl (d. 112 AH).6 Abu-l Malih was a tabiʿī and narrated from other sahabah also such as Aishah RA, Abdullah b. Abbas RA, Abdullah b. Amr RA. He is thiqah (reliable). His name is Amir. Ibn Hibban RA7 states those who assumed that his name was Zayd or Ziyad have made an error.

Fiqh Hadith

The following discussions arise from the hadith

  • Salah without wuḍu in general
  • Salah without wuḍu in necessity (نمسألة فاقد الطهوري)
  • Absence of wuḍu in between salah (مسألة بناء الصلاة)
  • Donating haram wealth

Salah without wuḍu in general

There is ijmā' that salah without wuḍu or its equivalent such as tayammum is invalid. One cannot be in the state of hadath (ritual impurity) and pray salah under normal circumstances. There is some detail amongst the Malikiyyah if one had najasat (physical impurity) on their clothing or body whilst praying salah. However, they are agreed that salah without wuḍu is invalid. Those who state that janazah prayer8 or sajdah tilawah is valid without wudu, they hold this position because they do not these to be salah, hence, it has no impact on ijmaʿ.

Salah without wuḍu in necessity (فاقد الطهورين)

What should a person do if they do not have access to water or soil to do either wuḍu or tayammum? This issue is called faqid al-tahurayn.9 Imam Abu Hanifah states that they must not pray and will do qaḍa later. Imam Ahmad states that should pray and there is no need to qaḍa later. Imam Malik states that they will not pray and there is no need for qaḍa later. The preferred view of Imam Shafiʿi is that they should pray although it is not necessary - in either case, they must do qaḍa later. Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad state that they will do the motions of salah without recitation and later they must do qaḍa. The Ahnaf fatwa is on the view of Imams Abu Yusuf and Muhammad. This is not contrary to the hadith in this section which states that salah cannot be prayed without wuḍu. Making the motions is not considered salah. The principle of making the motions when unable is available in other cases also. Such as when hajj is nullified, fast is broken or a woman in hayḍ finishes her hayḍ during the day in Ramadan; in these cases, they will maintain a semblance of a person in hajj or fasting to the remainder of the course.

Absence of wuḍu in between salah (مسألة البناء)

If a person breaks their wudu whilst praying salah, would the salah break? According to the Shawafi et al. the salah breaks as salah is invalid without wuḍu. The Ahnaf state that salah is not broken rather it is paused whilst the person goes, re-performs their wuḍu without engaging any other acts and then rejoins from where they left. This is called bināʾ. One is not allowed to pray salah whilst in the state of hadath. In the case of bināʿ the person stops praying but this hadith is silent about salah breaking or continuing after having done wuḍu from where one left off.10 Movement in case of need does not necessarily break salah as is apparent in salat al-khawf. There are fatwa reliably attributed to Ali RA and Abdullah b. Umar RA which supports bināʾ.11 . There other reports from Aisha RA, Abdullah b. Abbas RA and Abu Saʿīd Khuḍri amongst but the sanad is weak albeit numerous.12 The Ahnaf consider the fatwa of a mufti sahabi evidence particularly if their position goes against qiyas. As bināʾ goes against qiyas we consider the fatwa to be marfuʾ hukmi.

Donating haram wealth

If one has haram wealth, one must donate the wealth to charity.13 . If charity is invalid, how does one donate? Such a donation will not be classed as sadaqah. The reason is that sadaqah results in the donor receiving reward from Allah for the quantity they donated. Instead, this donation is deemed to be unloading a burden (بريء الذمة) or writing a wrong by removing harm from their possession which they should not have had in the first place. Hence, the hadith is stating that the donation of haram wealth is not considered sadaqah and should not expect any reward from it.


Muhammad Saifur Rahman Nawhami
18 Muharram 1442 AH
6 September 2020 CE

Further reading

Maʿarif al-Sunan li Yusuf Binnori Mustafad min Shaykhi Allamah Anar Shah Kashmiri. 1413 AH. Karachi, Pakistan. H. M. Saeed Company. pp. 29 - 36 v.1

  • 1or its equivalent such as tayammum
  • 2وقوع الشيء في حيّز مرضاة الرب سبحانه وتعالى
  • 3كون الشيء مستجمعا لجمع الشرائط والأركان
  • 4قال إسحاق بن إبراهيم الحنظلي قال أخبرنا عبد الرزاق قال أخبرنا معمر عن همام بن منبه أنه سمع أبا هريرة يقول قال لاتقبل صلاة من أحدث حتي يتوضأ
  • 5Talkhis al-Ḥabīr
  • 6قال ابن أبي شيبة حدثنا شبابة بن سوار وعبيد بن سعيد عن شعبة عن قتادة عن أبي المليح عن أبيه عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : إن الله لا يقبل صلاة بغير طهور ولا صدقة من غلول
  • 7Thiqat: ومن زعم أَن اسمه زياد أَو زيد بن أُسامة فقد وهم
  • 8Tabari, ʿĀmir Shaʿbi and Ibn ʿUlayyah consider janazah salah valid if prayed without wudu as they consider a form dua. They hold the same opinion regarding sajdah tilawah also. Imam Bukhari agrees with them regarding sajdah tilawah and disagrees about janazah.
  • 9Loss of the two cleansers
  • 10Mafhum mukhalif is not evidence according to the ahnaf. It can be evidence according to the Shawafi'
  • 11See Ibn Abi Shaybah and Bayhaqi
  • 12من أصابه قيء أو رعاف أو قاس أو مذي فلينصرف فليتوضأ ثم ببين على صلوته زهو في ذلك لا يتكلم رواه ابن ماجة في سننه. سنده ضعيف لكن له طرق كثيرة. حكي عن العلامة الكشميري الصواب عند أرباب الحديث الإرسال. اهـ
  • 13This is when the owner is not known. If the owner is known then it should be returned to the owner.
  • Type: Note

  • Subject: Hadith, Sunan Tirmidhi

  • Author: M. Saifur Rahman Nawhami

  • Collection: Notebook

  • ID: 200906501

  • Updated: 05-November-2023