Washing Hands before touching Utensils
Washing Hands before touching Utensils

Book:

The Book of Ritual Purification (Tahara) - كتاب الطهارة من الحدث.

Chapter:

Acts of Wudu'

Topic/Issue:5 - Washing Hands before touching Utensils -- غسل اليد قبل إدخالها في إناء الوضوء
Opinions:
Opinion FromOpinionExplanation
Imam Abu Hanifa,Imam ShafiSunnah Mu'akkada / Always RecommendedAyah 5:6 already encapsulated all requirements, therefore the imperative / command in the hadith of Abu Huraira was shifted to mean recommendation rather than obligation.
Imam MalikSunnah Mu'akkada / Always Recommended, OR, It's recommended for the person in doubt.The particular word “sleep” in the hadith of Abu Huraira implies a general situation in which a person is doubtful about the state of their hands before immersing their hands in the container of water,
Imam AhmadIt's obligatory on the one waking up from nocturnal sleep.Hadith of Abu Huraira is an addition to the obligations mentioned in 5:6.
They did not consider this addition a contradiction to ayah 5:6.
Its only for waking from sleep because of words 'spent the night.' in the hadith.
Others:
Da'udIt's obligatory on the person awaking from sleep
Disagreement
Reasons:
  • This discussion is not as relevant to those who have running tap water, but it is applicable to others.
  • This discussion is not about an act of wudu', it's related to the hukm of the purity of the water used.

The scholars have multiple opinions on this issue due to the following narration:{2,3}

  • Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet said, When one of you wakes from his sleep, let him wash his hands before putting them in the watering can, for he does not know where his hand spent the night.. In other versions, this hadeeth says, let him wash it thrice.

Reasons for Disagreement

The disagreement of the scholars on this issue can be divided into two broad groups, one of which believed this hadeeth contained an obligation, the other believing it held a recommendation. Within these two groups are other disagreements discussed below:

  1. Waajib / Obligatory: Since an imperative / command is given by the Prophet in the hadeeth, the scholars who took this to be an additional requirement. They did not consider this addition a contradiction to ayah 5:6. This group disagreed about whether it was required for all types of sleep or nocturnal sleep alone:
    1. Nocturnal Sleep: Those who said it’s required only when waking from nighttime sleep considered the words, “…spent the night.”
    2. Any sleep: Did not consider the words “…spent the night.” relevent to the discussion.
  2. Sunnah / Recommended: Those who did not believe it to be an obligation did so because they felt ayah 5:6 already encapsulated all requirements, therefore the imperative / command was shifted to mean recommendation rather than obligation. They all agreed this act is recommended even when one’s hands were undoubtedly clean, so long as one was waking up from sleep. They differed on the type of sunna this act was, and whether this should be applied to sleep alone, or all cases in which doubt exists.
    • Sunnah Mu’akkadah vs Mandub (always recommended vs occasional recommended): One group believed the Prophet did this act repeatedly and took the former hukm, others did not and took the latter hukm.
    • For waking from sleep or any time there’s doubt: Some scholars understood from this that sleep was the qualifying factor that made this act recommended before washing the hands. Others understood the particular word “sleep” to imply a general situation in which a person is doubtful about the state of their hands before immersing their hands in the container of water, so they made it recommended anytime the person is in a state of doubt.
Evidences :1 - Quran [5:6], 2 - Sahih Bukhari [# 164], 3 - Sahih Muslim [# 544] [Hide/Show]
Tags :Worship,Purification, Tahara, Wudu', Utensil, Hand
See Also:The Acts of Ablution
References:1[pg:4-5] [Hide/Show]
Last Updated:2011-07-03

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