Wednesday, March 29, 2023
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Reciting Bismillaah before commencing with wudhu

Fatwaa ID: 187


AsSalaamulaikum wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatahu, Firstly, I would like to say Jazakallah khair for providing this service to the ummah. May Allah (swt) accept your efforts and grant you all the best in this world and the hereafter. Recently a respected brother shared this Hadith with me: “The Messenger of ALLAH (ﷺ) said: The prayer of a person who does not perform ablution is not valid, and the ablution of a person who does not mention the name of ALLAH (in the beginning) is not valid.” Sunan Abu Dawud Book 1, Hadith 101 SubhanAllah this is a beautiful hadith and something we should implement in our lives. My confusion arises because according the Hanafi Fiqh I was taught by my asatizas that there are 4 Faraid (obligatory acts) in wudu, (at least once washing the face, the arms up to (and including) the elbows, massah of 1/4th of the head and the feet up to (and including) the ankles). Thus, if a person did these 4 acts with or without the intention of wudu (thus without saying Bismillah) the wudu would be regarded as valid and one could pray their salah and touch the Quran in this state. (Of course this is against the adaab of the Sunnah and it is best to complete wudu according to the Sunnah method; however, we were taught that the wudu would still be regarded as valid. Please do correct me if I am wrong, I remember being taught in according to the Hanafi fiqh the intention for wudu and saying Bismillah is an important sunnah; but it is not considered fardh because the Quranic verse pretaining to wudu did not specifically mention the niyyah. Therefore, considering the following scenario if someone were to take a shower or jump in a pool and they didn’t have the intention for wudu at that time (and thus they didn’t say Bismillah), once they get out of the pool or shower, their wudu would be considered as complete because their four compulsory wudu limbs (face, arms until elbows, 1/4th of head and feet until ankles) were washed and their salah would be valid if they prayed immediately in that state. It seems like from the above Hadith that saying Bismillah is a fardh.

Thus, my question is, according to the Hanafi Fiqh is saying Bismillah from among the faraidh of wudu? If the ablution without Bismillah is not valid then all the people who forgot to say Bismillah, their Salah then also will not be valid, and this is very scary because it does happen sometimes that a person performs wudhu (or just takes a shower without the intention of wudu) and forgets to say Bismillah in the beginning and just goes to pray their salah afterwards. Will this person’s Salah not be valid then? If not, will they then have to preform the Qadha (make them up) of these Salah? (I apologize about the lengthy post) Jazakallah khair katheerah


In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

According to the Hanafi madhab, reciting bismillaah prior to commencing with the wudhu is sunnah[i]. Consider the following Hadith:

من توضأ وذكر اسم الله على وضوئه كان طهورا لجسده، ومن توضأ ولم يذكر اسم الله على وضوئه كان طهورا لأعضائه[ii]

Translation: “Whoever performs wudhu and remembers the name of Allaah prior to commencing his wudhu, it will be purification for his body; and whoever does not remember the name of Allaah prior to commencing his wudhu, it will be purification for his limbs (i.e. that are washed). (Bayhaqi 199, Daaraqutni 233)

It is clear from this Hadith that reciting the tasmiyah is not necessary for one’s wudhu to be valid.

As far as the Hadith quoted in the query is concerned, the wordings of the Hadith along with its translation are as follows:

ولا وضوء لمن لم يذكر اسم الله عليه

Translation: “There is no wudhu for the one does not remember the name of Allaah prior to it (wudhu).” (Abu Dawood 101)

The Hadith in reference, apart from being dha’eef, negates perfectness of the wudhu and its completeness. Any action without its sunnahs is incomplete. The above Hadith does not refer to the validity of wudhu.

It is important to note that as muqallids, we ought to follow the views adopted by the jurists of our madhab.

And Allaah Ta’aala Knows Best.

Muajul I. Chowdhury
Student, Darul Iftaa
Astoria, New York, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين

[i]  بدائع الصنائع في ترتيب الشرائع (1/ 20)

(ومنها) : التسمية وقال مالك إنها فرض إلا إذا كان ناسيا فتقام التسمية بالقلب مقام التسمية باللسان دفعا للحرج، واحتج بما روي عن النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – أنه قال «لا وضوء لمن لم يسم» .

(ولنا) أن آية الوضوء مطلقة عن شرط التسمية فلا تقيد إلا بدليل صالح للتقييد؛، ولأن المطلوب من المتوضئ هو الطهارة، وترك التسمية لا يقدح فيها؛ لأن الماء خلق طهورا في الأصل، فلا تقف طهوريته على صنع العبد. والدليل عليه ما روي عن ابن مسعود – رضي الله عنه – أن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قال «من توضأ، وذكر اسم الله عليه كان طهورا لجميع بدنه، ومن توضأ، ولم يذكر اسم الله كان طهورا لما أصاب الماء من بدنه» ، والحديث من جملة الآحاد، ولا يجوز تقييد مطلق الكتاب بخبر الواحد، ثم هو محمول على نفي الكمال، وهو معنى السنة كقول النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – «لا صلاة لجار المسجد إلا في المسجد» ، وبه نقول: ” إنه سنة ” لمواظبة النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – عليها عند افتتاح الوضوء، وذلك دليل السنية وقال – عليه الصلاة والسلام – «كل أمر ذي بال لم يبدأ فيه بذكر اسم الله فهو أبتر»

النتف في الفتاوى للسغدي (1/ 16)

فأما طهارة التعبد فعلى وجهين بالماء والتراب فأما التي بالماء فعلى وجهين وضوء واغتسال ففرض الوضوء أربعة اشياء عند الفقهاء وعند ابي عبد الله

1 – غسل الوجه 2 واليدين 3 والرجلين 4 ومسح ربع الرأس…….

الفضائل في الوضوء واما الفضائل في الوضوء فهي عشرة اشياء احداها النية والثاني التسمية والثالث غسل اليدين قبل الاستنجاء ثلاثا والرابع تخليل اللحية والخامس مسح الأذنين والسادس مسح الرقبة والسابع غسل المرفقين مع الذراعين وغسل الكعبين مع الرجلين في قول ابي عبد الله والثامن الغسل الثاني من الوجه والتاسع الغسل الثاني من اليدين كذا والعاشر الغسل الثاني من الرجلين كذا

[ii]  السنن الكبرى للبيهقي (1/ 73)

199 – أخبرنا أبو الحسن علي بن أحمد بن عبدان، أنبأ أحمد بن عبيد الصفار، ثنا محمد بن غالب، ثنا هشام بن بهرام، ثنا عبد الله بن حكيم أبو بكر، عن عاصم بن محمد، عن نافع، عن ابن عمر، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: ” من توضأ وذكر اسم الله على وضوئه كان طهورا لجسده، ومن توضأ ولم يذكر اسم الله على وضوئه كان طهورا لأعضائه “. [ص:74] وهذا أيضا ضعيف. أبو بكر الداهري غير ثقة عند أهل العلم بالحديث. وروي من وجه آخر ضعيف، عن أبي هريرة مرفوعا

سنن الدارقطني (1/ 125)

233 – حدثنا أحمد بن محمد بن زياد , نا محمد بن غالب , نا هشام بن بهرام , نا عبد الله بن حكيم , عن عاصم بن محمد , عن نافع , عن ابن عمر , قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:  «من توضأ فذكر اسم الله على وضوئه كان طهورا لجسده» , قال: «ومن توضأ ولم يذكر اسم الله على وضوئه كان طهورا لأعضائه»


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