Seeking Sacred Sunni Knowledge

A Textual Proof Utilized by the Hanafis to State that Touching a Woman Does not Break Wudu


A brother asked in the article I wrote regarding the Shafi’i proofs for touching the woman nullifying wudu:

“What about the hadith in Ibn Majah?


Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaibah and Ali ibn Muhammad informed us from Waki from A’mash from Habib ibn abi Thabit from Urwah ibn Zubair from Aisha that the Messenger of Allah (SWT) kissed some of his wives. He then went to (observe) prayer without performing abltuion. I said It “It was none but you,” upon which she smiled.

Does this sanad have defects?”


I would first like to state that it was not my intent, as I stated within the comments of the article, to demean the view of the Hanafis. I said in one of the comments:

Thirdly, this article regarding the nullification of wudu’ by touching the opposite gender was written for Shafi’is, and is proof for them for their stance in english. It is not for a Hanafi, save for the one interested in comparative fiqh.

So I would like to make it clear that if releases an article that is pro-Shafi’i, it does not mean that it is anti-Hanafi/Maliki. Rather, it is for the followers of the school to increase their knowledge in the proofs and utilization of them by the Imams of the school. The entire Seekingilm team believes strongly that the wise statement “Disagreement is a mercy for the Ummah” is to be applied in all cases of Sunnic scholarly disagreement.

Secondly, I would like to review the narration presented by the brother in the question and forward the Shafi’i arguments against it. Al-Hafith Ibn Hajr Al-’Asqalani wrote in his Talkhis Al-Habir:

“And as for the hadith of Habib from ‘Urwah from ‘A’ishah that the Nabi (‘alayhis salam) would kiss some of his wives the pray without making wudu’, then it is Ma’lul and its defect(s) have been mentioned by Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, Ad-Daaraqutni, Al-Bayhaqi, and Ibn Hazm who said, ‘There is nothing regarding this issue that is authentic, and it is authentic then it is held that it was prior to the revelation of the verse of wudu from contact (al-lams) with women.”

[Talkhis Al-Habir Vol 1 page 354, Adwa-us-Salaf : my translation]

Al-Hafith, a Shafi’i, then relies upon the weakening of this narration, and its supporting narrations, by the Imams he mentioned.

As for the specific narration you have mentioned, then it is also narrated by Imam Ad-Daraqutni in his Sunan as such:

“From Waki’ from Al-’Amash from Habib ibn abi Thaabit from ‘Urwah from A’ishah that she said, ‘Verily Rasulullah (‘alayhis salaam) kissed some (or one of) of his wives, then left for Salah, and did not perform wudu’. ‘Urwah said, ‘I said to her: Who was it except you!’ Then she laughed.” [#488]

Ad-Daraqutni renarrates this report with a different chain leading to Habib from ‘Urwah to ‘A’ishah and says thereafter,

“[...] Yahya ibn Sa’id said when the hadith of Al-’Amash from Habib from ‘Urwah was mentioned to him, ‘That Sufyan Ath-Thawri was the most knowledgeable of people regarding this claim, verily Habib did not hear from ‘Urwah anything!”

Regarding this narration Imam At-Tirmidhi said, “I heard Muhammad ibn Isma’il (i.e. Al-Bukhari) weakening this hadith and he said that Habib ibn Abi Thabit did not hear anything from ‘Urwah.”

The Shafi’is thus conclude the following:

1) Some say that these narrations are all weak regarding the supposed kissing of the Nabi (‘alayhis salaam) then not remaking wudu for Salah.

2) Even if they are authentic, these are to be understood to have come prior to the revelation of the verses of “contact with women”.

The Hanafis/Kufan Response:

The people of Kufah state that Habib ibn Abi Thabit did hear from ‘Urwah. Imam Az-Zayla’i in his Nasb Ar-Rayah quotes the words of Ibn Abdul Barr (the Maliki) as stating, “There is no doubt that he saw ‘Urwah.” [Nasb: 1/72]

Furthermore, in the Hanafi view, there are many supporting chains for this narration. Many of these supporting chains are reported by Imam Ad-Daaraqutni, though with criticism, they are still held to be supportive and authentic by the Kufans.

1) The hadith not from Habib ibn Abi Thabit, but from the son of ‘Urwah, Hisham that is narrated in the same fashion. (484 in the Sunan of Daaraqutni). 

2) Another from Ghalib from ‘Ataa’ from ‘A’ishah. In it is Ghalib who Daraqutni says is abandoned, yet others deem him only “weak” and is thus used in supportive narrations. (485)

3) From Al-Walid ibn Salih from Ubaydullah ibn ‘Amru from Abdul Karim Al-Jazari from Ata from ‘A’ishah that the Nabi would kiss [his wives] then go for prayer without making wudu’. Daraqutni argues that Al-Walid ibn Salih is the one who is mistaken in the narration. Al-Bazzar and At-Turkmaani narrate this hadith as well up to Abdul Karim Al-Jazari…Abdul Haqq Al-Ishbili states, “I do not know for it a defect…Ibn Ma’in stated that the hadith from Abdul Karim from ‘Ataa are not preserverd, however, if a singularly narrated narration comes via someone who is thiqah (trustworthy) there is no harm in it.”

4) The report of Ibrahim At-Taymiy in mursal form from ‘A’ishah. Daraqutni weakens the hadith because Ibrahim did not hear from A’ishah. However, such mursal narrations are acceptable as proof in the Kufan school, as well as others.

Note: Abu Hanifah through his own chain reports the hadith through Ibrahim from Hafsah. It is also mursal, but Ad-Daraqutni weakens it as well because he believes Abu Hanifah to be weak in hadith.

5) Another report via a woman named “Zaynab As-Sahmiyyah”, who Ad-Daraqutni says is “unknown” and is thus not support, from A’ishah mentioning the same issue. Az-Zayla’i states, “This chain is Jayyid (good).” The other weakness is Hajjaj ibn Artah who is Mudallis and commits ‘an’anah within this chain masking who he truly heard it from.

6) From Ibn ‘Abbas who is reported to have said that kissing does not necessitate wudu’. In it is Hajjaj ibn Artah who was mentioned before.

7) Reported authentically from Ibn ‘Abbas via the chain of Al-’Amash from Habib ibn Abi Thabit from Sa’id ibn Jubayr from ibn ‘Abbas that he said, “There is not wudu due to kissing.” Ad-Daraqutni said, “This is Sahih.”


It is mass narrated from Abdullah ibn ‘Umar that he held that kissing breaks the wudu’. It is authentically reported from Ibn ‘Abbas that he held kissing not to break wudu’. Ibn ‘Abbas stands for the Makkan school (now defunct). This shows that two major companions disagreed regarding this issue. Both schools of Ash-Shafi’i and Abu Hanifah recognize these two facts.

Also it is Hasan, at the least, that ‘A’ishah narrated that the Nabi kissed her and did not make wudu’. ((There is obviously disagreement regarding this issue as mentioned before, but such a view does exist amongst some Shafi’is and they explain it away as mentioned before. ))

All of this shows that the companions disagreed regarding the matter, and some 1400 years later, the Muslims still disagree. The point here is that one should follow their Imam and know the proofs for what stance they take. It is not an issue to bicker over, and it certainly should not arouse anger in Muslims is another Muslim takes the opposing opinion.

May Allah assist us in good Amin!

6 Responses to “A Textual Proof Utilized by the Hanafis to State that Touching a Woman Does not Break Wudu”

  1. Rand Talas says:

    Jazakullahu khairan.

    This article is good proof that all the maddhabs are based on the Quran and sunnah, and it is not easy to determine for laymen (and even scholars) which position is correct. Therefore, taqlid is the only way. The salafis make everything simpler than it is. If one reads their books, he will think that his positions are absolutely and incontrovertibly true. May allah reward you for your efforts, and preserve you so that you can continue writing the proofs for the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali maddhabs.

  2. Rand Talas says:

    One question that I have had for some time is how scholars determine whether one person met another or not. For example, Hafith Ibn Hajar and Ad Daraqutni say that Habib met Urwah, whereas his teacher Az Zayla’i and Ibn Abdul Barr say that there is no doubt that they did indeed meet. How do we determine whehter they met or not, specifically in this case?

    Also, how do we determine what time the Prophet said or did something. The Shafi’is maintain that if the hadith is correct, then it was before the verse was revealed. The surahs of the Quran we usually know what time they were revealed, but for hadith, unless there is some hint in the hadith itself (unlike in this hadith, where there is no indication of the time), how is that determined?

  3. Abul Layth says:

    wa Jazakum allahu Khayran Br. Rand.

    There are many ways one can determine if they truly met one another:

    1) Their students or peers clearly stated such, as they saw them meet.

    For example, we know Imam Ahmad met Ash-Shafi’i etc why? Students attested to it, peers attested to it, and they attested to it.

    2) They were in the same area, near the same age, and narrated from the same people. In such a case one could determine that they did indeed meet each other.

    In the case of Habib and ‘Urwah, if memory serves me correctly, I believe Ibn Abdul Barr’s argument was that Habib actually narrated from people who were older than ‘Urwah and many who died before ‘Urwah died. So they argue that such a meeting could have occurred by the fact that they lived during the same era and narrated from the same people, so they should have met.

    It is very probable that they did meet based upon these two factors, however, the Shafi’is would say that it is doubtful and certainty must be brought. Not only that, just because you meet someone does not entail that you HEARD or took hadith from him. That is where the dissent occurs anyhow. Did he actually take hadith from ‘Urwah in person?

    Usually the chain of narration will in fact tell the scholar. How? There are methods by which the scholars narrated from one another. I will compile a research paper on this for SI readers another day. For now, let me give 3 main examples:

    A) Haddathanaa – It was narrated to us [by]…[then the name of the person that narrated said hadith to them]

    B) Sam’itu (I heard)….

    C) ‘An (from)

    The first two cases definitely prove that the narrator took that hadith directly from that person. As for C, that he simply said “from”, then the situation becomes vague.

    This type of narrating is vague due to the fact that the narrator IS NOT STATING HOW THEY RECEIVED THE NARRATION. In fact, this has been called ” ‘an’anah ” by the scholars of hadith. Unfortunately, many great scholars for whatever reasons, did not take care to say HOW they received the hadith. There is a problem, in fact, with many well known narrators with Tadlis – which is like masking who they truly heard it from.

    Here is an example to make my point:


    So one day Layth meets Rand and Rand tells him through a very long chain that begins with Jibril that “The Prophet Muhammad said: ‘Smiling is a type of charity.’ ”

    Lets say Layth knows of Jibril and decides that he will just report this from Jibril excluding Rand from the chain. So the chain would read:

    Layth عن (‘an – from) Jibril…

    So Layth has “masked” Rand. Sometimes this was done by the scholars because they had taken hadith from the one they are relating from already, though did not take this hadith from them.

    Sometimes, and this certainly happens quite often (an example would be Hajjaj ibn Artah who is mentioned in the article above) is that they do this “masking” while knowing the person they are “masking” is weak in memory or even a fabricator, or they held that he was ok to narrate from, while others deemed that person defective in memory! There are some incredibly astute Imams who did this, and it is of great danger as well as import when going over chains of hadith!

    Now back to the issue of Habib and ‘Urwah. When you look at all of the reports, at least all that I have seen and that have been mentioned by the Imams, Habib reports vaguely using عن (from) ‘Urwah. So he is not stating HOW he took this hadith from ‘urwah. Generally this would not be a big deal except that Habib, according to the earlier Imam Ibn Khuzaymah, did not actually HEAR anything from ‘Urwah.

    This fact has been reiterated from many Imams, such as, Ibn Hibban, Ad-Daraqutni, Hafith Ibn Hajr who says in his Taqrib of Habib ibn Abi Thabit, “Thiqah (trustworthy), an great jurist, and he had alot of Irsaal and Tadlis!” [entry 1084] Also At-Tirmidhi says Imam Al-Bukhari rejected this hadith and also stated that Habib ibn Abi Thabit did not hear from ‘Urwah at all! Yahya ibn Al-Qattan, known as the Leader of Believers in Hadith, also reiterated this verdict. [At-Tirmidhi actually mentions these quotes in his Sunan!] Imam An-Nasa’i also states such in his Sunan after narrating this hadith.

    Obviously, some disagreed such as Ibn Abdul Barr and the Hafith of his time Ibn ‘Adi who had nothing but praise for Habib ibn Abi Thabit (may allah be pleased with him amin).

    An Imam in hadith of our era, Hafith Shu’ayb Al-Arna’ut in his commentary of the Taqrib of Ibn Hajr, defends the view of Ibn Abdul Barr and criticizes the view of Hafith Ibn Hajr, Ibn Khuzaymah, Ibn Hibban and others.

    Also the late Hafith Al-Ghumari argues the same as Ibn Abdul Barr in his Al-Hidayah the commentary (takhrij) upon Bidayat Al-Mujtahid. He basically says that Habib ibn Abi Thabit was narrated by the two Shaykhs in their Sahih’s (Bukhari and Muslim) and that there is no proof for the claims of those who say he performed tadlis here. He even goes on to quote 6 narrations that lead to A’ishah on this topic, and in his view, lead this narration to possibly be Mutawatir! He quotes the Hanafi Imam, Imam Muhammad Ash-Shaybani saying, “and this is a well known report from ‘A’ishah!”

    Hafith Ghumari, though, ends his discussion, which is over 6 pages long, by stating that he is only looking at this hadith due to the null claims made about it and to refute those people who say it is weak, and then he says,

    “And after all this has been said, this hadith is abrogated by the noble verse.”

    So I hope this clarifies the matter better for you insha’allah!

    Abul Layth

  4. big wudu says:

    Allhumdulilah may Allah bless the staff of seking ilm for the works that they put out on the dalil of the schools. Me being a muqalid this is very helpfull for me chosing the school that I follow. The sunnah is strong and well and the proof can’t be refuted. I never knew the dalil between the schools and now I do.

  5. Ahmed says:

    This website has got me interested about the Shafi madhab however I have a question. It is near enough impossible if your going around London using the tube and not having contact with Women. Is there any difference of opinion in the Shafi Madhab on this issue?

  6. Abdurahmaan says:

    Salaam wa laikum Abu Layth, i must say alf shukran to you and the members who uphold this site, its very informitive,Alhamdulillah n may Allah increase yus in nothing but goodness,ameen.

    We believe that all the mathaaibs are taken from the Quran n sunnah, in light of this ,I wanted to ask you akhie, What is the view if a Hanafie follower wants to take or follow a view from the Shafie mathab or vice versa, 4 eg this ruling about the wudhu ? because according to him/her the proof is more stronger than the other? or equaly valid?

    Jazakallahu khair, Walaikum salaam:)

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