Al-Mughîrah b. Shu`bah relates that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) performed wudû’ and wiped over his forelock and his turban and his socks.
This is an authentic hadîth related in Sahîh Muslim
among other books.
The meaning of the hadîth:
This hadîth has a story behind it that is related in Sahîh Muslim
. Al-Mughîrah b. Shu`bah gives the following account
Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) lagged behind and I did so along with him. He relieved himself and after doing so he said: “Do you have water with you.” I passed him a vessel of water and he washed his hands and face. Then he started to roll up the sleeve of his robe from his forearm but the sleeve became too tight, so he brought his arm out from from below the robe and tossed the robe over his shoulder. He then washed his forearms. He wiped over his forelock and his turban and his socks. Afterwards, he got back on his steed and I got back on mine and rode until we came upon some people standing in prayer, being led in prayer by `Abd al-Rahmân b. `Awf. He had already completed a unit of prayer with them. When he realized that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was present, he began to step back, but (the Prophet) motioned to him and he kept praying. When he uttered the salâm, the Prophet (peace be upon him) stood up and I stood up with him and we prayed the unit of prayer that we had missed.
Its legal implications:
This hadîth raises the question of whether it is permissible to wipe over the turban instead of over the head during wudû’. Scholars express two views on this issue.
The first opinion is that it is permissible to wipe over the turban with wet fingers. This was the opinion of Abû Bakr, `Umar, Anas, Abû Mûsâ al-Ash`arî, Sa`d b. Abî Waqqâs, and a number of other Companions. It was also the view of a number of Successors.
Many leading jurists adopted this view, including Ahmad b. Hanbal, Ishâq b. Râhawayh, Abû Thawr, Dâwûd al-Zâhirî, Ibn al-Mundhir, Wakî` b. al-Jarrâh, and al-Awzâ`î.
They cite the hadîth under discussion to support this view along with a number of other hadîth that attest to the same meaning.
However, other hadîth, like those relayed from Abû Umâmah, Salmân al-Fârisî, and Anas b. Mâlik have weakness in their chains of transmission.
Ibn Taymiyah [Majmû` al-Fatâwâ
(21/122)] and Ibn al-Qayyim [Zâd al-Ma`âd
(1/193)] explain that there are three methods of wiping upon the head that are established by the Sunnah”
The first of these is to wipe upon the entire head. The second, is to wipe upon part of the head and compete wiping over the turban. This is illustrated by the hadîth of al-Mughîrah b. Shu`bah. The third is to wipe over the turban. This is seen in the various hadith related from Bilâl, `Amr b. Umayyah, and others.
They also cite as support for their opinion the large number of Companions who held this view. `Umar had gone so far as to say: “Whoever feels he cannot attain purity by wiping over his turban, may Allah not allow him to attain purity.”
The second opinion held by scholars is that it is obligatory to wipe upon at least part of the head. It is not sufficient to merely wipe over the turban. This is the view of the Hanafî, Shâfi`î, and Mâlikî schools of law. We have already discussed the Hanafî and Shâfi`î opinion – also one of the opinions in the Mâlikî school of law – that it is sufficient to wipe upon a portion of the head. We did so in our article entitled “How to wipe upon the head during wudû’”
. Because of this, they understand wiping over the turban to be simply a preferable act for someone who is wearing a turban and has already wiped over an exposed portion of his head.
They further argue that wiping upon the head is an obligatory act of wudû’ established by the Qur’an and Sunnah, whereas the evidence that supports wiping over the turban is open to interpretation, and might simply mean that the Prophet (peace be upon him) in those instances had sufficed with wiping upon a portion of his head. Consequently, such evidence cannot be used to allow us to turn away from what is clearly established.
Those who believe wiping over the turban is sufficient object to this argument by pointing out that the Prophet (peace be upon him) wiped upon part of his head and then continued wiping over his turban. Wiping upon the turban, they argue, is a more specific issue than simply wiping over a portion of the head. Moreover, there is no clear-cut evidence from the Sunnah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ever wiped over a portion of the head without also wiping upon his turban. What we find in the Sunnah that give this impression could very well also be cases where the Prophet (peace be upon him) was wearing a turban. Moreover, wiping upon the head – instead of having to wash it – is itself a concession to facilitate ease, whereby wiping the hair replaces washing the head.
Those who hold the view that wiping upon the turban is not sufficient for wudû’ refer to what is related from some Companions, like Ibn `Umar and Jâbir. Al-Tirmidhî relates Jâbir with an authentic chain of transmission that Jâbir was asked about wiping over the socks and he said: “This is the Sunnah”. Then he was asked about wiping over the turban. He replied: “Wipe some hair with water.”
The strongest of the two opinions – and Allah knows best – is that it is sufficient to wipe over the turban when performing wudû’.
The following conditions for wiping over the turban have been expressed by some jurists:
1. It should be difficult to remove.
2. Part of the turban should be secured under the neck, coming from one side of the turban to the other. If not, then it should have a tail-like part handing from the back at least four-finger-widths long.
This is the well-known opinion in the Hanbalî school of law. They argued that a turban without a tail or extension was not a Muslim’s turban but was the style of turban that had been worn by the People of the Scripture. Therefore, wearing a tailless turban was a way of resembling the Jews and Christians.
Other scholars took exception to this idea. Ibn Taymiyah held that it is permissible to wipe over a turban without a tail. The permissibility for doing so is also related from some of the Companions, including Abû Mûsâ al-Ash`arî and `Umar.
3. The turban should cover the area of the head customarily covered by a turban. A little bit of hair that usually can be seen from the sides is overlooked, as are the ears and the sides of the head.
4. The turban should be put on while a person is in a state of ritual purity and the permissibility for wiping over the turban has a timeframe for it just like wiping over the socks has a timeframe for it. This is the official position of the Hanbalî school of law. Ibn Hazm was of the opinion that there is no such timeframe, and this is another opinion found in the Hanbalî school of law.
A woman’s headscarf takes the same ruling as the turban. Therefore, she may wipe over it if it is difficult for her to remove it or if she is in circumstances where she needs to keep it on her head.
Ibn al-Mundhir relates from Umm Salamah that “she wiped over her headscarf”.
Ibn Abî Shaybah relates this opinion from al-Hasan al-Basrî. It is also the opinion of the Hanbalî school of law and that of Ibn Hazm.