Is it possible when doing wudoo’ to wipe a small part of the head at the back and not at the front?.
Praise be to Allaah.
The Muslims are unanimously agreed that it is obligatory to wipe the head when doing wudoo’, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! When you intend to offer As-Salaah (the prayer), wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to the ankles”
The fuqaha’ are agreed that it is best to wipe the entire head, but they differed as to whether doing so is obligatory or not.
The Maalikis and Hanbalis are of the view that it is obligatory to wipe the entire head.
The Hanafis and Shaafa’is are of the view that it is sufficient to wipe part of the head.
The Maalikis and Hanbalis quoted a number of things as evidence:
1 – Allaah says “rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads” which includes the entire head.
This verse – “rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads” – refers to the entire head and it is like the phrase in which Allaah says concerning tayammum: “then perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands” [al-Maa’idah 5:6]. The entire face must be wiped in tayammum, and the same applies to the head in this case.
See Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 21/125.
Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
The fuqaha’ differed concerning the one who wipes part of the head. Maalik said: What must be done is to wipe the entire head, and if he omits part of it then he is like one who fails to wash part of his face. This is the well-known view in the madhhab of Maalik, and it is also the view of Ibn ‘Uliyyah. Ibn ‘Uliyyah said: Allaah commanded us to wipe the head in wudoo’ as He commanded us to wipe the face in tayammum and to wash it in wudoo’. They are unanimously agreed that it is not permissible to wash only part of the face in wudoo’ or to wipe only part of it in tayammum. The same applies to wiping the head. End quote.
2 – They quoted as evidence the actions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), for there is a proven report of him wiping only part of his head.
The Hanafis and Shaafa’is also quoted evidence, including the following:
1 – Allaah says “rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads [wa’msahu bi ru’oosikum]” – the ba’ (before the word ru’oosikum (heads)) indicates something partial, as if He were saying: “Wash part of your heads.”
My response to that is to note that the ba’ does not indicate something partial, rather it refers to making something stick, i.e., it is obligatory to make some of the water with which one is wiping the head stick to the head.
See Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 21/123.
2 – The report narrated by Muslim (247) from al-Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wiped his forelock and his turban. They said: He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) only wiped the forelock, which is at the front of the head.
The response to that is that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wiped his forelock and completed the wiping over his turban, and wiping the turban took the place of wiping over the head.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Zaad al-Ma’aad (1/193): There is no saheeh report in a single hadeeth that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ever wiped over only part of his head. But if he wiped over his forelock, he completed the wiping by wiping over his turban. End quote.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said: Wiping over the forelock was sufficient here because he also wiped over the turban at the same time. So this does not indicate that it is permissible to wipe over the forelock only. End quote from al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 1/178
Thus it seems that the more correct of the two views is the view that it is obligatory to wipe over the entire head when doing wudoo’.
It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (5/227): It is obligatory to wipe over the entire head when doing wudoo’, because Allaah says “rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads”, and because of the report narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Zayd ibn ‘Aasim (may Allaah be pleased with him) describing wudoo’, in which he said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wiped his head, moving his hands forwards and backwards.” According to another version: “He started at the front of his head until he moved them (his hands) to the back, then he brought them back to the place where he had started.” End quote.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (1/187): If he wipes the forelock only and not the rest of the head, that is not sufficient, because Allaah says: “rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads” [al-Maa'idah 5:6]. And He did not say, “part of your heads.” End quote.
As for the way in which the head is to be wiped, this has already been discussed in the answer to question no. 45867.
And Allaah knows best.