Praise be to Allah.
Wudu and prayer in case of urinary incontinence
Whoever has a problem that constantly breaks his wudu, such as one who suffers from urinary incontinence and constant wind , should do wudu at the time of each prayer, and pray as much as he likes of obligatory and nafl prayers with that wudu, until the time for the next prayer begins.
That is because of the report narrated in al-Sahihayn from `Aishah who said: Fatimah bint Abi Hubaysh came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allah, I am a woman who suffers from constant non-menstrual bleeding (istihadah), and I never become pure. Should I give up prayer?” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “No, rather that is from a vein, and it is not menstruation. When your regular time of menstruation comes, then stop praying, and when that time is over, wash the blood off yourself and pray, then do wudu for every prayer until that time comes.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 226 – this version was narrated by him; and Muslim, 333.)
The scholars regarded the one who suffers urinary incontinence as coming under the same rulings as the woman who suffers from istihadah (irregular non-menstrual bleeding).
But if he knows that the urine will stop within the time when he will be able to purify himself and pray, then he has to delay the prayer until that time.
Scenarios of urinary incontinence
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymin said:
When a person suffers from urinary incontinence, one of two scenarios must apply:
1. If it is constant and does not stop, and every time any amount collects in the bladder it comes out, then when the time for prayer comes, he should cover his private part with something and pray, and it will not matter if something comes out.
2. If it will stop after he urinates, or ten minutes or a quarter of an hour after that, then he should wait until it stops, then do wudu and pray, even if he misses prayer in congregation. (Asilah al-Bab al-Maftuh, Q. 17, no. 67)
Purification in case of istihadah
The scholars differed with regard to the taharah (purification) of the woman who suffers from istihadah and others like her – is the taharah invalidated when the time for prayer ends or when the time for the next prayer begins? For example, one who does wudu for Fajr prayer – can she pray Duha prayer or ‘Eid prayer with this wudu or not?
Those who say that her wudu is invalidated when the time for (Fajr) prayer ends say that she is not allowed to do that, because when the sun rises, her wudu comes to an end.
Those who say that her wudu is invalidated when the time for the next prayer begins, say that it is permissible for her to pray Duha or ‘Eid prayer with the wudu for Fajr, because her wudu lasts until the time for Zuhr begins.
Both views are narrated in the madhhab of Imam Ahmad and others (al-Insaf, 1/378; al-Mawsu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 3/212)
To be on the safe side, she should do wudu again for Duha and ‘Eid prayer; this was stated in a fatwa by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymin (may Allah have mercy on him). Please see question no. 22843 .
When to make wudu for each prayer
Based on the above, you cannot do wudu before the time for prayer, whether that is so that you can pray in congregation or for some other reason, because your wudu will be invalidated when the time for the next prayer begins.
But we would like to point out that this ruling applies only when the impurity is ongoing. But if we assume that the person who has incontinence does wudu, then nothing comes out of him until the time for the next prayer begins, he does not have to do wudu, and his first wudu is still valid.
The words of the jurists – let him do wudu for each prayer – apply if something comes out of him.
Al-Bahuti said in al-Rawd al-Murabba’ (p. 57):
“For the woman who is suffering istihadah and those who suffer incontinence or continual emission of madhiy (prostatic fluid) or wind… should do wudu when the time for each prayer begins, if something comes out, and should offer obligatory and nawafil prayers so long as that time lasts. If nothing comes out then they do not have to do wudu.”
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymin (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The woman who is suffering from istihadah has to do wudu at the time for each prayer, if something comes out; if nothing comes out of her then her first wudu remains valid.” (Al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 1/438)
How to clean clothes in case of urinary incontinence
If you are outside the home and your wudu is invalidated because the time for the next prayer begins, and you want to pray, then you have to repeat your wudu, after washing the private part and covering it with something that will prevent the emission coming out as much as possible.
Underwear is purified by washing it. If you single out a clean garment for prayer which you can carry with you, that will be easier for you. If it is too difficult to wash your clothes or change them, then pray as you are.
Shaykh Ibn Baz (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
“The sick person who is suffering with urinary incontinence and cannot be cured with treatment has to do wudu for each prayer after the time for prayer begins. He should wash off whatever has gotten onto his body and set aside clean clothes for prayer, if that is not too difficult for him. If he cannot do that then he is excused, because Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship” [al-Hajj 22:78]
“Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you” [al-Baqarah 2:185]
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “If I command you to do a thing, then do as much of it as you can.” He should take precautions to prevent urine spreading on his body or clothes or the place where he prays.” (Fatawa Islamiyyah, 1/192)
If it is too hard for you to do wudu and wash your clothes for every prayer, then it is permissible for you to join Zuhr and `Asr and pray them with one wudu at the time of either of them, and to join Maghrib and ‘Isha likewise, whether that is in your house or elsewhere.
Can you join prayers in case of urinary incontinence
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Majmu’ al-Fatawa, 24/14:
“Those who are sick or suffering from istihadah may join their prayers .”
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymin (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 4/559:
“It is permissible for the woman who is suffering from istihadah to join Zuhr and `Asr, and Maghrib and `Isha, because it is difficult for her to do wudu for every prayer.”
Can you pray tarawih with the wudu of ‘Isha in case of urinary incontinence?
You can pray Tarawih with the wudu you did for `Isha, even if the Tarawih prayers last until after midnight.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymin (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked:
Is it permissible for a woman who is suffering from istihadah to pray qiyam al-layl if it will end at midnight, with the wudu of `Isha’?
“This is an area concerning which there is a difference of scholarly opinion. Some of the scholars said that when midnight comes she has to repeat her wudu, and some said that she does not have to repeat her wudu – this is the more correct opinion.” (Fatawa al-Taharah, p. 286)
And Allah knows best.