Sunday 10 Thu al-Hijjah 1445 - 16 June 2024
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Does Eating Camel Meat Break Your Wudu?

Question

Does by eating camels meat breaks ablution( wudu ).

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

The correct view is that the one who eats the meat of a camel old or young, male or female, cooked or raw has to do wudu. There are several reports which serve as evidence (daleel) for this:

  1. The hadith of Jaabir: the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked, Should I do wudu after eating camel meat? He said, Yes. The person said: Should I do wudu after eating mutton? He said, If you wish.

(Narrated by Muslim, 360).

The hadith of al-Baraa: the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about eating camel meat. He said, Do wudu after eating it. He was asked about mutton, and he said, Do not do wudu.

(Narrated by Abu Dawood, 184; al-Tirmidhi, 81. Classed as saheeh by Imaam Ahmad and Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh).

The view of those who do not regard it as obligatory to do wudu after eating camel meat is based on several points, such as:

  1. This ruling is mansookh (abrogated). Their evidence (daleel) is:

The hadith of Jaabir; the last of the two commands from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was that there was no need to do wudu after eating food that had been touched by fire.

(Narrated by Abu Dawood, 192; al-Nisaai, 185).

But this does not refute the specific meaning of the hadith quoted above from Saheeh Muslim.

Moreover, there is no evidence here of anything being abrogated, because they asked whether they should do wudu after eating mutton, and he said, If you wish.

If this hadith were abrogated, the ruling on mutton would also be abrogated. The fact that he said, If you wish indicates that these ahaadeeth came after the hadith of Jaabir.

In cases of abrogation there must be evidence that what is being abrogated came first chronologically, and there is no such evidence here.

Moreover, the hadith of abrogation is general in meaning, but this hadith (about camel meat) is more specific, and thus excludes (camel meat) from the general ruling.

The fact that he also asked about mutton makes it clear that the issue here is not whether the meat has been touched by fire; if that were the case then camel meat and mutton would be regarded in the same way.

(B) They also take their evidence from the hadith, wudu has to do with what comes out, not what goes in.

Response:

This hadith was narrated and classed as daeef (weak) by al-Bayhaqi (1/116) and al-Daaraqutni (p. 55). It a weak hadith with three faults (ilal); for more information see al-Silsilah al-Daeefah, 959.

Even if it were saheeh for the sake of argument it is general in meaning, and the hadith which says that wudu is obligatory (after eating camel meat) is specific.

(C) Some of them said that what is meant by the phrase do wudu [perform ablution] after eating it is to wash the hands and mouth, because camel meat has an unpleasant odour and is very greasy, unlike mutton!

Response:

This is unlikely, because the apparent meaning here is wudu as prescribed in shareeah, not ablutions in a linguistic sense (i.e., merely washing one's hands and mouth). It is obligatory to interpret the terminology of shareeah in accordance with the meanings of shareeah.

(D) Some of them take as evidence a story that has no basis; the story in question may be summed up as follows:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was addressing the people one day, and one of them emitted an odour (i.e., passed wind), but he felt too shy to get up from among the people. He had also eaten camel meat, so the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, covering for him, Whoever has eaten camel meat, let him do wudu. So a group of people who had eaten camel meat got up and went and did wudu.

Response:

Shaykh al-Albani (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

This story has no basis anywhere in the books of Sunnah or elsewhere in the books of Fiqh and Tafseer, as far as I know.

(al-Silsilah al-Daeefah, 3/268).

The correct view regarding this matter is that the ruling on doing wudu after eating anything that has been touched by fire has been abrogated, but it is obligatory to do wudu after eating camel meat.

Al-Nawawi said:

Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh, Yahyaa ibn Yahyaa, Abu Bakr ibn al-Mundhir and Ibn Khuzaymah thought that it (eating camel meat) breaks wudu; this was also the view favoured by al-Haafiz Abu Bakr al-Bayhaqi. It was reported from the scholars of hadith and from a group of the Sahaabah.

They took as evidence the hadith of Jaabir ibn Samurah which was narrated by Muslim. Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh said: It has been reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in these two saheeh hadiths, the hadith of Jaabir and the hadith of al-Baraa. This view has stronger evidence even though the majority follow the opposite.

The majority responded to this with the hadith of Jaabir: the last of the two commands from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was that there was no need to do wudu after eating meat that had been touched by fire. But this hadith is general, whereas the hadith about doing wudu after eating camel meat is specific, and a specific ruling takes precedence over a general one.

(Sharh Muslim, 4/49).

Among modern scholars, Shaykh Abd al-Azeez ibn Baz, Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen and Shaykh al-Albani also said this.

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid