In the past one year, I have developed a gastric problem and my digestive system is upset most of the time. As a result, I frequently pass gas and it becomes very difficult for me to keep my Wudu for long. I have tried to control what I eat, in order to increase my period of purity after Wudu, so much so that I began starving myself and I lost a lot of weight, but my gastric problem continues unabated. But there is some peculiarity in my problem: Sometimes no gas is released for an hour or so (that being the case when I have relieved myself of the call of nature), but sometimes the problem worsens so much so that I can hardly keep my Wudu for a even a minute. (This might happen even when I don’t feel a need to relieve myself of the call of nature.) As a result, I cannot maintain Khushoo and Khuzu in my prayers. Nor can I do a long Qiyaam.
My gastric problem could also have worsened because of the medicines I am taking due to my recent illness, but I cannot avoid those medicines as they are necessary for my cure. Please advise me as to how many times should I do Wudu, and whether I can offer my prayers with one Wudu?
Also please note, while answering my question, that there are times when I don’t release any gas for an hour or so (usually at time of Zuhr), but most of the time it happens quite frequently.
My mother tells me that I can offer prayers with one Wudu, but isn’t this solution for those who pass gas frequently, at regular intervals ALL the time? Whereas, in my case, (as I have mentioned above) I pass gas frequently at all the times EXCEPT at certain times, like at the time of Zuhr.
Please clarify this problem for me, as it has put me under a lot of mental torture, so much so that my prayers are becoming affected.
In view of the problem that you have stated, I would recommend the following:
a. you consciously try to relieve yourself before starting each of your prayers;
b. after having relieved yourself or, at least, after having tried to relieve yourself before your prayers, you should perform the complete prescribed ablution (wudu);
c. you may now offer your prayers.
After having once started your prayers, with the aforementioned precautionary measures, you should completely ignore all feelings of passing wind and continue your prayers till the end. Even if you know that you have passed wind during your prayers, continue your prayers till the end, without break.
While benefiting from such allowances, we should seek God’s forgiveness, imploring Him to excuse our imperfections and to help us fulfill our obligations in the most appropriate manner.
The aforementioned allowance is available to all those, who, due to some physical or psychological ailment, cannot maintain their ablution or feel that they cannot maintain their ablution long enough to even complete their prayers.
I hope this helps.
November 30, 2002