What is the ruling for someone who prays with uncontrollable bowel movements? When standing or during ruku' or sujud they cannot help but feel gaseous sensations and would have to release. It can be a hassle if they need to repeat the wudhu' and the salah. Is it permissible in this case to pray sitting if it helps maintain khushoo' and prevents release of wind and/or faeces?

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The ruling on urinary/feces incontinence and continual passing of wind is the same as the ruling on istihaadah (prolonged non-menstrual vaginal bleeding). Urine, wind and vaginal bleeding all invalidate wudoo’, and Allaah says:

“Allaah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favour to you that you may be thankful” [al-Maa'idah 5:6]

“Allaah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you” [al-Baqarah 2:185]

So people suffering from these problems are allowed to do wudoo’ for each prayer when the time for that prayer has begun, then they should pray as they are, even if some wind, urine, feces or blood comes out of them whilst they are praying.

This ruling is for one who passes wind continually. If that is intermittent, and he can do the prayer during the time when it stops, then he has to do wudoo’ and pray at the time when the wind has stopped.

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta was asked about a man who passes wind continually – how should he do wudoo’ and pray?

The Committee replied:

If your situation is as you describe, and you suffer from continual wind, then you have to do wudoo’ for each prayer after the time for the prayer begins, then it does not matter what comes out of you after that. With regard to Jumu’ah, do wudoo’ for it before the khateeb comes in, which will enable you to listen to the khutbah and perform the prayer. (Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah. 5/412)

To be given this excuse , one must fulfill the conditions. The condition of initiation is that an entire prayer time passes with the excuse (that renders one unable to retain wudu) present such that one did not have enough time to perform a minimal wudu and pray a quick prayer.

It is necessary to take all reasonable means to stop the excuse from occurring. For example, if it is possible to pray sitting (on the floor) without gas exiting, one must pray sitting.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to ‘Imraan ibn Husayn:

“Pray standing;if you cannot, then sitting; and if you cannot, then lying on your side.”

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