If you are carrying a child during Tawaf and his nappy is dirty, is the Tawaf invalid?

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

No, if you are carrying a child during Tawaf whilst his nappy is dirty, it does not nullify the Tawaf. Rather the Tawaf is still valid.

عَنْ أَبِي قَتَادَةَ الأَنْصَارِيِّ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَانَ يُصَلِّي وَهُوَ حَامِلٌ أُمَامَةَ بِنْتَ زَيْنَبَ بِنْتِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَلِأَبِي العَاصِ بْنِ رَبِيعَةَ بْنِ عَبْدِ شَمْسٍ فَإِذَا سَجَدَ وَضَعَهَا، وَإِذَا قَامَ حَمَلَهَا

Abu Qatadah al-Ansari  narrated that the Prophet ﷺ would pray carrying (his granddaughter) Umamah daughter of Zaynab, daughter of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, her father was Abu al-Aas bin Rabi’ah bin Abd Shams. When he (the Prophet ﷺ) would make Sajdah, he would put her down, and when he would stand, he would carry her.  (Sahih al-Bukhari, 516).

Carrying impurity during Salah may nullify the Salah. However, this is not the case for Tawaf. Rather being free of physical impurity during Tawaf is Sunnah and not obligatory. Therefore, it is recommended to be free of impurity during Tawaf, and not a condition for the validity of the Tawaf. (See the link below for details).

It is also important to note that impurity carried by a child that moves independently is attributed to the child and not the person carrying the child. Therefore, if one were carrying such a child the Tawaf would remain unaffected, even if the child’s nappy was dirty or contained impurities.

كَصَبِيٍّ عَلَيْهِ نَجَسٌ إنْ لَمْ يَسْتَمْسِكْ بِنَفْسِهِ مَنَعَ وَإِلَّا لَا
وَإِنْ كَانَ يَسْتَمْسِكُ بِنَفْسِهِ لَا يَمْنَعُ لِأَنَّ حَمْلَ النَّجَاسَةِ حِينَئِذٍ يُنْسَبُ إلَيْهِ لَا إلَى الْمُصَلِّي. (رد المحتار على الدر المختار)

Imam al-Haskafi: Like a child that has impurity upon his clothes, if he is not an independent mover then it prevents (the validity of prayer). Otherwise (if he is independent) then it does not.

Imam Ibn Abideen: If he is an independent mover then he does not prevent (the validity of Salah). This is because in such a case carrying impurity is attributed to it (the child) and not to the person praying. (Radd al-Muhtaar).

The rule mentioned by Imams al-Haskafi and Ibn Abideen, is not limited to children. Rather it extends to animals too. In the Nass (text) below, Imam Ibn Abideen explains that if a bird with impurity upon it were to sit upon a person praying then the prayer would not be nullified. Rather it will remain valid since the impurity is attributed to the bird and not the person praying. Therefore, he is not carrying impurity whilst praying.

لَوْ جَلَسَ عَلَى الْمُصَلِّي طَائِرٌ عَلَيْهِ نَجَاسَةٌ لَا تَفْسُدُ صَلَاتُهُ، وَمِثْلُهُ صَبِيٌّ يَسْتَمْسِكُ بِنَفْسِهِ، بِخِلَافِ مَنْ لَا يَسْتَمْسِكُ؛ لِأَنَّ الْمُصَلِّيَ يَصِيرُ حَامِلًا لِلصَّبِيِّ وَالنَّجَاسَةِ. (رد المحتار على الدر المختار)

If a bird with impurity upon it sits on a person who is praying, then his prayer is not nullified. Likewise, a child that is an independent mover. As opposed to one who does not move independently. This is because in such a case the person praying is considered to be carrying the child and the impurity. (Imam Ibn Abideen, Radd al-Muhtaar).

Thus we can conclude that carrying impurities does not nullify Tawaf. So, even if one were carrying a child that does not move independently during Tawaf, it would remain valid if the child had a dirty nappy or other impurities upon it. In such a case one would experience a decrease in reward, not a nullification of the Tawaf.

And Allah Most High Knows Best.

-Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (04.10.2022)

See also:
Is Tawaf valid if there was impurity on your clothes?
Can you carry a child whilst in Salah?

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