Question # 1: Assalamu ‘Alaikum. What is the ruling of eating camel meat that breaks wudu? Is this true? is it a strong hadith? I know of the story of a man passing wind in the gathering and the prophet a.s saying that all who ate camel meat should make wudu. but I am unsure if it applies and I do not want to search online because I will get varying answers. Jazak Allah.
Question # 2: Assalamu Alaikum,
The camel’s meat is not unclean, it does not cause you to make wudhu nor does it break your wudhu if you were in the state of wudhu.
There is however, a tradition that states that one should perform wudhu after consuming the camel’s meat. In this regard, the hadith of Bara Bin Azib (R.A) is mentioned in which he narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w) was asked about performing wudhu from the camel’s meat. To this, he replied: ‘Perform wudhu from it’. (Recorded by Imam Tirmidhi under the chapter ‘Performing wudhu from camel’s meat).
Based on the above tradition,the great Imams of Fiqh and Hadith like Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (A.R) and Ishaq bin Rahway (A.R) have stated that ones’ wudhu will be broken by eating camel’s meat. It does not mean that the meat is unclean or impure, but since the Prophet (s.a.w) had given such an instruction, it should be followed. All the other Imams of Fiqh and Ahadith however, have not adopted this position, and have stated that eating camel’s meat does not break ones’ wudhu nor does it necessitate wudhu.
With respect to the above mentioned tradition which mentions that wudhu must be performed by eating camel’s meat, the overwhelming majority of scholars have given the explanation that what is referred to as ‘Wudhu’ in the tradition, is considered to be the literal meaning of wudhu, which means to simply wash the hands and the mouth properly. It does not refer to the technical meaning of ‘wudhu’ used in the shariah which is the act of washing certain specific limbs of the body for Salaah.
As mentioned by the scholars, the camel’s meat has a lot of fat in it and if after consuming it, one does not wash his hand and mouth properly, then the oiliness and greasy nature of the meat will remain in these areas. It is for this reason, the Prophet (s.a.w) gave the instruction for a person to wash these areas after eating camel’s meat. The fact that the word wudhu has a literal meaning (which means to simply wash the hands and mouth), and it is used within this meaning in the shariah, is evident from another tradition in which the Prophet (s.a.w) said, ‘The barakah (blessings) of the food, lies in making wudhu before and after eating ‘ (Mishkaat Hadith # 4208 Kitabul At’imah). Here, while explaining this hadith, all scholars have stated that in this hadith, the word ‘wudhu’ carries its literal meaning.
The hadith therefore means that in order to achieve the barakah (blessings) of eating the food, one should wash one’s hand and mouth before eating and after doing so.
It is also evident in another tradition that a sahabi (companion) by the name of Ikraash (R.A) was a guest of the Prophet (s.a.w) and sat with him to partake of a meal. After completing the meal, the Prophet (s.a.w) asked for water and washed his hands. After doing so, he turned to Ikraash (R.A) and said, ‘O Ikraash! This is the wudhu (which you do) when you eat from that which has been touched by fire. (Mishkaat Hadith # 4233 Kitab Al At’imah).
Both the above traditions show that at times, the word ‘wudhu’ is used in its literal sense and not with the technical meaning. When used in the literal sense, it simply means to wash the hands and the mouth and not to perform an entire wudhu as one does for Salaah. (See Tuhfah Al Almaee Sharh of Jami Tirmidhi Vol. 1 Pgs. 331, 332).
And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.