Praying having forgotten to do wudhoo

Reference: I’laam al-Musaafireen – Question 16, Page 18

Question: I forgetfully prayed without [being in the state of] wudhoo, and after I finished [my prayer] I remembered; so am I required to repeat the prayer?

Response: Yes; whoever forgetfully prayed without [being in the state of] wudhoo is required to repeat the prayer. This is based upon the statement of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):

«Allaah does not accept the prayer of the one who has invalidated his wudhoo until he makes wudhoo» – transmitted by al-Bukhaaree

…in contrast to the one who forgetfully prayed in an impure garment, then he does not have to repeat [the prayer]. That is because Jibreel came to the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) while he was praying, and informed him that he had some filth on his sandals[1], so he removed them and continued with his prayer; which indicates that the one who is unaware of an impurity or has forgotten about it is not required to repeat [the prayer].

[1] Transmitted by Ahmad in his Musnad, and Abu Daawood.

- from London, UK. He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004.

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