Islam is the religion of easiness and mercy. It does not expose people to hardship or impose on them anything beyond their capacity. Almighty Allah says: “No one should be charged beyond his capacity.” (Al-Baqarah: 233) Yet, among the major purposes of Sharia is putting people at ease and removing difficulty and hardships. Basically, acts of worship aim at connecting people with their Lord and therefore Allah facilitated for people the ways of achieving this great aim.

This condition might occur for a reason when a person is suffering from bladder control problems or is having doubts (waswis) about breaking wind while performing prayer. If it is bladder control problems, we exhort him to counsel a doctor and we implore to Allah to heal him from this ailment. However, till this happen, he is required to perform wudu’ shortly before each obligatory Salah and offer the prayer. Then, if he releases gases thereafter or during the prayer, there is no blame on him. The same is true for offering tawaf (circumambulation of Ka`bah) in Hajj or `Umrah.

In his answer to a similar question, Sheikh A hmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: “If this –bladder control problems- is a persistent problem with a person, then they fall under the category of ashab al-a`dhar (people with valid excuses). In such a case, strict rules of purification do not apply to them. In other words, they are allowed to make use of the rukhsah or dispensation. Accordingly, they are supposed to perform wudu’ as close to the time of Salah as possible. Once they have done that, they should not be worried about what happens later. Their Salah is considered valid even if they break wind during the course of the Salah and in any number of times. They should continue in their prayer, without being disturbed or confused about their state of purification once they have made sure to perform wudu’ close to the Salah time.”

As for reading the Qur’an, he is recommended to read it while in state of wudu’; however, if he breaks wind, then he may continue reading it without renewing his wudu’.

With respect to performing tawaf (circumambulation around the Ka`bah), scholars are different as regards this case and the like. According to scholars of the Shafi`y school, if a person cannot control the release of wind due to some illness, they should perform wudu’ (ablution) for the two Rak`ahs of Ihram. Then, according to them, they should perform wudu’ once again when offering Tawaf and there is no problem with them if they break gas during Tawaf or the two rak`ahs thereafter. The Maliki scholars are of the opinion that a person who suffers from enuresis is allowable to perform wudu’ one time and offer the prayer they wish and their wudu’ would be valid unless it is nullified by anyone of the other nullifiers of wudu’. This ruling applies to this case as well. We have to remind that all these rulings apply only to those who have bladder control problems not in the normal cases.

However, if the reason is having doubts about releasing gases, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, states: “If a person does not suffer from incontinence or bladder control problems, then they must ask themselves whether they are certain that they have started salah after having performed the necessary purification and wudu’ or not. If they are certain that they have done so, then they need not pay any attention to such intrusive thoughts or doubts that might assail their mind unless they see some definite signs indicating otherwise. Such signs include wetness, a foul smell or the sound of passing wind, etc. If they were to experience any of these signs, they must break their salah and only resume it after having performed the requisite procedure of purification and wudu’.

If, on the other hand, they do not experience any such definite signs that have been indicated above, then they do not need to pay any attention to these thoughts. It is important for us to know that such nagging doubts are due to the whisperings of Satan, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told us that Satan will approach us in our salah, trying to distract us from performing it properly. In doing so, he will definitely try different ways with different people. Hence, the remedy for it is simply turning to Allah for protection and invoking His help against the accursed one.”

again, the above is true regarding reading the Qur’an and performing tawaf.