Wiping over a Medicated Bandage

It goes without saying that the religion of Islam does not seek to cause any hardship to its adherents or burden them beyond their capacities. Easiness and facilitation are among the main characteristics of Islam. Almighty Allah says: (Allah would not place a burden on you, but He would purify you and would perfect His grace upon you, that ye may give thanks.) (Al-Ma’idah 5: 6). The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way.”. This concept of facilitation and easiness in Islam is clearly manifest in its simple and flexible rulings. Islam bears into consideration people who have certain excuses; thus, it facilitates its rulings in a way that such people will not face any hardship when abiding by Shari`ah precepts. The question in point serves as an example of how Islam seeks facilitation in its rulings.

Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: If you are suffering from a medical problem and you must use a medicated bandage, then you are allowed to wipe on it instead of taking it off for wudu’ or ghusl (ritual cleansing of the body). It does not matter whether the condition is serious or not, so long as it helps the healing process for you to keep the bandage on. We have precedents for this in the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as well as in the practice of the pious generations. In a report from `Ali we read, “One of my forearms was broken, so the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ordered me to wipe over the bandage (instead of removing it and washing the forearms with water).”

The above concession is in conformity with the nature of religion, which is based on ease and comfort. Allah says, (…He has chosen you, and has not laid upon you in religion any hardship…) (Al-Hajj 22: 78). The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) further stated, “Allah wants you to make use of His concessions just as He loves you to act on His firm orders.” So, go ahead and wipe over the bandage if it can be done. Otherwise, you are allowed to make tayammum (dry ablution) if you cannot pass wet hands over it.