Boundaries of the Face to Be Washed in Ablution
Fatwa No: 404665


Assalam Alaikum
I posted this question not too long ago but I was referred to other fatwas that do not give my a proper answer.
I would like a full response to my questions if possible.
My question is about the proper way of washing the face and the head in wudu. When washing the face in wudu am I supposed to wash the hair that is next to my forehead since it is technically between the forehead and the chin and between my ears? Or should I wash this part when washing my head? The hair I am taking about is on my temples or right above my sideburns.
In addition, I have something called a widow’s peak. This mean los that my hairline is not straight but rather it has a small triangular shape in the middle of my forehead where my hairline begins. Should I wash this hair when washing my face in wudu or when washing my head?


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that none is worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.

Washing the face in ablution is obligatory as per the Quran, Sunnah, and scholarly consensus. The boundary of the face is, vertically, from the hairline to the bottom of the chin, and, horizontally, from the ear to the ear. Therefore, it is obligatory to wash the face from the forelock at the top of the forehead of a normal-haired person.

However, scholars underlined that the face should be washed beyond the mentioned boundary during ablution in order to be on the safe side and make sure that the whole face is properly washed. This is with regard to the upper limit of the face. As for the lower limit, which is the chin, it is the end of the jawbone where the lower teeth grow (the mandible). Whatever is beyond it is not considered part of the face and, accordingly, it is not obligatory to wash it during ablution.

As for the hair next to the ears on the sides of the face (the sideburns), it is considered part of the face and therefore it is obligatory to wash it during ablution. The hair against the top of the ears, on the other hand, is part of the head and should be wiped over along with the head.

Allah knows best.

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