She Can’t Find a Place to Perform Ablution in College as Bathrooms Are Unisex
Fatwa No: 474484

  • Fatwa Date:4-5-2023 - Shawwaal 14, 1444
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Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullah, I go to a college in a non muslim country where the washrooms are unisex meaning boys and girls (who are non-muslim) use the same washroom. i cannot make wudu in their because while doing wudu I obviously have to wash my awrah e.g. arms etc. and we all know women can't show their awrah to non-muslim women and non-mahram men. It is almost impossible to make wudu before leaving the house and not invalidate it while i am in college. So when i can't make wudu i can't pray as well, but at the same time I don't want to miss the daily prayers. What do I do?


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

It is impermissible to delay the prayer time in any case, except in cases where it is permissible to combine two prayers. In addition, what you mentioned is not an excuse for missing the prayer, as long as there is water you must perform ablution without revealing anything of your ‘Awrah (parts of the body that must be covered in Islam) to men; that is by taking the ablution amount of water that is sufficient for you, entering the bathroom, closing the door and performing ablution as Allah the Almighty commanded you.

If we assume that it is impossible in any way to find a place in the whole university (which is very unlikely), then perform Tayammum (dry ablution) by wiping over your face and hands then pray. The scholars have stated that women do not reveal themselves in front of non-Mahram men when performing ablution and move to Tayammum instead of washing parts of the body if she did not find a place to hide from men.

The Encyclopedia of Fiqh reads:

The undisputed matter is: It is obligatory to cover up while washing up, in the presence of someone who is not permitted to look at the ‘Awrah of the one who is washing up, as the Prophet -  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Cover your ‘Awrah, except from your wife or your female slave.” […] What is taken from the Maliki and Shafi'i Schools is that if performing purity with water results in uncovering of one's ‘Awrah, then it is necessary to perform Tayammum; because covering the ‘Awrah is irreplaceable; and because it is obligatory to pray and to keep away from the eyes, and it is permissible to do what is prohibited for it, like a man using silk to cover himself if it is necessary to do so. As for purity with water, it has an alternative, and it is impermissible to do what is prohibited for it.” [End of quote]

Allah knows best.

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