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Question 638: Salaam. I would like to know if it is necessary to wash hand/feet with soap for wudhu if we have applied lotions/creams containing oil. Also, is wudhu/ghusl valid if we have applied chemical henna that forms a layer which peels of later? You think Applying Henna or cream before Wudu is considered as a barrier to water reaching the skin?

Answer 638: If the effect of lotion or cream that left on the skin after it is applied is nothing but just moisture, and so it does not constitute a barrier to water reaching the skin.[1]  Otherwise, you should wash it with soap or any other thing before you want to perform Wudhu, Ghusl or Tayammum.It is said that everything which is considered as a barrier to water reaching the skin must be removed before performing Ghusl, Wudhu or Tayammum.[2] So, as for your second question, it is known that applying a material which is considered just a color on the skin, such as henna, does not nullify Wudu. It is, however, said that other materials that make a layer on the skin that prevents water from reaching the skin are to be removed for wudu, Ghusl or Tayammum.[3]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answers:

Index: Number of things which invalidate Wudu (ablution), answer 556.

Index: Makeup after wudu doesn’t void prayer, answer 157.

Index: Using products with animal ingredients if they are ritually impure, answer 104.

Index: Doubts during prayer whether wudu was performed or not, answer 036.

Index: Wiping performed on socks invalidates Wudu, answer 037.

Index:  Impermissibility of making Wudu after Ghusl, answer 035.

Index: Making Wudu when you are going to bed, answer 032.

Index: The validity of Ghusl even a barrier finds out after a week, answer 031.

[1] . Ajwabat al-Istiftaat of Ayatollah Khamenei, Q. 104; Jame al-Masael of Ayatollah Fazel, Vol. 1, Q. 125; Istiftaat of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 1, Chapter on Wudu, Q. 40; Jame al-Ahkam of Ayatollah Saafi, Vol. 1, Q. 91-106; Istiftaat of Ayatollah Tabrizi, Q. 152; The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani, Q&A. Nail Polish.

[2] . Tawzih al-Masael of maraja (annotated by Imam Khomeini), Vol. 1, Pg. 222, Q. 377.

[3] . Ibid, Pg. 204, Q. 141; Ajwabat al-Istiftaat of Ayatolah Khamenei, Pg. 27, Q. 141; Istiftaat (Bahjat), Vol. 1, Pg. 233, Q. 837.

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