Is there a limit to the wiping on the head?
Our scholars have ruled that there is no limit to the mash on the head, not for what one is wiping with (extent of fingers) nor what is being wiped, rather, what is normally called a wiping is sufficient even if that means the minimum of touching according to the 'urf (conventional usage of the term "wipe"). This is also the school of thought of the Shafi'is. The two Imams, Malik and Ahmad, and a group of others have maintained that it is obligatory to wipe on the whole head, whereas Imam Abu Hanifa has said it is obligatory to wipe a quarter of it with three fingers, if he wipes with less than that it is not sufficient for him.
Our proof is the saying of the most High: "And wipe on your heads," the meaning is [any form of] touching of the head. Just as this can be attained by empacing [the whole head] and by a quarter of it, it can [also] be attained by a minimum of what is [normally] called wipe even if it be by a part of the finger passing on a part of the head. There is absolutely no proof for what they have specified (a specific portion of the head). If He intended empacing [the whole head], the most Glorious would have said: "and wipe on your whole heads" just as He said "wash your faces." If His intention was a specific amount of wiping, He would have clarified it as He did with the washing of the hands when he said "with the elbows" and concerning the wiping of the feet He said "to the anklebones."
Adapted from: "Questions on Jurisprudence" by: "Abdul Hussein Shareefaldin Al-Musawi"
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