Is taking a shower the same thing as making wudhu?


Is taking a shower the same thing as making wudhu? I have been told that taking a shower only does not substitute for wudhu in the Hanafi School of Jurisprudence. Therefore, a person must make wudhu separately and if he does not do so, his salah is not valid. Is this true?


A simple shower by itself, which does not fulfill the specific conditions and requirements of wudhu, cannot be considered a substitute for wudhu. Prayer is invalid in such a case and one must repeat his salah.

Wudhu is an ‘ibaadah or act of worship and as such, like any act of worship, it must be accompanied with proper niyyah or intention. It is therefore necessary for a person to formulate the niyyah first and then fulfill all those specific requirements/ essentials that are necessary for wudhu. Besides washing the external parts of one’s body as in a shower, mouth and nostrils must also be cleansed.

Thus if a person simply washed the external parts of his body during the course of his shower or ghusl and did not formulate the niyyah, his shower or ghusl cannot be considered sufficient to replace wudhu.

On other hand, if he were to complete all of the above details, his shower and ghusl is quite sufficient, and he does not need to make wudhu again.

What we have said above is the general position accepted by all of the great schools. It is not a point of controversy among schools. However, according to some schools and scholars, if one were to touch his private parts, after this type of complete shower, he would need to renew his wudhu again.