If a person experiences hadath in his salaat, his salaat will become invalid if he experienced hadath-e-akbar, whereby ghusl becomes wajib. If he experiences hadath-e-asghar, it will either be two things: this hadath-e-asghar will either be ikhtiyaari or ghair ikhtiyaari. Ikhtiyaari means it was caused or brought about by the will of man. Ghayr ikhtiyaari means that it was not caused or not brought about by the will of man.
If it is ikhtiyaari, the salaat will become invalid. For example, a person laughs loudly in his salaat, he hurts his body and thereby draws out blood, he forces himself to pass wind, a person walks on the roof and by walking there a stone or anything else falls down on the head of a musalli and he starts to bleed – in all these cases the salaat will become invalid. This is because all these actions are carried out through the will of man.
If it is ghayr ikhtiyaari, then there are two conditions in this. It is either something that occurs very rarely, such as madness, unconsciousness or the death of the imam,or something that occurs often, such as passing of wind, urinating, passing stool or the emission of pre-coital fluid, etc. If it is something that occurs very rarely, the salaat will become invalid. And if it is something that occurs often, the salaat will not be invalidated. Instead, after having made his wudu, the person has the choice and the permission to either continue his salaat from where his wudu had broken or to repeat the entire salaat. However, it is better to repeat the entire salaat. There are certain prerequisites in the case where he wishes to continue his salaat from where his wudu had broken:
i) he should not offer any rukn in the state of hadath.
ii) he should not offer any rukn while walking, for example, while he is going towards or returning from wudu, he should not recite the Quran because recitation of the Quran is a rukn of salaat.
iii) he should not do any act which negates salaat nor should he do anything which is possible to refrain from.
iv) once he experiences any hadath, he should not delay in stopping any rukn without any valid excuse. Instead he should immediately go to make his wudu. However, if there is a valid excuse, there is no harm in delaying. For example, there are many saffs and he is standing in the first saff and it is difficult to break through the saffs.
1. If a munfarid experiences hadath, it is permissible for him to make wudu immediately, and he should complete his wudu as quickly as possible. But this should be done with due consideration to all the sunnahs and mustahabs of wudu. In the meanwhile, he should not engage in any conversation. If water is available nearby, he should not go to any place that is further away. In short, he should not do anything more than what is necessary. On completing his wudu, he could continue with his salaat at that very place of wudu, and this is preferable; or he could go back to his original place. It is preferable to break his first salaat by making salaam for it, and after completing his wudu, to repeat his entire salaat.
2. If the imam experiences hadath, he should immediately go to make his wudu even if he is in the last qa’dah. It is preferable for him to choose the one whom he feels to be most suitable for imamat from among the muqtadis. It is better to make the mudrik his deputy. It is also permissible to make the masbuq his deputy. He should indicate to the masbuq as to the number of rakaats he still has to perform. He should do this by means of his fingers: if he has one rakaat left, he should lift one finger, and if two rakaats, two fingers. If he has to make a ruku, he should place his hand on his knees. If he has to make a sajdah, he should place his hand on his forehead. If it is qira’at, he should place his hand on his mouth. If it is sajdah-e-tilaawat, he should place his hand on his forehead and mouth. If it is sajdah-e-sahw, then on his chest. All this is if the masbuq understands. If he does not understand, he should not make him his deputy. Once the imam has repeated his wudu, he should join the jama’at and become a follower of his deputy, that is if the jama’at is still in progress. If he did not go and join the jama’at, but instead stood and followed his deputy from the very place where he made his wudu, then this will only be permissible if there is no barrier between them, or if he is not very far away from the jama’at. If this is not the case, it will not be permissible to follow his deputy from the place of wudu. However, if the jama’at is already over, he can complete his salaat wherever he wishes; either at the place of wudu or at his original place.
3. If water is available inside the actual musjid, then it is not necessary to appoint anyone as his deputy. He has the choice to either appoint or not to appoint. If he does not appoint a deputy, he should go and make his wudu and come back and lead the jama’at. In the meantime, the muqtadis should wait for him.
4. Once a person appoints a deputy, he no more remains an imam but becomes a muqtadi of his deputy. Therefore, if the jama’at is over, the imam should complete his salaat as a laahiq. If the imam does not appoint anyone as his deputy, but the muqtadis appoint someone from among them or one of the muqtadis steps forward of his own accord and goes and stands in the place of the imam and makes the intention of imamat, then all this is permissible on condition that the original imam has not gone out of the musjid as yet. And if the salaat is not performed in the musjid, then on condition that he has not stepped beyond the saffs or beyond the sutra. If he has already stepped out of these boundaries, the salaat will become invalid. Now, another person cannot become an imam.
5. If a muqtadi experiences hadath, he should also immediately go to repeat his wudu. On completing his wudu, he should join the jama’at if it is still in progress. If not, he should complete his salaat on his own. If the jama’at is still in progress, he should go and stand in his original place. However, if there is nothing between him and the imam which can prevent him from following the imam, then it will also be permissible for him to stand at the place of wudu and follow the imam from there. If the jama’at is over, he has the choice of going to his original place and offering his salaat, or of offering it at the place of wudu. This latter option is preferable.
6. If the imam appointed a masbuq as his deputy, he should perform the balance of the rakaats for the imam and thereafter appoint a mudrik so that this mudrik could make the salaam and the masbuq could offer the rakaats which he had missed.
7. If a person becomes a lunatic, experiences hadath-e-akbar, experiences hadath-e-asghar unintentionally or becomes unconscious; and any of the above occurs after having sat in the last qa’dah to the extent of at-tahiyyaat – then his salaat will become invalid and he will have to repeat his salaat.
8. Because these masa’il are complicated, and because of a lack of knowledge – the possibility of mistakes is inevitable. It is therefore better not to continue the salaat. Instead, one should break the salaat by making salaam and repeat the entire salaat.