As for the Messenger of Allah (SAAS), he used to do wudu’ (ablution) while the Companions would see him. They would then copy him without being explained by him that this is a rukn and that is an adab. And when he (SAAS) used to pray they would see him and pray as they had seen him praying. (Similarly) when he performed hajj, people saw him and did as they saw him doing.
This was his (SAAS)’s general practice. He did not explain that obligation (furud) of wudu were six or four. Neither did he prescribe that if a man performs wudu without observing muwalat (1)(continuity) judgement would be made on the validity or invalidity of his wudu. On some occasions, however, he used to explain such things.
The companions rarely asked him about such things. It is reported on the authority of ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Abbas (RA d.68/687), as saying: “I have never seen a people better than the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (SAAS). They did not ask him (about anything) until he passed away except for thirteen questions, all of which are (mentioned) in the Qur’an. These include, “They ask you about the fighting in the sacred month, say fighting in it is a serious (offence)” (2), and “They ask you about menstruation” (3). He added: “They used to ask questions only about those things which were beneficial for them.”
‘Abd Allah b. ‘Umar (RA d.73/692) said : “Don’t ask about that which did not happen, because I heard ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (RA d.23/643) cursing the one who asks questions about that which did not happen”. Al-Qasim (b. Muhammad b. Abu Bakr al-Siddique) said: “Indeed you ask about (such) things, which we didn’t use to ask. You delve into things, which we didn’t use to delve in and you ask about things I don’t know what they are. Had we known them it wouldn’t have been permissible for us to hide them”.
It is reported on the authority of ‘Umar b. Ishaq as saying: “Certainly the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (SAAS) I met were more than those I missed. (But) I never came across a people who were more lenient in their attitude and less strict than them”.
It is reported on the authority of ‘Ubada b. Busr al-Kindi, who was asked about a woman who died with a people and did not have a legal guardian (wali). (In response) he said: “I have met people who were not as much strict as you are, and who did not use to ask questions like yours”. These traditions are related by al-Darimi (d.255/868).
[Shah Wali Allah Al-Dihlawi, Difference of Opinion in Fiqh, Ta-Ha Publishers, 2003, p22-23]
(1) Muwalat: to perform all actions of ablution continuously and in their exact order and sequence.
(2) Al Baqara: 217
(3) Al Baqara: 232