Wudu is a ritual way of purifying oneself by cleansing the parts of the body with pure and clean water. It is mandatory to perform Wuḍūʾ before salah/prayers.
ALLAH SWT mentions in the Holy Quran: “For ALLAH loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.”(Quran 2:222).
Making wudu before prayers is very important and is an act of worship itself.
The importance of wudhu and cleanliness can be seen in various quranic ayahs and hadeeths.
Some of them are mentioned here:
Narrated from Abu Hurairah (R.A.) that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said: when a bondsman-a Muslim or a believer washes his face(in course of ablution), every sin he contemplated with his eyes, will be washed away from his face along with water, or with the last drop of water; when he washes his hands, every sin they wrought will be effaced from his hands with the water, or with the last drop of water; and when he washes his feet, every sin towards which his feet have walked will be washed away with the water or with the last drop of water with the result that he comes out pure from all sins.” (Sahih Muslim: 244)
Abu Hurairah (R.A.) said that Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said:
“The prayer of none amongst you would be accepted in a state of impurity until he performs ablution (wudu).” (Sahih Muslim: 225)
In another hadeeth, Abu Hurairah (R.A) about the Day of Resurrection reported that Prophet Muhammad S.A.W when asked if HE would be able to recognize Muslims, said, “yes, you would have a mark which other people will not have. You would come to me with a white blaze on your foreheads and white marks on your feet because of the traces of ablution,”(Sahi Muslim 2:480).
It was also reported by Abu Hurayra (R.A)that he said, “I have heard Prophet (may peace be upon him) say, “In a believer, adornment would reach the places where ablution reaches.”(Sahi Muslim 2:484).
And there are many more that state the significance of Wudu/ablution in Islam hence it is important to have a proper understanding of making wuzu so that it can be done correctly.
One needs to make wudu before performing any act of worship however it is not required to repeat the wudu after every prayer if one remains in the ritual state of purity from the previous prayer.
Here is a step-by-step guide to making wuzu
- In Islam, it is important to make intentions in your heart for any good deed so the first step for making wudu would be making intention.
- Say Bismillah(in the name of ALLAH) before starting the wudu.
- Wash your hands up to the wrist three times. Start with your right hand and then the left hand. Make sure to wet your hand thoroughly from the fingertips to the wrist.
- Rinse your mouth three times. Fill your mouth with water and rinse thoroughly.
- Now rinse your nostrils three times. Take little water and sniff it slightly into your nose and then blow your nose to clean it properly. Don’t take too much water and sniff hard as doing so will bother you.
- Wash your face three times. You need to wet your face from ear to ear and from the hairline on the forehead to below the chin.
- Wash your arms three times. Start with the right hand and wash it from the fingers to the elbow. Do the same with the left hand. Make sure that no part is left dry.
- Wipe your head once that is called Masah. Here we don’t need to wash the hair but just wipe with wet hands. Pass your wet hands all over and through the hair to the end of the hair. Now pass your index fingers of both the hands through the bends of both the ears simultaneously. Now use your thumb to wet the back of the ear.
- Wash your feet from toes to the ankles three times starting with the right foot first. It is important to clean in between the toes of both the feet beginning from the little toe of the right foot and ending with the little toe of the left foot. Make sure to wet every part of the feet including the ankles at the back.
- Recite Shada after completing the wudu.“Ash-hadu-Allah-illaha-illahahwa-ash-haduann-muhamaddan ab-duhuwarasuluhu”
- And recite the dua after wudu. Allahumma-ja’alniminat-tawwabeenawa- ja’alniminal-muta-tahhireen.
Faraid Of Wudu
There are four Faraid (mandatory acts) of Wudu:
- Thoroughly wash the full face once from the hairline at the top (forehead) up to below the chin and from one ear lobe to the other.
- Wash both the hands from the fingertips to the elbows once.
- To do Masah of one-fourth of the head. Masah is wiping the area with wet hands.
- To wash both the feet u to the ankle and the back of it once. Make sure that no area remains dry.
ALLAH SWT commands regarding these four obligatory acts of ablution in the Quran as O believers! When you intend to stand up for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands up to (i.e. including) the elbows, and perform Masah (pass wet hands) over your heads and wash your feet up to (i.e. including) the ankles. (Quran 5:6)
Making wudu is an act of worship and making complete wudu following both the Sunnah and Faraid of wudu would be rewarding for you. Hence, one should perform fard wudu in cases such as if the salah time is running out or if there is insufficient water available to make complete wudu. However, as revealed by ALLAH SWT in the Holy Quran, if one does wudu by following the four mandatory/fard steps, the wudu will be valid and one will not be sinful of doing so. You will be missing some of the rewards.
Sunnah Of Wudu
There are 16 sunnahs of Wudu.
- To make the intention
- Reciting “BismilLaa-hir-Rahman-nir-Raheem” before you begin.
- To wash hands up to the wrists three times
- Touse “Miswaak”(tooth stick) on the teeth thrice.
- Gargle and rinse the mouth three times.
- To sniff up water in nostrils thrice.
- To wash the mouth and sniff up water into the nostrils with the right hand
- To clean the nose with the left hand
- doing “Khilaal” i.e. pass wet fingers through the beard and between the other fingers of the hand and feet.
- To pass wet fingers of the right hand through the left and the left’s through the right hand and pass the small finger of the left hand between the toes at the point of the feet
- To wash all parts of the body three times.
- Do “Masah” of the head once wiping the whole head with wet hands in one go.
- To wipe the inner sides of the ears with the forefingers and upper sides with the thumbs.
- To maintain up a sequence of the fard actions in Wudu i.e. to wash first the face then the hands, to do “Masah” of the head, wash the feet, and so on.
- Doing “Masah” of the beard (a hair under the chin) i.e. to pass wet fingers upwards beginning from under the chin.
- To wash all parts (limbs) in so succession that the first one do(es) not go dry on washing the next.
Adaab/ Etiquettes Of Wudu
Wudu is the command of ALLAH SWT to purify ourselves and get ready for salah/prayer, to speak to the Almighty. Making wudu purifies us not only externally but internally as well by washing away our sins every time we make wudu. Every drop of water used in the wudu is cleansing us and helping us gain enormous rewards from ALLAH SWT. Thus it is essential for us to understand wudu and its adaab in depth.
There are several adaab of Wudu
- To make wudu before the time of salah begins.
- Say Bismillah before starting the wudu.
- Not to talk while making wudu.
- To turn toward the direction of the qibla when making wudu.
- To sit upon an elevated and clean place.
- Not to ask for assistance from anybody, but to perform wudu by oneself.
- To put water in the mouth with the right hand.
- To put water in the nose with the right and clean it with the left hand.
- To brush the teeth using a Miswak while washing the mouth.
- When washing the mouth, rinse it and gargle slightly in the throat, if one is not in a state of fasting.
- When washing the nose, sniffle the water almost up to the soft part inside the nostril.
- Not to waste water even if it is available plentiful.
- Use the right hand for putting water into the mouth and nose and use the left hand to clean the nose.
- To recite the Kalima-ishahadatwhile washing each part.
- When doing Masah of the ears, insert one finger of each hand into the entrance of ear canals. Both ears must be done simultaneously.
- To use the little finger of the left hand when passing a finger between the toes and to permeate the toes with the finger from the lower sides of them.
- To move a loose ring when washing your hands. It is fard to move a tight ring.
- After using a container for wudu, fill it again and leave it for someone to use.
- When performing wudu, do not let the water used splashback on you.
- To recite the prayer “Allahummaj’alneeminattawwaabeenwaj’alneeminal-mutatahhireenawaj’alnee min ‘ibaadikas-saaliheenawaj’alneeminalladheenalaakhawfun ‘alayhimwala hum yahzanoon” after the wudu is done.
- drink the remaining water of wudu standing and recite, “O Allah make me from the repenters and make me from those who attain purity.”
Makruhaat (offensive act) Of Wudu
There are certain things that are not considered desirable and are offensive in Wudu known as Makruhat. These are:
- Performing wudu in a dirty place.
- Blowing one’s nose with the right hand.
- Talking about worldly affairs while performing Ablution
- Performing Ablution in a manner contrary to Sunnah.
- Using water in excess or using very little water that the Sunnan cannot be fulfilled. Instead, it should be moderate.
Actions that break(invalidate)the wudu
- Any kind of discharge coming from the front or back passage of the human body (urine, stools, wind, feces, sperm, Madi, blood, etc) breaks the wudu.
- Blood, pus, any yellow liquid, etc flowing from any part of the body will invalidate the wudu. If the blood that comes out of the body does not flow or does not spread, it does not invalidate wudu. The pus and yellow liquid coming out of a wound is regarded as the same. That kind of liquid that does not spread around by itself will not invalidate wudu even if it is wiped. Letting blood through cupping and using leeches invalidate wudu.
- If a mouthful vomit comes irrespective of whether the thing that is vomited is food, water, or bile. If the total amount of what is vomited amounts to a mouthful, it invalidates wudu even if it is vomited in small amounts.
- Going into sleep, deep enough that it restricts sight and hearing break the wudu.
- If someone loses his/her sensibility, turns insane, is unconscious, or is intoxicated, these things will invalidate the wudu.
- Touching one’s private parts or your partner’s private parts will break the wudu no matter if touching the private part is with desire or without desire.
- Sexual intercourse breaks the wudu.
- Menstrualral blood of women breaks the wudu.
- Loud laughter during salah invalidates the wudu. For, the Prophet stated the following; “When one of you laughs loudly during a prayer, he/she has to renew both the prayer and wudu”. Laughter outside of prayer does not invalidate wudu.
- Tears of an ailing eye break the wudu. Tears which flow out due to an infection or illness of the eyes are impure and would also nullify the wudu however crying does not break wudu.