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Wudu

(Ablution)

According to Quran and Sunnah

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Allah's Messenger said, The key to Paradise is prayer
and the key to prayer is cleanliness (Ablution)
.

Tirmidhi, Transmitted Ahmad, Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah


A desert Arab came to Allah's Apostle and asked
him about ablution. He demonstrated (washing each part of his body)
thrice, and then said: That is (the method) of the ablution.
And he who does more than this has done wrong, transgressed
the limit and has oppressed (himself).  
[Tirmidhi #417, Transmitted by Nasa'i, Ibn Majah,
and AbuDawud transmitted something to the same effect.]



The order to purify the body


Hadith - Bukhari 1:161, Narrated Humran

(The slave of 'Uthman) I saw 'Uthman bin 'Affan asking for a tumbler of water (and when it was brought) he poured water over his hands and washed them thrice and then put his right hand in the water container and rinsed his mouth, washed his nose by putting water in it and then blowing it out. Then he washed his face and forearms up to the elbows thrice, passed his wet hands over his head and washed his feet up to the ankles thrice. Then he said, "Allah's Apostle said 'If anyone Performs ablution like that of mine and offers a two-rak'at prayer during which he does not think of anything else (not related to the present prayer) then his past sins will be forgiven.' " After performing the ablution 'Uthman said, "I am going to tell you a Hadith which I would not have told you, had I not been compelled by a certain Holy Verse (the sub narrator 'Urwa said: This verse is: 'Verily, those who conceal the clear signs and the guidance which we have sent down...)' (2:159). I heard the Prophet saying, 'If a man performs ablution perfectly and then offers the compulsory congregational prayer, Allah will forgive his sins committed between that (prayer) and the (next) prayer till he offers it.' "


The Noble Qur'an - Al-Mâ'idah 5:6

O you who believe! When you intend to offer As-Salât (the prayer), wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to ankles. If you are in a state of Janâba (i.e. had a sexual discharge), purify yourself (bathe your whole body). But if you are ill or on a journey or any of you comes from answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women (i.e. sexual intercourse) and you find no water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands. Allâh does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favour on you that you may be thankful.


The Noble Qur'an - At-Tauba 9:108

...And Allâh loves those who make themselves clean and pure (i.e. who clean their private parts with dust [i.e. to be considered as soap) and water from urine and stools, after answering the call of nature].


The Noble Qur'an - Al-Baqarah 2:222

They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: that is an Adha (a harmful thing for a husband to have a sexual intercourse with his wife while she is having her menses), therefore keep away from women during menses and go not unto them till they have purified (from menses and have taken a bath). And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allâh has ordained for you (go in unto them in any manner as long as it is in their vagina). Truly, Allâh loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves (by taking a bath and cleaning and washing thoroughly their private parts, bodies, for their prayers, etc.).


The Noble Qur'an - At-Tauba 9:28

O you who believe (in Allâh's Oneness and in His Messenger (Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)! Verily, the Mushrikûn (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh, and in the Message of Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) are Najasun (impure). So let them not come near Al-Masjid-al-Harâm (at Makkah) after this year, and if you fear poverty, Allâh will enrich you if He will, out of His Bounty. Surely, Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Wise.



Wudu (Ablution): How to Perform
  1. Say "Bismillah" (in the Name of Allah)

  2. Wash hands 3 times

    • Use left hand to wash right hand, up to and including the wrist, 3 times.

    • Then, use right hand to wash left hand, up to and including the wrist, 3 times.

  3. Rinse water in mouth 3 times

    • Cup right hand with water and put in mouth, then spit it out, 3 times.

  4. Snuff water in nose 3 times

  5. Wash face 3 times

  6. Wash forearms 3 times

    • Wipe right forearm with left hand, all the way up to and including the elbow, 3 times.

    • Wipe left forearm with right hand, all the way up to and including the elbow, 3 times.

  7. Wipe water over head/hair 1 times

    • It has been recorded that the Prophet used to wipe his head three different ways:

      1. Wiping all of his head. 'Abdullah ibn Zaid reported that the Prophet  wiped his entire head with his hands. He started with the front of his head, then moved to the back, and then returned his hands to the front.

      2. Wiping over the turban only.

        • Said 'Amru ibn Umayyah, "I saw the Messenger of Allah  wipe over his turban and shoes." (Related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari and Ibn Majah).

        • Bilal reported that the Prophet said, "Wipe over your shoes and head covering." (Related by Ahmad.)

        • 'Umar once said, "May Allah not purify the one who does not consider wiping over the turban to be purifying." Many hadith have been related on this topic by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others. Most of the scholars agree with them.

      3. Wiping over the front portion of the scalp and the turban. Al-Mughirah ibn Shu'bah said that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, made ablution and wiped over the front portion of his scalp, his turban and his socks. (Related by Muslim.) There is, however, no strong hadith that he wiped over part of his head, even though al-Ma'idah: apparently implies it. It is also not sufficient just to wipe over locks of hair that proceed from the head or along the sides of the head.

    • If you are a female and a non-mahram male (or any non-Muslim who you believe may describe you to others) may see you (such as in a public bathroom, etc.), do not remove your hijab or niqab... keep it on and wipe over it.

  8. Wipe the inside and back of ears 1 time

    • Wash both ears at the same time

  9. Wash feet

    • Wash right foot, including the ankle, with left hand, 3 times.

    • Wipe between each toe on right foot, with left hand pinky, 1 time.

    • Wash left foot, including the ankle, with right hand, 3 times.

    • Wipe between each toe on left foot, with right hand pinky, 1 time.

      • Once the Prophet remained behind us in a journey. He joined us while we were performing ablution for the prayer which was over-due. We were just passing wet hands over our feet (and not washing them properly) so the Prophet addressed us in a loud voice and said twice or thrice: "Save your heels from the fire."  [Bukhari 1:164, Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr]

      • "...and then he washed his feet up to the ankles."   [Bukhari 1.186, narrated Amr]


Wudu: What Invalidates It

If any of the following happen, you must perform wudu again before doing salah.  It is recommended  (but not mandatory) to always be in a state of wudu, so it is not necessary to wait until hearing the adhan (call to Salah) before performing wudu.  

  1. Relieving oneself from the call of nature

    • O you who believe! When you intend to offer As-Salât (the prayer), wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to ankles. If you are in a state of Janâba (i.e. had a sexual discharge), purify yourself (bathe your whole body). But if you are ill or on a journey or any of you comes from answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women (i.e. sexual intercourse) and you find no water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands. Allâh does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favour on you that you may be thankful. [The Noble Qur'an 5:6]

  2. Passing gas, i.e. breaking wind

    • Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "Allah does not accept the prayer of a person who has released gas until he makes a new ablution." A person from Hadhramaut asked Abu Hurairah, "What does releasing gas mean?" He answered, "Wind with or without sound." [Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.]

    • Abu Hurairah also narrated that the Prophet said, "If one of you finds a disturbance in his abdomen and is not certain if he has released any gas or not, he should not leave the mosque unless he hears its sound or smells its scent." [Related by Muslim.]

    • 'Abbad ibn Tameem related that his uncle queried the Prophet about a person who feels something in his abdomen while praying. Said the Prophet , "He should not leave (the prayer) until he hears it or smells it."   [Related by Muslim, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi.]

  3. Sexual Relations

    • One must perform ghusl after sexual relations, i.e. when the male private part enters the female private part.

  4. Touching one's private parts with no barrier (i.e. cloth) between the hand and organ

    • Busrah bint Safwan narrated that the Prophet  said, "Whoever touches his sexual organ cannot pray until he performs ablution."  [This hadith is related by "the five." At-Tirmidhi classified it as sahih and al-Bukhari called it the most authentic report on that topic. Malik, ash-Shaifi, Ahmad and others also narrated it.]

In the event that you forget whether you have done wudu or not, err on the side of not re-performing wudu.... i.e. do not perform wudu again unless you are sure that you broke/invalidated it.

Make wudu again if you experience anger.

Hadith - Dawud, Narrated Atiyyah as-Sa'di
AbuWa'il al-Qass said: We entered upon Urwah ibn Muhammad ibn as-Sa'di. A man spoke to him and made him angry. So he stood and performed ablution; he then returned and performed ablution, and said: My father told me on the authority of my grandfather Atiyyah who reported the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) as saying: Anger comes from the devil, the devil was created of fire, and fire is extinguished only with water; so when one of you becomes angry, he should perform ablution.


Wudu: What Doesn't Invalidate It

  1. Drinking or Eating

    • The Messenger of Allah drank some milk and he did not rinse his mouth nor did he perform ablution, and he offered the prayer. [Dawud, Narrated Anas ibn Malik]

  2. Kissing a mahram woman (such as your wife)

    • 'Aishah related that the Messenger of Allah  kissed her while he was fasting and said, "Kissing does not nullify the ablution, nor does it break the fast." [Related by Ishaq ibn Rahawaih and al-Bazzar with a good chain.  Evaluating its authenticity, 'Abdul-Haqq says, "I do not know of any defect in the hadith that could cause its rejection."]

  3. Laughing

    • Laughing does not invalidate wudu. Laughing loudly during salah, however, does invalidate the salah.

  4. Vomiting

  5. Changing a baby's diaper

    • Just wash your hands after changing the diaper.

  6. People with unusual circumstances (i.e. women with "prolonged flows of blood"), people who cannot control their urine, people with flatulence, and so on, should perform one ablution for each prayer whether their problem exists all or part of the time. Their prayers will be acceptable even while their problems are occuring.

  7. Talking During Wudu


Ghusl
(Complete body washing, i.e. bath)

Hadith - Muwatta 2.74

Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu'n Nadr, the mawla of Umar ibn Abdullah that Abu Salamaibn Abdar-Rahman ibn Awf related that he had asked A'isha, the wife of the Prophet what made ghusl obligatory. She said, "Do you know what you are like, Abu Salama? You are like a chick when it hears the cocks crowing and so crows with them. When the circumcised part passes the circumcised part, ghusl is obligatory."

Hadith - Bukhari 1:228, Narrated 'Aisha  

Fatima bint Abi Hubaish came to the Prophet and said, "O Allah's Apostle I get persistent bleeding from the uterus and do not become clean. Shall I give up my prayers?" Allah's Apostle replied, "No, because it is from a blood vessel and not the menses. So when your real menses begins give up your prayers and when it has finished wash off the blood (take a bath) and offer your prayers." Hisham (the sub narrator) narrated that his father had also said, (the Prophet told her): "Perform ablution for every prayer till the time of the next period comes."

Hadith - Bukhari 1:327, Narrated 'Aisha

The Prophet said to me, "Give up the prayer when your menses begin and when it has finished, wash the blood off your body (take a bath) and start praying."


Tayammum

(Dry Wudu)

When absolutetly no water is available, you should perform Tayammum (dry wudu)...

Hadith - Bukhari 1:331, Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah

... The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and a thing to perform Tayammum, therefore anyone of my followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due.

The Noble Qur'an 5:6

O you who believe! When you intend to offer As-Salât (the prayer), wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to ankles. If you are in a state of Janâba (i.e. had a sexual discharge), purify yourself (bathe your whole body). But if you are ill or on a journey or any of you comes from answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women (i.e. sexual intercourse) and you find no water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands. Allâh does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favour on you that you may be thankful.


Action Items for the Muttaqun:

  • Perform ghusl after sexual intercourse and after completing a menstrual cycle before commencing salah

  • Do not even think about performing dry wudu if there is water available

  • Do not skip over any of the steps of wudu

  • Generally make effort to remain in a state of wudu at all times, combined with thoughts on dhikr (the remembrance of Allah, swt).  For instance, do wudu each time after relieving oneself or after becoming angry.  Recognize the importance of being in a state of wudu before going to sleep.  

Remember... Allah, subhana watala, sees everything we do!

Wudu |  Establish a Sutrah  |  The Salat  |  About Salah

Straighten the Rows!  |  Prophet's Prayer Described

The Traveler  |  Istikharah