How to perform Ablution (Wudhu)
A Muslim’s cleanliness obligations:
These requirements are normally referred to as: The NATURAL TRADITIONS or SUNAN AL‑FITRAH.
There are certain practices that Allah chose for His prophets and that Muslims should follow as well. These are:
- Circumcision for males.
- Removing hair from the armpits and pubic area (plucking, shaving or cutting) at least once every 40 days.
- Trimming the fingernails and moustache.
- Growing a beard (men).
- Taking care of the hair and keeping it neat ‑ (Shaving the head is allowed for men but forbidden for women.)
- Grey hairs should not be removed but either left as they are or dyed (not black).
- Using pleasant scents ‑ (Women are forbidden to wear perfume, in the street, in mosques or in the presence of non-mahram men.)
- In relation to prayer the Muslim’s: clothes must be clean; have a good body and mouth odour; should not eat articles such as garlic or raw onions prior to prayer; should use a siwak (tooth stick).
Wudhu is Mandatory for the following:
- All types of Salah (prayer).
- Tawaaf (circling the Ka’bah).
- When touching the Qur’aan or when reading from it. (Wudhu is not required to read Qur’aan from memory).
Wudhu is recommended:
- After having carried a dead body to burial.
- Before sleeping.
- After sexual relations, if one is not going to perform ghusl until later.
The required order for the steps of Wudhu:
The order and method of wudhu comes from none other than the Qur’aan itself.
The guidelines for Wudhu:
- The wudhu for men and women is the same.
- The order of which parts to wash must be maintained.
- The minimum number of times each part should be washed is once.
- The maximum number of times each part should be washed is three.
- Do not use excessive amounts of water or waste the water.
- There should not be a long interval between washing the parts.
- If you skip a part, you must go back to that part and continue on from there (again). If you remember after you have finished and have already dried yourself or after a large time lapse, then you must redo it from the start. If you are in doubt, then give yourself the benefit of the doubt, as Shaytaan (the devil) may cast doubt in your mind.
- Do not dry any parts until you have fully completed the wudhu.
- It is acceptable to ‘extend’ beyond the prescribed parts. As an example, you may wash higher than your elbows or ankles.
- The water must be clean (as discussed in unit 1).
- When necessary, it is permissible to speak while performing wudhu.
- Wudhu is not valid if there is a waterproof substance on any of the areas to be washed (such as nail polish and some types of makeup). Men, who have a profession such as painters, should make sure that all paint is removed from their skin, prior to making wudhu. Also mechanics should remove all grease.
- Anyone who is unable to control his urine or gas, a woman who bleeds at times other than her monthly period, and people with similar problems must clean the private area and then make wudhu for each prayer after the adhaan has been called. Anything that escapes after wudhu and during prayer is excused, but this allowance does not apply to people without such problems. (Discussed in more detail in the Tahaara Level II units.)
- Rules on wiping over the socks or shoes, is covered in Level I, lesson 3 of Tahaara.
- There are no supplications mentioned in the Sunnah to be said while washing each limb during wudhu.
- What to read after completion of wudhu is covered in Level I of Tahaara, but the additional duah is covered in the ‘What to Read in Salah Level II’ lessons.
Step-by-Step how to perform Wudhu:
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