Wudu: Wikis

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Men in Turkey washing before performing prayer
The al-Kas ablution fountain

Wudu (Arabic: الوضوء al-wuḍū, Kurdish: destnivêj, Persian:آبدست ābdast, Bosnian: abdest, Albanian: Avdes, Urdu: وضو wazū') is the Islamic act of washing parts of the body using water. Muslims are required to be clean in preparation for ritual prayers. The Quran says "For Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean." [1][2]. Muslims are also required to be clean when handling and reading the Qur'an. The Qur'an says "Which none shall touch but those who are clean" [3][4]. Purification of the body and clothes is called Taharah. Prophet Mohammed said that "Cleanliness is half of faith" [5]. To have Taharah for the body, one should do either ghusl or Wudu. Wudu is often translated as "partial ablution", as opposed to ghusl, or "full ablution". Wudhu gives a sense of cleanliness both spiritually and physically. As well as that, wudhu shows a sign of respect to Allah as one is clean in the presence of Him i.e. during prayer.

Contents

Water requirements

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Wudu is allowed with the following water

  • Rain water
  • Well water
  • Spring, sea or river water
  • Water of melting snow or hail
  • Water of a big tank or pond

Wudu is not allowed with the following types of water

  • Unclean or impure water
  • Water extracted from fruit and trees
  • Water that has changed its color, taste and smell and becomes thick because something was soaked in it
  • Small quantity of water in which something unclean has fallen, eg. urine, blood, stool or wine or some animal had died after falling into it
  • Used water of Wudu or Ghusl
  • Water left over after drinking by haraam animals, eg. dogs, pigs or predatory animals
  • Water left by a person who has just drunk wine is unclean

The acts of wudu

There are four fard (obligatory) acts. If one of these acts is omitted, it must be returned to and then completion of the successive acts are to be performed.

There are other acts that are performed during wudu (coming from the sunnah of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and Sunni Islamic scholars) and the detailed acts of the wudu can be classed into 3 types:

Farā'id of wudu according to Sunni Muslims

The Qur'anic mandate for wudu comes in the sixth ayat of sura 5 (Al-Ma'ida):

O ye who believe! when ye prepare for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; Rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles. If ye are in a state of ceremonial impurity, bathe your whole body. But if ye are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from offices of nature, or ye have been in contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands, Allah doth not wish to place you in a difficulty, but to make you clean, and to complete his favour to you, that ye may be grateful. [6][7][8][9]

  • Washing the face once.
  • Washing both the arms including the elbows once.
  • Performing Masah of one fourth of the head .
  • Washing both the feet once up to and including the ankles. It's not sufficient for one to pass wet hand over the feet or shoes. Under certain conditions masah can be done over leather socks known as khuffs [10].
  1. Narrated by 'Abdullah bin 'Amr: "we were just passing wet hands over our feet (not washing them thoroughly) so he addressed us in a loud voice saying twice or thrice, Save your heels from the fire." [11]
  2. Narrated by 'Ubaid Ibn Juraij: "and he used to perform ablution while wearing the shoes (i.e. wash his feet and then put on the shoes)." [12]
  3. Narrated by Yahya Al-Mazini: "Can you show me how Allah's Apostle used to perform ablution? ... and washed his feet (up to the ankles)." [13]
  4. Narrated by 'Amr: " ...and then he washed his feet up to the ankles." [14]
  5. Narrated by Humran: " ... and washed his feet up to the ankles " [15]
  6. Narrated by 'Amr bin Yahya: " ... and washed his feet up to the ankles" [16]
  7. Narrated by 'Abdullah bin Zaid: " ... and washed his feet (up to the ankles)." [17]

Farā'id of wudu according to Shia Muslims

The Qur'anic mandate for wudu comes in the sixth ayat of sura 5 (Al-Ma'ida):

O you who believe! when you rise up to prayer, wash your faces and your hands as far as the elbows, and wipe your heads and your feet to the ankles; and if you are under an obligation to perform a total ablution, then wash (yourselves) and if you are sick or on a journey, or one of you come from the privy, or you have touched the women, and you cannot find water, betake yourselves to pure earth and wipe your faces and your hands therewith, Allah does not desire to put on you any difficulty, but He wishes to purify you and that He may complete His favor on you, so that you may be grateful." [18]

  • Washing the face once.
  • Washing both the arms including the elbows once.
  • Performing Masah of one fourth of the head.
  • Wiping both the feet once up to and including the ankles.

Sunan of wudu

Sunnah (optional - practised by the Islamic prophet Muhammad according to Sunni Hadiths) acts.

  • Reciting Bismillah.
  • Washing both the hands up to the wrists.
  • Rinsing the inner mouth.
  • Sniffing water and blowing it out
  • Passing wet hands over the whole head and around the ears.
  • Passing of fingers between the fingers of the hand and feet.
  • Brushing the teeth, preferably with a miswak.
  • Washing each limb thrice. [19]

Mustahabbāt of wudu

A handful of mustahab (recommended) acts that are considered to make the wudu better. If one of these acts is omitted, the wudu is still considered valid.

  • Reciting the shahadah after the ablution
  • There should be no delay between washing two limbs.
  • During wudu one should not engage in worldly talk.
  • Choosing a clean place for ablution.
  • Not wasting water in ablution.
  • Starting from the right side and then the left.
People washing before prayer at the Badshahi mosque in Lahore, Pakistan

Performance of wudu

Performance of wudu according to Sunni Muslims [20]

  1. Start by making niyyah (intention) to perform wudu and cleanse the self of impurities.
  2. Say bismillah ("In the Name of Allah [God]").
  3. Wash the right hand up to the wrist (and between the fingers) three times, then similarly for the left hand.
  4. Rinse the mouth and spit out the water three times and rub the teeth with a Miswak. If Miswak is not available then one should use the finger.
  5. Gently put water into the nostrils with the right hand, pinch the top of the nose with the left hand to exhale the water. This is performed three times.
  6. Wash the face (from the hairline on the forehead to where facial hair begins and ear to ear). This is to be performed three times.
  7. Wash the entire right arm, including the hand, up to and including the elbow three times; then the left arm three times. Pass fingers of one hand between the fingers of the other hand. If wearing a ring it should be moved freely to allow water to pass under it.
  8. Then perform Masah. Wet hands should be passed all over the head; then the first finger of the right and left hand should be moved in the right and left ears respectively and in the same operation thumbs should be passed around the ears; then pass the backs of the hands over the hind part of the neck only. Hands should not be passed around the fore-neck as it is prohibited. This is only done once. One may NOT make masah over a Muslim head cap. Fresh water need not be taken for performing the masah of the ears.
  9. Starting with the right foot, wash both feet from the toes up to and including the ankles thrice. The little finger of the left hand should be passed 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.
  10. Recite the shahadah.
  11. Offer two-rak'at prayer.

Performance of wudhu according to Shia Muslims

Wudhu is performed by Shi'a Muslims according to the instructions of Allah given in the Qu'ran[Qur'an 5:6]:

"O you who believe! when you rise up to prayer, wash your faces and your hands as far as the elbows, and wipe your heads and your feet to the ankles; and if you are under an obligation to perform a total ablution, then wash (yourselves) and if you are sick or on a journey, or one of you come from the privy, or you have touched the women, and you cannot find water, betake yourselves to pure earth and wipe your faces and your hands therewith, Allah does not desire to put on you any difficulty, but He wishes to purify you and that He may complete His favor on you, so that you may be grateful."

Wudhu must be performed on the skin except in the case of the wiping of the head (unless there is an obstacle that isn't naturally there, such as a combover). If there are bandages stopping one from wiping the skin of the arms, face, etc., then it is permissible to wipe the bandage.

  1. Make the intention to perform wudu in the heart.
  2. Shape the right hand like a cup and take water into it. Afterwards, pour the water on the top of the forehead and wipe down with the right hand. It is obligatory to wash from the area where the hair normally grows to the chin.
  3. Shape the left hand like a cup and take water into it. Afterwards, pour this water onto your right forearm and wash your right forearm (covering the right forearm in water, leaving no spot dry). Wipe from the elbow to the fingers, and not from the fingers to the elbow.
  4. Repeat this process except with the left forearm.
  5. Without taking more water, wipe your hair from the middle down to the forehead, or vice versa, using the index finger of your right hand; it is mustahab to use three fingers. If you are balding, you would wash your hair as if it were growing when you had a full head of hair. It is not permissible to wipe the hair over an obstacle (such as wiping a hat or a turban instead of the hair/skin). It is not obligatory to wipe the actual skin on the head. If, however, the hair isn't growing from the area you are wiping (such as if you have a combover), then you must move the hair to where it belongs and wipe the skin.
  6. Without taking more water, wipe the top of your right foot with your right hand. You only wipe once and with a swiping motion. It is unallowed to wipe the shoe, sock, etc. You MUST wipe the skin of the feet unless there is an extreme reason.
  7. Do the same thing, except using your left hand and wiping your left foot.

Imam Ali and the other Imams have stated that there are Mustahab, or recommended actions to wudu along with the above mentioned method.[21] These acts are recommended:

  1. Washing the hands twice.
  2. Gargling the mouth three times.
  3. Rinsing the nose three times.
  4. Washing the face twice and the arms twice. It should be noted that it is not permissible to wipe the head and the feet twice (unless it is because one missed a spot) and that it is not permissible to wash the face and the arms three times.

There is no sin in leaving these out, but by doing them you will be rewarded by Allah. These extra acts are to be seen as Mustahab and it is forbidden to think of them as obligatory. These Mustahab acts of wudu are stated in Shia Hadiths.

Invalidation of wudu

Theoretically, one can perform one wudu for fajr salaat and this wudu would be considered valid for the rest of the day. However, certain things invalidate the wudu (often referred to as "breaking wudu") and these can be stated generically thus:

  1. Defecation, passing gas or urination.
  2. Emission of semen.
  3. Sleep while reclining
  4. Vomiting.
  5. Loss of senses.
  6. Fainting
  7. Laughing aloud whilst in Salah.
  8. Sexual contact with another person (Ghusl is required)

Some consider the below actions will also invalidate wudu:

  1. Touching the private parts with the barehands
  2. Blood or pus leaving the body so that it leaves the point of exit (however if the blood or pus exits from the private parts than any amount breaks wudu)
  3. Touching a mature person of the opposite gender that is not your blood/milk relative (i.e. your spouse)

Tayammum

Tayammum is a "dry ablution" using clean soil, rock, or sand and is to be performed when water is not readily available to perform ablution or when one is defiled (on janabah) and could not perform ghusl (see [1]). Tayammum can be performed in these conditions:

  1. When water is not available within a radius of approximately 1.7 km.
  2. When there is fear of an enemy or a dangerous animal or a snake is near the water.
  3. When the water is so little that, if the water is used up for Wudhu or Ghusl then there is fear of thirst.
  4. When there is no rope or bucket to draw water from a well or one cannot reach water that is nearby (due to some reason) and no other person is available to fetch the water.
  5. When it is known by ones own experience or a capable doctor says that the use of water would definitely be injurious to ones health.
  6. When one does not have sufficient amount of money to pay for water which is being sold.
  7. If water is sold at a very ridiculous price.
  8. One is at a place where there is no water. He himself guesses or someone tells him that water is available within approximately one mile. It will now be necessary to fetch water and perform Wudhu.
  9. It will not be necessary to fetch water if:
  1. There is no trace of water,
  2. No one is present to give information regarding water,
  3. It is believed that water will be found after a distance of approximately 1 mile or more.

See also

References

  1. ^ The Holy Qur'an/Al-Baqara verse 222 (wikilivres.info)
  2. ^ Translations of the Qur'an, Chapter 2 at University of Southern California
  3. ^ The Holy Qur'an/Al-Waqia verse 79 (wikilivres.info)
  4. ^ Translations of the Qur'an, Chapter 56 at University of Southern California
  5. ^ Sahih Muslim, Book 2: The Book of Purification (Kitab Al-Taharah) Cleanliness is half of faith
  6. ^ The Holy Qur'an/Al-Meada(The Table) verse 6 (wikilivres.info)
  7. ^ The Holy Qur'an - original source (1917, revised 1920), by Maulana Muhammad Ali at wikisource
  8. ^ The Holy Qur'an (1917, revised 1920), by Maulana Muhammad Ali at wikisource
  9. ^ Translations of the Qur'an, Chapter 5 at University of Southern California, Yusuf Ali, Pickthal
  10. ^ Sahih Bukhari, Book 4: Ablutions (Wudu) over the two Khuff, (leather socks)
  11. ^ Sahih Bukhari, Book 4: Ablutions (Wudu) Narrated by 'Abdullah bin 'Amr: Save your heels from the fire
  12. ^ Sahih Bukhari, Book 4: Ablutions (Wudu) Narrated by 'Ubaid Ibn Juraij: It is not sufficient for one to pass a wet hand over the shoes
  13. ^ Sahih Bukhari, Book 4: Ablutions (Wudu) Narrated by Yahya Al-Mazini: ... and washed his feet (up to the ankles).
  14. ^ Sahih Bukhari, Book 4: Ablutions (Wudu) Narrated by 'Amr: ... and then he washed his feet up to the ankles
  15. ^ Sahih Bukhari, Book 4: Ablutions (Wudu) Narrated by Humran: ... and washed his feet up to the ankles
  16. ^ Sahih Bukhari, Book 4: Ablutions (Wudu) Narrated by 'Amr bin Yahya: ... and washed his feet up to the ankles
  17. ^ Sahih Bukhari, Book 4: Ablutions (Wudu) Narrated by 'Abdullah bin Zaid: ... and washed his feet (up to the ankles)
  18. ^ Translations of the Qur'an, Chapter 5 at University of Southern California, Shakir
  19. ^ Sahih Bukhari, Book 4: Ablutions (Wudu)Washing each limb thrice
  20. ^ Sahih Bukhari, Book 4: Ablutions (Wudu) Prophet performing ablution
  21. ^ Revert Muslims
  • Description of Ablution on IslamiCity
  • Lemu, B. A., Islamic Aqidah and Fiqh: A Textbook of Islamic Belief and Jurisprudence (revised and expanded edition of Tawhid and Fiqh), IQRA' International Education Foundation, Chicago, 1997.
  • Dr. Mamdouh N. Mohamed. Salaat: The Islamic Prayer from A to Z. 2003.

External links


Simple English

Wudu (Arabic: الوضوء al-wuū', Persian:آبدست ābdast, Turkish: abdest, Urdu: وضو wazū') is the Islamic act of washing parts of the body using water. It is necessary to do this before one prays.


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