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How to Perform Ablution(Wudhu)

One should perform wudhu before the prayer, for the Prophet said:

"Prayer is not accepted without purification….” (Muslim #224)

Allah says:

"O you who believe! When you intend to offer the Salaah, wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows, pass wet hands over your heads, and [wash] your feet up to the ankles." (59:7)

One should perform wudhu in the following manner:

Humraan the freed slave of ‘Uthmaan bin Affaan («may god exalt their mention») said:

“I saw ‘Uthmaan («may god exalt their mention») perform wudhu. He poured water on his hands thrice, then he rinsed his mouth and nose, washed his face thrice, washed his right hand up to his elbow thrice, washed his right hand up to his elbow thrice, wiped over his head once, washed his right foot thrice, and then his left foot thrice. He then said, ‘I saw the Messenger of Allah perform wudhu like this, and he said: ‘Whoever performs wudhu like my wudhu, and then prays two Rakaat not thinking about anything else, Allah will forgive him all his previous sins.’ (Bukhari #1832)

  1. One should intend that he is performing wudhu to purify himself from a minor state of impurity. The proof that intention (niyyah) is obligatory as seen from the statement of the Prophet:

    “All deeds are considered by their intentions, and each person will be rewarded according to what he intends…” (Bukhâri #1 & Muslim #45)

  2. One should say, “Bismillaah,” before making wudhu. The Prophet said:

    “There is no Prayer for one who does not perform wudhu, and there is no wudhu for one who does not mention the name of Allâh.” (Abu Dawood #101 & ibn Maajah # 399)

  3. One should wash his hands thrice at the beginning of the wudhu.

  4. One should rinse his mouth and clean his nose by sniffing water into it thrice. He should blow the water out of his nose using the left hand.

  5. One should wash his face thrice. The face consists of the area starting from the forelock at the top of the forehead of a normal haired man to the bottom of the [chin or] beard, vertically, and from right earlobe to the left, horizontally.

  6. One should wash his hands from the tips of fingers to the elbow (while washing it as well) beginning first with the right hand, then the left. If he is wearing a ring or a watch, he must remove it in order to allow the water to reach the skin underneath it.

  7. One must wipe over his head once. This is done by wetting the hands and passing them over the head, beginning from the front, proceeding to the back, and then passing them back over the head to the front. Abdullah b. Zaid («may god exalt their mention») narrated:

    “Allâh’s Messenger (peace be upon him) passed his hands over his head starting from the front, proceeding to the back. He started from his forehead and passed them over to the top of his neck, and then passed them back to the place where he started from.” (Bukhari #183 & Muslim#235)

  8. One should wipe his ears by inserting wet index fingers in the cavity of the ears, and wipe their backs with the thumbs. Ibn Abbas described the wudhu of the Prophet saying:

    “He then wiped over his head and put his index fingers into his ears. He wiped the outside of his ears with his thumbs, and the insides of his ear with his index fingers.” (Abu Dawud #123)

  9. One should wash his feet three times from the tips of the toes up to and including the ankles. Abu Hurairah («may god exalt their mention») said that the Messenger of Allah saw a person who did not wash his heels, and he said to him:

    “Woe to the heels from the Hellfire!” (Bukhari#60 & Muslim #142)

  10. One should wash the parts of wudhu in the correct sequence. He should not contradict the sequence mentioned in the verse, for Allah mentioned the obligatory acts of wudhu in a specific sequence.

  11. One should not delay washing one part of the body so that the previously washed part becomes dry.

    It is mentioned in a Hadeeth that the Prophet saw a man praying, but a portion of his foot -the size of a dirham- was not wet. Upon this, the Prophet ordered him to repeat his wudhu and Prayer.” (Abu Dâwud #175)

    One must remove anything from the parts that must be washed in the wudhu which might prevent water from reaching the skin underneath it, such as paint, and similar things.

    One remains in a state of wudhu unless something invalidates it, such as urination, defecation, passing of gas, pre-seminal fluid, prostatic fluid, false menstruation (vaginal bleeding other than menses) eating camel meat, touching the private parts with one’s hand directly, and deep sleep.

Tayammum (Dry Ablution)

If there is no water available to perform wudhu or ghusl, or there is a factor present which prevents the use of water, such as illness, or the inability to use water, it is lawful to perform Tayammum.

Tayammum takes the place of water in purifying oneself from states of impurity, and it is performed as follows:

  1. One should strike the ground once with his hands while his fingers are spread apart,

  2. One should then wipe over his face once with his palms,

  3. One should wipe both hands until his wrists.