Prior to entering Salaat, the person is required to undertake a certain
purification procedure known as "Wudhu" without which, the person's
prayer would not be acceptable in the sight of Allah (subhanahu wa
ta'ala). Allah,-the Almighty, says:“ O ye who believe, when ye
prepare for prayer, wash your faces and your arms to the elbows,- rub
your heads (with water),- and (wash) your feet to the ankles”
the Prophet (peace be upon him), said:“ Prayer without ablution
is invalid” (Reported by Imam Muslim).
There are various conditions required to be fulfilled in the
performance of Wudhu which are as follows:
- Acceptance of the Islamic Faith.
- Sanity and consciousness.
- Intention (Anniyah) to perform Wudhu as an act of worship.
- Purifying oneself from urine, excrement and all other kind of
impurities before performing Wudhu.
- Ensuring the purity of the water to be used for the Wudhu.
- Ensuring that water is not prevented from reaching the parts
of the body which need to be washed in the performance of the Wudhu.
- Being conscious and keeping the Wudhu in mind.
- Washing the entire face once with Rinsing the mouth with
water and Sniffing of water in and out of the nostrils.
- Washing each arm once.
- Wiping the entire head once and passing of water outside and
inside of the earlobes.
- Washing the feet up to the ankles.
- Ensuring that the above 4 acts are performed in the given
- Performing the Wudhu acts continuously and without
unnecessary let-ups until completion.
Besides the above essential acts of Wudhu, there are also some
voluntary but recommended acts in the Wudhu procedure. These are as
- Invoking Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) at the start of the
- Washing of both hands up to the wrists.
The essential and voluntary acts discussed above shall now be
integrated to demonstrate how the Prophet (peace be upon him), used to
- Making the intention to perform Wudhu as an act of sincere
homage and worship for the pleasure of Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala). The
intention need not be uttered but it should be kept in mind during the
- Invoking Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) at the start of the
Wudhu by saying: BISMILLAHI ARRAHMANI ARRAHIIM (in the name of Allah,
Most Gracious, Most Merciful).
- Washing the hands up to the wrists three times, while
rubbing them and letting the water reach between the fingers.
- Rinsing the mouth with water thrice, preferably using the
"Miswak" (tooth stick), toothbrush, or fingers to brush the teeth and
the gum. Regarding the importance of the Miswak, the Prophet (peace be
upon him) said:“
If it had not been too great a burden on my Ummah, I would have ordered
them to use the Miswak at every Wudhu” (Reported by Imam Malik).
- Cleaning the nostrils by sniffing water in and out three
- Washing the entire face thrice using both hands from the top
of the forehead down to the bottom of the chin and from ear to ear.
- Washing the arms three times up to the upper end of the
elbows: right arm first, and then, left arm. Arms should be rubbed
while they are being washed.
- Wetting both hands and passing the same over the head
starting from above the forehead down to the nape (the back of the
neck) and from there, returning both hands up to above the forehead.
- From the head, without wetting the hands again, the person
wipes the earlobes, using the fore fingers to wipe the inner part of
the lobes and the thumbs for the outside part.
- Washing both feet up to the ankles three times, beginning
with the right foot and then with the left foot. Both feet should be
rubbed while they are being washed and water should freely pass between
- Much virtue is attached to Wudhu which is properly
performed as can be noted from the following saying of the Prophet
(peace be upon him):“ A person who performs Wudhu properly will
have his sins removed from his body, so much that the sins are removed
even from underneath his nails” (Reported by Imam Muslim).
- Having completed the Wudhu, the person may recite the
"SHAHADA", i.e. the words of witness and the supplication for
concluding the Wudhu as follows: ASH-HADUANLAA ILAHA ILLA-LAAHU WA
ASH-HADU ANNA MUHAMMADAN ABDUHU WA RASUULUHU. ALLAHUMMA IJ'ALNII MINA
T-A WABIIN WA IJ'ALNII MINA-L MUTAHIRIIN, which means: I bear witness
that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and
messenger... O Lord, make me among those who return to you in
repentance and of those who are undefiled. Regarding the virtue of the
above supplication, the leader of the faithful, Umar lbn-ul Khattab
(may Allah be pleased with him) reported the Prophet (peace be upon
him) as saying:“ If anyone performs the Wudhu completely and then
says, I testify that there is no god but Allah alone, He has no
partner: and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, the
eight gates of Paradise will be opened for him and may enter by
whichever of the gates he wishes” (Related by Imam Muslim).
- When performing Wudhu, it is recommended to let the water
reach beyond the area required to be washed (e.g., when washing the
arms the person may wash beyond the elbows or beyond the ankles when
washing the feet). Great virtue has been attached to this fact, as can
be noted from the following saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him):“
My nation (Ummah) will be called (distinguished) on the Day of
Judgement as a people with bright faces and limbs from the effect of
their Wudhu practices. Therefore, anyone of you who wishes to increase
his brightness may do so (by washing beyond the required areas when
performing Wudhu)” (Reported by lmams Bukhari and Muslim).
- The person is required to avoid use of water more than what
- Much importance has been attached to the performance of two
rakaats after performing Wudhu as can be noted from the following
conversation between the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Bilal, the
first Muadhin (may Allah be pleased with him):“ O Bilal! tell me
which of your acts is most meritorious since joining Islam, for I heard
the sound of your shoes in Paradise ahead of me? Bilal replied: I do
not have any action more meritorious than that whenever I performed
Wudhu (purification) during the day or night, each time I offered a
prayer as much as Allah has destined for me” (Reported by Imams
Bukhari and Muslim).
- If someone's "Wudhu", gets nullified, then, when performing a
subsequent Wudhu, it is allowed to wipe over the socks with wet hands,
instead of washing both feet on condition that the socks were put on
after washing the feet in the first Wudhu or before the same is
- A traveler may avail himself of this privilege continuously
for three consecutive days and nights (72 hours), but a resident may do
so for only one day and one night continuously (24 hours).
Wiping is done according to the tradition of the Prophet (peace be upon
him), as follows: After removing the shoes, wet hands are passed only
over the upper surface of socks without the need to wipe the bottom
The wiping privilege becomes invalid in the event that one or more of
the following cases occur:
- When the maximum timings allowed as discussed earlier lapse.
- The moment the socks are removed.
- When any of the cases requiring "Ghusl" occur.
The person will remain in a state of Wudhu until any of the following
matters is committed:
- Passing of excrement, urine or wind. When someone passes
urine and/or excrement, it becomes mandatory upon such a person to
remove the foulness of these things before performing Wudhu. Pure water
should be used for this purpose, but in case, it is not available after
earnest search for it, the person may resort to the use of certain dry
objects, such as stones, dry woods and tissue paper to remove the
filth. This is known as "Istijmaar". Odd numbers of the object to be
used is preferred, such as 3, 5, etc. The person should ensure that no
drops of urine or stains of foulness are left on his/her body or
clothes. However, in the case of persons afflicted with permanent
wetting or permanent passing of wind, or of women who are suffering
from prolonged flows of blood, such persons are required to perform
Wudhu only once before the start of each prayer and their Wudhu would
remain valid even if the above problems may occur later in the course
of the prayer.
- Eating of camel's meat.
- Sleeping in which the person losses consciousness.
- Loss of consciousness resulting from insanity, fainting, etc.
- Touching of the sexual organs intentionally, directly and
- Renouncing of Islamic Faith.