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How do I make Wudu' to Pray?

 

Ablution (wudu' ) is a condition for the validity of prayer. Allah, ta^ala, said in the Qur’an:

{يا أيها الذين آمنوا إذا قمتم إلى الصلاة فاغسلوا وجوهكم وأيديكم إلى المرافق وامسحوا برؤوسكم وأرجلكم إلى الكعبين}

Ayah 6 of Suratul-Ma’idah means: {When you want to pray, wash your face, your hands and forearms up to and including the elbows, wet wipe your heads, and wash your feet up to and including the ankles.}

 

Wudu' has integrals, recommendations, and invalidators.

 

The integrals of wudu' :

Wudu' has six integrals. The wudu' is not valid if any of them is left out.

1-      The intention: It takes place in the heart. It should also be simultaneous with washing the first part of the face. One says in one’s heart: "I now intend to make wudu' " or the like.

2-      Washing the entire face, from the normal hairline to the chin and from one ear to the other.

3-      Washing the hands up to and including the elbows. The elbow is the bone where the forearm and upper arm meet.

4-      Wet wiping the head or part of it.

5-      Washing the feet up to and including the ankles.

6-      Keeping the order of the integrals as they were mentioned. So the intention would occur with washing the face, then washing the face, then washing the hands and forearms, then wet wiping the head, and finally washing the feet.

 

The recommended matters (sunnahs) of wudu' :

The recommended matters of wudu' are those without which the wudu' would be valid, but there is reward for the one who does them. The wudu’ of whoever leaves out a recommended matter of wudu' is valid, unlike the case where one leaves out an integral. In that case, one’s wudu' would not be valid.

 

Among the recommended (sunnah) matters of wudu':

•        Saying Bismillah (basmalah).

•        Washing the hands up to the wrists before washing the face.

•        Using the siwak.

•        Rinsing the mouth with water (madmadah).

•        Sniffing water into the nose.

•        Wet wiping the entire head.

•        Wet wiping the ears inside and out with new water, other than the one which was used for the head.

•        Criss-crossing the fingers when washing the hands, arms, and inserting the smallest left finger between the toes while washing the feet.

•        Inserting wet fingers through the thick beard.

•        Starting with the right side before the left when washing the hands and feet.

•        Washing or wiping every part three times (tathlith).

•        Rubbing the parts when washing them.

•        Washing a part before the previous part dries (muwalah).

•        Keeping the intention from the beginning of wudu' to its end.

•        Limiting the water that one uses for wudu' to one mudd.

•        Washing beyond the boundaries of the face (ghurrah), and above the elbows and ankles (tahjil).

 

It is also recommended (sunnah) to say after one finishes wudu':

Ash-hadu alla ilaha illallahu wahdahu la sharika lah. Wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ^abduhu warasuluh. Allahumma j^alni minat-tawwabina waj^alni minal-mutatahhirin.

This means: “I bear witness that no one is God but Allah only, with no partners and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. O Allah, make me among those who repeatedly repent and purify themselves.”