Wudu (Ablution)

by Muhammad Abdul Karim Saqib, Darussalam: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


If someone needs to go to the toilet, he/she should do Istinja before doing Wudu.


It is a good practice to clean the teeth with a tooth-stick, or a toothbrush before performing Wudu. In this way you can avoid many diseases which are caused by unclean teeth.

As mentioned in the Hadith: Aisha reported Allah's Messenger (pbuh) as saying: "The use of a tooth-stick is a means of purifying the mouth and is pleasing to the Lord as well." (Ahmad. Darmi and Nasai).

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) also said: If I wouldn't have felt that it is difficult for my people I would have ordered them to use a tooth-stick with every Salat (prayer), that is, before doing each Wudu. So, Muslims should always try to fulfill this wish of our Prophet (pbuh).


Before starting the actions of Wudu it is necessary to make Niyah (intention). Make Niyah that the act of performing Wudu is for the purpose of purity only. Niyah should be made in the heart because it is an action of the heart and not of the tongue.

Niyah by words is not approved by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Then start the Wudu by saying: Bismallah hir-rahma nir-raheem (In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful)


(ABLUTION) 1. Wash the hands up to the wrist making sure that no part of the hands is left dry. 2. Rinse the mouth taking up water with the right hand. 3. Clean the nose: sniff water up from the right palm and then eject water with the left hand. 4. Wash the face, from ear to ear, and forehead to chin making sure that no part of the fact is left dry. 5. Then wash the forearms (right forearm first) up to the elbows making sure that no part of them is left dry. 6. Rub the head as follows: Wet your fingers and then wipe the head with your fingers, starting from the forehead, taking them to the nape of the neck, then bring them back to the forehead. 7. Clean the ears by inserting the tips of the index fingers wetted with water into the ears, twist them around the folds of the ears, then pass the thumb behind the ears from the bottom, upwards. 8. Wash the feet (right foot first) up to the ankles, making sure that no parts of the feet are left dry, especially between the toes.


Rubbing the socks with wet hands instead of washing the feet is allowed, provided that the socks have been put on after performing an ablution, including washing the feet. This is allowed for 24 hours from the time of ablution, and for 3 days if the person in on a journey. After this time the feet must be washed. Similarly, if there is a wound in any parts of the body which has to be washed in ablution, and if washing that particular part is likely to cause harm, it is permissible to wipe the dressing of the wound with a wet hand.


Mughira bin Shubah said, Prophet (pbuh) performed ablution and wiped over his socks and his sandals. (Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah).

Each detail of ablution has been performed by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) once, twice or three times (except rubbing of head and cleaning of ears, i.e. actions 6 and 7 should only be done once.). Since all the above methods meet Prophet (pbuh)'s approval; we can perform ablution by doing the actions once, twice or three times; provided that no part has been left dry.

Amr bin Shuaib, quoting his father on the authority of his grand-father narrated that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, If anyone performs actions of ablution more than 3 times, he has done wrong, transgressed, and done wickedly. (Nasai and Ibn Majah)


Ash hadu an la ilaha illal lahu wah dahu la shareeka lahu wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluhu.

I testify that there is no deity except Allah alone. And I testify that Mohammed (pbuh) is His servant and Messenger. (Muslim)

Allahum maj alnee minat taw-wabeena waj alnee minal muta tahireen.

O Allah make me among those who are penitent and make me among those who are purified. (Tirmidhi)


In circumstances when water cannot be found, or just enough is available for drinking, or it is injurious to health: in such situations Tayammum (dry ablution) can be performed.

The procedure below is given according to Quran and Hadith.

"...And if you don't find any water, then take clean earth (or sand) and rub it on your face, and hands. Allah does not wish to put you in a difficulty, but he wants to make you clean, and to complete His favor unto you, so you should be grateful to Him." (Al-Maa'ida 5:6)

(The permission to use sand for this purpose is allowed in the Quran.)


1. Make Niyah in the heart. 2. Begin with the Name of Allah. 3. Strike palms of both hands on clean sand, dust or anything containing these, e.g. wall or stone, etc. then blow into the palms. Pass the palms of both hands over the face once and then rub your right hand with the left palm and left hand with the right palm. (Bukhari and Muslim). 4. Finish with the same Du'aa as given at the end of ablution.

Note: Other procedures include the forearms and shoulders as well as armpits. These have been transmitted by reputable scholars but the most preferable and authentic is that given above.