SUNNAH OF ABLUTION (WUDHU)
O Allah (The Exalted) O Lord of our master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the family of our master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), bless our master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the family of our master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) grant to our master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) the rank of the Closest Access in The Garden.
Ablution is such an act that not only does it cleanses a person physically but also spiritually. Let us learn about ablution and its benefits and gain the pleasure of Allah (The Exalted) through following the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “When a believer performs ablution and washes the face, then from the face the sins fall with the water, where his eyes fell (on the unlawful) or with the last drop and when one washes both hands then the sins committed with the hands fall with the water or the last drop and when one washes the feet then the sins committed with the feet fall with the water or the last drop, to the extent one becomes clean and pure from sin.” i
Imam Abu Hanifa (may Allah have mercy upon him) gave the ruling that once water has been used it becomes a major impurity (Najasat-e-Ghaliza) because Allah (The Exalted) gave him the ability to see the sins falling of people whilst they performed ablution. ii
‘Abd-Allah Sanabhi (may Allah be pleased with him) reported the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “When a Muslim performs ablution, sins of his mouth are forgiven while gargling, the sins of the nose are forgiven when water enters the nasal path, sins of the face, right upto the eye lids, are forgiven when the face is washed, the sins of the hands are forgiven and leave via the finger nails while the hands are washed, the sins of the head are forgiven and leave through the toe nails. Thereafter going to the mosque and offering ‘Salaah’ merits further awards.” iii
The commander of the believers ‘Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) saying that, “Whosoever performs ablution correctly their sins will leave their body, to the extent even from under the nails.” iv
Parts Of Ablution Will Shine
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) has related, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “My people will be summoned on the day of resurrection with bright faces, hands, and feet from the marks of ablution. If any of you can extend his brightness, let him do so.” v
Continuous Engagement In Good Deeds
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) has related that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “O Abu Hurayrah! When you perform Wudhu, say ‘Bismillahi Wal Hamdulillah’, (Allah’s name I begin with and praise be to Allah) as long as you are in the state of Wudhu, the angels (Kiraman Katibeen) will continue to write good deeds in your name.” vi Subhanallah!
‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Whoever begins ablution by reciting ‘Bismillah…’ will have his entire self-cleansed and purified. Else only those parts will be cleaned and purified which are normally washed during ablution.” vii
Abu Ghutayf al-Huzli (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that, “I was in the company of Ibn ‘Umar, when the call was made for the noon (Dhuhr) prayer, he performed ablution and undertook the prayer. When the call for the afternoon (‘Asr) prayer was made, he again performed ablution. However, I asked him (about the reason of performing ablution). He replied, ‘the Messenger of Allah (The Exalted) said, “Whosoever performs ablution in a state of purity, ten virtuous deeds will be recorded (in his favour).”” viii 2 www.GardensOfSunnah.co.uk
Subhanallah! When already in the state of ablution and one performs fresh ablution without breaking the ablution, then you will receive ten virtuous deeds. It is desirable (Mustahab) to perform ablution when one already has ablution.
‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Whosoever performs complete ablution in winter gets double reward.” ix
Recite The Following
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) use to sit to perform ablution and recite the following supplication:
‘Allahum-magh Fir-li Dham-bi Wa-wasi’li Fee Daari Wa-baarik-li Fee-rizqee’
O Allah! Forgive my sins, make my house plentiful, and bless me in sustenance.
Remember the Prophets (upon them all be peace) are immune from sin this supplication was to teach the Ummah who would follow the Sunnah.
The Prophet’s (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) Ablution
‘Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) has related, “One day the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) performed Wudhu by pouring water over both hands three times, then rinsing his mouth, snuffing up water (rinsing the nose) then washing his face three times. He then washed his right arm (including the elbow) three times and similarly the left arm three times and then wiping his head. He then washed his right foot three times and then washed his left foot three times.” He then said, “I have seen the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) performing ablution as I have just done now1.” x
1 THERE ARE FOUR POINTS IN ABLUTION THAT ARE OBLIGATORY
1. To wash the face. Meaning from the beginning of the forehead where hair starts growing upto the bottom of the chin. Also from one ear to the other ear. To ensure that the skin of the face is washed once leaving no part dry.
2. To wash both hands up to and including the elbows once.
3. To perform Masah of one quarter of the head. Meaning to run wet hands over a quarter of the head and at least so that the hair gets wet slightly.
4. To wash both feet up to and including the ankles once.
The above four aspects are obligatory in ablution. Except for these, whatever methods have been reported are either Sunnat or Mustahab. There are many Sunnats and Mustahabs in ablution and if you would like to know these in detail, then consult larger books such as ‘Bahar-e-Shariat’ or ‘Fatawa-e Razawiyya’.
- • To wash a part means to at least drop two drops of water over each part. The ablution or bathing would not count if the water is spread over the parts lightly, and not washing the parts thoroughly.
- • To wash the skin above and below the lips, nails, eyes, the hair on eyelashes, eyebrows, the skin underneath jewellery and even the hole pierced in the nose, the skin underneath the moustache hair and beard hair unless it is thick and every part or every part in the four parts mentioned is obligatory. If a pinpoint of it was left dry, then the ablution will not count.
Perform Ablution Completely
Laqit bin Sabirah (may Allah be pleased with him) has related that when he asked the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) to tell him about Wudhu he said, “Perform ablution completely and let the water run between the fingers and toes, and snuff up water freely cleaning the nostrils fully unless you are fasting.” xi
Do not snuff the water up the nose when fasting but rinse it out and do not gargle water when fasting as there is a chance a drop of water will go down the throat breaking the fast.
Al-Mustaurid bin Shaddad (may Allah be pleased with him) has related that, “I saw the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) rubbing between his toes with his little finger when he performed ablution.” xii 3 www.GardensOfSunnah.co.uk
Save Your Heels From Hell Fire
‘Abd-Allah bin ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that, “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) remained behind us on a journey. He joined us while we were performing ablution for the ‘Asr prayer which was due, and 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.” xiii
It is obligatory to wash the feet when performing ablution. We should make sure that not even a pin point is left. Water should reach between the toes, behind and underneath the foot too. May Allah (The Exalted) give us all the ability to perform ablution according to the Sunnah, Ameen.
Giving Water For Ablution
Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that, “Once the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) entered a lavatory and I placed water for his ablution.” He asked, “Who placed it?” He was informed accordingly and so he said, “O Allah! (The Exalted) Make him (Ibn ‘Abbas) a learned scholar in religion (Islam).”” xiv
Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) saying that “The Muslim who sleeps with ablution and dies at night, will gain the status of a martyr.” xv
Once while reciting Surah Al-Rum in the morning prayers, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) felt disturbed. After completing the prayers, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) remarked that some of those who were praying with him were not thoroughly pure and clean.
Presence of such followers in the gathering raises doubts in the mind of the Imam as to the correctness of the Qur’anic verses he is reciting.
The Scholars state that there are seven benefits for the person who stays in ablution:1) the angels will stay with the person, 2) the angels continue to write good deeds, 3) the parts of the body perform Dhikr, 4) Allah (The Exalted) gives him the ability not to miss his Takbeer for Salaah, 5) the angels protect the person whilst he sleeps, 6) he will be saved from difficulties, 7) he will be under Allah’s (The Exalted) protection. xvi
Use of Towel
Mother of the believers, Maymuna (may Allah be pleased with her) states that a towel was presented to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), he did not even touch it and he did this to the water, meaning he rinsed it of himself. xvii
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Whosoever after ablution wipes with a clean cloth there is no problem, although it is better not to so as on the Day of Judgement the water of ablution will be weighted with the deeds.” xviii
It is not disliked (Makrooh) according to the Hanafi school, but it is desirable (Mustahab) to wipe. If possible do not make a habit of wiping but rinse and leave it slightly moist as on the Day of Judgment, it can be weighted with our deeds. However, it is better to wipe it in cold weather as there is a chance of catching a cold. There are many hadith that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) at times used a towel and at times he did not.
Evil Thoughts In Wudhu
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “There is a Shaytan specified for ablution whose name is ‘Walhaan’. Ask Allah (The Exalted) for protection from it.” xix
This Shaytan creates many doubts in a person’s mind, for instance whilst performing ablution he puts doubts such as, ‘You forgot to wash a part, ‘You only washed this part twice and not three times’. In the same way he puts doubts in a person’s mind who already has ablution, ‘that you have broken your ablution, A lot of the time has passed how can you keep wudhu for this long etc.’ Do not pay attention to this type of evil thought. 4 www.GardensOfSunnah.co.uk
What To Do?
In the great encyclopedia of Hanafi Islamic law book, Bahare Shariat by Allama Amjad ‘Ali (may Allah have mercy upon him) writes; if you have a doubt whilst performing wudhu regarding washing a part and it is the first time that this has happened, then wash this part again. However, if this keeps on occurring then do not pay any attention. Similarly, if you doubt the fact you have wudhu or doubt that it has broken then there is no need to perform wudhu. To perform it again is better when it is not a “thought” and if it is just a “though” then do not follow it, as this is from Shaytan.
‘Abd Allah Bin Mur’ah (may Allah be pleased with him) states that, “When the Shaytan sees that you are easily deceived, then he tries even harder on you.” xx
Respected brothers/sisters! A mere doubt nor a thought is not sufficient, one should be certain otherwise ablution does not have to be performed again.
Breaking Of Wudhu
The thought of breaking wudhu, or a drop of urine has come out or wind has been released etc. is all from Shaytan. Shaykh Ahmad Raza in his famous work, Fatawa-e-Razawiyya states, after citing some hadith that; ‘Sometimes the Shaytan gives thoughts and places doubts in a person praying Salaah, the Shaytan will come in front and spit near the private parts, and someone thinks a drop of urine has come out, at times he blows at the back and makes one think that he has let wind out. Do not break your Salaah until you feel wetness, hear or smell something!’ Meaning you have to be certain, just a mere thought is not good enough!
You Are a Liar!
Abu Saeed Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) saying that; “When the Shaytan comes to you to put thoughts that ‘Your wudhu has broken’ then reply straight away, ‘You are a liar’. If the thought does not go by saying this then say; ‘O Shaytan, I prefer my Wudhu to be incomplete or broken or for me to pray three cycles rather than four then to follow you!’ When one says this, this will cut the evil thought from its roots. xxi
This, however, does not by any means mean to pray without wudhu but means to rid you of the thoughts by Shaytan.
Rid The Thought
To save oneself from the evil thought of Shaytan use the following method; after wudhu sprinkle water on your lower garment (trouser), then if you have a thought that it may be a drop of urine then think it is the water that you have sprinkled. It is different if one has an illness of dropping urine; they may come under disability (mazoor), for more information see books of Fiqh.
Ablution And Paradise
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said to Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) “Bilal, narrate to me that act you did at the time of morning prayer for which you hope to receive good reward, for I heard during the night the sound of your steps before me in Paradise.” Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “I did not do any act in Islam for which I hope to get any benefit but this that when I perform complete ablution during the night or day I observe prayer2 with that purification that Allah (The Exalted) has ordained for me to pray.” xxii
2 Tahiyyatul Wudhu
Rabee‘ah bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that, “I was with the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) with the water for his ablution and he said, “Ask for something and I will give.” He said, “I ask for you companionship in Paradise.” The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Anything else?” He replied, “This is the only thing.” xxiii Subhanallah!
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has been given the keys to paradise and can enter anyone whom he wishes. 5 www.GardensOfSunnah.co.uk
Methodology Of Wudhu
1. To make ablution at home before going for Salaah. xxiv
2. Make the intention ‘I am making ablution to get rid of minor impurity from my body’.xxv Intention made in the heart is sufficient.
3. Great care should be taken when making ablution. xxvi
4. Recite the supplication for Wudhu, ‘Bismillhi WalHamdulillahi.’
5. Wash both hands up to the wrists three times. xxvii
6. Brushing the teeth with Miswak (tooth stick), if available, otherwise using the index finger of the right hand. xxviii To use Miswak in Wudhu is Sunnat-e-Muakeda xxix (emphasized Sunnah).
7. Gargling three times (not to the throat when fasting). xxx
8. Sniffing water into the nostrils and blowing it out three times. xxxi
9. To wash the face from where the hair grows to the chin and from ear lobe to the other. xxxii
10. Passing of wet fingers through the beard (by wetting the right hand and starting from the hair that begins from near the neck, xxxiii fingers and toes. xxxiv
11. To wash both arms including the elbow. xxxv
12. Masah (wiping) of the whole head once. xxxvi Together with the Masah make Masah of the ears. xxxvii
13. To wash both feet including the ankles. xxxviii
14. Washing each part one after the other without pause, so no part dries up before completing ablution. xxxix
15. To wash the parts of Wudhu in order. xl
16. To wash each part first from the right then left. xli
17. All parts should be rubbed and not merely made to pass water over them. xlii
18. Washing each bodily part three times. xliii
19. To pray two cycles of Tahiyatul Wudhu, to repent and seek forgiveness for one’s sins. xliv
20. If one stays in ablution the devil will run away.
21. Imam Ahmad Raza was asked a question, ‘Why do we have to perform the Sunnah before the Fardh?’ He replied, ‘In order for your ablution to be valid one has to check three things, 1) the water should be clean, this is done when one washes the hands, 2) to taste the water, this is done when one gargles and 3) to smell the water, this is done when one places water in the nostrils. Once these three conditions are fulfilled the ablution with that water will be valid. Subhanallah!
Supplication After Wudhu
‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, “Whoever performs ablution fully and completely and then recites:
‘Ash-Hadu Allaah Ilaaha Il-lal-lahu Wah-dahu Laa Sharee Ka-lahu Wa-ash-ha-du-anna Muhammadan ‘Ab-duhu Wa-rasooluh’
‘I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah, He is alone and has no partners and I bear witness that Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is His servant and Messenger’
all the eight doors of Paradise (Jannah) are thrown open for him. He may choose to enter from any of the doors.” xlv 6 www.GardensOfSunnah.co.uk
i Muslim, Taharah. Ahmad. Bayhaqi. Sharah Sunnah. Tafseer ibn Katheer.
ii Fatawa-e-Razawiyya, Vol: 2, p. 62/6. Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol: 1, p. 249-52
iii Imam Malik & Nisai
iv Muslim, Taharah. Mishkat-ul-Masabih. Fatawa-e-Razawiyya, Vol: 2, p. 64. Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol: 1, p. 249
v Bukhari, ablution. Muslim, Tahrah. Fatawa-e-Razawiyya, Vol: 1, p. 136. Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol: 1, p. 233/4
vi Tabrani. Majmu’az Zawa’id & Muhjam Saghir.
vii Sunan Bayhaqi. Dar al-Qutni. Fatawa-e-Razawiyya, Vol: 2, p. 92. Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol: 1, p. 252
viii Muslim. Abu Dawud, Taharah. Targheeb wat Tarheeb. Sharah Sunnah. Fatawa-e-Razawiyya, Vol: 1, p764. Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol:1, p. 248
ix Tabarani in Owsat. Bahar-e-Shariat, Vol:2, p. 10
x Bukhari & Muslim
xi Abu Dawood
xv Nizam-e-Shariat, p. 7
xvii Muslim, Taharah. Fatawa-e-Razwiya, Vol: 1, p. 239. Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol: 1, p. 255
xviii Kanzul Ummal. Fatawa-e-Razwiya, Vol: 1, p. 239. Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol: 1, p. 257
xix Mukashifatul Quloob
xxi Ibn Haban and Hakim.
xxiii Muslim, Abu dawud, Nasa’i, Musnad Ahmad, Targheeb wat Taheeb, Muwatta, Al-Amn-wal-‘Ula,p. 150, Jam’i-ul-Hadith, Vol: 4, p. 125
xxvii Abu Dawud
xxviii Maraqiyul Falah
xxix Bahar-e-Shariah & Durr-e-Mukhtar
xxx Abu Dawud
xxxii Bahar-e-Shariah, Vol:2
xxxiii Raddul Muhtar
xxxiv Abu Dawud
xxxv Bahar-e-Shariah, Vol:2
xxxvi Raddul Muhtar
xxxvii Nisai & Raddul Muhtar
xxxviii Bahar-e-Shariah, Vol:2
xlii Nur ul Idah
xliv Imam Ahmad
xlv Muslim & Mishkat
xlvi Tirmidhi & Hisnul Hasin
‘Allah-Humma-a’j ‘Al-ni Minat Tawabeena WaJ-‘alni Minal Muta Tahireen’
‘O Allah (The Exalted), make me from those who repent and from those who are pure.’ xlvi
May Allah give us all the ability to perform complete ablution and not be lazy or rush it. May we follow the Sunnah of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), Ameen.