It is time for prayer and you remember you must wash, so you go to the sink and half heartedly go through the motions to get it over with so that you can move on to prayer. There is so much reward in cleansing ourselves, but we often fail to give our full attention and intention to an act that we are instructed by Allah (swt) to perform to benefit and purify ourselves.
Instead of thinking of this act as a burden, think of it as a way to wash away your sins, to remove from you the dirt that has been acquired throughout the day from ill speech, thoughts, and actions. How can we change our thinking about ablution? We can simply listen to Allah (swt) and learn from the ways of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw), in shaa Allah.
Wudu before Prayer
O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful. [5:6]
Wudu before Reading or Reciting Quran
Washing before touching the Quran is important, since it prepares us for performing an important act of worship. We can clear our minds and make good intentions so that in shaa Allah, it will be easier for us to learn and understand Allah’s (swt) words.
Indeed, it is a noble Qur’an in a Register well-protected; None touch it except the purified. [Quran 56:77-79]
Wudu before Sleeping
Regarding prayer before sleeping, it was said that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said,
“Purify these bodies, and Allah will purify you. Whenever a slave spends his night in a state of purification, an angel spends his night within his (slave’s) hair and he does not turn over during the night except that he [the angel] says: O Allah, forgive Your slave, for he went to sleep in a state of purification.” [Ibn e Umar]
Masha Allah! How wonderful to have guardians over us when we are sleeping to keep evil away? If we go to sleep in a state of purity, and the angels are called to take our souls, we will return to Allah (swt) in a state of purity, in shaa Allah.
How to Perform Wudu Properly
We can find many ruling and suggestions on how to perform ablution properly, which can be confusing and at times overwhelming. When in doubt, we should be sure to keep the intentions in our heart pure so that in the event we make a mistake, Allah (swt) will forgive us.
The basics according to Sunnah:
Say bismillah (in the name of Allah) and make the intention in your heart and mind to purify yourself from filth and sin.
Wash your hands in between all fingers and up to the wrists.
Use a small handful of water in the right hand to rinse your mouth, use a small handful of water from the right hand to sniff water into the nose and blow the water out, using the left hand to clean the nose.
Wash your face to the ears, hair, and beneath chin.
Cup water in your right hand and allow the water to flow up the arm and wash the arm to the elbow completely, repeating with the left.
Wet your hands and rub the head from front to back of the neck, then using pointer fingers wash the inside of the ears and the thumbs to wash behind the ears.
Using a small handful of water, pour water on the top of the right foot, cleanse up to the ankle, over the heel, and in between each toe starting with the smallest. Repeat with left foot with with as many handfuls of water as necessary.
Recite the shahada
Ash-hadu anna laa illaha illa Allah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa’rasuuluhu
I bear witness that there is no God but Allah alone, without any partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is his servant and messenger.
It is best not to converse while performing wudu, and to keep your thoughts clear and filled with intention. If it is hard to keep your mind from wandering, ask Allah (swt) to purify your heart, soul, and intentions and to cleanse you of your sins. Also remember to perform ablution in a clean place, and to not waste water as the prophet was known to have said,
“Do not waste water even if you were on the banks of a flowing river.” [Sunan ibn Majah, 425]
Now that you have performed wudu, you can proceed to your prayer, to your readings and recitations, or sleep. In shaa Allah. If you need some help at first remembering or would like to help those in your Masjid or at home to teach yourself or your children, check out this cool wudu poster.
The Rewards of Wudu
It is said that Prophet Muhammad (saw) said,
“When a Muslim, or a believer, washes his face (in the course of Wudu’), every sin which he committed with his eyes, will be washed away from his face with water, or with the last drop of water; when he washes his hands, every sin which is committed by his hands will be effaced from his hands with the water, or with the last drop of water; and when he washes his feet, every sin his feet committed will be washed away with the water, or with the last drop of water; until he finally emerges cleansed of all his sins.” [Hazrat Abu Hurairah]
Now that we know how important being clean and pure is and how to perform wudu, and Allah (swt) knows best, we can be happy that we have been blessed to have the constant opportunity to have the heavy burden of sin lifted from our souls. Remember, Allah (swt) does not wish to place difficulty on us, nor does he need our worship, it is us that is in constant need of Him!
May Allah purify our hearts, souls, and intentions.
About the Author
Vanessa is a revert Muslimah, mother, wife and muslimah-preneur. She is a dreamer and doer, and her ideas often surpass the time she has to get it all done! She is the founder of Me Muslima and Hi and Hello Co. where she hopes to inspire others to be the best versions of themselves in all things life and business, in shaa Allah.