the proper way to perform Wudhu.

The Details of the Question

assalam o alaikum! please let me know step wise the proper way to perform wudhu for a female and what recitations should i include in my wudhu or after it if necessary as per sunnah. JazaakAllah.

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Wudu is performed in the same way for man and woman. There is no any difference.

There are four fards of wudu:

1 – To wash the face once...

2 – To wash the hands up the elbows, including the elbows...

3 – To wash the feet including the heels...

4 – To rub one-fourth of the head with wet hand...

It is fard to wash the arm, face and the feet at least once during wudu. If they are washed three times, then the sunnah is also fulfilled.

All of the Sunni scholars agree on those four fards of wudu. However, the other three madhhabs except Hanafi madhhab have added some other conditions. For instance, intention is fard before beginning to make wudu for the three madhhabs; to utter basmala is fard according to Hanbalis; to perform the fards in the order that is mentioned in the verse (tartib) is fard according to Shafiis and Hanbalis; to perform them without any interruption (muwalat) is fard according to Malikis and Hanbalis.  

The following three conditions are necessary for wudu to be valid:

1. The clean water has to spread over the skin and none of the places that are fard to be washed in wudu has to be left dry. The Prophet said the following for the people who left their heels dry while making wudu, “Woe is to those heels in Hell...”.

2. When the states that invalidate wudu end; that is, when the period of menstruation and puerperium end for women. The leakage of urine and blood from a person are among the states that prevent wudu. A person cannot make wudu before the leakage of urine and blood stop. If that state is an excuse for a person, it has a different judgment. One must not make wudu immediately after urination before the leakage of urine stops completely. Even the smallest leakage after wudu will invalidate wudu.

3. Things like wax, tallow, dough, glue that prevent water from reaching the skin must be removed by rubbing or scraping.

How to make wudu?

Now let us explain how to make wudu in compliance with its order and rules:

* After intending to make wudu, one utters audhu – basmala and washes his hands up to his wrists. If there is a ring on one of the fingers, it is moved so that water will penetrate under it.

* The right hand is filled with water and the mouth is rinsed out with this water. If the teeth have not been cleaned with siwak or brush, the teeth can be rubbed with the fingers while rinsing the mouth.

* Then, some water is put in the right hand and inhaled into the nose; then, the nose is blown with the left hand without disturbing the people around.

* The two hands are filled with water and the whole face is washed three times.

* The right arm and then the left arm are washed three times including the elbows.

* The hands are wetted and the head is wiped with the right palm.

* The ears and the neck are wiped with the wetness remaining in the hands or by wetting the hands again.

* First the right foot and then the left foot are washed including the heels three times. Water is poured between the fingers, too.

It is rewarding to say the wudu prayers while making wudu. and after wudu. 

• Wudu Prayers (Dua)

While starting to make wudu, first the intention and then audhu – basmala are uttered. Then, the following prayers are said while washing the organs:

Alhamdu lillahi’lladhi ja’ala’l-maa tahuran wa’l-Islama nuran.

Praise be to Allah, who made water a cleaning matter and made Islam a light.

* While rinsing out the mouth:

Allahumma ainni ala tilawati’l-Qur’an wa dhikrika wa shukrika wa husni ibadatik.

O Allah! Help me in reading the Quran, mentioning your name and thanking you, and beautifying my worshipping!.. 

* While inhaling water into the nose:

Allahumma arihni raihata’l-Jannati wa la turihni raihata’n-nar.

O Allah! Make me smell the scent of Paradise; do not make me smell the stink of Hellfire! 

* While washing the face:

Allahumma bayyid wajhi yawma tabyaddu wujuhun wa taswaddu wujuh.

O Allah! Make my face white on the day when faces will be white and black! 

* While washing the right arm:

Allahumma a’tini kitabi biyamini wa hasibni hisaban yasira.

O Allah! Give me my book in the right hand and make my accounting easy! 

* While washing the left arm:

Allahumma la tu’tini kitabi biyasari wa la min warai zahri.

O Allah! Do not give me my book in the left hand and from behind. 

* While wiping the head:

Allahumma azillani tahta zilli arshika yawma la zilla illa zillu arshik.

O Allah! Shade me under your arsh (throne) on the day when there is no shade except the shade of your arsh. 

* While wiping the ears:

Allahumma’j’alni mina’lladhina yastamiuna’l-qawla fayattabiuna ahsanah.

O Allah! Make me one of those who listen to the word and act in accordance with it in the best way.

* While wiping the neck:

Allahumma a’tiq raqabati mina’n-nar.

O Allah! Free my neck from Hellfire! 

* While washing the feet:

Allahumma thabbit qadamayya ala’s-sirati yawma tazillu fihi’l-aqdam

O Allah! Establish our feet firmly on the Sirat Bridge on the day when feet will shake!..

What are the abominable (makruh) acts of wudu?

Everything that is considered as contrary to the sunnahs and recommended acts of wudu is regarded as makruh. The most important makruh acts are as follows:

1 – To waste water; to use more water than what is necessary.

2 – To cut down on water; that is, to wash the organ with so little water as to hardly wet it as if wiping. 

3 – To wash the organs by splashing water on them.

4 – To utter unnecessary words while making wudu.

5 – To ask for help from others when it is not necessary.

* * *

Once the Messenger of Allah was drawing water from a well for wudu. Hazrat Umar saw him and ran toward him to help. However, the Messenger of Allah made him stop. He said,

“Stop O Umar! I do not want the help of anyone for prayer.

However, it is permissible to accept the help of others when there is necessity or when someone tries to help of his own accord.

* * *

On the Day of Judgment, those who performed prayers in the world will be ordered to be taken to Paradise in accordance with their degrees. The faces of those in the first degree will shine like stars. The angels will welcome them and ask them: "Who are you?" They will say, "We are from the ummah of Hazrat Muhammad; we used to perform prayers in the world." The angels will ask, "What were your deeds in the world?" They will say, "Whenever we heard the adhan, we rose to our feet to make wudu. Nothing could prevent us from making wudu." Then, the angels will say, "You deserve the state you are in." Then, another group will come. The beauty and brightness of their faces are superior to the first group. Their faces shine like the moon. The angels will ask them: "Who are you?" They will say, "We used to perform prayers." The angels will ask, "What were your prayers like?" They will say, "We used to make wudu before the time for the prayer started." Then, the angels will say, "You deserve the state you are in." Then, the third group will come. Their state is superior to the previous two groups. The angels will say to them, "Your rank is higher and your faces are brighter than those of the previous groups; who are you? They will say, "We used to perform prayers in the world." The angels will ask, "What were your prayers like?" They will say, "We used to listen to the adhan in the mosque. (We would make wudu before the adhan, go to the mosque, sit in the mosque and wait for the adhan there. Then, the angels will say, "You deserve the state you are in."

What are the Sunnahs of Wudu?

The main sunnahs of wudu are as follows:

1 – While beginning wudu, to wash the hands up to the wrists if they are clean… If the hands are not clean, it is fard to wash them because the hands are the cleaning instruments. They have to be washed first so as not to make other organs dirty.

2 – To start wudu by uttering “Audhu - Basmala”... It is sunnah to utter basmala at the beginning of wudu, while washing the hands. If it is forgotten and uttered later, that sunnah is not regarded to have been fulfilled because, wudu is not like eating. Wudu is a single whole deed. In eating, each morsel is a separate deed. If basmala is forgotten to be uttered at the beginning of a meal and uttered later, sunnah will be fulfilled.

It is stated in a hadith that the wudu not started with basmala will not be a complete and proper wudu. 

In another hadith the following is stated, “Every part of a person who starts wudu with basmala becomes clean. Only the wudu organs of a person who does not start wudu with basmala become clean.”

* According to Hanbalis, it is wajib to utter basmala at the beginning of wudu. If it is skipped deliberately, wudu is invalidated. If it is skipped unintentionally, wudu is not invalidated but its reward decreases.

Basmala is “the beginning of every good deed.” It is necessary to utter that sacred word at the beginning of every good and legitimate deed, not only at the beginning of worshipping like wudu and prayer. As a matter of fact, the following is stated in a hadith, “All of the acts that are not started with the name of Allah will be far away from goodness and abundance and will be incomplete and ineffective.” 

3 – To intend (Niyyah).

The intention must take place while washing the hands or face. What is meant by intention is to be aware in one’s heart that he is making wudu. Intention will be all right even if it is not pronounced if the wish to make wudu is present in one’s heart. 

* According to Malikis and Shafiis, it is fard to intend at the beginning of wudu. Intention is necessary while washing the face according to Shafiis. According to Hanbalis, intention is one of the conditions of the validity of wudu. Wudu is not valid without intention.

4 – To use a miswak, that is, to clean the teeth at the beginning of wudu...

If a person does not have any teeth or if a person cannot use a miswak or toothbrush due to a disorder in his gingiva or if a person does not have a miswak or a tooth brush with him when he makes wudu, he is to wash his teeth and gingiva by rubbing them with his thumb and index finger.

According to the statement of the Messenger of Allah, a prayer performed after cleaning the teeth with miswak is seventy times more virtuous than a prayer performed without cleaning the teeth.

For women, chewing gum replaces using miswak when they are not fasting.

5 – Making mazmaza (rinsing out the mouth) and istinshaq (snuffing water into nostrils and blowing it out)...

Mazmaza means to put water into the mouth, rinsing out the mouth.

Istinshaq means to snuff water into nostrils making the water reach the soft parts.

It is not necessary to snuff water by inhaling. Pouring water into nostrils is enough. Mazmaza and istinshaq are sunnah al-muakkada. First, mazmaza is made; then istinshaq is made. Both of them are carried out three times. New water has to be used for each mazmaza and istinshaq. If one of the acts is abandoned, this sunnah is not regarded to have been fulfilled.

Rinsing out the mouth and snuffing water into nostrils, which are sunnah in wudu, are fard in ghusl.

6 – To exaggerate while making mazmaza and istinshaq...

That is, to take the water in the mouth down to the throat and the water in the nostrils up to the hard part of the nose. Exaggeration is not in question for a person who is fasting because the water might go down from the throat.

7 – To make wudu in the necessary order...

That is, to wash the face and then the arms; to wipe the head with a wet hand and then to wash the feet. If the order above is not observed, wudu is valid but it means to abandon the sunnah.

According to Shafiis and Hanbalis, it is fard to make wudu in the necessary order.

8 – To start washing on the right... This sunnah is for the double organs.

9 – To wash three times... That is, to wash each organ three times with three separate waters. The first washing is fard; the others are sunnah. 

10 – To start washing the hands from the tips of the fingers and the feet from the tips of the toes...

11 – To rub between the fingers and the toes while washing the hands and  the feet.

12 – After washing the face three times, to wash among the hairs of the beard with a handful of water by putting the fingers among the hairs of the beard beginning from the bottom of the beard upward.

13 – To wipe the whole head with wet hands. It is called full masah. Both hands are wetted. Then the little, ring and middle fingers of both hands are connected; they are put on the front part of the head with fingertips touching each other. Then, they are moved beginning from the front part of the head to the neck by wiping the head. Then, the palms of the hands are put on both sides of the head and moved beginning from the neck to the front part of the head by wiping the head. Thus, full masah is carried out.  

14 – To wipe the ears...

Separate water is not necessary for the ears. The wetness of the hand that has been used to wipe the head can be used to wipe the ears too. The outer and the back part of the ears are wiped by the thumbs and the inner side by the index fingers. The little fingers are put into the ear and moved.

* According to Hanbalis, it is fard to wipe the inner parts of the ears because they regard the ears as the part of the head.

* According to Shafiis,  it is sunnah to wipe the head three times.

15 – To wipe the back part of the neck by the back of the hands... The front part of the neck is not wiped. The back part of the neck is wiped by the wetness at the back of the hand without wetting the hand again.

16 – To rub the organs of wudu as water is poured on them...

17 – To wash the organs of wudu without interruption. That is, to wash one organ without waiting for another organ to dry. (It is called “wila” or “muwalat”.)

* According to Malikis, muwalat is among the fards of wudu.

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JazaakAllahu khair. this was really helpful.
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