The Obligatory and desirable acts

The Obligatory and desirable acts

Following Muhammad (S) [Part 1]

Prophetic Ablution – I

Ablution (Wu’du) is a purifier both physically and spiritually. It is such an integral part in a Muslim’s life for being always on ablution is highly recommended. Further it is mandatory for Salah. Allah commanded believers: “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….” (Qur’an 5:6), thus making it obligatory.

There are six obligatory and a few desirable actions related with ablution.

6 obligatory actions of Ablution

  • Washing the whole face. “O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces ………” (Qur’an 5:6).

Washing the face includes mouth and nose as well. Prophet (S) said: “whoever performs ablution clean his nose with water by putting the water in it and then blowing it out,…”[i]

  • Washing the forearm starting from the fingertips to the elbows. “O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows…” (Qur’an 5: 6).

Washing hands includes the elbows too for Prophet (S) did so[ii]. Another hadith states that the prophet (S) “….washed hands (during ablution) until he reached the upper arms”.[iii]

  • Wiping over the whole head: “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 ….” (Qur’an 5:6).

Wiping includes ears for Prophet (S) said: “The ears are treated as part of head”. [iv]

  • Washing the feet including the ankles: “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….” (Qur’an 5:6).
  • The decreed sequence has to be observed. Prophet (S) said after observing it in this sequence: “This is an ablution without which Allah does not accept my prayer.”[v]
  • Wash the organs successively without any interval.

Recommended/ desirable acts of ablution

  • Using Siwak during ablution: Prophet (S) said: “But for my fear that it would be hard for my followers, I would have ordered them to use siwak on performance of ablution.”[vi]
  • Starting the ablution with washing the hands three timesStarting with rinsing the mouth and nose
  • Inserting one’s wet fingers into one’s beard
  • Starting with the right organs before the left
  • Washing the face, hands and feet up to three times instead of once. Although we see in some of the ahadeeth to wash the body parts twice and thrice this is not obligatory but better if one does it. The hadith actually shows the flexibility in performing the wudhu` a certain way, what is obligatory is to wash the body part once. Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: The Prophet performed ablution by washing the body parts only once. There is a hadith recorded by ibn majah in which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) washed each body part once and then said “This is the ablution, that were one not to perform it, Allah would not accept his prayer from him.”

 

[i] Sahih Bukhari

[ii] Ad- Daraqutni and Al- Bayhaqi

[iii] Muslim

[iv] Ibn Majah, Ad- Daraqutni, Abu Dawud and At- Tirmidhi,

[v] Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Abu Ya’la’ and Ad- Daraqutni

[vi] Bukhari, Muslim and Ahmed