WUZU - Ablution (Ritual Purity)


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Rasoolullaah (SAWS) said, “On the Day of Resurrection Allaah will bring to life my community in such a way that their foreheads will be bright with the marks of ablution. The prayer of one who does not complete his ablution, or his bending (ruku’), or his prostration (sajadah), or his expression of humility (khushu’), exactly resembles a miscarriage. Performing the ablution fully when it is difficult to do so or in the extreme cold and awaiting one prayer after another washes away all sins.”

Imaam Ja’far us-Saadiq (AS) has said, “Ablution is not necessary except to the one whom ritual impurity occurs. When a person performs his ablution, he can pray as many times as he can so long as he does not cause ritual impurity, or fall asleep, or have sexual intercourse, or lose consciousness, and provided that nothing happens which obligates the renewal of ablution.”

One who intends to perform ablution should bear in mind the faraz (obligations) and the sunnat (recommendations, practice) of the wuzu.


7 Faraz and 12 Sunnat with Definition of Pure Water:


There are seven obligations in the wuzu:-

1. Pure water.
2. Niyyat (intention) for the wuzu.
3. Washing of face.
4. Washing of both the hands.
5. Wiping the head.
6. Wiping the feet.
7. The exact sequence of the rituals of wuzu.

These are the traditions of Rasoolullaah (SAWS) which are not obligatory for ablution, for Allaah has not mentioned it in Qur’an. However Rasoolullaah (SAWS) used to do this and it is therefore a sunnat for the ablution. It is improper to omit it deliberately or neglectfully.

There are twelve sunnat in the wuzu:-

1. Istinjaa (cleansing) of private parts before wuzu.
2. Washing of both the hands before taking the water from the vessel.
3. To recite Bismillah in the beginning of the wuzu.
4. Gargling the mouth.
5. To cleanse the teeth with the index finger and thumb during gargling as it serves an alternative to cleansing the mouth with a tooth-stick.
6. Cleaning the nostrils.
7. To comb the beard with the fingers while washing the face so that the water reaches the skin beneath the hair.
8. To rinse the eyes while washing the face.
9. To clean the skin below the finger rings with water while washing the hands.
10. To wash the left hand after the right hand only. Not in the reverse order.
11.Wiping of both the ears.
12. To wash the face and the hands once, if it is properly and perfectly performed. Washing it twice or thrice is not obligatory but it is commendable.


From Istinjaa to Washing of the Face:


When you intend to perform ablution you should follow the steps as shown below. The du'aa has been given in Arabic along with its transliteration and translation, so that it becomes easier to understand the whole procedure.

1. The first step of ablution is performing Istinjaa (cleansing the private parts). The sunnat of Rasoolullaah (SAWS) in using water for cleansing oneself is to begin with the private parts and go on to the anus i.e. cleaning the private parts and the anus along with the skin in between by pressing the middle finger of the left hand, so that the remaining droplets of urine might pass out. This should be done three times. The cleansing of both, the private parts and the anus, should not be combined at the same time. The right hand should not be used for it except where there is a valid cause.

Istinjaa is not obligatory except in case of defecation, urination, or sexual intercourse, or extrusion of the things other than wind. Passing wind does not obligate the act of Istinjaa. Doing ablution after passing wind is a purificatory act.

While doing Istinjaa you should recite the following du'aa:

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“Allaahumma hassin farji an ma’asika hatta la a‘asika Allaahummastur ‘aurati waghfir zallati.”

“O Allaah protect my private parts from disobeying You so that I do not disobey You at all. O Allaah guard my hidden parts to avoid sins and forgive me if I falter unknowingly.”

2. After performing Istinjaa with your left hand wash it properly. While washing you should recite the following du'aa:

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“Ashhado an laa ilaaha illallaaho wahdahu laa sharikaa lahu wa ashhado
anna Mohammadan ‘abdohu wa rasulohu wa ashhado anna ‘Aliyaw
wasiyohu wa waliyohu.”

“I bear witness that there is no God, but Allaah, who is One and has no partner and I bear witness that Mohammad (SAWS) is His servant and His Messenger and I bear witness that ‘Ali (AS) is Mohammad Rasoolullaah .(SAWS)’s deputy and successor.”

3. After washing the left hand, wash both the hands simultaneously and while performing this you should recite the following du'aa:

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“Bismillahe wa billahe wal hamdo lillahe wal asmaaul husna kulloha lillahe
wa’ala taa’atillahe wa’ala millate Rasulillahe sallallaaho ‘alayhe wa aalehi. Ashhado an laa ilaaha illallaaho wahdahu laa sharikaa lahu wa ashhado anna
Mohammadan ‘abdohu wa rasulohu wa ashhado anna ‘Aliyaw wasiyohu wa

“(I) Begin with the beneficent name of Allaah. All the praise is due to Allaah. All the beautiful names are only for Allaah. I begin with the obedience of Allaah and obedience of the progeny of Mohammad Rasoolullaah (SAWS). O Allaah, send blessings upon Mohammad Rasoolullaah (SAWS) and his progeny. I bear witness that there is no God, but Allaah, who is One and has no partner and I bear witness that Mohammad (SAWS) is His servant and His Messenger and I bear witness that ‘Ali (AS) is Mohammad Rasoolullaah (SAWS)’s deputy and successor.”

4. After washing both the hands, you should have to take Niyyat (declaration of intention; intent) for the particular prayer in its time. The name of the prayer has to be included in the Niyyat, and also the name of Obligatory Ghusl has to be included in the Niyyat, if it is due. The times of the prayers are; sunnat and fajr (dawn prayer); zohar and ‘asr (mid-day and afternoon prayer); maghrib and ‘ishaa il-aakherat (sunset and nightfall). The names of other prayers like janaaza (funeral prayer) and tahajjud (midnight prayer) can also be included in the Niyyat.

Rasoolullaah (SAWS) said, “No act is valid without intention; no worship is performed without conviction and no honour is obtained without piety.”
The Niyyat for the prayer is as follows:

Zohr & Asr   | Download
Maghrib & 'Ishaa il-Aakherat   | Download
Fajr   | Download
Nisf il-Layl & Tahajjud   | Download
Janaazah   | Download

“Allaahumma inni nawayto haza tahoori le salaatiz zohre wal ‘asre OR le salaatil maghribe wal ‘ishaail aakherate OR le salaatis sunnate wal fajre OR
le salaatil janaazate OR le salaatit tahajjude -- wale kulle salaatin usallihaa.”

“O Allaah! I intend to clean myself for the zohar and ‘asr/ maghrib and
‘ishaa/ fajr/ janaazah/ tahajjud prayers and other prayers that I might offer.”

5. After taking the Niyyat, you have to gargle (rinse) the mouth three times with the right hand. One handful of water suffices for rinsing the mouth. While gargling, you should use index finger and thumb for cleaning the teeth. This practice would serve as an alternative to cleansing the mouth with a tooth stick. You should recite following du'aa while gargling:

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“Allaahummas qenee min ka’se Mohammadin nabiyeka.”

“O Allaah! Make me fortunate enough to share the drink in the same cup as that of Mohammad Rasoolullaah (SAWS) (on the Day of Judgement).”

6. After gargling, you should take water in both the hands and cleanse the nose. This is done by “smelling” the water in the hands so that the water is sucked into the upper part of nostrils. One handful of water suffices for snuffing up the nose. The same act should be repeated thrice. You should recite the following du'aa:

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“Wa shammimnee raa’ehata jannateka fi jannatik.”

“And let me smell the fragrance of Your paradise (in your paradise).”

7. Then, the face is washed thrice. You should wash the face from the forehead till the chin, on both the cheeks, below the ears, and the eyes should be rinsed with the water. The beard is to be combed with the wet fingers so that water reaches the skin beneath the hair. All these should be washed freely with water, rubbing them with the hands. Even if the man does not comb the hair of his beard with his fingers but lets the water run over it, it suffices for the correct ablution. You should recite the following du'aa while washing your face:

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“Allaahumma bayyiz wajhi be noore ma’refateka yauma tobaiyezo wojuhal
mumineena wa tosawwedo wojuhal mushrekeena wa nawwirho be nooril imaan.”

“O Allaah! Brighten my face with the light of Your cognition and recognition of faith on the Day of Judgement (Qayaamat) when the face of believers will shine while those of Unbelievers will be blackened. O Allaah! Brighten my face with the light of Faith.”

  From Washing of Hands till Doing Masah on Feet:

8. Both the hands should be washed thrice, first right hand followed by left hand. Hands should be washed from the elbow to the tips of fingers. All the parts of the arm, from hand to elbow, should be rubbed with the palms in order to fulfill the word of Allaah. You should wet the skin below the rings or bangles while washing the hands. The du'aa that is to be recited for washing the right and left hand is given below:

Right Hand:

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“Allaahumma aateni ketaabi be yaminee wa laa tu’tehi be yasaari.”

“O Allaah! (On the Day of Judgement) give my account (of deeds) in my right hand and not in my left hand.”

Left Hand:

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“Allaahumma laa tu’teni ketaabi be shimaali walaa miw waraae zahri.”

“O Allaah! Do not give my account (of deeds) in my left hand or from the back (behind; do not reject my account).”

9. Then, the head is rubbed with the wet fingers both in front and at the back, beginning with the crown of the head and working with both the hands up to forehead. Then the wet fingers of both the hands should again begin with the crown and go backwards as far as the nape of the neck. You should not do this act while wearing Topi or Scarf or anything similar that covers your head. You should recite the following du'aa while doing this act once:

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“Allaahumma ghashsheni be rahmateka min rahmatik.”

“O Allaah! Cover me (keep me) under the shadow of Your blessings.”

10. Similarly, the ears should be rubbed thoroughly with wet fingers, both inside as well as outside. You should recite the following du'aa while doing this act once:

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“Wa asme’ni monadeya jannateka fi jannatek.”

“And let me hear the voice of the call of Your paradise (in Your paradise).”

11. Then, the whole of the neck is rubbed beginning from the nape of the neck to the front of it, with the wet fingers of both the hands. You should recite the following du'aa while doing this act once:

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“Allaahumma aa’tiq raqabati minan naare wahfazni minas salaasele wal aghlaale ya ‘azeezo ya jabbaar.”

“O Allaah! Free my neck from the fire of the Hell on the Day of Judgement. O
Almighty, O the One Who Subdues, save me from the chains and bondages (of Hell).”

If one performs the wiping of head, ears and neck thrice, thereby seeking merit but without considering it obligatory, then it is commendable.

12. Both the feet are then wiped with the wet fingers of both hands from the toes unto the ankles. Right foot is wiped first followed by the left. It is neither sufficient nor valid in the obligatory ablution to wipe the feet over the socks or shoes. Similarly it is also forbidden rubbing over the turban, or the veil covering the head and the face of a woman, or the tall headgear, or stockings, or gloves, or galoshes or sandals.

He who washes his feet for cleanliness and purification has indeed done well, but it ought not be made obligatory and it should not be thought that anything short of this is not valid i.e. wiping of the feet.

Imaam Ja’far us-Saadiq (AS) has said,

“Taqiyah (precautionary concealment of one’s true religious belief, especially in time of danger to one’s life or under threat) is my religion and the religion of my fathers, except in three actions: Drinking intoxicants; Wiping over shoes (during ablution); and Not pronouncing Bismillah loudly in obligatory prayers of fajr, maghrib and ‘isha il-aakherat.”

You should recite the following du'aa while doing this act once:

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“Allaahumma sabbit qadamaiya ‘alaa seraatekal mustaqeem.”

“O Allaah! Make my feet steady and strong on the right path.”

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“Yauma tosabbeto aqdaamal mumineena wa tozillo aqdaama aa’daaekal mujremeen.”

“The Day of Judgement (Qayaamat) when the feet of believers will be made steady and strong on the right path and those of sinners and Your enemies will falter (lose their way).”

  Du'aa after Wuzu and its Merits with Some Important points to Remember:

13. After completing the ablution you should wipe the body parts with clean towel and recite the following du'aa:

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“Subhaanaka Allaahumma wa behamdeka la ilaaha illa anta astaghferoka ya rabbe wa atubo elaik. Allaahummaj ‘alni minat tawwaabina waj ‘alni minal motatahhereen waghfirli warhamni ya arhamar raahemeen. Allaahumma kama tahhartani bil maae’ fa tahhirni minaz zonoob.”

“O Allaah! You are free from everything and You are great; all praises are due
to Thee. There is no God but You; I seek forgiveness for my sins by turning
towards You. O Allaah! Include me amongst those who are pure and virtuous and O Allaah! Forgive me since You are greatest forgiver. O Allaah! Just as with water You have cleaned me of dirt, so with my prayers clean my soul from all the Evils.”

It is considered desirable that the ablution be completely performed. Neither by using water in abundance nor in an ungentle way, but by knowing its proper method. He who knows the right procedure can validly perform the ablution by the use of a little water; while he who is unaware can spoil the ablution even by using a large quantity of water. In the matter of ritual acts of ablution and purification, limits regarding the use of water are not laid down strictly. What is really required is that water be poured on the limbs which are to be washed and the hands used for rubbing these parts. And the parts which are to be wiped with wet fingers must be wiped irrespective of the quantity of water that touches them.

It is not proper to divide the ablution in parts intentionally or unintentionally, that is to perform certain acts and to leave certain acts to be performed at a later time. The order of ablution must be maintained. It is obligatory to perform the ablution as a whole at one time. He, who for some reason, has discontinued the performance of the ablution and has intended to complete it, should begin it again from the beginning if the parts have dried out.

The man whose limb has been amputated should wash the stump. If the limb is wounded it should not be washed where it would be injurious to do so. If the limb is splinted or bandaged, one should wipe over it.

The woman who intends to perform the ablution should wipe out or remove any cosmetics or creams applied on the body parts used in ablution i.e. lipstick, nail polish, hair colour, dyes, make-up etc.

One should remain always in ablution mainly while offering namaaz, going to mausoleum (Mazaaraat), reciting Qur'an-e-Kareem, attending religious function, going out for work, before sleep etc. If death meets to a person who is in Wuzu when Allaah Ta'aala will grant him the status of Martyr (shaheed).

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