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What is Wudu
The Wudu (Arabic: الوضوء) is literally derived from the word al-Wadā’ah that means the beauty and cleanliness. The meaning of the word Wudu varies according to the vowel in the beginning. Thus, Wudu means the act of performing Wudu or making ablution. And Wadu means the water that is prepared for ablution. As far as the technical meaning of the Wudu under Islamic Jurisprudence is concerned the term Wudu means cleaning one’s specific limbs i.e. face, hands, feet and wiping the head for the Allah Almighty.
There are a number of issues related to Wudu. Such as why Wudu is important? How to perform wudu or how to do Wudu? What is the steps to perform Wudu? Is Wudu for woman is different from Wudu for man? What is the Dua for Wudu and what is the Dua after Wudu? What is the saying of Hadith on Wudu? In the following an attempt is going to be made to answer these questions.
Wudu is important because there are many material and spiritual benefits associated with Wudu. A Muslim has to perform prayer at least five times a day and Wudu is per-condition of prayer. Thus cleanings one’s body parts for five times a day will keep a person clean and thus protected from many microbes and he will stay healthy. Apart from these material benefits, there are many spiritual benefits as well. According to an Hadith on Wudu narrated by Anas bin Malik the Prophet peace be upon him once said to Anas bin Malik that: “make your Wudu in a proper and complete manner so that the angels deployed to protect you will be love you and your life will be longer.” Further, when a person is accustomed to make Wudu regularly, that gives light to his face. Furthermore, the minor sins are being forgiven if a person performs Wudu orderly.
How to perform Wudu –Ablution/ Steps to Perform Wudu
The next question related to Wudu is the procedure of performing Wudu. Answering this question, we will explain the steps to perform Wudu. As a matter of rule, the Quran in Surah al-Mā’idah verse 6 explains the necessary body parts that have to be purified in Wudu. Allah says: “O people who have believed, when you stand to perform Slah, wash your faces and your hands to elbows and wipe your heads and wash your feet to the ankles”. This verse explains the Farā’id of Wudu but it does not provide the obligatory order of Wudu. The steps to perform Wudu have been explained by the Sunnah of the Prophet peace be upon him. In the following the steps to perform Wudu is going to be explained:
- Intention: The Wudu begins with intention. The Muslim jurists agree that a Wudu made after proper intention bring reward to maker of Wudu. However, Wudu is valid without intention as well if other requirements of the Wudu are fulfilled according to the Hanafi School of Law. One thing should be made clear that since the intention is made in the heart, there is no need to pronounce the intention of Wudu.
- Tasmiah: One should recite Bismillah before beginning Wudu. This is because according to a Hadith of the Prophet peace be upon him every good deed should be begun with Bismillah.
- Washing hands. It is better if the hands are washed thrice.
- Washing mouth thrice
- Cleaning nose thrice
- Washing face thrice.
- Washing arms thrice
- Wiping the head. It is better if the whole head is wiped. But if 1/4th of the head is wiped it is enough to make the Wudu valid according to Imam Abu Hanifa.
- Cleaning the feet. It is the last act of washing and with this the washing process comes to the end.
- After completion of the Wudu one should recite “أشهد أن لا إله الا الله وأشهد أن محمدا عبده ورسوله”
One thing should also be cleared here that there Wudu for woman and man is the same and there is no difference between Wudu for man and Wudu for woman.
Dua After Wudu
As it has been explained, it is desirable for a person to recite the shahādah after Wudu. The meaning of the Dua is that “I bear witness that there is no God except Allah Almighty and I bear witness that the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him is His servant and Messenger.”
Blessings of Wudu/ Hadith on Wudu
There are many Ahādith narrated from the Prophet peace be upon him which explain the blessings of Wudu. In the following, some of these Ahadith on Wudu are being quoted.
In one Hadith on Wudu that is narrated by Uthman bin Affan may Allah be pleased with him is that once Uthman demanded for a pot of water by which is perform Wudu and said: “The Prophet peace be upon him said whoever makes an ablution the way I have made and performs two rak’at prayer in which he does not think anything for himself his past sins will be forgiven.” Another Hadith on Wudu has been narrated by Abu Huraira may Allah be pleased with him. He says: “I have heard the Prophet peace be upon him saying that on the day of judgment my Ummat will be called ‘al ghurr al-muhajjalūn from the traces of Wudu. So whoever of you can increase the glory (of Wudu) he should do so.”
Cleanliness Is Half of Faith
The importance of wudu in Islam closely relates to the concept of cleanliness. When we read the Seerah of the Prophet (PBUH) and the Hadith, we find that cleanliness and purity are fundamental concepts. In 7th-century Arabia, cleanliness was probably low down the priority list. However, Islam introduced this concept that put cleanliness at a very high level. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stated that cleanliness is half of faith.
Cleanliness has two meanings. It refers to physical cleanliness as well as inward purification. That is the same concept as Wudu. We must perform Wudu to ready ourselves for the prayer. It acts as a spiritual method of cleaning, and it also ensures that we stay physically clean. Doing Wudu around five times a day for our daily prayers is one of the best ways of maintaining cleanliness.
It is essential for Muslims to know the importance of hygiene. We must utilize all the usual modern-day methods of cleaning ourselves, as well as doing the prescribed acts of cleanliness such as Wudu and Ghusl. Among the modern-day products we have at our fingertips are soaps, which are essential to keep our hands and bodies clean and free of germs. We need shampoo for the hair and toothpaste for our teeth. Moreover, we should also use perfumes and deodorants to avoid giving off unpleasant odors.
Cleanliness is so important in Islam that the Prophet (PBUH) said that if someone has consumed onion or garlic (or both), he should refrain from visiting the mosque. As everyone knows, onions and garlic can give an unpleasant smell to humans’ breath. Hence, we should always be mindful of others and ensure that we are clean and have a respectable appearance in line with Islamic values.
From what has been explained above, shows that Wudu has a significant status in Islam as it purifies one’s body and soul. It is Wudu that enables a person to bow down before Allah Almighty. Therefor we should always be in Wudu and increase the radiance of Wudu.