In Islam, cleanliness is considered a part of one’s imam of faith.

The heart must be clean of evil thoughts and the body must be clean of impurities.

Muslims are required to be clean to perform the prayer.

Ablution refers to cleaning oneself to be in a state of purity for prayer.

The Arabic word for ablution is wudu.

Performing wudu correctly is important for one’s prayer to be accepted by The Almighty.

Bathing or ghusl is required before wudu if there was ejaculation of sperm, sexual act and death (other than martyr).

Other acts that require ghusl include menstrual discharge, wiladah (after the delivery of baby), and nifas (blood from the womb after the birth of a child).

The requirements of ghusl are the intention to perform it for Allah and ensuring that water touches every part of the body.

Things that stand in the way of water touching the parts of the body such as cream and nail polish must be removed.

The components of wudu described in The Noble Qur’an are washing the face and the hands up to the elbow, passing the hands closely over one’s head, and  washing one’s feet up to the ankles. [5:6]

Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] was thought the mode of performing wudu by Allah through Angel Jibril [pbuh].

It is obligatory to follow wudu traditions of the Prophet [pbuh]. They are described below in the sequence they are performed.


1. We start wudu by saying: “I seek refuge in Allah from Satan. In the name of Allah, The Merciful and Compassionate. All praise to Allah Who made the water clean for us.


2. Washing of hands (including palm and fingers) up to the wrist


3. Cleaning the mouth


4. Cleaning the nostrils


5. Having niat or intention in the one’s heart (“I am performing wudu for Allah The Merciful”) while washing the face from the forehead to the chin and from one ear to the other


6. Washing the forearms from the wrists to the elbows (the right arm be washed first)


7. Wiping the head with wet hands, moving from the front to the back of the head


8. Wiping the inner sides of the ears with the forefingers and the outer sides with the thumbs


9. Washing the feet up to the ankles, the right foot being washed first


10. Reciting dua or supplication which includes the following: “Oh Allah, join me with those who seek your forgiveness, and include me amongst the clean and your noble servants.”


The washing/wiping of the body parts can be done once, twice or up to three times.

If any part of the wudu is missed, then the sequence must be repeated.

There should not be long interruption between performing one part and the next.

As in ghusl, things that prevent water from touching the parts f the body must be removed for wudu.

Wastage of water must be avoided when performing wudu.

Islam places great emphasis on conservation of water even when it is available in abundance.

The rules of wudu are the same for both males and females.

A Muslim remains in a state of purity or wudu if there were no acts that nullified his or her wudu.

Several acts nullify wudu.

Among them are excretion from penis, vagina and anus (including releasing gas), deep sleep (exempted if the person was firmly seated on the floor when he slept), touching the skin of sexual organs with palm, touching the skin of the opposite sex whom the person could marry and loss of reason or consciousness.

Muslims should aspire to be in a state of purity all the time.

They should perform the wudu again if the earlier wudu had been nullified and before retiring to sleep.

Wudu is a great weapon in the Muslim’s jihad or struggle to overcome the enemy within us.

Being in a state of purity provides protection from the pull of the lower forces.

According to a tradition of the Prophet [pbuh], every drop of water that falls from the body during wudu brings the benefit of one sin being erased.

To sum up, wudu is required for our prayer to be accepted, helps to erase our sins and provides protection to those who remain in a state of purity all the time.

Welcome to Islam to become clean, physically and spiritually.

By Dr Y Mansoor Marican, Ph. D