What is Wudu?
All followers of Islam are required to perform certain ablutions and ritual purifications as part of their faith. The Quran makes it clear that bodily cleanliness is very much linked to religious and spiritual purity, and so these rituals have become an integral part of Islam. All Muslims will need to learn how to do Wudu and will need to plan their lives so that they know how to make Wudu on a regular basis. They should also be aware of what breaks Wudu.
Unlike Ghusl which is an act of full ablution Wudu consists of a partial ablution and generally requires you to clean your hands, arms, feet, mouth, nose and head. It really focuses on the extremities of the body that are more likely to be unclean.
The process of how to perform Wudu is divided into acts which are considered the Fard acts of Wudu and acts which are Mustahabbat. The Fard of Wudu are obligatory processes which must be followed or the Wudu will become nullified. The Mustahabbat of Wudu are acts that are recommended which are considered to make your Wudu stronger – but they are not obligatory and your Wudu can be completed without them if necessary.
How to do Wudu?
Muslims will often want to know how to Wudu in the correct ways as it is important that it is performed properly to ensure that you are thoroughly cleansed. Different types of Muslim perform certain variations of Wudu but the majority of Muslims follow the Sunni method.
To start your Wudu you should make your intentions “Niyyah” to cleanse yourself and say Bismillah hi Rahman ir raheem (in the name of Allah swt, the most gracious, the most merciful) . Then wash both your hands (starting with the right hand) three times.
Follow this by rinsing your mouth with water and spitting it out three times. You should also rub your teeth. You then need to move on to your nose and gently put water into your nostrils and then exhale it out – this also needs to be done three times.
You should then wash the whole of your right arm up to and including the elbow three times and do the same for your left arm. Then pass wet hands over your head including the ears and back of your neck.
Finally move on to your feet. Start with the right food and wash both feet from your toes upto and including your ankle and then repeat with your left foot. You can end your Wudu by reciting the Shahada. The words of the Shadada are:
Ash hadu an la illaha illallahu wadahu la shareek lahu, washadu anna muhammadan abda hu wa rassolahu
I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah swt alone, who has no partner and I bear witness that Muhammad (pbuh) is his slave.
Dua for Wudu
When you are performing Wudu dua are the prayers that you say as you clean yourself. You will find there are many different variations of the dua for Wudu. However the one that is considered the most important is the intention that you say at the start of your Wudu which makes clear that you are beginning a physical and spiritual purification. Many Muslims choose to say “I begin my ablution in the Name of Allah (swt). All praise is due to Allah (swt), who made water purifying and not najis.”
It is usually a good idea to speak to your Imam about the exact wording of your dua as they will be able to provide you with specific guidance. Learning how to do Wudu is a really important and fascinating part of the Islamic faith.