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If You Are A Good Muslim, Then This Is For You (Wudu)

Al-Wudu Linguistically

Goodness and cleanliness.

Al-Wudu’ in the Context of The Shari’ah (Islamic Law)

Using water on the limbs of the body with the intention of purification.

The Rulings of Wudu

Al-wudu’ is either obligatory or recommended.

a- There are three things for which al-wudu is obligatory.

1- As-Salah (Prayers)

Allah (exalted be He) said: “O you who believe, when you intend to offer As-Salah (prayers), wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows, rub your heads, and wash your feet up to (and including) the ankles.” (Al-Ma’idan:6).

2- Circumambulation of Ka’bah.

This is because the Prophet ﷺ said to a menstruating woman: “Do not perform Tawaf until you have taken a purificatory bath.” [ narrated by Al-Bukhari.]

3- Touching the Noble Qur’an:

Allah the most Exalted says: “None touch it (The Noble Qur’an) except the purified” (Waqiah:79)

Before we perform Salah we must first prepare ourselves. This preparation includes making sure that we are clean from any physical impurities and performing Wudu.

Wudu (ablution) is required for performing Salah. We cannot offer our Salah without first making Wudu. Here are the steps to take:

1.     First, make the Niyyah (intention) in your heart that this act of Wudu is for the purpose of preparing for Salah, and say: "Bismillah" (in the name of Allah).

2.     Wash both hands up to the wrists (starting with the right hand) three times, making sure that water has reached between the fingers.

3.     Take water with your right hand, put it into your mouth and rinse thoroughly three times.

4.     Take water with your right hand, splash it into your nose and blow it out three times. (Use the left hand if necessary to help blow it out).

5.     Wash your whole face three times repeatedly. (The whole face includes: the right ear to the left ear, and the forehead to the bottom of the chin).

6.   Wash the right arm thoroughly from wrist to elbow three times, and make sure that no part of the arm has been left unwashed. Repeat with the left arm.

7.     Move the palms of the wet hands lightly over the head, starting from the top of the forehead to the back of the head, and passing both hands over the back of the head to the neck, and then bringing them back to the forehead.

8.     With the same water, rub the grooves and holes of both ears with the wet index fingers, while also passing the wet thumbs behind the ears from the bottom upward.

9.     Finally, wash both feet to the ankles three times, starting with the right foot. Make sure that water has reached between the toes and covered the rest of the foot.

At the end of the above steps recite: "Ashhadu alla ilaha illallahu, wa ash-hadu anna muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluhu.”

This means:

“I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger.”

Making Wudu While Wearing Socks or Shoes

If you decide to put on your socks while you have wudu on, then if a time comes for you to redo your wudu then you do not need to take off your socks.

When it comes time to renew your wudu and reach the step where you need to wash your feet three times (step #10), this time you will do things a little differently:

Keep your socks on. You do not need to take them off for this step

Using your right hand you will wipe gently over the top of your right foot. This is done only once

Using your right hand again you will wipe gently over the top of your left foot

This is what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to do when he made wudu with his socks on.

Although we were referring to socks in this section, the same rules apply for shoes and sandals as long as they cover up to the ankles.


Islam is a practical faith, and Allah in His Mercy does not ask of us more than we can handle.

If water is unavailable, or if one has medical reasons for which ablution with water would be harmful, one may perform a more minimal ablution with clean, dry sand. This is called "tayammum" (dry ablution) and is mentioned specifically in the Quran verse above.

After wudu, if one puts on clean socks/shoes that cover most of the foot, it is not necessary to remove these to wash the feet again when renewing the wudu. Rather, one can pass wet hands over the tops of the socks/shoes instead. This can be continued for 24 hours, or for three days if traveling.

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