What is the meaning of Wudhu and Wadhu?
Wudhu are the actions of washing the hands, rinsing the mouth, washing the face etc. Wadhu refers to the water used to perform wudhu. Sometimes we use the word interchangeably but we need to know these subtle differences. The intense love the Sahabah (radiallahu anhum) had for Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), mentioned in Bukhari Shareef, “The Sahabah used to observe Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) performing wudhu and they would not even allow that water (wadhu) to fall on the ground. They would wait around and take the water that touched the Mubarak, blessed body of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and rub it on their bodies. They were on the verge of fighting with one another for the wadhu – the droplets of water from the wudhu that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) made.”

What is the Sunnah method of wudhu?
This is also another miracle of Islam. Every action of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is preserved for humanity and posterity through the Sahabah (radiallahu anhum) and the mothers of the Ummah (radiallahu anhuma) related to us how meticulously Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) performed the wudhu. We are the only people on the face of the earth whose Deen was preserved in this way. The first step of wudhu is the niyyah – intention. The hands including the wrists – first the right then the left – are washed thrice. Then insert water into the mouth to rinse. Thereafter water is inserted into the nose with the right hand and the nostrils are cleaned with the left hand, preferable the little finger and thumb. The face is washed properly from the hairline until below the chin and from one ear to the other three times. The arms are then washed thrice – first the right then the left – including the elbow and hands. Masah of the head is made and then the feet up to and including the ankles are cleaned thrice – – first the right then the left.

Water has three characteristics. When you wash your hands, you look at the colour of the water; if it is clean it passes the test. When you insert the water into your mouth you come to know the taste and it passes the second test. When you insert water into the nostril you come to know the smell. Once the colour, taste and smell are correct and it passes all three tests.

What is the role of the miswaak wudhu?
There are books written on this. A few Ahadith: Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Remember that miswaak is Sunnah at the time of wudhu and at the time of Salaah.” The hanafis gave preference to the miswaak at the time of wudhu. The Shafi’, Hanbali and Maliki madhabs gave preference to the miswaak at the time of Salaah. Both are Sunnah. When we Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) last actions we find that when Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) saw Abdurrahman – the brother of Ayesha (radiallahu anha) – with a miswaak he (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) nodded to suggest that he too wanted a miswaak. Ayesha (radiallahu anha) softened it and gave it to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The miswaak is Sunnah for males and females. The miswaak is a means with which to cleanse the mouth and it pleases Allah SWT. Allama ibn Abideen Shami (rahimahullah) has written about the miswaak, “Oh Muslim, if you use the miswaak regularly and daily, inshaAllah when the time comes for your last breath you will recite the kalmia.”

What are the faraaidh of wudhu?
According to the Hanafis the faraaidh of wudhu are four – wash the entire face once from above the forehead until below the chin and from ear to ear, wash the right hand then the left from the fingertips including the elbow, make masah of the head – the minimum amount is quarter of the head and finally wash the feet including the ankles. The wudhu is valid if not done according to sequence bit it is against the Sunnah.

The Shafi’s state there is six faraaidh of wudhu. Tarteeb – sequence is compulsory. The four faraaidh stated above remain but sequence is compulsory to validate the wudhu. When commencing wudhu niyyah must be made – it is compulsory. Imam Shafi’ (rahimahullah) says of masah that even if the finger touches one strand of hair the masah is complete but it is Sunnah to perform masah of the whole head. Females need not remove the entire headscarf. Masah means to pass the moist fingers over the head.

According to the Hanbalis there are six faraaidh. Niyyah is first made, then the hands are washed and water is inserted into the mouth and the nose. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahimahullah) states that washing the mouth and nose are compulsory. The face is then washed and masah of the entire head is made. This is compulsory. Lastly the feet are washed. Tarteeb – sequence – is compulsory. Also, the limbs must be washed in quick succession.

According to the Malikis niyyah is compulsory. Washing the hands then the face and masah of the entire head is compulsory. Finally the feet must be washed, however tarteeb is not compulsory but washing in quick succession is.

Can one dry one’s self after wudhu?
Yes. Both drying and not are Sunnah.

What causes the wudhu to break?
According to all four schools of thought, whatever comes out from the front passage and back passage will break the wudhu. Hanafis extend this meaning. If a person vomits the wudhu breaks but according to majority scholars it does not. If you are given an injection, wudhu is broken the minute the blood begins flowing but majority scholars say the blood is najis but the wudhu remains. Urinating, defecating and flatulence break the wudhu.

What are the duas of wudhu?
When a person begins wudhu Bismillah is read.

“I begin with the name of Allah. And all praises are due to Allah.”



Dua whilst making wudhu

“O Allah! forgive my sins and give expansion (abundance) in my home and grant me blessings in my sustenance.”

In some books it is written that it is Sunnah to recite a dua when every limb is washed during wudhu. This is incorrect. One can say it is mustahab but not Sunnah. To call it Sunnah one suggests that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) did this. It is permissible to recite these duas but it is not a Sunnah.

Dua after completing wudhu

“O Allah Make me of the repenters and make me of the purified.”

Thereafter we reconfirm our faith with:

“I testify that there is none worthy of worship but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad  is Allah’s Worshipper and Messenger.”