AsSalaam O Alaikum (Peace be always with you. AMEEN.)
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Why Wudu / Ablution before Salaat / Prayers
By Irshad Mahmood – Director, Siraat-al-Mustaqeem Dawah Centre
The Quraan is the book of Guidance for Mankind which covers all the aspects of life including social, economic, cultural, political and religious matters. The importance of wudu (ablution) is described in the Quraan in many ways to teach Muslims the importance of performing wudu. Although the word wudu is not described in Quran but the steps before Salaat/Prayers are described in the Quraan quite comprehensively.
When a person wakes up, he/she needs to wash his/her face to get fresh up and get more active to do daily works. One of purpose of Salaat/Prayers is to listen to the Quraan in it with full attention and ponder on it as well, with open eyes, ears, heart and soul etc., which needs total cleansing for Salaat/Pray. Cleanliness is important not only for the religious purpose but scientifically it is proved that wudu is the most appropriate practice to purify those organs of human body, which are usually left open and may get dusty etc. Some of the organs are washed while head is wiped with wet hand, since washing it will take time to dry hair. The steps of wudu includes all the important parts of human body like face including mouth and nose the hands up to the fingers head along with the neck and then the feet up to the ankles. Generally obligatory Salaat doesn’t take more than 5 or 10 minutes each, during this time one can control any discharge waste or air from body. In the Masjid one must be with Wudu/Ablution as a respect to House of Allah. Wudu is the important part of Islaam and it not only helps to achieve purity physically but also spiritually and mentally. The benefits of performing wudu are not limited to get virtues, but also help you to save you from many harmful diseases and bad activities.
O you who believe! when you intend/stand/rise up for the Prayer/Salaat (at every time), wash your faces and your hands as far as the elbows, and wipe your heads and (wipe) your feet to the ankles; and if you are under an obligation to perform a total ablution, then wash (yourselves) and if you are sick or on a journey, or one of you come from the toilet, or you have touched the women, and you cannot find water, betake yourselves to pure earth and wipe your faces and your hands therewith (Tayamum an alternate to wudu without water), Allah does not desire to put on you any difficulty, but He wishes to purify you and that He may complete His favor on you, so that you may be grateful, (Al_Quraan_005:006).
General concept of Wudu:
It is if you are under an obligation to perform a total ablution then take full shower or if you need to wash/clean those parts of the body which needs to be washed, then wash it first, e.g. after human waste wash your bottom in the toilet, or if your feet or other parts of the body has some dirt/unclean etc., wash it first then do wudu. If you are wearing any type of socks (cotton, leather or of other materials) and if it is not difficult for you to remove your socks then remove it first then wipe your feet, otherwise wipe on top of any type of socks (cotton, leather or of other halaal materials).
Wudu does not mean wasting water. Taps must be opened at very low pressure not like taking shower and it needs to turn off immediately after use, otherwise it will be wastage. If one has not enough water or cannot purchase water, or sick, or chances to get more sick, if use water for wudu, then he/she can do Tayamum, which is alternate to Wudu or shower/bath. Tayamum comprises (a) wiping of the forehead and eyebrows, using the inside of the hands and (b) wiping the upper parts of the two hands with the inside of one another.
Things That Nullify Wudu:
If you wake up after sleep/faint, only wudu is necessary. If you came from toilet (after passing urine, feces or gas etc.), then you have to wash bottom first before making wudu. While if you passes gas, only wudu is necessary, since it does not carry sticky germs like excreta (Urine and feces). Keep in mind many babies get nappy rash not because of pampers only but mainly due to excreta (Urine and feces), so bottom has to be washed properly after discharge. For shortage of water then one can use toilet paper or small size few dry stone/rock or pieces of dry clay to wipe bottom.
If one has touched his wife for sexual desire, both have to wash their private parts first, then take shower (not bath in a bath tub, since flowing water in necessary for cleanliness) and then finally make wudu.
Take the Salaat/Prayers from the standing-place of Ibrahim, since it is our guide for Salaat/Prayers etc. The standing-place of Ibrahim (Peace-Be-Upon-Him) is that where Imaam Kabah stands to lead the prayers and that is since the time of Prophet Ibrahim (Peace-Be-Upon-Him) till the Day of Judgment and you will not find any change in the Prayers Method in any of the Imaam Kabah since the time of Prophet Ibrahim (Peace-Be-Upon-Him) till the Day of Judgment, (Ref: Al_Quraan_002: 125). Allah’s Sunnah never changes, (Ref: Al_Quraan_033:063, 035:043).
None argue concerning the revelations (Ayaat) of Allah but those who disbelieve ..., (Ref: Al_Quraan_040.004).
Islaam is a complete way of Life/Deen, (Ref: Al_Quraan_005:003). Follow/Practice all Directives/Guidance of Allah on all matters of life, (Ref: Al_Quraan_003:007). Change yourself according to the Quraan not reverse.