Ablution or Wuzu in the prescribed manner is necessary for a person who intends to say his prayers as the Quran says:
“O you who believe! When you prepare for prayer, wash your faces and your hands (and arms) to the elbows, rub your heads (with water) and (wash) your feet to the ankles. ” (5:6 )
Ablution consists of some practices that are obligatory or Farz i.e., those specifically mentioned in the Quranic verses; others that are traditional i.e., the Holy Prophet’s phuh practice or Sunnat, and others that are termed desirable or Mustahab entitling a person to spiritual recompense. The approved method of performing Wuzu is as under:
Making the intention or niyat, of Wuzu, i.e. to say: I intend to perform the Wuzu for securing Allah’s good pleasure and in compliance with His command. Then recite the following:-
“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.”
“O Allah! Forgive my sins.”
If possible, one should sit facing the Qiblah. The water to be used for Wuzu should be absolutely clean.
First the right and then the left hand should be washed upto the wrists thrice. The wet fingers should be passed in between each other. If there are any bangles on the wrists or rings on the fingers, as in the case of females, they should be moved around so that the skin under them does not remain dry.
After this rinse the mouth thrice. Next, some water should be taken in the right hand and sniffed into the nostrils thrice and then blown out. The left hand should be used for cleaning the nose. Then the whole face should be washed with both hands, thrice from the forehead down to the lower portion of the chin and from the lobe of one ear to the other. No portion of the face should remain dry. For males, the wet fingers of the right hand should be passed through the hair of the beard.
Thereafter, first the right arm and then he left arm up to the elbows should be washed thrice. After washing the arms wipe the head with wet hands from front to back, and pass the back of wet hands over the nape of the neck. Clear the inner side of ears with forefingers and outer with thumbs. Finally wash the feet, right and then left upto the ankles.
The Wuzu should be a continuous process, each part being washed and cleaned in the prescribed order, without any break or interval. No part should be allowed to dry up before the other is washed. After the Wuzu, the Kalima e-Shahadat should be recited:
“I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, who is One, Who has no partners, and 1 bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and apostle.”
And then the following prayer may be recited:
“O Allah! Make me one of those who repent for their sins; and make me one of those who keep themselves pure; and make me one of Your righteous Servants.”
Wuzu may be performed before every prayer. But the necessity for it arises only when a person has passed urine, stool or wind or if he has been fast asleep.
The items that are specifically mentioned in the Holy Quran i.e., Faraiz-e-Wuzu are four in number. These are:
1. To wash the face from the top of the forehead to the chin and as far as each ear.
2. To wash the hands and the arms up to the elbow.
3. To wipe the head with wet hands.
4. To wash the feet up to the ankles.
The items established on the example of the Holy Prophet puh i.e., Sunan-e- Wuzu are fourteen in number. They are
1. To make the intention of Wuzu. 2. To wash the hands upto the wrist. 3. To say one of the names of God at the commencement of the Wuzu. 4 To brush the teeth. . 5. To rinse the mouth three times. 6. To put water into the nostrils thrice. 7. To do all the above items in proper order. 8. To do all the above items without any delay between the various acts. 9. Each part is to be washed thrice. 10. The space between the fingers of one hand must be rubbed with the wet finger of the other.
11. The beard must be combed with the fingers. 12. The head must be wiped once. 13. The ears must be washed with the water remaining on the fingers after wiping the head. 14. To rub between the toes with the little finger of the left hand starting from the little toe of the right foot.
There are five Mustahab or desirable acts in Wuzu. They are:
1. To begin from the right to the left. 2. To rub the neck 3. To perform Wuzu without the help of another person. 4. To face the Qiblah while performing Wuzu. 5. To sit on a high and clean place while performing Wuzu.
There are four Makruhat or undesirable acts in Wuzu. They are:
1. To perform Wuzu in an impure place. 2. To clean the nose with the right hand. 3. To talk about worldly affairs, while performing Wuzu. 4. To perform against the rules and regulations laid down by the Holy Prophet pbuh.
A person’s Wuzu becomes ineffectual on becoming subject to the state of Hads-e-Asghar i.e., the state of impurity or uncleanliness which is brought about by answering the call of nature, by passing wind or by vomiting or Hads-e-Akbar i.e., the state of impurity or uncleanliness which is caused by marital relations, menstruation or the period of childbirth. In addition to these the following acts and circumstances also render the Wuzu void:
1. Discharge of intestinal worms or stone. 2. Flowing of any impurity from any part of the body. 3. Taking a nap, or going to sleep by resting the body against any object. 4. Laughing loudly during prayers. 5. Losing consciousness or fainting due to some illness. 6. Becoming insane or mad.