1) The ruling of Taharah (purification: Wudhu (Ablution), Ghusl (Bathing), and Tayammum (Wiping over socks)).
2) How to perform Taharah.
3) Explaining verse six from Surat Al Mai’dah.
4) Supplications after Taharah, and the wisdom behind it.
5) Warning against slighting Taharah.
6) Warning against the excessive use of water, and its ruling.
7) The obligation of purifying one’s clothes and the area of Salaah (Prayer).
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all that exists. He likes the oft repentant and the oft-purifying people. I testify that there is no god but Allah, with whom there is no partner, and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, the truthful, the honest, may Allah show mercy to him, his Companions, and followers until the Day of Judgment.
O People! Fear Allah! Know that purification is the key of Salaah (prayer) and the most important condition of its validity. Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an which translates as: “O ye who believe! When ye 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. If ye are in a state of ceremonial impurity, bathe your whole body. But if ye are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from answering the call of nature, or ye have been in sexual contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and wipe your faces and hands. Allah doth not wish to place you in a difficulty, but to make you clean, and to complete His favor to you, that ye may be grateful” (Al-An’am: 6).
In this verse, Allah orders purification from minor impurities by Wudhu (ablution) and from major impurities by Ghusl (bathing) ahead of Salaah. The above verse indicates that purification from both types of impurities can be made by pure water if it is available and there is the ability to use it, otherwise, if it cannot be used due to an illness or scarcity, Tayammum (dry ablution) is to be resorted to.
The above verse further indicates the facility that Allah gives to His servants, and the alleviation of hardships concerning the legislation of ablution with water or with pure earth in the absence of water, or the inability to use it. It also points out that Allah wants to purify His servants from impurities, sins, and immoral acts. “…and to complete His favor to you…” (Al-An’am: 6) by giving you a concession with regard to Tayammum instead of water in case of its absence or in difficulty in using it “... that ye may be grateful” (Al-An’am: 6) to Allah in return for His favors and the ease He gives you by removing difficulties. This is done by praising Him, acknowledging His graces, and being steadfast in obeying Him.
The Qur’anic verse explains the parts of the body on which ablution is made, namely the face, hands, head, and feet. It tells us that the face, hands, and feet are to be washed with water, while the head is to be wiped over completely. In the case of major impurity, a Ghusl (ceremonial bathing) is to be made.
As for the description of Tayammum explained in the Prophetic Sunnah, it consists of two strikes with the hands on pure earth, then wiping the face and the hands. Any pure dust found on a bed, wall or any other object may serve the same function of earth - when doing Tayammum.
The description of Wudhu (ablution):
1. To make Niyyaah (intentions) to remove the state of impurity by performing Wudhu (ablution).
2. To say Bismillah (In the Name of Allah).
3. To wash the hands three times.
4. To wash one’s mouth three times. (one must make sure that water reaches all parts of the mouth, all the way to the back).
5. To rinse one’s nostrils with water three times. (but one needs to be careful when doing this while fasting, so as not to get water into the throat
6. To wash one’s face three times upward from the place where the hair of the head grows to the lower part of the chin lengthwise and across from one ear to the other. The beard is a part of the face, which should be washed on the surface, even if it is thick. It is preferable to pass the fingers through it.
7. To wash one’s hands up to the elbows three times,
8. To wipe all the head, by passing wet hands from the front of the head until they reach the back of the head, then return back to the front again. The ears are to be wiped after the head from the interior to the exterior parts by inserting his two index fingers in the two holes of his ears and rotating his thumb on the outer parts.
9. To wash one’s feet up to the ankles three times. During ablution, all parts of the body to be washed should be submerged in water, i.e., letting the water flow over them. If the water does not reach any of these parts, ablution will be invalid. Ibn ‘Umar reported that a man, who was performing ablution left a portion equal to the size of a nail unwashed of his right foot. On sighting him, the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “Go back and perform ablution thoroughly” (Muslim).
If any part of the body to be cleansed is wounded in such a way that water may harm it, one should keep the water off the wound and wash the remaining uninjured parts. He should wipe over the wounded part. If the wound is tied by a bandage, or a sticker or it is a bone fracture, which is covered by a splint, it is sufficient to wipe over the covering with water, without a need to wash the wounded or broken part of the body.
If one wears leather socks, shoes, or any similar footwear, he may wipe over them, without taking them off. One can also wipe over cloth socks, if they are not transparent. The duration of wiping over leather socks and other similar footwear is one day and night for the resident and three days and nights for the traveler who is permitted to shorten Salaah (prayer).
If one has a bandage on his wound, he may wipe over the bandage until it is untied or until the wound heals.
The description of Ghusl (washing following major ceremonial impurity) is as follows:
1. To make (intentions) Niyaah to wash oneself to remove the state of ritual impurity, etc.
2. To say Bismillah.
3. To wash the hands three times.
4. To wash the private parts.
5. To perform ablution similar to that made before Salaah (prayer).
6. To pour water three times on one’s head, letting the water reach the roots of the hair.
7. To pour water on the whole body, leaving no part unwashed, otherwise, the Ghusl (ceremonial bathing) will be invalid.
The wisdom of washing these particular parts of the body during Wudhu (ablution) is because they are the most likely used in doing all actions. With these parts, a man may obey or disobey Allah. They are the quickest parts of the body stirred to either obedience or disobedience. The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) reported that whenever one of those parts is washed in ablution, a sin committed by such part is removed.
When Allah ordered that these members should be washed in ablution and to wash all the body during Ghusl (ceremonial bathing), He said, which translates as: “but to make you clean, and to complete His favour to you, that ye may be grateful” (Al-An’am: 6).
Thus, Allah showed the wisdom of this commandment i.e. to purify Muslims from impurities and from sins. In a Hadith, it was narrated that the people of this Ummah will be resurrected with bright faces, hands, and feet due to the traces of ablution. They will be distinctive among other peoples (nations) by this sign. This is an indication of ablution and its benefit for Muslims in this worldly life and in the Hereafter.
When one accomplishes purification, it is preferable to say: “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, with Whom there is no partner, and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger” (ashhadu alla ilaha ill Allah wahdahu la sharika lahu wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasuluh).
It was narrated from ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “Whoever of you performs ablution thoroughly then says: I testify that there is no god but Allah, with Whom there is no associate, and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, the eight gates of Paradise will be opened to him to enter from whichever he wants” (Ahmad and Muslim).
In another narration, the following addition is made: “O Allah! Make me among the oft repentant and the oft purified (Allahumma aj’alni minat-tawwabin waj’alni minal-mutatahhirin). The wisdom of this invocation following ablution is to join the internal purification of testifying to Allah’s Oneness and the external purification of performing ablution.
Servants of Allah! Do not be extravagant in using water for ablution or bathing as the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) forbade extravagance in using water. He (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) used to perform ablution with a handful of water and to perform Ghusl (ritual bathing) with five handfuls of water. We thus should follow the Prophet’s example (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). Extravagance in using water for ablution or Ghusl (ceremonial bathing) is discouraged. Perhaps one may excessively use water without achieving the required purity, as he may have unknowingly not allowed the water to reach certain parts of his body.
Servants of Allah! Fear Allah and keep on performing purification before Salaah (prayer), and purify yourselves as Allah commanded you, and follow the example of the Messenger of Allah (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). As Allah says which translates as: “And obey Allah and the Messenger; that ye may obtain mercy” (Aal-Imran: 132).
May Allah bless you and I through the guidance of the Holy Qur’an.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all that exist. We praise Him for His Bounties and Benevolence. I testify that there is no god but Allah, with whom there is no partner and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. Allah sent him with guidance and the Religion of Truth to make it prevail over all religions. May Allah bless him and his family and Companions!
O people! Fear Allah and know that Wudhu (ablution) is half of faith, and that purification for Salaah (prayer) by performing Wudhu (ablution) or Ghusl (ceremonial bathing) is a hidden matter between a servant and his Lord, about which he will be questioned on the Day of Resurrection. Allah says concerning the description of the believers, which translates as: “Those who faithfully observe their trusts and their covenants” (Al-Mu’minun: 8).
Some people are so indifferent to purification that they do not perform it as perfectly as ordained by Allah. Some people may perform Salaah with an imperfect Wudhu or Ghusl during all or most of their lives, which renders their Salaah invalid. Some of the dwellers of the desert may perform Tayammum all the time, even when water is available, thinking that the use of water is optional. However, Tayammum is lawful only in the absence of water or in the case of inability to use it. Thus, if one makes Tayammum despite the availability of water or despite his ability to use it, his Salaah becomes invalid. In this case, he will be considered as one who performs Salaah without purification (Wudhu or Ghusl), which is one of the conditions for the validity of the Salaah.
As purification from impurities is obligatory by making Wudhu or Ghusl, it is equally necessary to purify one’s garment and the place in which he will perform Salaah. If any of these contains impurity, it should be cleaned with water until impurity is removed.
So, fear Allah, you servants of Allah and know that the best speech is the Book of Allah…