Fard (compulsory) acts of Wudu
There are four fard acts in wudu:-
1. To wash the entire face once.
2. To wash both hands upto and including the elbows once.
3. To make masah of one-quarter of the head once.
4. To wash both feet upto and including the ankles once.
These are the fard acts of wudu. Even if one of these acts is left out, or even if a place equal to a hair’s breadth is left dry, wudu will not be complete.
Sunnah acts of Wudu
1. To say Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem.
2. To wash both hands upto the wrists.
3. To rinse the mouth.
4. To wash the nose.
5. To use miswaak.
6. To make masah of the entire head.
7. To wash each part three times.
8. To make masah of the ears.
9. To make khilaal of the fingers and toes.
Apart from this, the balance of the acts are mustahab.
1. Once the four fard acts of wudu are carried out, wudu will be regarded as complete, irrespective of whether one intended to make wudu or not, eg.: (a) at the time of bathing, one pours water on the entire body, or (b) falls into a well, or river , or (c) stands in the rain. In all these conditions, if the limbs of wudu get wet, wudu will be regarded as complete. However, one will not obtain the reward (thawaab) of wudu.
2. Sunnah is to make wudu exactly as has been mentioned above. But if anyone alters or reverses the procedure of wudu, eg. by washing the feet first, then making masah, and then washing the hands, and thereafter washing the face, or alters the procedure in any other way – then wudu will still be regarded as complete. However, it will not be considered to be in accordance with the sunnah, and there is always the fear of having sinned.
3. Similarly, if the left hand or the left foot is washed first, wudu will be completed, but it will be contrary to being mustahab.
4. After washing one part, one should not delay in washing the next part to such an extent that the first part gets dry. Instead, he should wash the next part as quickly as possible. If, after washing the second part, the first part gets dry, then wudu will be regarded as complete, but it will be contrary to the sunnah.
5. It is also sunnah to pass the hand on the part that is being washed so that no place is left dry.
6. It is better and mustahab to prepare for wudu and salaat well before the time.
7. As long as there is no genuine excuse, one should perform wudu with one’s very own hands and should not seek assistance from someone else.
8. While making wudu, worldly talk should be avoided. Instead, Bismillah and the kalimah should be read on washing each and every part.
9. No matter how freely water may be available, it should not be wasted. Even if one is at the sea-shore, one should not use more than necessary. At the same time, one should not use so little water that one has problems in washing the parts thoroughly.
10. The parts should not be washed more than three times.
11. When washing the face, water should not be splashed with great force, nor should one splash water by making hissing sounds.
12. One should not close one’s eyes and mouth very tightly. All these things are makruh and prohibited. The reason for this is that if the mouth and eyes are shut so tightly to the extent that the lips or eye lashes remain dry, then the wudu will not be regarded as complete.
13. If rings, bangles, bracelets, etc. are so loose that water will reach under them without having to remove them, it will still be mustahab to remove them. If they are so tight that there is a possibility of water not reaching under them, then it will be necessary and wajib to remove them. A similar rule applies to the nose ring: that is, if it is loose, then it will be mustahab to move it, and if it is tight, then while one is washing the face it will be wajib to move it around so that water reaches everywhere.
14. If some dough or similar substance got stuck under the nails and got dried, and water did not reach there, the wudu will not be complete. If one sees the flour and realizes that water did not reach there, then water should be poured over it. However, if salaat was performed prior to pouring the water, it will be necessary to repeat the salaat.
15. If one has applied tinsel or some other decorative paint on the forehead and does not wash it thoroughly, but just pours water over it, then wudu will not be completed. It should be removed before washing the face.
16. After having performed the wudu, Surah al-Qadr should be recited.
Thereafter the following dua should be recited:
“O Allah! Make me of the repentants, and make me of the purified, and include me among Your pious servants”.
17. After having performed the wudu, it is preferable to read two rakaats of nafl salaat. This salaat is called Tahiyyatul Wudu. Great reward and merit has been mentioned in the Hadith in regard to this salaat.
18. If one had made wudu for a particular salaat, and thereafter the next salaat time entered without the wudu having broken, then it will be permissible to read salaat with that same wudu. However, if the person repeats the wudu, he will be greatly rewarded.
19. Once wudu has been made and has not broken as yet, then as long as no act of worship (ibaadat) has been performed with that wudu, it will be makruh to make a new wudu. Based on this, if a person makes wudu while bathing, then he should read his salaat with that same wudu. Without that wudu breaking, he should not make a new wudu. However, if a person has read even just two rakaats of salaat with that first wudu, then there will be no problem in making a second wudu. In fact, there is reward in making a second wudu.
20. If someone’s hands or feet are cracked and he filled them with wax, an ointment, or some other medicine (and he fears some harm by removing it) then his wudu will be regarded as complete if he just poured water over it without having removed the medicine.
21. If water did not reach the heels or some other place while making wudu, and only after completing the wudu one realized that a particular place is dry, it will not be sufficient to merely pass the hand over that place. Instead, water will have to be poured over it.
22. If there is a sore or some other wound on the hands, feet, etc. and one fears that it would be harmful to pour water over it, then water should not be poured. Instead, the wet hand should be passed over the wound. This is called masah. If this is harmful, masah should not be made and that place should be left out.
23. If a wound has been bandaged and it will be harmful to open the bandage and make masah over the wound, or it will be difficult and painful to open the bandage, then in both cases it will be permissible to make masah on the bandage. But if this is not the case, the bandage will have to be removed and masah will have to be made on the wound.
24. If the wound is not under the entire bandage, then after opening the bandage, that portion which is not wounded should be washed if possible. However, if it is not possible to open the bandage, masah should be made on both the portions – the wounded and the unwounded portions.
25. In case of a fracture where splints and pads are applied, the above directions will apply. That is, as long as the splints cannot be opened, it will be sufficient to make masah over it. The same rule will apply to plasters – that is, if masah cannot be made on the wound, the plaster should be removed and masah should be made on the gauze. But if there is no one to help in opening and closing the plaster, then it will be sufficient to make masah on the plaster itself.
26. In the case of bandages, splints, plasters, etc. it is preferable to make masah on the entire covering. If this is not possible, then it will be permissible to make masah on more than half of the covering. However, it is not permissible to suffice with masah on half or less of the covering.
27. If after performing masah, the bandage, plaster, etc., opens up and one sees that the wound has not healed as yet, then it should be re-tied and the previous masah will suffice. However, if the wound has healed and there is no need to bandage it again, then the masah will be broken. That portion should be washed and salaat performed. There is no need to repeat the entire wudu.
28. Khilaal (passing of wet fingers) of the beard should be made three times after having washed the face. Khilaal should not be made more than three times.
29. It is fard to wash the chin as long as there is no hair of the beard on it, or if there is, it is so little that the skin can be seen.
30. It is fard to wash that part of the lips which can be seen after the lips are closed.
31. If the hair of the beard, moustache and eyebrows is so thick that the skin cannot be seen, then it is not fard to wash that skin which is hidden. That hair is actually in place of the skin. To pour water over it is sufficient.
32. If the hair of the eyebrows, beard, or moustache is so thick that the skin cannot be seen, then in such a case it is wajib to wash that hair which falls within the boundaries of the face. It is not wajib to wash the hair that is beyond the boundaries of the face.
33. If a person’s piles come out, his wudu will break irrespective of whether it went back inside on its own, or by pushing it back with a stick, a cloth, or his hand.
34. If semen comes out without any desire, wudu will break. For example, a person carried a very heavy weight, or jumped from an elevated place and due to this shock semen came out without any desire.
35. If there is some defect in one’s senses, but this defect does not reach the stage of insanity or unconsciousness, his wudu will not break.
36. If a person sleeps away and laughs (in his sleep) while in salaat, his wudu will not break.
37. By laughing in a janaza salaat or in a sajdah tilaawat wudu will not break irrespective of whether the person is mature or immature.