How to Perform Wudhu

Prior to entering Salaat (prayer), the person is required to undertake a certain purification procedure known as "Wudhu" without which, the person's prayer would not be acceptable in the sight of "Allah (subhanahu wa ta 'ala). This performance is called  wudhu and is preferably carried out as follows:

Abu Hurairah (radhiAllaahu'anhu) said: Rasoolullah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said: The Prayer of anyone of you breaching purification is not accepted unless he makes wudoo. [Al-Bukhaari, (Fath ul-Baaree, 1/206), Muslim (no.225) and others].

 Ibn 'Umar (radhiAllaahu 'anhumaa) said: Indeed I heard Rasoolullah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) say: Allah does not accept Prayer without purification, nor Sadaqah from illegally attained wealth. [Muslim (1/160) and others].

Narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When the Muslim or believing slave does wudoo’ and washes his face, every wrong thing that he looked at with his eyes comes out from his face with the water or with the last drop of water. When he washes his hands, every wrong thing that he did with his hands comes out from his hands with the water or with the last drop of water. When he washes his feet every wrong thing that he walked to with his feet comes out from his feet with the water or with the last drop of water, until he emerges cleansed of sin.” (Muslim)

Narrated from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no one among you who does wudoo; and does it well, then says, Ashhadu an laa ilaaha Allah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhu (I bear witness that there is no god except Allah alone, with no partner or associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger) but the eight gates of Paradise will be opened for him and he will enter through whichever one he wants.” Narrated by Muslim, 234.

 The Definition of Wudhu

Wudhu in the Arabic Language: Wudoo is the action, and wudhu the water used.

Therefore - and it is also a verbal noun; or they are two forms of the same word, both meaning the verbal-noun and maybe both referring also to the water used.

 Wudoo in the Sharee'ah: Wudoo is using clean and cleansing (Tuhoor) water upon certain body parts as Allah ta 'ala has prescribed and explained.



 Declare the intention for Wudhu in your heart Rasoolullah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) himself explained in the hadeeth narrated by 'Umar (radhiAllaahu 'anhu) in the Sahihain Verily the actions are by intention and there is for everyone only what he intended... [Fath-ul-Baaree, 1/9, and Muslim, 6/48]. At-Tasmiyyah (Mentioning Allah's Name)
2 Say Bismillah  (In the Name of Allah). Abu Hurairah (radhiAllaahu' anhu) said that Rasoolullah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) said There is no wudoo for him who does not mention Allah's name upon it. [Reported by Ibn Maajah (no.399), At-Tirmidhee (no.26), Abu Dawood (no.101) and others. Ash-Shaikh al-Albaani says: hadeeth Saheeh (Saheeh ul-Jaarni', no.7444)].
3 Wash the right hand up to and including the wrists.  Make sure to  while rub and  rub  between the  fingers of the hand. And thus make sure no part of the hand is left dry.  Three  times


Then do the same with the left hand. (also three times)

Humraan (radhiAllaahu'anhu) narrates that 'Uthmaan called for water to make wudoo and washed his hands three times... then said: I saw Rasoolullah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam)make wudoo just as I have made wudoo . [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim, and as preceded].

And in the hadeeth of Abdullaah ibn Zaid (radhiAllaahu'anhu) he was asked about the wudoo of the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), so he called for a bowl of water and made wudoo from it as the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) made wudoo, and he poured out water from the bowl upon his hand and washed it three times. [Al-Bukhaari (al Fath, l/255), Muslim, 3/121].

Aus ibn Abi Aus reports from his grandfather (radhiAllaahu 'anhu) who said: I saw Rasoolullah (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) make wudoo washing his hands three times. [Ahmad (4/9), An-Nasaa'ee (1/55) - with saheeh isnaad].

4 Make a cup with the right hand then from this hand take water into your mouth and swirl it inside the mouth and then expel out of mouth. then sniff remaining water from the cupped right hand and sniff water into the nose and then blow the water out and using the  left hand  remove the water from your nose. Do this three times


Some people rinse the mouth first three times and then rinse the nose three times

However the first method is the most authentic.

'Abdullaah ibn Zaid al-Ansaaree said that it was said to him: Perform for us the wudoo of Rasoolullah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), so he called for a pot of water. Until he said: So he washed his mouth and nose with a single handful and did that three times. [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim].

In the hadeeth of 'Amr ibn Yahyaa (radhiAllaahu 'anhu) he said: And he washed his mouth and nose using three handfuls of water. [Muslim, 3/123].

Al-Imam an-Nawawi says: And in this hadeeth is a clear proof for the correct opinion that the sunnah in washing the mouth and nose is that it should be with three handfuls of water - washing the mouth and nose [together] with each of them.

Abu Hurairah (radhiAllaahu'anhu) narrates that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said When one of you makes wudoo then let him enter water into his nose, then expel it. [Al-Bukhaari (al-Fath, 1/229), Muslim (no.237), Abu Dawood (no. 140)].

in the hadeeth of Laqeet (radhiAllaahu 'anhu) who said: O Rasoolullah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), inform me of the wudoo . He said Complete the wudoo and rub between the fingers and exert in breathing in the water into the nose unless you are fasting. [Abu Dawood, no.l42; At-Tirmidhee, no.38; An-nasaa'ee, no.ll4; IbMaajah, no.407; and others]. (Declared as saheeh by Ibn Hibbaan and al-Haalcim, and adh-Dhahabee agreed to that. Also declared as saheeh by Ibn al Qaataan, An-Nawawi and Ibn Hajr. Refer to the footnote in al-Baghawi's Sharh us-Sunnah: 1/417

'Abd Khair said: We were sitting looking towards 'Alee - as he made wudoo - and he entered into his mouth a handful of water with his right hand and washed his mouth and nose, then expelled it from his nose with his left hand - he did that three times, then said: Whoever would like to see the way of purification of Rasoolullah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) - then this is his purification. [Reported by ad-Daarimee. Ash-shaikh al-Albaanee says in his notes on al-Mishkaat: Its isnaad is saheeh].

5 Wash the face three times, from the hairline to the jawbone and chin, and from start of the ear to start of the ear 

A man should wash the hair of his beard  by taking a handful of water and entering it below his chin and rubbing it through his beard and passing the wet fingers through the beard.

Humraan ibn Abaan narrates that 'Uthmaan (radhiAllaahu 'anhu) called for water to make wudoo and so mentioned the way in which the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) made wudoo . Humraan said: Then he washed his face three times. [Al-Bukhaari (al-Fath, 1/312), Muslim (no.226)].

'Uthmaan (radhiAllaahu'anhu) narrates that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) used to run his (wet fingers) through his beard. [At-Tirmidhee (no.31), Ibn Maajah (no.430), Ibn Jaarood (p.43) and al-Haakim (1/14~) who declared its isnaad as saheeh as did Ibn Khuzaimah and Ibn Hibbaan. See the note in al-Baghagawi's Sharh us-Sunnah, 1/421].

Anas (radhiAllaahu'anhu) narrates that the Prophet (sallallaahu'alaihi wa sallam), when he made wudoo , used to take a handful of water and enter it below his chin and rub it through his beard and said This is what my Lord - the Great and Exalted - has ordered me to do. [Abo Dawood (no.145), al-Baihaqee (1/54), al-Haakim (1/149). Ash-Shaikh al-Albaani declares it to be saheeh (Saheeh ul-Jaami', no.4572)].

6 Wash the right arm  up to  and including  the elbow.  Three times. 

The arm extends from the fingertips, including the nails, to the lower part of the upper arm. It is essential to remove anything stuck to the hands before washing them, such as dough, mud, paint, nail polish etc, that could prevent the water from reaching the skin

Do the same with the LEFT ARM . Three times


Humraan ibn Abaan reports that 'Uthmaan (radhiAllaahu'anhu) called for water for wudoo and mentioned the Prophet's (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) way of making wudoo - and Humraan said: Then he washed his right arm including the elbow three times, then the left in the same way. [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim as has preceded].

Jaabir (radhiAllaahu'anhu) said that when the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallarn) made wudoo , he would pass the water over his elbows. [Reported by ad-Daaraqutnee (1/15), al-Baihaqee (1/56) and others - Ibn Hajr declared it to be hasan. And Ash-Shaikh al-Albaanee declared it to be saheeh (Saheeh ul-Jaami', 4547)].

The proof in this matter is the hadeeth of Nu'aim ibn Mijmar who said: I saw Abu Hurairah make wudoo - he washed his face and completed the wudoo , then washed his right hand until he reached the upper arm, then his left hand till he reached the upper arm" - then in the end of the hadeeth he said: "This is how I saw Rasoolullah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) make wudoo . [Muslim, 1/246]

7 Wet your  hands in water,  Place both hands  at the front of the head  (beginning of hairline) and wipe the head  backwards until you reach the nape.  Then  bring them back to the front of the head (beginning of hairline). This is done  once only

With regard to a woman’s hair, she should wipe it whether it is loose or braided from the front of her head to the roots of the hair at the nape and then bring forward as above, but she does not have to wipe the entire length of her hair.

Al-Bukhaari (185) and Muslim (235) narrated from ‘Abd-Allah ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him) that he described the wudoo’ of the Prophet [an error occurred while processing this directive] (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): … Then he wiped his head with his hands, front to back. He started at the front of the head and (wiped) until his hands reached the back of the head, then he brought them back to where he started 
8 Clean the ears by inserting the tips of the index fingers into the ears. Twist them round the folds of the ears. Then wipe the back of the ears with your thumbs. From bottom of the ear upwards. ONCE ONLY From 'Abdullaah ibn 'Amr - about the way of performing wudoo - he said: Then he (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) wiped his head and entered his two forefingers into his ears and wiped the backs of his ears with his thumbs. [Reported by Abu Dawood (no.135), an-Nasaa'ee (no.140), Ibn Maajah (no.422) and authenticated by Ibn Khuzairnah].
9 Wash the  right feet up to  and including  the ankles, three times, 

You should enter the water between the toes with your little finger and then wash the foot (note not wipe feet but wash them) and make sure   you wash the sole of the foot and heals. Make sure no parts of the foot is left dry 

Wash the left feet same as the right foot also  three times.


Ibn 'Umar (radhiAllaahu 'anhumaa) said: Rasoolullah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) fell behind us and then came upon us during a journey, then we found him and it was time for 'Asr - so we began to make wudoo and wipe over our feet, so he (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) called out at the top of his voice Woe to the ankles from the Fire. (two or three times) [Al-Bukhaari (al Fath, 1/232) and Muslim, 3/128].


'Abdullah b. 'Amr reported: We returned from Mecca to Medina with the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him), and when we came to some water on the way, some of the people were in a hurry at the time of the afternoon prayer and performed ablution hurriedly; and when we reached them, their heels were dry, no water had touched them. The Prophet (may peace be upon him) said: Woe to (dry) heels, because of Hell-fire. Make your ablution thorough. 

( Muslim Book 002, Number 0468)


10 The Du'aa After the Wudoo

  Ashhadu an laa ilaaha Allah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhu. 

( I bear witness that there is no god except Allah alone, with no partner or associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.)

Allaahumm aj’alni min al-tawwaabeena waj’alni min al-mutatahhireena  

(  O Allah, make me one of those who repent and make me one of those who purify themselves)

According to another hadeeth narrated in Sunan al-Nasaa’i, one of the things that may also be said after wudoo’ is: “Subhaanaka Allaahumma wa bi hamdika, ashhadu an laa ilaaha ill anta, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilayka

 (Glory and praise be to You, O Allah,  I bear witness that there is no god but You, I seek Your forgiveness and I repent to You).

11 Note. The water must also be pure (taahir), for impure (naajis) water cannot be used for wudoo’. One must also remove anything that could prevent water from reaching the skin and nails, such as nail polish.

In circumstances where water cannot be found, or there is only just enough for drinking, or if water is injurious to health, in such circumstances one can perform  Tayammum (dry ablution ).

Allah says:

O you who believe! When you intend to offer As-Salat (the prayer), wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to ankles . If you are in a state of Janaba (i.e. had a sexual discharge), purify yourself (bathe your whole body). But if you are ill or on a journey or any of you comes from answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women (i.e. sexual intercourse) and you find no water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands. Allah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favour on you that you may be thankful. (Qur'an 5:6)

Instances when At-Tayammum is Permitted

At-Tayammum is permitted only on specific instances as follows:

  1. Where the person cannot find water or the amount of water is not sufficient for Wudhu. However, before performing AT-Tayammum, the person is required to look for water earnestly from any possible source.
  2. When a person is injured or ill and believes that the use of water will worsen his/her condition, then, At-Tayammum is allowed.
  3. When water is too cold such that it may harm the person, AT-Tayammum is allowed if the user cannot find means of heating the water.
  4. When water is nearby, but the person is not able to fetch it due to fear for his/her life, family and wealth, (e.g. from an enemy either beast or human in the vicinity) then, At-Tayammum may be performed.
  5. When there is not enough water and one is forced to save what is available for drinking and/or cooking, then, At-Tayammum is allowed.


The Earth (Soil) to be used for At-Tayammum

This should be pure earth or soil and can be sand, stone or gypsum which produce dust when hit with the hands.


How to Perform At-Tayammum

  1. Make intention in your heart to perform At-Tayammum.
  2. Say Bismillah  (In the Name of Allah).
  3. Strike both palms of hands on clean sand, dust or anything containing these (e.g. wall or stone) .
  4. Blow into the palms
  5. Wipe the face using both palms.(once)
  6. Thereafter using  the left palm to wipe over the back of the right hand up to the wrist, and then, uses the right palm to wipe over the back of the left hand up to the wrist.
  7. Finish with the Dua as given above for Wudhu.

Matters which Invalidate the Wudhu

The person will remain in a state of Wudhu until any of the following matters is committed:

(1)  Anything coming out of the Anus or penis/vagina such as urine, feces or gas etc. 

(2) A person falling into sound Sleep  

(3) Becoming Unconscious - insanity or fainting or intoxication

(4) Touching the Uncovered Private Parts 

(5)  Touching a Woman  which  leads to prostatic fluid or semen being emitted. A man can touch, kiss and hug his wife and his wudhu will still be valid. It will only break if these actions lead to  the emission of prostatic fluid or semen. 

(6) Menstruation of post natal bleeding.

(7) Eating camels meat.

Top of Page Contact Mission Islam Home Recommended Links