Invalidators of Wudu’

If you have wudu' and any of the matters which invalidate wudu’ takes place, you must not pray until you make a new wudu'.

Among the invalidators of wudu'are:

  1. The emission of any substance from the eliminatory outlets, such as urine, defecation, or gas, except maniyy.
  2. Touching the penis or vagina, or the anus with the inside of the bare hand (the palm).
  3. Losing the mind or losing consciousness
  4. Sleeping without having the buttocks firmly seated, such as sleeping on the stomach, back, and on the side.
  5. Skin to skin contact with a member of the opposite sex, who has reached an age where he or she is normally desired. (the females whom one is not allowed to marry in any circumstance such as his mother, sister etc. (are not included).
  6. If one of these matters happens to you during prayer, you stop the actions of the prayer, perform wudu' and then start the prayer from the beginning.

Wudu’ (Ablution)

Verse 6 of Surat al-Ma’idah means: «O believers, if you stand up for prayer, wash your face and arms up to [and including] the elbows and wet wipe [part of] your head and wash your feet up to [and including] the ankles».

Wudu’ (Ablution) has obligatory and recommended parts. The obligatory parts are those parts which if left out the wudu’ is not valid. The recommended parts are those parts which if left out the wudu’ would still be valid, but one misses out on that reward. The wudu’ must be made with water only.

How to Perform Wudu’:

  1. It is recommended to say «Bismillah» (with the Name of Allah) while washing the hands.
  2. It is recommended to wash the two hands with the wrists three times.
  3. It is recommended to rinse the mouth three times using the right hand.
  4. It is recommended to draw water into the nose with the right hand and to blow it out of the nose with the left hand three times.
  5. It is an obligation to have the proper intention. When the water touches the first part of your face say in your heart «I intend to perform wudu».
  6. It is an obligation to wash your face, from the normal hairline to the chin and from one ear to the other including the hair and skin. The inner part of the man’s thick beard is excluded. If a string was put at the middle of the forehead at the normal hairline and drawn to the top of the ear, then one washes all that would be below that string, both hair and skin, with the ears excluded.
  7. It is recommended to wash the face three times.
  8. It is an obligation to wash the hands, forearms, and elbows once.
  9. It is recommended to wash them three times each. Start with the right and then the left.
  10. It is an obligation to wet wipe part of the head, between the normal hairline and the occiput.
  11. It is recommended to wet wipe both ears three times.
  12. It is an obligation to wash the feet with the ankles. It is recommended to wash them three times starting with the right foot.
  13. Do the obligatory parts (within steps 1 to 11) in the aforementioned order.
  14. It is recommended to say a supplication after finishing wudu’.


It is preferred to use a small amount of water in wudu’ and ghusl. It is mentioned in Sahih Muslim that the Messenger of Allah used a mudd مد (about half a cup) of water for wudu’ and a sa^ صاع (about a pint) for ghusl. A mudd is the fill of a pair of average-sized hands cupped together. The sa^ is four mudds. It is also mentioned in Sahih Muslim that the Messenger of Allah used six (6) mudds (about 3 cups) of water for wudu’ and thirty (30) mudds (about one cup less than a gallon) for ghusl.

What is Recommended to Say After Finishing Wudu’?

Ashhadu alla ilaha illallah(u), wahdahu la sharika lah(u), wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ^abduhu wa rasuluh(u). Allahumma j^alni minat-tawwabin(a), wa j^ alni minalmutatahhirin. Subhanaka-llahumma wa bi hamdik(a), ashhadu alla ilaha illa ant(a), astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk.

The Meaning of the Wudu’ (Ablution) Supplication: «I testify that no one is God but Allah, alone, without a partner, and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and messenger. 0 Allah, make me among the frequent repenters and make me among the purified. Praise and thanks be to You, 0 Allah. I testify that no one is God but You. I ask You for forgiveness and I repent to You».

Ghusl (Full Shower)

You must perform a ghusl (full shower) in order to pray after:

  1. You perform sexual intercourse.
  2. Your menstruation ends.
  3. Your postpartum bleeding ends.
  4. You give birth to a child, even if it was without bleeding.
  5. Your maniyy is emitted

How to Perform Ghusl

After removing any najas from the body, the ghusl is performed in the following way:

  1. It is obligatory for you to intend in the heart to perform the obligation
    of ghusl when the water first touches your body.
  2. It is obligatory to wash the whole body with water, including all of the
    hair. It is recommended to to do this three times.

When performing either the wudu' or ghusl, all substances which prevent water from reaching the parts to be washed and wiped must be removed.

Examples are: nail polish on fingernails and toenails and waterproof mascara.

Tayammum (Dry Purification)

In the absence of water or when unable to use water, one may instead of performing wudu or ghusl perform tayammum.

This is stated in the Qur’an:

فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَاء فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُم مِّنْهُ مَا يُرِيدُ اللهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهَّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

This verse means: «If you do not find water, then perform tayammum with the pure soil. Pass it onto your faces and arms». (al-Ma’idah, 6).

The Prophet said:

جُعِلَتْ لنا الأرضُ كلٌُها مَسْجِداً وجُعِلَتْ تُربَتُها لنا طَهُوراً – رواه مسلم

which means: «The earth is made a place for our prayers, and its soil is made for our purification» (Muslim).

One must make sure that the time of the prayer has set in before performing the tayammum. The tayammum is valid for one obligatory prayer only and for as many optional prayers as one wishes. However, one repeats the tayammum before each obligatory prayer.

How to perform Tayammum

Make sure that you have pure, dusty soil unused before in tayammum.

  1. It is recommended to say Bissmillah. It is an obligation to strike the soil with your palms. Make the intention: “I intend to perform tayammum to make performing the prayer permissible” while transferring the soil until it touches your face .
  2. Pass the soil on all of your face .
  3. Strike the soil again and pass it on both hands and forearms, including the elbows. It is recommended to pass it on the right arm first then the left, It is an obligation to make sure that the soil on the left hand reaches all the parts of the right arm and conversely.

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