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Quran Quiz


Question: Where is the yah (verse) in the Qurn that establishes the fard (compulsory) acts of wud?


Answer: It is the 6th yah of Srah al-Midah (5): "O you who believe! When you rise up for prayer, wash your face, and your hands up to the elbows, and lightly rub your heads and (wash) your feet up to the ankles."

Hadrat Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allh said: "My followers will be called on the Day of Resurrection with heads shining on account of the effect of wud. So whoever among you is able to prolong his brightness, let him do it." [Agreed upon, Mishkt]

Hadrat Jbir reported that the Messenger of Allh said: "The key to Paradise is prayer, and the key to prayer is cleanliness." [Ahmad, Mishkt]

The fard acts of wud as derived from the Qurn and ahdth are four. If any one of these four is omitted or performed incompletely, the wud will be invalid: (1) Washing the face from ear to ear and forehead to below the chin one time; (2) washing both hands and arms including the elbows once; (3) making masah (wiping with moist hands) of one-quarter of the head once; and (4) washing both feet, including the ankles, once.

The sunan acts of wud are those which yield the full thawb (reward and blessing) of wud. If these are omitted, the reward of wud is lost although the wud itself will be valid. Deliberate and continuous neglect of the sunnah factors will be sinful: (1) Niyyah (intention) for wud; (2) tasmiyah: reciting "Bismillh..." in the beginning; (3) washing both hands as far as the wrists three times before beginning; (4) rinsing the mouth thrice; (5) applying water into the nostrils thrice; (6) using miswk; (7) making masah of the entire head; (8) washing every part three times; (9) making masah of the ears; (10) khill of the fingers (interlacing the fingers of one hand with those of the other and then drawing them out), toes (passing the finger in between the toes), and beard (passing the fingers through the beard); (11) observing the proper order of washing the various parts (as described below in "Method of Wud"); and (12) washing the various parts in quick succession, i.e. washing the next part before the previous part has time to dry.

Certain acts of wud are described as mustahab. These increase the reward and significance of the wud: (1) Facing the qiblah; (2) sitting down while making wud; (3) performing masah of the back of the neck (not the front); and (4) commencing from the right side (e.g. washing the right hand, right arm, right foot first).

The makrh (detestable) factors of wud are: (1) Performing wud at a dirty place; (2) indulging in worldly talk while engaged in wud ; (3) performing wud in a way contrary to the sunnah; (4) using the right hand to clean the nose; (5) using water excessively and wastefully; (6) striking water against the face, causing it to splash; and (7) taking unnecessary assistance from another person when performing wud.

The Method of Wud: The mutawaddi (person making wud) should endeavor to face the qiblah while making wud. It is best to sit on a raised or high place when making wud in order to be out of reach of water splashing. It is far nobler and meritorious to make wud by pouring water from some container, e.g. a jug. Use of a tap in wud entails great waste of water, and Raslullh has warned against wasting water even at the river bank.

Making niyyah (intention) of wud, recite "Bismillh-ir-rahmn-ir-rahm." First of all, wash both hands as far as the wrists thrice, beginning with the right hand. Thereafter rinse the mouth thrice and use a miswk. In the absence of a miswk use a coarse cloth to clean the teeth. Remember that a toothbrush is not an adequate substitute for a miswk. However, since the use of a cloth is in the sunnah when a miswk is not available, it (cloth) could be regarded as an adequate substitute. If the toothbrush is made of bristles (pigs hairs), its use will be harm. If one is not fasting then gargle as well.

Thereafter apply water thrice into the nostrils with the right hand and clean the nose with the little finger of the left hand. If the mutawaddi is fasting, water should not be drawn higher than the soft or fleshy part of the nostrils.

Wash then the entire face thrice. The limits of the face for wud purpose is from the limits of the hair at the forehead until below the chin, and from ear to ear. Water must reach below the eyebrows as well. This is followed by making khill of the beard. (Pass the fingers of the right hand through the beard, starting from the bottom, moving upwards.)

The right hand, including the arm and elbow, should then be washed thrice. Then wash the left hand in exactly the same manner. Make khill of the fingers: Draw the left-hand fingers through the right-hand fingers over the back of the hand. Thereafter do likewise with the right-hand fingers.

This is followed by making masah of the whole head, masah of the ears, and masah of the nape (only the back of the neck).

Thereafter wash the right foot, including the ankles thrice; then wash the left foot in the same way. Finally, make khill of the toes: Pass the little finger of the left hand in between the toes of both feet, starting from the little toe of the right foot and ending with the little toe of the left foot.

The perfect wud also requires that all the sunnah dus be recited at the appropriate times before, during, and after wud.

More details of wud can be found in the books of fiqh.

[Kitaabut-Tahaarah, YMMA (S. Africa).
Bahishti Zwar, Ml. Ashraf Ali Thanvi]


Published: April 2003


Last modified 08/12/05 09:25 AM - Iqra - ISSN #1062-2756