Definition:

  • Linguistically, it means brightness and looking good. We can relate this meaning as the cleanliness of keeping Al-Wudu keeps people clean, looking bright and good.
  • Islamically, it means a specialized type of cleanliness that includes washing parts of the body mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah.

Types of Al-Wudu:

  • Obligated: Al-Wudu is a necessity for anyone who wants to pray a regular Salat, Nafelah, Janazah, and Tawaf around Ka’bah. Some disputed reasons among scholars include touching the Mus’haf or making Sujood Tilawah.
  • Preferred: Al-Wudu is urged to be renewed for every Salat, before sleeping, before showering, between intercourse, cooling anger, reading Quran, calling Azan or Iqamah, after washing the dead, or in case of committing sins.
  • Prohibited: Al-Wudu is not allowed if water used has been taken by force from someone, meaning illegally.

Al-Wudu major obligatory actions:

The Quran spoke of four major acts {O you who believe! When you rise for the Prayer, wash your faces, and your hands to the elbows. And wipe your heads [with wet hands]. And [wash] your feet to the ankles} 5:6, that scholars agreed upon as being the main parts of Al-Wudu:

Agreed upon obligations:

  • Washing Face: One time from upper part of forehead where hair grows to bottom part of chin and from one side of the ear to the other.
  • Washing hands to elbows: One time and the actual elbows must be included in the wash.
  • Wiping head: One time and at least one quarter of the head.
  • Washing feet: One time to the ankles with focus on the water reaching the heel and back of feet as many people miss that.

Disputed obligations:

  • Intention: School of Shafe’i makes it an obligation while school of Hanafi includes it in intention for Salat itself.
  • Sequence: To keep order in washing as mentioned in the Quran is preferred only according to school of Hanafi and Malikiyyah. While school of Shafe’i and Hanabelah see it as an obligation.
  • Succession: It means that not much time should be left between washing parts of Al-Wudu. The school of Hanafi and Shafe’i see it as Sunnah while Maliki and Hanabelah see it as obligated.

By Sh. Kifah Mustapha