How To Make Wudu الوضوء :things to do before wudu that you might not have known and the sunnah for making wudu
بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيم ,
This post is about how to make wudu الوضوء. If you need to know what exactly wudu is, why it is necessary in Islam, what its benefits are, and when it is necessary please see this post http://girlsguidetobeingmuslim.blogspot.com/2009/02/wudu-purification-for-prayer-why-it-is.html. THIS post concerns the sunnah (the prescribed and perfect) actions of making wudu, and highlights a few things that one should do before making wudu. We'll start off with those.
HOW TO MAKE WUDU---The Physical Requirements/Actions for making wudu
THINGS TO DO BEFORE MAKING WUDU YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE KNOWN
Use the toilet: before making wudu if one needs to use the toilet, they should since the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa-sallam said: "No prayer can be rightly said... when he [the worshipper] is prompted by the call of nature." (Sahih Muslim, [Eng. Trans. vol. 1 #1139]) If you have used the toilet you need to make istanja http://girlsguidetobeingmuslim.blogspot.com/2009/02/istanja-what-it-is-and-how-to-make-it.html and wash your hands before making wudu (***using the toilet is recommended and making istanja afterwards is obligatory or salat is not valid).Remove anything from your body that might invalidate your wudu: before making wudu, if one is wearing nailpolish or fake nails, they must be removed, because the water will not touch the hand in its entirety so the wudu will be incomplete and any following salat will be invalid. Making wudu before applying nailpolish only means that your wudu is good until it is broken (see this post http://girlsguidetobeingmuslim.blogspot.com/2009/02/wudu-purification-for-prayer-why-it-is.html) and you will have to remove your nailpolish and reapply it everytime you re-make your wudu. An average wudu for myself is four hours. Trust me, it's not worth your time and effort [and I am a nailpolish fiend]. Don't worry though, wearing nailpolish is permitted when it's that time of the month (i.e a girl's got her period) since no prayer is due on her during this time and she doesn't have to worry about keeping her wudu on. ***Fake nails are disliked at all times, and in many opinions harraam (this will be discussed at a later date and a link will be added here). Hair extensions, wigs, fake eyelashes, and eyelash extensions fall under the same category as fake nails. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala knows best, and it is the majorirty opinion that is is safer to refrain from using any of the previous mentioned.*** This also means removing rings or any jewelry that are so tight to the skin that water cannot reach it.Clean your teeth/use a siwaak stick: before making wudu it is mustahaab (recommended) that you clean your teeth. Yes, in the days when washing the human body was thought to make it unhealthy in many places in the world the Prophet Mohammed salla Allahu alaihi wa-sallam recommended good oral hygene. He used a tooth-stick to clean his teeth through-out the day, and especially for salat. Think about it, you always want to use gum or mints before a job interview to make sure you don't have bad breath in order to make a good impression. Who deserves to be more impressed? A mortal man/woman or Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala? Ironically many will spend money for Arab make-up and kohl and henna before investing in siwaak sticks, even though the use of them was almost made obligatory before prayer: Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him), reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Were it not for the fact that I did not want to make things too hard for my ummah, I would have commanded them to use the siwaak at every time of prayer.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 2/299 and Muslim, 1/151). According to another report narrated by al-Bukhaari, he said: “…at every time of making wudoo’.” When making your first Islamic purchases of things you cannot obtain where you live (inshaAllah siwaak sticks are readily available to you) such as prayer clothes and hijab try and obtain siwaak sticks. Available from http://www.desertstore.com/products-For-Sale/miswak-siwak-01.html for .99 cents USD. If you do not have access to siwaak sticks where you live, the intention is very simple and good for you---brush your teeth.
I personally find it hard to learn from diagrams like this one so here are couple of how-to videos and then the written step by step instructions.:
How to make wudu video #1:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpHcw9uvU6E
How to make wudu video #2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaKb2zX1QBs&feature=related
1.) Make Niyaat (intention) to preform wudu
When you go to the place to make wudu (any place with clean water) [a post will be given later on how a Muslimah may make a public wudu and the link to it will be inserted here---for now this post is about the basics and we will assume our muslimah has a private place like a woman's washroom to make wudu in] you should make the intention to preform wudu. The intention should be silent and it has no strict wording. An example of such an intention would be "I am now going to purify myself for salat and do so in the name of Allah."
2.) Say "Bismillah" silently to yourself
Out of respect for Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala the name of God is not mentioned in a bathroom/washroom. After this is done, it is remmended strongly to not engage in any other purpose but making wudu especially if one is offering salat immediately after. "Bismillah" means "in the name of Allah"
3.) Rinse your mouth by drawing water from your cupped right hand. This is done three times.
4.) Rinse the nostrils of your nose by drawing water from your cupped right hand and using your left hand to pinch the nose and wipe it when expelling the water from the nasal passage. This is done three times.
5.) Wash your face from the hairline to the chin and ear to ear (both hands used). This is done three times.
6.) Wash your arms---Starting with your right arm wash with your left hand from the finger-tip to the elbow of that right arm. This is done three times. Then, starting with your left arm wash from the finger-tip to the elbow with the right hand. This is also done three times.
7.) Wipe your wet hands over your hair starting at the hairline moving to the back of the head then (with the hands remaining through the hair) bring the hands in the hair back to the hairline and as you do so, wipe the back and the inside of the ears with the forefinger and the thumb.
8.) Wash both feet---starting with the right foot clean from the tips of the toes to the ankle. Be especially careful to get the heels because Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported: Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) saw a man who did not wash his heel. Thereupon he remarked: Woe to those who will be dragged by their heels to the Hell-Fire. (Sahih Muslim 356). This is done three times, and then a finger is used to clean between the toes (this is done only once per foot). Then do likewise with the left foot.
10.) Repeat the shahada in sincerity and respect---To finish the wudu one must repeat their shahada by saying "There is no God but God and Mohammed is His servant and His Messenger". If you remain in the bathroom/washroom you may say this silently in your head or you can leave that space and say aloud: "ash-hadu alla ilaha ill-allah wahdahu la shareeka lahu wa ash-hadu anna sayyidana muhammadan `abduhu wa rasooluh" and it is recommended that you recite this three times because Umar Ibn Al-Khattab narrates: "If anyone amongst you performs the ablution and completes it well and then says, "I testify there is no god but Allah and that Muhammed is the servant of Allah and His Messenger", then the eight gates of Paradise will be open to him and he may enter from whichever one of them he chooses." (Sahih Muslim, [Eng. Trans. Vol. 1 #451])
*11.) Optional recitation of a sunnah dua. You may skip this step right now in order to learn how to pray as quickly as possible but it is recommended to recite this du'a after making wudu: "O Allah, count me among one of those who seek forgiveness and who keep themselves pure!"
HOW DO WE GET THE STEPS FOR WUDU?
We get the steps for wudu from the sunnah of the Prophet Mohammed salla Allahu alaihi wa-sallam: narration by Imam Muslim on the authority of Humran (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: "'Uthnan Ibn 'Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) called for ablution water and this is how he performed ablution He washed his hands thrice. He then rinsed his mouth and cleansed his nose with water [three times]. He then washed his face three times;then washed his right arm up to the elbow three times, then washed his left like that, then wiped his head; then washed his right foot up to the ankle three times, then washed his left foot like that, and then said: I saw the Messenger of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala said: "He who performs ablution like this ablution of mine and then stood up [for prayer] and offered two rak'ahs of prayer without allowing his thoughts to be distracted, all his previous sins are expiated." (Sahih Muslim, [Eng. Trans. vol. 1 #436]).
If you are not certain whether of not you have made wudu, err on the side of not making it again, because there is an authentic hadith that says (this is the only thing missing in this post---I will post it ASAP or maybe Aalia can add it in)More reading: http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=3&ID=4192&CATE=342