What are the Conditions for a Valid Wudu?
The following three conditions are necessary for a valid wudu:
1. Clean water must penetrate and cover the skin. That is, all of the surfaces of the organs necessary to be washed must be wetted. Otherwise, wudu will not be valid. The Prophet stated the following about the people who do not wet their heels while making wudu. “Woe on those heels in Hell!”
2. The elimination of that states that invalidate wudu; that is, the end of menstruation and puerperum. Leakage of urine and blood is also a state that invalidates wudu. A person must not make wudu before the leakage of urine or blood ends. If they leak continuously, it is regarded as an excuse. What is mentioned above is for those who do not have any excuses. Therefore, one must not make wudu immediately after urinating before the leakage stops.
Even very little leakage after making wudu invalidates wudu.
3. Scraping off the things like wax, oil, dough, glue, etc that prevent water from penetrating the skin.
There are four principles (fards) of wudu:
1 – Washing the face once.
2 – Washing the hands and the arms including the elbows once.
3 – Washing the feet including the heels once.
4 – To wipe one-fourth of the head.
It is fard to wash the arms, face and feet, the organs stated above, at least once.
It is sunnah to wash them three times.
The part of the face to be washed in wudu is the part from the top part of the head where hair grows to the bottom of the chin vertically and the part between the two earlobes horizontally. The hairless area between the starting place of beard and the ears is regarded as part of the face, hence it needs to be washed.
It is necessary to wash the skin at the bottom of the beard for the people with hirtellous beard. Those with bushy beard do not have to wash the skin at the bottom of their beard. It is enough for them to wet their beard.
Is it necessary to wash the inside of the eyes and the skin under the eyebrows and mustache?
No, it is not. It is not necessary to wash the inside of the eyes. Therefore, those who wear lenses do not have to remove their lenses when they make wudu. It is enough to wet the eyebrows and the mustache hairs. The skin under them does not have to be wetted.
However, it is necessary to wet the skin under the eyebrows and the mustache to wet while making ghusl.
Mash (wipe) lexically means to move the hand on something. It also means to wipe.
In religious terminology, it means to touch a place with wetness that has not been used anywhere else. The place that is touched can be the head, the khuffs worn on the feet or a wrapping on a wound. What matters is that the wetness should not be used anywhere else before. For instance, the wetness remaining after washing the arms cannot be used in order to wipe the head. For, this wetness was used on the arm. It is necessary to wet the hand again before the head is wiped. (However, it is permissible to wipe the arms with the wetness remaining from the head.)
The amount of the head that is fard to be wiped is one-fourth of it. The Messenger of Allah wiped the upper part of his forehead, that is, the front part of his head. Therefore, it is sunnah to wipe the front part of the face. However, any part of the head can be wiped as long as one-fourth of the head is wiped and the part below the ears is not wiped. For, the part of the head that can be wiped is the part over the two ears. If any one-fourth of that part is wiped, mash is all right.
* If a person lacks one or more wudu organs, he is exempted from washing it/them. However, if an organ is cut off but some part of it exists, the existing part needs to washed. For instance, a person whose hand is cut off needs to wash his hand up to his elbows. If his arm is cut off completely, he is exempted from washing it.
* If a person definitely knows that he has made wudu but doubts whether he has broken it, he is regarded to have wudu. For, certain knowledge is not removed by doubt. If the opposite is in question, that is, if a person knows that he has broken his wudu but doubts whether he has made wudu after it, he is regarded not to have wudu.
* If a person doubts during wudu or after it whether he has washed some organs, he needs to was those organs unless he is a person with delusions. If he is a person with delusions, his doubt is not taken into consideration. His wudu is regarded to be complete.
The paint left on the nails of a painter does not invalidate his wudu due to necessity. However, paints that form a layer on the nails and that prevent water from penetrating but that are not used due to a necessity prevent the validity of wudu.
* The inside of a boil which has improved but whose skin has not come off yet is not washed.
* If fingers have stuck to one another due to a temporary reason, or if a long nail has been curved inwards and covered the finger tip, or if one or some of the wudu organs have been covered with something that prevents water from penetrating the skin like, wax, dough, glue, oil paint, etc, they have to be removed.
* The dirt in the nail and on the body, the dirt caused by fleas and houseflies do not prevent wudu.
* If there is a tight ring on the finger, it is necessary to move it and allow water to pass under it.
* If hairy places are shaved after making wudu or ghusl, those places do not have to be washed or wiped again.
* If nails are clipped, mustache is trimmed and skin is raised after wudu, wudu is not invalidated.
Primary sunnahs of wudu are as follows:
1 – To wash the hands up to the wrists first if they are clean while starting wudu. If they are not clean, it is fard to wash them because they are the organs of cleaning. They need to be washed first lest they should make other organs dirty.
2 – To start wudu by uttering audhu- basmala… It is necessary to utter basmala at the beginning of wudu while washing the hands. If one forgets it and utters it later when he remembers, this sunnah is not regarded to have fulfilled. For, wudu is not like eating. Wudu is a single deed as a whole but in eating, every morsel is a separate deed. Even if basmala is forgotten at the beginning of a meal and it is remembered later, this sunnah is regarded to have been fulfilled.
It is stated in a hadith that if basmala is not uttered at the beginning of wudu, it is not regarded as complete wudu.
The following is stated in another hadith: “All parts of the body of a person become pure and clean if he makes wudu with basmala. If he does not utter basmala, only the wudu organs become clean.”
* According to Hanbalis, it is wajib to utter basmala at the beginning of wudu. If it is abandoned deliberately, wudu is invalidated. If a person forgets to utter basmala, wudu is not invalidated but its reward decreases.
In fact, basmala, “is the beginning of all good deeds”. It is necessary to utter this holy word not only at the beginning of worship like wudu and prayer but also every good and legitimate deed. As a matter of fact, it is stated in a hadith that all of the deeds that start with the name of Allah will be away from and lack goodness and bless.
3 – To have niyyah (intention).
Niyyah is necessary before or while washing the hands and the face. What is meant by niyyah is to know by heart and be aware that one is making wudu. Even if niyyah is not uttered by the tongue, the existence of the wish of niyyah in the heart is enough.
* According to Malikis and Shafiis, it is fard to have niyyah at the beginning of wudu. According to Shafiis, it is necessary to do it while washing the face. According to Hanbalis, niyyah is a condition for the validity of wudu. Wudu without niyyah is not valid.
4 – To use misvak, that is, to clean the teeth at the beginning of wudu.
If a person does not have any teeth or cannot use a miswak or a brush due to an illness in his gum, if a person does not have a brush or miswak, he needs to wash his gum by rubbing it with his thumb and index finger.
According to the statement of the Messenger of Allah, a prayer performed with wudu made by using a miswak is 70 times more virtuous than a prayer performed with wudu made without using a miswak.
Chewing gum for women when they are not fasting is regarded like miswak.
5 – To make Madmadah three times and istinshaq three times.
Madmadah means to fill the mouth with water, move this water in the mouth, wet the mouth and spit the water out of the mouth.
Istinshaq means to sniff water into the nose and make it reach soft parts.
It is not necessary to take water into the nose by breathing in. Making water flow into the nose is enough. Madmadah and istinshaq are sunnah al-muakkadah. Madmadah is performed before istinshaq. Both of them need to be performed three times. New water needs to be put into the mouth and the nose each time. If one of those issues is abandoned, this sunnah is not regarded to have been fulfilled.
Madmadah and istinshaq, which are sunnah in wudu, are fard in ghusl.
6 – To exaggerate madmadah and istinshaq…
That is, to send water up to the throat in Madmadah and up to the hard part of the nose. A person who is fasting should not exaggerate because water may go down the throat and invalidate the fast.
7 – To make wudu in a regular order.
That is to wash the face first, the arms after that, to wipe the head and then to wash the feet. Wudu becomes valid even if this order is not observed but a sunnah is abandoned.
According to Shafiis and Hanbalis, it is fard to observe the order.
8 – To start from the right.
That is to wash the right arm and foot first, and the left arm and foot after that. This sunnah is valid for the double organs.
9 – To wash three times.
That is, to wash each organ of wudu three times with three separate handful of water. The first washing is fard and the others are sunnah.
10 – To start washing the hands from the fingertips and the feet from the toes.
11 – To rub between the fingers and toes while washing the hands.
The places between the fingers of the unwashed hand are rubbed by the fingers of the washed hands.
The fingers of the hands are used in order to rub between the toes of the feet. The best way to rub between the toes is to start rubbing the little toe of the right foot and ending with the little toe of the left foot. Even if the feet are dipped in running water, it is mustahsan to rub between the toes.
12 – After the face is washed three times, it is necessary to put fingers among the beard under the chin with a handful of water.
The fingers are put in the bottom among the hairs of the beard and drawn upwards.
13 – To wipe the whole head by wetting the hand once. It is performed as follows:
Both hands are wetted completely. Then, the little and ring fingers of these hands are combined and placed on the front part of the head by making the finger tips touch one another. These fingers are drawn from the front part of the head to the nape. Then, the palms of both hands are placed on the sides of the head and they are drawn from the nape to the front part of the head.
14 – To wipe the ears.
There is no need to use new water to wipe the ears. The ears are wiped by the same wetness. The outside and back of the ears are wiped by the thumbs and the inside of the ears are wiped by the index finger. The little fingers are put in the hollow and moved a bit.
* According to Hanbalis, it is fard to wipe the inside of the ears because they regard the ears as part of the head.
* According to Shafiis, it is sunnah to wipe the head three times.
15 – To wipe the nape by the back sides of the hands.
The throat is not wiped. The neck is wiped with the wetness at the back of the hands without wetting it again.
16 – To rub the wudu organs as water falls on them.
17 – To wash the wudu organs without any interruptions.
That is, an organ needs to be washed before another organ dries. (It is called “wila” or “muwalat”.) However, if an organ that is washed dries immediately due to hot weather, this sunnah is regarded to have fulfilled.