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  • It-haf: Sunnah Acts of Wudu -Pt.3

March 27, 2008

It-haf: Sunnah Acts of Wudu -Pt.3

Its Recommended (Sunnah) Acts[1]:
– Meaning of washing (wudu)

The intention[2],
– It is by intending to remove the state of ritual impurity, or to be able to offer the prayer, or an act of worship which can only be performed whilst being in a state of ritual purity. One forms the intention at the time of the washing of the face[3], and its place is the heart.

the tasmiyah,
– Starting the washing (wudu) with the name of Allah (taala), before the istinja and after it, however not when one is uncovered nor in a place where there is filth present[4]
If a person performing wudu forgets to mention it at the beginning but then recalls and mentions it in during the washing (wudu), they will be regarded as not having performed the recommended act, this is different to the ruling of mentioning the tasmiyah during the course of a meal[5] However if one forgets to mention the tasmiyah at the beginning they should still utter it if they recall it during the washing (wudu).
Its wording is[6]: Bismillah al-Adheem, Wal-Hamdulilah ala Deen al-Islam

washing the hands up to the wrists three times[7]
– Both before and after istinja, whether awakening from sleep or not. It is also recommended to wash them when washing the arms

the toothstick[8],
– Meaning its use, it is desirable (mustahab) that it is with the right hand, that the toothstick be flexible, a hands length and thickness of the small finger. The sunnah method to hold it is that: the right little finger is at the bottom of the toothstick, with the other three fingers being above it and the thumb being below the top of the toothstick as is reported from Ibn Masud[9] (ra).
If a toothstick is not available then the use of the finger or cloth is sufficient and of equal reward.[10]
Note: It is desirable to to use the toothstick in a number of places: When the teeth are yellow, to change the odour of the mouth , when awakening from sleep, when standing up to pray, when wishing to recite to the Quran[11]

washing the mouth,
– Meaning water reaching all of the mouth

rinsing the nose,
– By the water reaching the soft part of the nose
Note: washing the mouth and rinsing the nose are two emphasized sunnahs which are based on five sunnahs, namely: order, cleaning three times, taking new water[12], performing these with the right hand and thoroughly washing and rinsing when not fasting.
The limits for them in the washing of the mouth is that the water reaches the head of the throat, and in rinsing that it goes past the soft part of the nose

combing the beard
– For other than the one in a state of ihram with a scoop of water, the method of performing it is to enter the fingers in the beard going from the bottom to the top, this is after the washing of the face three times[13], the back of the hand is faced towards the neck

– Rubbing in between the

– of the hands and toes after washing the body part three times, the method of its performance with the hands is to interlace them, and with the feet is to rub with the small finger of the left hand starting with the small toe of the right foot and working all the way to the left foot.[14]

washing three times,
– The body parts that are to be washed, meaning to repeat the washing three times. This excludes wiping which is not to be performed three times.

wiping the whole head
– Once covering the whole head, it is a sunnah to start with the front part[15]

and ears,
– After wiping the head with the remaining moisture, the insides of the ears with the index finger, and the outer part with the thumbs, if no moisture remains on the hands after the wiping of the head then he may take new water for it.

– As mentioned in the revealed texts, such that the he washes that which was mentioned first in the verse

– It is the washing of the second body part before the first becoming dry

– Which is the passing of the hand over the body part whilst washing it[16]

[1] An emphasized (muakkadah) recommended act is one that which the Prophet (s) regularly performed and only left on occasion. As for that which He (s) did not regularly perform then it called desirable (mandub). See Maraqi al-Falah (p.38-39 with al-Hashiyah)
[2] It has been defined by some of the scholars as being the definite resolve and focus in the heart to perform an act, see Maraqi al-Falah (p.44 with al-Hashiyah).
[3] Ibn Nujaim in al-Ashbah wa al-Nazair (p.44) mentions that the basis for intentions are that they should be formed at the beginning of the act of worship, with regards to the washing (wudu) some scholars have said that it should be formed when washing the hands so as to gain the reward for the other recommended acts which are performed before the washing of the face.
[4] It is apparent that what is meant is that a person utters the tasmiyah before removing their clothing in order to relieve themselves. This is when a person relieves themselves in a place other than a bathroom. As for the bathroom a person would utter the tasmiyah before entering it, if he forgets to utter it in the beginning in either of these two cases he is to say it in his heart and not with his tongue, honouring the name of Allah (taala).
[5] Because the act of washing (wudu) is regarded as one whole act, whilst when eating each mouthful is regarded as a separate action. See Maraqi al-Falah (p.40)
[6] In Fath al-Qadeer it is mentioned that this wordin
g is reported from the early muslims (salaf), and it has also been said that it is reported from the Prophet (s).
[7] The evidence for the washing of the hands prior at the beginning of the wudu being recommended (sunnah) is the hadith ‘….’
The washing of the hands is a sunnah for all those who wish to make wudu, the condition of when waking up mentioned in the hadith is based on the common situation of a person performing wudu for the Fajr prayer after waking up.
[8] It is a recommended (sunnah) act due to His (s) words: ‘Were it not that I would be overburdening my community I would have ordered them to use a tooth-stick with each wudu’. Reported by Ibn Khuzaimah in his Sahih and was graded Sahih by al-Hakim. The hadith is also reported with the slight variation of wording “with each prayer” which is related in the six books of hadith
Imam al-Aini mentions that the scholars have differed over the toothstick whether it is from the sunan of wudu or the prayer or the religion, the last view is regarded as being the strongest and is reported from Imam Abu Hanifah. There are some hadith which support this view. See al-Binayah fi Sharh al-Hidayah (1/86-87) and Umdah al-Qari (6/181).
[9] Abdullah bin Masud (d.32 AH), one of the major companions, from the people of Makkah and early converts to Islam. He was one of the trustworthy servants of the Messenger of Allah (s). He was put in charge of the public treasury in al-Kufah, he then returned to al-Madinah during the khilafah of Uthman bin Affan (ra), passing away at around sixty years of age. See al-Alaam (4/137)
[10] the Messenger of Allah r said: ‘The finger suffices in place of the toothstick’, reported by al-Bayhaqi (1/40) from Anas with various wordings.
[11] In the Hashiyah Ibn Abidin it is mentioned quoting from al-Miraj that there is no specified number of times one should clean the mouth with a toothstick, rather the toothstick should be used until the person feels that the mouth is clean, it is desirable (mustahab) that it be three times with three scoops of water.
[12] Meaning taking new water, three times for washing the mouth, three times for rinsing the nose due to that which is reported by Abu Dawud (139) and al-Tabarani that the Messenger of Allah (s) performed wudu, he washed his mouth three times, and rinsed his nose three times, taking new water each time.
[13] Anas said “When the Prophet r performed wudu, he would take a handful of water and put it under his jaws, and pass it through his beard. And said: This is what my Lord ordered me to do”. Reported by Abu Dawud (145).

[14] Ibn al-Hummam in Fath al-Qadeer (1/20) said that this method is not a sunnah in of itself, rather it happens to be a way that the rubbing between the toes was performed.
Ibn Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah r said: “When you perform wudu then rub between your fingers and toes”, reported by al-Tirmidhi (39) who graded it Hasan.
[15] Due to the hadith of bin Zaid bin Asim which contains “Then inserted His hand and brought it out and wiped his head both front and back with his hands”, reported by the six, see Talkhis al-Habir (1/123,124).
Al-Zaylai commented in Tabyin al-Haqaiq that (1/5) that there is some discussion surrounding the method of wiping the head, the more apparent view is that the hands and the fingers are placed at the front of the head and are passed all the way up to the neck in a way which covers the whole head, then the ears are wiped with the fingers.
Ibn al-Hummam in Fath al-Qadeer (1/12) said that the not placing of the fingers or hands in some parts of the wiping so that they maybe used later has no basis in the sunnah, see also Hashiyah Ibn Abidin (1/89).
[16] Imam Maliks view was that rubbing and continuity were obligatory in washing (wudu) and bathing (ghusl), he is the only one of the Imams to hold this opinion. The evidence for them being sunnah is that Allah (taala) has ordered for washing in a general/absolute sense without conditioning continuity nor rubbing. See Fath Bab al-Inayah (1/56).

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Saleh Abu Hashim

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