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How to Do Wudu (Wudhu/Ablution) — Step by Step Guide

How to Do Wudu (Wudhu/Ablution) — Step by Step Guide

by Riwaya

    Wudu, also known as “wudhu” or “ablution,” is a fundamental purification ritual in Islam that Muslims perform before offering prayers, entering mosques, or engaging in acts of worship. The process of doing Wudu involves specific steps and intentions that symbolise spiritual cleanliness and readiness for connection with the Divine.

    In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of how to do Wudu effectively with the intention of helping you attain a state of ritual purity.

    What is Wudu?

    Wudu, or ablution, is an essential practice in Islam that involves using clean water to purify oneself before prayer or other acts of worship such as entering the mosque or reading the Quran. It's a ritual that symbolises spiritual and physical cleanliness and readiness to connect with Allah. Just as we take a shower to stay physically clean, Wudu helps us stay spiritually clean for our prayers and to feel closer to Allah.

    During Wudu, we wash specific parts of our body, including: Hands, Face, Mouth, Nose, Arms, and Feet. As mentioned in the Quran, Surah Al-Ma'idah:

    "You who believe, when you are about to pray, wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows, wipe your heads, wash your feet up to the ankles and, if required, wash your whole body."

    (Surah Al-Ma'idah, verse 6)

    This verse highlights the importance of physical cleanliness as a part of preparation for prayer, emphasising the significance of Wudu in Islam.

    Doing Wudu is mandatory and a reminder of our faith and the importance of cleanliness, both inside and out. It's a beautiful way to prepare ourselves mentally and spiritually for prayer, showing our dedication and respect to Allah.

    How to do Wudu step-by-step

    Step 1: Begin with intention (Niyyah) to do Wudu

    Before starting Wudu, it's important to have a sincere intention in your heart. This intention, known as Niyyah in Islam, is the foundation of your spiritual actions.

    You should intend to do Wudu solely for the sake of Allah, seeking His pleasure and blessings through this act of purification. There are no words or special statements that need to be said here. Creating the intention is a matter of the heart and mind.

    Step 2: Prepare clean water

    Using clean water is essential for the validity of Wudu, so ensure that the water you use for Wudu is clean and pure. It's recommended to use running water if available. In most cases, clean tap water is sufficient.

    As mentioned in The Quran, in Surah Al-Baqarah:

    "Truly, Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean."

    (Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 222)

    This verse underscores the connection between physical and spiritual purity, highlighting the importance of cleanliness in Islam.

    Additionally, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stated in a famous Hadith:

    "Cleanliness is half of faith."

    (Sahih Muslim)

    This Hadith emphasises that Muslims are encouraged to uphold cleanliness in all aspects of life, including personal hygiene and environmental cleanliness, as it contributes to spiritual purification and draws them closer to Allah.

    Step 3: Say Bismillah (In the Name of Allah)

    Before beginning Wudu, recite "Bismillah" (In the Name of Allah) to invoke Allah's blessings and seek His assistance in doing this act of purification. Starting with the name of Allah brings barakah (blessings) to your Wudu and enhances its spiritual significance.

    Step 4: Wash your hands three times

    Begin by washing your hands thoroughly three times. Start with the right hand, ensuring to wash from the fingertips to the wrist, including between the fingers and under the nails. Repeat this process for the left hand three times as well.

    Wash your hands three times

    Step 5: Rinse your mouth three times

    Take a handful of water and rinse your mouth thoroughly, swishing the water around to cleanse your mouth and teeth. This step ensures that your mouth is clean and free from any remnants of food or drink before proceeding with Wudu.

    Rinse your mouth three times

    Step 6: Sniff water into your nostrils three times

    Take some water in your right hand and sniff it into your nostrils, then gently blow it out. This action cleanses your nasal passages and removes any impurities.

    Please note that when we say "sniff," we mean to inhale the water into your nose and then exhale it out, repeating this process three times. Be cautious not to take in too much water to avoid discomfort or injury.

    Sniff water into your nostrils three times

    Step 7: Wash your face three times

    Begin by taking a handful of water and using it to wash your face thoroughly from the hairline to the chin and from ear to ear. Ensure that every part of your face, including the forehead, cheeks, and chin, is thoroughly washed. Repeat this process three times. For men with beards, wet your hands and pass them through your beard as you wash your face.

    Wash your face three times

    Step 8: Wash your arms three times

    Starting with the right arm, wash your entire arm up to the elbow, ensuring that water reaches every part, including between the fingers. Make sure that no part is left dry. Afterwards, follow the same process for your left arm and do it three times.

    Wash your arms three times

    Step 9: Wipe your head once

    You can notice how this step says to “wipe” your head instead of “wash.” The choice of words here was intentional. Moisten your hands and gently move it from the top of the forehead to the back of the head, and then from the back of the head to the forehead. This is done only once. It's important to note that regardless of your hair type (bald, short, or long hair), the process remains the same.

    Wipe your head once

    Step 10: Clean your ears once

    After washing your face in the previous step, use the same water to clean your ears. Wet your index fingers with the water and gently clean the inside of each ear. Then, use your thumbs to clean the area behind your ears. This is done only once. And it's important to be gentle during this process to avoid hurting yourself.

    Clean your ears once

    Step 11: Wipe your feet three times

    Just like with our hands, we also wipe our feet three times during Wudu. Start by washing your right foot from the toes up to and including your ankle. Ensure that water reaches every part of the foot, especially between the toes and the back of the ankle. Repeat this process three times for the right foot, and then do the same steps three times for the left foot.

    Wipe your feet three times

    Step 12: Recite the Shahada and supplication (Dua)

    After completing Wudu, recite the Shahada, declaring your faith in the oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him):

    "Ash-hadu an la ilaha illal lahu wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasuluh."

    Conclude your Wudu with a supplication (Dua), asking Allah for His blessings, forgiveness, and guidance:

    "Allahuma j‘alnee mina tawabeen waj-‘alnee minal mutatahireen."

    This supplication translates to “O Allah, make me among those who repent and make me among those who are purified.”

    How often should I do Wudu?

    Muslims are required to do Wudu in various situations to maintain purity and fulfil religious obligations. So, how often should you do Wudu?

    • After using the restroom: Whenever you use the bathroom, it's time for Wudu. This helps you feel clean and ready to stand before Allah in prayer with a pure heart and mind.

    • After passing gas or breaking wind: If you pass gas, it's a sign to do Wudu again. This is because passing gas breaks your state of purity, and Wudu restores that purity, making you spiritually ready for prayer once more.

    • After sleeping: When you wake up from sleep, it's recommended to do Wudu before engaging in any acts of worship or prayer. Sleep is considered a state of minor impurity in Islam, and Wudu cleanses you both physically and spiritually, preparing you for a new day of devotion.

    • After touching private parts: If you touch your private parts, doing Wudu is a good practice to maintain spiritual cleanliness. It's about respecting the sanctity of prayer and ensuring you approach it in a state of purity.

    • Before each obligatory prayer: Wudu is a prerequisite before performing the five daily prayers in Islam. Before each prayer time, take a moment to do Wudu, refreshing your ablution and enhancing your focus and connection during prayer.


    Doing Wudu is an important part of being ready for prayer in Islam. Each step is meaningful, helping us feel clean and ready to connect with Allah. By following the steps in this guide, you can do Wudu the right way.

    Remember, Wudu is not just about washing; it's also about getting our hearts and minds ready for prayer. When we do Wudu with a good intention and follow the Prophet Muhammad's teachings, it brings us closer to Allah.

    We hope this guide helps you do Wudu with confidence and understanding. May Allah accept our prayers and guide us on the right path. Ameen.

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    Q1: What is the purpose of Wudu in Islam?

    Wudu serves both physical and spiritual purposes. Physically, it cleanses the body before prayer. Spiritually, it symbolises the purification of the soul and helps a person focus on worship.

    Q2: How do I make a sincere intention (Niyyah) for Wudu?

    In your heart, sincerely intend that you are performing Wudu to purify yourself for prayer and to seek Allah’s pleasure. You don’t need to say it out loud.

    Q3: Can I do Wudu in any clean water source?

    Yes, as long as the water is pure and clean, you can use it for Wudu. Tap water is commonly used. It’s essential to ensure the water is clean and not contaminated.

    Q4: Is it necessary to recite “Bismillah” before starting Wudu?

    While it’s recommended to begin with “Bismillah” (In the name of Allah), it’s not obligatory. However, invoking Allah’s name helps in setting the right intention.

    Q5: How many times should I wash each body part during Wudu?

    Most body parts are washed three times during Wudu. Exceptions include washing the face and hands up to the elbows, which are washed three times, and wiping the head and feet, which are done once.

    Q6: Can I do Wudu while wearing nail polish or false nails?

    It’s best to remove nail polish or false nails before Wudu to ensure water reaches the nails. If removing it is not possible, gently wipe the nail area during Wudu.

    Q7: What should I do if I make a mistake during Wudu?

    If you forget a step or make a mistake during Wudu, correct it immediately. You may repeat the specific part of Wudu where the mistake occurred.

    Q8: Can I use a miswak during Wudu?

    Yes, using a miswak or toothbrush during Wudu is encouraged as it enhances oral hygiene and is considered a Sunnah (commendable practice).

    Q9: Can I do multiple prayers with one Wudu if it is not broken?

    Yes, you can perform multiple prayers with one Wudu as long as it remains valid (i.e., not broken due to specific actions or conditions)

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