May 28, 2011
Wudhu: the forgotten element of ibadah
A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. Sometimes I "stumble" across a gem from our deen that I feel I just have to share. For some of you, this is probably old hat :-) but for others it might be as illuminating as it was for me. For all of us, may it inspire and motivate us to improve ourselves. Amin!
A and I were discussing wudhu the other day. I had a question about a hadith I had heard that wudhu washes your sins away. A related the following hadith from RasoolAllah:
Abu Hurairah (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “When a Muslim servant (of Allah) or a believer (Mumin) washes his face (in the course of Wudhu), every sin he has committed with his eyes is washed away from his face along with the water, or with the last drop of water; when he washes his hands, every sin they wrought is erased from his hands with the water, or with the last drop of water; and when he washes his feet, every sin towards which his feet walked is washed away with water, or with the last drop of water, with the result that he comes out cleansed of all sins.” [Sahih Muslim]
Subhanallah, how Allah forgives us! Even in our preparation for prayer there are untold blessings. So I was curious if this holds true even if you have wudhu.
For example, you make wudhu for dhuhr and asr comes around but you still have your wudhu. If you decide to make ablution again are you ridding yourself of these sins?
The way A explained it made so much sense masha'Allah. He reminded me that ridding ourselves of physical najasa (dirt) is only a small portion of why we make wudhu. We are also cleansing ourselves spiritually of the filth that has accumulated.
Imagine your ruh (soul) as if it were a sole. The sole of a shoe, not a fish. :-D Think of how it looks after you've been slogging through the mud and muck outside. It dries on, sticks there, and slowly, slowly, crumbles off, bit by bit. Usually on someone's white carpet or freshly mopped floor. LOL But I digress.
Anyway I can very easily envision our soul becoming soiled in that same manner. Maybe you spoke rudely about someone or lost your temper with your children. Perhaps it's something a little deeper; maybe you took that second look or had anger in your heart. All of these things build up in our ruh and need to be cleansed.
Of course, making wudhu does not absolve you from major sins such as shirk (authubillah!), murder, or zina but you get the idea. It removes all those small, daily sins that sneak up on us.
There are a few things you must do to get this blessing:
1. Have the correct niyyah (intention) to make wudhu to cleanse your ruh and please Allah.
2. Perform your ablution in the name of Allah by pronouncing "Bismillah" before you begin.
3. Correctly make wudhu with the proscribed motions in the correct order: hands, mouth, nose, face, lower arms, hair, ears, and feet.
4. Only make 3 of each motion. For example, sometimes my nose might still feel stopped up but we are only to do 3 times. Doing it more is makruh (disliked). After we finish wudhu we can then do more if we feel it is necessary.
5. Do not stop your wudhu to speak, dry your face, etc. This is makruh to do so.
6. You can make make dua; I've found a few different examples (look here) of this so I think it depends on what madhab you follow. This step is optional but it is used to increase the hasanat (blessings for good actions) you receive.
So insha'Allah this might have helped you view wudhu in a different light. For myself, I always felt if I had wudhu I was all set and didn't bother to make it again. Insha'allah now I will be more careful to always make wudhu before salaat unless time is truly of the essence.
And with Allah lies ALL success. :-)