Wuzu - How to Make Wudu (Ablution)

How do you perform Wudu (Ablution)? What does Wudu mean? Do you have to do Wudu in order? What do you recite after Wudu? Can I do Wudu in the shower? What is the Niyyah for Wudu? How do you do Wudu (Ablution) without water?

Before we can perform salah we need to prepare ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually. A large portion of this preparation is what is known as wudu. It is a purification process that every Muslim must perform before their prayer can be performed. It is such an important part of the salah that if anyone decides to leave it due to ignorance, forgetfulness, or negligence then their prayer will not be accepted by Allah. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“No salah is accepted without wudu (purification)” Sahih Muslim, Book 2, Hadith 2

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How to Make Wudu, Step by Step

Step 1 – Make your intention to perform wudu
The first step is to understand that you are about to begin the process of wudu so that you can perform salah. 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 – Say Bismillah
This is a critical part of making wudu. Before we begin to our wash ourselves we need to say Bismillah (In the Name of Allah). You can say it silently to yourself.

Step 3 – Wash Your Hands Three Times
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught us to begin with our right side first. That means you will need to wash your right hand from the fingertips to the wrist three times.

Make sure water touches every part of the hand. Afterwards perform the same actions with your left hand three times.

Step 4 – Rinse Your Mouth Three Times
Take some water into your right hand and rinse your mouth three times. Do this thoroughly to clean your mouth properly.

Step 5 – Sniff Water Into Your Nostrils Three Times
Take some water in your right hand and sniff it into your nose.

We used the word “sniff” here to give you an idea of what this means. You will need to snort or inhale the water into your nose and then blow it out, three times. Try not to take in too much water or you may hurt yourself.

Step 6 – Wash Your Face Three Times
Every part of the face needs to be washed. That means from ear to ear and from the top of your forehead to the bottom of your chin. Do this step three times.

For men who have beards take your wet hands and pass them through your beard as you wash your face.

Step 7 – Wash Your Arms Three Times
Start from the fingertips and wash your right arm up to the elbow three times. Make sure that no part is left dry. Afterwards, follow the same process for your left arm and do it three times.

Step 8 – Wipe Your Head Once
Did you notice that step 8 says to “wipe” your head instead of “wash.” The choice of words here was intentional. Move your wet hands 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 doesn’t matter what type of hair you have. Whether you are bald, have short hair or long hair, the process is the same.

Step 9 – Clean Your Ears Once
This step should be performed with the same water from step 8. Using your wet hands you will use your index fingers to clean the inside of your ears and your thumb to clean the area behind your ears.

This is done only once.

Step 10 – Wash Your Feet Three Times
Similar to what was done with our hands, we will also wash our feet three times.

Begin from your toes on your right foot and wash up to and including your ankle. Make sure water touches every area of the right foot, especially between the toes and the back of the ankle. Do this three times with the right foot followed by three times with the left foot.

Step 11 – Recite the Shahada and the Dua
When the Prophet (peace be upon him) would complete his wudu he would say the shahada:

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

Dua After Making wudu in Arabic Text