Common Mistakes in Performing Wudoo

Uttering the intention before performing wudoo with an audible voice. Ibn-ul-Qayyim (RA) said: The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) would never say at the beginning of wudoo, "I intend to free myself from this state of impurity," or, "... make prayer permissible." Neither he nor any of his companions did that at all, not even one word has been reported of him in this respect, whether through authentic or weak chains of narrators. Sheikhul-lslam ibn Taimiyyah said: "One need not utter the niyyah before performing purification whether it be wudoo, ghusl, or tayammum. 

This is something which is agreed upon by the Imams of Islam. It is agreed that intention is something which deals with the heart. If a person pronounces unintentionally something which is contrary to what he intended in his heart, what is taken into consideration is what he intended and not what he uttered." (AI Fatawa al Kubra, The Book of Purification, p.213)

Various supplications made while washing the body parts in wudoo such as saying: "O Allah! Give me my Record [on the Day of Judgment] in my right hand," upon washing one's right hand, or, "Oh Allah! Make my face bright on the day when faces grow bright," upon washing one's face etc. Ibnul Qayyim said: "Nothing has been proved to have been said by the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) during wudoo except Bismillah. Every hadeeth dealing with supplications attributed to him are actually lies that have been fabricated upon him.

The Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) never said or taught any of those supplications, nor have they been reported of him, except for saying Bismillah at its beginning, and his saying at the end: Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allahu wa ash-hadu anna Muhammad ar-Rasoolullaah. Allaahummaj'alni min at-tawwaabeen wajalni min-al-mutatahhireen waj'alni min 'ibaadika as saaliheen" meaning: "I bear witness that no deity has the right to be worshipped except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Messenger. O Allaah! Make me among those who often turn to You in repentance and those who purify themselves." Another authentic supplication is one narrated by an-Nasai: "Subhaanak-Allahumma wa bi hamdik, ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illaa ant, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilayk." meaning "O Allah! Glory and praises be to You. I testify that none have the right to be worshipped but You. I seek Your forgiveness and turn to You in repentance." Wiping the neck after wiping the head.

Sheikh-ul-Islam ibn Taimiyyah (RAH)said: There is no proof that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) wiped his neck in wudoo, no authentic hadeeth has been reported in this regard. Rather, the authentic traditions which describe the Prophets wudoo do not contain any indication that he wiped his neck. Therefore, the majority of Muslim scholars do not deem this act as recommended. Those who do recommend it rely on a tradition narrated by Abu Hurairah (RA) or a weak hadeeth which states that he wiped his head until up to occiput, and this canno be used as a proof, because it contradict what other authentic traditions indicate.

If a person does not wipe his neck, his wudoo is still valid, and all the scholars agree to this. (AI-Fatawa al-Kubra, The Book of Purification, p. 280).

Not washing the body parts completely

The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) saw a man praying, but a portion of his foot the size of a dirham was not wet. Upon this, the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) ordered him to repeat his wudoo and prayer."(Abu Dawud) Making wudoowhen one is already in a state of purification without performing a Prayer between the two.

Sheikh-ul-lslam ibn Taimiyyah stated: The matter discussed by jurists was whether it is praiseworthy or not for a person who is already in a state of purification to renew his wudoo for Prayer. As for one who is already in a state of purification but has not performed Prayer, it is not recommended for him to renew his wudoo. Rather, this type of wudoo is considered an innovation which opposes the Sunnah of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) and the practice of Muslims from the time of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) until this day. Washing the body parts in wudoo more than thrice. 

This opposes the Prophets (salallahu alayhi via sallam) instruction when he said: "Whoever introduces in this religion something which is not from it will be rejected." (al-Bukhari) Some people believe that if some impurities happen to soil their clothes while being in a state of purification, they must not only remove the filth, but that they also must repeat their wudoo. This is incorrect. What is incumbent upon him is that he cleans the impurity which has soiled his body or clothes. His wudoo is still considered valid for he did not do anything to invalidate it. Some people in wudoo do not wash the whole surface of their face, especially the area near the ears.

One must be sure to wash the whole face, paying special attention to the area between the beard and the ears. Sometimes women who are already in a state of wudoo clean the private parts of babies with their bare hands without a barrier, and then proceed to pray. In actuality, their wudoo has been invalidated by touching the private parts of their babies. Some women apply nail polish which prevents water from reaching the nails. Whoever performs wudoo while wearing nail polish, their wudoo as well as their prayer is invalid. Such women must repeat their Prayer after performing a valid wudoo. The same applies in any case in which there is something that prevents water from reaching any of the body parts which are required to be washed in wudoo unless there is a legislative reason for wearing it (i.e. bandage, cast, etc).

Some people think that they must wash their private parts in order to perform wudoo and this is also incorrect. This is only required after one has has answered the call of nature (by urination or defecation). As for sleeping or passing wind, one may perform wudoo without the need of washing the private parts. Some people believe that touching the penis of an animal invalidates wudoo. Sheikh-ul-Islam ibn Taimiyyah, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: "Touching the penis of an animal, living or dead, does not invalidate wudoo ", and this something agreed upon by the Imams." (AI-Fatawa al-Kubra, The Book of Purification. p.280)


This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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