Are You Making the Most of Your Wuḍūʼ? (Podcast Transcript) – By Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

The following is a transcription of “Are You Making the Most of Your Wuḍūʼ?” podcast.


People ask: “What are the spiritual meanings of our ritual ablution?” – the wuḍūʼ. 

Very often people forget that the ritual ablution – wuḍūʼ – is an act of worship. Very often our wuḍūʼ turns into a routine: “I need to pray, so let me do my wuḍūʼ, let me finish my wuḍūʼ.” So sometimes it just becomes routine: “I’m doing this, so I can now go and pray.” 

And this is true, in that wuḍūʼ is a means to be able to pray, but it is at the same time an act of worship. So one needs to pay attention to it. 

Other people make a mistake with respect to the wuḍūʼ, in that they become excessive and fall into misgivings about it. They put all their focus on worrying and that is a mistake, because the Prophetic teachings give us a balance, that we do things in a right way, as best we can, but we attach our hearts not to our actions but to the One we are doing the actions for. 

So what is the wuḍūʼ? The word wuḍūʼ in Arabic, comes from waḍā’a, from radiance, and naẓāfa, cleanliness. So the purpose of wuḍūʼ is to clean oneself in a ritual manner to be ready to pray, and it is a means of radiance, because the outward washing has a sense of spiritual purification and spiritual illumination. 

So when we make wuḍūʼ we have to keep in mind that we begin the wuḍūʼ with intention: “Why am I making wuḍūʼ?” For the sake of Allāh. This is an act of worship. It contains a beautiful reminder that God loves purity, God loves beauty. So you are readying yourself for the encounter with your Beloved. 

So you begin with the intention. In fact, some of the great masters of spirituality, like Imām Aḥmad Zarrūq, he says that presence of heart in prayer begins with presence of heart in the ritual ablution, in the wuḍūʼ. So you begin with intention: “I am seeking Allāh through this action,” and you behold the meaning that each of the limbs that you wash, that you are seeking to rid it of blameworthy qualities, and to adorn it with the qualities of spiritual illumination, the qualities beloved to Allāh. So that when you wash your hands, intend to wash yourself of all acts that are sinful that you may have committed with your hands, in your dealings, in your actions. And to acquire with your effort, and your actions all those qualities that are beloved to Allāh. When you rinse your mouth, you intend to rid yourself of vile speech, and the consumption of anything that is displeasing to Allāh, and to characterize yourself with speech that is beloved to Allāh, of remembrance and supplication and recitation of Qur’ān, and speech that inspires others, that encourages others, that assists others. Likewise, when wash your face, you intend to wash away directing yourself in life towards all that is displeasing to Allāh, and to characterize yourself with those radiant concerns, the concerns for God Himself and for all that is beloved to Allāh in your life. When you wash your arms, the same meanings, that you be of those who receive their book of good deeds in their right hand, the hand in which the righteous receive their book of good deeds on the Day of Judgment, not to be of the people of perdition, those who receive their book of deeds in their left hand. That you perform the actions of the servants of good, not the actions of those who turn away. Likewise, with your feet, that you direct your feet towards all that is pleasing to Allāh, and that you rid yourself of directing yourself in life towards all that is displeasing to Allāh. 

In the ritual ablution, in the wuḍūʼ, not only is it from the Prophetic example to begin in the name of Allāh, by saying bismiLlāh, but it is also from Prophetic practice to remain in remembrance of Allāh throughout the wuḍūʼ, So with each of the actions that we perform, before you wash your mouth engage in remembrance, before you wash your face engage in remembrance. You can say lā ilāha illa Allāh, or subḥān Allāh, or to make a du’ā, make an interactive wuḍūʼ. With each action ask Allāh for meanings related to that particular action. This was not only from the broad Prophetic practice, but the early Muslims used to engage in frequent supplication at each of the stages of wuḍūʼ. In some of the great books of Islām, like the Beginning of Guidance by Imām al-Ghazālī, are suggested particular supplications that you can recite at each stage of your wuḍūʼ, and this is the kind of wuḍūʼ that results not just in physical cleanliness and then to be outwardly ready to pray, but it results in inward purification, inward radiance, and a spiritual readiness to pray. And this is why when we finish the wuḍūʼ, we take a sip of the water source from which we are making wuḍūʼ, and then we look up to the Heavens, we raise our finger, and we make the testification of faith, and we make the du’ā: 

“رَبِّي اجْعَلْنِيْ مِنَ التَّوَّابِيْنَ وَ اجْعَلْنِيْ مِنَ الْمُتَطَهِّرِيْنَ”

Oh Lord, make me of the oft-repentant and make me of those who purify themselves completely!” 

And these are the two meanings of the ritual ablution: complete repentance and complete purification, illumination, and readiness for the prayer.

Does the Collection of Fluid Under One’s Skin Invalidate One’s Ablution?

Shaykh Abdurrahim Reasat answers a question related to the discharge of fluid under one’s skin and its effect on ablution, according to the Hanafi school of thought. In addition, he clarifies what is meant by an external agent.



Assalamu alaikum,
I am slightly confused regarding what is meant by an external agent in
In my case I washed my feet in the sink and one of my toes had a patch of peeled skin, caused from wearing new shoes. By me walking normally and the normal pressures applied on the foot be considered an external agent i.e. considered similar to squeezing? The little liquid that did exit didn’t go beyond the peeled skin, but is it considered pure despite the above, and does anything need to be washed?


Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

The scenario you described above does not invalidate your wudu, and, because the liquid didn’t pass beyond the point of exit, your foot is deemed pure. Nothing needs to be washed.

The ‘agent’ referred to above would be anything which would make the blood/liquid exit and flow, such as squeezing.

The liquid is considered to have flowed if it exits and flows due to its own momentum. (Midani, al Lubab).

Don’t try to over-think it. The principle is simple. Remember, the Messenger of Allah said, “Indeed, the [practice of] the religion is ease itself, and no one makes the religion hard on themselves except that it overwhelms them.” (Bukhari).

I hope that helps.




Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


Does Touching One’s Spouse Break Wudu? (Shafi’i)

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalam’aleykum,

1) Is it true thet my wudu is broken if Itouche my wife? Is her Wudu broken too?

2) Is there specific guidelines in kissing one’s wife?

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

In the Shafi’i school, touching your spouse, and vice-versa, breaks one’s ablution. However, this most certainly does not mean that it is impermissible to touch one’s spouse for fear of breaking one’s wudu.

A person can kiss his wife’s lips, cheeks or other body parts, and vice-versa. Enjoying each other’s bodies is licit.

Source: Hashiyat al-Bujayrami

Shuaib Ally

Can I Perform the Ablution (Wudu) or the Ritual Bath (Ghusl) With Water Mixed With Soap?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam ‘aleykum,

Can I perform the ablution or the ritual bath (Ghusl) with water mixed with soap?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

You can only perform the ablution (wudu) or the ritual bath (ghusl) with water.

Allah Most High says, “and sent down water from the sky to cleanse you.” [8.11]

As for general cleaning, using soaps is fine as they are not used for purificatory purposes, legally. And even if they are mixed with water, they do not condition the water such that it cannot be used.

Please consider taking the following free class at SeekersHub: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Basic Hanafi Jurisprudence (STEP)

And Allah alone knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Are You Making The Most of Your Wudu?

What are the inner dimensions of the wudu (ritual ablution)? Shaykh Faraz Rabbani offers a brief explanation that will ensure you never see this act of worship in the same way again.

Listen to Shaykh Faraz’s answer below and read more on wudu on the SeekersHub Answers service.


How Can I Pray When Unable to Stop the Bleeding of My Finger?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalamu aleykum,

I was washing and accidentally cut my finger and got a rift. It was bleeding and I tried to wash it and stop the bleeding with a tissue. It got stopped a little but when I tried to wash the blood from the cut and the area outside of it so I could perform wudu, it opened again. Eventually the time for praying passed and I still had the same problem with my finger. If this happens again what should I do if I want to pray in time?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

You should stop the flow, using a plaster, bandage, or the like, and then perform wudu and pray.

If the blood stops before the subsequent prayer time passes, you would need to repeat the prayer you prayed whilst you were “bleeding.”

Please see: The Fiqh of Chronic Excuses and Ablution

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How Many Prayers Can I Pray with One Single Ablution (Wudu)?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Salam Alaikum.

How many prayers can I pray with one single ablution (wudu)?
If I have performed wudu for dhuhr and I haven’t passed gas or urinated or anything of that sort, do I have to make wudu for asr or later on for maghrib?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

You can perform as many prayers as you like with a single ablution (wudu).

Your wudu is only nullified by the appearance of a nullifier. [see: Could You Please List All the Nullifiers of Ablution According to the Hanafi school?]

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

How to Wash Filth From the Private Parts [Istinja]?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Untill now I had always thought passing wind invalidates wudu so wudu aswell as istinja must be performed but have recently read that only wudu needs to be done.
How does breaking wind make you impure and how does wudu make you pure if you have not washed the area. Also if in as school or office a vessel is not available for istinja ,would wipes suffice? or wet toilet paper be permissible instead or is only flowing water to be used?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
I pray this reaches you in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Cleaning after relieving oneself (istinja’) is a confirmed sunna.
Missing a sunna intentionally and without excuse is blameworthy, yet doesn’t prevent the validity of the ablution.
In the absence of water, which is preferable to use, you can use dry toilet tissue. Wet tissues or wipes are likely to spread the filth.
Also see: Could You Please List All the Nullifiers of Ablution According to the Hanafi school? and: Bathroom Issues: Using Toilet Paper & Removing Filth and: Is Washing Filth From the Private Parts [Istinja] Necessary After Passing Gas?
And Allah alone gives success.
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

How Can I Avoid Taking 20 Minutes to Make Wudu?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: It takes me about 15-20 minutes to do wudu. This is a problem because it affects me praying on time and it is a problem when traveling. Could you please advise me on how I could change this habit and do wudu with ease and a lot quicker.

Some of the things I am unsure about are:

1. When washing the face
– does the face need to be washed till the ear lobe or including the ear lobe?
– does the part just below the chin need to be wet as well? or only the area on the face?
– is it ok to close the eyes when washing the face? I’ve been told the eye wells need to be wet as well, but can someone assume it’s wet when a handful of water is used to wet the face including eyes? do the eyes need to be gently rubbed to make sure the eye lashes are properly wet? how about the inner side of the lashes, do they need to be wet too?
– another problem is sometimes a hair gets in the way and i would move that hair and rub the area to make sure it’s wet? do i need to do this? or could i assume here the area under the hair strand/s is wet?
– also when washing till the hairline, i have doubts as above since hair gets in way and end up rubbing more than once.

2. When wiping the head is it sufficient to wipe 1/3 of the head, without wiping in the reverse (wipe towards forehead)?

3. Khilaal of the feet
– is it sufficient to wash the feet without having the water run in between the toes, then wiping in between the toes in the end? when wiping between the toes get doubts that its not thoroughly wet so run water, is this too much?

4. After washing a limb, get doubts that a certain area has been missed out or can’t remember, end up washing again (or even third time etc), thinking better to wash again than to miss part out. Is this shaitan whispering?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

The ablution (wudu) is very straight-forward. Don’t make life difficult for yourself.

[1] The command is to wash your face. The face is considered to be from ear lobe to ear lobe, and from the top of the forehead to the bottom of the chin. Water flows. Put a handful of water on your face, and it will flow down. Rub the entire area, and this considered one washing. Hairs on the face don’t prevent water reaching. Ignore misgivings.

[2] It is a confirmed sunna to wipe the entire head once.

[3] When washing under the tap, simply use your finger to wipe between the toes once. This is sufficient. Ignore misgivings. It is unreasonable to think that water didn’t reach the area.

[4] Do not wash anything again. Doubts are from the devil, and it is not from piety to listen to, and then act on them. Ignore them completely. Learn the sunnas soundly, and then act on them. And ask Allah for success.

I’d advise taking the following class: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Beliefs & Worship (STEP)

And Allah alone gives success.



It is Permissible to Perform Ghusl (Ritual Bath) Out of Order?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As-Salamu Alaykum, would it be permissible to perform wudu (in the sink) then perform istinja and the rest of the ghusl in the shower – if impurities (minor) exit after performing or during wudu and the person is going to prayer later, can they continue and perform wudu before they begin the prayer?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

[1] Performing the ablution (wudu) first would be contrary to the sunna. As the sunna is to first clean your private parts, then to perform a complete wudu, and then to take the bath (ghusl).

[2] If you perform a ghusl after the wudu, then you are in a state of purification. You do not need to repeat anything.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam