Monday, July 12, 2004

Prerequisites of prayer - wuduu' (ablution)

The prerequisites of prayer are:

  1. Ritual impurity (hadath) has been removed by ablution or a full body wash.
  2. Filth (najâsat - substances which Islam prescribes as filthy) has been removed from the body, clothes and place of prayer.
  3. The color of the skin of those areas one is not allowed to show publicly has been covered: all the body except the face and hands for the woman, everything between the navel to below the knee for the man.
  4. One is facing in the direction of the prayer (qibla).
  5. The prescribed prayer time has entered.
  6. One has the intention of the prayer.
  7. Proscription (beginning the prayer by saying "Allahu’akbar".)

Ablution has 4 obligations:

  1. Washing (make the water flow on) the face (from the hairline to the chin and from ear to ear), except inside the eyes or the skin under a thick beard that is not seen at normal conversation length.
  2. Washing the hands and lower arms to above the elbow.
  3. Washing the feet to above the ankles.
  4. Wiping (make water touch) 1/4 of the head.
    Note: One must remove all obstacles for the water to reach (e.g. tight rings, mucus, make-up.)

Ablution described with merits and etiquettes:

  1. Intention of ablution for the sake of Allah, so that one may have credit.
  2. Say “bismillaahirraHmaanirraHiim.”
  3. Wash the hands 3 times.
  4. Rinse the mouth 3 times, then the nose 3 times.
  5. Use the siwaak (branch of a kind of tree) to clean the teeth with rinsing the mouth.
  6. Wash the face 3 times.
  7. Wash right hand and arm 3 times, then the left.
  8. Wipe all of the head, the ears, and the neck one time.
  9. Wash the right foot 3 times, then the left.
  10. In step 6, 7 and 9 use your fingers to wash between the toes, fingers and inside the beard.
  11. Perform the ablution without interrupting activities.
  12. Avoid idle talk.
  13. To not waste water, especially in the moske.

Causes of minor ritual impurity (things that invalidate ones ablution)

  1. EVERYTHING excreted from the front and rear organs, even air or a worm.
  2. Vomiting the amount of a mouthful unless it is phlegm.
  3. Blood or pus flowing out of a wound to a place required to wash in the full body wash (ghusl) (the skin, hair, mouth, inside the soft part of the nose, not inside the eyes.) Exempted are: bleeding from a wound in the mouth itself that does not make the spit red or thick black blood coming down from the head into the mouth or nose.
  4. Sleeping, unless one is sitting firmly on one's seat, thus preventing the exit of air.
  5. Fainting, going crazy, or having an epileptic fit (without exceptions.)
  6. Laughter loud enough for others to hear it during a prayer that has bowing and prostration, unless one is a child.
  7. Intense sexual contact breaks the ablution', that is, when a man and woman physically rub their private parts on each other.