Before offering prayers, a Muslim has to undergo a purification process called wudhu (ablution). It starts with declaring the intention. Then one has to say Bismillah (In the name of Allah) and wash both the hands up to wrists. The right hand must be cleaned first. One must rub fingers to ensure total cleanliness. Also ensure that no part of the hand is left dry. The process must be repeated three times.
Make a cup with the right hand then from this hand take water into your mouth and swirl it inside the mouth and then expel it out. Repeat it three times. It is followed by sniffing water from the cupped right hand into the nose and then blowing it out and using the left hand to remove the mucus from the nose. Repeat the process three times.
Wash the face three times, from the hairline to the jawbone and chin, and from start of the ear. A man should wash the hair of his beard by taking a handful of water and entering it below the chin. The beard must be rubbed with the wet hands. Wash the right arm up to elbow three times.
The arm extends from the fingertips, including the nails, to the lower part of the upper arm. It is essential to remove anything stuck to the hands before washing them, such as dough, mud, paint, nail polish etc. that could prevent the water from reaching the skin. Repeat the procedure on the left arm three times.
Wet your hands in water, place both hands at the front of the head (beginning of hairline) and wipe the head backwards until you reach the nape. Then bring them back to the front of the head (beginning of hairline). This is to done once only.
With regard to a woman’s hair, she should wipe it whether it is loose or braided from the front of her head to the roots of the hair at the nape and then bring forward as above, but she does not have to wipe the entire length of her hair.
Clean the ears by inserting the tips of the index fingers into the ears. Twist them round the folds of the ears. Then wipe the back of the ears with your thumbs from bottom of the ear upwards only once.
Wash the right foot up to and including the ankles three times. You should enter the water between the toes with your little finger and then wash the foot (note not wipe feet but wash them) and make sure you wash the sole of the foot and heals. Make sure no part of the foot is left dry. Wash the left foot in the same way also three times.
The du’aa After the wudhu
Ashhadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhu.
(I bear witness that there is no god except Allah alone, with no partner or associate, and I bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His slave and Messenger.)
Allaahumm aj’alni min al-tawwaabeena waj’alni min al-mutatahhireena
(O Allah, make me one of those who repent and make me one of those who purify themselves).