The First Lesson In Islamic Purification
How To Perform the Wudu, or Ablution
An ablution is a form of ritual washing. For Muslims, the ablution we do before prayer is called wudu. We have been given specific instructions on how to make wudu in both the Quran and the hadith (statements of Prophet Mohammad, may Allah be pleased with him).
Muslims are obliged to perform the Salah, or formal Islamic prayers, five times a day. But before we can make these prayers, we must be in a state of cleanliness. In order to enter this state, we make ablution. However, a Muslim must be sure their bodies are free from all impurities, or the ablution is invalid.
The ablution must be made with clean, flowing water. If water is not available, then a Muslim can perform tayammum with sand.
What Breaks the Wudu, or Ablution?
You break your ablution, or “break wudu”, if any of the following takes place.
- Using the bathroom – When a person urinates or defecates, the wudu is broken and must be performed again before prayer.
- Passing gas – When a person breaks wind, or “farts” the wudu is broken and must be made again before prayer.
- Sleeping – When a person falls into a deep sleep, the wudu is broken.
- Losing consciousness – If a Muslim becomes unconscious, or is “knocked out”, wudu is broken.
- Touching the private area – If a Muslim touches their penis or vagina, the wudu is broken.
- Bleeding from anus, penis, or vagina – If a Muslim bleeds from their anus, penis or vagina the wudu is broken. However, bleeding from a wound does not break wudu.
- Sexual intercourse – Sex breaks wudu, even if there is no seminal discharge. However, a Muslim must take a full bath, or ghusl, before prayer.
- Secretions from penis or vagina – Any secretion from the penis or vagina would break the wudu. For men, discharge of semen would require a full bath.