الوضوء Wudu (Purification for Prayer): why it is necessary, what are its benefits, and when it is necessary
WHAT IS WUDU?
الوضوء Wudu (partial ablution) is the minor purification ritual necessary before worship of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala . A state of wudu is required before touching the Qu'ran in its original Arabic script, and before salat. It is the Islamic act of washing specific parts of the body in a specific way using water.
WHY IS WUDU NECESSARY?
Now back to the evidence that makes wudu fard (obligatory) before any salat:
The Messenger of Allah salla Allahu alaihi wa-sallam said: "The Prayer of none amongst you would be accepted in a state of impurity till he performs ablution." (Sahih Muslim, [Eng. Trans. Vol. 1. hadith #435])
The Messenger of Allah salla Allahu alaihi wa-sallam said : "The key to paradise is salah, and the key to as-salah is wudu" (Tirmidhi, Transmitted Ahmad, Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah )
Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala ordered salat in the holy Qu'ran:
O you who believe! When you intend to offer As-Salah [the prayer] wash your faces and your hands [forearms] up to the elbows... and your heads and (wash) your feet up to the ankles(5:6)
Quite clearly, unless, one performs all the necessary purification, their salat will not be accepted, and if one knowingly forgoes the necessary wudu or ghusl but offers their prayers anyways, their prayers will be invalid, and it will be the same as if they deliberately skipped the prayer, and intentionally missing a fard prayer is a sin http://girlsguidetobeingmuslim.blogspot.com/2009/02/five-obligatory-prayers-and-their-times.html, and very close to shirk.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS/USES OF PERFORMING WUDU?
The benefit of performing the necessary wdu or ghusl is (most important) that your salat will be valid and thus become reward,
For Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean. (Qu'ran 2:222)
Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "If good characteristics exist in a person, Allah makes all of his acts good. If a person purifies himself for prayer, he expiates all of his sins and his prayer is considered an extra reward for him." (Related by Abu Ya'la, al-Bazzar and at-Tabarani in al-Ausat.)
and (two) that what parts of your body you wash with the intention to make them pure when praying to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala will be made to be light on the day judgement so you will be recognized as a believer, inshaAllah, for the Messenger of Allah salla Allahu alaihi wa-sallam said as he passed by the graves of the Muslims with some of the companions: "Peace be upon you, O home of believing people. Allah willing, we shall meet you soon, although I wish I could see my brothers." They asked, "Are we not your brothers, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "You are my companions. My brothers are the ones who will come after (us)." They said, "How will you know the people of our nation who will come after you, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "If a man has a group of horses with white forelocks amidst a group of horses with black forelocks, will he recognize his horses?" They said, "Certainly, O Messenger of Allah." He said, "They (my brothers) will come with white streaks from their ablutions (wudu), and I will receive them at my cistern." (Related by Muslim.)
WHEN IS WUDU OR GHUSL NECESSARY?
Wudu is required before salat (evidence for that statement previously given) or before touching the Qu'ran because the Qu'ran states that it is such that
Which none shall touch but those who are clean (56:77-79)
(a post about proper handling for the Qu'ran will be given before the learning to read in Arabic section of this blog, inshaAllah). Back to what neccitates wudu...
GHUSL (full ablution) is REQUIRED when: one first makes their shahada, after sexual intercourse, when any vaginal or seminal fluid is discharged, after menstration [no fard prayers are due on a woman during her menstration as a mercy from Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala], after having a baby, or after intense bleeding (insha'Allah this will not be the case for you!), and death before burial. It is recommended also, before Jum'a (friday prayer at the Mosque) [a separate post from this prayer section will be given for ettiquette pertaining to the Mosque and prayer in congregation].
WUDU (partial ablution) is REQUIRED when: one has used the toilet [instanja must be preformed then in addition to wudu and we will explain instanja shortly in the following post http://girlsguidetobeingmuslim.blogspot.com/2009/02/istanja-what-it-is-and-how-to-make-it.html], after passing gas (farting), after sleep, after vomiting, after fainting (and loss of the senses), and in some opinions after laughing aloud during a prayer. It should also be made by a Muslimah if she has touched her own sexual organ but there was no discharge of bodily fluids [i.e the action was not sexual], or if she becomes angry because the Messenger of Allah salla Allahu alaihi wa-sallam said: "Anger comes from the devil, the devil was created of fire, and fire is extinguished only with water; so when one of you becomes angry, he should perform ablution." (Dawud, Narrated Atiyyah as-Sa'di)
IF WUDU IS MADE ONCE IN A DAY, BUT IS BROKEN, MUST IT BE PREFORMED AGAIN?
The answer is yes. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "Allah does not accept the prayer of one who nullified his ablution until he performs it again." (Related by al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmizhi EVIDENCE FROM THE QU'RAN AND AHADITH about when Ghusl and Wudu is required for those who would prefer to read furth or have some future reference:
O you who believe! When you intend to offer As-Salât (the prayer), wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to ankles. If you are in a state of Janâba (i.e. had a sexual discharge), purify yourself (bathe your whole body). But if you are ill or on a journey or any of you comes from answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women (i.e. sexual intercourse) and you find no water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands. Allâh does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favour on you that you may be thankful. [The Noble Qur'an 5:6]
Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "Allah does not accept the prayer of a person who has released gas until he makes a new ablution." A person from Hadhramaut asked Abu Hurairah, "What does releasing gas mean?" He answered, "Wind with or without sound." [Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.]
Busrah bint Safwan narrated that the Prophet said, "Whoever touches his sexual organ cannot pray until he performs ablution." [This hadith is related by "the five." At-Tirmidhi classified it as sahih and al-Bukhari called it the most authentic report on that topic. Malik, ash-Shaifi, Ahmad and others also narrated it.]