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Islam

Step 5: Purifying oneself for God,

Principle: Integrity

Ablution or cleansing is a ritual (rak'at) preceding prayer which Muslims perform in order to purify and ready themselves for prayer. These preparations known as wudu' are obligatory if water is available. The first step is an acknowledgement of one's obedience to the practice and to Allah. (See Practice below.) In addition to the washing ritual, one's clothes must be clean, and one must be modestly attired. Allah only hears prayers if one is physically clean.

Text or Verse

O believers, when you stand up for the service of prayer
wash your faces and hands up to elbows,
and also wipe your heads
and wash your feet up to the ankles.
If you are in a state of pollution,
then bathe and purify yourself well.
but in case you are ill or are traveling,
or have satisfied the call of nature,
or have slept with a woman,
and you cannot find water,
then take wholesome dust
and pass it over your face and your hands,
for God does not wish to impose any hardship on you.
He wishes to purify you,
and grace you with His favors in full
so that you may be grateful.
The Qur'an 5: 6

Practice

The ritual of wudu' requires one to:

  • wash their hands up to their wrist three times
  • rinse out their mouth three times
  • cleanse their nostrils by sniffing water three times
  • wash their face from forehead to chin and from ear to ear
  • wash their forearms up to the elbow three times
  • pass a wet hand over the whole of their head
  • wash their feet up to the ankles three times, the right and then the left

Resources

IMAN, Iranian Muslim Organization of North America (go to Links menu to connect to the web site)

IMAAM Indonesian Muslim Association in America (go to Links menu to connect to the web site)

Islamic Center of America (go to Links menu to connect to the web site)

Islamic Foundation (go to Links menu to connect to the web site)

Nation of Islam Study Center (go to Links menu to connect to the web site)

Qur'an (to order) - Islamic Discovery (go to Links menu to connect to the web site)

U.S. Organization of Islam (go to Links menu to connect to the web site)

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