The Quran

Commentaries for 5.6

Al Maida (The food) - المائدة

5.6 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(O ye who believe! When ye rise up for prayer) and you are not in a state of minor ritual purity, He has taught you what to do, saying: (wash your face, and your hands up to the elbows, and lightly rub your heads) as you please (and (wash) your feet) above the sole of the feet (up to the ankles. And if ye are unclean) if you are in a state of major ritual impurity, (purify yourselves) with water. (And if ye are sick) of smallpox or are wounded. This was revealed about 'Abdullah Ibn 'Awf (or on a journey, or one of you cometh from the closet) or one of you has urinated or defecated, (or ye have had (sexual) contact with women) or had sex with women, (and ye find not water) you are unable to use water, (then go to clean, high ground and rub your faces) with the first blow (and your hands) with the second blow (with some of it) i.e. some of the dust. (Allah would not place a burden) constraint (on you, but He would purify you) by means of dry ablution from minor and major ritual impurities (and would perfect His grace) His favour (upon you, that ye may give thanks) for His blessing and legal dispensation.
5.6 Asrar - Kashf Al-Asrar
O you who have faith, when you stand for the prayer, wash your faces and your hands up to your elbows.... If you find no water, have recourse to goodly dust.
Outward purity has three sections: First is purity after impurity. Second is purity after excretion and sexual activity. Third is purity from the sheddings of the body, such as nails, hair, dirt, and so on. Each of these three sections has an explanation and an explication, and these will be spoken of elsewhere, God willing.
Inward purity has three duties: First, purity of the limbs from disobedience, such as back-
biting, lying, eating the forbidden, betrayal, and looking at women illicitly. When this purity is gained, the servant is adorned with obedience and reverence. This is the degree of the faith of the pious. Its mark is that the remembrance of the Real is always on their tongue, the fruit of the promise in their heart, the freshness of His favors in their spirit. They are always visiting the sick, going to cemeteries, hurrying to supplicate for good people, and reaching for paradise.
The second duty is purity of the heart from unapproved character traits, such as self-admiration, envy, pride, hypocrisy, avarice, animosity, and frivolity. Self-admiration ruins the mirror of friendship, envy reduces the worth of people, pride darkens the mirror of the heart, hypocrisy dries up the wellspring of obedience, avarice puts aside respect for people, animosity blocks up the water of familiarity, and frivolity takes away the tent-pole of companionship. When the servant has become pure of these defilements, he is numbered among the godwary. His mark is that he flees from concessions, he does not cling to ambiguity, he is always fearful, trembling, and fleeing from hell; he is content with a morsel and a tattered cloak, he has put aside the world and the world's folk, and he has melted himself in the crucible of sorrow. Faith is his basis, godwariness his traveling supplies, the grave his way station, and the afterworld his goal. With all this, he constantly weeps with the tongue of pleading and says, “O God, everyone is upon something, but I don't know what I'm upon. I fear only the moment when who I am appears. O God, I am always talking and speaking.
So long as You do not show Yourself I will be searching and seeking. Because of unsettledness I run in the field of incapacity. I'm in the midst of the work, but I smell no scent. O God, my mount has stood back, my feet are worn down, my fellow-travelers have gone, and nothing has increased except bewilderment.”
I am bewildered in Thee, take my hand,
O guide of those bewildered in Thee!
The third duty is purity of the secret core from everything except the Real. God says, “Say 'God,' then leave them” [6:91]. This purity is their adornment today, for tomorrow the cup of pure wine [76:21] will be in their hand. Today the light of hope shines in their hearts, but tomorrow the light of face-to-face vision will shine in their spirits. Today in their yearning the liver's water flows from their eyes, but tomorrow contemplation's water will flow in the stream of gentle favor. Today the dawn of happiness has come up from the rising place of freedom, but tomorrow the sun of solicitude will advance in the heaven of face-to-face seeing.
The mark of this purity is that one washes away love for this world, effaces the tracks of human nature, and burns the veils of dispersion, so the heart is joyful in the garden of intimacy, and the spirit is occupied with the Real in the seclusion of face-to-face vision.
How well was it said by that chevalier! “At last will be a day then this drum will give forth a sound, and that Generous One will whisper in secret to the lover's spirit. What a wonderful work, what a marvelous bazaar! Here we have intimate togetherness without being the same in kind. Since there is no one of the same kind, what is this intimacy? Since there is no one like Him, what is this love? Since you have not seen Him, what is this incapacity? Since the wine is still in the grape, what is this existence? Since waiting is all tribulation, what is this happiness in the heart? Since the eye of the secret core is veiled from Him, what is this ecstasy like fire? Since this path is all trial, what is this enjoyment in the midst of trial?”
Though Your ache has put me in the fire,
how I will ache if Your ache ever leaves me!
Wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows.
Just as the command of the Shariah makes it mandatory for outward purity to wash the face, so also the allusion of the Haqiqah makes it mandatory for inward purity to preserve one's honor and not to disgrace oneself by seeking the trifling things of this world. Just as the former purity makes it mandatory to wash the hands, so also the latter purity makes it mandatory to wash one's hands of the creatures and entrust one's work to the Real. Just as it is mandatory to wipe the head, so also it is mandatory to turn the head away from serving created things and to avoid humbling oneself before just any piece of straw or a nobody.
And just as it is mandatory to wash the feet, so also it is mandatory to step into good works and walk forth in obedience to God.
It has been said that these four bodily parts were specified for purity because man finds his eminence and superiority over other animals through these parts. First is the form of the face, for the other animals do not have this attribute. The Lord of the Worlds placed a favor on them and said, “And He formed you, so He made your forms beautiful” [40:64]. Second is the two hands with which the Adamite eats, for all other animals eat with their mouths. The Lord of the Worlds placed a favor on them and said, “And We honored the children Adam” [17:70], that is, with the two worthy hands that hold for eating and so forth. Third is the head, within which is the brain, for within the brain is intellect. In intellect is the eminence of knowing, which the others do not have. The Lord of the Worlds placed a favor on them and said, “signs for those who possess the kernels” [3:190]. Fourth is the two legs which He pulled into an upright, beautiful stature for walking, whereas others do not have legs with this attribute. God says, “We created man in the most beautiful stature” [95:4]. Having completed these blessings on the children of Adam, He asked them to show gratitude for these bodily parts by keeping them pure.
It has also been said that purity is the cause of ease and comfort after sorrow and tribulation, as has come in the story of Mary at the time of the birth of Jesus.
When that spring appeared, she made herself pure and was released from the sorrow of childbirth and the alienation of exile.
It is also the cause of repelling Satanic disquiet, as MuṣṬafā said: “When one of you is angry, let him make an ablution.” It is the cause of the removal of trial and tribulation, as has come in the story of Job the prophet in His words, “Stamp thy foot; here is a cool washing place and drink” [38:42].
It has also been said that the secret of the purity of these four members, even if they are not defiled, is in two respects. First, tomorrow at the resurrection MuṣṬafā will discern his community and intercede for their sake. Their mark will be that they have faces bright and shining because of washing; and so also their hands, feet, and head will be white, bright, and fresh because of purity's water. Concerning the Prophet said, “Surely my community will be mustered on the Day of Resurrection white-faced and white-footed from the traces of the ablution.” The second respect is that when a slave is sold, the custom is that he is taken to a slave-trader, and his hands, feet, face, and head are shown to the customer. Even if it is a slave-girl, the Shariah instructs that they should look at the face, see her hair, and look at her hands and feet. Tomorrow, MuṣṬafā will be the slavetrader of the resurrection and the Real will be the customer. Hence the servant was commanded to do a good job of washing these bodily parts today. As much as he can, he should not take away the water from them and he should try to renew the purity. Then, tomorrow, the light of his bodily parts will increase, and when he is shown in the house of the slave-trader at the resurrection, his hands, feet, face, and head will be bright and pleasing.
If you find no water, have recourse to goodly dust. God connected purity to water or, at the time of constraint, to dust, and not to anything else. The wisdom here is that the Lord of the Worlds created Adam from water and dust, and the Adamites should always be aware of this. They should know that their own eminence lies therein and that they should give gratitude for this blessing.
Adam found eminence over Iblis because Iblis was from fire and Adam from dust, and dust is better than fire. Fire shows defects, and dust conceals them. Whenever you put something in fire, it shows its defects. It distinguishes genuine from false silver and adulterated from pure gold. Dust, however, conceals defects. It conceals whatever you give to it, so the defects do not show.
Fire is the cause of cutting off, and dust is the cause of joining. With fire there is cutting and burning, with dust there is joining and keeping. Iblis was from fire, so he broke off. Adam was from dust, so he joined.
Fire's nature is arrogance, so it seeks to be higher. Dust's nature is humility, so it seeks to be lower. Iblis brought higherness with his words, “I am better” [38:76]. Adam brought lowerness with his words, “Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves” [7:23].
Iblis said, “I and my substance.” Adam said, “Not I, rather my God.”
They have also spoken about another wisdom in specifying water and dust for purity. They
say that whenever something catches fire, the force of that fire is put out by water and dust. There are two fires in front of the person of faith: One is the fire of appetite in this world, and the other the fire of punishment in the afterworld. The Lord of the Worlds made water the cause of his purity so that today it will put out the fire of appetite for him and tomorrow the fire of punishment.
Know also that purity began in an era that was made known by a report from God's Messenger by way of the Commander of the Faithful, ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib. He said, “When the angels heard talk of Adam and his description, they said, 'What, wilt Thou set therein one who will work corruption there and shed blood?' [2:30]. Afterwards, they regretted saying that and they feared God's punishment. They wept and wailed and asked God for His approval. The command came from God, 'You want Me to pass over you, lift away the heaviness of those words from you, and have mercy on you. I have created an ocean under the Splendorous Throne and named it “the Ocean of Life.” Go to that ocean and, with its water, wash your faces and hands, wipe your heads, and wash your feet.
' The angels obeyed the command. The command came, 'Each of you now say, “Glory be to Thee, O God, and Thine is the praise. I bear witness that there is no god but Thou. I ask forgiveness from Thee and I repent to Thee.”' They said that and the command came, 'I have accepted your repentance and will pass over you.' They said, 'O Lord, is this generosity specific to us, or do we share in it with others?' He said, 'It is for you, for the vicegerent whom I will create, and for his children until the coming of the Hour. Whenever someone conveys water to these four members as I have commanded you, even if he has filled heaven and earth with sins, I will pass over him and bestow upon him my approval and mercy.'”
In keeping with this meaning is the sound report from ʿAlī Murtaẓā. He said, “Whenever I heard something from God's Messenger, God gave me benefit from it. From him I came to know the certainty of knowledge and the worthiness of deeds. If I myself had not heard his report, but someone narrated it to me, I would make that person swear an oath. When he swore it, I would rely on him. Abū Bakr ṣiddīq narrated to me, but I did not make him swear an oath to the truthfulness of his words, because he always spoke the truth. He said, 'I heard God's Messenger saying, “Whenever a servant with faith does a sin and, after that sin, makes an ablution and washes himself fully, then, after finishing, he performs two cycles of prayer, God will pass over that sin from him and will pardon him.”'” The explication of this report is in the Splendorous Qur'an: “Whoever does something ugly or wrongs himself and then asks forgiveness of God, he will find God forgiving, ever-merciful” [4:110].
5.6 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
O you who believe, when you stand up, that is, when you intend to go, to pray, and you are in [a state of] ritual impurity, wash your faces, and your hands up to the elbows, that is, including them [the elbows], as is clarified in the Sunna; and wipe your heads (the bā’ in bi-ru’ūsikum is for ‘adherence’), that is to say, wipe over [the head] adhering [the hand] closely, without [excessive] water pouring over; the noun [ra’s, ‘head’] is generic, and so the minimum required to fulfil [the stipulation] is acceptable, which is the wiping of some of the hair, as al-Shāfi‘ī asserts); and your feet (read wa-arjulakum in the accusative as a supplement to aydīyakum; or wa-arjulikum in the genitive because of its adjacency to [the genitive] bi-ru’ūsikum), up to the ankles, that is, including them [the ankles], as is clarified in the Sunna, and they are the two protruding bones at the juncture of the legs and the feet. The interposing of the wiping of the head between [the mention of] the hands and the feet, which are washed, is intended to show the requirement of [a specific] order during the purification of these limbs, as al-Shāfi‘ī asserts. In addition, the requirement of making intention (niyya) in this [ablution], as in the other rituals of worship, is taken from the Sunna. If you are defiled, purify, wash, yourselves; but if you are sick, with an illness made worse by water, or on a journey, travelling, or if any of you comes from the privy, that is, [if] he has defecated, or you have touched women (as mentioned already in the verse in [sūrat] al-Nisā’ [Q. 4:43]), and you cannot find water, having made the effort to look for it, then head for, seek, wholesome dust, that is, clean earth, and wipe your faces and your hands, including the elbows, with it, using two strikes (the bā’ of bi-wujūhikum, ‘your faces’, denotes ‘adherence’; it is explained in the Sunna that the requirement here is for the wiping to encompass the whole of these two parts. God does not desire to make any hardship for you, any constraint, in the obligations He has imposed on you with regard to ablution, washing and purification with dust; but He desires to purify you, of filth and sins, and that He may perfect His grace upon you, through Islam, by explaining the laws of the religion; so that you might give thanks, for His graces.
5.6 Kashani - Kashani
O you who believe, with cognitive faith, when you rise, up from the sleep of [spiritual] forgetfulness and seek out the prayer of the presence, the real communion and the orientation towards the Truth, wash your faces, that is, cleanse the existence of your hearts with the cleansing water of pure and beneficial knowledge in the way of the knowledge of the divine laws, [virtuous] character traits and the transactions that entail the elimination of the barriers against the sullying of the attributes of the soul; and your hands, that is, your powers, [cleanse them] from the filth of partaking of lusts and disposing of abominable matter, up to the elbows, up to the measure of what is due by right and what is beneficial, and wipe your heads, [wipe away] in the direction of your spirits the darkness of the turbidity of the heart and the dust of its changing when it orients itself towards the lower world and [towards] the love of this world by the light of guidance. For the spirit is not sullied by attachment but its light is veiled from the heat and the heart in turn becomes black and darkens. It suffices for the diffusion of its [the spirit's] light to polish the higher aspect of the heart that is adjacent to it, since the heart has two aspects, one of which is towards the spirit and the head, and is the one referred to here, while the other is towards the soul and its faculties and it is more likely that the feet [here] are a reference to this [latter]; and your feet, those aspects of your natural corporeal faculties, [wash these] by shaking off the dust of being engrossed in lusts and excessive indulgence in pleasures, up to the ankles, up to the level of moderation by which the body becomes upright. According to this then, the one who is engrossed in lusts and indulges excessively in pleasures is in need of washing it [the soul] with the waters of the knowledge of [virtuous] character traits and the knowledge of spiritual disciplining so that it might return to the purity with which the heart prepares for the presence and the communion [with the divine]. As for the one whose pool is near in terms of these by virtue of his moderation, it suffices him to wipe, which is why the one who must wipes and the one who must washes.
If you are defiled, [if you are] distant from the Truth by having been drawn to the lower aspect and by having turned away from the higher aspect with total inclination towards the soul, purify yourselves, totally from this dark configuration and vile attribute that entail distance and veiledness; but if you are sick, to the end [of the verse] reiterates [the same points]. God does not desire to make any hardship for you, any constraint or difficulty by means of extensive [spiritual] struggles and acts of endurance, but He desires to, purify you from dark configurations and vile attributes, and that He may perfect His grace upon you, by perfecting [you], so that you might give thanks, for the grace of [your] perfection by being upright and fulfilling what is due in terms of justness upon subsistence after annihilation.
5.6 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Order to Perform Wudu
Allah said,
إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلوةِ
(When you stand for (intend to offer) the Salah,) Allah commanded performing Wudu' for the prayer. This is a command of obligation in the case of impurity, and in the case of purity, it is merely a recommendation. It was said that in the beginning of Islam, Muslims had to perform Wudu' for every prayer, but later on, this ruling was abrogated. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded that Sulayman bin Buraydah said that his father said, "The Prophet used to perform Wudu' before every prayer. On the Day of Victory, he performed Wudu' and wiped on his Khuffs and prayed the five prayers with one Wudu'. `Umar said to him, `O Messenger of Allah! You did something new that you never did before.' The Prophet said,
«إني عمدا فعلته يا عمر»
(`I did that intentionally O `Umar!)''' Muslim and the collectors of the Sunan also recorded this Hadith. At-Tirmidhi said,"Hasan Sahih.'' Ibn Jarir recorded that Al-Fadl bin Al-Mubashshir said, "I saw Jabir bin `Abdullah perform several prayers with only one Wudu'. When he would answer the call of nature, he performed Wudu' and wiped the top of his Khuffs with his wet hand. I said, `O Abu `Abdullah! Do you do this according to your own opinion' He said, `Rather, I saw the Prophet do the same thing. So, I do what I saw the Messenger of Allah doing.''' Ibn Majah also recorded this Hadith. Ahmad recorded that `Ubaydullah bin `Abdullah bin `Umar was asked; "Did you see `Abdullah bin `Umar perform Wudu' for every prayer, whether he was in a state of purity or not,'' So he replied, "Asma' bint Zayd bin Al-Khattab told him that `Abdullah bin Hanzalah bin Abi `Amir Al-Ghasil told her that the Messenger of Allah was earlier commanded to perform Wudu' for every prayer, whether he needed it or not. When that became hard on him, he was commanded to use Siwak for every prayer, and to perform Wudu' when Hadath (impurity) occurs. `Abdullah (Ibn `Umar) thought that he was able to do that (perform Wudu' for every prayer) and he kept doing that until he died.'' Abu Dawud also collected this narration. This practice by Ibn `Umar demonstrates that it is encouraged, not obligatory, to perform Wudu' for every prayer, and this is also the opinion of the majority of scholars. Abu Dawud recorded that `Abdullah bin `Abbas said that when the Messenger of Allah once left the area where he answered the call of nature, he was brought something to eat. They said, "Should we bring you your water for Wudu'' He said,
«إنَّمَا أُمِرْتُ بِالْوُضُوءِ إِذَا قُمْتُ إِلَى الصَّلَاة»
(I was commanded to perform Wudu' when I stand up for prayer.) At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i also recorded this Hadith and At-Tirmidhi said, "This Hadith is Hasan.'' Muslim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "We were with the Prophet when he went to answer the call of nature and when he came back, he was brought some food. He was asked, `O Messenger of Allah! Do you want to perform Wudu'' He said,
«لِمَ؟ أَأُصَلِي فَأَتَوَضَّأ»
(`Why Am I about to pray so that I have to make Wudu'.)'''
The Intention and Mentioning Allah's Name for Wudu
Allah said;
فاغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ
(then wash your faces...) The obligation for the intention before Wudu' is proven by this Ayah;
إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلوةِ فاغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ
(When you stand (intend) to offer the Salah then wash your faces...) This is because it is just like the Arabs saying; "When you see the leader, then stand.'' Meaning stand for him. And the Two Sahihs recorded the Hadith,
«الْأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّــيَّاتِ وَإِنَّمَا لِكُلِّ امْرِىءٍ مَانَوَى»
(Actions are judged by their intentions, and each person will earn what he intended.) It is also recommended before washing the face that one mentions Allah's Name for the Wudu'. A Hadith that was narrated by several Companions states that the Prophet said, n
«لَا وُضْوءَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يَذْكُرِ اسْمَ اللهِ عَلَيْه»
(There is no Wudu' for he who does not mention Allah's Name over it.) It is also recommended that one washes his hands before he puts his hands in the vessel of water, especially after one wakes up from sleep, for the Two Sahihs recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«إِذَا اسْتَيْقَظَ أَحَدُكُمْ مِنْ نَوْمِهِ فَلَا يُدْخِلْ يَدَهُ فِي الْإِنَاءِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَغْسِلَهَا ثَلَاثًا، فَإِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ لَا يَدْرِي أَيْنَ بَاتَتْ يَدُه»
(If one of you wakes up from his sleep, let him not put his hand in the pot until he washes it thrice, for one of you does not know where his hand spent the night.) The face according to the scholars of Fiqh starts where the hair line on the head starts, regardless of one's lack or abundance of hair, until the end of the cheeks and chin, and from ear to ear.
Passing the Fingers through the Beard While Performing Wudu
Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Wa'il said, "I saw `Uthman when he was performing Wudu'... When he washed his face, he passed his fingers through his beard three times. He said, `I saw the Messenger of Allah do what you saw me doing.''' At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah also recorded this Hadith. At-Tirmidhi said "Hasan Sahih.'' while Al-Bukhari graded it Hasan.
How to Perform Wudu
mam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas once performed Wudu' and took a handful of water and rinsed his mouth and nose with it. He took another handful of water and joined both hands and washed his face. He took another handful of water and washed his right hand, and another handful and washed his left hand with it. He next wiped his head. Next, he took a handful of water and sprinkled it on his right foot and washed it and took another handful of water and washed his left foot. When he finished, he said, "This is how I saw the Messenger of Allah (performing Wudu').'' Al-Bukhari also recorded it. Allah said,
وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ
(and your hands (forearms) up to (Ila) the elbows...) meaning, including the elbows. Allah said in another Ayah using Ila,
وَلاَ تَأْكُلُواْ أَمْوَلَهُمْ إِلَى أَمْوَلِكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حُوباً كَبِيراً
(And devour not their substance to (Ila) your substance (by adding or including it in your property). Surely, this is a great sin.) It is recommended that those who perform Wudu' should wash a part of the upper arm with the elbow. Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«إِنَّ أُمَّتِي يُدْعَوْنَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ غُرًّا مُحَجَّلِينَ مِنْ آثَارِ الْوُضُوءِ، فَمَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمْ أَنْ يُطِيلَ غُرَّتَهُ فَلْيَفْعَل»
(On the Day of Resurrection, my Ummah will be called "those with the radiant appendages'' because of the traces of Wudu'. Therefore, whoever can increase the area of his radiance should do so.) Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, "I heard my intimate friend (the Messenger ) saying,
«تَبْلُغُ الْحِلْيَةُ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِ حَيْثُ يَبْلُغُ الْوَضُوء»
(The radiance of the believer reaches the areas that the water of (his) Wudu' reaches.)'' Allah said next,
وَامْسَحُواْ بِرُؤُوسِكُمْ
(Rub your heads.) It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Malik bin `Amr bin Yahya Al-Mazini said that his father said that a man said to `Abdullah bin Zayd bin `Asim, the grandfather of `Amr bin Yahya and one of the Companions of the Messenger, "Can you show me how the Messenger of Allah used to perform Wudu''' `Abdullah bin Zayd said, "Yes.'' He then asked for a pot of water. He poured from it on his hands and washed them twice, then he rinsed his mouth and washed his nose with water thrice by putting water in it and blowing it out. He washed his face thrice and after that he washed his forearms up to the elbows twice. He then passed his wet hands over his head from its front to its back and vice versa, beginning from the front and taking them to the back of his head up to the nape of the neck and then brought them to the front again from where he had started. He next washed his feet. A similar description of the Wudu' of the Messenger of Allah was performed by `Ali in the Hadith by `Abdu Khayr. Abu Dawud recorded that Mu`awiyah and Al-Miqdad bin Ma`dikarib narrated similar descriptions of the Wudu' of the Messenger of Allah. These Hadiths indicate that it is necessary to wipe the entire head. `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Humran bin Aban said, "I saw `Uthman bin `Affan performing Wudu', and he poured water over his hands and washed them thrice, and then rinsed his mouth and washed his nose by putting water in it, and then blowing it out. Then he washed his face thrice, and then his right forearm up to the elbows thrice, and washed the left forearm thrice. Then he passed his wet hands over his head, then he washed his right foot thrice, and next his left foot thrice. After that `Uthman said, `I saw the Prophet performing Wudu' like this, and said,
«مَنْ تَوَضَّأَ نَحْوَ وُضُوئِي هَذَا، ثُمَّ صَلَّى رَكْعَتَيْنِ لَا يُحَدِّثُ فِيهِمَا نَفْسَهُ، غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِه»
(If anyone performs Wudu' like that of mine and offers a two-Rak`ah prayer during which he does not think of anything else, then his past sins will be forgiven.)''' Al-Bukhari and Muslim also recorded this Hadith in the Two Sahihs. In his Sunan, Abu Dawud also recorded it from `Uthman, under the description of Wudu', and in it, that he wiped his head one time.
The Necessity of Washing the Feet
Allah said,
وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَينِ
(and your feet up to ankles.) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas stated that the Ayah refers to washing (the feet). `Abdullah bin Mas`ud, `Urwah, `Ata', `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Mujahid, Ibrahim, Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi, Muqatil bin Hayyan, Az-Zuhri and Ibrahim At-Taymi said similarly. This clearly indicates the necessity of washing the feet, just as the Salaf have said, and not only wiping over the top of the bare foot.
The Hadiths that Indicate the Necessity of Washing the Feet
We mentioned the Hadiths by the two Leaders of the Faithful, `Uthman and `Ali, and also by Ibn `Abbas, Mu`awiyah, `Abdullah bin Zayd bin `Asim and Al-Miqdad bin Ma`dikarib, that the Messenger of Allah washed his feet for Wudu', either once, twice or thrice. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that `Abdullah bin `Amr said, "The Messenger of Allah was once late during a trip we were taking, and he caught up with us when the time remaining for the `Asr prayer was short. We were still performing Wudu' (in a rush) and we were wiping our feet. He shouted at the top of his voice,
«أَسْبِغُوا الْوُضُوءَ وَيْلٌ لِلْأَعْقَابِ مِنَ النَّار»
(Perform Wudu' thoroughly. Save your heels from the Fire.)'' The same narration was also collected in the Two Sahihs from Abu Hurayrah. Muslim recorded that `A'ishah said that the Prophet said,
«أَسْبِغُوا الْوُضُوءَ وَيْلٌ لِلْأَعْقَابِ مِنَ النَّار»
(Perform Wudu' thoroughly. Save your heels from the Fire.) `Abdullah bin Al-Harith bin Jaz' said that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying,
«وَيْلٌ لِلْأَعْقَابِ وَبُطُونِ الْأَقْدَامِ مِنَ النَّار»
(Save your heels and the bottom of the feet from the Fire. ) It was recorded by Al-Bayhaqi and Al-Hakim, and this chain is Sahih. Muslim recorded that `Umar bin Al-Khattab said that a man once performed Wudu' and left a dry spot the size of a fingernail on his foot. The Prophet saw that and he said to him,
«ارْجِعْ فَأَحْسِنْ وُضُوءَك»
(Go back and perform proper Wudu'.) Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bayhaqi also recorded that Anas bin Malik said that a man came to the Prophet, after he performed Wudu' and left a dry spot the size of a fingernail on his foot. The Messenger of Allah said to him,
«ارْجِعْ فَأَحْسِنْ وُضُوءَك»
(Go back and perform proper Wudu'.) Imam Ahmad recorded that some of the wives of the Prophet said that the Prophet saw a man praying, but noticed a dry spot on his foot, the size of a Dirham. The Messenger of Allah ordered that man to perform Wudu' again. This Hadith was also collected by Abu Dawud from Baqiyyah, who added in his narration, "And (the Prophet ordered him) to repeat the prayer.'' This Hadith has a strong, reasonably good chain of narrators. Allah knows best.
The Necessity of Washing Between the Fingers
n the Hadith that Humran narrated, `Uthman washed between his fingers when he was describing the Wudu' of the Prophet. The collectors of the Sunan recorded that Laqit bin Sabrah said, "I said, `O Messenger of Allah! Tell me about Wudu'.' The Messenger replied,
«أَسْبِغِ الْوُضُوءَ، وَخَلِّلْ بَيْنَ الْأَصَابِعِ، وَبَالِغْ فِي الِاسْتِنْشَاقِ إِلَّا أَنْ تَكُونَ صَائِمًا»
(Perform Wudu' thoroughly, wash between the fingers and exaggerate in rinsing your nose, unless you are fasting.)''
Wiping Over the Khuffs is an Established Sunnah
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded that Aws bin Abi Aws said, "I saw the Messenger of Allah perform Wudu' and wipe over his Khuffs. He then stood up for prayer.'' Abu Dawud recorded this Hadith by Aws bin Abi Aws, who said in this narration, "I saw the Messenger of Allah, after he answered the call of nature, perform Wudu' and wipe over his Khuffs and feet.'' Imam Ahmad recorded that Jarir bin `Abdullah Al-Bajali said, "I embraced Islam after Surat Al-Ma'idah was revealed and I saw the Messenger of Allah wipe after I became Muslim.'' It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Hammam said, "Jarir answered the call of nature and then performed Wudu' and wiped over his Khuffs. He was asked, `Do you do this' He said, `Yes. I saw the Messenger of Allah, after he answered the call of nature, perform Wudu' and wipe on his Khuffs.''' Al-A`mash commented that Ibrahim said, "They liked this Hadith because Jarir embraced Islam after Surat Al-Ma'idah was revealed.'' This is the wording collected by Muslim. The subject of the Messenger of Allah wiping over his Khuffs, instead of washing the feet, if he had worn his Khuffs while having Wudu', reaches the Mutawatir grade of narration, and they describe this practice by his words and actions.
Performing Tayammum with Clean earth When There is no Water and When One is Ill
Allah said,
وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَى أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَآءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنْكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لَـمَسْتُمُ النِّسَآءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَآءً فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيداً طَيِّباً فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ مِّنْهُ
(But if you are ill or on a journey or any of you comes from the Gha'it (toilet), or you have touched women and you find no water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands.) We discussed all of this in Surat An-Nisa', and thus we do not need to repeat it here. We also mentioned the reason behind revealing this Ayah. Yet, Al-Bukhari mentioned an honorable Hadith here specifically about the Tafsir of this noble Ayah. He recorded that `A'ishah said, "Upon returning to Al-Madinah, a necklace of mine was broken (and lost) in Al-Bayda' area. Allah's Messenger stayed there and went to sleep with his head on my lap. Abu Bakr (`A'ishah's father) came and hit me on my flank with his hand saying, `You have detained the people because of a necklace' So I wished I were dead because (I could not move) the Messenger was sleeping on my lap and because of the pain Abu Bakr caused me. Allah's Messenger got up when dawn broke and there was no water. So Allah revealed,
يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلوةِ فاغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ
(O you who believe! When you stand (intend) to offer As-Salah (the prayer), then wash your faces) iuntil the end of the Ayah. Usayd bin Al-Hudayr said, `O the family of Abu Bakr! Allah has blessed the people because of you. Therefore, you are only a blessing for the people.'' Allah said,
مَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ
(Allah does not want to place you in difficulty,) This is why He made things easy and lenient for you. This is why He allowed you to use Tayammum when you are ill and when you do not find water, to make things comfortable for you and as mercy for you. Allah made Tayammum in place of Wudu', and Allah made it the same as ablution with water for the one who it is legitimate for, except for certain things, as we mentioned before. For example; Tayammum only involves one strike with the hand on the sand and wiping the face and hands. Allah said,
وَلَـكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
(but He wants to purify you, and to complete His favor on you that you may be thankful.) for His bounties on you, such as His easy, kind, merciful, comfortable and lenient legislation.
Supplicating to Allah after Wudu
The Sunnah encourages supplicating to Allah after Wudu' and states that those who do so are among those who seek to purify themselves, as the Ayah above states. Imam Ahmad, Muslim and the collectors of Sunan narrated that `Uqbah bin `Amir said, "We were on watch, guarding camels, and when my turn to guard came, I took the camels back at night. I found that the Messenger of Allah was giving a speech to the people. I heard these words from that speech:
«مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يَتَوَضَّأُ فَيُحْسِنُ وُضُوءهُ، ثُمَّ يَقُومُ فَيُصَلِّي رَكْعَتَيْنِ مُقْبلًا عَلَيْهِمَا بِقَلْبِهِ وَوَجْهِهِ، إِلَّا وَجَبَتْ لَهُ الْجَنَّة»
(Any Muslim who performs Wudu' properly, then stands up and prays a two Rak'ah prayer with full attention in his heart and face, will earn Paradise.) I said, `What a good statement this is!' A person who was close by said, `The statement he said before it is even better.' When I looked, I found that it was `Umar, who said, `I saw that you just came. The Prophet said,
«مَا مِنْكُمْ مِنْ أَحَدٍ يَتَوَضَّأُ فَيُبْلِغُ أَوْفَيُسْبِغُ الْوُضُوءَ، يَقُولُ: أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ، إِلَّا فُتِحَتْ لَهُ أَبْوَابُ الْجَنَّةِ الثَّمَانِيَةِ، يَدْخُلُ مِنْ أَيِّهَا شَاء»
(When any of you performs Wudu' properly and says, `I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger', the eight doors of Paradise will be opened for him so that he can enter from any door he wishes.)'' This is the wording collected by Muslim.
The Virtue of Wudu
Malik recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«إِذَا تَوَضَّأَ الْعَبْدُ الْمُسْلِمُ أَوِ الْمُؤْمِنُ فَغَسَلَ وَجْهَهُ، خَرَجَ مِنْ وَجْهِهِ، كُلُّ خَطِيئَةٍ نَظَرَ إِلَيْهَا بِعَيْنَيْهِ مَعَ الْمَاءِ أَوْ مَعَ آخِرِ قَطْرِ الْمَاءِ، فَإِذَا غَسَلَ يَدَيهِ خَرَجَ مِنْ يَدَيْهِ كُلُّ خَطِيئَةٍ بَطَشَتْهَا يَدَاهُ مَعَ الْمَاءِ أَوْ مَعَ آخِرِ قَطْرِ الْمَاءِ، فَإِذَا غَسَلَ رِجْلَيْهِ خَرَجَتْ كُلُّ خَطِيئةٍ مَشَتْهَا رِجْلَاهُ مَعَ الْمَاءِ أَوْ مَعَ آخِرِ قَطْرِ الْمَاءِ، حَتَّى يَخْرُجَ نَقِيًّا مِنَ الذُّنُوب»
(When the Muslim or the believing servant performs Wudu' and washes his face, every sin that he looked at with his eyes will depart from his face with the water, or with the last drop of water. When he washes his hands, every sin that his hands committed will depart from his hands with the water, or with the last drop of water. When he washes his feet, every sin to which his feet took him will depart with the water, or with the last drop of water. Until, he ends up sinless.) Muslim also recorded it. Muslim recorded that Abu Malik Al-Ash`ari said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«الطُّهُور شَطْرُ الْإِيمَانِ، وَالْحَمْدُ للهِ تَمْلَأُ الْمِيزَانَ، وَسُبْحَانَ اللهِ وَاللهُ أَكْبَرُ تَمْلَأُ مَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ، وَالصَّوْمُ جُنَّةٌ، وَالصَّبْرُ ضِيَاءٌ، وَالصدَقَةُ بُرْهَانٌ، وَالقُرْآنُ حُجَّةٌ لَكَ أَوْ عَلَيْكَ، كُلُّ النَّاسِ يَغْدُو، فَبَائِعٌ نَفْسَهُ فَمُعْتِقُهَا أَوْ مُوبِقُهَا»
(Purity is half of faith and Al-Hamdu Lillah (all the thanks are due to Allah) fills the Mizan (the Scale). And Subhan Allah and Allahu Akbar (all praise is due to Allah, and Allah is the Most Great) fills what is between the heaven and earth. As-Sawm (the fast) is a Junnah (a shield), Sabr (patience) is a light, Sadaqah (charity) is evidence (of faith) and the Qur'an is proof for, or against you. Every person goes out in the morning and ends up selling himself, he either frees his soul or destroys it.) Muslim recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«لَا يَقْبَلُ اللهُ صَدَقَةً مِنْ غُلُولٍ، وَلَا صَلَاةً بِغَيْرِ طُهُور»
(Allah does not accept charity from one who commits Ghulul, or prayer without purity.)
5.6 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
According to the practice and instructions of the Holy Prophet, washing of the face includes the inside washing and cleaning of the mouth, throat and nose. It is also essential to wipe the ears from outside and inside as they form part of the head. The hands should be cleansed first because the other parts are to he cleansed with them.
A full bath is essential in case one becomes "unclean" by cohabitation or by a discharge of semen during sleep etc. It is forbidden to touch the Qur'an or to offer the Prayer while one is "unclean". (For further details please refer to E.N.`s 67, 68, 69 of An-Nisa).
Please refer to E.N.'s 69 and 70 of An-Nisa.
Cleanliness of the body is a blessing like the purity of the soul. The blessing of Allah becomes complete only when one gets full guidance for the purity of both the body and the soul.
5.6 Tustari - Al-Tustari
When you prepare for prayer, wash your faces...[Sahl] said:Purification consists of four things: purity of the source of food, truthfulness of the tongue, avoidance of all sins, and the humility in one’s innermost secret (sirr). In turn, each one of these four corresponds to the purification of the outer members of the body.His words, Exalted is He:
…But He wishes to purify you...That is, to purify your state, your character and your actions, so that you return to Him in a state of true poverty (ḥaqīqat al-faqr) without being attached to any [secondary] cause.Purification is of seven kinds: the purification of knowledge from ignorance, the purification of remembrance from forgetfulness, the purification of obedience from disobedience, the purification of certainty from doubt, the purification of the intellect from foolishness, the purification of opinion from slander, and the purification of faith from anything which is alien to it. Furthermore, each punishment constitutes a kind of purification, except the punishment of the heart, which is hardness. [Concerning] His words, Exalted is He: