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The Sufficient and Obligatory Methods of Ablution


Salam. Is it permissible to not wash your private part after you used the toilet? Wudoo will only be valid if we wash our hands, mouths, nose, arms, hair, ears, and feet up to the ankle?


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

It is permissible not to wash the 'Awrah (the private parts) with water after relieving oneself if the impurity is removed by anything that can be used to remove it, such as tissues and the like, provided that the impurity is not spread too much from the place of its exit; this is called Istinjaa’.

Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Al-Mughni:

"If a discharge exceeds its usual place, then it is not sufficient to remove it with anything else except water, like when the feces spreads too much over the buttocks or when the urine spreads too much over the glans. This is because Istijmaar (which is cleaning oneself with stones, wood or tissues and the like) is a concession to clean only the usual place of discharge [urine and feces]. This concession is given because of the difficulty of washing these places, as the impurity is recurrent in them. A place where the impurity is not recurrent, like his legs and thighs, must be washed with water and it is not enough to remove it with anything else." [End of quote]

Regarding ablution, there are two types: (a) a sufficient ablution, and (b) a complete ablution.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him provided details about this in Majmoo’ Al-Fataawa as he said:

"The method of (Islamic) ablution is of two types:

An obligatory method without which ablution is void, which is the one mentioned in the verse in which Allah Says (what means): {O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles.} [Quran 5:6]

Which is:

1. Washing the face once, among which is rinsing the mouth (gurgling) and nose (sniffing water into nostrils and blowing it).

2. Washing the arms from the fingers until the elbows once. When washing the arms, one should be mindful of his hands, so he should wash his hands along with his arms, because some people are heedless of this and do not wash except their arms, and this is wrong.

3. Wiping the head once, among which is wiping the ears.

4. Washing the feet up to the ankles once.

This is the obligatory method of performing ablution that must be observed.

As for the second method of performing ablution, which is the recommended method, we will mention it now:

1- A person should say Bismillaah (in the Name of Allah), before performing ablution, and then washes his hands three times,

2- Then he rinses his mouth (gurgles) and nose (sniffs water into nostrils and blows it out) three times, with three different handfuls (scoops) of water,

3- Then he washes his face three times,

4- Then he washes each arm (from the fingers) to the elbows three times; he starts with the right arm and then the left one,

5- Then he wipes over his head once: he wets his hands and then passes them from the front of the head to the back and then passes them again from the back to the front. After this, he wipes his ears by inserting his index fingers into his ears and wiping their backside with his thumbs,

6- Then, he washes each foot up to the ankle three times, starting with the right foot and then the left one. After this (i.e. at end of ablution), he says: 'Ash-hadu alla ilaaha illallaah wahdahu la shareeka lah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluh, (I testify that there is None worthy of worship but Allah Alone who has no partner, and I testify that Muhammad is His Slave and His Messenger, O Allah make me among the repentant people and make me from the purified).' If one does so, the eight gates of Paradise will open for him and he will enter from whichever gate he wishes.

This is the method that was confirmed in an authentic Hadeeth of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and which was narrated by ‘Umar  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him."[End of quote]

Based on the above, the correct method of performing ablution becomes clear to you.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 382048, 131647, 90775, 88886, and 84841.

Allah knows best.

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