In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful



Taharah literally means purity. Before a person can say his prayer, he must be clean and pure. The Qur'an says:" ...For Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean" [Al-Baqara 2:222]. Cleanliness of mind, of body and clothes is called Taharah or purification. It is only in such a condition of purification that a Muslim may perform the Salah.

Purification of the body is attained by partial or total washing with clean water. The partial wash is known as Al-Wudu or the ablution. Total wash is called Al-Ghusl or the washing (bath) of the whole body.



It is recommended that we brush our teeth before or after Wudu if we are going to make Salah afterwards.

Abu Hurayrah reported that Allah's Messenger said,"If I had not found it hard for my followers or the people, I would have ordered them to clean their teeth with Siwaak (tooth stick) for every prayer (Salah)." [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith no. 12]

The main purpose of this is to keep our breath fresh so that we do not offend those praying besides us. It is also better for our teeth.


The process of performing Wudu (Ablution) as follows:

Mention the name of Allah (swt) by saying "Bismilla-Hir-Rahma-Nir-Rahim" (In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful).

Wash both hands up to the wrists together three times, starting with the right wrist then left. Ensuring that every part including between the fingers is wetted by water as shown in figures 1 (a) and (b).

Wash both hands up to the wrists together three times



Taking a handful of water into the mouth


Taking a handful of water into the mouth, rinse the mouth three times as shown in figure 2.




Snuff water contained in the right palm into the nose and then eject the water with the left hand (thrice) - as shown in figures 3 and 4.

Snuff water contained in the right palm into the nose ------------- eject the water with the left hand


Wash the face, ear to ear, forehead to chin, three times as shown in figures 5, 6 and 7.

Wash the face, ear to ear, forehead to chin


Wash the right arm thoroughly from the wrist to the elbow, three times. Repeat the same with the left hand - as shown figures 8 and 9.

Run moistened hands over the head, from forehead to the back and back to forehead (once) - as in figures 10, 11 and 12.

Run moistened hands over the head



Run moistened fingers through the ears

Run moistened fingers through the ears, the first finger of each hand going across the inside of the corresponding ear, while the thumb runs across the outside (once) - as shown in figure 13.





Wash both feet up to the ankles Wash both feet up to the ankles. Starting from the right and ensuring that all parts, particularly between the toes are wetted - as shown in figure 14.

If you had performed complete "Wudu" before putting on your socks or stockings. It is not necessary to remove them when you want to repeat the performance of "Wudu". It is enough to wipe over the stockinged feet with wet hands. This may be done for a period of one day, (and three days on journey) on the condition that the socks or stockings are never removed.

If they are removed, it is necessary to re-wash the feet for Wudu. The process ends with the recitation of the Kalimatus-Shahadah.

Look towards the sky and recite:

أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدَاً عَبْدَهُ وَرَسُولَهُ

"I testify that there is no one worthy of worship besides Allah. He is all by Himself and has no partner and I testify that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger".

Eight doors of Jannah will be open for the reciter of this dua. He will be able to enter from whichever door he pleases. (Mishkat)

Narrated Abu Huraira: At the time of the Fajr prayer the Prophet asked Bilal, "Tell me of the best deed you did after embracing Islam, for I heard your footsteps in front of me in Paradise." Bilal replied, "I did not do anything worth mentioning except that whenever I performed ablution during the day or night, I prayed after that ablution as much as was written for me."  [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Hadith no. 250]

Note: A fresh performance of Wudu is necessary if one breaks wind, touches genitals, becomes sexually excited, pays a visit to the lavatory, falls into sleep lying down, vormits violently, incurs a flow of blood from an injury or a flow of impure fluid.


Al-Ghusl (The Washing or Bath)

The greater purification, Ghusl is obligatory when one is defiled as a result of nocturnal emission (or a wet dream), marital intercourse, child birth or when entering into the fold of Islam.

The procedure is as follows:

Begin with the name of Allah as for Wudu.

Aa'eshah reported that when the Prophet wanted to make Ghusl he used to first wash his hands then wash his privated parts with his left hand. He would then make Wudu like his Wudu for Salah. Then he would pour water on his head three times and rub it with his fingers into the roots of his hair. Following that he would pour water over the whole of his body* and he would sometimes move aside and wash his feet again.**

* Sahi Al-Bukhari ** Sahi Muslim

When bathing using soap, one may complete the soaping and washing of the whole body including the hair, then proceed to make Wudu and the complete wash. The wash may be under a shower. However, the wash should not be in a tub of standing water, because one will be washing with unclean water.

Tayammum (Dry Ablution)

When water is not available or in times of sickness, there is a form of purification made with clean dust, earth or sand, which takes the place of both Wudu and Ghusl. It is called Tayammum and is done as follows:

Begin with the name of Allah (swt). Strike both palms on the ground once (anything containing clean dust, earth or sand, like a wall or a stone etc.), blow on them, then pass the palms of the hands over the face once. Strike the ground etc., again with the palms. Rub the right hand with the left palm from the wrist to the elbow and similarly for the left hand with the right palm. Finish with the Kalimatus-Shahadah as for Wudu.


May Allah the Almighty forgive us for our shortcomings and guide us to that which He loves and is pleased with. Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah's Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

Last updated 2nd December 2013



  • Ahsanul Qawaid
  • Salah - The Muslim Prayer by Islamic Dawah Centre International
  • The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an, 11th edition 1429 AH / 2008 C.E with Revised English Translation, Commentary and Index by ‘Abdullah Yusuf ‘Ali.
  • Sahih Al-Bukhari translated by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Islamic University Al-Medina Al-Munawwara, Published: 1980, Publisher: Dar Al Arabia, Beirut, Lebanon.


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Performing Wudu (Ablution) / Ghusl / Tayammum.

Adhan (Call to Prayer).

Salah (Muslim Prayer) / Forbidden Time.

Salah on Specific Occasions.


Virtues of Salah.