Significance and Aspects of Wuzu
Fazeelat of Wuzu
Every word of Rasulullah is filled with wisdom and meaning. It is up to mumineen to seek an understanding of the deeper meaning in the words of Rasulullah through his Dai in order to deepen their conviction in living according to Rasulullah’s Shari’at.
Rasulullah says that, ‘One who –
Completes properly and thoroughly all the arkaan (actions) of wuzu
Prays his namaz properly
Gives zakaat from his earnings
Controls his temper
Is careful with his words
Does good deeds
Repents from his sins and asks for forgiveness from Allah
Sincerely loves and wishes well for my children (Imams)
He has successfully fulfilled all requirements of Imaan and the doors of Jannat are open for him. Rasulullah says that, 'The sins of a doer of wuzu (in it’s true/complete sense) fall away just as leaves (in autumn) fall from a tree'.
Level 1 – Meaning of Wuzu
Wuzu is a compulsory prerequisite for praying namaz. It means washing and doing maseh (lightly sliding wet hands over) of specific body parts with water in a particular manner and order as a religious rite (ablution).
In the Quran e Majeed, Allah Ta’aala says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ
’ya ayyohal lazeena aamanu iza qumtum ilas salaate faghselu wujoohakum wa aydiyakum ila l maraafeqe wam sahu be ru oosekum wa arjolekum ilal ka’bayn’.
Oh mumineen, when you get ready for namaz, first wash your faces and hands and do maseh over your heads and feet.
Most importantly one needs to intend doing wuzu (niyyat). Washing the face and hands and performing other actions of the wuzu without taking niyyat first is not accepted as proper wuzu.
Water for Wuzu:
Both sea water and fresh water are suitable for wuzu.
Level 2 – Significance of Wuzu
Wuzu is an essential part and prerequisite of prayer in Islam and an integral part of tahaarat, cleanliness. Tahaarat is the second of of the seven di’aamat (pillars) of Islam,
1. Walaayat 2. Tahaarat 3. Salaat 4. Zakaat 5. Sawm 6. Haj 7. Jihaad
Tahaarat in its literal zaahir meaning is pakeezgi – purity [to clean one’s self from any najaasat (inherently dirty substance) using water]. There is also a deeper meaning of taweel (esoteric meaning) present within all ahkaam (rules and guidelines) of Shareeat (the Islamic way of living shown by Rasulullah SA).
Wuzu is a compulsory prerequisite for namaz. In other words, namaz can only be prayed if one has completed wuzu. Wuzu once done remains valid only as long as one abstains from passing any air/substance from the farj (private parts) and does not fall into a deep sleep, in which case one needs to perform wuzu again before praying namaz. All five namaz can be prayed after having done wuzu only once, if required providing wuzu remains valid.
Aspects of Wuzu:
Having the intention to do wuzu in the heart and pray “Bismillah”
Using clean namazi water
Going to the toilet and cleaning private parts, and then wash your hands
Do action of taking niyyat and praying doa for intention of doing wuzu
Using water to clean the mouth and cleaning teeth as prescribed
Using water to wash the nose
Washing the face; while washing pass fingers through the beard, and make sure sure that the eyes are also rinsed
Washing both hands up to and including the elbows; While washing both hands rotating the ring in the finger to make sure water reaches below the ring
Maseh of head
Maseh of ears, using water to clean both ears from inside and out
Maseh of neck
Maseh of feet up to the ankle
Starting with the right hand and foot before the left one
Washing the face and hands more than once – two or three times
Completing all actions in the order prescribed and without intended interruption
Water for Wuzu:
The Da’aaim ul Islam states that the water used to do wuzu should come from a source which is at least cubic feet 64. The water should be not contain any contaminants which might change the taste, colour or smell of water. Flowing water in streams and rivers and the sea is also namazi.
Level 3 – Da’aaim ul Islam and Kitaabu ut Tahaarat:
The kitaab Da’aaim ul Islam was written during the time of Moiz Imam (the 14th Imam who built the city of Cairo) by Syedna Qazi al Nu’maan who was the Dai l Duat and Qazi l Quzaat (Chief Dai and Chief Judge) of the Fatimid Empire. The kitaab consists of two volumes, the first one explains in detail about the seven Di’aamat of Islam in seven chapters, each chapter is dedicated to one Di’aamat and includes a number of sub sections. This kitaab is the main book of Fiqh (Jurisprudence) used within Dawat today.
There is a complete chapter in the first volume of the Da’aaim which consists of detailed bayaan on Tahaarat and includes Wuzu.
Syedna Qazi al Numan has also written Kitaab ut Tahaarat, which is a book covering detailed aspects of wuzu – its meaning and significance, how wuzu needs to be completed, what kind of water is to be used, what alternatives are there if one does not have access to water, etc.