Allah the exalted says in Quran 5 verse, 6 “Believers! When you stand up for prayer wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows, and wipe your heads, and wash your feet up to the ankles. And if you are in the state of ritual impurity, purify yourselves (by taking a bath). But if you are either ill, travelling, have satisfied a want of nature or have had contact with women and find no water then have recourse to clean earth and wipe your faces and your hands therewith. Allah does not want to lay any hardship upon you; rather He wants to purify you and complete His favours upon you so that you may give thanks.”

Allah(SAW) says in Quran 4 verse 43 “Believers! Do not draw near to the Prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying nor while you are defiled – save when you are travelling – until you have washed yourselves. If you are either ill or travelling or have satisfied a want of nature or have had contact with women and can find no water, then betake yourselves to pure earth, passing with it lightly over your face and your hands. Surely Allah is All-Relenting, All-Forgiving.

Wudu(Ablution) is the purification(At-tahara) that is performed before any act of worship. It must be performed before Solah. Wudu is purification with water. Just like wudu, we have tayammum. This is to be performed in cases when there is zero access to water. It is purification with the earth. Wudu wipes out minor impurities but any muslim that is supposed to observe ghusl(ritual bath) must do so before observing wudu then coming to pray. For example, if a woman has completed her menstrual cycle, she has to perform ghusl before her wudu can be valid.

The table below divides the steps of ablution into the compulsory, necessary and liked actions. The compulsory steps are decreed by the Quran and the necessary acts are gotten from Prophet Muhammad(SAW). Both are to be used alongside the liked acts of wudu to get maximum reward from Allah.


Compulsory acts of Ablution. (Faraidatul Wudu)

Necessary acts by the sunnah. (sunnatul wudu)

Liked acts (Mustahabatul Wudu)

  1. Saying Bismillahir Rahmani Raheem
  1. Intention
  1. Washing hands 
  2. Rinsing the mouth
  3. Sniffing water in nose
  4. Blowing out water from the nose
  1. Washing the face
  2. Washing the arms
  3. Rubbing the head from front to back with water.

  1. Rubbing the head again from back up to the front hair line.
  1. Wetting the hands before rubbing the ears
  1. Washing the feet.
  1. Testimony or declaration of faith
  1. Rubbing thoroughly when washing in ablution.
  2. Not interrupting ablution with any other action.

7.Ensuring that the seven compulsory acts of ablution are done in the correct order.

  1. Clean the teeth before ablution preferably with a miswaq.(chewing stick)
  2. Repetition of some of the acts of wudu three times.
  3. Choosing a clean place for ablution.
  4. Conserving water used during wudu

The link below shows step by step acts in wudu by combining the compulsory, necessary and liked actions.



In extreme cases of lack of water within a mile radius or severe sickness that prohibits one from touching water, tayammum is performed. Tayammum is permitted on all items which have sand on them like the ground, walls made from mud, stone etc. It is not permissible things that can burn or be melted like trees, grass, nylon, metals etc.



  1. Find a piece of ground which is free of najaasah(unclean elements)
  2. Make niyyah(intention).
  3. Say Bismillah
  4. Place the hands on the surface of the ground.
  5. Hit the hands together to remove excess dust
  6. Rub hands together with both palms
  7. Place the hands on the surface of the ground.
  8. Rub face together with both palms
  9. It is compulsory that the steps are done in order.