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Experiencing Salah Series

full course
  1. Experiencing Salah: A Series
  2. Do You Even Know What You’re Doing?
  3. Always On My Mind
  4. Preparation is Key: Wudu
  5. Preparation is Key: Athan
  6. Use Your Imagination & Set the Scene
  7. First Goodbye, then Hello
  8. The Dialogue – Al-Fatiha

It’s clear from our discussion thus far that there’s so much that goes into experiencing salah that begins before the prayer itself. That’s even more prominent with regard to how you prepare yourself for the prayer. You’re going to be standing in front of Allah… If you were going to stand in front of your boss, what would you wear? How would you want to smell? How should your hair look? Now remember … you’re actually going to stand before Allah, the King of all kings … How do you look?

That is why Allah gifted us wudu – the ritual purification for worship. If we were to really think about it, we would never really be able to look good enough to stand before Allah. The wudu, though, is Allah’s promise to us that we are good enough, so long as we make this small effort to show our care. 

Now let’s take a step back and talk about the importance of intentionality which often gets lost when we make wudu. 

Renewing your intention in whatever you do changes the action you’re doing – however small it is – and helps you stay mindful before and while doing it. If we take sleep, as an example, you can choose to sleep and wake up without stopping for a second to think about what you’re doing or why you’re doing it. OR, since you’re gonna have to do it anyway, you can choose to be more mindful, and revisit your intentions every night before you sleep. If your intention is to sleep so you can have the strength to wake up for fajr, and afterwards to work and worship Allah, then the 6-7 hours of sleep can be added to your good deeds!

Going back to wudu, don’t make your wudu just out of habit. Be intentional. It’s your time to really get your head in the game before you stand before Allah. When you do your wudu, give it more dimension by mindfully thinking about what the wudu is and does. Here are some things to keep in mind to help the wudu gain more meaning for you:

1. You’re doing wudu to follow the way of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ 

Wudu has two kinds of actions, some are fard (obligatory) and others are sunnah (the Prophet ﷺ used to do them and they are not required in order to fulfill the obligation). Even though you won’t sin if you only do the fard (which sometimes you should do – for example – when water is scarce and you’re traveling), our ummah has been blessed with sticking to both the fard and sunnah, since the Prophet’s ﷺ time until now. 

Basic Fard Wudu Extra Special Wudu with Sunnan
Wash your face

Wash your arms

Wipe your hair

Wash your feet
Begin in the name of Allah by saying “Bism Ellah” 

Start with the right side with every limb then move to the left

Sniff in the water with your right hand and blow it out with your left hand

Wash your arms all way passed the elbow (flex your arm to help you cover it)

Wipe your ears with a finger in each ear and your thumb behind it

Use your left pinky to wipe between your toes 

Use a little bit of water (which facilitates mindfulness because it forces you to go more slowly)

You may have not realized but many of the actions you’re doing when you do wudu are not actually obligatory. Don’t belittle the small extra things that you do like turning the faucet down so you don’t waste, or flexing your arm so you can get your elbow fully under the water. These gestures are a means of preserving the actions of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. Your small extra effort is facilitating the entire ummah’s holding on to the way of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, and thus, preserving Islam for generations to come! 

2. As you wash your limbs think about the sins they have committed and how Allah is cleansing you from them

The Prophet ﷺ told us: 

من توضأ فأحسن الوضوء، خرجت خطاياه من جسده حتى تخرج من تحت أظفاره

Whoever makes wudu and perfects it, his mistakes come out of his body until they [even] come out from under his fingernails.

Narrated by Muslim (Book 3: Hadith 45)

When you wash your face, every shameless clip you watched with your eyes leaves your body with the water. When you wash your hands, every text you typed that you shouldn’t have is released. When you wipe your hair, every strand that was loose from your head covering is cleansed. When you wash your feet, every time you pressed on the gas pedal speeding down the highway is erased. Your wudu can free you from your past, so don’t just rush through it. Start thinking about all your sins that you did and how Allah is so merciful to be washing them away and cleansing you.

3. Wudu is a protection and honor on the Day of Judgement

How thirsty are you gonna be on the Day of Judgement? 50,000 years long. The sun is 1 mile away. Can you imagine how hot and thirsty you’ll be, and how some people will be drowning in their sweat. Your wudu, and your preservation of the Prophet’s ﷺ way will save you. The Prophet ﷺ himself will recognize you because of your wudu. The faces and limbs of the believers who made wudu will shine bright like horses who are all black but have white foreheads and legs. The Prophet ﷺ will invite you to drink from his basin so that you can get some relief from the heat and thirst. Your making sure to be pure and clean before Allah in this life, despite the inconvenience or hardship of it, will safeguard your comfort and security in the next. Just think about that next time you’re making wudu in a public sink. 

Look At You Now …

Once you complete your wudu say the supplication that the Prophet ﷺ taught us. If you do, all 8 gates of Jannah will be open for you to enter from whichever you want. It will be written in a parchment, sealed, and unbroken until the Day of judgement. 

So, now your limbs are shining from wudu, your sins are forgiven, you can enter from any gate of jannah you want, you get sealed parchments to testify that you made wudu properly, and you really remembered Allah while doing it all. Are you ready to pray or what?!

Was This Useful In Improving the Quality of Your Salah?