Eid al-Fitr and its Prayers

1768189Once the holy month of Ramadhan is over, the pious get ready to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, Feast of Fast-Breaking, to thank the Almighty who enabled them to fast and to remember the needy and the indigent. It is also customary on such an occasion to give gifts to the members of the family, especially children. Once it becomes known that the next day is going to be the Eid, it is very highly recommended to spend the night preceding the Eid in prayers and adoration.

On p. 104 of al-Saduq’s Thawab al-A’mal, Muhammad ibn Ibrahim is quoted saying that he heard Isma’eel ibn Muhammad quoting Muhammad ibn Sulayman quoting Ahmed ibn Bakr-al-Farisi quoting Muhammadibn Mis’ab quoting Hammad quoting Thabit quoting the great sahabi Anas ibn Malik saying that the Messenger of Allah (S) has said, “The heart of anyone who spends the Eid night [the night preceding the Eid] will not die on the Day when the hearts die.”

How to perform the Eid prayers, what is recommended and what is not in its regard, and all fiqh related to it in the following paragraphs are excerpted from Vol. 1 of Man la Yahduruhu al-Faqih by Shaykh (mentor) Abu Ja’far ibn Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Babawayh al-Qummi (306 – 381 A.H.).

Is the Eid prayer compulsory (Sunnah wajibah) or is it highly recommended (Sunnah mustahabbah)? Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq, whose followers are referred to as Shi’as Ja’faris Ithna-’Asheris, followers of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (S) as outlined by Imam Ali (as) and according to the fiqh of Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (as) and who follow all the Infallible Twelve Imams (as), is quoted on p. 339, Vol. 1, of al-Saduq’s book Man la Yahduruhu al-Faqih saying, “Prayers on both Eids (al-Fitr and al-Adha) are compulsory, and so is the prayer on the eclipse.”

The author comments on this weighty statement by saying that the Imam (as) means they are among “minor obligations,” that is, sighar al-faraiz, due to one narration by Hareez which states the following:

Zurarah quotes Imam Abu Ja’far (as) saying: “To pray both Eid prayers with an Imam is a Sunnah; no prayers should be performed before or after them on that occasion till the time of zawal.1

He (as) is also quoted on the same page as saying, “No Eid prayers on both Eids should be offered without an Imam (a just one), but if you pray it by yourself, there is no harm in doing so.” Hareez, on p. 340 of the same reference, quotes Zurarah citing Imam Abu Ja’far al-Baqir (as) saying, “The Commander of the Faithful (Imam Ali), peace be upon him, used not to eat anything on Eid al-Adha till he eats of what he offers by way of sacrifice. And he used not to go out on Eid al-Fitr before eating something and paying the fitra.” Then he added: “And we do likewise.”

How should the Eid (be it Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha) prayers be performed? They are two rek’ats without iqamah or athan. The imam starts by calling “Allahu Akbar!” once, then he recites Surat al-Fatiha and “Sabbih ismi Rabbikal-A’la” (Surat al-A’la, The Most High, Chapter 87, which is comprised of 19 verses), then he makes takbeer(by saying: “Allahu Akbar!”) five times, then he makes qunoot followed by rukoo’, then he is to prostrate twice (as is the case with fajr prayers).

When he stands to perform the second rek’a, he should recite Surat al-Fatiha followed by “Wal shamsi wa Duhaha, etc.” (Surat al-Shams [The Sun], Chapter 91, which is comprised of 15 verses), followed by four takbeers, including takbeerat al-qiyam. Having made takbeer for the fifth time, he makes rukoo’ and goes on to the prostrations as described above. What is recommended to be said during the qunoot(in the first rek’a) of a great occasion such as the Eid? We think the most beautiful supplication is one narrated by Muhammad ibn al-Fudayl who quotes Abu al-Sabah al-Kinani quoting Abu Abdullah Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (as), our sixth Imam, as follows:

In order to benefit the readers who are not versed in Arabic, we would like to offer this modest translation of the sophisticated text cited above, imploring the Almighty to forgive us for falling short of matching the Arabic text (English never rises to the level of classic Arabic especially when it comes to prayers, the Holy Qur’an, and supplications):

I testify that there is no god but Allah, the One and Only God, without any partner, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. Lord! You are the Lord of greatness and magnanimity, generosity and might, potence, authority and dignity! I plead to You on this Day which You have made as an Eid for the Muslims and as a treasure for Muhammad (S) and an increase (in his prestige), to bless Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad, to also bless Your angels who are near to You as well as all Your deputied messengers, and to forgive us and all believing men and women, and all Muslim men and women, the living and the dead.

O Lord! I plead to You to grant me of the best of that for which your righteous servants plead to You, and I seek refuge with You against all (evil) from which Your righteous servants seek refuge with You. Allah is the First and the Last of everything, the One Who knows everything and Who brings them back to life. The destiny of everything is to Him and so is its return. He is the One Who manages the affairs and brings life back to those in the graves. He accepts good deeds and unveils what is hidden; He reveals the secrets of the hearts. Allahu Akbar! His Kingdom is great; He is the ever-Living Who never dies; when He decrees a thing, He only says to it “Be!” and it is! To You are the voices humbled and the faces succumb, and no vision can ever reach him, nor can any tongue glorify You enough.

All forelocks are in Your grip and all affairs are referred to You: none can judge in their regard besides You, nor can anything be accomplished without Your aid. Allahu Akbar! Your protection encompasses everything; Your Dignity subdues everything; Your command overwhelms everything, and everything stands through You. Everything is humbled to Your greatness; everything is subjected to Your Exaltation; everything surrenders to Your will, and everything is a subject in Your Kingdom!Allahu Akbar!

The same reference contains other such sermons for those who appreciate them and who seek nearness to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala through reciting them.


  • 1. The time of zawal is when the sun gets closer to midday. For example, if noon is at 12:00 o’clock, the zawal is between 10:30 and 11:00 am. The reason why the Imam (as) says that there should be no prayers performed before or after the Eid prayer is, most likely, to highlight its great significance.

Frequently Asked Questions on Zakat Al-Fitrah

eadFrequently Asked Questions on Zakat Al-Fitrah

(According to Fataawa of Ayatullah Sayyid Ali al-Husayni Seestani)

by Academy of Learning Islam

Reproduced with permission from the Academy for Learning Islam.

Q. What is Zakatul Fitrah?

A: It is religious tax/alms (zakat) paid on the day when Muslims break the fasting period at the end of the month of Ramadhan. This alms is known as Zakat al-Fitrah.

Q. What do the Qur’an and Hadith say about Fitrah?

A: Imams (a) say that the verses: Indeed whosoever purifies himself shall achieve success, and glorifies the Name of his Lord and prays (87:14 & 15) refer to giving of Fitrah and saying prayers on Eid al-Fitr. Imam Ja`far as- Sadiq (a) said: for your fast to be accepted, give zakât.

Q. When does Fitrah become wajib?

A. Payment of Fitrah becomes obligatory after sunset on the eve of Eid al- Fitr. The Fitrah should be kept aside and paid on Eid al-Fitr before Eid prayers or before midday for those who cannot say their Eid prayers. It is necessary to have obligatory intention (niyyah) of giving Fitrah for God’s pleasure only.

Q. What happens if someone forgets or does not give Fitrah on time?

A. If one does not give out or set aside the Fitrah within the due time, he should give the Fitrah later, on the basis of precaution, without making the niyyah of adaa or qadhaa but only Qurbatan Ilallah.

Q. Can we give Fitrah in advance?

A. Giving Fitrah before the eve of Eid al-Fitr is not permissible. However, if you wish to send Fitrah earlier so that it reaches the needy on time, then you can send it as a temporary loan to the needy and then change your intention from loan to Fitrah on the eve of Eid al-Fitr.

Q. To whom is Fitrah obligatory?

A. Paying Fitrah is obligatory on every Muslim who is mature (baligh), sane, financially able, and conscious on the eve of Eid al-Fitr. Fitrah should also be paid on behalf of all dependents (e.g. wife, children) whom one supports financially.

Q. When is a host required to pay Fitrah for his guest?

A. If a person invites another person to his house on the eve of Eid al-Fitr and if the guest is present at the host’s place at the time of the sunset then it is obligatory for the host to pay Fitrah for his guest.

Q. What happens if the guest arrives after the sunset on Eid night?

A. In this case the guest will pay his/her own Fitrah and it is not obligatory on the host to pay Fitrah for the guest.

Q. What happens if a guest comes uninvited and is present at the time of the sunset on the eve of Eid al-Fitr?

A. Ayatullah Sayyid As-Sistani says that the host should still pay the Fitrah as an obligatory precaution. However, Marhum Ayatullah Sayyid al-Khui was of the opinion that is recommended for the host to pay Fitrah of an uninvited guest.

Q. How much should we pay for Fitrah?

A. Fitrah for a person is given on a weight of three kilograms (one sa`a) on any food commodity like wheat, barley, rice, millet, raisins or dates. Ayatullah Seestani is of the opinion that the item that is not a staple food in your town should not be given in Fitrah. Say, for example, if millet is not a staple in Vancouver then Vacouver mumineen should not pay Fitrah on millet.

Q. Can we give cash value of any commodity mentioned above?

A. Yes, cash value in lieu of any foodstuff mentioned can be given as Fitrah. Thus, if a kilo of rice costs $2.00, the cash value of Fitrah on rice per person would be $6.00. We recommend, Fitrah on basmati rice to be Canadian Dollars 7.00 for residents of Canada and US Dollars 6.00 for US residents. (Please check prices for other items in your areas.)

Q. Whom should we give the Fitrah to?

A. It is given to the needy who are unable to meet their own or their dependants annual living expenses, nor do they have the means to do so through earning. Ayatullah As-Seestani says that the needy who is given the fitrah must be a Shi`ah Ithna `Ashari.

Q. Who should not be given the Fitrah?

A. A needy who: consumes alcohol, does not say his daily prayers (salat), commits sins openly, or he who is known to use the Fitrah in sinful way.

Q. Are there any additional rules that we need to be aware of?

A. Following are some important rules:

(i) Fitrah should not be sent outside the town one resides in, if there are deserving mumineen in that town.

(ii) Fitrah from a non-Sayyid cannot be given to a needy Sayyid; the reverse is permissible.

(iii) A needy should be given at least one Fitrah

(iv) Amongst the needy, relatives should be preferred over others when giving Fitrah, next in line are neighbors and then the learned.

How to Perform Ablution Based on Qur’an & Sunnah ?

vozoAs mentioned earlier, wudu is an act consisting of two stages (i) washing the face and hands; and (ii) wiping a part of the head and feet. This is clearly evident from the verse No. 6 of the suratu ‘1-Ma’idah:

“O you who believe! When you stand up for prayer, (i) wash your face and hands up to the elbows, (ii) and wipe a part of your head and your feet up to the ankles.” (5:6)

In this verse, two imperative forms have been used: (i) `faghsilu” which means “wash!”; and (ii)”wamsuhu”which means “wipe!”. It is obvious that the first imperative form (“wash!”) refers to the two objects which are “your face” (wujuhukum) and “your hands” (aydiyakum); while the second imperative form refers to a two objects which are “a part of your head” (by’ ru’usikum) and “your feet” (arjulakum).

The word “face” means the front portion of the head, comprising in man the surface be­tween top of the forehead and the bottom of the chin, and extending from ear to ear. In its legal definition, as ex­plained in theahadith of the Imams of Ahlu’1-bayt, it covers the surface of the face vertically from the hair-line to the bottom of the chin, and horizontally the parts which come within the reach of the span of the hand from the middle-finger to the thumb. (1)

The word “hand” means the organ especially adapted for grasping, and comprising the upper limb between the shoulder and the finger-tips. So we see that from the linguistic point of view, the word “yad“ is common between arm, fore-arm and hands.

When a word is commonly used in more than one mean­ing, it becomes necessary for the speaker to provide an associate (or a context) to specify the meaning. And thus we see the words “ila ‘1-marafiq up to the elbow” in the verse; these words were necessary to specify the part of the “hands“ which is to be included in wudu‘.

Now we come to one of the main differences among the Shi`ahs and the Sunnis in the manner of performingwudu‘. The Sunnis wash their fore-arm from the finger­tips up to the elbows, and the Shi`ahs wash their fore-arm from the elbows to the finger-tips. As mentioned above the words “up to the elbows“ do not tell us to wash from the finger-tips to the elbow or vice verse; these words are there just to specify the part of the “hands” which is to be included in wudu‘.

Then how should we wash our fore-arm-from the elbow or from the finger-tips? The answer of this problem is provided by the sunnah. One of the responsibilities of the Prophet was to explain the details of, and practically demonstrate how to follow, the laws explained in the Qur’an. And, indeed, the most authentic way of learning the Prophet’s method of performing wudu‘ is through the ahadith of the Imams of Ahlu ‘l-bayt (the family of the Prophet). Zurarah bin A’yun narrates the following hadith:
“Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s.) said, `Shouldn’t I describe to you the wudu‘ of the Messenger of Allah?’ We said, `Yes.’ When the water was brought, the Imam washed his hands, then he uncovered his fore-arms. He dipped his right hand in the vessel ….then scooped it full with water and poured it on his fore-head …. He let the water drop on to the end of his beard and then he passed his hand on his face and fore-head once.

“Then he dipped his left hand (in the vessel), filled it up (with water), poured it on his right elbow and then passed his palm on the fore-arm until the water dripped to the finger-tips. Then he fully scooped (the water) with his right hand, pour it on his left elbow and then passed his palm on the fore-arm until the water dripped to the finger-tips.

“Then he wiped the front part of his head and the apparent side of his feet by the wetness of his left and right hands.” (2)

In another hadith Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s.) narrates the same manner of performing wudu‘ which Arnim l-minin ‘Ali had demonstrated when a person inquired about the Prophet’s manner of performing wudu‘.(3)

The imperative “wamsahu = wipe” means to directly wipe the hands, etc, on something. When a word like “wamsahu“ is used alone in a transitive form it denotes comprehensiveness and totality of the act; e.g.““ “would mean “wipe all of your head.” But whenever this verb is followed by the letter “ba” it denotes partiality e.g ““ would mean “wipe a part of your head.” In the verse mentioned above ““ has been used with the letter “ba” and thus the correct translation would be “wipe a part of your head”.

Here again we come across another difference be­tween the Shi’ahs and the Sunnis. The Sunnis wipe all of their head whereas the Shi’ahs wipe only a part of their heads.

Which part of the head is to be wiped in wudu? The Qur’an is silent on this; the sunnah has explained it. Manyahadith from the Imams of Ahlu ‘l-bayt have explained that “a part of the head” is “the front part”.

The word “arjulakum“ means “feet, leg”. To specify its meaning, it was necessary to add the words “ila ‘ 1-ka `bayn up to the ankles”. The word “ar-julakum” is connected to “bi ru’usikum a part of your heads” by the coordinate conjunction “wa = and”. And thus the sentence would mean “wipe a part of your feet.”

Here again we come to two more differences among the Sunnis and the Shi`ahs. The Sunnis wash their wholefeet in wudu whereas the Shi`ahs wipe only the apparent side of their feet up to the ankles. As far as the Qur’an and the ahadith of the Ahlu ‘l-bayt are concerned, “wiping a part of your feet” is the only correct interpretation of the verse of wudu. And this interpretation has also been accepted by the famous Sunni scholar Imam Fakhru’d­ Din ar-Razi in his Tafsir al-Kabir. (5)

The only basis for the Sunnis’ point of view about “washing the feet” are some `ahadith‘ recorded in their books of tradition. These adadith cannot be accepted because:

Firstly, they are contrary to the injunction of the Qur’an. And the Prophet has said, “If a hadith is narrated to you from me, then put it before the Book of Allah. If it is according to the Book of Allah, then accept it; otherwise reject it.” (6)

Secondly, they are against the sunnah of the Prophet as explained by the Imam of the Ahlu ‘l-bayt who have been accepted as reliable by all the Muslims. Even some companions of the Prophet have clearly stated that it is wrong to ascribe the “washing of the feet” to the Prophet. For example, the famous companion Abdullah ibn `Abbas said, “Allah has enjoined two washings and two wipings (in wudu). Don’t you see that when Allah mentions the tayammum, He places two wipings in place of two washings (of face and hands) and leaves out the wipings (of head and feet).” (7)

Thirdly, the ahadith of the Sunnis in this matter are contradictory. Some ahadith mention “the washing of the feet” like those of Humran quoted by Imam al-Bukhari (8) and of Ibn `Asim quoted by Imam Muslim. While some other ahadith say that the Prophet “wiped his feet” like that of `Ibad bin Tamim which says that “I saw the Prophet performing the wudu, and he wiped his feet.” This last hadith has been recorded by Ta’rikh of al-Bukhari, Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Sunan of Ibn Abi Shaybah, and Mu’jamu ‘1-Kabir of at-Tabarani; and all of its narrators are considered trustworthy. (9) And it is an accepted rule of the Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (usulu’ 1fiqh) that if there are contradictory ahadith, then those which conform to the Qur’an are to be accepted and the others are to be rejected.

Thus, we can conclude that the correct manner of performing the wudu, according to the Qur’an and the authentic sunnah of the Prophet, is the manner which has been explained by the Imams of Ahlu ‘l-bayt .

1)Wasa’il, vol. 1, p. 283-6 sections 17-19 of the chapter on wudu.
2)Wasa’il, vol. 1, p. 272
4)Wasa’il, vol. 1, p. 289.
5)ar-Razi, Tafsir al-Kabir, vol. 3, p. 370.
6)Ibid, p. 371.
7)Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanzu ‘1-‘Ummal, vol. 5, p. 103 (hadith no. 2213). Also see Musnad Ibn Hanbal, vol. 1, p. 108.
8)al-Bukhari, Sahih, vol. 1 (Beirut, Darul Arabia, n.d.) p. 113.
9)al-‘Asqalani, al-‘Isabah, vol. 1, p. 193; see also his Tahdhib at-Tahdhib.

The Five Circumstances which Wudu Becomes Obligatory

washing-handsAs mentioned earlier, performing the wudu is always a recommendable deed, but it becomes obligatory (wajib) in certain circumstances. There are five circumstances under which wudu becomes obligatory; and whenever a Muslim finds himself in any one these circumstances, he must do wudu.

The five circumstances are as follows:-

1. For obligatory prayers, e.g., the five daily prayers.

Wudu is not wajib for sunnat (recommended) prayers; but as the prayers whether obligatory or recommended are invalid without wudu, so we have to pray the sunnat prayers also with wudu. In other words, if you do not do wudu for the sunnat prayer you will not have sinned-al­though your prayer will be incorrect. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s.) said, “There can be no prayer except with ritual ablution (i. e. wudu).” 434

Salatu ‘l-mayyit (the ritual prayer said for the dead person before the burial) is an exception to this rule; this obligatory prayer can be performed even if one is in a state of ritual impurity.

2. For the wajib circumambulation (tawaf) of the Ka`bah in hajj. ‘Ali bin Ja`far asked his father (the sixth Imam) about a person who was doing the tawaf and then remembered that he had not done wudu. Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) said, “He should stop the tawaf and not count (whatever he had done as valid). 535

3. For touching the writings of the Qur’ an. The Qur’an is not just a book, it is the revelation of God, it is the word of God, and therefore it is sacred. Its sacredness demands that before you touch the writing of the Qur’an, you must ritually purify yourself. Allah says,

“None shall touch it except the purified ones.” (56:79)

On basis of the extrinsic meaning of this verse and the ahadith, the muj­tahids have reached the opinion that it is forbidden to
touch the writings of the Qur’ an without being in the state of wudu.

However, this law of the shari`ah should not become an excuse for not reading the Qur’an. There is no harm in reading the Qur’an without doing wudu provided one does not touch the writing of the holy book, i.e., just hold the cover or the border of the page. Once Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) told his son Isma’il to read the Qur’an . Isma’il said, “I am not in the state of wudu.” The Imam said, “Do not touch the writing, just hold the paper and then read the book.” 636

Likewise, there is no harm in touching the translations of the Qur’an, because the translations do not qualify as the word of God. Neither is it wajib to prevent the children from touching the writings of the Qur’an unless such an act is considered a disrespect to the Sacred Book-and this differs according to the culture and the society’ in which the Muslims live.

4. For touching the names and the attributes of Allah.
It is forbidden to touch the names and the attributes of Allah, in any script, without being in the state of ritual purity (wudu).

By looking at the sacredness which the Prophets, the Imams of the Ahlu ‘l-bayt
and also Fatimah (the daughter of the Prophet) have acquired due to their being chosen by Allah, our mujtahids have recommended that the names of these holy persons also should not be touched without wudu.

5. For making promise, oath and vow to stay in the state of ritual purity (i.e., in wudu) for a certain period of time. If a person makes such a promise or vow, then he must fulfill it when his conditions have materialized. For example, someone says, “If I pass my exams, I will stay with wudu for a whole day.” So if this person passes his exams, then he must stay with wudu for one full day.

The Ten Things that Invalidate wudu

INVALIDATEThe Ten Things that Invalidate wudu
After having done the wudu once, for how long can a person be considered to be in the state of ritual purity? Is a Muslim required to do a separate wudu for each of his prayers, or is one wudu sufficient for the whole day? Once a person has done wudu, he can consider himself in the state of ritual purity until one of the nawaqiztakes place. Nawaqiz (pl. of naqiz) means those things which end the effectiveness of wudu and make it null and void (batil).

The nawaqiz of wudu are ten. Six are related to the discharges which take place from the sexual organs, and four are related to the factors which cause temporary or permanent disability of the mind.

i. The Discharges:

(a) Common between man and women:
1. Urine (and semen).
2. Stool.
3. Farting.

(b) In women only:
4. Menstruation.
5. Irregular bleeding.
6. Post-natal bleeding.

ii. The Mental Disability Factors:

7. Sound sleep (in which one cannot hear anything).
8. Drunkenness (from alcohol or drugs, etc.).
9. Unconsciousness.
10. Insanity.

These nawaqiz have been deduced from the following ahadith of the Imams of Ahlu ‘l-bayt (may peace be upon them): Zurarah bin A’yun quotes from the fifth or sixth Imam as follows: “Nothing invalidates the wuduexcept what comes out of both sides [of the sexual organs] or sleep.”

In another hadith, Zurarah asked both the fifth and the sixth Imams, “What invalidates the wudu?” They answered, “Whatever comes out from both of your lower organs like stool, urine, semen or wind; or the sleep which prevents the functioning of the mind…”

The first six nawaqiz (i. e., the discharges from the sexual organs) can easily be deduced from these two narrations. Analyzing the last sentence of the second hadith (“or sleep which prevents the functioning of the mind”) proves that the sleep has been counted as one of the nawaqiz because it prevents the functioning of the mind. This gives a criterion in the hands of the mujtahids to extend the list to include the other three things, i.e., insanity, unconsciousness and drunkenness. The hadith has just mentioned sleeping because it is the most obvious and common factor that causes `disability’ of the mind, of course, temporarily.

It is needless to say that other than the ten things mentioned above, nothing invalidates the wudu. Some Muslims think that if a person touches his wife or his own private parts, his wudu becomes invalid. This is not correct. The Imams of Ahlu ‘1-bayt, who are the most reliable source for the sunnah of the Prophet and the best guides of the Qur’an, have clearly explained that nothing else affects the wudu in any way.

The Ten Conditions for the Validity of Wudu(ablution)

man_20washing_20faceThe performance of wudu depends on certain condi­tions which are known in Islamic laws as “the conditions for the validity of wudu”. These conditions are ten in number: three are related to the water, three to the person; and four to the act of wudu itself.

i. The Water
1. The water must be mutlaq. “Mutlaq” means pure or unmixed; in the present context, it refers to the liquid which is normally considered by people as water. (It does not have to be pure chemically.) The opposite of mutlaq is “muzaf’ which refers to the water which is not con­sidered pure by the people, e. g., orange juice.

2. The water must be tahir (ritually clean, not najis).

3. The water must be mubah (lawful), that is, you must be its owner or you must have the permission to use it.

The wudu performed with mixed, najis or non-mubah water is invalid even if it was done unknowingly. Likewise it is difficult to approve the validity of the wudu performed with the water which was in an utensil made of gold or silver.

ii. The Person
4. Niyyat : Niyyat means intention As wudu is an act of ritual worship (`ibadat), it is necessary to perform it with niyyat. Niyyat, in this context, means that one must have the intention to do the wudu in obedience to the command of Allah. Sincerity is an essential condition for niyyat; one should do wudu only for seeking the pleasure of Allah and in obedience to His command. If someone performs wudu for any other purpose, e.g., making him­self cool in summer, then his wudu is invalid.

In niyyat, it is not necessary to utter the words; the mere intention of doing the wudu in obedience to the command of Allah is enough; nor is it necessary to mention that the wudu is wajib or mustahab.

5. The organs of wudu must be ritually clean (tahir) before washing or wiping them.

Besides the ritual cleanliness (raharat) of the organs of wudu, they must also be exposed. In other words, there should be nothing on them which might prevent the water from reaching the skin. Special care should be taken by women in case the lipstick, nail-polish, kohl, and eye shadow are such that the water does not reach the skin. If the dirt under the long nails is not more than normal, then it will not harm the wudu.

6. Use of the water should not be harmful to the person who wants to do wudu. If the person fears that he will become ill or his illness will be prolonged by the use of cold water or warm water in wudu, then he should do tayammum.

iii. The Acts of Wudu:
7. The place where wudu is being performed must be mubdh (lawful).

8. In normal situation, it is wajib for one to perform wudu by himself, without the help of others. However, help in the preliminaries such as fetching the water, pouring out the water, is allowed.

In case of disability because of illness, etc., someone else may help; but in such a case, it is necessary for both, the helper and the helped, to do the niyyat.

9. Correct Order (tartib): Every act in performing the wudu must be done in the prescribed order: first the washing of the face, then of the right fore-arm, and then of the left fore-arm, followed by the wiping of the head, then of the right foot, and lastly of the left foot.

10. Continuity (muwalat): The acts of wudu must follow each other so that, in normal weather, when each part is commenced the previous parts are still wet.

The six Recommendable Acts of Wudu (ABLUTION)

img-hand-washingRecommendable acts of Wudu

What you read above was concerning the obligatory (wajib) acts of wudu. Now we shall describe the acts which are recommendable (mustahab, sunnat) during the wudu.

1. Washing the hands two time before washing the face.

2. Gargling three times before washing the face.

3. Rinsing the nose three times before washing the face.

4. While washing the face and the fore-arms, it is recommended to wash each part twice before proceeding to the next stage of the wudu. One should realize that washing these organs of wudu once is obligatory, while washing them twice is recommendable; but to wash them for the third time is forbidden (haram). Determining the first or the second washing depends on the intention of the individual himself. And so, it is possible that a person may pour water on his right fore-arm five times and wipe his left hand on it twice, and still count this washing as the first one.

5. It is recommended for men to start washing their fore-arms from the apparent side of the arms, and for the women to start washing their fore-arms from the inner side.

6. Reciting the following du’as as taught by Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) at various stages of the wudu:

• at the beginning of the wudu:
Bis mil-lahi wa bil-lahi; wal hamdu lil-lahil lazi ja `alal ma’a tahilran wa lam yaj`alhu najisa. = [I am doing this wudu] in the name of Allah and for the sake of Allah; all praise be to Allah who made the water pure and did not make it impure.

• at the time of the washing the hands two times before washing the face:
Allahummaj `alni minat tawwabiyna, waj `alni minal mutatah-hiriyn. = O Allah place me among those who ask for forgiveness and among those who are pure.

• at the time of gargling:
Allahumma laqqini hujjaty yawma alqaka, wat liq lisani bi zikrik. = O Allah teach me the correct answer for the day I shall meet You and open my tongue for Your praise.

• at the time of rinsing the nose.

Allahumma la tuharrim ‘alayya riyhal jannah, waj `alni mim man yashummu riyhaha wa rawhaha wa tiybaha. = O Allah! Do not deprive me from the smell of the Paradise, and place me among those who will sniff its smell, its refreshments and per­fume.

• at the time of washing the face:
Allahumma bayyiz wajhiy yawma tusawwidul wujuh; wa la tusawwid wajhiy yawma tubayyizul wujuh. = O Allah ! Brighten my face on the day You will disgrace the faces; and do not disgrace my face on the day You will brighten the faces.

• at the time of the washing the right fore-arm:
Allahumma `atiniy kitabi bi yaminiy, wal khulda fil jinani bi yasariy, wa hasibniy hisaban yasira. = O Allah! Place my scroll of deeds in my right hand and (the certificate of) permanency in the Paradise on my left; and do the reckoning of my account leniently.

• at the time of washing the left fore-arm:
Allahumma la tu `tiniy kitabiy bi shimaliy, wa la min wara’i zahriy, wa la taj’alha maghluqatan ila `un­uqiy; wa a `uzu bika min muqatta `atin niyran. = O Allah! Do not place my scroll of deeds in my left hand nor on my back; and do not make it strap around my neck. And I seek refuge with You from the fierce fire.

• at the time of the wiping the head
Allahumma ghash-shiniy bi rahmatika wa barakatika wa `afwika. = O Allah! Cover me with Your mercy, Your blessings and Your pardon.

• at the time of the wiping the feet:
Allahumma thab-bitniy `alas sirati yawma tuzillu fiyhil aqdam; waj `al sa`iy fi ma urziyka `anniy; ya zul jalali wal ikram. = O Allah, keep me steadfast on my path on the day when the feet shall slip; and make my efforts (in the way) that will please you -O the Master of power and honor. 131

The Four main stages of Performing Wudu (4)

5_(1)4. Rubbing the feet
Again using the wetness of the hands, wipe the right foot with the right hand, and then the left foot with the left hand.
In wiping the feet, place the palm or the fingers of the hand on the finger-tips of the foot and then wipe to the base of the ankle. One can even wipe from the base of the ankle to the finger-tips. In wiping the feet, your palms should wipe your feet; it is not enough to move your feet against your palms.


The Four main stages of Performing Wudu (3)

1391-2-3-20124229713578576748713. Rubbing the head
Wiping of the head means to wipe a wet finger of the right hand from the crown of the head to the hair-line. Wiping of the head can be performed on any part of the quarter of the head which is over the fore-head.

The act of wiping can be done with one finger only, but it is recommended to use three fingers together. The water must reach the root of the hair. However, if the hair are so short that they cannot be combed then it is enough to wipe the hair.

While wiping the head, your hand should not touch your fore-head; otherwise, the water of the fore-head will mix with the wetness of your hand, and this will render the act of wiping the right foot invalid. Why? Because the act of wiping must be done with the wetness of the hands only.


The Four main stages of Performing Wudu (2)

naghd11-large-lenzak2. Washing the fore-arms
After washing the face,the right and then the left hand should be washed from the elbow down to the finger tips.

like the face ,they should also always be washed from top to the bottom and if washed from below to above the WUDU will be void.

Pour water over the right fore-arm from the elbow to the finger-tips; and using the left hand, wipe the water over the arm to ensure that all the necessary parts are washed. Then do the same with the left fore-arm. The washing must be done from the elbows to the finger-tips and not vice versa.

The water should be poured from a little above the elbow to ensure that the whole fore-arm is covered. It is necessary to wash the fore-arms in such a way that the water penetrates the hair, if any, and reaches the skin.

The right fore-arm should be washed before the left.