How to Perform Wudhu
Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas radhiAllahu anhu once performed Wudhu and took a handful of water and rinsed his mouth and nose with it. He took another handful of water and joined both hands and washed his face. He took another handful of water and washed his right hand and another handful and washed his left hand with it. He next wiped his head. Next, he took a handful of water and sprinkled it on his right foot and washed it and took another handful of water and washed his left foot. When he finished, he said, “This is how I saw the Messenger of Allah (performing Wudhu).” Al-Bukhari also recorded it.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said,
وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ
“and your hands (forearms) up to (Ila) the elbows…” meaning, including the elbows. It is recommended that those who perform Wudhu should wash a part of the upper arm with the elbow. Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah radhiAllahu anhu said that the Messenger of Allah, sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said,
إِنَّ أُمَّتِي يُدْعَوْنَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ غُرًّا مُحَجَّلِينَ مِنْ آثَارِ الْوُضُوءِ، فَمَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمْ أَنْ يُطِيلَ غُرَّتَهُ فَلْيَفْعَل
“On the Day of Resurrection, my Ummah will be called ‘those with the radiant appendages’ because of the traces of Wudhu. Therefore, whoever can increase the area of his radiance should do so.”
Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah radhiAllahu anhu said, “I heard my intimate friend (the Messenger) saying,
تَبْلُغُ الْحِلْيَةُ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِ حَيْثُ يَبْلُغُ الْوَضُوء
“The radiance of the believer reaches the areas that the water of (his) Wudhu reaches.”
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said next,
“Rub your heads.”
It is recorded in the two saheehs that Malik bin Amr bin Yahya Al-Mazini said that his father said that a man said to Abdullah bin Zayd bin Asim, the grandfather of Amr bin Yahya and one of the Companions of the Messenger, “Can you show me how the Messenger of Allah used to perform Wudhu?” Abdullah bin Zayd said, “Yes.”
He then asked for a pot of water. He poured from it on his hands and washed them twice, then he rinsed his mouth and washed his nose with water thrice by putting water in it and blowing it out. He washed his face thrice and after that he washed his forearms up to the elbows twice. He then passed his wet hands over his head from its front to its back and vice versa, beginning from the front and taking them to the back of his head up to the nape of the neck and then brought them to the front again from where he had started. He next washed his feet.
Abu Dawud recorded that Mu`awiyah and Al-Miqdad bin Ma`dikarib narrated similar descriptions of the Wudhu of the Messenger of Allah, sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam. These ahadeeth indicate that it is necessary to wipe the entire head. Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Humran bin Aban said, “I saw Uthman bin Affan performing Wudhu, and he poured water over his hands and washed them thrice, and then rinsed his mouth and washed his nose by putting water in it, and then blowing it out. Then he washed his face thrice, and then his right forearm up to the elbows thrice, and washed the left forearm thrice. Then he passed his wet hands over his head, then he washed his right foot thrice, and next his left foot thrice. After that Uthman said, ‘I saw the Prophet performing Wudhu like this, and said,
مَنْ تَوَضَّأَ نَحْوَ وُضُوئِي هَذَا، ثُمَّ صَلَّى رَكْعَتَيْنِ لَا يُحَدِّثُ فِيهِمَا نَفْسَهُ، غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِه
“If anyone performs Wudhu like that of mine and offers a two Rak’ah prayer during which he does not think of anything else, then his past sins will be forgiven.’”
Al-Bukhari and Muslim also recorded this hadeeth. In his Sunan, Abu Dawud also recorded it from Uthman, under the description of Wudhu, and in it, that he wiped his head one time.