Assalamualaikum, welcome, in this article you will learn the step by step process of how to do Wudu (Wuzu or Wudhu) the correct way according to the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). Perfect for beginners and new Muslims.

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WHAT IS WUDU?

Wudu is a physical and spiritual act to purify oneself before starting prayer. This purification ritual is a mandatory step which involves washing of the hands, mouth, nostrils, face, arms, head and feet.

The steps must be completed in the given order without long pauses in between each step. In the Sahih hadith of Sunan Abu Dawud, it was reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“The prayer of a person who does not perform ablution is not valid” thus making it a necessary act before you begin your prayer. [1]

Wudu Step By Step With Pictures:

1. The process of performing wudu begins with niyyah or intention. This can be done by quieting your thoughts and becoming mindful of the act you are about to perform. You should say ‘bismillah’ which means “in the name of Allah” before starting wudu. So, what’s the importance of niyyah? It is an Islamic concept that our actions are done with the intent of pleasing Allah. It’s important that as a Muslim your belief and behavior are aligned. Intention is a notion which comes from within the heart. If we do good for the sake of doing good we will be rewarded. If you do good for public praise or to feed your ego it can be said your niyyah was not pure. Saying bismillah before beginning Wudu either out-loud or silently in your head serves as a mental cue to prepare yourself for the purification ritual. [1,2]
niyyah-for-wudu
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2. Wash both your hands. Begin with using your left hand to wash your right hand all the way up to the wrist. Do this for a total of three times. Do not to forget to wash in between your fingers. Next repeat the process and wash your left hand three times. In hadith book of Muslim and Jami At-Tirmidhi it was said, “and when he washes his hands, every evil he did with his hands leaves with the water – or with the last drop of water – until he becomes free of sin.” [3]
wudu steps with pictures
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3. Use your right hand to cup some water and rinse your mouth three times with it. Swish the water thoroughly to cleanse your mouth and than spit it out. [4]
rinsing mouth for wudu
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4. Rinse your nose three times. Using your right hand, cup water and partly inhale or sniff it into your nose without taking in too much causing you to choke. Use your left hand to blow out the water and repeat this process three times. [4] It’s important to make sure the water you are using is safe while rinsing your nose for wudu. If you are from a warmer region of the world, developing or third world country the water can harbor dangerous bacteria. To take proper precautions, if there is any doubt, it is advised to boil the water and leave it to cool before rinsing to minimize risk.
washing nose in wudu
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5. Wash your entire face with water. Cup water in your hands and wash your face beginning with your forehead bringing the water down to your jawline and finishing at your chin. It is the Sunnah of the Prophet to keep a beard, if you have one run your fingers through the beard. If the beard is thin it can be washed thoroughly, otherwise for a thick beard run your wet fingers through the hair to clear it of any dirt. [5]
perform wudu according to quran
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6. Washing the arms. Begin with washing your right arm first, from the tips of your fingers to just above your elbow. The entire arm should be wet, leaving no dry parts. Repeat this three times. [4,8] It is also important to remove any impediment that would obstruct water to the skin, for example mud, nail polish, wax or dough. [6]
washing arms up to elbow
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perform wudu according to quran
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7. Clean your head. This act is known as “Masah” for ritually cleaning your head with small amount of water. You would want to wet your hands, shaking any excess water away. Next, wipe you hands through your hair forwards and backwards, i.e. from your forehead, to the back of your head, back to your forehead. Clean your ears from the inside and the outside. With your index finger wipe away any dirt or wax in the groves of your ear, use your thumb to clean the back of the ear. This process of wiping the head and ear only needs to be done once. Any Muslim head cap (kufi / taqiyah) must be removed. Wet hands must actually touch the head. If the hair is braided it is not necessary to unbraid the hair. [7] For men with long hair or women, it is not mandatory to wipe the entire length of the hair. Just go up to the fore-neck but no further.
wudu procedure
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8. Washing the feet. Begin washing your right foot, covering from the tip of your toes to just above the ankle. Be sure to wash the entire foot and to clean in-between each toe to get rid of any dirt that may have accumulated. Repeat this three times and then do the same for your left foot. [4,8]
wudu procedure
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Summary of Wudu Steps:

Here’s a summary of the steps. It’s important these steps are memorized and performed in this order without any long breaks in-between each step.
  1. Start with the right niyyah (intention), say Bismillah.
  2. Washing hands three times, begin with right hand.
  3. Wash mouth three times.
  4. Rinse nose three time.
  5. Wash face three times.
  6. Wash arms three times, begin with right arm from fingertips to just above elbow.
  7. Wipe head once and clean ears once.
  8. Wash feet three times, begin with right foot from tip of toenail to just above ankle.
wudu steps printable
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Hadith For Wudu:

[1] Narrated Abu Hurayrah: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: The prayer of a person who does not perform ablution is not valid, and the ablution of a person who does not mention the name of Allah (in the beginning) is not valid. Grade: Sahih (Al-Albani)

[2] It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed that: The Messenger of Allah said: “There is no ablution for one who does not mention the Name of Allah (before doing it).”

[3] Abu Hurairah narrated that : Allah’s Messenger said: “When a Muslim, or believer, performs Wudu’, washing his face, every evil that he looked at with his eyes leaves with the water – or with the last drop of water, or an expression similar to that – and when he washes his hands, every evil he did with his hands leaves with the water – or with the last drop of water – until he becomes free of sin.” Grade: Sahih (Darussalam).

[4] Humran b. Abban, the freed slave of ‘Uthman, said: I saw ‘ Uthman’ b. ‘Affan while he performed ablution. He poured water over his hands three times and then washed them. He then rinsed his mouth and then cleansed his nose with water (three times). He then washed his right arm up to the elbow three times, then washed his left arm in a similar manner; then wiped his head; then washed his right foot three times, then washed his left foot in a similar manner, and then said: I saw the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) performing ablution like this ablution of mine. Then he (the Prophet) said: He who performs ablution like this ablution of mine and then offered two rakhahs of prayer without allowing his thoughts to be distracted, Allah will pardon all his past sins. Grade: Sahih (Al-Albani).

[5] I said: Messenger of Allah, tell me about ablution. He said: Perform ablution in full and make the fingers go through the beard and snuff with water well except when you are fasting.

[6] Abu Dharr said: […] Clean earth is a means for ablution for a Muslim, even for ten years (he does not find water); but when you find water, you should make it touch your skin, for that is better.

[7] It was narrated that Umm Salamah said: “I said, O Messenger of Allah! I am a woman with tight braids. Should I undo them when I take a bath to cleanse myself from the state of sexual impurity?” He said: “Rather it is sufficient for you to pour three handfuls of water over yourself, and you will be purified,” or he said: “In that case you would have become purified.” Grade: Sahih (Darussalam)

Quran Verses on Wudu:

[8] O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful. (Surah Maidah Ayah 6)

[9] O you who have believed, do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying or in a state of janabah, except those passing through [a place of prayer], until you have washed [your whole body]. And if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and find no water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and your hands [with it]. Indeed, Allah is ever Pardoning and Forgiving. (Surah An-Nisa Ayah 43)