Question: How to perform a good ablution (wudu')?
To start with, let me list the virtues of performing wudu' well. It is declared in hadith-i sharifs:
(Keep up wudu' and perform it well, so that your lifespan will be extended.) [Haraiti]
(He who makes wudu' well and then enters the mosque will be Allah's guest. Allahu ta'ala certainly honors His guest.) [Bayhaqi]
(Whoever makes wudu' well and then says, "Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allahu wahdahu laa sharika lah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa rasuluhu," the eight gates of Paradise will be opened to him.) [Nasai]
(A wudu' performed well is half the faith [iman].) [Ibn Hibban]
(The first questioning will be about wudu'. If it is found good, it will be followed by salat.) [Bayhaqi]
(There is no sinner who makes a good wudu' and performs two rak'ats of salat and asks for forgiveness, but he has been forgiven.) [Tirmidhi]
(Whoever makes a good wudu' and then performs his salat in congregation [jama'ah], all his sins will be forgiven.) [Muslim]
(He who makes wudu' well will be purified from his sins.) [Bukhari]
(He who makes wudu' well and then visits his brother-in-Islam will stay away from Hell.) [Abu Dawud]
(Whoever makes wudu' well and then performs two rak'ats of salat when the sun comes up [that is, at the time of ishraq], all his sins will be forgiven.) [Imam-i Ahmad]
(Making wudu' well even when it is cold or hot is considered expiation for one's sins.) [Muslim]
(Making wudu' well and then performing salat in khushu [deep and humble reverence] serve as expiation for minor sins. This state continues throughout one's life.) [Muslim]
How to perform wudu' well?
Our Master the Prophet explained it as follows:
(A good wudu' is the perfect wudu' that has been performed in compliance with its fards and sunnats.) [Tirmidhi]
It is necessary to wash the mouth, the nose, the face, the arms, and the feet three times, taking fresh water each time. At each washing every part of the limb must be wetted. It is sunnat not to pour water three times but to wash the parts mentioned completely three times. It is makruh to wash them more than or less than three times.
Unfortunately, those who perform wudu' from taps (running water) neglect this sunnat. They wash their hands, arms, and feet only once. They find it sufficient to apply khilal (passing a wet finger in between toes) to their toes for one time only. However, just as it is contrary to sunnat to pour water three times and to rub the parts only once, so it is contrary to sunnat to pour plenty of water once and to rub them three times. It is necessary to pour water three times and to wash them three times by rubbing them.
Question: Each part is washed three times during wudu'. But I wash my feet only once. Is it not sufficient to count to three through my heart when water is running from the tap?
Counting to three through your heart does not count. You have to wash your feet three times with fresh water each time. It is written in the book Endless Bliss:
"To wash every limb three times which is to be washed. At each washing every part of the limb must be wetted. It is sunnat not to pour water three times but to wash it completely three times."
It is written in the book Ni'mat-i Islam in its section that tells about the ninth of the sunnats of wudu':
"To wash three times the part which is to be washed. The purpose is to wash it with water thoroughly three times. One has not acted in accordance with the sunnat if one washes it three times by taking water once. If one washes it more than three times, one has exceeded the limit. If one washes it less than three times, one has oppressed oneself."
If one turns the tap off after each washing or withdraws one's foot from the tap (running water) after each washing, one is considered to have carried out the sunnat.
Question: It is recommended that we make wudu' well. A good wudu' is performed by observing its fards, sunnats, and mustahabs and by avoiding its disliked acts. Therefore, what are the sunnats and mustahabs that have been forgotten or neglected today? Are there any makruhs that people commit?
In general, some of the sunnats that have been forgotten are as follows:
1. To say the Basmala when one begins to perform wudu'. Saying the Basmala is fard according to the Hanbali Madhhab.
2. To wash the hands including the wrists three times by taking fresh water each time.
3. To rinse the mouth three times by using fresh water each time. When one is washing the mouth, if one is not fasting, a light gargling or making water reach the throat is sunnat during wudu' as well as ghusl. But it is makruh when one is fasting. [This is one of the commonly forgotten sunnats.]
4. To clean the teeth with something, preferably with a miswak.
5. To wet the section under the two eyebrows when washing the face.
6. To apply masah on the whole head once. [This is one of the most commonly forgotten sunnats. According to the Maliki Madhhab, applying masah on the whole head is fard.]
7. To wash three times every part to be washed. [Generally, people wash their feet once. But it is necessary to wash them three times by using fresh water each time. This is one of those sunnats that have commonly been forgotten.]
8. To intend through the heart for wudu' when washing the face. It is considered fard in the Shafi'i Madhhab.
9. To wash the parts of the body to be washed one right after another and not to engage yourself in anything else during it. This is considered fard according to the Maliki Madhhab.
Some of the mustahabs of wudu' that have been forgotten are as follows:
1. To make wudu' before the time for salat begins.
2. To turn toward the qibla when making wudu'.
3. To recite the Kalima-i Shahadah while washing each organ.
4. To use the little finger of the left hand when washing between the toes by inserting (making khilal) it from the lower sides of them.
5. To make khilal of the toes at each of three washings.
Some makruhs committed during wudu' are as follows:
1. To wash each part less than or more than three times. [It will not be makruh if one washes the parts less than three times due to high price of water or extremely cold weather or being in need of water.]
2. To stretch one's feet toward the qibla while washing them.
3. To waste water during wudu' and ghusl.
Applying masah on the whole head
Question: When one is applying masah over the head, is it a condition that no place should be left dry? How to apply masah over the head, ears, and the back of the neck in an easy way?
Applying masah means rubbing the wet hands. Unlike washing, it is not essential not to leave any place dry. Therefore, it is OK if the whole head is wiped with the wet hand. After that, to doubt whether one has left any part unwetted is regarded as a satanic whisper.
In order to apply masah on the head, ears, and the back of the neck together, the two hands are wetted. The three thin adjacent fingers of both hands are joined together; their inner surfaces are placed on the beginning of the hair right above the forehead. The ends of these three fingers of both hands must be touching one another. Thumbs, index fingers, and palms must be in the air, not touching the head. The two hands are drawn backwards, thereby applying masah on the head with those three fingers of each hand. When the hands reach the end of the hair in the back, the three fingers of each hand are detached from the head and the palms of both hands are then slightly pressed against the hair of both sides of the head and drawn forward, applying masah on the sides of head. Then, putting the index fingers of both hands on the inner parts of the ears and the inner surface of the thumbs on the back of the ears, we apply masah on the ears by drawing the thumbs and index fingers downwards. Then the outer surface of each three thin fingers is put on the back of the neck, and masah is applied on the neck by drawing them from the middle of the neck toward the sides. (Endless Bliss)
How to apply masah on the ears?
Question: Which fingers should be used when we are applying masah on our ears?
The outer part of the ears should be wiped (masah) with the thumbs and the inner part of them should be wiped with the index fingers. And the little fingers should be inserted into ear holes and then taken out. (İslam Ahlakı)
Putting the index fingers of both hands on the inner parts of the ears and the inner surface of the thumbs on the back of the ears, we apply masah on the ears by drawing the thumbs and index fingers downwards. When applying masah on the ears, it is mustahab to insert one finger of each hand into ear holes. (Endless Bliss)