Wudhu (The Purification)
Purity (Tahârah) is a beautiful word that is pleasing to the ears, and it is a quality which everyone strives to maintain. From an Islamic perspective, purity is a word which is general in its meaning. It may mean physical cleanness, which is purity (of the body) from impure substances or states of impurity, or it may mean spiritual purity, which is the puri
…ty of one’s self from vices, faults, sins, and replacing them with good deeds, whether in speech or deeds.
This comprehensive meaning of purity is indicated in the words of Prophet Muhammad, (S.A.W.) as reported by Abu Hurairah, (R.A.):
“What do you think? If there was a river at the door of one of you in which he bathes five times a day, would there be any filth left on him?” They answered, “There would be no filth left.” The Prophet (S.A.W.) said, “That is like the five Prayers, through them Allâh wipes away sins.” (al-Bukhâri)
Also, the Prayer (Salât) is not accepted except if one is in a state of purity. This state if purity is achieved either through performing ablution (wudoo´), as in the case of minor impurity, or a bath (ghusl), as in the case of major impurity. The Prophet (S.A.W.) said:
“No Prayer is accepted without purification, and no charity is accepted from earnings made from impermissible sources.” (Muslim)
If a Muslim purifies himself in accordance with Allâh’s commandments and the Prophet’s instructions, his Prayer will be a means for him to purify himself of sins.
Islam is a religion of both outward and inward purity. Allâh’s Messenger (S.A.W.) severely warned those who neglect physical purity which is a prerequisite for the validity of certain acts of worship, like Prayer, circumambulation (Tawâf) of the Ka’bah, touching or holding the Qur`ân, and its likes.
Ibn ‘Abbâs (R.A.) said: “The Messenger of Allâh (S.A.W.) passed by two graves and said:
“Indeed they are being punished, but for something which seemed trivial to them: this one used not to guard himself from urine; whereas the other was used to tale bearing.” He requested a green leaf of a palm branch, split it into two halves, and put a half on each grave. He then said, “Hopefully their punishment will be lightened until they (the branches) become dry.” (al-Bukhâri)
The Unique Qualities of Purification
1. Purification is equal to half of the faith:
The Prophet of Allâh (S.A.W.) said in this regard:
“Cleanliness is equal to half the faith…” (Muslim)
2. Purification is one of the ways one can please Allâh and earn His love
Allâh (S.A.W.) said:
“Indeed Allâh loves those who continually seek repentance and those who purify themselves.” [Surah al-Baqarah (2):222]
3. To preserve and guard purification, [by always striving to be in a state of purity by performing ablution,] is one of the qualities of believers, for it is a type of worship seen only by Allâh.
The Prophet (S.A.W.) said:
“Always be upright, though you will not be able to perfectly, and know that the Prayer is the best of your deeds. Only a believer guards and preserves his wudoo´ (ablution).” (Ibn Maajah)
4. Maintaining purification is an act that leads to acceptance of supplication.
‘Amr bin ‘Abasah (R.A.) narrated that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said,
“No Muslim who sleeps in a state of purification (having performed ablution) and then after awakening during night, mentions Allâh and asks Him anything of the good of this life and the Hereafter, except that Allâh gives him what he asked for.” (Ahmad)
5. Purification elevates one’s rank and status.
Abu Hurairah (R.A.) narrated that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said to Bilâl at the time of the Fajr (Dawn) Prayer:
“O Bilâl, Tell me the most promising deed you have done in Islâm, for I heard the sound of your footsteps in Paradise.” Bilâl answered: “I haven’t done an act more hopeful to me than this: I have never performed ablution during the day or night except that [after it] I performed what I could of voluntary Prayers.” (al-Bukhâri).