The following about on how to perform wudu is largely from the The Beginner’s Guide to Learning How to Pray available as a free PDF and as web pages on the website of Ottawa's Masjid ar-Rahmah mosque: It is a well-written guide that explains everything you need to know about prayer in Islam and includes many illustrations and references to scriptures which are not included here.

Also, the guide provides the Arabic version of the verses of the Koran to be read and of the Duas (supplications) as they all must be said in Arabic. I only give you the English translations. The following is both an abbreviation and adaptation that is not meant to replace what is posted on the website. My comments or additions are contained within “***”.


Before we can perform salah (prayer) we need to prepare ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually. A large portion of this preparation is what is known as wudu. It is a purification process that every Muslim must perform before their prayer can be performed. It is such an important part of the salah that if anyone decides to leave it due to ignorance, forgetfulness, or negligence then their prayer will not be accepted by Allah.

How to Make Wudu, Step by Step

1 – Make your intention to perform wudu

The first step is to understand that you are about to begin the process of wudu so that you can perform salah. There are no words or special statements that need to be said here. Creating the intention is a matter of the heart and mind.

2 – Say Bismillah This is a critical part of making wudu.

Before we begin to our wash ourselves we need to say Bismillah (In the Name of Allah). You can say it silently to yourself.

3 – Wash Your Hands Three Times

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught us to begin with our right side first. That means you will need to wash your right hand from the fingertips to the wrist three times. Make sure water touches every part of the hand. Afterwards perform the same actions with your left hand three times.

4 – Rinse Your Mouth Three Times

Take some water into your right hand and rinse your mouth three times. Do this thoroughly to clean your mouth properly.

5 – Sniff Water Into Your Nostrils Three Times

Take some water in your right hand and sniff it into your nose. We used the word “sniff” here to give you an idea of what this means. You will need to snort or inhale the water into your nose and then blow it out, three times. Try not to take in too much water or you may hurt yourself.

6 – Wash Your Face Three Times

Every part of the face needs to be washed. That means from ear to ear and from the top of your forehead to the bottom of your chin. Do this step three times. For men who have beards take your wet hands and pass them through your beard as you wash your face.

7 – Wash Your Arms Three Times

Start from the fingertips and wash your right arm up to the elbow three times. Make sure that no part is left dry. Afterwards, follow the same process for your left arm and do it three times.

8 – Wipe Your Head Once

Move your wet hands from the top of the forehead to the back of the head, and then from the back of the head to the forehead. This is done only once.

9 – Clean Your Ears Once

This step should be performed with the same water from step 8. Using your wet hands you will use your index fingers to clean the inside of your ears and your thumb to clean the area behind your ears. This is done only once.

10 – Wash Your Feet Three Times

Similar to what was done with our hands, we will also wash our feet three times. Begin from your toes on your right foot and wash up to and including your ankle. Make sure water touches every area of the right foot, especially between the toes and the back of the ankle. Do this three times with the right foot followed by three times with the left foot.

11 – Recite the Shahada and the Dua

“I testify that there is no god but Allah, and I also testify that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.” “O Allah, make me among those who seek repentance and make me among those who purify themselves.” At this point your wudu is complete and you can begin to pray.

What Nullifies Your Wudu?

Your wudu remains until one (or more) of the following happens:

1) anything that is a natural discharge such as urine, stool, or passing gas;


2) falling asleep, i.e. becoming unconscious;

3) ejaculation.

If any of the above take place then you will need to perform wudu again.


When a fart is not a fart:

Narrated Abbas bin Tamim:

That his uncle said:

"The Prophet was asked: If a person feels something during his prayer; should one interrupt his prayer?"

The Prophet said: “No! You should not give it up unless you hear a sound or smell something."

Narrated Ibn Abi Hafsa:

Az-Zuhri said, "There is no need of repeating ablution unless you detect a smell or hear a sound."

Bukhari 34.272