It can be translated as: O you who believe! When you intend to offer as-Salah (the prayer), wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to ankles. (Al-Maidah: 6)
The Prophet (SAWS) said: The key of prayer is purification. (Reported by Abu-Dawud and at- Tirmidhiyy)
And: Allah does not accept prayer without purification. (Reported by Muslim)
The Prophet (SAWS) said: Allah does not accept prayer of anyone of you if he does Hadath (passes wind, urine, or feces) till he performs the ablution (anew). (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
The merits of performing ablution: The Prophet (SAWS) said: Should not I lead you to something by which Allah obliterates the sins and elevates (your) ranks? They said: Yes, Allah's Messenger (with great pleasure). He said: Performing proper ablution despite unfavorable conditions, frequently going to the mosque, and waiting for the next prayer after performing the due one. That is the (real) dedication (to the acts of devotion). (Reported by Muslim)
Obligatory integrals of ablution: Proofs from the Holy Quran: (see Performing ablution for prayer)
The order: It is referred to in the above-mentioned verse.
The Sunnahs of performing ablution: Washing the two hands: The Prophet (SAWS) said: When anyone amongst you wakes up from sleep, he must not put his hand in the utensil till he has washed it (his hand) three times, for he does not know where his hand was during the night. (Reported by Muslim)
Siwak: The Prophet (SAWS) said: Had not I find it hard for my people, I would have commanded them to use the Siwak [tooth-stick] before every prayer. (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
Rinsing the mouth: `Abdu Khayr narrated: Ali came upon us and he had already offered prayer. He asked for water. We asked: What will you do with water when you have already offered prayer? - Perhaps to teach us. A utensil containing water and a wash- basin were brought (to him).
He poured water from the utensil on his right hand and washed both his hands three times, rinsed the mouth, snuffed up water and cleansed the nose three times. He then rinsed the mouth and snuffed up water with the same hand by which he took water. (Reported by Abu-Dawud)
Snuffing up the nose: The Prophet (SAWS) said: Snuff up water freely unless you are fasting. (Reported by an-Nasaiyy, Abu-Dawud, and at-Tirmidhiyy)
Starting with the right side: `Aishah (RA) narrated: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) loved to start from the right-hand side for performing ablution, for combing (the hair) and wearing the shoes. (Reported by at-Tirmidhiyy)
`Aishah (RA) narrated: The Prophet used to like to start from the right side on wearing shoes, combing his hair, and cleaning or washing himself and on doing anything else. (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
Penetrating the beard with water: Anas Ibn-Malik (RA) narrated: Whenever the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) performed ablution, he took a handful of water, and, putting it under his chin, made it go through his beard, saying: Thus did my Lord command me. (Reported by Abu-Dawud)
Letting water reach between fingers: The Prophet (SAWS) said: If you perform ablution, cleanse the base of the fingers of your hands and feet. (Reported by at-Tirmidhiyy)
Washing more than what is obligatory of face, hand, and leg: The Prophet (SAWS) said: My people will be summoned on the Day of Resurrection with bright faces and white hands and feet due to the traces of ablution. If anyone can extend his brightness (by letting water as far as he can on the parts of ablution), let him do so. (Reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim)
Offensive acts in performing ablution: Extravagant use of water: Anas (RA) narrated: The Prophet of Allah (SAWS) performed ablution with one Mudd (a measure of two thirds of a liter, approx.), and took bath with a Sa` (a measure equivalent to four Mudds; three liters, approx.). (Reported by at-Tirmidhiyy)
Exceeding three times: `Abdullah Ibn-`Amr Ibnul-`As (RA) narrated: A man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and asked him: Messenger of Allah, how is the ablution (to be performed)? The Prophet (SAWS) then called for water in a vessel and washed his hands up to the wrists three times, then washed his face three times, and washed his forearms three times.
He then wiped his head and inserted both his index fingers in his ear; he wiped the back of his ears with his thumbs and the front of his ears with the index fingers. He then washed his feet three times. Then he said: This is how ablution should be performed. If anyone does more or less than this, he has done wrong and transgressed, or (said) transgressed and done wrong. (Reported by Abu-Dawud)
Nullifiers of ablution: Anything that comes out of genitals: Proofs from the Prophetic Hadiths: (see Performing ablution for prayer)
Deep sleep: The Prophet (SAWS) said: The eyes are the leather strap of the anus (i.e., one can avoid anything that nullifies his ablution as long as he is awake), so one who sleeps should perform ablution. (Reported by Abu-Dawud)
Touching ones sexual organ: The Prophet (SAWS) said: He who touches his penis should not pray until he performs ablution. (Reported by at-Tirmidhiyy)
A Man touching His Wife: According to `Abdullah ibn `Umar, " … So whoever kisses his wife or fondles her with his hand must do wudu (ablution)." (Reported by Malik(
The ablution of a woman in a state of constant menstruation: The Prophet (SAWS) said to Fatimah Bint- Abu-Hubaysh: Then take a bath and then perform ablution for every prayer and pray. (Reported by al-Bukhariyy)
Incontinence of urine: The same ruling of the state of incessant menstruation applies here.