The way i was taught to do wudhu at my mosque was an extremely tedious procedure of wiping each face, hands forearms etc three times. And then doing something called khilaal, (cleaning the gaps between phalanges with your fingers) right after doing istinjaah(throwing water on private parts). Another step to the wudhu i was taught was to throw water into your nostrils three times and blow the water out. I found it was completely impractical as the amount of water it uses is stupendous and it takes an irrational amount of time to simply prepare for salah, and aside from that, it makes a mess of the bathroom floor. Visit any mosque and you will see the wudhu area is an atrocious mess full of snot and other bodily fluids everywhere

Thus I wanted to ask if it is permissible to substitute this formula with a straightforward wash of the face, forearms, feet and head (just once) as Wudhu is described in the Quran in surah 5:

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 favour upon you that you may be grateful

Quran 5:6

  • What you call "Khilaal" is usually known as "takhleel al-Asaabi'" which one may translate as puring water on in between the fingers. And it is part of the washing of the hands not "Forearms" as mentioned in the translation. As the Arabic term "al-Yadayn" starts with the hands end ends with the shoulders therefore the qur'an verse pointed at the limit which is the elbows!
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Jul 7, 2019 at 11:23

1 Answer 1


The Quran mentions the obligatory requirements of wudu, your wudu would be valid if you follow it even if you do not add anything to it. The additional procedures are from the Sunnah of the Messenger ﷺ, which are recommended to follow and they should not be discarded just because you dislike them or find them inconvenient.

Following the Sunnah would also ensure that you do not overlook or misinterpret any requirement that is implied in the verse. For example, in your list you seem to have missed out 'washing the hands', although washing the hands is obligatory as the verse says:

وأيديكم إلى المرافق

your hands up to the elbows

Further, some of the scholars consider Khilaal to be obligatory. This is because the area between the fingers\toes is part of the hands\feet and rubbing is an integral part of washing. So it is included under the command to wash the 'hands' and the 'feet'.

Similarly some scholars consider rinsing the mouth and nostrils to be obligatory as they are part of the 'face' and hence are included in the command of 'washing the face'.

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