Taharah, linguistically, means cleanliness from impurities, both physically and morally. Technically, it means lifting the state of Hadath (bodily ritual impurity) and removing defilement that preclude valid prayer.
TAHARAH IS OF TWO TYPES:
1. Purification from discernible impurities:
This is the process of purifying oneself from any visible physical impurity (such as urine, blood, or vomit) on the body, garment, or place of prayer that prevents the validity of that prayer. In this case, purification is accomplished by the removal of the defiling substance from the affected area by washing, sprinkling, or scrubbing with water.
2. Purification from indiscernible impurities:
This is the process of purifying oneself from indiscernible impurity related to the body, referred to in Arabic as Hadath, that prevents a person from prayer and similar acts of worship.
Ritual impurity can affect either the entire body, termed in this case as major ritual impurity (such as sexual discharge, menstruation, or postpartum bleeding), and is eliminated by complete body wash; or it can affect specific parts of the body, termed in this case as minor ritual impurity (by causes such as sleep, passing wind, urine, or feces), and is eliminated by ablution.
Alternative purification method in the case of inability to obtain or use water:
When water is unavailable or there is danger of sustaining physical harm by using it due to sickness, old age, or severe cold, Tayammum (dry purification with clean earth) can be performed as a substitute for purification with water (i.e., ablution and ritual bathing).
HOW TO PERFORM TAHARAH
1-Ghusl (Ritual Bathing):
Wash your entire body, including the roots of your hair (scalp), with pure water after forming the intention to purify yourself by sincerely focusing your mind on it, and saying at the start, “Bismillah (in the Name of Allah).”
Situations that necessitate Ghusl:
– After sexual intercourse.
– Emission of Maniy (semen or vaginal fluid) with lust, whether awake or in a wet dream.
– After cessation of menstrual or postpartum bleeding.
2- Wudu’ (Ablution):
. Make intention.
Intend in your heart to perform ablution, and start it by saying, “Bismillah (in the Name of Allah).”
. Wash your hands three times.
Wash your both hands up to the wrists, starting with the right hand. Ensure that the water runs between your fingers.
. Rinse your mouth three times.
Take a handful of water (in your right palm) and rinse your mouth, swirling the water around inside, and then spit the water out each time.
. Inhale water into your nose three times.
Take a handful of water (in your right palm) and sniff some water into your nose and then expel it. (If necessary, use the left hand to help blow it out).
. Wash your face three times.
Wash your whole face by cupping your hands together, filling them with water, and taking it to your face. Ensure that every part of your face, from the top of the forehead to the tip of the chin and from ear to ear, gets washed.
Bearded men have to wash their beard as well because it is considered part of the face. If it is a thin beard through which the skin is visible, the hair to the skin underneath should be washed. If it is thick and covers the skin, only the outer surface should be washed, and it is a recommended act of Sunnah to run wet fingers through it.
. Wash your arms three times.
Wash your right arm all the way from the fingertips up to (and including) the elbow. Repeat with the left arm.
. Wipe over your head once.
Then, having wet your hands with new water, wipe them over your head, front to back. Ensure not to use the water left over from washing your arms.
. Clean both ears, inside and out, once.
With your hands still wet with the same water, simultaneously wipe the inside of both ears with your index fingers and the back of your ears with your thumbs.
. Wash both feet three times.
Wash your right foot from the toes up to (and including) the ankles. Ensure that the water goes between the toes. Repeat with the left foot.
Permissibility of Wiping over Socks or Shoes
With the aim of providing ease, if you are wearing socks or shoes, you are permitted to wipe over them instead of having to take them off and put them on again in order to wash your feet during ablution. The wiping is done by passing your wet hands over the upper surface of your socks or shoes, from the extremity of your toes to the shin.
1- The socks or shoes are worn while being in a state of ablution.
2- They are pure and clean.
3- They completely cover the feet up to the ankles.
The period for wiping over socks or shoes:
Residents are allowed to wipe over them for one day and night, and travelers are allowed to do this for three days and nights.
At the end of ablution, it is Sunnah (a supererogatory act following the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him) for you to say:
I testify that there is no god except Allah alone, with no partner or associate, and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger. O Allah, make me one of those who repent and make me one of those who purify themselves. (Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi)
3- Tayammum (Dry Ablution):
– Intend in your heart to perform Tayammum, and then say, “Bismillah (in the Name of Allah).”
– Strike the palms of both hands once on clean earth or any pure and dry substance of the earth (such as dust, clay, sand, rocks, or pebbles).
– Shake off or blow off any extra dust or sand.
– Wipe your entire face with your hands.
– Wipe the back of your right hand with the palm of the left, and the back of your left hand with the palm of the right.