Fiqh-us-Sunnah - 1.32

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1.32
Rubbing the limbs with water

This means to rub the hands over the bodily parts with water. 'Abdullah ibn Zaid reported that the Messenger of Allah was brought a pot of water which he used to perform ablution, and then rubbed his arms. (Related by Ibn Khuzaimah.) He also related that the Messenger of Allah performed ablution, then rubbed his limbs. (Related by Abu Dawud at-Tayalisi, Ahmad, Ibn Hibban and Abu Ya'la.)

1.32A
Close sequence

Each bodily part must be washed right after the other in the prescribed sequence (without separating the washing of the different parts of acts not related to the abution). This is the customary practice of the early and later generations of Muslims.

1.32B
Wiping the ears

The sunnah is to wipe the interior of the ears with the index fingers and the exterior portions with the thumbs. The water used to wipe the head is also used for the ears, as the ears are part of the head. Al-Miqdam ibn Ma'd Yakrih reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, wiped his head and his ears, the interior and exterior, while making ablution. He also put his finger inside his ear. (Related by Abu Dawud and at-Tahawi.)

While describing the ablution of the Prophet, upon whom be peace, Ibn 'Umar said, "He wiped his head and ears with one wipe." (Related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud.) In one narration it states, "He wiped the inner portion of his ears with his index finger, and the outer portion with his thumb."

1.32C
Elongating the streaks of light

This refers to washing the complete forehead, a practice which is more than what is obligatory in washing the face, and will increase the streak of light (on the Day of Judgement). It also refers to washing above the elbows and ankles. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "My nation will come with bright streaks of light from the traces of ablution." Abu Hurairah then said, "If one can lengthen his streak of light, he should do so." (Related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari and Muslim.) Abu Zar'ah related that when Abu Hurairah made ablution, he washed his arms above his elbows and his feet up to his calves. He was asked, "Why do you do this?" He said, "This is the extent of the embellishment." (Related by Ahmad. ) According to al-Bukhari and Muslim, its chain is sahih.

1.32D
Economizing the use of water, even if one is in front of the sea

Anas said, "The Prophet, upon whom be peace, used to perform ghusl (the complete bathing) with a sa'a of water (1.616 cm) 3 to 5 madd (each 4 madd equals one sa'a). He also used to make ablution with one madd (404 cm) of water." (Related by al-Bukhari and Musim.) 'Ubaidullah ibn Abu Yazid narrated that a man asked Ibn 'Abbas, "How much water is sufficient for ghusl?" He answered, "One madd." "And how much is sufficient for ghusl?" He said, "One sa'a." The man said, "That is not sufficient for me." "Ibn 'Abbas said, "No? It was sufficient for one better than you, the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace." (Related by Ahmad, al-Bazaar and at-Tabarani in al-Kabeer. Its narrators are trustworthy.) 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah passed by Sa'd while he was performing ablution and said, "What is this extravagance, Sa'd?" He said, "Is there extravagance in the use of water?" He said, "Yes, even if you are at a flowing river." (Related by Ahmad and Ibn Majah with a weak chain.)

Extravagance is to use water without any benefit, like washing the parts more than three times. Ibn Shu'aib's hadith, quoted earlier, illustrates the point in question. 'Abdullah ibn Mughaffal narrated that he heard the Prophet say, "There will be people from my nation who will transgress in making supplications and in purifying themselves." (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and an-Nasa'i.)

Says al-Bukhari, "The scholars do not like one to use water beyond what the Prophet, upon whom be peace, used for ablution.

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