The preconditions of Wudhu are:
1- Islam. Wudhu is not valid from a non-Muslim.
2- Intellect (sanity). Wudhu is not valid from an insane person.
3- Age of discretion. Wudhu is not valid from a young child who has not reached the age of discretion, or cannot intend an action independently.
4- The water should be pure. Water that is impure is not lawful to use for purification.
5- Substances that prevent the water from reaching the parts of Wudhu should be removed. A person must remove dirt, mud, dough and wax so that water can reach the part directly.
 
Obligatory acts of Wudhu
The Wudhu comprises of obligatory and Sunnah (recommended) acts. There are six obligatory acts:
1- Saying 'Bismillah' (i.e. I begin with the name of Allah). The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said:
"No Wudhu is valid without pronouncing the name of Allah." (Ibn Majah).
2- Intention (to do it in obedience to Allah and to please Him). It is to be thought of only in the mind; one shouldn't utter it. Uttering it is an act of Bid'ah (innovation) which should be avoided. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said:
"Deeds are considered by intentions." (Bukhari).
3- Washing the face once. Allah says:
(And wash your faces) (5:6).
4- Wudmudah (gargling). The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said:
'If you make Wudhu, gargle.' (Abu Dawood).
5- Istinshaaq (sniffing). The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said:
'Excessively sniff (water) except if you are fasting.' (Abu Dawood).
6- Washing the forearms, including the elbows at least once.
It has not been reported that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) left washing the elbows, even once.
7- Wiping the head with wet hands.
8-Washing the feet, including the ankles at least once. The Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said:
'Woe to the heels from the fire'.
He (peace and blessing be upon him) repeated this two or three times. (Agreed Upon).
Abdurrahmaan ibn Abi Laila said: 'The Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) all agreed that the ankles should be washed.'
9-Sequence. One should make Wudhu in the order and manner the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) did.
10-Consecutiveness. One should not delay washing one limb after another till the previous limb turns dry.
  

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