Sunnats Of Ablution

There are eighteen sunnats [1] in an ablution:

1 - To recite the Basmala [2] before entering the washroom and when beginning to make an ablution.

2 - To wash the hands including the wrists three times.

3 - To rinse the mouth three times by using new water each time. This is called madmada.

4 - To wash both nostrils three times, taking fresh water each time. This is called istinshaq.

5 - It is sunnat, not fard [3], to wet the invisible parts of the skin under the eyebrows, the beard and the moustache. It is fard to wash their exterior surfaces. If the hairs are scarce and the skin can be seen, it will be fard to wet and wash the skin.

6 - To wet the section under the two eyebrows when washing the face.

7 - To apply masah (rubbing) on the hanging part of the beard.

8 - To comb (takhlil) the hanging part of the beard with the wetted fingers of the right hand. The face is from the upper edge of the forehead to the end of the chin, and from one to the other front borders of the ears.

9 - To rub and clean the teeth with something.

10 - To apply masah on the whole head once.

11 - To apply masah (to wipe) both ears once. It is fard to wash the parts between the ear and the cheek.

12 - To apply masah on the neck once with three adjacent fingers of both hands.

13 - To wash (takhlil) between the fingers and the toes. For washing between toes, the little finger of the left hand is inserted between the toes from under them in succession, beginning with the little toe of the right foot and, after finishing with the right foot, carrying on with the big toe of the left foot.

14 - To wash every limb three times which is to be washed. At each washing every part of the limb must be moistened. It is sunnat not to pour water three times but to wash it completely three times.

15 - To intend through the heart when beginning to wash the face.

16 - Tartib. In other words, to wash the two hands, the mouth, the nostrils, the face, the arms, then to apply masah on the head, on the ears, on the neck, and then to wash the feet successively, and not to change this order. Tartib is fard in the Shafi'i Madh-hab.

17 - Dalk, to rub the limbs washed. Dalk and muwalat are fard in the Maliki Madhhab.

18 - Muwalat, to wash the limbs one right after another quickly.

[1] Sunnat: i) (when used alone) The Shari'at; ii) (when used together with the name Book) The hadith of the Prophet. iii) (when used together with the word Fard) Any action, word or thought liked and commanded by the Prophet.
[2] Basmala: the phrase "Bismi'illahi 'r-rahmani 'r-rahim" (In the Name of Allahu ta'ala the Compassionate, the Merciful).
[3] fard: an act or thing that is commanded by Allahu ta'ala in the Qur'an al-kerim. Fard (or fard) means (any behaviour or thought or belief which is) obligatory. Islam's open commandments are called fard (pl. faraid).