Ramadan Challenge: Chapter #6 – Purity
“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 [impurity], 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. God does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful.” [5:6][Sahih International]
This verse makes it clear to us that physical purity needs to in place before we fulfill our spiritual duties. You can’t pray to God without being clean and pure, so this verse explains to us how to physically purify ourselves for prayer. It explains to us that the washing of the face, forearms, head, and feet is how it needs to be done. If you dive further into the interpretation of this verse, you’ll see that the Prophet (s) explains that when the washing of the face is mentioned it also includes the rinsing of the mouth and inhaling water into the nostrils, as well as the washing of the ears from the outer part to the inner part, as it is a part of the wiping over the head.
If one is in a state of janabah [the state of major ritual impurity], he/she cannot pray until they have purified themselves by doing ghusul [a full body ritual purification]. And furthermore, we are told that if we cannot find water, then we should find clean earth–dust or soil–to wipe over our face and hands. God does not want to make things difficult for us, but He wants to make sure we are still pure when praying to him. God loves us so much that He has found us an alternative to purify ourselves when we are incapable of getting to a water source.