The Set Number of Times Each Act of Wuḍuu’ is Performed

The Set Number of Times Each Act of Wuḍuu’ is Performed

Taken from Muqaddimah of Ibn Rushd  al Jadd

Al-Qaadii Ibn Rushd Al-Jadd (the grandfather) said, “ توقيت في‏‮ ‬‬الوضوء‮ ‬ (the set number of times each act of wuḍuu’ is performed) consists of seven matters: The first matter is that a set number of times [for the performance of each action is not واجب (required)], however, what is required is اسباغ‏‮ ‬‬الوضوء – the proper performance of wuḍuu’ʾ whether it is perform one or more times.  The second matter is that the repetition of the washing in wuḍuu’ for three times is مُسْـتَحَبٌّ (preferred) even if the wuḍuu’ʾ can be properly perform without it.  The third matter is that what is above three washings is dislike, especially if wuḍuu’ʾ can be perform properly without going above three.  The fourth matter is that three washings is better than two when it is a choice between two and three.  The fifth matter is that limiting (wuḍuu’ʾ) to one washing is disliked and that there are reasons for why it is disliked.  It has been said that it is disliked because it is the leaving-off of what is more excellent entirely and it has been said that it is disliked because it is feared that it will not be thorough and its proof is what has been transmitted from Maalik that he said, “one washing is disliked except for the one who is cognizant of wuḍuu’ʾ.”  The sixth matter is the preference of repetition for what is washed not what is wiped.  The seventh matter is that the repetition is with a renewal of the water and for that reason it is not said in the returning of the hands over the head in the wiping of it that the repetition (renewal of the water) is for the wiping of it (the head).  And the viewing of it ( the matter) is the hadiths differ about the number of times each act of wuḍuu’ʾ is performed.  It has been narrated that  the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلّم use to perform (the acts of) wuḍuu’ʾ once, twice and three times on some of the limbs and three times on others.  The difference here is not a contradictory difference.  It is an informational difference and informs through expansion.

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Muqaddimah of Ibn Rushd by Qaadii Abū Walid Muhammad bin Ahmad Ibn Rushd  p. 84 ‘The Section on  توقيت الوضوء – Dar al-Gharb  Alr Islami (Arabic) edition – Beirut, Lebanon)

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