Does Wudu Erase Sins? The Explanation You're Looking For

Hi again! Wudu is one of the acts of worship to purify the body from small hadas. I have explained many things about it in all the articles on this website. I highly recommend that you read all of them so that you have a good and argumentative understanding of wudu. It will all be useful for you. Now I will explain one topic that many Muslims ask: does wudu erase sins?

Whatever your reason for opening this article, I am very sure you are looking for an explanation about one of the virtues of wudu: does wudu erase sins or not? Don't worry! I will not let you down today. That's what I will explain now. You just need to read this article to the end!

Hadith About Wudu Erasing Sins

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Hi! First of all, I will explain the hadith about wudu erasing sins in Islamic literacy. You must understand that first as the basis of the argument in this discussion. There are some Muslims who do not understand that well. I thought you didn't want to be like them, did you?

There are many hadiths about wudu erasing sins. Of course, I'm not going to explain everything today. Now, in this article, I will only explain two hadiths.

As for the two hadiths about wudu erase sins what I mean is as follows:

عَنْ عُثْمَانَ بْنِ عَفَّانَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : مَنْ تَوَضَّأَ فَأَحْسَنَ الْوُضُوْءَ خَرَجَتْ خَطَايَاهُ مِنْ جَسَدِهِ ، حَتَّى تَخْرُجَ مِنْ تَحْتِ أَظْفَارِهِ . رَوَاهُ مُسْلِمٌ

From Uthman bin Affan radliyallahu anhu, he said, "The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, "Whoever performs wudu perfectly, his sins come out of his body, even (his sins) come out from under his nails." This hadith was narrated by Muslim.

One important thing that I want to explain about the above hadith is that the status of the above hadith in hadith literature is "Sahih (صَحِيْحٌ)". In Islamic legal literacy, Hadits Shahih (حَدِيْثٌ صَحِيْحٌ) can be used as a legal basis.

عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا ، قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : مَنْ تَوَضَّأَ فَغَسَلَ كَفَّيْهِ ثَلَاثًا ، وَاسْتَنْثَرَ ثَلَاثًا ، وَغَسَلَ وَجْهَهُ وَيَدَيْهِ ثَلَاثًا ، وَمَسَحَ رَأْسَهُ ثَلَاثًا ، وَغَسَلَ رِجْلَيْهِ ثَلَاثًا ، ثُمَّ قَالَ : أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَتَكَلَّمَ غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا بَيْنَ الْوُضُوئَيْنِ

From Ibn Umar radliyallahu anhuma, he said, "The Messenger of Allah (Prophet Muhammad) sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, "Whoever performs wudu, washes the palms of his hands three times, does Istinsar (breathing water into the nose) three times, washes the face and two hands three times, wiped his head three times, and washed his feet three times, then he said, "I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger," before he said anything else, then his sin was between the two wudu will be forgiven.”

One important thing that I want to explain about the above hadith is that the status of the above hadith in hadith literature is "Dhaif Jiddan (ضَعِيْفٌ جِدًّا)". In Islamic legal literacy, the hadith of Dhaif Jiddan (حَدِيْثٌ ضَعِيْفٌ جِدًّا) cannot be used as a legal basis.

Does Wudu Erase Sins?

Hi! Are you still with me? Now I will explain the answer to the question which is the main topic in this discussion: does wudu erase sins? I hope you read the explanation below very well so that there are no more questions about it in your mind. Of course, if you have other questions, you can write them in the comment column. I would be very happy to enter into dialogue with you.

In the previous few paragraphs, I have quoted two hadiths that are specifically related to the main topic of this discussion. I have also explained the status of each hadith. The first hadith has the status of “Shahih (صَحِيْحٌ)” and can be used as a legal basis. Whereas the second hadith has the status of "Dhaif Jiddan (ضَعِيْفٌ جِدًّا)" and cannot be used as a legal basis.

Even though there are two hadiths that have different status, of course I will use the hadith that has the status "Shahih (صَحِيْحٌ)" to answer this question. So, in general, the answer to the question is “Yes. Wudu can erase sins."

But, what types of sins can be erased with wudu? Can wudu erase all sins (minor sins and major sins?

Does Wudu Erase Minor Sins? Why?

One important thing that you must understand if you want to know whether wudu erase minor sins or not is that the first hadith, which has the status of “Shahih (صَحِيْحٌ)”, which I have quoted above explains that wudu can erase sins. Although there is no specific explanation that the sin in question is a minor sin, we can conclude that minor sins can be erased by wudu. Why?

If big sins are erased by wudu, then minor sins are also washed away. If the big ones are erased, then the minor ones are erased. This is very simple logic. Of course, you can understand it easily, right?

Does Wudu Erase Major Sins? Why?

Now, does wudu erase major sins? If you read some Islamic literature about it, you will find an explanation that wudu cannot erase major sins. I say once again, wudu cannot erase major sins.

In Islam, major sins (which are related to Allah's rights) can only be erased by avoiding these major sins (really avoiding them). You can find this explanation in the Quranic verse below:

اِنْ تَجْتَنِبُوْا كَبَاۤىِٕرَ مَا تُنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ نُكَفِّرْ عَنْكُمْ سَيِّاٰتِكُمْ وَنُدْخِلْكُمْ مُّدْخَلًا كَرِيْمًا

If you avoid the major sins which you are forbidden, We will remove from you your lesser sins and admit you to a noble entrance [into Paradise]. (An-Nisa’: 31).

Meanwhile, if we have a major sin related to Allah's rights and other people's rights, then this major sin can only be erased by two things: sincerely repenting to Allah and getting forgiveness from that person.

Procedures for Wudu Which Can Erase Sins

Now I will explain the procedures for wudu which can erase sins. You need to understand that now so that you have a complete understanding of the main topics in this discussion. It would be very imperfect if you understand that wudu can erase minor sins without understanding the procedures for wudu which can erase minor sins.

Pay attention to the sentence "مَنْ تَوَضَّأَ فَأَحْسَنَ الْوُضُوْءَ (Whoever performs wudu perfectly)" in the first hadith above! This sentence is the main key to understanding the procedures for wudu which can erase minor sins.

By the way, do you know what it means to perform wudu perfectly? This means carrying out all the obligations in wudu: washing the face, saying the Niyyah for wudu when washing the face, washing both hands up to the elbows, wiping the head, wiping the ears, and washing the two feet.

One important thing that you really have to pay attention to is that you have to make sure that all the skin on the parts of the body that you wash and wipe in wudu has been wet with water. If there is even a small amount of skin that is not wet, then your wudu is invalid—you have not performed wudu.

Do you have questions? Please write in the comment column!

Akhmad Syafiuddin
Akhmad Syafiuddin Muslim. Graduate of Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt.

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