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يَا أَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى ٱلصَّلاةِ فٱغْسِلُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى ٱلْمَرَافِقِ وَٱمْسَحُواْ بِرُؤُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى ٱلْكَعْبَينِ وَإِن كُنتُمْ جُنُباً فَٱطَّهَّرُواْ وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَىۤ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَآءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنْكُمْ مِّنَ ٱلْغَائِطِ أَوْ لاَمَسْتُمُ ٱلنِّسَآءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَآءً فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيداً طَيِّباً فَٱمْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ مِّنْهُ مَا يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَـٰكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
-Al-Mâ’idah ( المائدة )

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

O you who believe, when you stand up, that is, when you intend to go, to pray, and you are in [a state of] ritual impurity, wash your faces, and your hands up to the elbows, that is, including them [the elbows], as is clarified in the Sunna; and wipe your heads (the bā’ in bi-ru’ūsikum is for ‘adherence’), that is to say, wipe over [the head] adhering [the hand] closely, without [excessive] water pouring over; the noun [ra’s, ‘head’] is generic, and so the minimum required to fulfil [the stipulation] is acceptable, which is the wiping of some of the hair, as al-Shāfi‘ī asserts); and your feet (read wa-arjulakum in the accusative as a supplement to aydīyakum; or wa-arjulikum in the genitive because of its adjacency to [the genitive] bi-ru’ūsikum), up to the ankles, that is, including them [the ankles], as is clarified in the Sunna, and they are the two protruding bones at the juncture of the legs and the feet. The interposing of the wiping of the head between [the mention of] the hands and the feet, which are washed, is intended to show the requirement of [a specific] order during the purification of these limbs, as al-Shāfi‘ī asserts. In addition, the requirement of making intention (niyya) in this [ablution], as in the other rituals of worship, is taken from the Sunna. If you are defiled, purify, wash, yourselves; but if you are sick, with an illness made worse by water, or on a journey, travelling, or if any of you comes from the privy, that is, [if] he has defecated, or you have touched women (as mentioned already in the verse in [sūrat] al-Nisā’ [Q. 4:43]), and you cannot find water, having made the effort to look for it, then head for, seek, wholesome dust, that is, clean earth, and wipe your faces and your hands, including the elbows, with it, using two strikes (the bā’ of bi-wujūhikum, ‘your faces’, denotes ‘adherence’; it is explained in the Sunna that the requirement here is for the wiping to encompass the whole of these two parts. God does not desire to make any hardship for you, any constraint, in the obligations He has imposed on you with regard to ablution, washing and purification with dust; but He desires to purify you, of filth and sins, and that He may perfect His grace upon you, through Islam, by explaining the laws of the religion; so that you might give thanks, for His graces.

Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza
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