Tuesday 3 December 2013

Wudhu Challenge

I have been finding it challenging to pray at work at the moment. The day is very short, so depending on my hours I end up with two or three prayers falling during those ours. I don’t find the prayers problematic, they are an oasis of peace and calm in my day and benefit me no end. What I have been struggling with is my wudhu, or ablutions.

I often find the space I use (the disabled toilet) dirty and I have to clean it before I use it so that my clothes don’t get wet with something that I cannot identify (which would render me unable to pray if it is a substance such as urine or blood). It takes time to remove my scarf, shoes and socks and make sure there is no make-up. Because of this over time I have mostly stopped wearing make-up.

The sinks also in the disabled toilet are tiny and the taps are a type that sprays water everywhere ruining your clothes and making a mess. This means I have to open the tap very slightly so that I get a spray that cannot travel too far. If anything, this has meant that I have learnt to do wudhu with a very small amount of water.

I did not help when the organisation I work for locked all of the disabled toilets (which at least offer some privacy for your wudhu) and we were told we cannot use them. After some negotiation, the organisation agreed to leave two of the disabled toilets open for our use and these are heavily used. I have been told quite rudely before that I shouldn’t be using them by people who work in the building and have kept quiet.

Today it was the cleaner who told me off and said I could not use the disabled toilet. I explained two or three times that we had been given permission for our ablutions by HR so that we could pray. She eventually understood, but the toilet was busy and I had to wait. I waited for about twenty minutes of my lunchtime outside both of the disabled toilets and they remained busy. I wonder now if someone had locked them.

A young sister who recently returned from hajj came into the ladies bathroom to adjust her scarf; she saw my face and asked me what was wrong. When I explained, she told me she would stand in front of me to give me privacy and I could do wudhu in the main sinks in the ladies toilets. She encouraged me so gently and kindly that all my anxiety fell away.

I made wudhu, went with her to the “quiet room” set aside for prayer or reflection/rest and made my prayers with a happy heart. Sometimes it can be someone you don’t even know who makes your day or inspires you.

I find wudhu at work hard, but I have reconciled myself to the idea that the ablution is part of the prayer. I approach it as worship rather than a burden and imagine sins washing away with the water. This perspective helps me to be a little more patient.

I went back to my desk with a smile on my face only to find that two of my colleagues (Muslim sisters that I get on well with) had left rice, salad and chips for me for my lunch. I am very grateful at the moment to have good sisters around me Alhamdulillah.

My lunch and current lunchtime read.


  1. Assalamualeikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuhu dear sis :-)

    Jazakillahu khayr for sharing your story, it was so warm and heartfelt!
    Sometimes Allah really just makes things SO easy from ways you could never imagine, and the feeling you're left with afterwards is so amazing, am I right?? :)

    I had the same issue in college, especially in winter where I had to say dhuhr, asr and sometimes even maghrib at school. I simply tried holding my whudhu the whole day as I couldn't make whudhu in the bathrooms and what made it harder was that my school could very easily set of a room for students to "chill" and drink alcohol but no place for me to say my prayer, so for 3 years I had to say my prayer under the stairs. But alhamdulillah Allah made it so easy because I felt such a calmness and serenity right there in that little place which became a little haven for me. :-)
    Alhamdulillah, may Allah reward those sisters very very much for helping you out. :) It's so wonderful to be blessed with sisterhood!

    FiamanAllah wassalam
    Aysha @ www.thecreativemuslimah.blogspot.com

    I saw that book the other day! Is it any good? : What do you think of it so far? :)

  2. Assalamu alaikum,
    I was wondering if you thought about wiping over your socks to make things a little bit easier?
    May Allah make it easy for you to carry out your Ibaadah, Ameen.

  3. Felt so sad. It's the same everywhere, even in India. I can understand how hurtful it is to be scolded and spoken rudely to for doing something that doesn't harm the speakers in anyway.
    But then Allah's Prophet too was spoken rudely to. He was even manhandled. The Prophet will certainly be pleased to see you people at the Hauz of Kauthar for having suffered so much trying to follow his way. In any case, the Hereafter can't be ours unless we have been through the prison that this world is for all Muslims.

    May Allah return to us soon the days of the Caliphate. Nothing is impossible for Allah!