Before every ritual prayer it was a requirement to wash certain parts of your body, not only for physical cleanliness but also for symbolic spiritual purification. Each step had a prayer that accompanied it. I washed my mouth: please put sweet words onto my lips. I washed my face: let light shine from my face. The words made me feel focused and uplifted. I washed my arms between elbow and fingertips: let my hands do good, let them prevent bad deeds and injustice. I ran my fingers lightly across the top of my head: when things get pressured let me stay calm. Finally, I wiped my feet: let them walk me to places where I can do good.
from Love in a Headscarf, by Shelina Janmohamed