Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ritual Washings Prior to Communion with God: Wudu', a Muslim Version of an Empowering Ordinance

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

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