ablution vs wudu

rarabara

Senior Member
Turkish
Hi,

these days I am trying to write a paper (which will be submitted to academic journal) on an issue in which I am not necessarily expertised formally.
which of the word should be used : ablution ,wudu or something else.
what is the differences between these two words? (I can make prediction but not sure)

notations: the succint explanation/meaning of the aimed word is that the name of an operation which is a mandatory prerequisite for example for prayer , this specific prayer is available 5 times in a day (morning, noon, afternoon, evening and night). Also one time at every friday. We muslims carry out this operation basically by washing our face , knees (including hands and foots)

Thanks
 
  • elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    If you’re talking about the practice in Islam, the widespread word used for this is “ablution.”
     

    rarabara

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    If you’re talking about the practice in Islam, the widespread word used for this is “ablution.”
    thanks for the reply.
    yes, I confirm that I talked about the practise in islam.
    I saw the use of word at somewhere as: "wudu",therefore could not be sure.
    I also gave the potentiality for any else relevant definition.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I’ve only ever seen “ablution” in reference to this in English.
    “wudu” is a borrowing from Arabic. You can use it, with an explanation on first mention, if you want to use a word that specifically refers to ablution in Islam.
    “ablution” is not specific to Islam, although I think it’s mostly commonly used to refer to the practice in Islam.
    So it depends on your target audience, the purpose of the text, etc.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I have never encountered the word "wudu" in English, although it's in our dictionary.
    “ablution” is not specific to Islam, although I think it’s mostly commonly used to refer to the practice in Islam.
    Ablution can mean cleansing in general.
    When my wife and I rented a camper van to drive across Australia a while back, we found that the building containing showers, etc. in the campgrounds was called the "ablution block.":)
    1643313830767.png
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I have never encountered the word "wudu" in English
    Me neither. That's why I think that if it is to be used, it needs to be followed by an explanation on first mention.

    It even took me a while, as an Arabic speaker, to work out that it's an Arabic borrowing! :D

    (By "a while" I mean like three seconds, of course, which is a lot in this case.)
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I know a bit of Arabic, but have never seen 'wudu' (in English or Arabic). As elroy says, the term we usually see in English for the Islamic practice is 'ablution'. Apart from that, it's a grand or usually mock-serious word for washing: someone might jokingly say 'I was performing my ablutions'. It's not used in normal life for anything, but it is the common and neutral word for the Islamic practice.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    have never seen 'wudu' (in English or Arabic)
    Do you mean you've never seen, in Arabic, the Arabic word from which "wudu" derives? The Arabic word is very common; it's the word for this in Arabic, and in fact I don't think anything else is used.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I only know a little Arabic. I suppose I mean that when I see an Arabic term used in English (say, takaful, waqf, fatwa, murabaha, mihrab) I can usually recognize its Arabic form and root, and look it up. I've never seen wudu - which indicates to me it's hardly ever used to talk about the practice in English.
     
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