What you read above was concerning the obligatory (wajib) acts of wudu. Now we shall describe the acts which are recommendable (mustahab, sunnat) during the wudu.
1. Washing the hands two time before washing the face.
2. Gargling three times before washing the face.
3. Rinsing the nose three times before washing the face.
4. While washing the face and the fore-arms, it is recommended to wash each part twice before proceeding to the next stage of the wudu. One should realize that washing these organs of wudu once is obligatory, while washing them twice is recommendable; but to wash them for the third time is forbidden (haram). Determining the first or the second washing depends on the intention of the individual himself. And so, it is possible that a person may pour water on his right fore-arm five times and wipe his left hand on it twice, and still count this washing as the first one.
5. It is recommended for men to start washing their fore-arms from the apparent side of the arms, and for the women to start washing their fore-arms from the inner side.
6. Reciting the following du’as as taught by Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) at various stages of the wudu:
• at the beginning of the wudu:
Bis mil-lahi wa bil-lahi; wal hamdu lil-lahil lazi ja `alal ma’a tahilran wa lam yaj`alhu najisa. = [I am doing this wudu] in the name of Allah and for the sake of Allah; all praise be to Allah who made the water pure and did not make it impure.
• at the time of the washing the hands two times before washing the face:
Allahummaj `alni minat tawwabiyna, waj `alni minal mutatah-hiriyn. = O Allah place me among those who ask for forgiveness and among those who are pure.
• at the time of gargling:
Allahumma laqqini hujjaty yawma alqaka, wat liq lisani bi zikrik. = O Allah teach me the correct answer for the day I shall meet You and open my tongue for Your praise.
• at the time of rinsing the nose.
Allahumma la tuharrim ‘alayya riyhal jannah, waj `alni mim man yashummu riyhaha wa rawhaha wa tiybaha. = O Allah! Do not deprive me from the smell of the Paradise, and place me among those who will sniff its smell, its refreshments and perfume.
• at the time of washing the face:
Allahumma bayyiz wajhiy yawma tusawwidul wujuh; wa la tusawwid wajhiy yawma tubayyizul wujuh. = O Allah ! Brighten my face on the day You will disgrace the faces; and do not disgrace my face on the day You will brighten the faces.
• at the time of the washing the right fore-arm:
Allahumma `atiniy kitabi bi yaminiy, wal khulda fil jinani bi yasariy, wa hasibniy hisaban yasira. = O Allah! Place my scroll of deeds in my right hand and (the certificate of) permanency in the Paradise on my left; and do the reckoning of my account leniently.
• at the time of washing the left fore-arm:
Allahumma la tu `tiniy kitabiy bi shimaliy, wa la min wara’i zahriy, wa la taj’alha maghluqatan ila `unuqiy; wa a `uzu bika min muqatta `atin niyran. = O Allah! Do not place my scroll of deeds in my left hand nor on my back; and do not make it strap around my neck. And I seek refuge with You from the fierce fire.
• at the time of the wiping the head
Allahumma ghash-shiniy bi rahmatika wa barakatika wa `afwika. = O Allah! Cover me with Your mercy, Your blessings and Your pardon.
• at the time of the wiping the feet:
Allahumma thab-bitniy `alas sirati yawma tuzillu fiyhil aqdam; waj `al sa`iy fi ma urziyka `anniy; ya zul jalali wal ikram. = O Allah, keep me steadfast on my path on the day when the feet shall slip; and make my efforts (in the way) that will please you -O the Master of power and honor. 131