In a nutshell, Wudu is a ritual performed by Muslims before they pray; ablution. You wash some body parts with water and you say some religious, short word-prayers in the process. The order of washing your body parts is important.

These are some of the verbs that collocate with Wudu explained in detail via the links below: To perform/to have/to make/to do Wudu

My question is I feel that do Wudu fits better than the seemingly widely used verb make Wudu. Though both are used I believe.

For starters, I feel that make Wudu is to prepare a container filled with water and another (drain basin kind of) to get the water you wash your limbs and other body parts with, a tradition used long ago when you perform Wudu. This is a usage I think in the old times before the use of facets.

Vaguely, do is for actions while make is for building/producing/preparing something.

If you have checked the links, if needed, what would you use? Do Wudu or make Wudu?

  • We can perform|follow|observe rituals. But not many English speakers would know what Wudu was, and one might have to say "perform|observe|follow the Wudu ritual". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 29 '16 at 20:15
  • I understand that usage is a big factor but educated native speakers would still have the sense of language and if presented with the practice they might provide good suggestions. And by the way, the question is about specific instances of performing that ritual and not about whether some people observe it or not. I mean it is not like if you are a practicing Christian/Muslim or not. – learner Jun 29 '16 at 21:43
  • I do not understand your comment. An educated speaker might say "They are washing themselves ritually". You then insist, "No, you must say it using the name of what they are doing, which is called Wudu. Moreover, you must choose between do and make." – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 30 '16 at 10:05
  • I am not looking for a descriptive text to what Wudu is when a native speaker says "They are washing themselves ritually". I explained what Wudu for whoever does not know. Never the question was about what Wudu is. The question has been about what works better do Wudu or make Wudu. When you use the word insist I knew you did not understand my question. Since it is a matter of usage, I'd ask in a religious forum if I wanted to. Thanks any way for trying to help. – learner Jul 1 '16 at 6:43
  • You are offering a choice between two verbs neither of which a native speaker would typically choose. This is a language forum, and I've commented from the point-of-view of the language and usage. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 1 '16 at 11:02

I assume that you are speaking of the procedure to wash the body. Then if I had to choose between do and make, I would choose do because you are doing actions, you are following a procedure.

I would note that make can also mean to perform.

13 a : to carry out (an action indicated or implied by the object)
<make war> <make a speech> <make a detour>
b : to perform with a bodily movement
<make a sweeping gesture>

So it seems like make Wudu could work too, and it would explain why some say "make Wudu".

However, I would use whatever language the English-speaking practitioners of Wudu use. Meaning, it doesn't really matter what you or I think. If it is well-establish among the people who practice/do/perform Wudu that the expression is "make Wudu", then say "make Wudu". If they often use "do Wudu", then use "do Wudu". If they use both, then use both--though there might be some subtle difference. If you rarely hear/read "make Wudu" and "do Wudu" seems more popular, then use "do Wudu".

As an outsider to the practice, to me the verbs

  1. practice
  2. do
  3. perform
  4. observe
  5. follow

seem reasonable to use with Wudu.

If make and do Wudu mean the same thing, then do Wudu seems to be more popular.

enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • Well, looks we see eye to eye on this. One thing observe/follow/practice is more like: Are you a practicing Christian/Muslim etc whereas the question is about the verb to use in an instance of practicing this ritual. More like: what are doing? Oh, I'm doing/making Wudu for night prayer. I better finish if I wanted to catch the prayer. – learner Jun 29 '16 at 21:51
  • Tha Google trends graph is handy. Thank you probablyme – learner Jun 29 '16 at 21:53

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