Ablution, also called Wudu, is Islamic ritualistic purification by washing oneself with water. This must be performed prior to praying or even handling the Quran. Allah apparently can’t hear your prayers if you have a little grit under your fingernails (dirt under the fingernails is literally sin, according to Muhammad). This purification ritual is based on verses in the Quran, but the Quran offers us no guidance about how to wash oneself. Therefore we must look to the Hadith, but unfortunately we get different answers.
The Hadith never explicitly tells us how many times we should perform ablution; rather it teaches us by example, and strangely enough, this contradiction shows up in three consecutive Ahadith.
First, we are told that Muhammad washed himself only once. But then the very next Hadith suggests that Muhammad washed himself twice. If you look to Muhammad for guidance, you might get a little confused. But then the very next Hadith shows Muhammad’s boyfriend, Uthman, one-upping the prophet by washing himself three times and also blowing snot rockets onto the ground and declaring his act the best form of ablution, even better than Muhammad’s.
Ablution is a silly ritual (but not more silly than Eucharist). Even sillier is the Hadith, which can’t give an ultimate answer about how to preform this silly act.