|World’s First Auto Wudu’ Machine to Go on Sale|
|Editor's Desk - World Press News|
|Friday, 06 April 2007 15:32|
By Ahmad Maher & Sayed Amin, IOL Staff
The machine is fully computerized and operated by infrared sensors.
CAIRO – The world’s first automatic wudu’ (ablution) and drying machine will see the light soon with an impressive efficiency of water and time.
"We are in the process of concluding agreement to distribute Auto Wudu’ Washers (AWWs) to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain," Anthony Gomez, inventor and designer of the new infrared-operating machines, told IslamOnline.net over the phone from Australia.
He said he has received so far 600 requests from all over the Muslim world to buy AWWs.
The AWWs is made of a purpose built ear, mouth and facial washer unit, a forearm and elbow washing unit and a foot and ankle washing unit all of which are incorporated in a single system.
Gomez, the Chairman and Managing Director of Australian AACE Worldwide PTY Ltd. Company, said no price has been fixed yet for the machine, but it would be "affordable."
"It will not be only for the well-off but for everybody as we are trying to make it affordable as possible," said Gomez, an Australian citizen of Malaysian origin.
Gomez, whose company is specialized in manufacturing aircraft components, said the new machine is fully computerized.
"You don’t have to touch any tap but it is operated by infrared sensors based on Australian technology," he explained, adding that the assembly line is based in Malaysia.
"In the next stage, we are going to produce a domestic AWW, which will be like a huge refrigerator," he said.
The forearm and elbow washer unit.
Gomez said he first had the idea of manufacturing AWWs when he was on a ferry journey from Egypt’s Taba to Jordan’s Aqaba.
"It all started when our team was contracted to supply cockpit doors to an Egyptian airline in Taba," Gomez said.
He said they decided to visit Aqaba after having the job done, but they missed a fast ferry and had to take the slow one carrying Muslim pilgrims going to Makkah to perform `Umrah.
"The toilet was dirty and very crowded," he said, "and many pilgrims were performing their ablutions putting their legs in the wash basin and then stand on the dirty floor, which is not hygienic at all."
"Although I’m not Muslim, I felt very sad for them because the faithful in any religion have to be very dedicated as we all worship one God," he added.
Gomez said when he went back to Australia, he decided to produce a sophisticated wudu’ machine based on state-of-the-art technology to ensure water and time efficiency.
"Makkah and Madina are often very crowded, and imagine up to two million people doing the wudu’; it’s very difficult. In our system, it only takes three minutes to do it properly," he noted.
Gomez said that he consulted the Islamic Council of Australia first before pressing ahead with his innovation.
"The Islamic Council of Australia has issued a fatwa approving the new machine," he said.
Commenting on Gomez’s invention, prominent Egyptian scholar Sheikh `Abdul-Khaliq Hasan Ash-Shareef said he sees nothing wrong in using the AWW as long as the basic pillars and requirements of ablution are strictly observed in a right and precise way.
"With the above in mind, there is a spiritual aspect of ablution that should be observed by a person using such modern means," he told IOL.
He said Muslims should not allow themselves to be distracted by the modern means, and they should not show laxity in achieving spiritual elevation while embarking on using such modern devices.
"Muslims who use this kind of washers should not forget that they are actually performing a worship act and not a routine act of washing bodily parts," he stressed.
"For example, it has been authentically reported that one’s sins are forgiven when the drops of water drip from the organs of the person performing ablution.
"This spiritual aspect of ablution and other aspects should be present in one’s mind and should in no way be absent."