When you perform wudu, it is obligatory to completely wash your arms from your fingertips up to and including your elbows . To ensure you have done this, you must also wash a little above your elbows, for that which is required to fulfill an obligation is in itself obligatory.
When you perform wudu, the sins you have committed with your hands disappear with the last drop of water that runs off your arms.
Most of man’s movements are connected to his hands. This is why Allah says: Whatever misfortune befalls you is for what your own hands have earned (42:30).
Our actions are thus attributed to our hands, even though our ears, eyes, legs and other body parts may contribute.
On the Day of Judgement the books in which our actions have been recorded are placed in our hands. Those who were obedient will receive them in their right hands, and those who were disobedient or those who disbelieved will receive them in their left hands and some will receive them behind their backs. So beware of using your hands to disobey Allah.
Extracts from Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz ‘s classes on the rulings and etiquettes of purification from Habib Abdullah bin Husayn Balfaqih’s “Kifayat al-Raghib” in Shafi fiqh.