Ghusl: Full Ablution

Ghusl is often translated as “full ablution”, it is a full body purification mandatory for the performance of rituals and prayers.

Ghusl is of two types: acceptable and complete.

  1. In the case of acceptable ghusl, it is sufficient to do the obligatory parts of ghusl only, without doing any of the mustahabb or Sunnah actions. He should intend to purify himself, then make water reach every part of his body including rinsing mouth and nose.

“If you are in a state of Janaaba (i.e. after a sexual discharge), purify yourselves (bathe your whole body)” [al-Maa’idah 5:6]

2. Complete ghusl means doing what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did it, with all the sunnahs of ghusl. This is doing ghusl as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did it. When he wanted to do ghusl in the case of janaabah, he would wash his hands, then wash his private part and anywhere else that the impurity had reached, then he would do complete wudoo’, then he would wash his head three times with water, then he would wash the rest of his body. This is how complete ghusl is done.

When you need to do Ghusl

(i)Emission of maniy (semen) even if it is not through intercourse.[1]

(ii)Meeting of the two circumcised parts when the tip of the penis disappears completely in the vagina, even if no ejaculation takes place.[2]

(iii)and (iv) Menstruation and nifaas (post partum bleeding)[3]

The complete ghusl involved – this is how you would perform ghusl for full ablution when in state of janabah and the above causes listed:

  1. Intention
  2. Saying Bismillah
  3. Washing hands three times
  4. Washing private parts, ensuring all impurities are no longer on body
  5. Complete wudhu
  6. Wash hair and head three times
  7. Then body including nose and mouth

Ghusl for Menstruation

It’s important for a sister to be taught how to do ghusl when she begins menstruating. If we reflect upon this, we realise that without performing ghusl; then our acts of ibadah may not be accepted as we have not done them with fulfilling the conditions.

Something we do not realise, is that we must teach our daughters so they can perform their ibadah correctly and also so they can be in a state of purification.

The fiqh of menstruation is a lengthy topic that many senior scholars have studied with. We hope to break this down for our younger readers to the best of our ability.

Once you have finished your period, you will need to perform ghusl as soon as possible so you can get back to your prayers. Delaying a bath means you have intentionally left out a prayer which is a sin and would have to make it up.

The step by step process goes:

  1. Intention for ghusl and wudhu
  2. Tasmiyah (reciting bismillah – silently)
  3. Wash hands thrice
  4. Wash private parts with left hand and between private parts
  5. Clean hands with soap
  6. Wash hair thoroughly (Start from the right as per sunnah) Plaits have to be undone. Wash three times.
  7. Water over entire body including rinsing mouth and nose
  8. Ensure feet are clean from bath water
  9. Perfume private part with musk on cotton or equivalent today.

Muslim (332) narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that Asma’ asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about ghusl following menses. He said: “Let one of you take her water and lotus leaves and clean herself well, then let her pour water over her head and rub it vigorously so that it will reach the roots of her hair. Then let her pourthe water over herself, then take a piece of cloth scented with musk and purify herself.” Asma’ said: How should she purify herself? He said: “Subhaan-Allaah! Purify yourself with it.” ‘Aa’ishah said – as if she whispered it to her – Follow the traces of blood. And she asked him about ghusl in the case of janaabah. He said: “Let her take water and clean herself well – or clean herself thoroughly – then let her pour water over her head and rub it so that it reaches the roots of the hair, then let her pour water over herself.”  ‘Aa’ishah said: How good the woman of the Ansaar were! They did not let shyness prevent them from understanding their religion properly. It’s also good to note from this hadith that; shyness did not prevent a woman from gaining knowledge. As this knowledge aids us in performing ibadah correctly and ultimately attaining Jannah.

Differences between menses bath and normal bath:

So the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) differentiated between ghusl following menses and ghusl following janaabah, with regard to rubbing the hair and applying perfume. The differences:

  1. No wudhu before washing body
  2. Untying hair washing hair vigorously (not obligation but recommended as water needs to reach the roots)
  3. Water with Sidr (lotus) or its equivalent(shower gel)
  4. Wiping cotton with musk on private part (perfume the area).

The reason for perfume is it wards off unpleasant smell and kills of diseases, removes funguses and harmful microbes.

  1. If for sexual impurity – wudhu before washing the body.

That is a quick summary on Ghusl, which we hope you can benefit from. Video for Ghusl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEgUbg9YuCA

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[1] In al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (31/204) it says: 

The fuqaha’ are unanimously agreed that menstruation and nifaas are among the things that make ghusl obligatory. Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Jareer, al-Tabari and others narrated that there was consensus on this point. The evidence that ghusl is required following menses is the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: that is an Adha (a harmful thing for a husband to have a sexual intercourse with his wife while she is having her menses), therefore, keep away from women during menses and go not unto them till they are purified (from menses and have taken a bath). And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allaah has ordained for you.” [al-Baqarah 2:222].

[2] the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When the two circumcised parts meet and the tip of the penis disappears, ghusl becomes obligatory, whether ejaculation takes place or not.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood; see Saheeh Sunan Abi Dawood, 209).

[3] In al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (31/204) it says: The fuqaha’ are unanimously agreed that menstruation and nifaas are among the things that make ghusl obligatory. Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Jareer, al-Tabari and others narrated that there was consensus on this point. The evidence that ghusl is required following menses is the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: that is an Adha (a harmful thing for a husband to have a sexual intercourse with his wife while she is having her menses), therefore, keep away from women during menses and go not unto them till they are purified (from menses and have taken a bath). And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allaah has ordained for you” [al-Baqarah 2:222].

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