So you want to learn how to perform ghusl?
Purity as a word is very pleasing to the human ear, and a quality which everyone wishes to have. And we Muslims are privileged to have Islam which in every aspect purifies us (Maasha-Allah).
Ritual purity is a prerequisite to Salaat and other acts of worships; this comprises either ablution (wudu) for minor impurity or ceremonial bath (ghusl) for major impurity.
If a Muslim purifies himself in line with Allah’s commandments and the Prophet’s instructions, his prayer will purify him of sins thoroughly.
This tremendous need for ghusl calls for an inside and simple explanations to it, as a lot of Muslims finds ghusl something hard to do; but it isn’t all that hard. You just need a simplified explanation to make it easy.
So stay with me as I riff on how to go about ghusl like the prophet did.
Since you are here, you should peruse this guide if you already know how to do ghusl. Who knows, you may be missing out something or we may leave out something which you can be of help.
Now let’s get to work!
- Declare your intention to perform Ghusl
Intend (in your heart) to perform ghusl to remove major ritual impurity (Janabah, menstruation or postpartum period). For Example: “I am performing ghusl in order to purify myself.”
Not that you can perform ghusl once for several intentions or reasons (like if you had a wet dream, and it’s Eid as well, and it’s Friday too). You will Insha Allah be rewarded for all of them.
- Say “Bislmillah” and wash your hands
After declaring your intention to do ghusl, say Bismillah (i.e. by the name of Allah) then wash both hands up to your writs 3 times.
- Wash the private parts
Regardless of whether or not you can see any sign of impurity, wash your private parts very well.
- Perform a complete wudu
At this point, perform wudu as you do for your daily prayers, but remember to exclude your feet, you should delay washing the feet until you finish the bath.
- Wash your head
Use your fingers through your hair and beard (for men) so that water should reach your scalp.
- Wash your whole body
Rub water over the whole body. Begin by pouring water over your right shoulder up to three times, and then do same to the left. And pour the same number of times over your head plus the rest of your body.
Meanwhile, take care of your arm-pits, ears, the navel, and the recesses of skin, make sure you rub all those corners with water.
- Wash your fit
After you finished washing your entire body, step aside from where you did the ghusl and gently wash your feet starting from the right feet and then the left feet up to and including the ankles, three times. you should enter the water between the toes with your little finger and then wash the feet.
- Recite the same dua for wudu
Ash-hadu Alla ilaha illallah, wa ash-hadu anna Mohammadan Abdoho wa Rasoolah. Allahomma aj’alnee minattawwabeen, waj’alnee mottatahhireen.
I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship, but Allah, He has no partner, and I bear witness that Mohammad is His servant and His Messenger. O Allah, make me of those who repent for their sins, and of those who keep themselves pure.)
And Alhamdulillah you are done with ghusl
3 key important factors that make your ghusl satisfactory:
- Intention (in the heart, not tongue) to remove major ritual impurity.
- Clean filth with water
- Pour water completely over the body. Make sure to wet your entire body.
When is it desirable to perform ghusl?
- If one’s body is stained with impurity and he doesn’t remember exactly where the stain actually is.
- In times of fear, extreme darkness and severe storms.
- For wearing new clothes.
- For repentance from sin
- On recovering from unconsciousness.
- For a madman, once he recovers from a state of madness
- After washing the body of a deceased person.
- On returning from a long journey.
- For tawaaf
- For other auspicious and blessed gatherings.
- For the stay in Arafat.
- The stay in Muzdalifah.
- When visiting the Holy Prophet (SAW)
- When entering Mina
- For the three days that Hajis throw pebbles at the devil
What are the factors that necessitate Ghusl?
- Discharge of sperm
- Wet dreams
- After the termination of menses
- After the termination of pro-childbirth bleeding (nifaas)
NB: Many women believe that a woman remains impure after childbirth for a period of 40 days, whereas this is not the case. Please if you are having any issue concerning this; state it in the comments below.
Important notes to take!
- Causing a seminal discharge deliberately by masturbating will necessitate ghusl. Masturbation is a sin though. It is a shameful act that leads to weakness in one’s reproductive abilities and experience has also proven that it leaves a lot of men unfit for marriage.
- When sperm does not leave its origin in a state of lust, it does not necessitate ghusl. But it does, however, nullify ones wudu.
- Drops of thin sperm that are discharged whilst urinating or just standing around without any feeling of lust, do not call for ghusl, but will only nullify ones wudu.
- If you remember a wet dream but there are no signs or effects of it on your clothing and or bed sheet then you don’t have to perform ghusl.
- If you were experiencing lust whilst in Salah and could feel sperm moving but finished your Salah before you actually experienced a discharge, your Salah is valid but you will now have to perform ghusl.
Other useful Precautions to note!
- Do not face the Holy Ka’bah when performing ghusl.
- Make sure you rub your hands all over your body whilst washing.
- Make sure that no one can see you while you are performing ghusl.
- You must not read a dua or talk while performing ghusl.
- There is no harm in drying yourself with a towel once you have finished.
- Get dressed as soon as the bath is completed.
- It is desirable to read 2 Rakat nafl Salah.
Common Questions and answers concerning Ghusl
Why do we perform Ghusl/why is Ghusl important?
- It is beloved and pleasing to Allah (Abu Dawud & Tirmidhi)
- It is equal in excellence to half the faith (Muslim)
- It is one of the qualities of believers as it’s a type of worship seen only by Allah (Ibn Majah)
- It leads to acceptance of one’s Dua or supplication (Ahmad & Tabrani)
- Maintaining purity removes sins. (Muslim)
- It is one of the qualities of true nature (Muslim).
What are the acts of worship that cannot be done in the state of Janabah?
- Prayer (Salaat) – (Quran An-Nisa 4:43)
- Going around the Ka’ba (Bukhari and Muslim)
- Touching or carrying the Holy Quran (Nasai, Darqutni)
- Recitation of the Holy Quran (Ahmad and Abu Ya’la)
- Staying in the mosque ( Ibn Maja & Tabrani)
Can husband and wife do ghusl together?
There is absolutely no veil between a husband and a wife who are united by marriage. And there is absolutely no restriction between them taking a shower or bath together if they wish to do so. But in this case, this is not just a shower, but a spiritual bath, a bath that will prepare you to worship Allah. Which is why I think you should take ghusl alone and not with your wife.
Can ghusl be performed in flowing water?
Ghusl can be performed in flowing water (Like River or Stream). Staying in the water for a little while will mean that the Sunnah of washing the limbs three times as prescribed will automatically be fulfilled. But if it’s in a pool (where the water is still), you’ll have to move your limbs 3 times or shift your body to 3 different areas in the water to fulfill the Sunnah of washing the limbs three times.
Can ghusl be performed in the shower?
If there’s a shower fitted in your bathroom, see whether or not you face the direction of the holy Ka’bah before taking the bath.
Can ghusl be performed in the rain?
Exposing one’s sitr (private parts) in front of others is Haram. Therefore when bathing under the rain, you should make sure no one sees you. You can wrap a thick shawl over your trousers so that the colour of your sitr or thighs is not exposed.
Can Ghusl replace Wudu?
You don’t need to perform wudu again after doing ghusl. But if your palm touches your private parts, then you should perform ghusl.
What do I do with my knotted hair when doing ghusl?
You do not have to untangle strands of hair that get tied to each other.
When is it Sunnah to perform Ghusl?
It is Sunnah to perform ghusl on Friday, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, the day of ‘Arafah (9th Zul-Hajj) and when wearing ihram.
For further questions, contributions or suggestions please comment them below so that we can discuss them together Insha-Allah.
Allah knows best.