How to Perform Ghusl (Janabah Bath) – step by step

You have come to the right place if you need a step by step guide on how to do Ghusl (Janabah bath) the right way.

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 worship; 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 explanation to it, as a lot of Muslims find ghusl something hard to do; but it isn’t that hard. We just need a simplified explanation for it.

So, stay with me as I guide you through the steps on how to go about ghusl (Janabah bath) as 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 help with.

Without any further ado, let’s get to work!

Declare your intention to perform Ghusl

Intention (Niyyah) is simply a resolution in the heart to do something and does not need to be voiced aloud.

Intend (in your heart) to make ghusl in order to remove major ritual impurity (Janabah or Ghusl after sex, menstruation, or postpartum period). For Example: “I am performing ghusl in order to purify myself.

You can do ghusl once for several intentions or reasons (like if you had a wet dream or sex with your wife, 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 Bislmillah (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 the 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 foot and then the left 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.

This means:

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:

  1. Intention (in the heart, not tongue) to remove major ritual impurity.
  2. Clean filth with water
  3. Pour water completely over the body. Make sure to wet your entire body with water.

When is it desirable to perform ghusl?

  1. If one’s body is stained with impurity and he doesn’t remember exactly where the stain actually is.
  2. In times of fear, extreme darkness, and severe storms.
  3. For wearing new clothes.
  4. For repentance from sin.
  5. On recovering from unconsciousness.
  6. For a madman, once he recovers from a state of madness
  7. After washing the body of a deceased person.
  8. On returning from a long journey.
  9. For tawaaf
  10. For other auspicious and blessed gatherings.
  11. For the stay in Arafat.
  12. The stay in Muzdalifah.
  13. When visiting the Holy Prophet (SAW)
  14. When entering Mina
  15. For the three days that Hajis throw pebbles at the devil

What are the factors that necessitate Ghusl?

  1. Discharge of sperm
  2. Wet dreams
  3. After the termination of menses
  4. After the termination of pro-child birth 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 bellow.

Important issues concerning Ghusl (Janabah Bath)!

  1. 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. Read: Why Masturbation is Wrong.
  2. When sperm does not leave its origin in a state of lust, it does not necessitate ghusl (Janabah bath). But it does, however, nullify one’s wudu.
  3. 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 one’s wudu.
  4. 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.
  5. If you were experiencing lust whilst in Salah and could feel sperm moving but finished your Salah before you actually experienced a discharge, then your Salah is valid but you will now have to perform ghusl.

Other useful Precautions to note when performing Ghusl!

  1. Do not face the Holy Ka’bah when performing ghusl.
  2. Make sure you rub your hands all over your body whilst washing.
  3. Make sure that no one can see you while you are performing ghusl.
  4. You must not read a dua or talk while performing ghusl.
  5. There is no harm in drying yourself with a towel once you have finished.
  6. Get dressed as soon as the bath is completed.
  7. It is desirable to read 2 rak’at nafl Salah.
how to perform ghusl
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Common Questions and answers concerning Ghusl

Now, let’s address some of the commonly asked questions about the Janabah bath.

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? or When is ghusl compulsory or Required?


  • Prayer (Salaat) – (Quran An-Nisa 4:43)
  • Going round 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 a 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?

Answer: Yes

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?

Answer: Yes

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?

Answer: Yes

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 color of your sitr or thighs is not exposed.

Can Ghusl (Janabah) replace Wudu?

Answer: Yes

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 with each other.

When is it Sunnah to perform Ghusl?


It is Sunnah to perform ghusl (Janabah bath) 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 below so that we can discuss them together Insha-Allah.

Allah knows best.

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