How to Perform Ghusl (Purification Bath) in Islam

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One of the most important aspects of Islam is Purity/Taharat. Prophet Muhammad SAW said:  “Cleanliness is half the faith (Emaan).” Sahih Muslim.

Many Ahadeeths and ayahs indicate the importance of cleanliness and Taharat in Islam.

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates from the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that “Every Muslim has to take a bath (at least) once every seven days, and to wash his head and body”.

“Have a bath on Fridays and wash your heads, even if you are not in a state of Junabah (impurity, e.g. following marital relations), and wear perfume.” (Al-Bukhari).

A Muslim must perform a Purification bath (Ritual bath) after being in a state of impurity. It is mandatory to do Ghusl to perform salah or any religious ritual of Islam.

ALLAH SWT states in the Quran: Do not O Prophet ever pray in it. Certainly, a mosque founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy of your prayers. In it are men who love to be purified. And Allah loves those who purify themselves. (Quran 9:108)

ALLAH SWT also says “O Believers! If you are in a state of major impurity (that requires ritual bath), then purify yourselves.” (Quran 5:6)

In Islam, Ghusl is performed by washing the entire body in a specific manner ritually using pure water and is required in specified cases for both the living and the dead.

The Ghusl needs to be started with a statement of intent and must be performed whenever a state of major impurity has been incurred.

Following are cases in which Ghusl is fard.

  1. After sexual intercourse, even if no ejaculation takes place whether a man or a woman.
  2. After the discharge of semen, no matter if the person is asleep or awake.
  3. After the completion of the menstrual cycle days of women. If the menstruation cycle exceeds by 15 days then it is some kind of illness and not the menstruation blood hence the ghusl will be done after the usual menstrual cycle days of the woman and she can perform her daily prayers.
  4. At the end of Nifaas ie, the blood flow state of women after childbirth(postpartum) is around forty days.

It is not permissible for a person who is in a state of impurity to offer daily prayers(namaz), touch the holy Quran, or enter a mosque, however, reciting Duas, doing zikr, and Tasbeehat are allowed to do in the state of impurity.

In Islam, it is a tradition and sunnah to perform Ghusl

  • On Friday for Jumah prayers.
  • Eid-Ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.
  • Before wearing Ihraam for Hajj/Umrah.
  • After giving a ghusl to a deceased person.
  • Upon entering Makkah and Madina.

Following are the cases in which Ghusl is not obligatory.

  1. If semen comes out of its own due to some illness or weakness, or some other reason, without any desire or excitement, then the ghusl will not be fard, however, in such case, wudu will break.
  2. If a non-Muslim accepts Islam, then the person needs to perform Ghusl.
  3. If a person gives a ghusl to a dead person then it is Mustahab for that person to perform Ghusl later.

Steps to perform Ghusl

  1. Do niyyah/make intension first in your heart saying “Ya ALLAH, I’m making this Ghusl to become pure and clean for the sake of ALLAH SWT”
  2. Say Bismllah Hirrahman nir raheem.
  3. Rinse your hands up to the wrist three times.
  4. Wash off the impurities from the private parts or any other part of the body that you think needs to be cleaned up of impurities.
  5. Wash your hand properly.
  6. Make ablution/Wudu but don’t wash your feet. (If you are taking bath on a platform or a stool where the water is easily flowing down, in that case, you can do complete But, if you are bathing on a surface where your feet will get dipped in the water, then wash them after you are done with the bath).
  7. pour water on the right side of the body first and then the left side of the body ie right shoulder and left shoulder.
  8. Then pour water over your head to wash your entire body thoroughly by rubbing all over and make sure that no area on the body is left dry.
  9. It is important to wash your head thoroughly so that the water reaches the scalp and not a single strand of hair is left dry. Men should wet their beards thoroughly and women need to be careful about washing their hair from root to scalp if any hair strand is left dry, then the wudu will become invalid).
  10. After the ghusl is done, move aside from the area where you took bath and then wash your right feet up to the ankle and then the left feet just like it is done for wudu.

There are three Faraaid (compulsory actions) in Ghusl

  1. Rinse mouth and gargle thoroughly. Remove and clean if anything is stuck in your teeth.
  2. Wash off the nostrils from inside properly till the soft part of the nose. If the nose is pierced and there is an ornament worn then water should be reached inside the ornament as well.
  3. To wash the entire body from head to toe with no part left dry. Hairy area of the body like the head, beard, mustache, and eyebrows needs to be washed thoroughly with a single strand left dry.

Following are the Sunnahs (recommended acts) of Ghusl.

  1. First, wash both hands up to the wrist. Then wash off the private parts even if it is clean and there are no impurities. If the impurity is there wash it away and clean thoroughly.
  2. Make intensions/niyaah.
  3. Then perform complete wudu/ablution as we do before any ibadah/ namaz.
  4. Pour water all over the body without leaving any area dry. First, pour water over the head to the entire body then pour water on the right shoulder and then the left shoulder three times each.

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