Ghusl: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Part of a series on the
Islamic Jurisprudence

– a discipline of Islamic studies


Ghusl (غسل) is an Arabic term referring to the full ablution (ritual washing) required in Islam for various rituals and prayers. The ablution becomes mandatory for any adult Muslim after having sexual intercourse, any sexual discharge (e.g. of semen), [1][2] completion of the menstrual cycle,[3][4] giving birth, and death by natural causes.[5]

Islam also recommends (i.e. it is mustahab) the performance of the full ablution before the Friday[6] [7] and Eid[8] prayers, before entering the ehram, in preparation for hajj,[9] after having lost consciousness,[9] and before formally converting to Islam. Shia Muslims also perform the ablution before Namaz-e-tawbah.

Ghusl should not be confused with wudu, a partial ablution, that Muslims perform before salat.


Water requirements

Ghusl is allowed with the following water

  • Rain water
  • Well water
  • Spring, sea or river water
  • Water of melting snow or hail
  • Water of a big tank or pond

Ghusl is not allowed with the following types of water

  • Unclean or impure water
  • Water extracted from fruit and trees
  • Water that has changed its color, taste and smell and becomes thick because something was soaked in it
  • Small quantity of water in which something unclean has fallen, eg. urine, blood, stool or wine or some animal had died after falling into it
  • Used water of Wudu or Ghusl
  • Water left over after drinking by haraam animals, eg. dogs, pigs or animals of prey
  • Water left by a person who has just drunk wine is unclean

The acts of Ghusl

The Qur'anic mandate for Ghusl comes in the forty-third ayat of sura 4 (An-Nisa (Women)):

O ye who believe! Approach not prayers with a mind befogged, until ye can understand all that ye say,- nor in a state of ceremonial impurity (Except when travelling on the road), until after washing your whole body. If ye are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from offices of nature, or ye have been in contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands. For Allah doth blot out sins and forgive again and again.[10]

Farā'id of Ghusl

There are three fard (obligatory) acts. If one of these acts is omitted, it must be returned to and then completion of the successive acts are to be performed.

  • Rinsing the inner mouth.
  • Sniffing water and blowing it out.
  • To wash the entire body in such a manner that not even an area equal to a strand of hair be left dry. If this is not done properly, then Ghusl will not be done.

Sunan of Ghusl

sunnah (Optional - practised by Muhammad according to Sunni Hadiths) acts.

  • Washing both the hands up to the wrists.
  • Wash the private parts and remove dirt or filth from the body.
  • Perform Wudu.
  • Water should be poured over the head three times so that it flows all over the body.

Method of performance

In Islam, ghusl requires the washing of the full body. There are some differences in details between the Sunni and the Shia schools of thought.

Sunni school of thought [11]

  1. Start by making niyyah (intention) to perform Ghusl and cleanse the self of impurities.
  2. Wash the right hand up to and including the wrist (and between the fingers) three times, then similarly for the left hand.
  3. Wash the private parts and remove dirt or filth from the body.
  4. Perform Wudu. Ensure that the mouth and nostrils are thoroughly rinsed THRICE. If sitting on a stool or stone while bathing then the feet should also be washed when performing Wudu. But if sitting in a muddy place, feet should not be washed at this stage.
  5. Water should be poured over the head three times so that it flows all over the body.
  6. Pour water over both the shoulders three times each. hands should be passed all over the body when water is poured so that no part of the body is left dry.
  7. Move to a clean spot and wash the feet if not washed during Wudu

If, after Ghusl, one recalls that a certain portion of the body is left dry, it is not necessary to repeat the Ghusl, but merely wash the dry portion. It is not sufficient to pass a wet hand over the dry place. If one has forgotten to rinse the mouth or the nostrils, these too could be rinsed when recalled after Ghusl has been performed.

The following ahadith describe how ghusl should be performed by Sunni Muslims.

In another hadith, ibn Abbas stated that Maimuna said that The Messenger of Allah was given a towel (after ghusl), but he did not rub his body with it, but he did like this with water (i.e. he shook it off). [13] In addition, ibn Abbas recorded the following hadith on the authority of his mother's sister.

Similarly, Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen said, "Sufficient ghusl means that you rinse your mouth and nose, then you wash your entire body with water, even if that means plunging yourself into deep water in one go.[citation needed]

Complete ghusl means washing your private parts and anywhere else that is contaminated with traces of impurity, then you do full wudu, then you pour water over your head three times, making sure that it reaches the roots of the hair. Then you wash the right side of the body then the left side."[15]

Shia school of thought

According to the Shia school there are two main methods of performing a ghusl. For both methods one has to begin with niyyah, the intention to remove any impurities.

  • Irtimasi: one has to submerge the entire body in pure water, either at once or in stages.[16]
  • Tartibi: one needs to start by washing the head and neck, and then the rest of the body, preferably the right side first followed by the left side. [16]

See also

  • Mikvah, the Jewish ritual bath


  1. ^ Sahih Muslim, hadith number 616
  2. ^ Sharh as-Sunnah by al-Baghawi, vol 2., pg. 9
  3. ^ Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz by Shaykh Abd al-Aziz ibn Baaz, vol. 10 pg. 161
  4. ^ Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen by Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen, vol. 11 pg. 318-319
  5. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 23, Hadith number 345
  6. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 12, Hadith number 817
  7. ^ Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat by Shaykh Abd al-Aziz ibn Baaz, part 12, pg. 404
  8. ^ Sharh Mukhtasar, Volume 2, pg. 102
  9. ^ a b Tamaam al-Minnah by Shaykh al-Albani, pg. 120
  10. ^ The Holy Qur'an/An-Nisa (Women) verse 43 (
  11. ^ Sahih Bukhari, Book 5: Bathing (Ghusl) Prophet performing Ghusl
  12. ^ Sahih Muslim, hadith number 616
  13. ^ Sahih Muslim, hadith number 622
  14. ^ Sahih Muslim, hadith number 620
  15. ^ I’laam al-Musaafireen bi Ba’d Aadaab wa Ahkaam al-Safar wa ma Yakhuss al-Mallaaheen al-Jawwiyyeen by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen, pg. 11
  16. ^ a b

External links

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address