Al-Ghusl [Ritual Ablution for Purification]

The Ghusl is enjoined by Islam to effect purification. It is of two kinds:

The Mustahabb Ghusls, such as the Ghusl on Friday, whose performing period extends from dawn to noon; the Ghusls on the Eids: The Eidul-Fitr [The first day of the month of Shawwal, after a month of fasting. the month of Ramadan], and Eidul-Adha on the 10th of the month of Dhul-Hijjah after having finished the Hajj rituals, whose performing period extends from after the dawn to noon; and other such occasions. The Wajib Ghusls, such as:

1. Ghuslul-Janabah.

2. Ghuslul-Hayd, which is a Ghusl enjoined on women at the end of their menstrual periods.

3. Ghuslul-Nifas, which is a Ghusl enjoined on women after all childbirth bleeding has stopped.

4. The Ghusl of Ghuslul-Mayyit1 , which is enjoined on the one who touches a human corpse after becoming cold and before giving it Ghuslul-Mayyit. If the body was touched while still warm, or after giving it the Ghusl, no Ghusl would then be required from the one who has touched it.

5. Ghuslul-Mayyit.

6. Ghuslul-Istihadah, which is to be performed in the medium and big Istihadahs, according to the details stated in the books of Fiqh.

7. The Ghusl incumbent by making a vow and the like.

How to Perform a Licit Ritual Ghusl

When one does Al-Hadathul-Akbar2, and has, therefore, to perform the Ghusl to become Tahir, or when someone wants to perform a mustahab Ghusl, one of the following two methods of performing the Ghusl is to be followed:

1. The Tartibi Ghusl, which is to wash the body part by part, as below:

a. Start washing the head and the neck thoroughly.

b. Then wash the right side of your body from the neck down to the end of the foot. Then, likewise, wash the left side of your body.3

2. The Irtimasi Ghusl, which is to immerse the whole body in water so as to wash it all at once, in a river or a pool.

Some Conditions of the Valid Ghusl

There are certain conditions which should be observed when performing the Ghusl.

1. Intention.4 This is expressed by saying to oneself: "I perform. The Ghuslul-Janabah (for example) for the pleasu re of Allah."

2. Should there be any Najasah on the body, such as blood, uri ne or the like, it must be removed and its place should be purified before starting the Ghusl.

3. Should there be an obstructive thing on the body preventi ng water from reaching the skin, such as cosmetic materials, bandages, and the like, they must be removed before the Ghusl.

4. The water intended for the Ghusl is to be Tahir, absolute and nothing should have been added to it in a way that cause any change in its quality, such as soap, rose water, and the like.

5. It is also necessary that this water must be Mubah, not usurped. Similarly, the place of the Ghusl must be Mubah and not usurped either.

Having learnt about the Wajib Ghusls, their causes and necessities, we shall hereunder give more explanation concerning the particular precepts of the Janabah and the Hayd.


The Janabah is a state of impurity caused by two reasons:

• The ejaculation of semen, disregarding the cause of the ejaculation.

• Sexual intercourse, even without ejaculation.

This last one is true for both sexes. When either of these causes happens, the state of Janabah happens, and, consequently, the Mujnib [one who is in the state of Janabah] is to perform Ghuslul-Janahah before doing any ritual act for which one must be purified from the Janabah, such as Salat and Sawm5, etc.

Acts a Junub Must Not Do before Ghuslul-Janabah:

There are certain ritual acts which are not to be done by the Junub person. There are also other acts which will be Batil if done by him or her, as the validity of all these acts depends on Ghuslul-Janabah, that is, if the Junub person performed Ghuslul-Janabah and became Tahir, he/she would be allowed to do the following acts, which would be then valid:

1. The Salat, except Salatul-Mayyit6, would be Batil if performed by a Junub person, as he must first purify himself by Ghuslul-Janabah, and then he may perform the Salat.

2. The Wajib Tawaf7 around the Ka'bah, is dependent on the Taharah.

3. The Sawm8 of the month of Ramadan and its Qada9 . That is this Sawm would be Batil if he got up in a state of Janabah intentionally or forgetfully. But the wet dream would not make the Sawm Batil.

4. The Junub is not allowed to touch the script of the Holy Qur’an, nor the names of Allah, the Glorified.

5. The Junub is not allowed10 to enter the mosques, or stay in them. He however, is allowed to pass through them, except Al-Masjidul­Haram [the Ka'bah] and the Masjid [mosque] of the Prophet (s) in which the Junub is neither allowed to stay nor to pass through.

6. The Junub is not allowed11 to recite the "Sajdah" verses of Al-Aza'im Surahs of the Qur’an [The verses which obligate their reciter to prostrate to Allah directly after reciting them]. Al-Aza'im, Surahs are: ALM As-Sajdah, Fussilat, An-Najm and Al- Alaq.

N.B. It is Makruh for the Junub person to eat or drink unless he has first performed a Wudu, rinsed out his mouth or sniffed up water. It is also Makruh for him to sleep before performing Wudu or Tayammum instead of the Ghusl.


Q1. The Ghusl is making Taharah with water. Count the different Ghusla which are made incumbent upon us by Islam.

Q2. How do you perform a Wajib or a Mustahabb Ghusl?

Q3. Count the conditions for a correct Ghusl.

Q4. Mark the correct statement with the sign √ and the incorrect with X.
a. There is no need to perform the Ghusl by the one who has touched a still warm dead body of a human being.

b. The Mujnib (Junub) is allowed to enter a mosque.

c. The Mujnib is allowed to touch the Holy Names of Allah.

d. Performing Ghusl with mixed water achieves the Taharah from Al-Hadathul-Akbar.

  • 1. Most of the Ulama of the Ahlul-Bayt Sect regard the Ghusl of Massul-Mayyit to be Wajib, while the other Islamic sects do not see it as Wajib.
  • 2. Al-Hadathul-Akbar is the state which requires purification by a Ghusl, such as the Janabah, the Hayd, the Istihadah [Irregular menses], the Nifas and Massul­Mayyit. As to Al-Hadatul- Asghar, it is the state which requires, for its removal, purification by Wudu, such as the discharge of urine, and feces, hrca king wind or the sleep which anects the seeing and hearing senses.
  • 3. The four Islamic sects do not demand the Ghusl to be in a certain manner. They only demand that the water should cover the whole body, making no difference whether one is to start downwards or upwards. The Hanafis add obligatory mouth­rinsing and sniffing.
  • 4. The Hanbalis do not regard '"the intention'" to be obligatory for the correctness of the Ghusl.
  • 5. In respect of Sawm, the Junub person has to perform Guslul-Janabah, in case the state happens before dawn.
  • 6. The four Islamic sects make no difference between the Massul-Mayyit and olher Salats as for as the Ghusl is concerned, it is needed for all.
  • 7. The Hanafis say that the Tawaf of the one who makes a Badath during it is correct, though he is regarded to have committed a sin.
  • 8. The four sects do not necessitate Ghuslul-Janabah for the correctness of the Sawm.
  • 9. Some of the Faqihs see that it is a Mustahabb precaution that one should not get up in an intentional state of Janabah in the Wajib Sawm (other than the Sawm of Ramadan and its Qada). Others believe that all the Wajib Sawms in general would be Batil, precautiously, if one got up in a state of Janabah.
  • 10. It is unanimously accepted that the Junub should not stay in the mosque, but they differ in respect of permissibility of his passing through it. The Malikis and the Hanafis say: "It is not allowed except in the case of necessity". The Shafi'is and the Hanbalis say: "Passing through the mosque, without staying, is allowed.'"
  • 11. The Malikis say: "It is Haram for a Junub to recite any part of the Qur'an except very little for the purpose of proving an argument. The Hanbalis say nearly the same. The Hanafis say that it is not allowed, except if the Junub is a teacher of the Qur'an, teaching it word by word. The Shafi'is say: "It is Haram, even a single letter of it, except in praise of Allah, such as reciting the Basmalah [saying: Bismi­ Llahir-Rahmanir-Rahim] when eating.