Ahkam in Brief - How to perform Ghusl

Ghusl is the process of washing the body in a specific way in order to purify it from spiritual impurities. Watch this video to learn about how to perform Ghusl in Sequential or Immersion way.

Ahkam in Brief. Ghusl.

Ghusl in Islamic law is the process of washing the body in a specific way in order to purify it from spiritual impurities. Ghusl can be performed in two ways: tartibi, or sequential and irtimasi, or by immersion.

The instant immersion ghusl is that you make your intention to perform ghusl for the pleasure of Allah and then immerse your whole body into a large body of water, all at once, like diving into a pool or river in a way that water covers your entire body. In this simple way you have performed ghusl.

Now the sequential ghusl, you have to follow these steps.

First, you make the intention to perform also for the pleasure of Allah. Next, wash the head, face and neck completely and be sure to include the ears, but it is not necessary to wash the inner parts of the ears. To ensure that all parts have been washed completely, it is recommended to wash a little bit extra of the connected part as well. If you go all the way down to the collar, for example, washing here means to ensure that water reaches the skin. This can be done by standing under the shower or by using a hose pipe or pouring water over oneself using a bowl. Be sure that no dry area is left during the ghusl. And to be assured of this, you could rub water over the parts of the body using your hands.

The next step is to wash the right side of the body, including the genital areas. This includes the shoulder, arm, chest, stomach, back, genital areas, thigh, calf and the foot. As a precaution, wash some of the other parts with it, then wash the left side of your body and the genital areas just as you washed your right side. After washing the left side, the ghusl is complete.

An important note: know that some of our scholars don't stipulate the right side before the left and just say after the head and neck, the rest of the body should be washed.

What are the conditions that should be observed while performing ghusl? The water should be pure or tahir, and not najis. It shouldn't be usurped. It should be clean and not mixed with or have something dissolved in it. The water should reach the skin, so any substance that prevents water from reaching your skin has to be removed.

It is also not sufficient to only wash the hair without letting water reach your skin. The parts of your body which you wash must be tahir and it is permissible to do the purification or tahara during the process of ghusl.

The process must be done in sequence. That is, to firstly wash the head in the neck, then to wash the body. According to some of our scholars, you have to wash the right side before the left. Check this issue in your Islamic laws book because it may differ slightly from Marjah to Marjah.

It is obligatory to wash your body by yourself if it's possible. If you can't do ghusl for a justified reason, such as not having water or the water being harmful to you, then you have to do tayammum in place of ghusl.

There are a few points that make the performance of ghusl easier.

Firstly, it is not required to wash the parts of the body from top to bottom, but rather just to be ensured that water touches the skin.

Secondly, it is not necessary to perform the actions immediately one after the other, so it is permissible to wash the head and neck and then after some time to wash the rest of the body, even if the head and neck have dried.

Thirdly, according to some scholars, the obligatory and the recommended ghusls can be substituted for wudhu. This means that after performing ghusl, you don't need to make wudhu.

Fourthly, you can make the intention to perform many ghusls by only making one.

For example, you can make your intention for ghusl al-janabah and Jum'a and just make one ghusl for the both of them.

DISCLAIMER: The content of this clip is based on the fatawa of the Grand Ayatullah Al-Sistani and is presented in a simplified form. Therefore, for the exact definition and explanation, please refer to the original sources or ask someone authorised to answer.