Ghusl (Ritual Bath)
All ghusls are done in the same way and pattern. They only differ in the Niyyah (intention). After making intention follow these 3 steps:
First wash the head and neck
Wash the right side from shoulder to the tip of the toe.
Wash the left side from the shoulder to the tip of the toe.
The above ruling is as per Imam Khomeini. According to his rulings one must follow the succession specified above for the ghusl to be valid, meaning the head and neck first and then the right side and then the left side.
Note 1: As per Ayatullah Seestani a woman must wash head and neck first and then it is better to wash the right side first and then the left. If someone after washing her head and neck washes her left side and then the right side, the ghusl is still valid as per Ayatullah Seestani.
Note 2: Imagine and divide yourself in 2 halves. If the water while washing the right side reaches the left side, and vice versa, it is not a problem, and the ghusl is okay. Make sure to let the water reach all the parts of the body, even under the feet.
Note 3: Imam Khomeini says that wudhu is wajib after taking all the ghusls except Ghusl Janabat, if someone wants to carry out any acts of worship that require wudhu.
But Ayatullah Seestani says wudhu is not necessary after any wajib ghusl nor for mustahab ghusls that are mentioned in rule number 651 of his Risala.
Dress Code, Hijab (Islamic Covering)
Observing hijab is obligatory. The body must be covered (in the presence of a Non-Mahram), except the two parts mentioned below. Proper hijab is when the body is covered in loose clothing so the shape of a woman is not apparent.
The amount of face that is washed during wudhu, without makeup.
Hands from wrist to fingertips.
Note: During Salat, if there are no Non-Mahram around, feet need not be covered, and socks need not be worn.
Mahram and Non-Mahram
Mahram: Someone with whom marriage is prohibited. Women need not observe Hijab in his presence. Example: Father, Brother etc.
Non-Mahram: Someone with whom marriage is allowed. One should observe Hijab (Islamic covering), in his presence. Example: Paternal and maternal cousins.
Mahrams for a woman:
Paternal uncle (father’s brother)
Maternal uncle (mother’s brother)
Maternal and paternal grandfathers, and their fathers
Mother’s maternal and paternal uncles
Father’s maternal and paternal uncles
Husband’s paternal grandfather, and their fathers
Husband’s maternal grandfather, and their fathers
Son and sons of her children
Nephew – son of her sister
Nephew – son of her brother
The remaining men are Non-Mahrams, however there may be exceptions to this rule by way of marriage and with certain conditions explained in detail in the books of Fiqh. A good example: This woman’s husband dies, after the days of ‘iddat’ the brother of her husband may marry this woman and thus will become her Mahram.
A sister’s husband is Non-Mahram. As long as one’s sister is married to him and is living, he cannot marry his wife’s sister. This is why one needs to observe Hijab in his presence.
Similarly the husband’s brothers are also non-mahrams to the wife.