Lexically, ghusl (or ghasl) means "to wash something with water"; as a fiqh term, it means "to wash the whole body with clean water". In fiqh, wudu (ablution) is called minor cleaning, the states that necessitate wudu are called hadath al-asghar (minor impurity); ghusl is called major cleaning, and the states that necessitate ghusl are called hadath al-akbar (major impurity). Ghusl is also called full ablution.
The following is stated in the Quran: "If ye are in a state of ceremonial impurity, bathe your whole body" (al-Maida 5/6), informing us that ghusl is necessary in order to be freed from the state of janabah; besides, it is stated that menstruation is a period of excuse for women and men are forbidden to have sexual intercourse with their wives until they are clean (al-Baqara 2/22). The words and practices of the Prophet explain that it is necessary to make ghusl when a person is in the state of janabah and when the period of menstruation and puerperium end for women.
Ghusl is a means of virtual and religious cleanliness like wudu. It both ensures material cleanliness and definitely contains many medical advantages. The importance of ghusl in terms of human health has been stated by both Eastern and Western scientists; ghusl has been the distinctive feature the Islamic nations and the symbol of the importance Islamic civilization gives to bodily cleanliness and health. Through ghusl, the material dirt and smears that can be left on the body by the state of janabah, menstruation and puerperium are cleaned thoroughly. Besides, ghusl contains many benefits in terms of bodily and spiritual health like eliminating the fatigue and languor in the body caused by the state of janabah, establishing a new balance in the body, regulating the blood circulation, and preparing a person for worshipping by eliminating him from dirtiness. In addition, a believer who fulfills this order of Allah with the belief that it has many known and unknown wisdoms and benefits obtains the joy and rewards of obeying Allah unquestioningly.
The reason for ghusl which is essentially a means of virtual and religious cleanliness is virtual impurity. Therefore, the states of janabah, menstruation and puerperium, which are regarded as virtual impurities, are three main reasons that necessitate ghusl. However, that these states are called major hadath (impurity) in religious terminology does not mean that these people are religiously najis (dirty). A believer is not najis. Furthermore, the verse meaning that polytheists are najis (at-Tawba, 9/28) is interpreted as indicating their virtual impurities. Thus, it means they do not have the necessary spiritual readiness to do certain kinds of worship or the deeds related to worship. Therefore, it is not regarded as a sin for a junub person to continue fasting or to delay making ghusl to the time of the prayer; it is regarded fard for him to make ghusl before the last time of the prayer time when the prayer is performed. In other words, ghusl is a method of cleaning that ends virtual impurity and enables a person to perform certain kinds of worship.
There are three states that necessitate ghusl.
1 – The state of janabah. It is caused by two things:
a. Semen coming through the penis lustfully whether a person is awake or asleep, whether sexual arousal or intercourse is present or not.
Most of the fiqh scholars except Shafiis regard lust as a condition for janabah; therefore, they do not regard it as janabah when semen comes through the penis as a result of lifting something heavy, falling down, illness, etc.
A person who wakes up and sees semen on his underwear has to make ghusl even though he does not remember having a wet dream. However, if a person remembers that he had a wet dream but does not see any traces of semen on his underwear and clothes, he does not have to make ghusl.
b. Having a sexual intercourse. In that case, semen does not have to come; orgasm is not necessary. Sexual intercourse necessitates ghusl.
2 – The second state that necessitates ghusl is menstruation for women. When the menstruation period f a woman ends, she has to make ghusl.
3 – The third state necessitating ghusl is puerperium for women. When the puerperium period of a woman ends, she has to make ghusl.
It is fard for every sane person who has reached the age of puberty to make ghusl when a state that necessitates ghusl takes place. Along with spiritual and otherworldly benefits, there are many material advantages and good sides of ghusl. Therefore, Islam gives great importance to ghusl. When man fulfills this religious duty, he both attracts the love and consent of Allah and gains health and welfare materially. Ghusl is also penance for minor sins. The Prophet said to Anas bin Malik, "O Anas! Exaggerate when you make ghusl. Thus, you will leave the bathroom in a state of having been purified form your sins and faults." Hazrat Anas said, "O Messenger of Allah! How shall I exaggerate?" The Prophet replied, "Wet the hair roots and eliminate the dirt from the skin."
Since the state of janabah prevents a person from worshipping and it is a state of spiritual impurity, it makes a believer uneasy, restless and depressed. It is reported in some narrations that the earth feels disgusted by the people who walk on it while they are junub and complains to Allah about them. There are also narrations stating that angels of mercy will not go near junub people. Therefore, the righteous people and the people who have taqwa have always hurried to get rid of the state of janabah and avoided spending the whole night in the state of janabah. The following is stated in a hadith: “If a person goes to bed in a state of purity (without needing ghusl and on wudu) and his hands, feet and mouth free of dirt, give him glad tidings that he will gain the degree of martyrdom if he dies that night.” It is the taqwa aspect of the issue.
It does not mean that a person who is junub brings bad luck and he is dirty and impure materially. It cannot be said that one must not meet and speak to a junub person. What matters is to make ghusl before the time of prayer ends if that person has not performed that prayer. A person who needs ghusl can delay making ghusl if he does not miss the prayer and can do anything except the things that are haram for a junub person. That is the fatwa aspect of the issue.
Once Abu Hurayra met the Messenger of Allah when he was junub, but he immediately went away because he felt embarrassed to be near the Prophet like that and returned after making ghusl. When the Messenger of Allah asked him where he had gone, he explained the situation. Then, the Messenger of Allah said to Abu Hurayra, "Subhanallah, can a believer be najis (impure)?"As it can be understood from this hadith, a junub person is not in a state that nobody can meet and talk to or who is in impurity and inauspiciousness. What matters is to make ghusl before the time of prayer ends if that person has not performed that prayer. A person can delay making ghusl if he does not miss the prayer and can do anything except the things that are haram for a junub person. That is the fatwa aspect of the issue.
Then, the people that the earth feels disgusted by and the angels of mercy do not approach are the people who ignore the state of janabah and who always walk around while they are junub.
The positive effect making ghusl has on the health of man is explained as follows:
Ejaculation (orgasm) is a physiological event that mobilizes the whole nervous system and that shakes the whole organism. During sexual intercourse, a great amount of cell destruction takes place. The number of breaths increases since all of the respiratory and circulatory organs are involved. Blood circulation accelerates. The effort exerted during it is equal to the one exerted while running one thousand and five hundred meters. Or, in other words, it is as tiring as running up to the seventh floor of a building.
After the sexual intercourse, the body feels terribly tired and exhausted. It feels as if it has carried a heavy load. The body, which undergoes great cell destruction and a shock, feels relaxed and easy after making ghusl. The body feels robust and energetic again. Therefore, ghusl is a perfect cleaning that gives man material and spiritual ease and calm.
The religious duties that are haram for junub men and women, and for women who are in menstruation and puerperium are as follows:
1 – To perform prayers.
A junub person can perform fasting but a woman who is in menstruation or puerperium cannot.
2 – To read the Quran.
It is haram to read even one verse from the Quran whether by heart or by looking at it. However, it is regarded permissible to read the verses of prayer (dua) and verses that praise Allah with the intention of dua and praise and but not with the intention of reading the Quran. For instance, it is haram for a junub person to read the chapter al-Fatiha that contains dua and praising Allah with the intention of reading the Quran; however, it is permissible to read it with the intention of dua and praising. It is permissible to utter kalima ash-shahadah, subhanallah and Allahuakbar.
3 – It is not permissible even to touch the Quran let alone reading the Quran. Even if what is touched is only one verse or half a verse. However, if the Quran is covered in something, it is permissible to touch it like that.
4 – To circumambulate the Kaaba.
5 – To enter a mosque or to pass through a mosque unless there is an obligation.
6 – It is haram to hold a gold or silver coin, a necklace or plate on which verses of the Quran are inscribed or written.
According to Imam Malik, a junub person cannot read the Quran but a woman who is in menstruation period can because a junub person can make ghusl at once. However, if she is in menstruation, she is regarded as excused since she cannot make ghusl before the menstruation period ends.
1 - To read a religious book by holding it.
2 - To eat and drink without washing the hand and mouth.
* Ghusl is necessary for the ejaculation when sperm comes out suddenly and with lust. The sperm that leaves its place with lust but comes out after lust has soothed necessitates ghusl according to Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad but it does not necessitate ghusl according to Abu Yusuf.
* For ghusl, full intercourse is not necessary; if the tip of the penis enters the vagina, ghusl becomes obligatory no matter if sperm comes out or not.
* To put the finger into the front or back private part does not necessitate ghusl.
* If sperm comes out when a person holds someone, pats or looks at her, ghusl becomes necessary. It is valid for both men and women.
* If a person who wakes up sees wetness on the sheet, his underwear or his thighs, he has to make ghusl if he remembers ejaculating in dream. If he does not remember ejaculating, he does not have to make ghusl according to Abu Yusuf because that wetness can be madi (the prostate secretion that comes out without lust). Besides, even if it is sperm, it is not known whether it has come out with lust or not. Abu Hanifa and Imam Muhammad do not think that ghusl is necessary if it is known for sure that the wetness is madi. However, if one hesitates whether it is sperm or madi or if it is more likely that it is sperm, then, they say, ghusl is necessary in case it is sperm as a guarantee.
* If a person has a wet dream but if sperm has not come out, he does not have to make ghusl.
* If the sperm of the husband of a woman comes out of her after she makes ghusl, she does not have to make ghusl again.
* If sperm comes out without lust due to reasons like being beaten or lifting heavy things, ghusl is not necessary. However, Imam Shafii holds the view that ghusl is necessary.
* If a non-Muslim becomes a Muslim when he/she is junub or in the period of menstruation or puerperium, it is necessary for him/her to make ghusl. However, if he/she becomes a Muslim when he/she is not in one of those states, it becomes mandub (recommended) not fard for him/her to make ghusl.
It is necessary for women to wait for the menstrual and puerperal bleeding to stop completely and for men to wait for the sperm to stop completely.
It is necessary for a man to sleep for a while or to walk a few steps or urinate even if a little amount in order to make the sperm flow stop fully. If a man makes ghusl without doing any of them and sperm comes out after making ghusl, his ghusl is not regarded valid. He has to make ghusl again.
The second condition for ghusl to be valid is to wash the whole body. The recommendation mentioned in some books that not even a place as little as pinhead can be left dry should not be understood literally but as washing the whole body thoroughly with water.
Dental filling and plating, and materials like paint and similar things on the skin that prevent water from touching the skin and that are hard to remove do not prevent ghusl. Therefore, if the material dirt on the body is cleaned by using soap, the remaining materials like paint, dough, etc that prevent water from touching the skin and that are hard to remove do not invalidate ghusl. The dental filling and plating are regarded like that, too.
There are three fards of ghusl:
1 – To rinse the mouth with water,
2 – To sniff water into the nose and blow it out,
3 – To wash the whole body.
It is fard to wash the mouth, the nose and the whole body at least once. A person who washes them three times is regarded to have fulfilled the fard and gains the reward of fulfilling the sunnah.
* The dirt under the nail, the dirt of fleas and flies, paints like henna and ink that do not prevent water from touching the skin do not prevent ghusl.
* It is necessary to wash inside the earring holes if they are not closed. If the earrings are on the ear, it is enough to move them forward and backward.
* The inside of the navel has to be washed, too.
* It is not obligatory to wet the whole hair if it is long or in plaits. The woman does not have to unplait her hair. It is enough to wet the hair roots. If the hair roots are wetted, ghusl becomes valid even if the whole hair is not wetted.
The same thing is not valid for men. Men have to wash the whole hair even if it is very long or in plaits because hair is not regarded as ornament for men. Men do not have to lengthen their hair.
* Even if the beard is bushy, the water has to reach the skin. However, while making wudu, it is not necessary to wash the roots of the beard hairs if it is bushy; it is enough to wet the beard only.
* The same thing is valid for the eyebrows and mustache. It is necessary to wash the hairs together with the skin.
Malikis and Shafiis do not regard the inside of the mouth and the nose as the outer part of the body; they regard them as internal organs. Therefore, it is not fard but sunnah to wash them during wudu and ghusl.
Hanbalis regard the inside of the mouth and the nose as part of the face. It is fard for them to wash them both during wudu and ghusl.
We know that it is fard to wash inside the mouth and the nose for Hanafis. Accordingly, is it obligatory for a Hanafi person to remove the filling or the plate he has in his mouth and let water go underneath while making wudu, or is his ghusl valid when the water touches the plate or the filling?
The following fatwa regarding the issue is present in the fatwa book called “İlâveli Mecmua-i Cedîde” (New Periodical with Supplements), prepared by a committee of scholars headed by Nuri Efendi, head of Fatwa Committee published by Ali Murtaza, an editor of the Fatwa House:
“Zayd has to make ghusl but his teeth have cavities, which are filled with gold or silver; it is difficult to remove them; is his ghusl valid if he makes ghusl but if water does not enter the cavities of his teeth due to a necessity but touches the top part of the filling and is he regarded to have been cleaned?
The answer: Yes, it is valid.”
According to this fatwa, it is permissible to fill and cover the teeth if there is a necessity. Only the outer parts of those teeth are washed while making ghusl. It is not necessary to remove the filling and the plate and wash the inside of the tooth.
Uryanizade, one of the Sheikh-al-Islams of the last period, gave fatwa that it was permissible to fill in the teeth.
In conclusion, we can say that when it becomes impossible for water to penetrate into the dental plating and filling in the mouth, it is not obligatory to wash inside them. For, they are not things made with the purpose of ornamentation; they are applied as treatment. Likewise, it is not obligatory to make water go under the bandage wrapped around or placed on a wound.
Dental health has an important place in the life of man. It has been discovered by medicine that dental illnesses bring about many other diseases.
If dental filling and plating that are applied due to a necessity of the treatment are regarded as something that invalidates ghusl, many dental illness and disorders will be common in the Islamic world. The health of Muslims will be risked. Since dental filling and plating have become indispensable in dental treatment, it also has become a general problem, making an objectionable issue permissible. Therefore, filled and plated teeth do not prevent ghusl.
However, those who are overwhelmed by delusions and those who want to act in accordance with taqwa can make intention as Shafiis. As it is known, it is not fard but sunnah to wash the inside of the mouth and the nose for Shafiis.
It is stated in Mabsut that Imam Muhammad regards it permissible to have a golden tooth implanted or to have a tooth plated by gold.
Abu Hanifa regards golden teeth as makruh but he regards it permissible to have a silver tooth implanted or to have teeth plated by silver. The reason why Abu Hanifa regards golden teeth makruh is the fact that gold is regarded as ornament and it is not permissible for a man to wear gold. Then, if gold is used due to a medical necessity, not as an ornament, it is permissible for men. As a matter of fact, it is known today that golden teeth are healthier than silver teeth and that it does not cause bad smell.
The teeth and prostheses that can be removed have to be removed while making ghusl. It is better for cleanliness.
Main sunnahs of ghusl are as follows:
1 – To start ghusl with basmala.
2 – To intend for ghusl by the heart and uttering the intention by the tongue.
* Intention is fard according to Malikis and Shafiis. According to Hanbalis, intention is a condition for validity of ghusl.
3 – To start ghusl by using a miswak, that is, by cleaning the teeth as in wudu.
4 – To utter basmala and the intention before starting ghusl.
5 – To wash the hands first and the private parts after that. If there is any sperm or similar impurity on the body or the private parts, to eliminate them at first.
6 – To make wudu in accordance with its order and rules. If the used water accumulates under the feet, to delay washing the feet to the end of ghusl.
7 – After making wudu, to pour water on the head three times; after that, to pour water on the right shoulder three times and then on the left shoulder three times. When the water is poured for the first time, to rub that organ thoroughly.
* According to Imam Malik and Abu Yusuf, it is fard to rub the body while making ghusl.
If a person washes his mouth and nose and then jumps into a river, big pool or sea with all of his body, he is regarded to have made ghusl.
The most important mustahab of ghusl is to cover one’s private parts.
All of the prophets agree that modesty is the greatest virtue of man. A person who is modest does not let others look at his/her private parts. His/her good manners and modesty will prevent it. A companion, who serves a good example to people said, “I will consent to falling down from the sky and breaking into pieces but I will definitely not consent to opening my private parts and showing them to others.”
Therefore, Muslims should always try to cover their private parts while making ghusl whether in a private place or in a public place.
However, in the private bathrooms in homes or in the private room of public baths, a person can leave the whole body open in order to shave the pubic hair and to clean his/her private parts for a short time. It is not objectionable since nobody can see him/her there. However, it should not be a habit and the private parts should be covered after the private parts are cleaned; one should not let his/her feeling of modesty be harmed.
It is mustahab to perform a two-rak’ah prayer after ghusl just like wudu. Previous religious people never neglected this prayer. That prayer can be a supererogatory prayer to praise and thank Allah or a fard prayer that was missed.
Since all kinds of worshipping are done in order to gain the consent of Allah and to show our servitude and loyalty to Him in the best way, it is better to fulfill the sunnahs and mustahabs as much as possible just as we fulfill the fards.
Whatever is makruh in wudu is also makruh in ghusl.
It is permissible to wet one organ with water in another organ in ghusl because the whole body is regarded as one organ in ghusl. It is not permissible in wudu.
It is possible to make ghusl in two ways depending on having little time or enough time:
1 - When there is little water, when it is cold, when there is little time and when it is necessary to make ghusl fast, the private parts at the front and at the back are cleaned first. The mouth is rinsed with water three times; then, water is sniffed into the nose and blown out three times. After that, the whole body is washed and wetted with water poured down the head, right shoulder and left shoulder. When there is no part of the body is left dry, ghusl is completed.
This is the ghusl made when there is very little time by performing only the fards of wudu.
2 - When there is enough time and place, ghusl is made as follows: To start ghusl with basmala and intention, to wash the hand and the private parts, to eliminate any impurity that may be on any part of the body, then to make wudu but to delay washing the feet to the end of the ghusl if the water accumulates under the feet; after wudu, to pour water onto the head three times, then onto the right shoulder three times and onto the left shoulder three times; to rub the body thoroughly each time; to wash each organ three times; not to waste water; to make ghusl by covering the private parts; not to speak while making ghusl; to get dressed immediately after making ghusl are among the main sunnahs and mustahabs of ghusl. The nice acts that are regarded as mustahab acts of wudu are valid for ghusl, too.
What is necessary and fard in both types of ghusl is not to leave any dry places in the mouth, in the nose and on the body. After it is done, ghusl is completed, and spiritual and material cleaning is attained.
All kinds of worship is performed with ghusl, which is also called full ablution. For, only certain organs are washed in wudu; however, the whole body is washed in ghusl. Thus, extra cleaning is performed in ghusl. All kinds of prayers and worship are performed with ghusl until something that invalidates wudu occurs. When something that invalidates wudu occurs, the validity of ghusl for wudu ends and it becomes necessary to make wudu again for worshipping.
* If some liquid that invalidates wudu like urine, blood, etc comes out of a person who needs to make wudu while making ghusl, is his ghusl invalidated?
The flow of liquid during ghusl does not invalidate ghusl but it invalidates the quality of ghusl for wudu. That is, it is valid and it ends the state of janabah but one cannot perform prayers with it. It becomes necessary to make wudu in order to perform prayers with it. Ghusl is valid.
To express it academically, everything that invalidates ghusl invalidates wudu, too. However, not everything that invalidates wudu invalidates ghusl. Therefore, any flow of liquid coming from the urinary tract, a wound, etc or blood coming from the teeth, etc while making ghusl do not invalidate ghusl. The ghusl made together with that kind of flow is valid but it is not valid as wudu for performing prayers.
* Does a person who realizes after he makes ghusl that he has forgotten to wash his mouth, nose or any other organ have to make ghusl again?
No. He has to wash only the place that he has not washed.
* In some houses, the toilet and the bathroom are in the same place. Is it permissible to make ghusl in such bathrooms?
It is permissible to make ghusl in places where there is a toilet or closet.
* What should a person who has to make ghusl do if he wants to eat or drink something before ghusl?
A person who has to make ghusl should delay eating or drinking after ghusl if possible. However, if he needs to eat, he should wash parts of his body that will touch the food, that is, his hands and mouth, and then he should eat and drink.
Accordingly, a person who cannot find enough time to make ghusl before eating sahur (meal eaten before dawn on the day of fasting) should wash his hands and mouth before eating. Then, he can make ghusl. He does not have to do without eating sahur because he has to make ghusl.
* Is it appropriate to remove the hair on the body when one is junub? Or is it necessary to remove the pubic hair and armpit hair after ghusl?
The hair on the body should be removed or shaved when one is clean. That is the appropriate way.
However, if a person removes the hair on his body when he is junub and makes ghusl after that, his ghusl will be valid.
There are 3 kinds of ghusl.
It is fard to make ghusl after the state of janabah, menstruation and puerperium.
1 – It is sunnah to make ghusl for the Friday prayer.
As it is stated by the Prophet, Friday is the Master of Days (Sayyid al-Ayyam), that is, the most honorable and virtuous day. It is also a feast day for Muslims. The Messenger of Allah advised his ummah insistently to make ghusl on Friday to apply perfume and then to go to mosque.
Making ghusl on Thursday or Friday morning will be regarded as fulfilling the sunnah. The scholars regarded the ghusl for Friday prayer as sunnah al-muakkadah taking into consideration the plenitude of the hadiths regarding the issue and the insistent advice of the Prophet on it. The bodily cleaning like having a haircut, removing the hair on the body, trimming the nails is advised to be done on Friday.
2 – It is also sunnah to make ghusl for eid prayers.
3 – It is sunnah to make ghusl while entering ihram for hajj and umrah. This ghusl is for spiritual cleaning rather than material cleaning; therefore, women who are in menstruation or puerperium can make this ghusl. If there is no water, tayammum is not made instead of this ghusl.
4 – It is sunnah for hajjis to make ghusl for wuquf (standing) in Arafat on the day of Arafa.
1 – It is mandub for a person who becomes a Muslim but who is not in the state of janabah, menstruation or puerperium to make ghusl.
2 – It is mandub for a girl or boy who has reached the age of 15 but has not physically reached puberty to make ghusl.
3 – To make ghusl for a person who faints after recovering… This ghusl is made to thank Allah for recovery.
4 – To make ghusl after donating blood or being cupped.
5 – To make ghusl before washing a dead person.
6 – To make ghusl in order to worship on holy nights like Laylat al-Barat and Laylat al-Qadr.
7 – To make ghusl for wuquf at Muzdalifa and staying in Mina for hajjis.
8 – To make ghusl in order to enter Makkah or Madinah to show respect to those holy places.
9 – To make ghusl during the solar and lunar eclipse for the prayers of kusuf and khusuf.
10 – To make ghusl for the rain prayer.
11 – It is mandub for a person who has returned from a journey or a person who has changed his underwear.
12 – To make ghusl for the prayer of khawf (fear) performed during disasters and misfortunes.
13 – It is mandub for a person who wants to repent from his sins to make ghusl.
14 – A woman who starts to have menstruation just after being junub can make ghusl if she wishes. She can delay making ghusl to the end of the period of menstruation if she wishes.
15 – It is mandub for a man who has a sexual intercourse with his wife to make wudu or ghusl when he wants to have a second sexual intercourse.
16 – It is mandub for a junub person to hurry in order to make ghusl without delaying. A junub person can delay making ghusl just before the end of the time limit for a prayer but he is recommended to make ghusl without delaying much.
The righteous salaf paid great attention to this issue; when they became junub, they would make ghusl immediately even if there was plenty of time.
Sunnah and mustahab ghusls are made only for body cleaning or showing respect; therefore, it is not fard to wash the mouth and the nose.
* According to Shafiis, all of the ghusls other than fard ghusls are sunnah.
- How did the Prophet (pbuh) make ghusl? How much water did he use and how much time did he spend making ghusl?
- Do dental filling and plating prevent the validity of ghusl?
- Does breaking wind or leakage like madhi coming out while making ghusl invalidate ghusl?
- What are the sunnahs of ghusl?
- Is it Necessary to say Basmala and Make Niyyah before Making Ghusl?
- What are the fards of ghusl?
- What is the wisdom behind ghusl? Why is ghusl made?
- How to make ghusl?
- How should a person who just had an operation make ghusl? Is ghusl permissible if I wipe over the parts that have bandage? How should a person wash the places that are covered with sticking plasters or bandage while making wudu?
- How should a person who just had an operation make ghusl? Is ghusl permissible if I wipe over the parts that have bandage? How should a person wash the places that are covered with sticking plasters or bandage while making wudu?