When is ghusl necessary?

As a matter of fact, the reason for ghusl, which is a means of virtual-religious cleanliness, is virtual impurity. Therefore, the state of janabah, menstruation and puerperium are three main states that necessitate ghusl, which is regarded as the state of virtual impurity. However, the fact that those three states are called major najasah in the religious literature does not mean that the people in those states are religiously dirty. A believer cannot be regarded dirty religiously. The verse stating that polytheists are dirty (at-Tawba) is understood as indicating their virtual impurity. Therefore, it means to have the spiritual preparation that is necessary for certain kinds of worshipping or deeds that are closely related with worshipping. Therefore, it is not a sin for a junub person to continue fasting or to delay making ghusl until the time of prayer; it is regarded fard for such a person to make ghusl before the time for the prayer ends. In other words, ghusl is a way of virtual cleaning that ends virtual impurity and makes a person ready and suitable for certain kinds of worshipping. 

There are three states that necessitate ghusl:

1 – The state of janabah. It takes place due to two reasons:

a. Ejaculation with lust when a person is awake or asleep without having a sexual arousal or intercourse, having sexual satisfaction.

Most of the scholars except Shafiis, regard lust necessary for the ejaculation; so, they do not regard it as the state of janabah when sperm comes out due to lifting something heavy, falling, an illness, etc.

If a person who does not remember having a wet dream wakes up and sees a smear of sperm on his clothes, he has to make ghusl. However, a person who remembers having a wet dream but does not see anything on his clothes does not have to make ghusl.

b. Having a sexual intercourse... Ejaculation (orgasm) is not a necessary condition; having a sexual intercourse necessitates ghusl.

2 – The second state necessitating ghusl is the period of menstruation for women. When the menstruation ends, it becomes fard for a woman to make ghusl.

3 – The third state necessitating ghusl is the state of puerperium; that is, the state after giving a birth. When the period of puerperium ends, it becomes fard for a woman to make ghusl. 

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