Is it a sin to eat and drink when one is junub?

The Details of the Question

I have learned that a junub person should wash his hands and mouth before eating or drinking anything. What is the decree about it? Is it a sin to eat and drink without making ghusl? If it is makruh, is it makruh tahrimi or tanzihi?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

A junub person cannot do certain deeds of worship like performing prayers and reading the Qur'an. Therefore, he should try to get rid of the state of janabah, which prevents him from worshiping by making ghusl as soon as possible.

It is regarded mustahab for a person who wants to eat and drink, sleep, or have a sexual intercourse again when he is junub to make wudu by Shafii, Hanbali and some Maliki scholars who take the practice of the Prophet regarding the issue into consideration. As for Hanafis, they state that there is no drawback to sleeping or having a sexual intercourse again without making wudu, and that it is mustahab to wash the hands and the mouth before eating or drinking. (For hadiths, see Bukhari, Ghusl, 27; Abu Dawud, Taharah 88)

It is thawab to do something that is mustahab but it is not a sin to abandon it.

Accordingly, it is not a sin for a junub person to eat and drink before washing his hands and mouth, though it is makruh tanzihi.

On the other hand, the state of janabah does not prevent activities that do not require special cleaning like ghusl and wudu. As a matter of fact, the Prophet (pbuh) states that a believer cannot be impure (materially dirty) by being junub. (Bukhari, Ghusl, 23)

However, it is haram for a junub person to delay making ghusl so much as to miss one fard prayer; it is regarded makruh tanzihi for him to eat and drink without washing his hands and mouth.

Therefore, unless there is something compulsory, one should make wudu immediately, and wash and clean himself as soon as possible.

Note: There is no drawback to a woman who is in menstruation period or in puerperium to eat and drink without washing her hands and mouth. For, it is not necessary for a woman who is in such a state to make ghusl as long as that state continues.

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