Why is being janabah haram forbidden? Why are men regarded dirty? Is it haram for a junub person to eat and drink?

Details of the Question
Why is janabah (being junub: a person who has not had ghusl after sexual intercourse or wet dream or after the menstruation period yet) haram (forbidden)? Why are men regarded dirty? Is it haram for a junub person to eat and drink?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

A person who needs ghusl (full ablution) can do the cleaning, wash the dishes, and eat. However, it is makrooh (abominable) for a junub person to eat without washing his mouth and hands; it is not haram. Needing ghusl is not a drawback to doing those kinds of things. 

However, our scholars warn us that we must not delay making ghusl so much as to expire the time of a daily prayer. Not to make ghusl although the time for a prayer expires means to miss a prayer. It is not permissible to miss a prayer without an excuse.

Therefore, a person who needs to make ghusl can do the necessary things before making ghusl, can do the cleaning and even cook but he/she needs to make ghusl as soon as possible; one must not delay making ghusl so much as to expire the time of a daily prayer.

The religious duties that are haram for junub men and women, and women in menstruation or post-natal period are as follows:

The kinds of worship that are haram for a junub person:
1. Performing prayers,
2. Circumambulating the Kaaba,
3. Touching the Quran and carrying it. Therefore, it is not permissible to touch and carry coins and banknotes on which verses from the Quran are written without wudu (ablution) or ghusl. (Majma'ul-Anhur, 1/26 )

A junub person can do other things except those three things mentioned above; a woman can do the cleaning and other tasks at home. Whatever she does is clean.

Some things that junub people do are permissible for themselves. However, it would be a nice act to make ghusl as soon as possible. It is fard to make ghusl before the time of a prayer expires. However, it is not haram to eat, drink or sleep when one is junub. The issue is as we have mentioned above in terms of halal and haram.

Waking of a junub person:

Ghudayf ibnu'l- Harith narrates: "I asked Hazrat Aisha, ‘Did the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) make ghusl after being junub at the beginning or at the end of the night?’ Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) answered: ‘Sometimes at the beginning and sometimes at the end of the night’. I said: ‘Allahuakbar! (Allah is the greatest) Praise be to Allah, Who made things easy for us‘."(1)

A narration of Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) is as follows: "Sometimes, the Messenger of Allah slept while he was junub and did not touch water.”(2)

Hazrat Umar asked, “I became junub at night. What should I do?” the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: make wudu, wash your sexual organ and sleep.(3)

According to the evidence above, it is better for a junub person to make wudu before he sleeps. By the way, we should state the following:  

The permission of sleeping is limited with the expiration of the time of a prayer.

Eating and drinking while being junub:

Let us learn how junub people will eat and drink from the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) wanted to eat and drink when he was junub, he washed his hands and then ate.(4) " When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) wanted to eat or sleep when he was junub, he made wudu."(5)

It is enough for a junub person to wash his hands in order to eat or drink but it is better to make wudu.

Sitting together with a junub person:

A junub person can sit together with other people. However, what is appropriate is to make ghusl at once in terms of our religion. According to what Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) met him in Madinah streets. Abu Hurayra was junub so he made off and returned after making ghusl. When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saw that Abu Hurayra returned, he asked: "O Abu Hurayra , where were you?” He said: “I was junub; I did not want to sit with you while I was dirty.” Then, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: "Subhanallah! A Muslim is not dirty."(6)

Touching a junub person:

There is no drawback to touching a junub person. We can present the following hadith as evidence: once, Huzayfa bin al- Yaman met the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). The Prophet stretched out his hand to shake hands with him. Huzayfa said he was junub. Then, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said the following: “A Muslim is not dirty."(7)

There is no drawback to junub people doing the things mentioned above within certain criteria. That is, it is mubah (permissible) for a junub person to eat, drink, sleep and be in the community. However, Muslims should be clean both materially and spiritually.

It is necessary for a junub person to get rid of the burden on him. Therefore, it is better to make ghusl as soon as possible. It is possible to make tayammum when there is no water and to get rid of that burden. It is enough to have a look at catechisms in order to find out information about tayammum.   

In conclusion, the best thing to do for a man or woman who has to make ghusl is to do it as soon as possible. It will be useful to present children with books and resources giving information about how to make ghusl and what necessitates making ghusl in terms of their education.  

Footnotes:
1 - Buhari, Ghusl 25, 27; Muslim, Hayd 21; Abu Dawud, Taharah 88, 90, Salat 343;
Tirmidhi Taharah 87; Nasai, Taharah 163, 164,165, Ghusl 4, 5; Muwatta, Taharah 77
2 - Abu Dawud, Taharah 88,90
3 - Buhari, Gusl 25,27; Muslim, Hayd 25; Abu Dawud, Taharah 87; Nasai, Taharah 167;
Tirmidhi, Taharah 88; Muwatta, Tah3aret 76
4 - Nasai, Taharah 163-166
5 - Nasai, Taharah 163
6 - Buhari, Ghusl 23, 24; Muslim, Hayd 115; Abu Dawud, Taharah 97; Tirmidhi, Taharah
89; Nasai, Taharah 172
7- Nasai, Taharah 172

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