Thursday, 24 May 2007

How To Perform The Purificatory Bath (Ghusl)


When performing the purificatory bath, one:

1. Begins by saying, "In the name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate";

2. Removes any unclean matter on the body, let them be pure or impure);

3. Performs ablution (wudhu) as one does before Solat;

4. Pours water over the head three times - and during that - the niyyat (intention) is made i.e. intending the purificatory bath, or to lift a state of major ritual impurity (janabah) or menstruation, or to be permitted to perform the prayer, and running the fingers through one's hair to saturate it;

5. Next, the person bathing then pours water over the body's right side three times, then over the left side three times, ensuring that water reaches all joints and folds, and rubbing oneself.

6. If bathing after menstruation, a woman uses some musk to eliminate the afterscent of blood by applying it to a piece of cotton and inserting it, after bathing, into the vagina as far as is obligatory (explained in point b. below) for her to wash. What is meant here is a substance that removes the traces of filth, by any means, and it is fine to use soap.


In the traditional Shafi'i school of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama'ah, two things alone are obligatory for the validity of the purificatory bath:

a. Having the intention above when water is first applied to the parts that must be washed; and

b. To ensure that water reaches all of the hair and skin i.e. to the roots of the hair, under the nails, and the outwardly visible portion of the ear canals, though unlike ablution the sequence of washing the parts is not obligatory, even under the foreskin of the uncircumcised man, and the private parts of the non-virgin woman - defined as that part which are normally disclosed when she squats to relieve herself.

Please note that in the Hanafi scool of jurisprudence, rinsing out the mouth and nostrils is obligatory for the validity of the purificatory bath. Thus, out of Taqwa, it is religiously more precautionary for a Muslim never to omit it, and Allah knows best.


If one begins the purificatory bath while on ablution (wudhu) but nullifies it before finishing, one simply completes the bath. Nevertheless, one needs a new ablution before praying.


If there is filth (najasa) on the body, one washes it off by pouring water on it and then performs the purificatory bath, though washing oneself a single time suffices for both removing it and for the purificatory bath.


When a woman who is obliged to both lift a state of major ritual impurity (janaba) and purify after menstruation performs the purificatory bath for either of these, it suffices for both.

Whoever performs the bath one time with the intention to both lift a state of major ritual impurity and fulfill the sunnah of the Friday prayer bath has performed both, though if he only intends one, his bath counts for that one but not the other.


The purificatory bath is Sunnah:

1. For those who want to attend the Friday prayer - the bath can be performed anytime from the beginning of dawn;

2. On the two Eids - from the time for it beginning from the middle of the night;

3. On days when the sun or moon eclipse;

4. Before the Sunnat drought prayer;

5. After washing the dead; and it is also Sunnah to perform ablution (wudhu) after touching a corpse;

6. After recovering one's sanity or regaining consciousness after having lost it;

7. Before entering the state of pilgrim sanctity (ihram), when entering Makkah, for standing at Arafah, for circumambulating the Ka'abah and going between Safa and Marwa, for entering Madinah, at Al-Mash'ar Al-Haram (a place between Makkah and Mina), and for each day of stoning at Mina on the three days following Eid-ul-Adha.


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