THE RULING AND DESCRIPTION OF GHUSL

By Shaikh ‘Abdullaah bin Saalih Al-‘Ubaylaan

Taken from his book As-Salaat (pg. 23-25)

 

As for what is related to Ghusl, which is washing the entire body with water, then the basic rule with regard to it is Allah's saying: “And if you are in a state of sexual impurity (Janaabah), then purify yourselves (i.e. wash your entire bodies).” [Surah Al-Maa’idah: 6]

 

And Allah's saying: “O you who believe. Do not come near the prayer while you are in a drunken state, until you know what you are uttering (i.e. when you are not drunk), nor when you are in a state of sexual impurity (Janaabah) – unless you are traveling on the road – until you make Ghusl (i.e. wash your entire body).” [Surah An-Nisaa: 43]

Ghusl is divided into that which is Waajib (obligatory) and that which is Mustahabb (recommended).

 

As for the obligatory Ghusl, then it is to be done after sexual intercourse, regardless of whether one ejaculated or not. A male is obligated to perform ghusl if just the head of his private organ enters (the female private organ), even if it is for one second. This is based on the hadith of Abu Hurairah (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) who said: Allah's Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “When a man sits in between the four parts of a woman and enters into her (for intercourse), the ghusl becomes obligatory.” Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. In Muslim’s report, there is the addition: “…even if he doesn’t ejaculate.” The women falls under the same ruling as the man in this regard.sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “When a man sits in between the four parts of a woman and enters into her (for intercourse), the ghusl becomes obligatory.” Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. In Muslim’s report, there is the addition: “…even if he doesn’t ejaculate.” The women falls under the same ruling as the man in this regard.

Ghusl is also obligatory if an individual has any seminal fluid descend and can find traces of it on him/her. This is based on the hadith of Umm Salamah, who reported that Umm Sulaim, the wife of Abu Talha, asked Allah's Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), saying: “Allah is not shy when it comes to the truth. So is it obligatory for a woman to perform ghusl if she has a wet dream (i.e. seminal fluid comes out)?” The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) responded: “Yes, if she sees the fluid.” This hadith is reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

 

As for the Ghusl that is recommended (mustahabb), then what falls into it is the ghusl performed on the day of Jum'ah, for it is strongly recommended except in the case where someone is giving off a bad odor, then as for this person, it is obligatory for him to perform ghusl based on the hadith of Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudree (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) in which Allah's Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

 

“Performing ghusl on the day of Jum'ah is a duty (waajib) on every person past the age of puberty.” Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

And it is also based on the hadith of Samurah bin Jundub (radyAllahu ‘anhu) who said: Allah's Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever performs wudoo (ablution) on the Day of Jum'ah, then he has done good with it. And whoever performs ghusl, then ghusl is better.” Reported by At-Tirmidhi, who graded it sound (Hasan).

As for the description of Ghusl, then it can be performed in two manners:

 

The Partial Ghusl: which is when one washes his head and his entire body.

 

The Complete Ghusl: which is what has been reported in the hadith of ‘A'ishah (radyAllaahu ‘anhaa) in Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, in which she said: “When Allah's Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would perform ghusl due to Janaabah (sexual impurity), he would begin by washing his hands. Then he would pour water from his right hand to his left and wash his private parts with it (i.e. the left hand). Then he would perform wudoo (ablution). Then he would take water and place his (wet) fingers on the roots off his hair. Then he would pour three handfuls of water over his head. Then he would pour water all over the rest of his body. Then he would wash his feet.” This wording is from Muslim. The hadith is in Al-Bukhari and Muslim from the narration of Maymoonah, (radyAllaahu ‘anhaa).

 

So this means that: the Complete Ghusl is preceded by wudoo (ablution), however the washing of the feet is delayed till after the rest of the body is washed.

 

As for the Partial Ghusl, then there is no ablution that precedes it. Both these types of ghusl are valid.

 

A woman is not obligated to undo her hair (if it is bundled or braided) when performing ghusl, due to the hadith of Umm Salamah (radyAllaahu ‘anhaa) in Saheeh Muslim in which she said: “O Messenger of Allah, I am a woman with much braids in my head. Should I undo them when performing ghusl, due to sexual impurity (Janaabah) and menses?” He (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) responded: “No. It is sufficient for you to just pour three handfuls of water on your head.”

 

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