Ghusl (غسل) is an Arabic term referring to the full ablution (ritual washing) required in Islam for various rituals and prayers. The ablution becomes mandatory for any adult Muslim after having sexual intercourse, any sexual discharge (e.g. of semen) ["Sahih Muslim", hadith number 616] ["Sharh as-Sunnah" by al-Baghawi, vol 2., pg. 9] , completion of the menstrual cycle ["Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz" by Shaykh Abd al-Aziz ibn Baaz, vol. 10 pg. 161] ["Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen" by Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen, vol. 11 pg. 318-319] , giving birth, and death by natural causes ["Sahih al-Bukhari", Volume 2, Book 23, Hadith number 345] .

Islam also recommends (i.e. it is "mustahab") the performance of the full ablution before the Friday ["Sahih al-Bukhari", Volume 1, Book 12, Hadith number 817] ["Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat" by Shaykh Abd al-Aziz ibn Baaz, part 12, pg. 404] and Eid ["Sharh Mukhtasar", Volume 2, pg. 102] prayers, before entering the "ehram", in preparation for "hajj","Tamaam al-Minnah" by Shaykh al-Albani, pg. 120] , after having lost consciousnessIbid.] , and before formally converting to Islam. Shia Muslims also perform the ablution before Namaz-e-tawbah.

Ghusl should not be confused with "wudu", a partial ablution, that Muslims perform before salat.

Method of performance

In Islam, ghusl requires the washing of the full body. There are some differences in details between the Sunni and the Shia schools of thought.

unni school of thought

The following ahadith describe how ghusl should be performed by Sunni Muslims.

In another hadith, ibn Abbas stated that Maimuna said that The Messenger of Allah was given a towel (after "ghusl"), but he did not rub his body with it, but he did like this with water (i.e. he shook it off). ["Sahih Muslim", hadith number 622] In addition, ibn Abbas recorded the following hadith on the authority of his mother's sister.

Similarly, Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen said, "Sufficient "ghusl" means that you rinse your mouth and nose, then you wash your entire body with water, even if that means plunging yourself into deep water in one go.Fact|date=June 2008

Complete "ghusl" means washing your private parts and anywhere else that is contaminated with traces of impurity, then you do full "wudu", then you pour water over your head three times, making sure that it reaches the roots of the hair. Then you wash the right side of the body then the left side." ["I’laam al-Musaafireen bi Ba’d Aadaab wa Ahkaam al-Safar wa ma Yakhuss al-Mallaaheen al-Jawwiyyeen" by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen, pg. 11]

hia school of thought

According to the Shia school there are two main methods of performing a "ghusl". For both methods one has to begin with "niyyah", the intention to remove any impurities.
* "Irtimasi": one has to submerge the entire body in pure water, either at once or in stages.]
* "Tartibi": one needs to start by washing the head and neck, and then the rest of the body, preferably the right side first followed by the left side. >]


ee also

* "Mikvah", the Jewish ritual bath

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