GHUSL is the Islamic method of washing the body to obtain purification from “hadathe akbar” or “greater impurity.”


Hadathe Akbar is caused by the following acts:

(1) Discharge of mani (semen) accompanied by sexual lust, whether such discharge be while sleeping or while awake.
(2) Sexual intercourse.
(3) Haidh (menses).
(4) Nifaas (blood discharge after childbirth).
If any of the above acts results, one will be in the state of Janaabat. Purification is obtained from Janaabat only by means of Ghusl.

Ahkaam of Hadathe Akbar

During the state of hadathe akbar or Janaabat the following things are prohibited:
(1) Salaat.
(2) Touching the Qur’aan Shareef.
(3) Reciting the Qur’aan Shareef even without touching.
(4) To enter a Musjid.
(5) To make Tawaaf of the Ka’bah Shareef,
(6) In the state of hadathe akbar caused by haidh and nifaas, sexual intercourse is not permissible. (This prohibition is explained fully in the section dealing with haidh).
(7) It is not permissible to remove, cut or break any nails or hair from any part of the body during the state of hadathe akbar or Janaabat.

How To Make Ghusl

The following is the Sunnat method of taking Ghusl. Proceed with the Ghusl, step by step, as enumerated hereunder:

  1. First wash both hands as far as the The hands should not be dipped in the basin of water for washing. Water should either run from the tap on to the hands or poured from a container.
  2. Wash the parts of istinja (the private parts and surrounding area). This should be washed whether there is najaasat (impurity) or
  3. Wash the part of the body wherever there be some
  4. Make a full Wudhu However, if Ghusl is being taken in a place where the water pools around the feet, then delay the washing of the feet until the end of the Ghusl.
  5. After Wudhu, pour water thrice over the
  6. Thereafter, pour water thrice over the right
  7. Then, pour water thrice over the left The water should be poured in such a way that the entire body is thoroughly drenched.
  8. If the feet were not washed at the time of Wudhu, wash them now. While pouring the water, rub well on the body to ensure that no spot remains dry.

The Faraa-idh of Ghusl

The Ghusl has three things which are Fardh (compulsory) and are called the Faraa-idh of Ghusl. These are:
(1) Rinsing the mouth thoroughly.
(2) Taking water into the nostrils to the limit of the tender or fleshy part of the nose,
(3) Drenching the whole body — from head to feet — thoroughly. If these three acts are discharged, the Ghusl is complete and one is purified.

The Sunan of Ghusl

The following acts are the Sunnan of Ghusl:
(1) It is Sunnat to make Niyyat for Ghusl.
(2) First wash both hands.
(3) Then wash the private parts.
(4) Make Wudhu.
(5) Pour water thrice over the head.
(6) Pour water thrice over the right shoulder.
(7) Pour water thrice over the left shoulder.

One obtains much Sawaab by fulfilment of the Sunnat acts. The Sunnan should, therefore, not be neglected or left out unnecessarily. However, the Ghusl will still be valid and complete if the Sunnan have not been discharged. Absolute care should be exercised that no Fardh act of Ghusl is missed out, for then the Ghusl will be incomplete and not valid.

The Makrooh Factors of Ghusl

The factors which are Makrooh in Wudhu are also Makrooh in Ghusl (refer section dealing with Wudhu). Besides these the following too are Makrooh factors of Ghusl:
(1) To recite dua during Ghusl.
(2) Facing the Qiblah.
(3) Speaking unnecessarily, while nude.

The Occasions of Ghusl

(1) Haidh: Ghusl for purification from haidh is Fardh (compulsory). (See section on Haidh).
(2) Nifaas: Ghusl for purification from nifaas is Fardh. (See section on Haidh and Nifaas).
(3) Sexual Intercourse: Ghusl for purification from the condition of Janaabat produced by sexual intercourse is Fardh, whether there was ejaculation of mani (sperm) or not.
(4) Ihtilaam: Ghusl for purification from the condition of Janaabat produced by ihtilaam is Fardh. Ihtilaam is the ejaculation of mani in a wet dream.
(5) Juma’: Ghusl for the occasion of Juma’ (Friday) Salaat is Sunnat. The time for this Ghusl is from after Fajr Salaat to the time of Juma’.
(6) Both Eids: Ghusl for the occasions of Eid is Sunnat.
(7) Arafah: Ghusl for the occasion of the Day of Arafah is Sunnat for the Hujjaj (Pilgrims). The time for this Ghusl is after Zawwaal.
(8) Ihraam: Ghusl when donning ihraam is Sunnat.
(9) Conversion: A kaafir in the state of hadathe akbar shall take Ghusl upon embracing Islam. This Ghusl is Waajib (compulsory). If he/she is not in the state of hadathe akbar, this Ghusl will be Mustahab.
(10) Mayyit: It is Fardh Kifaayah to give Ghusl to the mayyit (the dead).
N.B.: Fardh Kifaayah is a compulsory act which is the collective responsibility of the whole community. If a few members of the community discharge the act, the whole community is absolved of the duty. If not a single member of the community discharges the act, the whole community will be collectively sinful.
(11) At Age of 15: Upon attaining the age of fifteen years, if no sign of bulugh (maturity, e.g. ihtilaam, haidh), has appeared, it is Mustahab to take Ghusl.
(12) After Unconsciousness and Insanity: Upon passing of the states of unconsciousness and insanity, Ghusl should be taken. This Ghusl is Mustahab.
(13) After Giving Ghusl to the Mayyit: Those who gave Ghusl to the Mayyit should themselves take Ghusl. This Ghusl is Mustahab.
(14) Lailatul Baraat: Ghusl should be taken on Lailatul Baraat
— 15th Night of Sha’baan. This Ghusl is Mustahab.
(15) Laitul Qadr: Ghusl is Mustahab on who has by the grace of Allah Ta’ala discovered the Night of Qadr.
(16) Entry to Madinah Munawwarah: Ghusl is Mustahab upon entry to Madinah Munawwarah.
(17) At Muzdalifah: Ghusl is Mustahab for one who stops over at Muzdalifah during the Hajj period. The time for this Ghusl is during Fajr time of the 10th Zil-hajj.
(18) Tawaaf Ziyaarah: Ghusl is Mustahab for performing Tawaaf Ziyaarah.
(19) Rami Jimaar: Ghusl is Mustahab for the occasion of pelting the Jimaar during Hajj.
(20) Eclipse of the Sun and Moon: It is Mustahab to take Ghusl on the occasions of the eclipse of the sun and the moon.
(21) Salaatul Istisqaa’: It is Mustahab to take Ghusl for the occasion of performing Salaatul Istisqaa’.
(22) Salaatul Khauf and Salaatul Haajat: It is Mustahab to take Ghusl for performing Salaat at the time of fear and need.
(23) Salaatut Taubah: It is Mustahab to take Ghusl when performing Salaatut Taubah — seeking Allah’s pardon and forgiveness for sins committed.
(24) Upon Returning from a Journey: It is Mustahab to take Ghusl upon reaching home after a journey.

(25) Upon Execution: It is Mustahab for one who is to be executed, to take Ghusl prior to his execution.

Masaa-il Pertaining To Ghusl

(1) It is improper to face the Qiblah while engaged in Ghusl.
(2) It is improper to engage in talk while taking Ghusl.
(3) Make haste in covering the body. One should not delay in wearing one’s clothes after completing the Ghusl. The Shariah emphasises this so much, that if the feet have as yet not been washed, then first don one’s garments and thereafter wash the feet.
(4) It is not proper to recite any dua, kalimah, etc, during Ghusl.
(5) If even a single hair remains dry in Ghusl, the Ghusl will not be valid.
(6) If after Ghusl, one recalls that a certain part has not been washed, then that part should now be washed. It is not necessary to repeat the Ghusl. However, if the unwashed part is not washed, the Ghusl is not valid. It is not sufficient to merely rub the moist hand over the unwashed part. Water has to flow over it.
(7) If due to some sickness or ailment, water is harmful if applied to the head, it will be permissible to leave the head dry and wash the rest of the body. However, upon being cured of the ailment it is Wajib to wash the head. There is no need to renew the Ghusl.
(8) Rings, etc., should be removed during Ghusl to enable the water to reach the parts covered by these objects.
(9) If some flour, gum, etc., has hardened on the fingernails or elsewhere, Ghusl will not be valid if these substances were not removed. The same applies to cutex — a substance which modern women apply to their finger-nails — as it also prevents water from reaching the parts covered by it. It is essential to remove these and pass water over the parts which were covered. If after Ghusl it is realised that some gum, etc., was stuck to the nails, etc., then remove the substance and wash the place. It is not necessary to renew the Ghusl. If this was realised only after having performed Salaat, then after removing the substance and washing the part, repeat the Salaat.
(10) It is not necessary to remove the ointment from a cut or wound during Ghusl. Gush water over it.
(11) Any food-particle stuck in between the teeth must be removed, otherwise the Ghusl will not be valid since the space between the teeth will remain dry.
(12) After Ghusl, Wudhu should not be made again since the Ghusl is sufficient.
(13) As mentioned elsewhere, nowadays it is considered fashionable for women to keep long finger-nails. Dirt accumulates under such long nails and obstructs the moistening of the parts covered by the dirt. Besides such long nails and dirt-accumulation being contrary to Islamic hygiene and Tahaarat rules, Wudhu and Ghusl will not be valid if the dirt is of a nature — non-porous — which does not permit water to seep through.


Before taking a bath it is preferable to cut the nails of the fingers and toes as well as remove the unwanted hair from under the armpits and below the navel. It should, however, be borne in mind that if one is in a state of Hadathe Akbar or Janaabat then it is not -permissible -to remove, cut or break any nails or hair from any part of the body. The removal of unwanted hair should be attended to preferably once a week. If this is not possible then every alternate week. Care should be taken that it is not left for more than 40 days as this is the limit. Beyond 40 days the neglecter will be guilty of sin.