Ghusl: Purification Bath In Islam
Ghusl is an Arabic term used for the full-body purification ritual in Islam. Performing Ghusl is mandatory before performing any religious act, prayer, and after completion of menstruation cycle or sexual activity. Ghusl is a must before embarking on Umrah or Hajj pilgrimage.
Before understanding how to do ghusl, it is important to understand the term wudu. Wudu is an important ritual of cleaning parts of the body before performing any religious prayer. It is the process of washing hands, mouth, nostrils, arms, face, ears, hair, and feet. Wudu is a significant part of the purity ritual in the Islamic religion. It is governed by fiqh or Islamic moral-philosophy,which defines the rules regarding the hygiene and the rituals that are part of it. Acts like excretion, deep sleep, light bleeding, period, urination, and sexual intercourse can invalidate wudu. In contrast to Ghusl, wudu can be referred to as partial ablution as ghusl is ‘full ablution’ where the whole body is washed.
The water used to perform wudu or Ghusl should be pure. Pure here is defined as water from melted snow or hail, water from an ocean, lake, pond or well. Water touched by urine, blood, stool, animal, or made from trees or fruits is prohibited for Ghusl.
The following acts are recommended to perform wudu but are not mandatory:
- Chanting the shahada after the ablution.
- Not engaging in any worldly conversation
- Performing ablution in a clean place
- Avoiding wastage of water
- Beginning from the right side
- Doing any dhikr like Istighfar that brings one closer to Allah
Steps to perform Ghusl
Before entering for a purification bath i.e Ghusl, one must recite Ghusl Dua or Niyyah i.e intention of performing the act by saying, “I am performing Janaba so as to become pure”. Though there are no rewards associated with reciting Ghusl Dua or stating the intention, it is also suggested not to recite any Aayah or Kalimah during the ritual.
The steps for performing Ghusl bath are listed below:
- Intention to perform Ghusl should be stated
- Saying Bismillah
- Rinsing the hands thrice
- Washing the private parts thoroughly
- Performing wudu or ablution as done before the daily prayers except that the feet should not be washed
- Starting from the right side i.e. pouring water on the right side, then the left side.
- Pouring water on the head thoroughly so that it reaches the scalp and covers the entire body. Men should also clean their beards. Women should wash their hair thoroughly.
- Washing of feet should be delayed and should be done in the end
There are certain points that need to be remembered for performing the ritual of Ghusl.
- One must begin by washing both the hands up to wrists and then washing the private parts regardless of any impurity on them or not.
- Body should be rubbed thoroughly before pouring the water.
- Bathing should be done facing towards the holy Kaaba. Only the required amount of water should be used neither too less that one is unable to wash nor should too much.
- It is important to refrain from any talks while bathing also that no one sees a bathing person.
- One should cover himself and then wash feet.
How to do ghusl after periods?
For Females Ghusl Janabat implies washing of the full body after sexual intercourse and after periods. After completion of the menstrual cycle, females can perform ghusl by any of the two methods. Here are ghusl steps for ladies that are suggested to be followed.
Method 1: Concluding the obligatory ghusl
- Anything that is worn on the body including clothes or jewellery should be removed. There should not be any blockade between body and water.
- Intentions to purify should be set in the heart or mind.
- Firstly, enter the shower and bathe as done daily.
- Mouth and nose should be cleared by tilting the head.
- Starting from left to right let the water reach all parts of the body so that they are cleaned at least once. This act can be repeated thrice.
- It is important to make sure that water reaches all parts of the body including the scalp for which the head can also be tilted.
- Once this is done, one should dry using a clean towel.
Method 2: Complete ghusl steps for ladies along with Sunnah acts
- Begin by stating the intention to perform purification.
- Before stepping in the shower all clothing and jewellery is to be removed.
- Hands to be washed thrice after saying Bismillah.
- All the body parts, particularly the private parts should be washed, rubbed, and patted using the left hand.
- To get rid of any odours especially that of lingerie, performance or musk can be used.
- Water on head should be poured thrice ensuring that it reaches the scalp.
- Hand should be used to clean the entire body.
- After completing the above steps, a clean towel should be used to dry oneself.
Both Ghusl and Wudu are the start of a journey towards Allah. It is the first step in getting ready to remember and pray to Allah and to develop faith and devotion to the Almighty and is hence an extremely important ritual in Islam.