Q&A (Fatwa)

#347: Description on how to Perform Ghusl (Ritual Bath)


“As-salamu-alaikum. Pls explain practically how ritual bath is taken in details.”


Wa alaykum salaam warahmatullaah wabarakaatuh.

Alhamdulillāh. We are sorry for the unexpected delay in answering your question. It is due to some negligence from us. We seek for your forgiveness in that regard.

There are Ahaadith in which the Rasul – salallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam – was described to have observed the Ghusl.

We will insha Allāh pick one or two of the Ahaadith.

ﻋﻦ ﻋﺎﺋﺸﺔ – ﺭﺿﻲ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻨﻪ – ﻗﺎﻟﺖ : ﻛﺎﻥ ﺭﺳﻮﻝ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ – ﺻﻠﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ – ﺇﺫﺍ ﺍﻏﺘﺴﻞ ﻣﻦ ﺍﻟﺠﻨﺎﺑﺔ ﻏﺴﻞ ﻳﺪﻳﻪ، ﺛﻢ ﺗﻮﺿﻊ ﻭﺿﻮﺀﻩ ﻟﻠﺼﻼﺓ، ﺛﻢ ﻳﻐﺘﺴﻞ، ﺛﻢ ﻳﺨﻠﻞ ﺑﻴﺪﻩ ﺷﻌﺮﻩ، ﺣﺘﻰ ﺇﺫﺍ ﻇﻦ ﺃﻧﻪ ﻗﺪ ﺃﺭﻭﻯ ﺑﺸﺮﺗﻪ ﺃﻓﺎﺽ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﺍﻟﻤﺎﺀ ﺛﻼﺙ ﻣﺮﺍﺕ، ﺛﻢ ﻏﺴﻞ ﺳﺎﺋﺮ ﺟﺴﺪﻩ

It is narrated by the Mother of the Believers A’isha – radiyallaahu anha – that whenever the Messenger of Allāh – salallāhu alayhi wasallam – observes the ghusl from Janaabah, he would wash his two hands, then observe Wudhu like the wudhu of Salaat, then he would do the ghusl by running his hands into his hairs until he feels that his hands have touched his scalp, the. He would wash it (I.e. the head) three times, then he would wash his entire body.”

Recorded and transmitted by Imaam al-Bukhaari in his Sahih.

Imaam Ash-Shaafi’i – rahimahullaah – said:
“Allāh – ta’aala – unrestrictedly made obligatory for us the observance of Ghusl and did not mention specifically any part of the body that MUST be washed before the other. Therefore, however the one who observes the Ghusl arranges his ghusl, it suffices for him as long as he washes all of his body (without exempting a part). But that which should be followed is what was reported by A’isha.”

Ref: ‘Al-Umm’ 1/56

And what was mentioned by Imaam Ash-Shaafi’i is said by many of the Imaams I.e. that following the step s mentioned in the ahaadith is not compulsory but a sunnah. What is obligatory is to wash the entire body.

Imaam In Qudaamah Al-Maqdisi – rahimahullaah – said in ‘Al-Mughni’:

“And by this, the obligatory aspects of Ghusl become two, no more. An-Niyya (the intention) and the washing of the entire body.”

This is not to discourage or to downplay the other aspects of ghusl.

In summary, the sun ah steps mentioned in the Ahaadith are:

1. Washing of the hands
2. Washing of the private parts firstly with some soap if possible. That is because in the Hadīth of Maymuna – radiyallaahu anha – the Rasul – salallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam – rubbed his hands in sand after washing his private parts.
3. The rubbing of the hairs with wet hands until the fingers get to the scalp.
4. Observing a complete Wudhu like the Wudhu of Salaat.
5. The washing of the head three times.
6. Washing the entire body from top to down, washing the right side first then the left.

It is important to note that if the ghusl is observed for Hayd (menstruation), then it is preferred that she rubs the hairs with water more than she does for other than hayd.

Allāhu A’alam.

Bārakallāhu Fīkum
Jazākumullāhu Khayran

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