Q&A (Fatwa)

#376: Ruling on what necessitates Ghusl


” As-Salaam Alaykum! Pls admin, should ghusl be performed only when there is penetration during sex?”


Wa alaykum salaam warahmatullaah wabarakaatuh.


The Ulamaa are at a consensus that the things that makes observing ghusl obligatory are: the emission of semen, intercourse, post natal bleeding (nifaas), menstruation (hayd) and death.

The evidence for the obligation of ghusl for the emission of semen is the verse where Allāh says:

ﻳَﺎ ﺃَﻳُّﻬَﺎ ﺍﻟَّﺬِﻳﻦَ ﺁﻣَﻨُﻮﺍ ﺇِﺫَﺍ ﻗُﻤْﺘُﻢْ ﺇِﻟَﻰ ﺍﻟﺼَّﻠَﺎﺓِ ﻓَﺎﻏْﺴِﻠُﻮﺍ ﻭُﺟُﻮﻫَﻜُﻢْ ﻭَﺃَﻳْﺪِﻳَﻜُﻢْ ﺇِﻟَﻰ ﺍﻟْﻤَﺮَﺍﻓِﻖِ ﻭَﺍﻣْﺴَﺤُﻮﺍ ﺑِﺮُﺀُﻭﺳِﻜُﻢْ ﻭَﺃَﺭْﺟُﻠَﻜُﻢْ ﺇِﻟَﻰ ﺍﻟْﻜَﻌْﺒَﻴْﻦِ ۚ ﻭَﺇِﻥ ﻛُﻨﺘُﻢْ ﺟُﻨُﺒًﺎ ﻓَﺎﻃَّﻬَّﺮُﻭﺍ

” O you who believe! when you prepare for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; Rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles. If you are in a state of ceremonial impurity (junub), bathe your whole body (ghusl)…”

Suratu Al-Maa’ida: 6

And the Hadith in which the Rasūl – salallaahu alayhi wasallam said:

((ﺇﺫﺍ ﻓﻀﺨﺖ ﺍﻟﻤﺎﺀ ﻓﺎﻏﺘﺴﻞ))

“Whenever semen gushes out of you, observe the ghusl.”

Transmitted and recorded by Abu Dawud

And this does not matter if one was awake or asleep in which case it is a nocturnal emission. This is due to the Hadith of Umm Salamah that Umm Sulaym said to the Messenger of Allāh:

“O Messenger of Allāh! Indeed Allāh does not shy from the truth, is it obligatory on a female to observe ghusl if she experiences nocturnal emission?”
He said: “yes (it is) if she emits fluid”

Transmitted and recorded in the Sahihayn.

The evidence for the obligation of ghusl whenever intercourse has taken place is the Hadīth in which the Rasūl – salallaahu alayhi wasallam – said:

((ﺇﺫﺍ ﺟﻠﺲ ﺑﻴﻦ ﺷﻌﺒﻬﺎ ﺍﻷﺭﺑﻊ ﺛﻢ ﺟﻬﺪﻫﺎ ﻓﻘﺪ ﻭﺟﺐ ﺍﻟﻐﺴﻞ ﻧﺰﻝ ﺃﻭ ﻟﻢ ﻳﻨﺰﻝ))

“Whenever he (the man) sits between her four limbs and penetrates her, ghusl becomes obligatory whether there is an emission or not.”

Transmitted and recorded by Imaam Muslim.

As for menstruation and post-natal bleeding, the Rasūl – salallaahu alayhi wasallam – said, as was narrated by Faatimah bnt Hubaysh – radiyallaahu anha:

((ﺇﺫﺍ ﺃﻗﺒﻠﺖ ﺍﻟﺤﻴﻀﺔ ﻓﺪﻋﻲ ﺍﻟﺼﻼﺓ، ﻭﺇﺫﺍ ﺃﺩﺑﺮﺕ ﻓﺎﻏﺘﺴﻠﻲ ﻭﺻﻠﻲ))

“Whenever the menstrual flow approaches, refrain from the Salaat, and whenever it recedes, observe the ghusl and observe the Salaat.”

Transmitted and recorded in the Sahihayn.

The fuqahaa are at a consensus that same applies to the post-natal bleeding.

They also agree that death necessitates ghusl (janazah) due to the Hadīth in which the Rasūl – salallaahu alayhi wasallam – said:

((ﺍﻏﺴﻠﻮﻩ ﺑﻤﺎﺀ ﻭﺳﺪﺭ))

“Wash his (body) with water and Sidr.”

The exemption is the martyr (shahid) who passed away on the battle field as the Fuqahaa agreed.

The Malikis and the Hanbalis hold that it is obligatory upon the one who just embraces Islam from Kufr to observe ghusl. Their evidence is the Hadith of Qays Ibn ‘Aasim – radiyallaahu an hu – who mentioned that he was ordered by the Rasūl – salallaahu alayhi was allam – to observe ghusl with water and sidr when he embraced Islam. This Hadīth is recorded by the five collectors of the Sunan except for Ibn Maajah.

Some of the Hanbali Ulamaa hold that it is obligatory to observe ghusl every Jum’ah whereas the majority of the Fuqahaa held that it were an emphatic Sunnah.

Allāh knows best.

Bārakallāhu Fīkum
Jazākumullāhu Khayran.

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