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Ghusl (Arabic: غسل Ġusl, IPA: [ˈɣʊsl]) is an Arabic term to the full-body ritual purification mandatory before the performance of various rituals and prayers, for any adult Muslim after having ejaculation or completion of the menstrual cycle.
The washing is also recommended but not required (i.e. it is mustahabb) before Jumu'ah and Eid prayers, before entering the ihram in preparation for Hajj, after having lost consciousness and after formally converting. Sunni Muslims also perform the ablution before Namaz-e-tawbah (Prayer of Repentance).
Ghusl is often translated as "full ablution", as opposed to the "partial ablution" of wudu وضوء that Muslims perform after lesser impurities such as urination, defecation, flatulence, deep sleep, and light bleeding.
It is a ritual bath.:471
Ghusl becomes obligatory for seven causes, and the ghusl for each of these different causes has different names:
In some denominations, two further categories obligate ghusl:
Similar to wudu, some water is permissible for use for ghusl whereas some water is not. Permissible water sources include:
Ghusl is not allowed with unclean or impure water or water extracted from fruit and trees.
The Quranic mandate for ghusl comes in surah an-Nisa:
O you who have believed, do not approach prayer while you are in a state of drowsiness until you know what you are saying or in a state of janabah, except those passing through [a place of prayer], until you have washed [your whole body]. And if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and find no water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and your hands [with it]. Indeed, Allah is ever Pardoning and Forgiving.[Quran 4:43 (Translated by Sahih International)]
The phrase translated as 'intercourse' in this verse has been interpreted by Hanafi scholars to mean sexual contact, while Shafi'i scholars interpret it to mean both physical and sexual contact. Hence, the Hanafi school of thought does not require one to take wudu if there is non-sexual contact with a member of the opposite sex, while the Shafi'i school of thought does require wudu before salah and so on.
There are three fard (obligatory) acts. If one of these acts is omitted, it must be returned to and completed before the remaining acts.
Optional alternate method as demonstrated by the Islamic prophet, Muhammad :
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.
"Ash-hadu-Allah-illaha-illahahu wa-ash-hadu ann-muhamaddan ab-duhu wa rasuluhu"
If, after Ghusl, one recalls that a certain portion of the body is left dry, it is not necessary to repeat the Ghusl, but merely wash the dry portion. It is not sufficient to pass a wet hand over the dry place. If one has forgotten to rinse the mouth or the nostrils, these too could be rinsed when recalled after Ghusl has been performed.
The following hadith describes how ghusl should be performed by Sunni Muslims.
A hadith attributed to Aisha bint Abi Bakr reports:
Ghusl should be made in a place of total privacy.
In another hadith, Ibn Abbas stated that Maimuna said that Muhammad was given a towel after ghusl, but he shook off the water instead of rubbing his body with it. In addition, Ibn Abbas recorded the following hadith on the authority of his mother's sister. A hadith attributed to Maymunah bint al-Harith reports:
Things that are makruh in ghusl.
There are two methods of performing ghusl. One is known as ghusl tartibi, and the other is known as ghusl irtimasi.
"Ghusl tartibi" means an ordinal bath, performed in three stages.
After washing away the najasat (e.g., semen or blood) from the body and after niyyat, the body has to be washed in three stages: head down to the neck; then the right side of the body from the shoulder down to the foot; then the left side of the body.
Each part should be washed thoroughly in such a way that the water reaches the skin. Special care should be taken while washing the head; the hair should be combed (e.g., with your fingers) so that water reaches the hair-roots. While washing the right side of the body, some part of the left side must be washed too, and vice versa.
"Ghusl irtimasi" means a bath involving immersion of the whole body in the water. It can only be done in a body of water, e.g., a pool, river, lake or sea. After washing away the semen or blood from the body and after niyyat, the whole body should be completely immersed in the water all at once, not gradually. One has to make sure that the water reaches all parts of the body, including hair and the skin under it.
Ghusl tartibi is preferred over ghusl irtimasi.
What has been mentioned above are the wajib acts of ghusl; there are things which are recommendable (mustahabb, sunnat) during the ghusl. These recommendable acts are five: