The Ghusl (Purificatory Shower)

When To Take the Ghusl

A woman is obliged to perform a ghusl in order to free herself from a state of major ritual impurity, meaning:

  • after marital relations (the state of janaba)
  • upon her menstruation/post-natal bleeding finishing,
  • or when her bleeding reaches the menstrual/lochial maximum, even if she is still bleeding. (10 complete days for menses and 40 complete days for lochia)

Taking a ghusl is an emphasized sunna for:

  • the Friday prayer,
  • the two Eid prayers,
  • the day of Arafat for the one performing hajj,
  • and before entering into a state of ihram for the one performing hajj or ‘umrah.

Taking a ghusl is recommended before entering Makkah, Madina, when visiting the Prophet ﷺ, and in other various situations.

Please refer to a text in Islamic law for more details inshaAllah.

Obligatory Elements of a Ghusl

Rinsing the inside of the nose and mouth, as well as the entire body at least once with water.

One must ensure that the water reaches every place possible on the outer body, providing that it does not cause undue hardship. Water must reach the skin underneath the eyebrows, the roots of the hair on one’s head, inside ALL pierced ear/nose holes, between the labial lips, the external orifice of the private parts, and underneath the clitoral hood.

Please refer to a text in Islamic law for more details inshaAllah.

How to Perform a Ghusl

  1. Make the intention in the heart to perform the ghusl for Allah Most High.
  2. Say ‘bismi Llahir Rahmanir Rahim’ while washing one’s two hands up to the wrists.
  3. Wash the front and back private parts, as well as removing any other filth/impurities off of one’s body.
  4. Make a complete ablution (wudu).
  5. Pour water upon one’s head, and then pour water upon the right side of the body, and then the left side of the body. Perform this step a total of three times.
  6. The sunna is to rub one’s body as the water flows upon it in order to ensure a proper washing inshaAllah.