Purification is of paramount importance to Muslims as it is a pre-requisite to performing most of the worships in Islam like for example Salat (prayer) and fasting. In this article we are going to talk about one method of purification-Ghusl- and how and why it is performed. There are many types of ways to perform Ghusl, with different schools of thoughts coming up with slightly different methods. But here we are going to talk about the most-used method.
In simple terms, Ghusl is a ritual bath. It is done as a form of purification for Muslims after intercourse, menstruation, postpartum bleeding etc. It is compulsory for every Muslim that has reached the age of puberty to perform this ritual bath if he/she becomes unpurified due to the aforementioned conditions
There are certain things that should occur before one becomes eligible to perform Ghusl. The following qualifies one to perform Ghusl.
- Ejaculation of semen due to sexual desire, nocturnal emissions etc.
- After a wet dream.
- After sexual intercourse, even without ejaculation.
- After menstruation.
- Post-partum bleeding.
There are certain other situations in which one can perform Ghusl voluntarily
- When going for Friday prayers.
- When going for Hajj or Umrah, before putting on the ihram.
- When going for Eid prayers or any other religious occasion.
Now that we have defined what Ghusl is and when and why it should be performed we are now going to a step by step illustration of how Ghusl should be performed.
Like all forms of worship in Islam intention is the first and most important step. You have to have the intention that you are coming to purify yourself according to the teachings of Allah and his Prophet SAW because without intention worship would just be a mere movement of limbs lacking any form of soul. Some scholars say if you perform Ghusl without intention you will get purified but you also get rewards (good deeds) for it
The person should then wash his hands three times or as much as necessary to clean his/her hands.
The next thing is for the person to wash his/her private parts, from the belly button to the knee, making sure to thoroughly clean both the front and the back. This should be whether dirt or impurities are visible or not.
The person should then commence to performing wudu (ablution) like he/she would normally do. If the person is performing Ghusl in a place where the water does not stagnate and it runs down with all the impurities then the person should perform a complete Wudu but if the person is not sure then he/she should postpone the washing of the feet until after completing the Ghusl.
The person should then pour water over his/her head three times making sure every part of the hair touches water. If at all water doesn’t touch the whole hair then Ghusl is not complete.
The person should then pour water over his/her right shoulder thrice then do the same to the left also thrice. During this process, the person should make sure he doesn’t touch his private parts lest it renders his wudu null and void.
The person should then pour water over the entire body making sure to rub thoroughly to ensure water reaches every part of the body.
Now that the process has been completed the person should immediately cover himself with a towel or anything that can cover the private parts.