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How to perform a Complete Bath (Ghusl)

  • The Intention (Niyyah). One must intend (in his heart) that he is performing ghusl to purify himself from a state of major impurity – whether janâbah, menstruation or postpartum bleeding – without uttering such intention verbally.

  • Say ‘Bismillah’ (‘I begin with the name of Allah’).

  • Wash the hands and then the private parts.

  • Next, perform wudhu as he would for the prayer. He may delay washing his feet until the end of his ghusl.

  • He should pour [at least] three handfuls of water on his head, running his fingers through his hair and beard so that water reaches the roots of his hair and scalp.

  • Then pour water over the rest of the body, beginning with the right side. He should make sure that he washes his armpits, ears, navel, and the creases of the skin if he is fat, for these creases prevent water from reaching the areas of skin concealed within. He should then wash his feet if he has not already done so while making wudhu [before performing the ghusl]. ‘Aa`ishah reported:

    “When Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) would perform ghusl due to sexual intercourse, he would first wash his hands, then pour water with his right hand into his left, washing his private parts. After that he would perform wudhu as he would for the Prayer, and then take water and rub it into the roots of his hair with his fingers. [Lastly] he would wash his feet.” (Muslim #316)

  • Ghusl becomes obligatory after one of the following things:

    1. Ejaculation of semen due to desire, nocturnal emission, or the like.

    2. Sexual intercourse, even if it does not result in ejaculation.

    3. Following menstruation,

    4. Following postpartum bleeding.