(The Ritual Bath)
There are two types of ghusl, the obligatory (compulsory) ones (farz) and the
recommended ones (sunnat). There are seven obligatory ritual baths. The ritual
bath should be preceded by Istinjaa and wuzu as described earlier. While doing
wuzu you should take the name of the ghusl for which you are purifying yourself.
Certain important guidelines are been set by our Imaams for the obligatory ghusl
which should be followed strictly.
First the impurity should be removed from the private parts with water and thereafter
water should be poured freely over the whole body. The hands should be used to
cleanse that part of body, which they can reach. No part of the body should remain
dry and being not washed by water and massaged by the hand. Water should reach
the skin underneath the hairs. You should turn your bracelet or a ring or any
other ornament so that water reaches the skin beneath it. Maulana Ali (AS) said,
'If one has dealt with the whole of the body, rubbed it with the hands, washed
away every kind of uncleanness and poured water on the hairs so that it has reached
the skin underneath it, and has performed Istinjaa and wuzu prior to ghusl, then,
indeed, he has been purified himself.'
The niyyat of obligatory ghusl is given below. One has to insert the name of the
particular ritual bath, which is due, in the niyyat below.
"Allahumma inni aghtaselo -- (name of the ghusl) -- farzun alaiya bismillahe
"O Allah! I am taking this ritual bath to purify myself because of -- (name of
ghusl) -- which is obligatory on me. In the name of Allah Who is the Greatest."
The names of the obligatory ghusl are enumerated below with their individual
1: The ghusl of an unbeliever embracing Islam:
Allah Ta'ala says in the Qur'an;
"Innamal Mushrekoona najasun."
"Indeed the unbelievers are impure."
If an unbeliever embraces Islam, he has to perform ghusl which is obligatory.
The name of the ghusl, "le quboole deenilahe" should be inserted in the Niyyat mentioned above.
2: The ghusl of 'ehtelaam' (wet dream):
If a man dreams of sexual act and upon waking he finds the signs of gushing thick
liquid (mani, semen) on his clothes, ritual bath is necessary for him. If upon
waking he finds no liquid has in fact exuded from the sex organ, there is no obligation
to have a bath. However, if the liquid is not semen, but a minute quantity of
mucus or other liquid has flown from the organ, there is no obligation to have
Rasulullah (SAWS) said, 'If a woman sees in a dream what a man sees, which results
in a wet dream, then a bath is prescribed on her too. A woman surely possesses
a liquid like the liquid of a man, but in her Allah has hidden what is manifest
in a man. Thus if a woman dreams of sexual intercourse during the sleep as a man
dreams, a bath is obligatory on her.'
If a man, after having wet dream, desires to purify himself, he should first pass
urine to remove any semen left over in his penis and do Istinjaa. Where a man
fails to do this and purifies himself, and even if a drop of semen flows from
his penis, he should have to renew his bath. When this ritual bath becomes obligatory
on you, then you're reciting of the Qur'an, going to the mosque or ziyaarat, taking
the meal, fasting is unlawful without taking the bath.
For the ghusl of wet dream, you should insert the name "lil ehtelaame" in place of the name of the ghusl in the Niyyat given above.
3: The ghusl of 'janaabat' (sexual intercourse):
This ritual bath is obligatory in two instances; first when during wakefulness
a man and a woman meets, where there is no sexual intercourse or meeting of two
circumcised parts, and if a man or a woman ejaculates, then ghusl is obligatory
on both of them. If there is no ejaculation then no bath is obligatory. The other
instance where there is 'meeting of the two circumcised parts', in other words, sexual intercourse, then bath of janaabat is obligatory on
both, man as well as woman. The expression 'meeting of the circumcised parts'
means the penetration of the penis into the vulva. If this takes place, a ritual
bath is obligatory on both of them, whether ejaculation takes place or not.
Everyone who has had intercourse should purify himself before sleeping or eating
of drinking. If, however, the man desires to have intercourse second time, it
is not necessary to purify himself unless he feels satisfied or the hour of prayer
has set. If the time of prayer has come he should not delay the act of purification.
Sexually impure person should not go to the mosque or sit in the mosque should
not go for ziyaarat or recite the Qur'an or do the fasting unless purified. Women
should untwist her hair while performing ritual bath. She should allow water to
reach the skin of her hair and all of her hair. Bracelet or ring should be turned
around during ghusl so that water reaches the skin beneath and water should be
poured on the ornaments. Once Rasulullah (SAWS) having completed his bath after
sexual impurity, he found that water has not reached a part of his body. Thereupon
he wetted his hand in his damp hair and rubbed that particular part.
Before doing this obligatory bath you should follow the steps described in the
ghusl of ehtelaam. The name of the ghusl, "lil janaabate" should be inserted in the Niyyat given above.
4: The ghusl of 'haiz' (menstruation):
The menstrual period usually lasts for minimum 3 days to maximum 10 days. The
blood of menstruation is to be distinguished from that of constant haemorrhage
(istehaaza). The blood of menses is dirty, thick and fetid while the blood of
haemorrhage is thin and watery. When the blood of menses begins to flow, the woman
should observe the rules governing menstruating women, and when it stops she should
take the ritual bath.
Woman should take ritual bath after she finds that the blood has stopped. When
a woman discovers that she is free from menstruation, and she misses or delays
taking a ghusl, it becomes incumbent upon her to offer that prayer, as well as
any other prayer which she has missed during the time of her purity. The evidence
of the stoppage of menstruation is that the cotton pad or any other thing inserted
in the private parts is found to be free from impurity. When this is confirmed,
the woman is free to perform the ritual bath and offer her prayers.
A menstruating woman should not read the Qur'an, or enter a mosque, or pray, or
perform fasts, or go for ziyaarat, or have sexual intercourse until she is purified.
When she becomes pure from menstrual impurity, she may perform the fasts, which
she was not able to perform, but not the prayers which she missed during her periods.
Imaam Mohammad Baaqir (AS) said, 'A menstruating woman should perform the ablution
fully for every prayer and should face the qibla but without imposing prayers
on her, she should recite the tasbeeh of 'Subhaan allah', 'Alhamdo lillah', and
'laa ilaha illallaah' at the time of prayers.'
Physical contact with a menstruating woman is permitted, the way that she should
wear an undergarment below the navel to the knee, and the husband is entitled
to make love above the garment. He who has sexual intercourse with a menstruating
woman has, indeed, done an act which is not lawful to him. It is incumbent on
him in such a case to ask for Allah's pardon and to repent of his act. A child,
as a result of conception at the time of menses, would contract the disease of
Leprosy. If a woman conceives a child in her womb at the time of her periods,
then, the child would be the enemy of the Progeny of Mohammad Rasulullah (SAWS),
says in his Hadees-e-shareef,
"Ya Ali, Laa yubghezannaka minar rejaale illa man howa le ghaire rushdatin aw
man hamalat behi ummohu le ghaire tohrin."
"O Ali, only he would be the person with your hatred and enmity in his heart
among the people, to whom, Allah has not given guidance or who might be the result
of conception in her motherâ€™s womb at the time of her impurity."
A woman who discovers blood during her period of purity, and if the blood is like
that of menses, then she should observe the rules accordingly. On the contrary,
if the blood is thin and watery not matching to the characteristics of menstrual
blood, she should insert a piece of cloth or a cotton pad in her private part
as a precaution against bleeding and she should perform ablution before every
prayer and her husband has access to her. A woman who experiences continuous bleeding
(istehaaza) due to some disease and the character of the blood does not match
with that of menses, then she should bathe before every two prayers i.e. namaaz
of zohr and 'asr, namaaz of maghrib and 'isha il-aakherat, and namaaz of fajr.
A woman who suffers from continuous bleeding is deemed to be menstruating. The
rule is the same when blood is discovered by a woman who is pregnant. Imaam Ja'far
us-Saadiq (AS) said, 'Allah will cure every woman who suffers from istehaaza if
she faithfully observes these rules.'
If a woman, who has purified herself, intends to observe fast in atonement, she
should first observe the obligatory fasts of Ramzaan which she has missed during
her impurity. A woman who was impure during Ramzaan, should fast the same number
of days to make expiation for those that were lost by the reason of impurity.
One should take the Niyyat of the day that was missed in the month of Ramzaan,
for example; if fast of 13th of Ramzaan is missed then the Niyyat of 13th date
is taken in any month if one wishes to fast in its atonement. To fast in atonement
(for the days lost in Ramzaan) during first ten days of Zil-Hajj is disapproved.
The fasts of the month of Rajab should not be observed unless you have not compensated
your missed obligatory fasts.
Maulana Ali (AS) said, 'The ritual bath after menstruation or childbirth is like
the bath after sexual impurity. When a sexually impure woman menstruates, one
bath of purification will suffice for both the impurities.' If such situation
arises then one should take the names of both ghusl simultaneously in the Niyyat.
The name of the ghusl, "lil haize" is added in the Niyyat given above.
5: The ghusl of 'nifaas' (after childbirth):
A woman experiences bleeding for maximum of 40 days after childbirth. Whenever
the bleeding stops, the woman should perform ritual bath. Praying and fasting
are forbidden to woman who is in her puerperium (period of bleeding after childbirth).
She should not enter mosque, or recite Qur'an, or have sexual intercourse before
The name of the ghusl, "lin nafaasate" is added in the Niyyat given above.
6: The ghusl of 'mayyet' (dead body):
To give bath to the dead body before its burial is an obligatory ghusl. The details
of this ritual bath and the procedure are being dealt with elsewhere. The name
of the ghusl, "lil janaazate" is added in the Niyyat given above.
7: The ghusl of 'majnoon' (lunatic):
The ritual bath is obligatory after the lunatic or one who loses his consciousness
recovers his senses. The name of the ghusl, "le tehseelil 'aqlis saleeme" is added in the Niyyat given above.
The ghusl is obligatory after one has fallen into filth or dirt and has spoiled
the whole body. The name of the ghusl, "le tahaaratil jisme" is added in the Niyyat given above.
The above mentioned seven ghusl are obligatory. Apart from the obligatory ghusl,
there are other ghusl of sunnat which Rasulullah (SAWS) recommended. To perform
these ghusl is praiseworthy. These ghusl are: of Friday before prayers, of the two festivals namely 'eid-ul-azhaa and 'eid-ul-fitr, of ehraam at the commencement of Hajj, for entering the Mecca, for entering
the Ka'ba, for entering the Medina, on the Day of 'Arafa, on the 1st and 27th
night (Lailatul Me'raaj, Shab-e-Me'raaj) of Rajab-ul-Morajjab, on 15th night (Lailatun Nisf, Shab-e-Baraat) of Sha'baan, on the three nights of Ramzaan-ul-Mo'azzam namely the 17th, 19th, 21st night and the 23rd night (Lailatul Qadr) of Ramzaan. The bath of these nights should be taken before the commencement
of its prescribed prayer (washsheek) and these nights be passed in wakefulness
and prayer. Likewise the bath is to be taken after giving bath to a dead person.