Aaccording to the FATAWA of Ayatullah al-Uzama Sayyid Ali al-Husaini Sistani Dama-Dhilluhu)Sources: Islamic Laws, Current Legal Issues and The Ritual and Spiritual Purity by  Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi (unless otherwise specified)


            Ghusl is a major ablution as opposed to wudu which is a minor ablution. In Islamic laws, Ghusl is considered an act of worship; it is an act of purifying oneself from the ritual impurity (najasat) caused by sexual intercourse, discharge of semen or blood, and by touching the dead body. The ritual bath given to a dead Muslim before burial is also known as Ghusl.

The Ghusl for each of these causes has different names:

            Purification from the impurity caused by sexual intercourse or discharge of   semen is known as Ghusl Janabat.

Purification from the impurity caused by menstruation is known as Ghusl Hayd.

Purification from the impurity caused by irregular bleeding is known as Ghusl Istihadah.

Purification from the impurity caused by post-natal bleeding is known as Ghusl Nifas.

In Islamic laws, death is also considered a cause of ritual impurity of a Muslim's body. Therefore, a dead Muslim has to be washed ritually before the burial ceremony.

Such a ritualistic bath for a dead Muslim is known as Ghusl Mayyit.

Touching a dead body after it has become called, before the ritualistic bath, also makes one impure (najis). Purifica­tion from this impurity is known as Ghusl Mase Mayyit.

  Q)      How many obligatory Ghusl are there?

A)        There are seven obligatory Ghusl.  They are:

  1. Ghusl  Janabat           (caused by sexual intercourse or discharge of semen)
  2. Ghusl Hayd                 (for women only)
  3. Ghusl Nifas                 (for women only)
  4. Ghusl Istihadah           (for women only)
  5. Ghusl Mase Mayyit     (for touching a dead body)
  6. Ghusl Mayyit   (for a dead body)
  7. Ghusl which becomes obligatory on account of a vow or an oath to perform it.



        Please, explain to me the method of performing Ghusl, both Wajib and Mustahab?

A)        Before explaining the rules of performing the Ghusl it is necessary to mention that all the Ghusls are performed in the same manner; the difference is only in the Niyyah of each Ghusl. For example, for purifying oneself from the ritual impurity of sexual intercourse, one has to make the Niyyah that he is doing ‘Ghusl Janabat’.

Ghusl is a ritual bath; it involves washing of the whole body. There are two methods of performing Ghusl. One is known as Ghusl Tartibi, and the other is known as Ghusl Irtimasi.

            (1)       Ghusl Tartibi (in stages)  

"Ghusl Tartibi" means an ordinal bath, performed in three stages.

After washing away the najasat from the body and after Niyyah, the body has to be washed in three stages: First, head down to the neck; then the right side of the body from the shoulder down to the foot; and lastly, the left side of the body.

Note:  After washing the head and neck, it is sufficient to wash the remaining       parts of the body but it is better to wash the right side of the body first and      then the left side.

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 also, while washing the left side of the body, some part of the right side must be washed.

It is not necessary that the body should be washed downwards from the head. It is also not necessary to wash the body immediately after washing the head and the neck.  There is no harm, therefore, if there is a lapse of sometime after washing one’s head and neck before washing one’s body.  It is not necessary that one should wash one’s head, neck and body in one instance.


            (2)       Ghusl Irtimasi (by submerging the whole body)                       

                        "Ghusl Irtimasi" means a bath involving immersion of the whole body in the           water. It is needless to say that such a Ghusl can only be done in a body of     water, e.g., a pool, river, lake or sea.

After washing away the najasat from the body and after niyyah, 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.

However, Ghusl Tartibi is preferred to Ghusl Irtimasi.

Q)        Is swimming pool water Mutlaq? Can we perform Ghusl while immersing in it?      Reason I ask is that pools have Chlorine which may change the taste as well as smell. 

A)        Yes, you can.



Q)        What are the conditions for the validity of Ghusl?

A)        The validity of Ghusl depends on certain conditions which are known as "the conditions for the validity of Ghusl". These conditions are ten in number: three condi­tions are related to the water, four are related to the person and three to the act of Ghusl itself.

i. The Water:

1.    The water must be Mutlaq (unmixed, pure).

2.    The water must be Tahir (ritually clean).

3.    The water must be Mubah (lawful). The details of these conditions are same as the conditions of the water of Wudu.

  ii. The Person:

4.    Niyyah.

5.    All parts of the body must be clean from the impurity (e.g., semen, blood) before starting the Ghusl.

6.    Use of water should not be harmful to the person who wants to perform Ghusl.

7.    The Ghusl must be performed by the person him­self. (The details are same as in Wudu)

  iii. The Ghusl

8.    The place where Ghusl is being performed must be Mubah (lawful).

9.    The Ghusl should be performed either in Tartibi manner or in Irtimasi manner.

10.  All parts of the body must be washed thoroughly as explained above.


Q)        Please explain general rules relating to Ghusl?

A)        Some general rules relating to Ghusl are:

§  It is not necessary that the entire body of a person should be Tahir before Irtimasi or Tartibi Ghusl.  So, if the body becomes Tahir while diving in water or pouring water over one’s body with the intention of the Ghusl, the Ghusl will be in order.

§  While doing Ghusl, if a part of the body, however small, remains unwashed the Ghusl is invalid.  But, it is not obligatory to wash the inside of the ear or nose and other places which are reckoned to be the interior of the body.

§  All things which prevent water from reaching the body should be removed.  If a person does Ghusl before ensuring that such obstacles have been removed, the Ghusl will be void.

§  At the time of Ghusl, if one doubts whether there is something on one’s body which would prevent water from reaching the body, one should investigate and satisfy oneself that the obstacle is not there and if it is there he should remove it.

§  While doing Ghusl, one should wash the short hair which are taken as a part of the body.  Washing of the long hair is not obligatory.  However, if one makes water reach the skin in such a way that those long hair do not become wet, the Ghusl is in order.  However, if it is not possible to make water reach the skin without washing those hair one should wash them so that water may reach the body.

§  When a person is in doubt whether he or she has done Ghusl or not, such a person must do Ghusl.  However, if doubt arises in the mind after Ghusl as to whether Ghusl was correct or not, then there is no need to do Ghusl again.

§  If one urinates or passes wind (or does any act which would invalidate the wudhu) while doing the Ghusl, one does not have to abandon the Ghusl and start all over again.  In fact, one can continue with the same Ghusl till completion.  However, in this situation, one will have to do wudu also, as per obligatory precaution.

§  If more than one Ghusl become Wajib on a person, e.g., Janabat, Mase Mayyit, etc., then one Ghusl with the Niyyah of all of them will suffice.

§  All the Wajib Ghusls, except the Ghusl for "medium Is­tihazah," suffices the performer from Wudu provided none of the Nawaqiz (those things which end the effectiveness of Wudhu and make it null and void) of Wudu have taken place after the Ghusl. So a person who has done Ghusl janabat, for example, can pray without doing Wudu.

Note:     All the conditions for the validity of Wudhu (e.g. the water being pure and     not having been usurped) also apply to the validity of Ghusl.

PAPER NO. 05 (


Q)        Is it necessary to specify in the Niyyah that he/she is performing a Wajib Ghusl?


A)        At the time of doing Ghusl, it is not necessary to have in mind that he/she is performing an obligatory Ghusl.  It is sufficient if he/she performs the Ghusl with the intention of Qurbat, i.e. complying with Allah’s orders.


            Note: If a person who performs Ghusl with Wajib Niyyah after having ascertained  

           that the time of Salaat had set it, comes to know after performing Ghusl that              

             it was performed before the time of prayers had set in, the Ghusl will remain            



Q)        Is the method (and the process) of performing Ghusle Janabat any different if the action leading to the Janabat is illegal, i.e., masturbation, Zina, etc.? May Allah forgive our sins.


A)        As far as the method of the Ghusl of Janabat caused by Haram acts is concerned, there is no difference between the Fatawa of Ayatullah Al-Khui and Ayatullah Seestani. The method of Ghusl for Halal and Haram JUNUB is the same.


Note: Both of them rule that the sweat of Junub bil Haram Janabat wajib due to a Haram act) is Taahir, but as a recommended precaution, the clothes soiled with such sweat should not be worn for Salaat (Namaz).


Both of them rule that after Ghusl of Janabat (caused by Halal or Haram) Wudu is not necessary, unless any such act has been committed which invalidates Wudu. Except in the case of the homosexual act between males where Wudu after Ghusl is Wajib for both. (May Allah save us from all evils). (Masa’il Fiqhiyya – Ghusl)


Q)        Is there any difference in the conditions for the validity of Tartibi Ghusl with the ones stipulated for Wudhu

A)        All the conditions for the validity of Wudhu also apply to the validity of Ghusl except:

 ·         For Ghusl it is not necessary that the body be washed downwards.

·         It is not necessary to wash the body immediately after washing the head and the neck.  There is no harm, therefore, if there is a lapse of sometime after washing one’s head and neck before washing one’s body.  It is not necessary that one should wash one’s head, neck and body in one instance.



Q)        What are the recommended acts of Ghusl

A)        What has been mentioned above are the Wajib acts of Ghusl; here we shall explain the things which are recommendable (Mustahab, Sunnat) during the Ghusl. These recommendable acts are five: 

·         Washing both hands up to the elbows three times before the Ghusl.

·         Gargling three times.

·         Wiping the hands on the whole body to ensure that every part has been thoroughly washed.

·         Combing the hair with the fingers to ensure that the water reaches the hair-roots.

·         (For men only) Doing Istibra' before Ghusl janabat. Istibra, in the present context, means "urinating."

 The benefit of Istibra':

Q)  If a liquid comes out of one's urinary organ after completing the Ghusl, and he      doubts whether it is semen or urine, then should he repeat the Ghusl or not?

A)  If he had done istibra' before the Ghusl, then he can assume that the liquid is         urine he will not have to repeat the Ghusl; he just has to do Wudhu for his Salaat.          But, on the other hand, if he had not done Istibra' before the Ghusl, then he has   to assume that it is the remnant of semen and he will have to do the Ghusl again.

Q)        Are there any acts which are makruh for a person who is in janabat?

A)        The following things are makruh (disliked) for the Junub:

1.      Eating and drinking except after washing his/her face, hands and mouth.

2.      Reciting more than seven verses from the Qur'an. This applies to other than the four verses with Wajib Sajdah which would be Haram to recite.

3.      Touching the cover, margin or border of the Qur'an or the space between its lines, with any part of one’s body.

4.      Sleeping except after performing Wudhu or Tayammum instead of Ghusl on account of non-availability of water.

5.      To have sexual intercourse after Ihtilam (discharge of semen during sleep)



Q)        Are there any acts which are forbidden to be performed by a person who is in the state of Janabat?

A)        There are certain things in Islam which are so sacred that a Muslim cannot come into contact with them unless he or she is ritually pure and clean. Based on this concept of sacredness, a Junub is forbidden from coming into contact, in various ways, with two of the most sacred things in Islam: the Qur'an and the Mosque.

The following five acts are Haram for Junub (a person who is in Janabat) until after he has performed Ghusl of Janabat:

·         To touch with any part of one's body the script of the holy Qur'an or the Name of Almighty Allah in whichever language it may be. And it is better that the names of the Holy Prophet and Imams and Hazrat Fatima Zahra (peace be upon them) should also not be touched in that condition.

·         Entering Masjidul Haram or Masjidun Nabi, even though it may be only passing from one gate and going out of another.

·         To stay or halt in all other Masjids, and similarly, on the basis of obligatory precaution, to stay in the shrines of the holy Imams. However, there is no harm if one crosses or traverses through a Mosque, entering from one gate and exiting from another.

·         To enter a Mosque with an intention of lifting away something or placing something in it.

·         To recite those verses of the Holy Qur'an on the recitation of which performance of Sajdah becomes obligatory. These verses occur in four Surahs of the Holy Qur'an:

o    Surah Alif Lam Mim as-Sajdah, 32:15           

o    Surah Ha Mim Sajdah, 41:38             

o    Surah an-Najm, 53:62

o    Surah al 'Alaq, 96:19

Q)        What are the acts for which performance of Ghusl Janabat is obligatory?

A)        The acts whose validity depend on Ghusl Janabat are:

·         Ghusl for Janabat is obligatory for offering the daily prayers and other similar acts of worship. However, it is not obligatory for Salatul Mayyit or for Sajdatus Sahv (prostrating on account of oversight) or Sajdatush Shukr (prostration for thanks giving) or for the obligatory Sajdah upon reciting or hearing the four particular verses of the Holy Qur'an given above.

·         Wajib tawaf (the circumambulation of the Ka'bah in Hajj).

·         Fasting. If someone knowingly remains in the state of Janabat until dawn in Ramadan, his fasting will become invalid (batil).


Q)        What are the causes that necessitate performance of Ghusl Janabat?

A)        Janabat" is a ritual impurity caused by the discharge of semen or by sexual intercourse; and the person on whom Ghusl janabat becomes wajib is known as "Junub".

1)         Discharge of Semen.

It does not make any difference whether this discharge is while awake or in a wet-dream, slight or profuse, intentionally or otherwise, in lawful way or unlawful (e.g., masturbation). In all these cases Ghusl Janabat becomes obligatory(wajib).

If a liquid comes out from a man and he does not know whether or not it is semen, then he should look for the following three signs: (1) emission with passion; (2) spurting discharge; (3) feeling relaxed after the discharge. If these signs are found together on him, then he should consider the liquid as semen, otherwise not.

If a secretion is discharged from a woman, then it is precautionary Wajib for her to do Ghusl Janabat provided it came with sexual passion and she felt relaxed after it. But if the secretion comes without the sexual passion or without the feeling of relaxation after the discharge, then it is not Najis and therefore Ghusl is not Wajib upon her.

2)         Sexual Intercourse.

It does not make any difference whether the intercourse was lawful or unlawful, and with or without discharge of semen. In Islamic laws, sexual intercourse is defined as the penetration of the glans into the vagina of the woman even up to the point of circumcision. That is, for Ghusl Janabat to become Wajib it is not necessary that full penetration or discharge of semen should take place. In case of sexual intercourse, Ghusl Janabat becomes Wajib on both the man and the woman.

Q)        Does Ghusl of Jumu’ah make up for Wudu?

A)        Jumu’ah Ghusl and similar ones have been proved through reliable sources to be Mustahab.  It is evident that they make up for Wudu.


PAPER NO. 09 Q)        If one has a bandage over a wound on his body, then how should he or she do Ghusl?

A)       Such a person will do Ghusl jabirah. Jabirah literally means a splint, but in the present context, it means the material or the medicine used for bandaging a wound, etc. Ghusl Jabirah means the Ghusl which is done on the bandage that has been fixed on certain parts of the organs of Ghusl.

            Ghusl jabirah is relevant only in the case where the use of water is not  harmful for the     person. If the use of water is harmful, then one should do tayammum.

            Ghusl  jabirah can be done only in the following cases:

            1]  If the bandage is on a wound in which the skin is cut or torn. So Ghusl jabirah      cannot be done on a bandage that has been fixed only for pain or swelling - in      such a case, one has either to do Ghusl as normally if possible or to do    tayammum.

            2]         If it is a splint for keeping a fractured limb in a proper position.

Q)       What are the rules applicable to Ghusl Jabira?

A)       Ghusl jabirah can be done by observing the following rules:

            (a)        If the wound or fracture is not bandaged and water does not cause any   harm to it, then Ghusl must be performed as normally. 

            (b)        If the wound or fracture is covered with a bandage and the bandage  can   be removed without causing any harm, and water is not harmful to the   wound, then the bandage should be removed  and perform Ghusl as normally.

(c)   If there is uncovered wound or broken bone and if the use of water    would cause harm to the affected part, then the adjoining parts must    be washed and wet hands passed over the affected part by placing a  Paak piece of cloth over it.  But in the case of a fracture, tayammum must be performed.


PAPER NO. 10  

(d)        If the wound or fracture is covered with a bandage which is Paak and it is not possible to remove the bandage nor is it possible to make water reach the wound without any harm, then the adjoining parts must be washed and wet hands passed over the bandaged affected parts.

(e)        If the wound or its bandage is Najis, but it is possible to remove the             bandage, and if water is not harmful for the wound, he should remove  the bandage, make the wound Paak and should make water reach the             wound.

(f)        If the wound or its bandage is najis and cannot be made Paak, then  Tayammum should be performed.

(g)        If something is stuck on the part of Ghusl, and it is not possible to remove it, or its removal involves unbearable pain, then one should perform   Tayammum.  But, if the thing which is stuck is medicine, then rules relating   to jabira will apply to it.

(h)        If there is no wound or fractured bone in the parts of Ghusl, but the use of water is harmful for some other reason, one should perform Tayammum.

(i)          If the Jabira has covered unusually more space than the size of the wound,    and if it is difficult to remove it, then one should perform Tayammum..

(j)          There is no jabira Ghusl for Ghusl of Meyyit.

(k)        If a person cannot decide whether he should perform Tayammum or Jabira  Ghusl, the obligatory precaution is that he should perform both.

(l)          If a person who has to pray with Jabira Ghusl knows that his excuse will not   be removed till the end of time for Namaz, he can offer prayers in the prime   time.  But if he hopes that his excuse will be removed before the Namaz      becomes Qaza, it is better for him to wait, and if his excuse is not removed     by then, he should offer prayers with jabira Ghusl.  And if, however, he       prayed in the prime time, and his excuse was removed before the end of   Namaz time, the recommended precaution (Sayyid Khoei considers it     necessary) is that he should do Ghusl, and repeat the prayers.


PAPER NO. 11 (

Q)        Please, provide  the Mustahab Ghusls listed in Islam?

A)        In Islam, a number of Ghusls are Mustahab. Some of them are listed below:

·         Ghusl-e-Jumuah: Its prescribed time is from Fajr to sunset, but it is better to perform it near Zuhr. If, however, a person does not perform it till noon, he can perform it till dusk without a Niyyah of either performing it on time or as Qadha. And if a person does not perform his Ghusl on Friday it is Mustahab that he should perform the Qadha of Ghusl on Saturday at any time between dawn and dusk. And if a person knows that it will not be possible for him to procure water for his Ghusl on Friday he can perform the Ghusl on Thursday with the Niyyah of Raja', that is, as a desirable act. And it is Mustahab to recite the following supplication while performing Friday Ghusl: 'Ash hadu an la ilaha il lal lahu wahdahu la sharika lah wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan 'abduhu wa Rasuluh. Alla humma salli 'ala Muhammadin wa Ali Muhammad waj'alni minat tawwabina waj'alni minal mutatahhirin. (I testify that there is none to be worshipped but Allah alone, Who has no associate and Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. O Allah! Bless Muhammad and his Progeny. And make me one of those who are repentant and pure).

·         Taking baths on the 1st and 17th nights and in the earlier part of the 19th, 21st, 23rd nights and 24th night of the holy month of Ramadhan.

·         Ghusl on Eidul Fitr day and Eidul Azha day. The time of this Ghusl is from Fajr up to sunset. It is, however, better to perform it before Eid prayers.

·         Ghusl on the 8th and 9th of the month of Dhul-Hijj. As regards the bathing on the 9th of Dhul-Hijj it is better to perform it at noon-time.

·         Ghusl by a person who has touched a dead body after it has been given Ghusl.

·         Ghusl for Ihram (pilgrim's dress).

·         Ghusl for entry into the haram of Makkah.

·         Ghusl for entry into Makkah.

·         Ghusl for visiting the holy Ka'bah.

·         Ghusl for entry into the holy Ka'bah.

·         Ghusl for slaughtering an animal and for shaving one's head (during pilgrimage).

·         Ghusl for entry into Madinah, and its haram (sanctuary).

·         Ghusl for entry into the Mosque of the holy Prophet.

·         Ghusl at the time of bidding farewell to the sacred shrine of the holy Prophet.

·         Ghusl for Mubahala (imprecation) with the enemy.

·         Ghusl to a new-born child.

·         Ghusl for Istakhara .

·         Ghusl for offering Istisqa' - invocation for rains.

After having taken the Mustahab Ghusl listed above one can perform acts (e.g. prayers) for which Wudu is necessary.  However, it is better to do Wudu as a recommended precaution.


Q)        Is it Mustahab to perform Ghusl for entering the Haram (Shrine) of Imam Husayn     (a.s.)?

A)        Yes, it is


             If it is Mustahab, then after performing the said Mustahab Ghusl, can one    perform acts (e.g. prayers) without performing Wudhu?

A)        Wudhu is required

           The Fuqaha have mentioned many more Mustahab Ghusls, some of which are as follows:

·         Ghusl on all odd nights of the month of Ramadhan and on each of its last 10 nights and in the last part of its 23rd night.

·         Ghusl on the 24th day of Dhul-Hijj.

·         Ghusl on the day of Eid-i-Nawroz and 15th of Sha'ban and 9th and 17th of Rabi'ul Awwal and the 25th day of Dhul-Qa'dah.

·         Ghusl by a woman who has perfumed herself for someone other than her husband.

·         Ghusl by one who slept in a state of intoxication.

·         Ghusl by a person who went to witness the hanging and saw the hanged person. However, if his eyes fell on him by chance or helplessly, or if he had gone for example, to give evidence,

Ghusl will not be Mustahab for him.

·         Ghusl for the Ziyarat of the Masoomen (A.S.) whether from near or far.

As a precaution, these Ghusls should be done with the Niyyah of 'Raja', (i.e. with a hope that it might be a desirable act).

Ghusl performed with the Niyyah of 'Raja' do not suffice for Wudu (i.e. Wudu has to be performed).

            NOTE: If a person wishes to perform a number of Mustahab Ghusls, one Ghusl with the   Niyyah of performing all the Ghusls will be sufficient.

Concluded; Wal-Hamdu Lilla-h