Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Ghusul

The Ghusul 

(The Complete Ablution)
By Sayyid Sābiq

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-‘ālameen. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam is His Messenger.

Ghusul means when the body in the state of impurity it is to wash the entire body with pure water. Allāh Almighty commanded in the Qur’ān:

“And they ask you about menstruation. Say: “It is harm, so keep away from wives during menstruation. And do not approach them until they are pure. And when they have purified themselves, then come to them from where Allah has ordained for you. Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves”.” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 222).

Allāh also Says: O you who have believed, do not approach solah while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying or in a state of janabah, except those passing through [a place of solah], until you have washed [your whole body]. And if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and find no water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and your hands [with it]. Indeed, Allah is ever Pardoning and Forgiving. (An-Nisa 4:43).

The circumstances  that require Ghusul are: 

The opinion of the jurists in general is that ghusul is a must should one have a discharge of al-mani (sperm) owing to stimulation while asleep or awake. Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that he heard the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), say, “Water (washing) is (needed) after (ejaculation of) sperm.” (Related by Muslim.) 

Umm Salamah (radiyallāhu’anha) reported that Umm Sulaim (radiyallāhu’anha)  said, “O Allāh’s Messenger Allāh is not ashamed of the truth. Does a woman have to perform ghusl if she has a wet dream?” He said, “Yes, if she sees the liquid.” (Related by al-Bukhari, Muslim and others) 

There are some other points of importance that need to be noted: 

In this case, ghusul is not obligatory. ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that the Allāh’s Messenger, (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), said to him, “If sperm is ejaculated, perform ghusul.” (Related by Abu Dawud). 

Mujahid said, “We were in a meeting in the mosque with the companions of Ibn ‘Abbas (Tawus, Sa`d  Ibn Jubair and ‘Ikrimah). When he stood to perform solah, a man came in and said, 'Is there one who can give a legal verdict?' We said, ‘Ask your question.’ He said, 'Whenever I urinate, a liquid always follows it.' We asked, 'Is it the type of liquid that gives birth to children?' He said, 'Yes.' We said, ‘Then you have to perform ghusul.’ The man went away. Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallāhu’anhu) hurried to finish his solah, after which he told ‘Ikrimah to bring the man back. He turned to us and said, 'Is your verdict found in the Book of Allāh?' We said, 'No.' He asked, 'Is it based on the sayings of the Allāh’s Messenger, (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)?' We said, ‘No.’ 'Then from what?' We said, 'From our opinion.' He said, ‘That is why the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam)  said that one learned man is more difficult for Satan than a thousand worshippers.’ The man came and faced Ibn 'Abbas, who said to him, 'When that happens, does it owe to any stimulation?' He answered, ‘No.’ Ibn`Abbas asked, 'Do you feel any numbness in your body?' He answered, 'No.' Said Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallāhu`anhu), 'That is from the cold. Ablution is sufficient.”'

There is no need for ghusl in this instance either. Ibn al-Munzhir said, “All of the knowledgeable people known to me agree on this point.” The hadith of Umm Salamah (radiyallāhu’anha) mentioned earlier supports this proposition. 

If one wakes from sleep and finds some moistness, but does not recall any wet dream, though he is sure it is sperm, what should he do? To be safe, he should perform ghusl. Mujahid and Qatadah said, “There is no need for ghusl until he is sure that it is sperm, for his prior condition of purity is not ended by an uncertainty”. 

This also makes ghusul unnecessary. This is based on the hadith which states that ghusl is required if the sperm can be seen. But, if the person walks and cannot control his ejaculation, he must perform ghusul. 

If a man does not know how the sperm got on his clothes, and he has already prayed, should he perform ghusul and repeat all of his prayers since the last time he slept? If he thinks that it happened before his most recent sleep, he should repeat all of his prayers since the supposed time of his ejaculation. 

This refers to the penis and the vagina. If one's penis has entered his wife's vagina, ghusul is obligatory even if there was no ejaculation. Allāh Says, “If you are sexually impure, purify yourselves.” Commenting on the subject, ash-Shafi`ie (rahimahullah) says, “In the Arabic language, sexual impurity refers to any type of sexual intercourse, regardless of whether sperm was ejaculated or not. If someone says, 'so and so is sexually impure due to so and so,' it refers to any type of sexual intercourse between them, even if there was no ejaculation. No one disagrees that the fornication which requires the prescribed punishment is sexual intercourse, even if there is no ejaculation.” 

Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), said, “When anyone sits between the four parts of her body and exerts himself (has intercourse), bathing becomes obligatory (for both).” (Recorded by Ahmad and Muslim) 

Sa'eed Ibn al-Musayyab (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that Abu Musa al-Ash'ari (radiyallāhu’anhu) said to 'Aishah (radiyallāhu`anha), “I would like to ask you something, but I am embarrassed.” She said, “Ask and don't be shy, for I am your mother.” He asked about a man who had intercourse but did not ejaculate. She said, on the authority of the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), “If the two circumcised parts encountered each other, ghusul is obligatory.” This hadith is related by Ahmad and Mālik with different wordings. There is no doubt that there must be insertion; if there is only touching, ghusul is not obligatory for either. All scholars agree on this point. 

Concerning menstruation and childbirth bleeding, Allāh says, “Do not approach them until they become pure. When they are pure, go to them in the manner that Allāh has prescribed for you.” The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), said to Fātimah bint Abu Habish, “Do not perform solah during your period. After it has ended, perform ghusl and solah.” (Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim) 

Post-childbirth bleeding is treated in a similar manner, according to the consensus of the companions. If a woman gives birth and has no flow of blood afterwards, some scholars say that she must perform ghusul, while others say that it would not be necessary. There is no textual authority on this latter point. 

When a Muslim dies, it is obligatory to wash his or her body, according to the consensus of the Muslims. This will be discussed in more detail later on. 

New reverts to Islam must perform ghusl. Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that Thumamah al-Hanafi was captured. The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) passed by him and said, “What do you have to say for yourself, O Thumamah?” He said, “If you kill me, you would be killing a relative. If you give me a bounty (set me free), I would be thankful. If you want wealth (as a ransom), we can give you what you wish.” The companions of the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) preferred the ransom and said, “What would we get if we killed him?” One time when the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) passed by him, he finally embraced Islam. The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) untied him and told him to go to the garden of Abu Talhah (radiyallāhu’anhu) and perform ghusul. He performed ghusul and perform solah two rak’ah. The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Indeed, your brother became a fine Muslim.” This hadith is related by Ahmad. There is also a source for the story in reports by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. 

The reasoning behind this can be found in what actions require the ablution as a prerequisite. 

The companions were all agreed that it is forbidden to touch or carry the Qur’an while one is in a state of impurity. There are some jurists, such as Dawud ibn Hazam, who allow the physically unclean person, whether because of sex or menstruation, to touch or carry the Qur'an, and they see nothing wrong with this. He derives his support from a hadith in the two Sahihs in which it is stated that the Allāh’s Messenger sent a letter to Heraculius saying, “In the name of Allāh, the Compassionate, the Merciful...O people of the book, come to a statement that is common between us and you, that we should worship none but Allāh, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords besides Allāh. If they turn away, then say 'Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him).” (Ali-`Imran,3: 64). Ibn Hazum concludes,“This is the letter the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) wrote, containing this verse, to the Christians, and of course they touched it.” The majority of scholars answer him by stating that one is allowed to touch parts of the Qur'an that are used in letters, books, tafsir, and so on, as such things are not copies of the Qur’an, nor is it confirmed that such an action is forbidden. 

According to most scholars, one who is physically unclean (because of sex or menstruation) may not recite any portion of the Qur’an. This is based on a hadith from ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (radiyallāhu’anhu)  , in which he stated that nothing kept the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), from the Qur’an save being sexually impure. This is related by “the four.” At-Tirmidzi graded it sahih. 

Al-Hafiz says in al-Fath: “Some people declare some of its narrators weak. But, in fact, it is of the Hassan class and it is satisfactory as a proof.”  He also related, “I saw the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) perform wudhu’ and recite some of the Qur’an, after which he said, ‘This is for the one who is not in post-sex impurity. If one is in post-sex impurity, he may not do so, not even one verse.’” Ahmad and Abu Ya'la related this hadith with that wording. With that wording, Al-Haithami says, “Its narrators are trustworthy.” Says ash-Shawkani, “If that (report) is authentic, that is proof enough that it is forbidden.” 

The first hadith does not forbid it, for it just states that it was his practice not to recite the Qur'an while he was in post-sex impurity. Similar reports do not show that it is disliked. Therefore, how can it be used as a proof that it is forbidden? 

Al-Bukhari, at-Tabarani, Dawud, and Ibn Hazum are of the opinion that it is permissible for one who is in post-sex impurity (or in menstruation) to recite the Qur'an. Al-Bukhari related, “Ibrahim said, ‘There is no problem if a menstruating woman recites a verse.’” 

Ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallāhu’anhu) did not see anything wrong with a sexually impure person reciting the Qur'an. The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to mention Allāh under all circumstances. In Ibn Hajar's notes to that work, he says, “There is no authentic hadith reported by the author (al-Bukhari) concerning the prohibition of reciting by one who is sexually impure or menstruating.” The sum total of what has been related on this issue informs us on this point, though the interpretations differ. 

It is forbidden for one who is physically unclean (because of sex or menstruation) to stay in the mosque. ‘Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) said, “The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saw that his companions' houses were practically in the mosque. He (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘Direct those houses away from the mosque.’ He then entered the mosque, but the people did nothing, hoping that Allāh would reveal to Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that what they were doing was permissible. After he came out, he (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘Direct those houses away from the mosque, for it is not permitted for a menstruating woman or sexually impure person to be in the mosque.” (Related by Abu Dawud) 

Umm Salamah (radiyallāhu’anha) related that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)   came to the mosque's courtyard and said at the top of his voice, “The mosque is off limits to menstruating women and the sexually impure persons.”(Related by Ibn Majah and at-Tabarani) Such people can, however, pass through the mosque, for Allāh says, “O you who believe, draw not near unto prayer when you are drunk until you know that which you utter, nor when you are impure save when journeying upon the road, until you have bathed” (An-Nisā’ 43). Jubair said, “One of us used to pass through the mosque though he was impure. (Related by Ibn Abu Shaibah and Sa'eed ibn Mansur in his Sunan).

Zaid ibn Aslam said, “The companions of the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), used to walk through the mosques while they were sexually impure.” (Related by Ibn al-Munzhir) Yazib ibn Habib reported that the companions’ doors opened up into the mosque and that when they were sexually impure, they could find no water or any path to water saves through the mosque. Then Allāh revealed, “...nor when you are impure, save journeying upon the road...” (Related by at-Tabari) 

Commenting on the preceding reports, ash-Shawkani says, “The meaning is so clear that there is no room for doubt.” Maimunah (radiyallāhu’anha) said: “The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to come to one of our rooms while we were menstruating and put his head on (his wife's) lap and recite the Qur’an. Then one of us would take his clothes and put them in the mosque while she was menstruating.” (Recorded by Ahmad and an-Nasa’ie. The report has supporting evidence. `Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) said: “The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to me, “Hand me my cloth from the mosque.” I said, “I am menstruating.” He said, “Your menstruation is not in your hand.” (Related by the group, except for al-Bukhari).) 

This category of actions involves a reward for performing ghusl, and no blame if he does not. Such actions are: 

Muslims are encouraged to perform ghusul before they gather for the Solah Juma’ah. In fact, Islamic law even goes to the extent of ordering one to perform ghusul at this time as part of the overall cleanliness and hygiene of the Muslim society. Abu Sa’eed (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, Ghusul on Friday is obligatory (wajib) on every adult, as is using a toothbrush and applying some perfume.” (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.) 

The meaning of “obligatory” here is that it is greatly recommended. This understanding of the Allāh’s Messenger's saying is derived from what al-Bukhari recorded about an incident from Ibn ‘Umar (radiyallāhu’anhu) about his father. One day, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radiyallāhu’anhu) was standing and delivering the khutbah when `Uthman, one of the people from among the emigrants and helpers, entered. `Umar said to him, “What time is it now?” He said, “I was busy and could not return home. When I heard the call to solah, I did not make more than the regular wudhu’." `Umar said, "And the wudhu’ only, when you know that the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ordered us to perform ghusul?" Commenting on the incident, ash-Shaf'i’ie (rahimahullah) says, “’Uthman did not leave the solah to perform ghusul, nor did ‘Umar order him to do so. This illustrates that the companions knew that this order was one of choice. It also shows that it is preferred.” 

Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saying, “Whoever makes the wudhu’ and perfects it and then goes to the solah Juma’ah and listens attentively, will have forgiveness during (the period) between the Friday and the next (Friday), and an additional three days.”

Al-Qurtubi Says, “This hadith shows that ghusul is preferred. The mention of ablution, the reward and acceptability points to the fact that ablution alone is sufficient.”

 Ibn Hajar Al-‘Asqalani (rahimahullāh) states in at-Talkhis, “It is one of the strongest proofs that ghusul for the solah Juma’ah is not obligatory. The statement that it is preferred is built upon the fact that if one does not perform ghusul, it will not harm (his solah). But, if others are harmed by his perspiration or bad smell from his clothes and body, ghusul becomes obligatory, and not performing it detracts from the rewards of solah. Some scholars say that the Friday ghusul is a duty even if its non-performance causes no harm (to others). Their basis for this opinion is the hadith related by Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu’anhu) in which the Allāh’s Messenger, (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), said, “It is a duty upon every Muslim to perform ghusul once every seven days, by washing his head and body.” 

Al-Bukhari and Muslim accept the hadith mentioned on the subject in their apparent meanings, and refute the ones contrary to the last hadith (of Abu Hurayrah). 

The time for the Friday ghusul is between dawn and the time of the solah Juma’ah. It is preferable to do it at the time of departure (to the mosque). If one loses his ablution after that, it is sufficient for him just to make a new ablution (he does not have to repeat the ghusul). 

Al-Athram says, “I heard Ahmad being asked if a person performed ghusul, and then lost it, would the regular ablution be sufficient for him. He said, 'Yes, and I have not heard anything about that preferable to the hadith of Ibn 'Abzi,” Ahmad is referring to the hadith related by Ibn 'Abzi Shaibah (with a sahih chain from 'Abdurahman ibn 'Abzi on the authority of his father, who was a companion.) He performed ghusul for the solah Jum’ah, and afterwards nullified his ablution. After that, he performed just the regular ablution, and did not repeat his ghusl. The time for the ghusul ends with the time of the solah. If one performs ghusul after the solah, it would not be the ghusul of the Solah Juma’ah, and one who does so is not following the Allāh’s Messenger's order.

Ibn 'Umar (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Before you come to the Solah Juma’ah, you should perform ghusul”. (Related by “the group”) 

Muslim says, “When one of you wants to come to the solah Juma’ah, he should perform ghusul.” Ibn 'Abdul-Barr related that there is a consensus on this point. 

Scholars also encourage Muslims to perform ghusl for the Solah ‘Eid, even though there is no authentic hadith to support this opinion. It says in al-Badr al-Muneer, “The hadith concerning performing ghusul for the Solah ‘Eid are weak. But there do exist good reports from the companions (on this point)."

According to many scholars, performing ghusul is also preferred for one who has washed a corpse. Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), said, “Whoever has washed a corpse must perform ghusul, and whoever carried him must perform ablution.” (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and at-Tirmidzi, an-Nasa'ie, Ibn Majah and others.)

However, there is some criticism of this hadith. 'Ali ibn al-Madani, Ahmad, Ibn al-Munzhir, ar-Rafi' and others say, “The hadith scholars did not classify anything on this topic as authentic.” But Ibn Hajar quotes at-Tirmidzi and Ibn Hibban: “At-Tirmidzi called it hassan and Ibn Hibban called it sahih. And, due to its numerous chains, it is most likely hassan. An-Nawawi (rahimahullah) strongly refutes what at-Tirmidzi said.” Azh-Zhahabi says, “The chains of this hadith are stronger than a number of chains of the hadith that the jurists argue by.” The order in the hadith implies preference, based on what has been related by ‘Umar, who said, “We used to wash the dead. Some of us would perform ghusul and some would not.” (Related by al-Khatīb with a sahih chain.) 

When 'Asma bint Umaish (radiyallāhu’anha) washed the body of her deceased husband, Abu Bakar as-Siddiq (radiyallāhu`anhu), she asked if there were any among the emigrants present, and said, “This day is extremely cold and I am fasting. Do I have to make ghusul?” They said, “No.” (Related by Mālik.) 

According to the scholars, it is also preferable for one who is undertaking the pilgrimage or ‘umrah to perform ghusul. Zaid ibn Thabit related that he saw the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) when he intended to perform the hajj, perform ghusul. (Related by ad-Daraqutni, al-Baihaqi and at-Tirmidzi, who called it hassan; As-Usaili regarded it as weak.) 

It is preferable for whoever wants to enter Makkah to perform ghusul. It is reported that Ibn 'Umar (radiyallāhu`anhu), when going to Makkah, would spend the night in Tawa, and would enter Makkah during the day. He mentioned that the Allāh’s Messenger, (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), also used to do this. (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.) 

Ibn al-Munzhir said, “All of the scholars say it is preferred to perform ghusul upon entering Makkah, but if one does not do so, there is no expiation for him to make. Most of them say that the regular ablution is sufficient.” 

Such an act is preferred while one stops there during the hajj. Malik ibn Nafa' reported that Ibn 'Umar (radiyallāhu’anhu) used to do so before embarking upon the hajj, upon entering Makkah, and while stopping at 'Arafah. 

3.1 - The intention 

This involves distinguishing the acts of worship from the customary acts. The intention is only in the heart, and should not be stated, as this would be tantamount to innovation. 

This is based on the following: Allāh says, “If you are sexually impure, cleanse yourselves,” that is, perform ghusul, and “They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: 'It is an illness, so leave women alone at such times and go not in unto them until they are cleansed,”  that is, until they perform ghusl. The proof that cleansing means ghusl is in the verse, “O you who believe, draw not unto the prayer when you are drunk until you know what you utter, nor when you are polluted, save when journeying upon the road, until you have bathed (taghtasilu).” This shows that ghusul, the washing of all bodily parts, is meant. 

4 - According to the practice of the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) the correct manner of performing ghusul is: 

4.1- Wash both hands three times, 

4.2- Wash the penis, 

4.3- Make a complete wudhu' (ablution, like the one made for Solah - the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam)  used to delay washing his feet until the end of his ghusul if he was using a tub, and so on), 

4.4- Rub water through one's hair three times, letting the water reaches down to the roots of the hair, 

4.5- Pour water over the entire body, beginning with the right side, then the left, washing under the armpits, inside the ears, inside the navel, inside the toes and whatever part of the body can be easily rubbed. 

This account is based on the following report from 'Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha): “When the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) took his bath after sexual intercourse, he would begin by washing his hands. Then he would pour water from his right hand to his left and wash his sexual organs, make the ablution for prayer, take some water and put his fingers to the roots of his hair to the extent that he sees that the skin is wet, then pour water over his head three times and then over the rest of his body.”(Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.) 

In one narration it states, “He used to rub his head with his hands until he was certain the water reached his skin, and then he poured water over it three times.” It is also related that she said, “When the Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would perform ghusul after having had sexual intercourse, he would call for some water, which he would pour on his right hand to wash the right side of his head and then the left. He would then take water with both hands and pour it over his head.”
Maimunah (radiyallāhu’anha) said, “I put water out for the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to perform ghusul. He (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) washed his hands two or three times, and then he poured water from his right hand to his left and washed his private parts, wiped his hands on the earth, rinsed his mouth and nose, washed his face and hands, washed his head three times, poured water over his body, and finally moved from his place and washed his feet. I brought him a towel, but he did not take it, for he shook the water off with his hands.” (Related by “the group.”) 

A woman performs ghusul just as a man does, except that if she has plaited hair she does not have to undo it, provided that the water can reach the roots of her hair. Umm Salamah (radiyallāhu’anha) said, “O Allāh’s Messenger I am a woman who has closely plaited hair on my head. Do I have to undo them for ghusl after sexual intercourse?” He said, “No, it is enough for you to throw three handfuls of water on your head and then pour water over yourself. After doing this, you shall be cleansed.” (Related by Ahmad, Muslim and at-Tirmidzi, who called it hassan sahih.) 'Ubaid ibn 'Umair reported that 'Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) discovered that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (radiyallāhu’anhu) was ordering the women to undo their plaits of hair (for ghusul). She observed, “It is amazing that Ibn 'Amr orders the women to undo the plaits of hair for ghusul. Why doesn't he just order them to shave their heads? I and the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) used to bathe from one vessel, and all I did was pouring three handfuls of water over my head.”(Related by Ahmad and Muslim.) 

It is preferable for a woman performing ghusul to cleanse herself from menstruation or post-childbirth bleeding to take some cotton smeared with musk or perfume and wipe it over the traces of blood. This will remove the bad smell of the menstrual blood. ‘Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) reported, “'Asma bint Yazid (radiyallāhu’anha) asked the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) about ghusul after menstruation has ended. He (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “She should use water mixed with the leaves of the lote-tree and cleanse herself. Then she should pour water over her head and rub it well till it reaches the roots of the hair, after which she should pour water over it. Afterwards, she should take a piece of cotton smeared with musk and cleanse herself with it.” ‘Asma asked, “How should she cleanse herself with it?” He (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,“Praise be to Allāh, she should cleanse herself with it.” 'Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) said in a subdued tone that she should apply it to the traces of blood. 'Asma then asked about bathing after sexual intercourse. He (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said, “She should take water and cleanse herself or complete the ablution, pour water on her head and rub it till it reaches the roots of her hair, and then she should pour water over herself.” 'Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) observed, “How good are the women of the 'helpers' that shyness does not keep them from learning their religion.” (Recorded by “the group,” except at-Tirmidzi.) 

It is sufficient to perform one ghusul for both menstruation and sexual impurity, or for the Solah Juma’ah and the 'id prayer, or for sexual impurity and the Solah Juma’ah, if one has the intention for both of them. This is based on the Allāh’s Messenger's saying, “All acts are based on intentions.” 

If a person performed post-sex ghusl but did not make ablution, the ghusl will suffice. Said 'Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha), “The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did not perform ablution after ghusul.” Ibn 'Umar (radiyallāhu’anhu) said to a man who had told him that he performed ablution after ghusul, “You went too far.”  

Abu Bakr ibn al-'Arabi says, “There is no difference of opinion among the scholars that wudhu’ falls under the category of ghusul. If the intention was to remove sexual impurity, it also includes the minor impurities, as what sexual impurity prevents is greater than what the minor impurities prevent. The smaller one falls under the greater one, and the intention for the greater one suffices.’' 

It is acceptable for a person in post-sex uncleanliness or a menstruating woman to remove their hairs, cut their nails, go to the markets, and so on, without any dislike. 'Ata said that such people can get cupped, cut their nails and their hair, and that this is allowed even if he (or she) has not performed the regular ablution. (Recorded by al-Bukhari). 

One may enter a public bathroom. As long as he keeps his private parts from being seen and he does not look at others' private parts. Says Ahmad, “If you know that everyone inside the bathroom is wearing a loincloth, you may enter. If not, then don't enter.” The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “A man should not look at another man's private parts, and a woman should not look at another woman's private parts.” There is no problem with mentioning Allāh's name in the public baths, as mentioning the name of Allāh under any circumstances is good, since there is no text prohibiting it. The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to remember Allāh under all circumstances. 
There is no problem in drying one's self with a towel or other cloth after performing ablution or ghusl during the summer or winter. 

It is permissible for a man to use the water left over by a woman and vice-versa. This is derived from the fact that it is permissible for them to perform ghusul from the same container.

 Ibn 'Abbas (radiyallāhu’anhu) narrated that some of the Allāh’s Messenger's wives were performing ghusul from a container. The Allāh’s Messenger (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) came and performed his wudhu’ or ghusul from it. They said to him, “We were sexually unclean.” He (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “The water does not become impure.” (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nasa`ie and at-Tirmidzi, who called it hassan sahih). `Aishah (radiyallāhu’anha) used to wash with the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) from one container, and they would take turns taking water until he said, “Leave some for me, leave some for me.”

It is not allowed to bathe in the nude in front of people. It is forbidden to uncover one's private parts. If you cover it with some clothes, it is permissible. The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would cover Fātimah (radiyallahu’anha) with a curtain when she performed ghusul. If one performs ghusul in the nude, far away from the people, it is not prohibited. The Prophets Musa (Moses) and Ayyub (Job) did so, as al-Bukhari, Ahmad, and an-Nasa'ie recorded. 

And Allāh Almighty Knows best.

[An excerpt from Fiqh-as-Sunnah, Volume 1: “Ghusul, The Complete Ablution”, by Sayyid Sābiq]
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All About The Solah

4. Al-Wudhu’ ; 5. Tayammum;
29.   Solāh al-Jumu`ah; 30. The Sanctified Hour of Jumu’ah.

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