Monday, February 14, 2000
I love your site for so many reasons. It is full of knowledge
and a great help for lots of people, and I love it because of
its fast downloading speed.
I have a question for you and I'll be very grateful if you
answer me as soon as possible. The question is,
"Is it necessary to wash your hair too,along with the
whole body, inorder to get "paak" (taahir or
pure) after making love?"
The reason I ask is that I've been married for 2 years and
since then I've always just washed my body (not my hair) in order
to get paak because my husband told me so. However, a few days
ago I read a book on the subject, and what I understood was that
the whole body including one's head should be washed. So I started
to take a bath like this after making love, but I am still not
sure what's the right way. Sometimes I have to wash my hair three
or four days in a row now, or sometimes two times a day. It's
not that I find it difficult and don't want to do it, but I want
to know if I just wash my body and not my hair, will I get pure?
Thank you so much for your time. May Allah reward you for the
great service you are doing for mankind. Allah-Hafiz.
-Want to be pure
Dear "Want to be pure",
The subject of "Tahaarah"
or Purification is certainly a critical subject which every Muslim
should know about. I hope the following information will be of
help to you regrding the proper way of "Ghusl" or complete
In order to purify oneself for prayer,
Ghusl is required after coitus (sex), nocturnal emission (a wet
dream), menses, or after giving birth. It is also recommended
before going to the Friday prayer, on the two Eids, after taking
shahaadah and after washing the dead.
The state of being impure is called
in Arabic "janaabah." The evidence that one should
perform Ghusl for salaah in cases of janaabah is to be found
in many places, such as the aayah O
you who believe! Approach not the prayer when you are in a drunken
state until you know (the meaning) of what you utter, nor when
you are in a state of janaabah (i.e., in a state of sexual impurity
and have not yet taken a bath), except when travelling on the
road (without enough water, etc.), till you wash your whole body
[al-Nisaa 4:43] and the hadeeth of Ali
(may Allah be pleased with him) in which he said: I was
a man who experienced a lot of urethral discharge (of urine),
so I kept washing myself (doing Ghusl) until the skin on my back
started to crack. I mentioned that to the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him), or it was mentioned to him,
so he said: Dont do that. If you see discharge, wash
your private parts and do wudoo for prayer as usual. If
water (i.e., semen) gushes out, then do Ghusl. (Reported
by Abu Dawood; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani). This indicates
that when semen is emitted, Ghusl is a must, but when there is
discharge (of urine), it is enough just to wash the private part
and do wudoo.
A brief summary of the requirements
for the Ghusl follows:
First, the Muslim should say "Bismillah"
and have the intention of purification in his heart, then wash
the private parts. Then make wudu like the wudu done for prayer,
then pour water on his right side, then the left. Then water
should be poured on the head, covering the entire body with water.
It is compulsory to wet all the hair
up to the very base. If a single hair is left dry, Ghusl will
not be valid. If the hair of a woman is plaited (braided), she
is excused from loosening her plaited hair, but it is compulsory
for her to wet each and every hair all the way to the base. If
one fails to do this then the Ghusl will not be valid. As for
men who grow long hair and plait it, they are NOT excused from
wetting their hair. If a woman experiences difficulty or is unable
to wet the very bottom of her plaited hair, then it is necessary
for her to unplait her hair and wash her entire head. It is Mustahab
(preferable) to clean the body by rubbing it. All parts of the
body should be rubbed with the hand so as to ensure that water
has reached all parts of the body, and that no portion is left
dry. Rings and earrings, etc. should be moved so as to ensure
that no portion covered by them is left dry. Ensure that the
navel and the ears are all wetted. If they are not wet Ghusl
will be incomplete.
On completion one should confine oneself
to a clean place. Dry the body with a clean towel.
If, after Ghusl, one recalls that a
certain portion of the body is left dry, it is not necessary
to repeat the Ghusl, but merely wash the dry portion. It is not
sufficient to pass a wet hand over the dry place. If one has
forgotten to rinse the mouth or the nostrils, these too could
be rinsed when recalled after Ghusl has been performed. The three
Faraaids (compulsory acts) of Ghusl are:
- To rinse the mouth in such a manner
that water reaches the entire mouth.
- To rinse the nostrils up to the ending
of the fleshy part.
- To completely wet the whole body.
When one performs these three Faraaid
the Ghusl will be valid.
It is also reported in the sunnah (the
example of the Prophet, saw) that the washing the feet should
be delayed until the end of the Ghusl. As is reported on the
authority of A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said
that the Messenger of Allah (saw) when performing Ghusl from
janaba (impurity) used to wash his hands, then wash his private
parts with his left hand. After that he performed wudu like for
prayer. Next he took some water and ran his fingers in the roots
of his hair until he used three handfuls of water on his head.
He would then go on pouring water on the rest of his body and
wash his legs. (It was reported by Muslim). In the narration
of Al-Bukhari it states that he then turned aside and washed
There are many books on the topic and
many Islamic sites on the internet with this kind of basic information.
Every Muslim should strive to have these kinds of books in their
personal library for easy access to the correct information on
your religion. Proper Ghusl is important because without it one
has not fulfilled the prerequisites for making Salat.