So you just had sex?
That’s great. I’m happy for you. I’m sure you and your spouse had a great time. That’s cool. It’s halal. May Allah bless you with some good kids.
But now it’s getting time to pray, and you’ve gotta get yourself cleaned up. Sorry buddy. A simple ablution just won’t do. You’ve gotta take a full bath or what we call in Arabic, a ghusl.
And just in case you’re wondering, sex isn’t the only reason for making ghusl. Let me list them for you.
- Sex – Alright, I think we’ve covered that one already. But just to make sure we’re clear. Any time the genitals of a man and his wife (the only people who should be having sex) touch, ghusl is required. It doesn’t matter if semen comes out or not. Are we clear on this point? Good. Moving on…
- Ejaculation – Fellas, anytime the thick stuff comes out (you know what I mean) you gotta make ghusl. So if you have one of those wonderful dreams and you wake up and your clothes are all messy, then head for the showers.
- Menses – This one is for the ladies. Obviously. When your monthly period has come and gone, you must make ghusl.
- Lochia – Also known as postnatal vaginal bleeding, also known as postnatal bleeding. This is the discharge that women experience after giving birth. A woman cannot pray during this period. But when the discharge stops, she must make ghusl.
- Fridays – Islamic scholars disagree about whether a ghusl on Jumua is mandatory or recommended. My suggestion: play it safe and make ghusl.
So now you know that if you fall into one of the above categories then you’ve gotta take a full bath. But don’t rush into the hot tub just yet. This thing we call Islam is a way of life and you just can’t do things the way you want to. We have an example to follow (Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him), therefore let’s make sure we do the ghusl the way he taught us.
Before we even talk about how to make ghusl, please make sure your water’s right. You just can’t use any old water. The water must be clean and it must be flowing or running.
A ghusl can be made in any large body of water like a river, ocean, or lake. Or you can even use a bucket so long as you are pouring the water over yourself. And of course a shower is just fine.
But taking a nice, hot soak in a bubble bath will NOT give you ghusl. The body of water is too small, and the water is not flowing. Our modern understanding of a “bath” is just washing in stagnant, dirty water. If you have the means just take a shower. If not, then put the water in a separate container (like a big bucket or basin) and pour it over you.
Alright, so let’s look at how we make ghusl.
- Wash the private area – That area is usually the cause for the ghusl anyway, so get that out the way first. Wash from the navel to the knees and everything in between.
- Make wudu – Perform the full ablution like you were getting ready for prayer. YOU MUST RINSE OUT YOUR NOSE AND MOUTH.
- Douse yourself in water – Take water and pour it over your head until your entire body is wet.
That’s it! You are now officially clean and can go worship your Lord as He deserves to be worshiped.
Before we end, let’s take a quick look at some other times when it’s recommended to make ghusl.
- After washing the dead
- When taking Shahada and entering Islam
- Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha
- Before entering the state of Ihraam when making Hajj or Umrah.
- Non-menstrual, vaginal bleeding
- Burying a polytheist