Does the Ritual Bath Differ for One Who Died in a State of Major Ritual Impurity?


Question: When a person dies, is it necessary for their family to inform those performing the ritual bath if he/she died in a state of major ritual impurity? Such as a woman who was menstruating or someone who died between having intercourse and ritual bath? 

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

No, if a person dies in a state of ritual impurity (janaba), they do not need to be washed and bathed twice because they are no longer morally responsible so there is no need to lift that state. And in any case, if somebody requires a ritual bath (ghusl) due to two separate causes, one bath is sufficient to lift their state of major ritual impurity.

As for washing the mouth and nose of the person who dies in a sate of major ritual impurity, it is a position chosen by Imam Shurunbulali (Allah Most High have mercy on him) in his Imdad al-Fattah and elsewhere. However, both Tahtawi and Ibn ‘Abidin note that this is not the relied upon position of the Hanafi school.

Khayr al-Din al-Ramli writes in his gloss of al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, “The unconditioned nature of this ruling found in the primers (mutun), commentaries (shuruh) and legal-edict (fatawa) works [namely, that the mouth and nose do not require washing] entails the inclusion of the one who died in a state of major ritual impurity.”

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah with Tahtawi’s Gloss; Abu al-Su‘ud, Fath al-Mu‘in ‘ala Mulla Miskin; Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar]

Please also see: Can a Menstruating Woman Perform a Ritual Bath for the Deceased? and: Who Should Wash the Body When One’s Spouse and Close Family Die?

And Allah Most High alone knows best.


[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam.

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.