Questions Related to the Ritual Bath (Ghusl)
Answered by Salman Younas
Question: I try to do ghusl every day with my shower but it takes a long time so can i check the following: (1) If i am just doing ghusl with a shower, do i have to clean the private parts before i do wudu and ghusl? (2) When cleaning the private parts before ghusl and wudu, does this need to be done once or thrice? (3) If ghusl is required and not just the privates are filthy, do you just clean teh infected areas or do you need to clean everywhere (as water may splash from a dirty bit to a clean bit while cleaning). (4) what is the definition of ‘wash’. i know we need to make sure that we have wet the whole body but do i also need to make sure each area has been wiped too?
Answer: I pray you are well and in the best of health.
(1) Yes, it is confirmed sunna to wash one’s private parts before performing the ritual bath (ghusl), even if there is no filth affecting the region.
(2) Doing so once would suffice.
(3) The sunna is to remove any filth that is present on the body. This is done prior to the actual ritual bath in order to prevent the spread of filth when one begins the ritual bath itself. One should simply clean the specific parts that contain filth, not the whole body. The purpose of this is to remove any misgivings one might have of filth spreading on one’s body when he begins to bathe later on. Therefore, if you have removed the traces of filth from your body prior to the bath it should be enough to ignore such misgivings.
(4) “Washing” is to make water flow over the body. This is inevitable when one is taking a shower and so a person should not have any doubts as to whether his body has been washed or not. Wiping or rubbing is not obligatory within the ritual bath, though it is a sunna to perform them.
What can safely be said is that if one performs the sunna acts of the ritual bath, he can be confident that he has performed his ghusl validly. Doing so should not take an excessively long time, nor should one be concerned about subsequent doubts that occur. These should be ignored as they are merely whispers from the devil, following which is sinful. Imam Kasani in his Bada`i al-Sana`i states that if one is plagued with devilish whispers regularly, he should not pay any attention to it whatsoever. Our religion has been made easy for us, so we should not overburden ourselves. Rather, we should suffice with what the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) taught us.
[ref: Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani