Does a Woman Have to Make Ghusl After Getting a Pap Smear/Pelvic exam?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Does a woman have to make ghusl after getting a pap smear/pelvic exam?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

No, ghusl is not required from it. Rather, ghusl is only required after: intercourse; ejaculation; menstruation; and post-natal bleeding. [ Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah ]

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

Being in a State of Major Ritual Impurity: Does it Invalidate My Fast?

Answered by Sidi Salman Younas

Question: When fasting, on occassions I have had a wet dream, for example after fajr, although this does not break my fast, I then go back to sleep until I wake up a couple a hours later, this is because mainly due to laziness on my part due to my desire for sleep but at same time whenever I ejaculate, I always wait until I’ve been to the toilet a few times to ensure that no droplets of semen come out after I’ve had a shower, essentially what I’m asking is if the act of delaying my shower in and of itself invalidates my fast?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

Being in a state of major ritual impurity (janaba) does not invalidate one’s fast. The scholars explicitly mention that if one remained on this state for the complete duration of the fast, namely from Fajr till Maghrib, the fast would still be considered valid. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

However, delaying the ritual bath (ghusl) may be contrary to what is best. It is not perse sinful to continue sleeping after experiencing a wet dream. However, if delaying the ritual bath leads to missing a prayer then it would be impermissible to do so.

Lastly, there is no need to wait until one has been to the toilet a few times before one performs the ritual bath. This is excessiveness and should be avoided. Rather, if one went to the bathroom merely once and then semen exited later (without any stimulation or a wet dream) one would be required to perform the ablution only, not a ritual bath (ghusl). [ibid]



Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

The Ritual Bath (ghusl): Obligatory, Recommended, and Disliked Acts

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Could you please mention the obligatory and recommended acts for the ritual bath (ghusl)? What necessitates it?

Answer: Wassalam

The Purificatory Bath (Ghusl)

Obligatory Acts:

The obligatory actions of the purificatory bath are:

(1) To rinse out the mouth and (2) nose, and

(3) to wash the entire body, including all that is possible to wash without undue hardship.

It is not necessary for a woman to undo her braids, if the water reaches the roots of her hair, (f: and it is not necessary that the water reach all her braided hair).

It is necessary, however for a man who had braids to undo them (f: to ensure that the water reach every single hair).

Confirmed Sunna Acts

Its confirmed sunnas are:

(1)    To begin by saying Bismillah (In the name of Allah) before revealing one’s nakedness (`awra), and with an intention (f: as in the ablution).

(2)    To begin by washing one’s hand, private parts, and any filth (najasa) that may be on the body.

(3)    Then one washes both private parts, even if they are free of filth.

(4)    Then one performs a complete ablution.

(5)    Then one pours water on one’s body three times, making sure the entire body is washed each time.

(6)    One begins with the head, then the right should, then the left, and then the rest of the body. One wipes with the first washing.

(7)    The body parts should be washed successively (f: without excessive intervals).

Unlike the ablution, it is valid to wash a body part with the water used in washing another, as long as it is enough to drip.

If one submerges oneself in flowing water, or moves in a large body of still water, it is considered that all the sunna acts were performed.

Proper Manners & Disliked Actions

Its proper manners (adab) are:

The same proper manners as in ablution,

Except that one does not face the qibla

The actions disliked in the ablution are disliked in the purificatory bath.

What Necessitates the Ritual Bath (ghusl)

Ghusl is only necessary after:

(1) Ejaculation

(2) Intercourse

(3) Menstruation

(4) Post-natal bleeding

[Turmurtashi, Tanwir al-Absar; Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; `Ala al-Din ibn `Abidin, Hadiyya]

Walaikum assalam,

Faraz Rabbani

Noticing Sexual Fluid After the Ritual Bath

Answered by Sidi Abdullah Anik Misra

Question: According to the Hanafi school, if a female has sexual intercourse with her husband and after her ghusl she notices a wetness/liquid exiting her female orifice and this may last for a number of hours after intercourse, does this necessitate the repetition of ghusl? Waiting for this to stop can sometimes cross prayer times. All related answers on other websites only refer to a man exiting semen post ghusl, not specifying the situation for a woman.

Answer: Wa alaikum salam,

Thank you for your question.

It is not uncommon that for some time after intercourse, the male’s semen may continue to exit from the female, even long after she takes a ghusl (purification-bath).

If it is a very short time after the intercourse, and she immediately takes a ghusl, then if her own fluid comes out, she will have to repeat her ghusl, since the fluid could be exiting due to a lingering or subsiding sexual desire [even if sub-conscious].

If she immediately took a ghusl and only his sexual fluid came out, for sure, then she will not have to retake the ghusl, rather only make wudhu.  If she wasn’t sure whether its semen or her own fluid, she still doesn’t have to retake a ghusl (rather only wudhu) since it can assumed that the fluid is his only.  Still, it is more religiously scrupulous for her to retake the ghusl, though not required. [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

However, if she does some action which confirms that post-intercourse desires have waned and stopped, such as taking a walk, urinating or sleeping [or less effectively, simply waiting a long time], then she will not have to re-take her ghusl, whether what comes out is hers, his or both. [Ibn Nujaym, Bahr al-Ra’iq]

Practically, she should try, after intercourse, to ensure as much sexual fluid as possible exits – urination in her case won’t “clear the passage” like with a male, but it definitely is the fastest option, as it relaxes the muscles and the sitting position allows for sexual fluid to exit easily.  Then, once she takes a ghusl, she is ritually pure.

In any of these cases, if she completed a prayer after her initial ghusl, whether she had to re-take her ghusl later or only re-make her wudhu, she would not have to repeat the prayer she prayed while she was in a state of purity.  Ibn `Abidin, in Radd al-Muhtar, mentions that the most apparent answer to him is that women take the same rulings as men here in terms of the exiting of their own sexual fluid.

And Allah knows best.

Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Does One Have to Remove Earrings for the Ritual Bath (ghusl)?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: You’ve mentioned that one has to take off earrings while doing ghusl. If one didn’t do this in the past, does that mean all the ghusls were invalid? Can one assume water reached, while cleaning the ear? Is the ruling the same in the Shafi’ madhab?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

It is best to remove the earrings, or to move them while wetting the ears. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

In terms of past practice, one can assume validity.

And Allah alone gives success.


Faraz Rabbani

(Originally answered on the SeekersGuidance Academy’s Absolute Essentials of Islam Course Forum)

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

The Ghusl of a Shahada Deathbelonging to the B-Type

Answered by Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti

Question : The Ghusl of a Shahada Death belonging to the B-Type

A muslim was shot and the body was discovered a week later because of odor coming out of the apartment. After autopsy, what is [the] proper procedure for burial in regard to Ghusl of Mayit is wajib. So do we treat it like a drowned person, and still make Ghusl (minimum with one immersion in water).?

Answer:  Nothing in any of the books I have, Except that a drowned person should still be washed.
Reliance [= ‘Umdat al-Salik]

I‘anah Al Talibin

Faid Ilah Al Malik




Hasyiat al Jamal

Bijirmi [Bujayrimi] Al [‘ala] Khatib

In short:

The person MUST [= Wajib] be washed. Even if the cause of death was of the shahada-type (the “actual” cause of death was not specified but let us assume in the extreme case that he was killed in a robbery for example [qutila dUna mAlihi]), it will at most be considered to be among the 7-11 types of “as-shahAdah siwa l-qatli fI sabIli LlAh” or “shahid qhayr ma‘rakah” [a non-battle death as a martyr].

So, just exactly as in the case of drowning [ghariq], the tajhiz [preparation] of this mayyit [corpse] will include its ghusl [washing], takfin [shrouding], salat [prayer] and dafn [burial] – even when an autopsy is carried out before the tajhiz. If this case turns out not to be an abnormal death in the first place (read non-shahada death), then undoubtedly in that case the same tajhiz procedure will apply.

As for the other possible masa’ala [legal case] that may crop up in your case: It is unlikely in this particular case (a decomposed body one week old) that the mayyit will be considered ta‘adhdhur [impractical to wash] (such as its being badly spoilt or rotten or crumbling into decay) by the time the ghusl for it is to be performed, and especially if an autopsy was already carried out (since the mayyit would have been treated and refrigerated by the pathologist). In the unlikely event that there is ‘udhr [this excuse], the body should nevertheless be washed where possible – only to the extent that its purity will not be affected.

So the answer was there all along in the eight books you mentioned, without exception, including the shortest among them, the ‘Umdat al-Salik:

wa-yaHrumu ghuslu sh-shahIdi wa-S-SalAtu ‘alayhi wa-huwa man mAta fI ma‘rakati l-kuffAri bi-sababi qitAlihim
[It is unlawful to wash the body of a martyred (Muslim soldier) and to perform the funeral prayer over him. A martyr is someone who died in (a sanctioned) battle as a result of fighting with non-Muslim (soldiers)].

You only need to apply the mutala‘a [hermeneutic] tool of mafhum mukhalafa [inversion] to this ‘ibara [source text] and Dabit [principal rule] to see that your answer can be found already between the lines! Part of the style of composing furu‘ [secondary legal] works is for the text to be as minimalist and concise as possible, as is also the practice with modern legal primers and manuals. This episode shows that not only is it not enough to stop when one finds the right legal case in one’s bahth al-masa’il [case search], but it is also necessary to use and apply the case in question correctly. And this ability should be among the marks of a trained or a matured jurist:

istiHDAru al-ashbAhi wa n-naZA’iri wa-ibdA’u l-furUqi wa l-mawAni‘i
[To evoke the process of deduction from decisions of similar cases and to see the legal points and exceptions].

This is why some of our jurists have said that among the meanings of ‘Ilm Fiqh is “ma‘rifat al-naza’ir”: knowledge of this very deduction. This is among the fruits gained when the Usul [foundational legal principles] and the Furu‘ [corollary legal principles] of Fiqh are combined and understood together. Reflect upon this! For this ability alone does not include many other qualities that are also indispensable in a Mujtahid’s arsenal, such as the rarer and more difficult exercise of making ilhaq [inference], takhrij [drawing on direct precedent] and istinbat [deriving a conclusion] to clarify a Hukm [legal ruling] (whether directly from the scriptural Nusus of the Qur’an and the Prophetic Hadtihs – included in the brief of the Mujtahid Mutlaq or Mustaqill [the Completely Independent Doctor of the Law] such as Imam al-Shafi‘i – or whether indirectly through the standard of our Mujtahid Imam’s nusus [established texts] – a job for a Mujtahid lower than the first one such as Imam al-Nawawi).

That is why most of the faqihs [jurists] of our time are in reality mere nuqqal [transmitters]: they would not give a legal opinion or “fatwa” in something that they cannot find in between the lines [mastura]. And unless they are among the Nuzzar [the Examiners or Consultants of the School], anyone who calls himself a faqih today and thinks otherwise is deluding himself.

How true is the simple observation of one very old and matured fiqh teacher from Indonesia: “All the books of furu‘ are in fact the same: complete mastery of only one of them is enough to make up for all of them!”

May this help!

M. Afifi al-Akiti
16 Shawwal 1425
30 IX 2004