July 10

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How to Perform Ghusl (or Janaba Bath) – Step-By-Step

If you're looking for a step-by-step guide on how to do Ghusl (or Janaba bath), you've come to the right place.

In this guide, we'll go through everything you need to know about Ghusl, what it is, the types of Ghusl, the dua for it, a detailed how-to guide, and more.

Without any further ado, let’s get to work!

What is Ghusl or Janabah Bath

Ghusl is a ritual bath that Muslims take as a form of purification after intercourse, menstruation, postpartum bleeding, and so on. Ghusl or Janaba Bath must be performed by every Muslim who has reached puberty if he or she becomes unclean due to the mentioned circumstances.

The word "purity" is very pleasing to the human ear, and it is a quality that everyone wishes to possess.

That's why I always say that Muslims are fortunate to have Islam, which purifies us in every way (Maasha-Allah).

Salaat and other acts of worship require ritual purity, which consists of either ablution (wudu) for minor impurity or a ceremonial bath (ghusl) for major impurity.

If a Muslim purifies himself in accordance with Allah's commandments and the Prophet's instructions, his prayer will completely cleanse him of sins.

This tremendous need for ghusl necessitates an inside and simple explanation, as many Muslims regard ghusl as difficult to perform; however, it isn't. All you need is a simplified explanation.

So bear with me as I walk you through everything you need to know about ghusl (or Janabah bath).

Since you're here, you should read keep reading if you're already familiar with ghusl. Who knows, you may be missing something or we may leave something out that you can help with.

Ghusl Vs Janaabah, Haid and Nifas

Until I was doing some research to write this article, I used to think that these Arabic terms can be used interchangeably. Little do I know that they carry different meanings.

Before we continue, I think there's a need for some clarity here.

  • Ghusl, as stated before, is a full-body ritual bath required for any adult Muslim after ejaculation, menstruation, or childbirth. Ghusl is required for a variety of reasons. And the ghusl for each of these reasons has a different name such as Ghusl Janabat, which is performed after sexual intercourse or ejaculation, Ghusl Haid, which is performed after menstruation, and Ghusl Nifas, which is performed after childbirth, and others.
  • Janaabah is the state in which one is ritually not pure enough to perform Salaat due to intercourse or seminal discharge. Janaabah recquires one to perform Ghusl Janabat to become ritually pure again.
  • Haid is the state in which one is ritually not pure enough to perform Salaat due to menstruation. Haid recquires one to perform Ghusl Haid to become ritually pure again.
  • Nifas is the state in which one is ritually not pure enough to perform Salaat due to Childbirth. Nifas requires one to perform Ghusl Nifas to become ritually pure again.

Put simply, Ghusl is a bath that cleanses you from major impurities such as Janaba (ejaculation), Haid (mensuration), Nifas (after childbirth), and others.

In light of the above explanations, Ghusl can also be referred to as Janaba bath, Nifas bath, and so on.

Steps on How to Perform Ghusl (or Janabah Bath)

  • Step 1: Declear your intention to perform Ghusl
  • Step 2: Say “Bislmillah” and wash your hands
  • Step 3: Wash the private parts
  • Step 4: Perform a complete wudu
  • Step 5: Wash your head entirely
  • Step 6: Wash your entire body.
  • Step 7: Wash your fit
  • Step 8: Recite the same dua for wudu

'A'isha said that when God's messenger washed because of a seminal emission he first washed his hands, then performed ablution as he did for prayer, then put his fingers into the water and moved them through the roots of his hair, then poured three handfuls on his head with both hands, then poured the water over all his skin. (Bukhari and Muslim.) In a version by Muslim he first washed his hands before putting them into the vessel, then poured water over his left hand with his right hand, then washed his private parts, after which he performed ablution.

In a nutshell, the steps outlined above are the core ones you must follow in order to perform Ghusl correctly.

Let's go over each step in greater detail to ensure that you understand it well.

Step 1: Declare your intention to perform Ghusl

Intention (or Niyyah) is simply a determination in the heart to do something that does not need to be expressed aloud.

In order to remove major ritual impurity, make an intention (in your heart) to make ghusl for Janabah (after sex), menstruation, or postpartum period. For instance, "I am performing ghusl to purify myself."

This intention should be conceived in your heart and not spoken aloud.

You can do ghusl once for several intentions or reasons. for example, if you had a wet dream or sex with your wife, and it's Eid and Friday at the same time. You will be rewarded for all of them, Insha Allah.

Step 2: Say “Bislmillah” and wash your hands

After declaring your intention to do ghusl, say Bismillah (i.e. In the name of Allah) then wash both hands up to your writs 3 times.

‘Aa'ishah reported that whenever the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) wanted to take a ghusl due to sexual defilement (janaabah), he first washed both hands [three times] (Sahih Muslim vol.1, p.183,no. 618)

Step 3: Wash the private parts

Regardless of whether or not you can see any sign of impurity, wash your private parts very well.

Step 4: Perform a complete wudu

At this point, perform wudu as you do for your daily prayers, but remember to exclude your feet, you should delay washing the feet until you finish the bath.

Step 5: Wash your head

Use your fingers through your hair and beard (for men) so that water should reach your scalp.

Step 6: Wash your whole body

Rub water over the whole body. Begin by pouring water over your right shoulder up to three times, and then do the same to the left. And pour the same number of times over your head plus the rest of your body.

Meanwhile, take care of your arm-pits, ears, the navel, and the recesses of skin, make sure you rub all those corners with water.

Step 7: Wash your fit

After you finished washing your entire body, step aside from where you did the ghusl and gently wash your feet starting from the right foot and then the left up to, and including the ankles, three times. You should enter the water between the toes with your little finger and then wash the feet.

Step 8: Recite the same dua for wudu

Ash-hadu Alla ilaha illallah, wa ash-hadu anna Mohammadan Abdoho wa Rasoolah. Allahumma aj’alnee minattawwabeen, waj’alnee mottatahhireen.

This means:

I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship, but Allah, He has no partner, and I bear witness that Mohammad is His servant and His Messenger. O Allah, make me of those who repent for their sins, and of those who keep themselves pure.)

And Alhamdulillah you are done with ghusl.

Ghusl FAQs

In this section we'll try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Ghusl. 

If you have a particular question in mind which is not addressed here, you can state it in the comments section at the end of this post.

Why do we perform Ghusl/why is Ghusl important?

  • It is beloved and pleasing to Allah (Abu Dawud & Tirmidhi)
  • It is equal in excellence to half the faith (Muslim)
  • It is one of the qualities of believers as it’s a type of worship seen only by Allah (Ibn Majah)
  • It leads to acceptance of one’s Dua or supplication (Ahmad & Tabrani)
  • Maintaining purity removes sins. (Muslim)
  • It is one of the qualities of true nature (Muslim).

What are the acts of worship that cannot be done in the state of Janabah? or When is ghusl compulsory or Required?

Answer:

  • Prayer (Salaat) – (Quran An-Nisa 4:43)
  • Going round the Ka’ba (Bukhari and Muslim)
  • Touching or carrying the Holy Quran (Nasai, Darqutni)
  • Recitation of the Holy Quran (Ahmad and Abu Ya’la)
  • Staying in the mosque ( Ibn Maja & Tabrani)

Can a husband and wife do ghusl together?

There is absolutely no veil between a husband and a wife who are united by marriage. And there is absolutely no restriction between them taking a shower or bath together if they wish to do so.

But in this case, this is not just a shower, but a spiritual bath, a bath that will prepare you to worship Allah. Which is why I think you should take ghusl alone and not with your wife.

Can ghusl be performed in flowing water?

Yes.

Ghusl can be performed in flowing water (Like River or Stream).

Staying in the water for a little while will mean that the Sunnah of washing the limbs three times as prescribed will automatically be fulfilled.

But if it’s in a pool (where the water is still), you’ll have to move your limbs 3 times or shift your body to 3 different areas in the water to fulfill the Sunnah of washing the limbs three times.

Can ghusl be performed in the shower?

Yes.

If there’s a shower fitted in your bathroom, see whether or not you face the direction of the holy Ka’bah before taking the bath.

Can ghusl be performed in the rain?

Yes.

Exposing one’s sitr (private parts) in front of others is Haram. Therefore when bathing under the rain, you should make sure no one sees you.

You can wrap a thick shawl over your trousers so that the color of your sitr or thighs is not exposed.

Can Ghusl (Janabah) replace Wudu?

Yes

You don’t need to perform wudu again after doing ghusl.

But if your palm touches your private parts after the bath, then you should perform ghusl.

What do I do with my knotted hair when doing ghusl?

You do not have to untangle strands of hair that get tied with each other.

When is it Sunnah to perform Ghusl?

It is Sunnah to perform ghusl (Janabah bath) on Friday, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, the day of ‘Arafah (9th Zul-Hajj), and when wearing ihram.

For further questions, contributions or suggestions please comment below so that we can discuss them together Insha-Allah.

What are the important factors that make your ghusl satisfactory?

  1. Intention (in the heart, not tongue) to remove major ritual impurity.
  2. Clean filth with water
  3. Pour water completely over the body. Make sure to wet your entire body with water.

When is it desirable to perform ghusl?

  1. If one’s body is stained with impurity and he doesn’t remember exactly where the stain actually is.
  2. In times of fear, extreme darkness, and severe storms.
  3. For wearing new clothes.
  4. For repentance from sin.
  5. On recovering from unconsciousness.
  6. For a madman, once he recovers from a state of madness
  7. After washing the body of a deceased person.
  8. On returning from a long journey.
  9. For tawaaf
  10. For other auspicious and blessed gatherings.
  11. For the stay in Arafat.
  12. The stay in Muzdalifah.
  13. When visiting the Holy Prophet (SAW)
  14. When entering Mina
  15. For the three days that Hajis throw pebbles at the devil

What are the factors that necessitate Ghusl?

  1. Discharge of sperm
  2. Wet dreams
  3. After the termination of menses
  4. After the termination of pro-child birth bleeding (nifaas)

Note: Many women believe that a woman remains impure after childbirth for a period of 40 days, whereas this is not the case. Please if you are having any issue concerning this; state it in the comments bellow.

Important issues concerning Ghusl?

  1. Causing a seminal discharge deliberately by masturbating will necessitate ghusl. Masturbation is a sin though. It is a shameful act that leads to weakness in one’s reproductive abilities and experience has also proven that it leaves a lot of men unfit for marriage. Read: Why Masturbation is Wrong.
  2. When sperm does not leave its origin in a state of lust, it does not necessitate ghusl (Janabah bath). But it does, however, nullify one's wudu.
  3. Drops of thin sperm that are discharged whilst urinating or just standing around without any feeling of lust, do not call for ghusl, but will only nullify one's wudu.
  4. If you remember a wet dream but there are no signs or effects of it on your clothing and or bed sheet then you don’t have to perform ghusl.
  5. If you were experiencing lust whilst in Salah and could feel sperm moving but finished your Salah before you actually experienced a discharge, then your Salah is valid but you will now have to perform ghusl.

Other useful Precautions to note when performing Ghusl!

  1. Do not face the Holy Ka’bah when performing ghusl.
  2. Make sure you rub your hands all over your body whilst washing.
  3. Make sure that no one can see you while you are performing ghusl.
  4. You must not read a dua or talk while performing ghusl.
  5. There is no harm in drying yourself with a towel once you have finished.
  6. Get dressed as soon as the bath is completed.
  7. It is desirable to read 2 rak’at nafl Salah.

Allah knows best.



  • Hello, Correct English is “Wash your right foot, then your left. Foot is singular, feet is plural, Isha-Allah!

  • IMPORTANT MESSAGE
    Hello Ms. Janice poss,

    We Should Not Write It As “InshaAllah” or “Inshallah” Because It Means “Create ALLAH” (naozobil lah).. Wheather Arabic Or English.. Please Make Sure We Write It Properly As “In Shaa ALLAH” (In 3 seperate words) This Means “If ALLAH Wills”
    So Make Sure You Forward This To Every1.. & Help Them To Correct Their Mistake Too.. JazakALLAH Khair..
    In Shaa ALLAH
    said by Dr. Zakit Naik- Islamic Scholar

  • IMPORTANT MESSAGE

    Hello Ms. Janice,

    there is a mistake in writing “Isha-Allah!” ” n is missing after I”

    We Should Not Write It As “InshaAllah” or “Inshallah” Because It Means “Create ALLAH” (naozobil lah).. Wheather Arabic Or English.. Please Make Sure We Write It Properly As “In Shaa ALLAH” (In 3 seperate words) This Means “If ALLAH Wills”
    So Make Sure You Forward This To Every1.. & Help Them To Correct Their Mistake Too.. JazakALLAH Khair..
    In Shaa ALLAH

  • Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. Jazakallahul khairan. It really enlite on how to perform my Ghusul. May Allah increase us more knowledge.

  • Assalamoalaikum brother
    You have not mentioned gargling and rinsing nose as if water touches the weaker part of nose bone but you only mentioned wudu..

    Correct me please

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