Written by Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi
Translated into Eng. By Nehal Anwer Qasmi
Obligations of Ghusl:
Ghusl has three obligations:
1. To cleanse the mouth in such a way that water accesses to all parts of the mouth.
2. To cleanse the nose making sure that the water reaches up to the soft bone in the nose.
3. To pour water on the whole body ensuring that not a single part of the body remains dry.
Scholars of Islam differ regarding mouth and nose wash. Some of them believe that cleansing the mouth and nose is Sunnah. According to them, if a person forgets to cleanse either of mouth or nose or both and offers prayer, the prayer is valid and he is not required to repeat it. The majority of the scholars including Imam Abu Hanifa RA and Imam Ahmad bin Hanmbal RA are of the opinion that cleansing the mouth and nose is obligatory in Ghusl. Scholars of India and Pakistan as well as Al Shaikh Muhammad bin Salih Al Othaimeen a reputed scholar of Saudi Arabia all of them too have the similar opinion. Thus in case a person forgets to cleanse either mouth or nose and offers prayer, the prayer is invalid and he is required to offer it again.
1. If a person after the end of bath remembers that he has not cleansed his mouth or nose, he should instantly cleanse his mouth or nose and does not need to take bath again.
2. One can bath naked if he is sure that the place is completely closed and no one can see him, but in such case, it is better to take bath sitting, as it will cover maximum part of the body.
3. A woman needs to remove her nail polish before making ablution and taking bath, otherwise her ablution and bath will be invalid. On the contrary, if she is using henna on her body or hair, she does not have to remove it. The reason for this difference is that nail polish is thick and prevents water to penetrate into the body, but henna penetrates into the body or hair and becomes a part of it.
The Masnoon Way of Ghusl:
The following method of taking bath is Masnoon:
1. Wash both hands up to the wrist to remove the filth from your hand.
2. Clean the private part even though filth is visible or not.
3. Make ablution just like of prayer. Avoid washing foot, if you are taking bath in a place where used water gathers. Otherwise, make complete ablution.
4. Pour water on your head followed by right and left shoulder of your body thrice.
5. While pouring water on the body, rub your hand properly, so that no part remains dry.
6. If you are taking shower, you are supposed to follow the above process as much as you can.
When Ghusl Becomes Obligatory?
There are three reasons that make Ghusl obligatory:
1. Ejaculation of semen which can happen when one is awake or asleep.
2. After the intercourse. In case of intercourse, ejaculation of semen is not necessary. Mere penetration of penis into the vagina is all needed for Ghusl becoming obligatory.
3. At the end of menstruation (حيض) and puerperal bleeding ( (نفاسfor women.
Note: Mazi (wetness) that comes out while thinking of intercourse or kissing wife does not make Ghusl obligatory.
Ghusl is required when Penis penetrates into the Vagina, Even If Ejaculation Does Not Take Place.
Today some people (against the consensus of majority of the scholars) believe that mere penetration of penis into the vagina does not make Ghusl obligatory. Since this issue is of great importance, I would like to discuss it in detail bringing forth the evidences of the majority scholars who believe that penetration of penis into the vagina makes Ghusl obligatory.
At first, I would like to clarify that the majority of Islamic scholars from the early time till today including Imam Abu Hanifa, his disciples throughout the world and a large number of Saudi scholars have consensus that ejaculation of semen is not required for Ghusl becoming obligatory in case of intercourse. Although earlier there were some differences of opinions among few Companions of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). But later they too agreed on obligation of Ghusl after consultation with the wives of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Below I am going to mention few Hadith that concede this opinion.
1. The Messenger of Allah said: “When the two circumcised parts meet, then bath is obligatory”, Narrated by Imam Muslim, Chapter Book of Bath.
The same Hadith has been narrated in other words where it is mentioned that bath is obligatory, even if one ejaculates semen. Imam Bukhari too narrates this Hadith in his book and says that this Hadith is the most authentic of all the Hadith narrated in the issue in question.
Note: Here I must clarify that mere meeting of two circumcised parts does not make Ghusl obligatory. The word “meet” in the above Hadith has been used in the sense of penetration, as all the scholars of Hadith and Fiqh unanimously believe in the light of other Ahadith.
2. Hazrat Aa’isha (RA) says: “when the two circumcised parts meet, then bath is obligatory. The Messenger of Allah and I did that, and we bathed”, Narrated by Imam Tirmizi, in the Chapter of Purification.
After narration of this Hadith, Imam Tirmizi mentions some names of the Companions including Hazrat Abu Bakar, Umar, Othman, Ali and Aaisha (RA) and of Successors including Hazrat Sufyan Thauri, Ahmad and Ishaq who believe that only penetration makes Ghusl obligatory.
3. The Messenger of Allah said: “When the two circumcised parts meet, and the tip of the penis disappears, then bath is obligatory”, Narrated by Imam Ahmad and Ibn e Majah.
All the three above-mentioned Hadith are clear. They emphasize on Ghusl being obligatory after the penetration of man’s penis into woman’s vagina regardless of ejaculation.
As for the people who believe that ejaculation of semen is required for Ghusl being obligatory, they present the following Hadith in favor of their opinion:
1. The Messenger of Allah said: “Water is for water”, Narrated by Imam Muslim.
The word “water” in the Hadith has been used twice. First “water” means bath and the second semen, as it is clear by different narrations of the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH). Now the Hadith means bath is obligatory after the ejaculation of semen.
This Hadith emphasizes on the ejaculation of semen being required for Ghusl, but it contradicts with other Hadith which have been mentioned earlier in particular Hadith of Hazrat Aai’sha (RA) which clearly says that mere meeting (penetration) of two private parts makes Ghusl obligatory. For reconciliation between those contradicting Hadith most of Muhaddisin, Mufasiren, Fuqaha & Ulama say that the Hadith “Water for Water” had been earlier ruling, but that was cancelled later on. Even Imam Muslim narrates this Hadith under the chapter “Ejaculation of semen was required for Ghusl being obligatory in early Islam and which was cancelled and now Ghusl is obligatory with only penetration”. Imam Tirmizi too acknowledges that the Hadith “Water for water” is cancelled. He further quotes Hazrat Obay bin Kab (RA), one of the companion of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and writer of the revelation (وحي)in favor of his opinion: “Hazrat Obay bin Kab (RA) says that, in early Islam ejaculation of semen was required for Ghusl being obligatory, but this ruling was cancelled later on”.
Having gone through the different Hadith and sayings of various Companions of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) such as Hazrat Abu Bakr, Umar Farooq, Usman Ghani, Ali Murtuza, Obay bin Kab and Aai’sh (RA) and opinions of Islamic scholars including Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Ahmad, Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Imam Nawawi and Imam Tirmizi etc, we may sum up that the Hadith “Water for water” had been earlier ruling, but it was later cancelled as it was cleared by Imam Muslim in his book. Now Ghusl becomes mandatory by mere penetration though one does not ejaculate semen. Purification has got great importance in Islam. Thus it is more advisable to take bath whenever we have intercourse either ejaculation happens or not.