How exactly should Ghusl be performed?
In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.
May Allah bless Muhammad and his Family and damn their enemies.
The Ghusl (ritual cleansing), whether Mustahab or obligatory, may be done in two ways:
- Tartibi (sequential): After the Niyyah of Ghusl, it is required to wash the head and neck first, then the right half of the body, and then the left half of the body. The ‘’niyyah’’ is the act of subconsciously declaring, i.e., ‘intend’ to perform an act of worship. It is compulsory to do the act of Niyyah before Ghusl is performed. If the said order was altered deliberately or forgotten due to ignorance of the ruling concerned, the Ghusl is void, as per obligatory precaution. The ruling applies if one uses either a hand or a vessel to pour water on each part. However, if one performs the Ghusl under the rain or under a ‘shower’ where water engulfs the entire body, the order is not binding, although, as a precaution, the order of the Ghusl should be observed. It is recommended to thoroughly wash the belly button and private parts when washing the right side of the body and the left side. If water does not reach the entire body – including every hair – in an obligatory Ghusl, it is void.
- Irtimasi (immersion): In the case of immersion, it is obligatory to have total bodily immersion so that water surrounds the entire body at one time. If one learns after performing the Ghusl that water had not reached some parts of the body, regardless of whether or not one knows which part it is, the Ghusl must be performed again as a percussion.
There are numerous rules regarding Ghusl, so we would recommend that you refer to ‘Islamic Law’ by al-Sayed al-Marji’ al-Shirazi (may Allah prolong his life) to know more about the rulings on Islamic duties and practices.
The Office of Sheikh al-Habib