What is Ghusl actually and what are its types?
There are two ways of performing the Ghusl in Islaam, ‘Complete Ghusl’ AND ‘Acceptable Ghusl.’
The Complete Ghusl: The complete way, which is doing ghusl as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did it. When he wanted to do ghusl in the case of janaabah, he would wash his hands, then wash his private part and anywhere else that the impurity had reached, then he would do complete wudoo’, then he would wash his head three times with water, then he would wash the rest of his body. This is how complete ghusl is done.
The Acceptable Ghusl: In the case of acceptable ghusl, it is sufficient to do the obligatory parts of ghusl only, without doing any of the mustahabb or Sunnah actions. He should intend to purify himself, then make water reach every part of his body, using any means whether that is standing beneath a shower or immersing oneself in the sea or in a swimming pool and the like, as well as rinsing the mouth and nose. This is how Acceptable Ghusl is done.
Note: Those who wash the dead are encouraged to take a Ghusl (not compulsory) ,
First: The body should be laid out, stripped of its garments and its joints loosened, if possible. A cloth should be placed over the private parts, between the navel and the knee, and the stomach should be pressed to expel any remaining impurities.
Second: A rag should be used to wash the body and the washing should begin with the places on the right side of the body washed during Wudoo.
Third: After completing the wudoo, the woman’s hair should be undone if it was braided and he hair thoroughly washed. Then the rest of the body should be washed, turning the body on its side so as to complete the right side before washing the left.
Fourth: The body should be washed a minimum of three times or five or more times and the water should have in it some cleaning agent like soap or disinfectant. The final washing should have in it some perfume like camphor or the like.
Fifth: The body should then be dried and the hair combed out. In the case of women, the hair should be plaited into three braids one from the front and two from the sides and placed behind her head.
Sixth, Exceptions: In the case of person who died in the state of Ihraam, perfume should not be used in washing his or her body.
Seventh, Exceptions: In the case of the martyr (Shaheed), his body should not be washed at all, but should be buried as it is.
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Compiled by Sheikh Danish Riyaz