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Ritual Bathing

Here ritual bathing refers to act of washing the whole body thoroughly so that no part howsoever small remains unwashed. This ritual bath is compulsory for getting clean of major pollution [hadath-i-akbar]. Taking of bath is obligatory in the following cases:

  1. After sexual intercourse or having wet dreams (nocturnal emissions). If night discharge is due to some affliction bathing is not compulsory. Bathing is compulsory after each penetration with or without ejaculation. As both males and females have wet dreams both are bound to take ritual bath.
  2. After the cessation of menstrual flow
  3. After the cessation of puerperal flow
  4. When a person dies it is binding upon the living persons to give him a ritual bathing.
  5. When a non-believer becomes a believer he should take a ritual bath. When Hadrat Qais Bin Hakim embraced Islam the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ordered him to take bath with water immersed with berry leaves (Nasai).

Arkan (Basic Elements) of Bathing

     Ritual bath consists of two requirements:

  1. To have the intention of performing bath. Mere sprinkling of water over the body without intention will not be valid. One will remain impure if he did not intend to take ritual bath.
  2. Full washing of the body from the top to the bottom so that water reaches every pore of it as well as thorough rubbing and massaging of the body.


Sunan (Sunnah Practices) of Bathing

According  to the narration of Hadrat Ayesha (RadhiAllahu Anha)  about the bathing of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), whenever he had to take a bath for major pollution [janabat] he first washed both of his hands; then poured water with his right hand over his left hand and with it cleaned his genitals; then performed full wudhu; then taking water in his palms poured it on his head and wetted the roots of hair inserting his fingers; when hair roots got fully wet he would pour three handfuls of water over his head; then he would pour water over the whole body; and lastly, he would wash his feet (Al-Bukhari & Muslim). Accordingly, the practices of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in relation to bathing may be summarized as under:

  1. To wash both hands up to the joints.
  2. To wash and clean the genitals.
  3. To perform wudhu like that for salat and to wash the feet last. However, if he is bathing in a place where water flows away then feet can be washed earlier.
  4. To pour water overhead three times provided it penetrates  the roots of the hair.
  5. To wash the whole body thoroughly beginning from the right side, as the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) preferred to begin doing everything from the right side.
  1. To take due care of those organs where water does not penetrate like the inside of ears and inside of the naval cord and so they should be washed with care and the spaces between the fingers should be thoroughly rubbed. While bathing a woman need not undo her coiffeur but water must penetrate the roots of the hair. No part of the body should be left dry.


Since the Islamic faith puts utmost emphasis on cleanliness, it is necessary to know the special occasions when ritual bathing must be done. They are as under:

1   Bathing on Friday

2   Bathing on the days of both Eids

3   Bathing before entering Makkah al-Mukarramah

4   Bathing before entering Madinah al-Munawwarah

5   Bathing before wearing of Ihram

6   Bathing on the day of Arafa

7   Bathing at a time of a calamity or fear to turn towards Allah and    pray to Him

8   Bathing after having a haircut

9   Bathing on the night of Qadr

10 Bathing after recovery from fits of insanity, intoxication, and      unconsciousness

11 Bathing after giving ritual bath to a dead body

12 Bathing after atoning for a sin

13 Bathing on returning from a journey

14 Bathing before attending the religious discourses and gatherings

15 Bathing of women after cessation of  false bleeding

Acts Forbidden during State of Pollution [Junub]

  1. To perform prayers
  2. To circumambulate around the holy Ka’bah
  3. To touch or carry or recite the holy Quran
  4. To enter a mosque unless it is absolutely necessary.