Islamic concepts

Ghusl — full ritual washing; ritual shower

ALA-LC ghusl
IPA ʁʊsl

Ghusl is the full ritual washing of the body, i.e. shower or bath. It is one type of ritual purification.

How to perform Ghusl

Mandatory and integral parts:

  • Rinse the entire mouth once
  • Rinse inside the nose once
  • Wash the entire body once:
    • inside ears
    • skin beneath beard, moustache and eyebrows
    • full hair including the roots (if braided: only the roots)
    • inside navel
    • under clitoral hood (women)
    • external urethral orifice

Emphasized Sunnah:

  • Make intention, i.e. say ‘bismillāh’ before uncovering your nakedness
  • Wash hands up to wrists
  • Wash private parts (front and back)
  • Wash off any dirt
  • Do Wuḍūʿ, then stay under flowing water a length of time equal to water being poured on you three times


Mandatory (Farḍ or Wājib) after:

  • After having sex, i.e. orgasm or penetration with penis
  • End of menstruation
  • End of postnatal bleeding
  • after formally converting to Islam

Recommended (nafl or mustahab):

  • before the Friday and ʿĪd prayers
  • at certain times during pilgrimage
  • after having lost consciousness


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