The Prophet (PBUH) said that cleanliness is half of faith. Muslims value purification immensely in Islam. The reason for this is that Allah commanded us to be pure when we pray. To be pure, we have to do ghusl on certain occasions when we are in a state of janaabah (janabat). We must also be in a state of wudu before praying or touching the Quran.
Muslims must know when ghusl is required and how to do it. Without this, we cannot be pure and take part in activities such as prayer. We must do ghusl when we are in the state of janaabah (major impurity). Meanwhile, we must do wudu for minor impurity.
When is ghusl required?
Islam instructs Muslims to do ghusl after engaging in sexual intercourse (whether ejaculation takes place or not).
Muslims must also do ghusl after ejaculation whether sexual intercourse has taken place or not. This can also be during sleep, known as a wet dream or nocturnal emission. In all such cases where semen exits the body, we must perform ghusl. However, in some cases where semen people emit semen due to medical reasons or otherwise, ghusl is not necessary and wudu will suffice.
Women must also do ghusl when they have their menstruation periods or postpartum bleeding. Without ghusl, we are considered to be in a state of major impurity. In this state, we cannot offer prayers, touch the Quran, etc.
When a person dies, we must perform ghusl for them.
There are some other occasions when we can perform ghusl, but it is not a requirement. However, it is sunnah.
The Prophet (PBUH) also performed ghusl before performing the Jumah and Eid prayers.
The Prophet (PBUH) performed it before entering the state of ihram.
Some people are of the view that a person must do ghusl when he enters Islam after being a kaafir.
How to perform ghusl
The first thing that we need to do before any action in Islam is to have the intention. In this case, that is the intention to purify ourselves from major ritual impurity. However, this intention is in the heart and mind. We do not need to actually utter it as some people mistakenly think.
There are two forms of this purification. One is the acceptable ghusl or the shorter version, which we can do to fulfill the requirement of ghusl. Then, there is the complete version, including the sunnah acts. We should try to perform the full version of the purification on most occasions.
For the short version of ghusl, we must make the intention. After that, we must wash our whole body from top to toe with water. The water should reach the roots of the hair. Water should touch all parts of the body. Rinsing the mouth and the nose are included in this.
How to do complete ghusl
For this, we must have the intention for ghusl. After that, we should say Bismillah.
Then, we should wash our hands three times and wash dirt from our private parts.
After this, we should perform wudu as we regularly do before prayer, etc.
Next, we should pour water over our heads three times. We should ensure that the water reaches the roots of the hair on the head.
Then, we should wash our whole body with water. We should start with the right side, then the left. The water should reach all parts of the body, and we should rub our hands to ensure that no part of it is left dry.
Once the ghusl is complete, we have fulfilled the requirement for purifying ourselves. We do not need to do wudu as the ritual bath counts as the major purifier. We can straightaway for and offer prayers, touch the Quran, etc.