The Book of Ghusl

The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

Chapter 5: The Book of Ghusl

Allah Almighty says: "If you are in a state of major impurity, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey, or have come from the lavatory, or have touched women, and cannot find any water, then do tayammum with pure earth, and wipe your faces and your hands. Allah does not want to make things difficult for you, but He does want to purify you and to perfect His blessing upon you so that perhaps you may show thanks." (5:6)

And Allah, may His mention be exalted! says, "O you who believe! Do not approach the prayer when you are drunk so that you know what you are saying, nor in a state of major impurity – unless you are travelling – until you have washed yourselves completely. If you are ill or on a journey, or any of you have come from the lavatory or touched women, and you cannot find any water, then do tayammum with pure earth, wiping your faces and your hands. Allah is Ever-Pardoning, Ever-Forgiving." (4:42)

I: Performing wudu' before ghusl

245. It is related from 'A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, that when the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, performed ghusl for janaba, he would began by washing his hands and then perform wudu' like he did wudu' for the prayer. Then he put his fingers in the water, [then he would take water] and massage the roots of his hair with them. Then he poured three handfuls on his head and then poured water over the entire surface of his skin. (Muwatta Book 2, 69)

246. It is related that Maymuna, the wife of the Prophet, said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did wudu' as he did wudu' for the prayer except for his feet. Then he washed his private parts and anywhere that the discharge had gone. Then he poured water over himself and then moved his feet to one side and washed them. This is how he performed ghusl for janaba."

II: A man doing ghusl together with his wife

247. It is related that 'A'isha said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and I used to do ghusl from the same vessel from a pot called faraq.  (Muwatta Book 2, 70)

III: Performing ghusl with a sa' of water or thereabouts

248. It is related that Abu Salama was heard to say, "I and the brother of 'A'isha went to visit 'A'isha. Her brother asked her about the ghusl of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. She called for a vessel containing about a sa'. She washed and poured it over her head. There was a curtain between her and us."

It is related from Shu'ba, "the amount of a sa'."

249. It is related from Abu Ja'far that while he and his father were with Jabir ibn 'Abdullah, there were some people with Jabir who asked him about ghusl. He said, "A sa' is enough for you." A man stated, "A sa' is not enough for me." Jabir said, "It was enough for one who had more hair than you and was better than you." Then Jabir led us in the prayer in a single garment.

250. It is related from Ibn 'Abbas that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and Maymuna used to do ghusl from a single vessel.

It is related from Shu'ba, "the amount of a sa'."

Al-Bukhari said that in later stages Ibn 'Uyayna used to relate this hadith on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas who related this case from Maymuna, but the correct version is what he has recorded earlier, i.e. omitting Maymuna.

IV: Pouring water on the head three times

251. It is related from Jubayr ibn Mut'im that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "As for me, I pour water over my head three times." He demonstrated with both his hands.

252. It is related that Jabir ibn 'Abdullah said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to pour water on his head three times.

253. It is related that Abu Ja'far said, "Jabir said to me, 'Your cousin - meaning al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyya - came to me and asked about ghusl for janaba. I said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to take three handfuls of water and pour them on his head. Then he poured water over the rest of his body." Al-Hasan said to me, "I am a man with a lot of hair." I replied, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had more hair than you."'"

V: Ghusl (washing the body) is done once

254. It is related that Maymuna said, "I put down water for ghusl for the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,and he rubbed his hands twice or three times. Then he poured water on his left hand and washed his private parts. Then he wiped his hand on the earth. Then he rinsed his mouth and cleaned his nose by sniffing up and blowing out. He washed his face and hands and then poured water over his body. Then he moved from where he was and washed his feet."

VI: On beginning ghusl by using milk-pot or some scent

255. It is related from ÕA'isha, "When the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, performed a ghusl for janaba, he called for a pot like the milk-pot and, taking it in his hand, began with the right side of his head and then the left side and then rubbed his head with both hands."

VII: On rinsing out the mouth and cleaning the nose by sniffing up and blowing out in [the ghusl for] janaba

256. It is related that Maymuna said, "I poured water for ghusl for the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He poured water onto his left hand with his right hand and washed them both. Then he washed his private parts and then he rubbed the earth with his hands, and then washed them. Then he rinsed out his mouth and cleaned his nose with water by sniffing up and blowing out again. Then he washed his face and poured water on his head. Then he moved to one side and washed his feet. He was given a towel [to dry] but did not use it."

VIII: On rubbing the hands with earth in order to clean them

257. It is related from Maymuna, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did a ghusl for janaba. He cleaned his private parts with his hand, then rubbed it on the wall and then washed it. Then he did wudu' as he did wudu' for the prayer. When he had finished his ghusl, he washed his feet."

IX: Can someone who is in janaba put his hand in the container before he washes it if there is no impurity on his hand other than janaba?

Ibn 'Umar and al-Bara' ibn 'Azib put their hands in water without washing them and then did wudu'.

Ibn 'Umar and Ibn 'Abbas did not see any harm in any drops splashing from the ghusl of janaba back into the water-container.

258. It is related from 'A'isha who said that, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and I used to do ghusl from the same vessel, and our hands would alternate going into it."

259. It is related from 'A'isha, "When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did ghusl for janaba, he washed his hands first."

260. It is related that 'A'isha said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and I used to do ghusl from the same vessel for janaba."

The same thing is related from al-Qasim from 'A'isha.

261. It is related that Anas ibn Malik said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and one of his wives used to do ghusl from a single vessel."

Muslim and Wahb added from Shu'ba, "for janaba."

X: A pause during ghusl or doing wudu'

Ibn 'Umar mentioned that he washed his feet after the rest of the parts washed in wudu' had become dry.

262. It is related that Maymuna said, "I put down water for ghusl for the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he poured it on his hands and washed them twice or three times. Then he poured water with his right hand on his left hand and washed his private parts. Then he wiped his hand on the earth. Then he rinsed his mouth and cleaned his nose by sniffing up and blowing out. Then he washed his face and hands and washed his head three times and then poured water over his body. Then he moved from where he was and washed his feet."

XI: Pouring water with the right hand onto the left hand during ghusl

263. It is related that Maymuna bint al-Harith said, "I put down water for the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to do ghusl and screened him. He poured water onto his hands and washed them once or twice. Sulayman said, "I do not know whether three times was mentioned or not. Then he poured water onto his left hand with his right hand and washed his private parts. Then he rubbed his hand on the earth or on the wall. Then he rinsed out his mouth and cleaned his nose by sniffing up and blowing out and washed his face and hands and washed his head. Then he poured water over his body. Then he moved to one side and washed his feet. I offered him a cloth but he gesticulated with his hand like this and did not want it."

XII: On having sexual intercourse and then repeating it again* and someone making the rounds of his wives and only doing ghusl once

[* The question is whether after every sexual intercourse one has to do ghusl, so if he does it again, will he have to do a second ghusl? The answer is that one only at the end will be sufficient, but if someone can do ghusl every time he can do it.]

264. It is related from Muhammad ibn al-Muntashir from his father who had mentioned it to 'A'isha. She said, "May Allah have mercy on Abu 'Abdu'r-Rahman! I used to put scent on the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he would have sex with his wives and in the morning he put on ihram and he was still smelling of scent."

265. It is related from Qatada that Anas ibn Malik said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to make the rounds of all his wives at one go either at night or during the day - and he had eleven wives. Qatada said to Anas, "Had he the strength for that?" He said, "We used to say that he had been given the strength of thirty men."

Sa'id said from Qatada that Anas said, "Nine wives"*.

[* Eleven refers to nine wives and two slavegirls: Mariya and Rayhana.]

XIII: Washing off emotional urethral discharge (madhiy) and doing wudu' on account of it

266. It is related that 'Ali said, "I was a man who used to get frequent emotional urethral discharges (madhiy) and I told a man to ask the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, about it because of his daughter (Fatima). He replied, 'Do wudu' and wash your private parts.' "

XIV: On putting on perfume and then having a ghusl and the scent of the perfume remaining even after that

267. It is related from Muhammad ibn al-Muntashir from his father who had mentioned to 'A'isha what Ibn 'Umar said about not liking to put on ihram while still smelling of scent. She said, "I did put scent on the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,..." see 264.

268. It is related from 'A'isha, "It is as if I could see the glistening of scent in the parting [of the hair] of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when he was in ihram."

XV: Running the fingers through the hair until one feels that the scalp is wet and then pouring water over it

269. It is related that 'A'isha said, "When the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, performed ghusl for janaba, he began by washing his hands and then did wudu' like he did wudu' for the prayer. Then he did ghusl. He ran his fingers through his hair until he felt that his scalp was wet. Then he poured water on his head three times and then he washed the rest of his body."

She added, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and I used to perform  ghusl from a single container from which we both took water."

XVI: Someone who does wudu' in a state of janaba and then washes the rest of his body but does not wash once again the places he already washed in wudu'

270. It is related from Maymuna, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, put down water for janaba. He poured water with his right hand onto his left hand twice or three times. Then he washed his private parts. Then he rubbed his hand on the earth or on the wall twice or three times. Then he rinsed out his mouth and cleaned his nose by sniffing up and blowing out. He washed his face and arms and then poured water over his head and washed his body. Then he moved away and washed his feet." Maymuna said, "I brought him a cloth but he did not want it and wiped off the water with his hand."

XVII: When someone in the mosque remembers that he is in janaba he should leave immediately and should not do tayammum

271. It is related that Abu Hurayra said, "Once when the iqama for the prayer had been called and the rows had been made straight, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came out to us. When he stood in his place of prayer, he remembered that he was junub. He said to us, 'Stay where you are,' and went back and did ghusl. Then he came out to us with his head dripping. He said, 'Allah is greater,' and we prayed with him."  (Muwatta Book 2, 81)

'Abdu'l-A'la corroborated this from Ma'mar from az-Zuhri and al-Awza'i related it from az-Zuhri.

XVIII: Wiping off water with the hands after performing ghusl for janaba

272. It is related that Maymuna bint al-Harith said, "I put down water for the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to perform ghusl and screened him. He poured water onto his hands and washed them. Then he poured water onto his left hand with his right hand and washed his private parts. Then he struck his hand on the earth and wiped it and then washed it. Then he rinsed out his mouth and cleaned his nose by sniffing up and blowing out and washed his face and arms. Then he poured water over his head and poured it over his body. Then he moved to one side and washed his feet. He left shaking the water from his hands."

XIX: Beginning with the right side of the head in ghusl

273. It is related from 'A'isha, "When one of us was in janaba, she would pour water over her head three times using both hands and then rub the right side of her head with one hand and the left side with the other hand."

XX: Doing ghusl naked in a secluded place, or while screened, and being screened is better

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "It is more proper for someone to be modest before Allah than before people."

274. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The Banu Isra'il used to bathe naked, looking at each other. Musa used to take a bath alone. They said, 'By Allah! The only thing which prevents Musa from bathing with us is that he has a scrotal hernia. Once Musa went to take a bath and placed his garment on a stone and the stone ran off with it. Musa went after it, saying, 'My clothes, O stone!' until the Banu Isra'il looked at Musa and said, 'By Allah, there is nothing wrong with Musa.' He took his garment and began to strike the stone."

Abu Hurayra said, "By Allah, the stone still has six or seven marks from the beating."

275. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When Ayyub was bathing while naked, golden locusts began to fall on him and Ayyub began to collect them in his garment. His Lord called to him, 'O Ayyub! Have We not made you wealthy enough not to need what you see?' He said, 'Yes, indeed, by Your might, but I still need Your blessing!.'"

The same is related from Abu Hurayra with another isnad.

XXI: Screening oneself when doing ghusl in the presence of other people

276. It is related that Umm Hani' bint Abi Talib said, "I went to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in the year of the Conquest of Makka and found him doing ghusl while Fatima was screening him. He asked, 'Who is it?' I said, 'It is Umm Hani.'"

277. It is related that Maymuna said, 'I screened the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when he was doing a ghusl for janaba. He washed his hand and then poured water on his left hand with his right hand and washed his private parts. Then he rubbed his hand on the wall or the earth. Then he performed wudu' like he did wudu' for the prayer except for his feet. Then he poured water over his body. Then he moved to one side and washed his feet."

Abu 'Awana and Ibn Fudayl corroborated [in relating from A'mash], the screening.

XXII: On a woman having a sexual dream

278. It is related that Umm Salama, the Umm al-Mu'minin, said, "Umm Sulaym, the wife of Abu Talha, came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'Messenger of Allah, Allah is not ashamed of the truth. Does a woman have to perform a ghusl when she has a sexual dream?' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Yes, if she sees any discharge.'"

XXIII: The sweat of someone who is in janaba. A Muslim does not become impure

279. It is related that Abu Hurayra said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, met me in one of the streets of Madina when I was junub. I slipped away from him and went and did ghusl. Then I returned back, the Prophet said, 'Where have you been, Abu Hurayra?' I replied, "I was junub, and I do not like to be in your company when I am not in a pure state.' He said, 'Glory be to Allah! A Muslim never becomes impure!'"

XXIV: A person who is in janaba can go out and walk in the market and elsewhere

'Ata' said, "A person who is in janaba can be cupped, have his nails clipped and his head shaved even if he has not done wudu'.

280. It is related from Anas ibn Malik, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to have sex with all his wives in the same night and he had nine wives."

281. It is related from Abu Hurayra, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, met me when I was in janaba and took my hand and I went with him until he sat down. Then I slipped away, went home and performed a ghusl. When I came back, he was still sitting there and he said, 'Where have you been, Abu Hirr?' I told him about it, and he said, 'Glory be to Allah! Abu Hirr, the believer never becomes impure.'"

XXV: A person who is in janaba staying at home and doing wudu' before doing ghusl

282. It is related that Abu Salama said, "I asked 'A'isha, 'Did the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, go to sleep when he was in janaba?' She said, 'Yes, but he did wudu'.'"

XXVI: The sleeping of someone in janaba

283. It is related that 'Umar ibn al-Khattab asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "Can one of us sleep while he is in janaba?" He replied, "Yes, if you do wudu', then you can sleep in a state of janaba."

XXVII: Someone who is in janaba may do wudu' before he goes to sleep

284. It is related from 'A'isha, "Whenever the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, wanted to go to sleep when he was in janaba, he would wash his private parts and do wudu' like he did wudu' for the prayer."

285. It is related that 'Abdullah said, "'Umar asked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, for a fatwa (legal decision), 'Can any of us go to sleep when he is in janaba?' He replied, 'Yes, if he does wudu'.'"

286. It is related from 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar that 'Umar ibn al-Khattab mentioned to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, that he sometimes found himself in janaba at night. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, told him, 'Do wudu', wash your private parts, and then sleep.'" (Muwatta, Book 2, 78)

XXVIII: When male and female private parts meet

287. It is related from Abu Hurayra, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'When a man lies between a woman's limbs and penetrates her, then ghusl becomes obligatory.'"

'Amr ibn Marzuq corroborated this, relating something similar from Shu'ba [from Qatada]. The same thing is related from al-Hasan.

XXIX: Washing off what comes from a woman's private parts

288. It is related that Zayd ibn Khalid al-Juhani asked 'Uthman ibn 'Affan, "What do you think about a man who has sexual intercourse with his wife and does not ejaculate?" 'Uthman said, "He should do wudu' as he does wudu' for the prayer and wash his private parts. I heard that from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace."

Zayd said, "I asked 'Ali ibn Talib, az-Zubayr ibn al-'Awwam, Talha ibn 'Ubaydullah and Ubayy ibn Ka'b about it and they also said that.

Urwa ibn az-Zubayr said that he heard that from Abu Ayyub that he heard from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

289. It is related that Ubayy ibn Ka'b said, "Messenger of Allah, what about when a man has intercourse with a woman and does not ejaculate?"

He said, "He should wash what has touched the woman and then do wudu' and pray."

Abu 'Abdullah [al-Bukhari] said, "Doing ghusl is safer and that was the last order. We have made their disagreement clear."