Performing the shorter version of ghusl regularly
Fatwa No: 315538

  • Fatwa Date:23-2-2016 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 15, 1437
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Can one keep performing the shorter version of ghusl after intercourse on a regular basis or is it to be done only when one is short of time.


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

It is permissible to suffice with the shorter version of ghusl by pouring water over the whole body whether the person is short of time or not. However, it is recommended to perform ghusl with its acts of sunnah and recommended acts so as to earn more reward and follow the sunnah of the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam.

The Maaliki book Haashiyat Al-ʻAdawi ʻala Sharh Kifaayat At-Taalib Ar-Rabbaani reads, “Carrying out the recommended acts of worship is recommended. Carrying out the acts whose performance entails neglecting a religious obligation or incurring harm on the body is prohibited (haram). Doing whatever entails neglecting the recommended acts is disliked (makrooh).

The description of the full ghusl is as follows:

First, the person makes (internal) intention and says “Bismillaah” then washes his private parts and then makes wudhoo' (ritual ablution) as he makes it before prayers; then he pours water on his head three times such that the water reaches the roots of the hair. After that, he pours the water over his whole body and finally washes his feet.

The main evidence in this regard is the report narrated on the authority of ʻAa'ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her that whenever the Prophet, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, made ghusl after sexual intercourse, he would begin by washing his hands, then pouring water with his right hand on his left hand and washing his sexual organ. He would then perform ablution, then take some water and run his fingers through the roots of his hair. Then, he would pour three handfuls on his head, then pour water over the rest of his body and subsequently wash his feet. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Another version of the hadeeth reads, “ ...when, he passed his fingers through his hair until he felt that the whole skin of the head had become wet, then he would pour water thrice over the rest of his body.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Moreover, it has been narrated on the authority of Maymoonah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her that she said, “I placed water near the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, to make ghusl with. He washed his hands twice or thrice and then poured water with his right hand over his left hand and washed his private parts. He then struck his hand against the earth and rubbed it with force and then performed ablution for the prayer and then poured three handfuls of water on his head and then washed his whole body after which he moved aside from that place and washed his feet.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

As to the short version of ghusl, it is to pour water over the whole body with the intention of purification from sexual intercourse.

Allaah knows best.

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