Several counts of intercourse require one Ghusl only
Fatwa No: 366523

  • Fatwa Date:3-1-2018 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 16, 1439
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Assalaamu alaykum. I am a sunni Muslim. I do not follow a Mathhab (School of Thought), and I do not know if I have to follow a Mathhab, and if I had to, I would not know which one I should follow. My family is from Palestine originally, but I live in the US. I heard that I have to follow the Mathhab which the people follow where I live. Most Muslims where I live are Indians and Pakistanis, and I do not know what Mathhab they follow. The reason I metioned Mathhabs is because I have the following questions, and I want to know the answers according to the Mathhab which I have to follow, if I have to follow one. Otherwise, I want to do things the way most Sunni Muslims do them. Here are my questions:
1. If a person has sex three times, how many times does he need to perform Ghusl (ritual bath)? Is one Ghusl enough, or does the person need to perform three Ghusls?
2. If a Muslim person who is possessed by jinn says in front of people: "I now disbelieve in Allah" three times, at three different ocasions, does he need to do testify to his faith three times and perform Ghusl three times, or only one time?
3. If a Muslim says something like, "I now disbelieve in Allah," and then has sex, does he need to perform Ghusl twice or once?
4. If a person had sex but no impurities touched his clothes, can he wear those clothes and pray in them after he performs Ghusl, or does he have to wash them?
5. If a Muslim drinks alcohol, does he become a disbeliever, and does he need to perform Ghusl and testify to his faith, and which does he do first; Ghusl or testifying?
6. If a muslim drinks alcohol, does he have to wait 24 hours before being able to perform Ghusl and pray?
May Allah reward you.


All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

First of all, we have clarified that the visitor to our website can send one question only at a time and that if more than one question is sent, we shall answer the first one only and disregard the rest of the questions. Since the dear questioner has sent several questions, we shall answer the first one only; he can resend the rest of the questions one at a time.

When a person has sexual intercourse several times before performing Ghusl, he is required to perform one Ghusl only. He is not required to perform Ghusl for each sexual encounter; rather, he should perform one Ghusl with the intention of purification from the state of major ritual impurity (Janaabah). The evidence is the hadith which was narrated by Anas ibn Maalik, may Allah be pleased with him, and in which he related that the Prophet, sallallahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, used to have intercourse with his wives and then perform one Ghusl. [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim; this is the wording in Saheeh Muslim] If he has intercourse and then performs Ghusl and then has intercourse again, he is required to perform Ghusl again.

You should know that you are not obliged to follow a certain Mathhab or to follow the Mathhab that people follow in your country of residence. Rather, you have to ask a reliable scholar regarding religious matters and follow his opinion regardless of whether he issues his fatwa in accordance with the Mathhab of Maalik, Ash-Shaafiʻi, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, or Abu Haneefah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them all.

Ash-Shawkaani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his book Irshaad Al-Fuhool:

The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, did not criticize the lay-Muslims for imitating some Companions in certain matters and other Companions in other matters. Some Hanbali scholars mentioned that this was the Mathhab of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, as he said to some of his followers, ‘Do not force people to follow your Mathhab and thus cause them inconvenience. Let them avail themselves of the concessions in the different Mathhabs.’ And he was asked about a divorce case and replied, ‘Divorce takes effect in this case. It takes effect.’ The asker said to him, ‘If someone (else) gave me a fatwa that it does not take effect, is it permissible (for me to follow his opinion)?’ He replied, ‘Yes.’ He also said, ‘The early Muslim generation used to follow the views of whoever scholars they wished before the Mathhabs came into being. As for the case in which a layman commits himself to following a certain Mathhab, the scholars held different opinions as to whether he may go against his Mathhab in some issues and follow another Mathhab. Some said that it is impermissible, others said that it is permissible, and yet others said that if he had already followed his Mathhab in this issue, it is impermissible for him to follow another Mathhab regarding the same issue; otherwise, it is permissible... Some said that it is permissible on the condition that he feels good in his heart about that view without the intention of evading Shariah injunctions and as long as it does not contradict a ruling that was already issued against him. This was the chosen view of Ibn Daqeeq Al-ʻEed.

Please, refer to fatwas 86931 and 202966 highlighting that a Muslim is not obliged to follow a certain Mathhab; rather, the Mathhab of a lay-Muslim is that of the scholar who issues fatwas to him. And refer to fatwa 91152 underlining that repeated intercourse does not require except one Ghusl, and fatwa 84979 highlighting that semen is ritually pure and that when it stains clothes, one is not required to wash it off. Please also refer to fatwa 281668 underlining that it is incumbent on the person who drinks alcohol to repent to Allah, even if he drank it over and over again.

Allah knows best.

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