Salam, I am a 25 year old Muslim and I have been wanting to know on how to perform Ghusl. Is it possible to A) just take a shower only with the intention that its for ghusl and that I am cleansing myself from major and minor impurities for the sake of Allah or B) take a full shower and then do the sunnah steps after the shower.Shukran for the time to read my question.
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 is His slave and Messenger.
If by ghusl you mean the ghusl to remove the major impurity -Janaabah (sexual defilement), menstruation, or Nifaas (post-partum bleeding) - then the intention in this ghusl is not the same as the intention to cleanse oneself from major and minor impurities, as you mentioned, because purification from impurities does not require an intention, rather you perform ghusl with the intention to remove the major impurity -Janaabah (sexual defilement), menstruation or Nifaas (post-partum bleeding)- intending to make permissible the acts of worship such as prayer for which purification from the major impurity is a condition.
Kashshaf al-Qinaa’, one of the Hanbali books, describes the intention for obligatory ghusl as: (to intend), i.e. to remove the major impurity, or to make the prayer permissible, and the like. This is the intention in ghusl. As for the intention being for Allah, there is no doubt that a Muslim only performs ghusl in compliance with the command of Allah Almighty, but it is necessary to have the intention that distinguishes obligatory ghusl from others.
As for the description of ghusl, the obligatory ghusl has two characteristics:
1) The characteristic of the obligatory ghusl which when performed is sufficient, and the major impurity is removed. It is the one that combines two things: the intention, which is to do ghusl with the intention of removing the major impurity, and washing the entire body with water.
2) The characteristic of the complete ghusl is the one that combines the obligatory and the desirable, and its description is as follows:
Washing hands before putting them into the vessel, then pouring water with the right hand over the left and washing the private parts, then performing ablution fully as one does for prayer - washing the feet can be delayed until the end of ghusl - then rubbing the hair of the head so water reaches its roots and pouring three handfuls of water until all of it is washed, then pouring water over the right side, then on the left side. This is the most complete and best ghusl.
Thus, you know that mustahabb (recommended) actions – such as ablution and washing hands – precede washing the entire body, i.e. before bathing and not after it.
Allah knows best.