Question # 287: Is it correct to pray without wudu immediately after shower, meaning can shower be considered the same as wudu? Also, what is the sunnah way of ghusl?

Bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: Performing ghusl from janaabah (impurity following sexual activity, menstruation or nifaas – post-natal bleeding) takes the place of wudu’, in which case it is sufficient to rinse one’s mouth and nose, then washing entire body with water, with the intention of performing ghusl and wudu’ and there is no need to do wudu’. However, it is mustahabb (recommended) to perform wudu’ first before making ghusl following the example of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم). But, if one of the things that break wudu’ takes place after ghusl, then he must perform wudu’. On the other hand, if a person takes bath to clean oneself or to cool down or for Jumu’ah prayer (other than from janaabah), then this does not take the place of wudu’, in all such cases, it is essential to do wudu’ before or after ghusl.

According to the sunnah of Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), the correct manner/order of performing ghusl is:

  1. having niyyah (intention),
  2. saying ‘Bismillah’,
  3. washing both hands three times,
  4. washing the private part,
  5. performing a complete wudu’ (with regard to washing the feet, there is some difference of opinion among scholars; according to one report, he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) would wash them after doing wudu’ and according to another report, he performed wudu’ for prayer before doing ghusl),
  6. pouring water through one’s hair three times, letting the water reach down to the roots of the hair,
  7. pouring water over the entire body, beginning with the right side, then the left, washing under the armpits, inside the ears, inside the navel, inside the toes and whatever part of the body can be easily rubbed.

Long Answer: Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) says in the Qur’an: “If you are in a state of Janaabah (i.e. after a sexual discharge), purify yourselves (bathe your whole body)” (Soorah al-Ma’idah, 5:6)

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “There are two kinds of ghusl from janaabah – sufficient and complete.  Sufficient ghusl means that you rinse your mouth and nose, then you wash your entire body with water, even if that means plunging yourself into deep water in one go. Complete ghusl means washing your private parts and anywhere else that is contaminated with traces of impurity, then you do full wudu’, then you pour water over your head three times, making sure that it reaches the roots of the hair. Then you wash the right side of the body then the left side.” (I’laam al-Musaafireen bi Ba’d Aadaab wa Ahkaam al-Safar wa ma yakhuss al-Mallaaheen al-Jawwiyyeen by ibn al-‘Uthaymeen)

He also said: “…There is no need to repeat wudu’ after doing ghusl. But, if one of the things that break wudu’ takes place, and he breaks his wudu’ after doing ghusl, then he must do wudu’. But if he does not break his wudu’ then his doing ghusl from janaabah takes the place of wudu’, whether he did wudu’ before doing ghusl or not. But it is essential to pay attention to rinsing the mouth and nose, because doing so is essential in both wudu’ and ghuslGhusl that is not prescribed or required according to shari’ah, does not take the place of wudu’, because it is not an act of worship” (Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen)

However, it is mustahabb (recommended) for a Muslim to do wudu’ before ghusl, following the example of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم). Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “…to purify ourselves from janaabah, i.e., we should ensure that water reaches all parts of the body when doing ghusl. But it is better for the person who is doing ghusl to do wudu’ first, because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) used to wash his private parts after washing his hands, then he would do wudu’ as for prayer, then he would pour water over his head, and when he thought that it had reached the skin, he poured water over his head three times, then he would wash the rest of his body. But if a person takes a bath to clean himself or to cool himself down [other than from janaabah], then this does not take the place of wudu’, because that is not an act of worship, rather it is just an ordinary action, although Islam prescribes cleanliness…” (Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen)

It says in Sharh Mukhtasar Khaleel by al-Kharashi (Maaliki scholar): “If the person who is purifying himself limits it to ghusl and does not do wudu’, that is sufficient. That applies to obligatory ghusl; as for other types of ghusl, it is not sufficient with no need for wudu’, and he must do wudu’ if he wants to pray.”

It says in Haashiyat al-Saawi ‘ala al-Sharh al-Sagheer: “Ghusl from janaabah is sufficient with no need for wudu’, but if it is not obligatory, such as ghusl for Jumu’ah or Eid, then it is not sufficient with no need for wudu’, and he must do wudu’ if he wants to pray.”

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) said, as it says in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa: “…if the ghusl is mustahabb, such as ghusl for Jumu’ah or to cool down, then it does not count instead of wudu’, rather it is essential to do wudu’ before or after, because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Allah does not accept the prayer of any one of you if he breaks his wudu’ unless he does wudu’.” (Agreed upon) …”

According to the practice of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), the correct manner of performing ghusl is:

  1. [having niyyah (intention),
  2. saying ‘Bismillah’],
  3. wash both hands three times,
  4. wash the [private part],
  5. make a complete ablution (wudu’) (like the one made for prayer–the Prophet used to delay washing his feet until the end of his ghusl if he was using a tub, and so on),
  6. rub water through one’s hair three times, letting the water reach down to the roots of the hair,
  7. pour water over the entire body, beginning with the right side, then the left, washing under the armpits, inside the ears, inside the navel, inside the toes and whatever part of the body can be easily rubbed. This account is based on the following report from ‘Aishah (رضي الله عنها): “When the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) took his bath after sexual intercourse, he would begin by washing his hands. Then he would pour water from his right hand to his left and wash his sexual organs, make the ablution for prayer, take some water and put his fingers to the roots of his hair to the extent that he sees that the skin is wet, then pour water over his head three times and then over the rest of his body.” (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim) In one narration it states, “He used to rub his head with his hands until he was certain the water reached his skin, and then he poured water over it three times.” It is also related that she said, “When the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) would perform ghusl after having had sexual intercourse, he would call for some water, which he would pour on his right hand to wash the right side of his head and then the left. He would then take water with both hands and pour it over his head.” Said Maimunah (رضي الله عنها), “I put water out for the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) to perform ghusl. He washed his hands two or three times, and then he poured water from his right hand to his left and washed his private parts, wiped his hands on the earth, rinsed his mouth and nose, washed his face and hands, washed his head three times, poured water over his body, and finally moved from his place and washed his feet. I brought him a towel, but he did not take it, for he shook the water off with his hands.” (Related by the group) (‘Fiqh Us-Sunnah’ by As-Sayyid Sabiq)

Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni: “…With regard to washing the feet after doing ghusl, there was some dispute as to what Ahmad actually said. According to one report, he said, ‘I would rather wash them (the feet) after doing wudu’, because of the hadith of Maymoonah.’ According to another report, he said, ‘We should act according to the hadith of ‘Aa’ishah, which says that he did wudu’ for prayer before doing ghusl. And Allah knows best.”

(Most part of the above reply is based on various answers provided by Islam Q&A on the topic, unless stated otherwise)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam