I would like to know the correct way to perform Ghusl for ladies. Is it to be done with clothing and head covered, and what are the correct steps and recitations to perform a complete Ghusl for purification after the end of menses or after marital intimacy.
Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
Thank you for your question.
Aishah (ra) narrated that Asma (ra) asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) about ghusl following menses. He responded: “Let one of you take her water and lotus leaves and clean herself well, then let her pour water over her head and rub it vigorously so that it will reach the roots of her hair. Then let her pour the water over herself, then take a piece of cloth scented with musk and purify herself.” Asma (ra) said: How should she purify herself? He said: “SubhanAllah, purify yourself with it!” AIshah (ra) whispered to her to perfume the area where blood flowed. She then asked him about ghusl in the case of post sexual impurity to which the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Let her take water and clean herself well, then let her pour water over her head and rub it so that it reaches the roots of the hair, then let her pour water over herself.” Aishah said: The best of women are the women of the Ansaar! They don’t let shyness prevent them from understanding their religion properly.” (Muslim)
What we take from the hadeeth is that the ghusl following a womans menses is more thorough than other times. The only obligatory condition of ghusl after the intention is that water touches each part of the body.
As for the Sunnah, it is as follows:
1. To wash your hands and private parts
2. To do a complete Wudu
3. To pour water over your head and body three times
In the case of a woman after her menses, she should also:
1. Make sure she washes all of her hair rigorously to the root
2. Use something scented to wash her private area thoroughly
After marital intimacy if she has braided hair, she does not need to unbraid her hair but instead pour water over her head three times and rub her hair as much as she can. This is explained in Saheeh Muslim in the hadeeth of Umm Salama (ra) who asked the Prophet (peace be upon him) about this.
And Allah knows best.
Answered by Shaykh Omar Suleiman
Hadith of the Day Imam
Director – Islamic Learning Foundation