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Ghusl al-Janaba

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Ghusl al-Janāba (Arabic: غسل الجنابة) is a ghusl which becomes compulsory after janaba. This ghusl becomes wajib (compulsory) for performing the acts of worship which are subject to tahara, such as: salat. The one who has performed ghusl al-janaba must not make wudu for performing salat, i.e. one can perform salat by ghusl al-janaba. There are different opinions whether one can perform salat by other ghusls or not.

The Qur'an prohibits junub from performing salat before ghusl.

Factors of Janaba

One enters the state of janaba through two ways: one, discharge of semen; two, penetration of male organ.

In the Qur'an and Hadith

The Qur'an prohibits junub (the one who is in the state of janaba) from performing salat before ghusl: "O, you who have faith! Do not approach prayer when you are intoxicated, [not] until you know what you are saying, nor in the state of janaba —except while passing through— until you perform ghusl." [1]

397 hadiths is narrated about janaba and ghusl al-janaba just in Wasa'il al-Shi'a and Mustadrak al-wasa'il.

Wajib or Mustahab

According to majority of faqihs, it is mustahab (recommended) to perform ghusl al-janaba as soon as possible after the occurrence of janaba. However, it becomes wajib for performing the acts that are subject to tahara, such as: salat, tawaf, sawm and so on. Technically, ghusl al-janaba is wajib al-ghayri (compulsory due to something else); thus, one cannot perform ghusl al-janaba without being in the state of janaba, thinking that ghusl al-janaba is mustahab.

How to Perform

Like other ghusls, ghusl al-janaba is performed in two ways: tartibi (sequential) and irtimasi (by immersion). It only differs from other ghusls in niyya (intention).


  • If janaba is caused by seminal discharge, according to majority of Shi'a faqihs, istibra' is mustahab before performing ghusl.
  • Washing both hands, madmada (rinsing inside the mouth), istinshaq (rinsing inside the nose), saying "Bismi Allah" (in the name of Allah) and reciting the narrated supplications during the ghusl are mustahab (recommended).
  • Ghusl al-janaba obviates the need for wudu. According to majority of faqihs, wudu is not mustahab after ghusl al-janaba; however, some said that making wudu after ghusl al-janaba is not allowed.
  • If one becomes junub while performing ghusl al-janaba, the ghusl will be invalid, and one must start over. But if al-hadath al-asghar (an act that voids wudu, such as urinating) occurs during the ghusl, there are disagreements about the invalidity of such ghusl; as according to those who believe that ghusl is valid there are disagreement about the compulsion of making wudu for certain acts of worship, such as salat.
  • Having sexual intercourse with one's spouse, even if the one cannot perform ghusl, and the time of salat has already entered is permissible; thus, one must do tayammum for performing salat. However, if one cannot even perform tayammum, having intercourse is not allowed.

Validity of Sawm and Ghusl al-Janaba

According to majority of Shi'a faqihs, validity of fasting in the month of Ramadan depends on performing ghusl al-janaba before the adhan of salat al-fajr (morning prayer). If a junub (the one who is in the state of janaba) do not perform ghusl before adhan, his/her fast on that day is invalid and s/he must perform the qada of it and pay kaffara (ransom) for it. This issue is technically called "staying in janaba" in jurisprudential terminology.

Wudu after Ghusl al-Janaba

Shi'a faqihs have no disagreement that ghusl al-janaba obviates the need for wudu, and most of them claimed ijma' (consensus) on this fatwa. In addition, majority of them said that is not permissible to make wudu after ghusl al-janaba; however, al-Shaykh al-Tusi said that wudu is mustahab after it.

There are disagreements among marja's whether other ghusls obviate the need for wudu or not; majority of faqihs said they do not. Nevertheless, al-Sayyid al-Murtada, Ibn Junayd and al-Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim said it is not improbable that they do.


  1. The Holy Quran 4:43


  • The material for this article is mainly taken from غسل جنابت in Farsi Wikishia.