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What is the definition of ghasl

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

in Wudu, we are required to wash the face, arms upto elbows and the feet until the ankles and wipe the head.

My question is, “What is the meaning of washing”.

Is it necessary that the arm is put under the tap and water flows over it.

If a person is doing wudu from a container, and he takes water with the left hand and rubs it on the right arm, is that valid for the right arm to be washed.  Is this regared as washing the arm, or is it only wiping the arm?

So what defines or what is regarded as washing a limb in wudu, and what is regarded as wiping?


Allahmah Ibn Abideen Shami raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) has given the definition of ‘ghasl’ (washing) by writing that “it is the flowing of water with drops falling”. (Raddul Muhtar p.208 v.1)

With regards to your question, it is not necessary that the arms have to be put under a tap for the washing to be correct. If a person had a container of water and he uses his left hand to rub water onto his right arm in such a way that drops of water fall from his arm, his wudu will be done.

Masah on the other hand means the passing of a wet hand over a particular part of the body without drops falling. (Raddul Muhtar p.213 v.1)

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham.

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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