Showering instead of full baths (ghusl) or wudu

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Sidi Fadi Qutub Zada

Is it enough to have a shower instead of a full bath or wudu?

Also my dentist told me that I need to use a certain mouthwash as my gums have become very bad, when I got the bottle I read the ingredients and it contains alcohol, is it ok to use the mouthwash, the alternatives to this mouthwash also contain the same.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful


In the name of Allah, most Gracious and Merciful

Assalamu alaikum,

In response to your first question Sidi, it is enough to have a shower instead of a ‘full bath’ or ablution (wudu) while fulfilling several conditions.

** If having a shower in place of a purificatory bath (ghusl), one must fulfill the three obligatory actions:

Taking water into (1) the nose and (2) the mouth once, (3) And washing the entire body once. (One must wash everything that is possible to wash without hardship, such as the ears, belly button, mustache, eyebrows, inside the beard, and the hair. Women should move their earrings so that water reaches the pierced area) [Ilm al-Hal 11, Faraz Rabbani’s translation].

** If having a shower in place of a wudu,

One must wash the face, arms up to the elbows, and feet up to the anklebones, completely with water, and must wipe a quarter of the head once [Nur al-Idah 1:97-99].

One should not, however, leave the confirmed sunna actions in both the ghusl and wudu. Leaving them is somewhat disliked (makruh tanzihan), and becomes sinful if made a habit.

Alcohol in mouthwash

In regards to your second question, it is permissible to use mouthwash that contains alcohol,

“as it is invariably synthetic alcohol and not the khamr (wine) that is absolutely impermissible and filthy.

However, it is more religiously precautious not to, because of the difference of opinion about it.” (see below)

And Allah alone gives success.

Fadi Qutub Zada,
Amman, Jordan

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