Answered by Shaykh Sohail Hanif, SunniPath Academy Teacher
I prayed after having done ghusl. It later occurred to me that I hadn’t washed the inside of my ears out during ghusl. What is the ruling regarding washing the inside of the ears during ghusl and what of the prayer that I prayed after ghusl – is it valid or does it need repeating?
There is only one obligatory element to the ghusl, namely to wash everything that one can from one’s body that does not involve undue hardship. This is why it is obligatory to wash the mouth in the ghusl as it is possible to wash it without undue hardship. The same applies to the ears. It is obligatory to wash what is exterior from the ears. One is not expected to pour water down into the inside of the ear as that is clearly harmful. So in other words one is expected to wash from the ears what one can without causing oneself hardship and harm. [al-Hadiyya al-Ala’iyya, 28]
As for the specific scenario mentioned in the question, it is hard to imagine how one can perform a ghusl, especially if in a modern shower and especially if one’s washed one’s body three times, with washing one’s hair to the roots and one’s neck and not manage to get one’s ears wet. It seems most likely that one’s ears did get washed so one need not do anything unless one has a specific reason to believe that one’s ears did not get washed in which case one should repeat the ghusl and prayer.
And Allah knows best.