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Baseless misgivings during ghusl

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Hamza Karamali, SunniPath Academy Teacher

When i go for a ghusl i usually take a very long time and i keep on washing the same part of my body several times due to doubts of whether water has reached everywhere and this wastes a lot of time what should i do?

Do i need to scrub every part of my body in ghusl for example what should one do when one washes his arms in ghusl and it is not possible to scrub the arms and pour water at the same time will only pouring water over certain areas suffice?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

1. Do I have to be certain that I’ve washed everything?

Scholars of the Shafi`i school explicitly mention in their books that what the Sacred Law requires of us during wudu and ghusl is confidence that we have washed the entire limb, not certainty. In other words, we are not required to be 100% certain that we have washed every speck of skin of our body. As long as we believe that we have most probably washed everything, we should simply move on.

I have heard Shaykh Nuh Keller give a wonderful practical explanation of this ruling: one should imagine oneself as an average religious Muslim who is concerned about his/her religion. Such Muslims throughout the ages have been careful when performing their acts of purification, but not to the point of obsession. One should aim for 95% perfection and then get on with one’s life. Doing anything else only aids Shaytan in convincing us that our religion is too hard for us to follow, when Allah Most High clearly says quite the opposite in the Quran: “He has not imposed any hardship on you in your religion.” (22:78) You should be able to peform a careful wudu within the span of about one minute, and careful ghusl within the span of about three minutes.

2. Do I have to rub everything?

What is obligatory is to wash the body. It is perfectly possible to wash one’s body without actually rubbing the limbs as water flows over them. So rubbing one’s limbs is not a requirement of wudu or ghusl. It is, however, recommended to rub one’s limbs.

And Allah Most High knows best.


This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.

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