We can perform salah after performing wudhu or ghusl. But if I just take a regular bath without performing wudhu then can I pray salah?

Question: What are the obligatory acts of purification required to be able to perform salah?

If you are taking a regular shower, you have not performed regular Wudu since Allah swt says in surat Al-Ma'idah ayah 6

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ وَإِن كُنتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُوا وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَىٰ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنكُم مِّنَ الْغَائِطِ أَوْ لَامَسْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُوا مَاءً فَتَيَمَّمُوا صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا فَامْسَحُوا بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُم مِّنْهُ مَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَٰكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful.

(5:6)

Thus, there is a specific ritual and sequence necessitated for Wudu. The above ayah shows the steps and the order. Of course, a person taking shower may perform these steps in the shower preceded by the intention of Wudu, but a simple shower without them is not enough. The prophet ﷺ has shown us some extra sunnan which we add to perform Isbagh or complete Wudu for higher status and more reward. The ayah above shows us the steps for the sufficient Wudu.

However, if performing ghusl is obligatory (menstruation, janabah, etc), you do not need to perform Wudu according to one of the opinions of Ash-Shafi'i because when we look at the second part of the ayah, we realize that Allah swt has distinguished between the reasons of breaking the Wudu حدث اصغر and breaking purity حدث اكبر. In the first instance, Allah has given the steps of Wudu, and in the second instance, Allah has given the order of Taharah (purity). This is the one of the two opinions of Shafi'i and the opinion of Malki, but it is not the opinion of Ahmad, who necessitates Wudu after or before ghusul.

It is important to note that there are two types of ghusl: sufficient and complete ghusl. The sufficient ghusl is ghusl where water reaches all the parts of the body including rinsing the mouth and nose, while the complete ghusl is the one that is either preceded or followed by Wudu. The steps are:

  1. Wash hands
  2. Wash private parts
  3. Make Wudu
  4. Wash head three times
  5. Pour Water on the whole body starting with the right side first

The following three ahadeeth explain the steps of the complete ghusl:

حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدَانُ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا هِشَامُ بْنُ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذَا اغْتَسَلَ مِنَ الْجَنَابَةِ غَسَلَ يَدَيْهِ، وَتَوَضَّأَ وُضُوءَهُ لِلصَّلاَةِ ثُمَّ اغْتَسَلَ، ثُمَّ يُخَلِّلُ بِيَدِهِ شَعَرَهُ، حَتَّى إِذَا ظَنَّ أَنْ قَدْ أَرْوَى بَشَرَتَهُ، أَفَاضَ عَلَيْهِ الْمَاءَ ثَلاَثَ مَرَّاتٍ، ثُمَّ غَسَلَ سَائِرَ جَسَدِهِ‏.‏ وَقَالَتْ كُنْتُ أَغْتَسِلُ أَنَا وَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ، صلى الله عليه وسلم مِنْ إِنَاءٍ وَاحِدٍ نَغْرِفُ مِنْهُ جَمِيعًا‏

الراوي : عائشة أم المؤمنين | المحدث : البخاري | المصدر : صحيح البخاري الصفحة أو الرقم: 272 | خلاصة حكم المحدث : صحيح

Narrated Hisham bin 'Urwa: (on the authority of his father) 'Aisha said, "Whenever Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) took the bath of Janaba, he cleaned his hands and performed ablution like that for prayer and then took a bath and rubbed his hair, till he felt that the whole skin of the head had become wet, then he would pour water thrice and wash the rest of the body." 'Aisha further said, "I and Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) used to take a bath from a single water container, from which we took water simultaneously." (Sahih al-Bukhari 272, 273)

 

حَدَّثَنَا الْحُمَيْدِيُّ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا الأَعْمَشُ، عَنْ سَالِمِ بْنِ أَبِي الْجَعْدِ، عَنْ كُرَيْبٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، عَنْ مَيْمُونَةَ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم اغْتَسَلَ مِنَ الْجَنَابَةِ، فَغَسَلَ فَرْجَهُ بِيَدِهِ، ثُمَّ دَلَكَ بِهَا الْحَائِطَ ثُمَّ غَسَلَهَا، ثُمَّ تَوَضَّأَ وُضُوءَهُ لِلصَّلاَةِ، فَلَمَّا فَرَغَ مِنْ غُسْلِهِ غَسَلَ رِجْلَيْهِ

الراوي : ميمونة بنت الحارث زوج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم | المحدث : البخاري | المصدر : صحيح البخاري الصفحة أو الرقم: 260 | خلاصة حكم المحدث : صحيح

Narrated Maimuna: The Prophet (ﷺ) took the bath of Janaba. (sexual relation or wet dream). He first cleaned his private parts with his hand, and then rubbed it (that hand) on the wall (earth) and washed it. Then he performed ablution like that for the prayer, and after the bath he washed his feet. (Sahih al-Bukhari 260)

 

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ رضي الله عنها أَنَّ أَسْمَاءَ رضي الله عنها سَأَلَتْ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنْ غُسْلِ الْمَحِيضِ فَقَالَ : ( تَأْخُذُ إِحْدَاكُنَّ مَاءَهَا وَسِدْرَتَهَا ، فَتَطَهَّرُ فَتُحْسِنُ الطُّهُورَ ، ثُمَّ تَصُبُّ عَلَى رَأْسِهَا فَتَدْلُكُهُ دَلْكًا شَدِيدًا ، حَتَّى تَبْلُغَ شُؤُونَ رَأْسِهَا ، ثُمَّ تَصُبُّ عَلَيْهَا الْمَاءَ ، ثُمَّ تَأْخُذُ فِرْصَةً مُمَسَّكَةً فَتَطَهَّرُ بِهَا ، فَقَالَتْ أَسْمَاءُ : وَكَيْفَ تَطَهَّرُ بِهَا ؟ فَقَالَ : سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ ! تَطَهَّرِينَ بِهَا ! فَقَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ كَأَنَّهَا تُخْفِي ذَلِكَ : تَتَبَّعِينَ أَثَرَ الدَّمِ . وَسَأَلَتْهُ عَنْ غُسْلِ الْجَنَابَةِ فَقَالَ ‏"‏ تَأْخُذُ مَاءً فَتَطَهَّرُ فَتُحْسِنُ الطُّهُورَ - أَوْ تُبْلِغُ الطُّهُورَ - ثُمَّ تَصُبُّ عَلَى رَأْسِهَا فَتَدْلُكُهُ حَتَّى تَبْلُغَ شُئُونَ رَأْسِهَا ثُمَّ تُفِيضُ عَلَيْهَا الْمَاءَ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ نِعْمَ النِّسَاءُ نِسَاءُ الأَنْصَارِ لَمْ يَكُنْ يَمْنَعُهُنَّ الْحَيَاءُ أَنْ يَتَفَقَّهْنَ فِي الدِّينِ

الراوي : عائشة أم المؤمنين | المحدث : مسلم | المصدر : صحيح مسلم الصفحة أو الرقم: 332 | خلاصة حكم المحدث : صحيح

Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that Asma asked the Prophet ﷺ about Ghusl following menses. He said: "Let one of you take her water and lotus leaves and clean herself well, then let her pour water over her head and rub it vigorously so that it will reach the roots of her hair. Then let her pour the water over herself, then take a piece of cloth scented with musk and purify herself." Asma' said: How should she purify herself? He said: "Subhan-Allah! Purify yourself with it." Aishah said – as if she whispered it to her – Follow the traces of blood. She (Asma) then further asked about bathing after sexual intercourse. He (the Holy Prophet) said: She should take water and cleanse herself well or complete the ablution and then (pour water) on her head and rub it till it reaches the roots of the hair (of her) head and then pour water on her. 'A'isha said: How good are the women of Ansar (helpers) that their shyness does not prevent them from learning religion. (Sahih Muslim 332)

Whichever school of thought you follow, the complete ghusl gives more thawab since you are following the sunnah of the Prophet sallah Allah 3allayhi wa sallam, and all you have to do is do the steps of Wudu in the shower.

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