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Ablution is the act of washing oneself, in particular for hygiene and for ritual purification.

Wudu ("partial ablution") is the procedure for washing parts of the body using water in preparation for formal prayers (salah) or handling and reading the Qur'an.

Ghusl refers to the full ablution required in Islam for various rituals and prayers; mandatory for any adult Muslim after having sexual intercourse, any sexual discharge (e.g. of semen), completion of the menstrual cycle, giving birth, and death by natural causes.

Shaykh Gibril Haddad commenting on the erotic nature of surah 78:33[1] (a Qur'anic reference to virgins in heaven), once noted that some men may need ghusl just for hearing the verse.[2]

Tayammum is the act of dry ablution using sand or dust, which may be performed in place of wudu or ghusl if no clean water is readily available.

See Also

  • Hygiene - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Hygiene


  1. "And voluptuous women of equal age;" - Qur'an 78:33
  2. Shaykh Gibril Haddad, "Sex with slaves and women's rights", Living Islam, June 2, 2003 (archived), http://mac.abc.se/home/onesr/f/Sex_w.slaves.a.women.html.