Home » Purity & Salah »

Washing After Sexual Defilement & Menses
Question#1023


Is there any difference in the manner that a man and a woman wash themselves after sexual defilement? Does a woman have to undo her braids or is it sufficient for her just to pour three handfuls of water over her hair as mentioned in the hadith? What is the difference between the washing after sexual defilement and the washing after menses?


There is no difference between men and women when it comes to ghusl after sexual defilement. Neither of them have to undo their hair for ghusl. It is sufficient to pour three handfuls of water over their hair and then to pour water over the rest of their bodies. This is based on the hadith of Umm Salama who said, "O Messenger of Allah,

"I am a woman who has closely plaited hair on her head, should I undo it for making ghusl from sexual defilement?" The Prophet (peace be upon him) told her, "No, it is sufficient for you to throw three handfuls of water on your head and then pour water over yourself, and you will be purified." (Muslim)

However, if the man or woman has sidr, dye or something of that nature in his hair that would keep the water from reaching to the roots of the hair, he or she must remove that. If it is something light and does not keep the water from reaching the roots, it does not have to be removed.

As for the woman making ghusl after her menses, there is a difference of opinion over whether she must undo her hair or not.

The correct opinion is that it is not obligatory upon her to do so. This is because it is mentioned in one of the narrations from Umm Salama, recorded by Muslim, that she said, to the Prophet (peace be upon him) 'LO Messenger of Allah,

"I am a woman who has closely plaited hair on her head, should I undo it for making ghusl from menstruation and sexual defilement?" The Prophet (peace be upon him) told her, "No, it is sufficient for you to throw three handfuls of water on your head and then pour water over yourself, and you will be purified."1

This narration is a clear text that it is not obligatory upon the woman to undo her plaits after either menses or sexual defilement.

However, it is best for her to undo her hair while making ghusl after menses as a precautionary measure, as a means of avoiding the thing in which there is a difference of opinion and as a way of reconciliation of the different evidences.

The Standing Committee

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Footnote

1. The probable problem with this narration, mentioning both sexual defilement and menstruation, was discussed earlier.--JZ