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It is not essential to rub when doing wudoo’ and ghusl

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Question

Is it essential to rub the body with the hand when doing ghusl following a wet dream, or it is sufficient to pour the water over the body?.

Praise be to Allah.

It is not essential to rub
the body when doing wudoo’ or ghusl, according to the majority of scholars.
It is sufficient to make sure that the water reaches all parts of the body
in the case of ghusl. Maalik (may Allaah have mercy on him) differed with
regard to this point. 

Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have
mercy on him) said: Our view is that rubbing the parts of the body when
doing ghusl and wudoo’ is Sunnah, not obligatory. If he pours water over
himself and makes it reach every part without touching it with his hand, or
he immerses himself in a large amount of water, or he stands beneath a
downspout or in the rain with the intention of doing ghusl, and it reaches
his hair and his skin, this is acceptable for wudoo’ and ghusl. This is the
view of all the scholars, except Maalik and al-Muzani, who stipulated that
rubbing the skin is essential for ghusl and wudoo’ to be valid. 

Our companions quoted as
evidence the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) to Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him): “When you find
water, let it touch your skin,” but he did not tell him to do anything more
than that. This is a saheeh hadeeth, and there are many similar reports in
the hadeeth. End quote from al-Majmoo’ (2/214).  

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah
have mercy on him) said: He does not have to pass his hand over his body
when doing ghusl or wudoo’, if he is certain or thinks it most likely that
the water has reached all of his body. This is the view of al-Hasan,
al-Nakha’i, al-Sha’bi, Hammaad, al-Thawri, al-Awzaa’i, al-Shaafa’i, Ishaaq
and ashaab al-ra’i. 

Maalik said: It is
obligatory for him to pass his hand over whatever he can reach. Something
similar was stated by Abu’l-‘Aaliyah. ‘Ata’ said: With regard to the one who
is junub pouring water all over himself, that is not sufficient, rather he
should do ghusl properly, because Allaah says (interpretation of the
meaning): “till you wash your whole body” [al-Nisa’ 4:43], and the
word aghtasala (translated here as “wash your whole body”) refers to
one who rubs himself. And because ghusl is purification from impurity, it is
essential to pass the hands over the body, as in tayammum. 

And there is the report
which was narrated by Umm Salamah who said: I said: “O Messenger of Allaah,
I have braided hair, do I have to do it every time I do ghusl from janaabah
and menstruation?” He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to
her, “Rather it is sufficient for you to pour water over your head three
times, then pour water all over your body, and you will be taahir (pure).”
Narrated by Muslim.  

Because it is an obligatory
ghusl, it is not essential to pass the hands over the body as in the case of
washing off an impure substance. What they have said about ghusl meaning to
pass the hand over something is not sound, because the word ghasala
is used in Arabic to refer to washing a vessel, even if one does not wipe it
with the hand.  And the reason why in tayammum we are commanded to wipe with
the hand is because it is purification using dust and it is not possible to
make the dust reach the skin without passing the hand over it. End quote
from al-Mughni (1/290). 

And Allaah knows best.

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