Manners of Going to a Bath, Washing Head and Body, Applying Noorah and Certain Baths

1. Advantages of a bath:

It is stated from Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) that bathing on alternative days fattens the body, whereas daily washing melts the fat on kidneys and makes the body thin.

According to Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), there are four preventive measures for all diseases:

a) Taking enema

b) Extracting excessive blood from the neck

c) Dropping medicine in the nose

d) Taking bath

According to many traditions, it is stated that a man who believes in God and the Resurrection day will never send his woman to a bath house (common bathroom). There are two points in this order which the Ulema explain. Firstly, in a warm climate, there is no need for a woman to visit a common bath house and secondly, that the woman of the house should never be allowed to a bath house or near the river for this purpose for the sake of entertainment.

2. Etiquette of visiting a bathroom and doas (prayers) which should be recited:

According to all reliable traditions, a person who has faith in the Day of Judgement should wrap a lungi (a cloth around the waist) while taking bath in a bathroom.

Another tradition prohibits a person from seeing another person naked in the bathroom and a person who thus complies God will free himself from the fire of hell.

The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has prohibited bathing naked under the sky and in streams and rivers and also said that there are angels in the streams. In the same manner, washing or bathing naked in bathroom is prohibited.

According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), one should eat a little before going to the bathroom; for if there is anything in the stomach then it will strengthen the body. Thus the temperature of the stomach will be eased. But when the stomach is filled, one should never visit the bathroom. It is further stated that if one wants to grow fat, he should eat a little before entering the bathroom, but if he wants to become slim, then he should visit the bathroom first thing in the morning without taking any food.

3. What should be done in a bathroom:

It is stated from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) that Hazrat Ali (a.s.) prohibited lying flat in the bathroom as it melts the fat. One is also prohibited from rubbing tile on the body as it causes dandruff and leprosy. (According to Ibne Babviah (a.r.) and Mulla Mohammed Taqi (a.r.), the tile in this hadith implies piece of Syria pottery).

Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) has stated that one should not visit the bathroom with one's son. It is also stated that parents are not supposed to see their children naked and the children are not supposed to see their parents

naked. Further, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has cursed that person who sees anyone naked in the bathroom and has also cursed that person who does not wrap a cloth round his waist when in the bathroom.

Another tradition prohibits lying on one's side in the bathroom as this melts the fat on the kidneys and slims the man. One should not comb in the bathroom as this weakens the hair, and one should not wash the hair with mud as it causes loss of respect. One should not rub the tile on the body as it causes leprosy and should not wipe face with loin cloth as it dims the attraction of the face. According to Babviah (a.r.), mud implies the mud of Egypt and tile implies that of Syria.

According to Hazrat Ali (a.s.), urinating in bathroom causes worries.

4. The advantages of removing odour from the head and body:

According to Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), water is enough to perfume the body and a person should clean himself before changing his clothes.

It is stated from Hazrat Ali (a.s.) that washing of head not only removes dirt but also all types of eye troubles; and washing of clothes removes sadness and makes one achieve the cleanliness required for prayers. He also stated that body odour hurts other people; therefore, one should always keep the body clean by constant use of water and one should not ignore the cleanliness of the body and it should be remembered that God dislikes dirty persons, sitting with whom becomes intolerable. He has also stated that one should consider water as perfume.

According to Jabir-e-Jo’fi, he complained to Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) of having lice in his head which fall on his clothes and dirty them. The Imam (a.s.) asked him to take out the juice by beating Mooorad and mix it with vinegar which is very bitter and made of wine until the foam is formed and then to wash the beard and head with it and then to apply the fat of fresh milk to the head and beard. This procedure will cure him of lice.

5. The advantages of washing head with leaves of berry and khatmi:

According to a reliable tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), it is stated that cutting of nails, trimming of sideburns and washing the head with khatmi leaves removes poverty, and increases earnings.

In another tradition he has stated that a person who trims his nails and sideburns and washes his head with khatmi on a Friday will get the reward of freeing a slave.

A reliable tradition from Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) states that washing head with leaves of berry increases the earnings.

6. Benefits of applying noorah (a kind of lime water which is applied for the removal of unwanted hair):

It is stated from Hazrat Ali (a.s.), that applying Noorah makes the body clean.

It is stated from the same Imam (a.s.), that the growth of unwanted hair stops the production of semen and children, makes the joints inactive and causes weakness and leprosy.

Applying Noorah to remove unwanted hair increases the production of semen, makes the body strong and increases the fat on kidneys.

It is stated from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that one should not allow his hair over lips, under armpit and over lower abdomen to grow. It opens temptation to shaitan.

It is stated in a reliable tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that one should not allow the hair under the armpit to grow as it opens temptation to shaitan.

7. Duration of time for applying noorah:

It is stated from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that the person who has faith in Almighty God and the Day of Judgement should not keep the unwanted hair for more than forty days.

It is stated from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) that it is sunnat to apply Noorah once in fifteen days. It is also stated that Noorah will not harm anybody if it smells a little.

It is narrated from Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) and Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) that it did not matter to apply noorah in the state of Janabat; rather it would increase physical purity.

It is narrated in a reliable tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) that a person asked him whether he could apply Olive Oil mixed with flour on the body, after applying Noorah to get rid of the unpleasant smell, and Imam (a.s.) replied in the affirmative.

8. Benefits of applying henna after applying noorah:

It is narrated from Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) that his ancestors have stated from his grand-ancestor, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), that a person will be safe from lunacy, leprosy, white spots on the skin and itching if he applies henna after applying noorah. This period of safety will continue till the day when the person applies noorah again.

9. Etiquette of Jumma Bath and other kinds of baths:

According to Scholars, there are five compulsory baths:

a) Janabat bath (it is compulsory to take bath after seminal discharge; for women also it is compulsory after coition)

b) Haiz bath (compulsory bath for women after menstruation)

c) Istehaza bath (compulsory bath for women when the excessive blood flows more than the menstruation period of 3 to 10 days, or after Nifas)

d) Nifas (compulsory bath for women when the period of flow of blood after delivery is over)

e) Bath after touching any part of a dead body

It is written in the commentary of Quran by Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) that if one reads the following Doa after Wuzu or Janabat bath, his sins will vanish away as the leaves falling down from the tree, and from every drop of wuzu water or bathing water, an angel will be created to pray to God and recite Durood for Prophets, and all these blessings will be written in his record book.

There are sixty-two varieties of sunnat baths among which Juma’h bath is considered superior, none should avoiod it if within means.

Juma’h’h bath (Ghusl-e-Juma’h’h) according to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), is kaffarah, an expiation of our sins and purifies us outwardly and inwardly till the next Friday.

It is stated in Fiqh-e-Reza that after the Juma’h bath is over, recite:

‘O Allah purify me and my heart, make my bath sacred and let my tongue be busy in Thy praise and the praise of the Apostle Mohammed Mustafa (s.a.w.a.) and make me integrate among those whose retribution was acceptable and was pure and pious.

The time for taking Juma’h bath is from early morning to the beginning of Zawal (i.e. when the sun passes the meridian line). It is better to have bath just before the Juma’h prayer. If there is no possibility of getting water on Friday, one can do it on Thursday and it is not necessary to have niyat. But on Saturday, one can take bath from morning till evening with the niyat of qaza.

It is sunnat to bathe in the odd nights of the month of Ramazan i.e. first, fifteenth and seventeenth nights. On the seventeenth night of Ramazan, the infidels gathered to fight the battle of Badr and Muslims won it. On the nineteenth night of Ramazan, all the deeds of the year are recorded. There are certain traditions which state that successors of

Prophets were martyred on the twenty-first night of Ramazan. Hazrat Esa (a.s.) went to heaven and Hazrat Moosa (a.s.) also died on this night. And it is firmly assumed that this night is Shabe Qadr (the esteemed night).

It is also assumed more firmly that twenty third night of Ramazan is also Shabe Qadr (esteemed night) and two baths are considered necessary - one is just before sunset and the other at the last part of the night. In another tradition it is stated to take bath at every night of the last two days of Ramazan.

It is sunnat to take a bath at the night of Eidul Fitr (i.e. Ramazan Eid) and on the day of Eidul Fitr and Eiduz Zuha (Eid-e-Qurbani). The bath of Eiduz Zuha and Eidul Fitr can be taken from morning till evening but it is better to have before Eid prayer.

It is sunnat to take a bath on 8th Zilhijja and the day of Arafa before Zawal (i.e. before the sun passes meridian line) and at the night of 15th Rajab.

It is stated from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that whoever takes bath on the 1st, 15th and the last day of Rajab, his sins will be forgiven and made pure as if he is born on that day from his mother's womb. It is sunnat to bathe on 27th Rajab as it is the day of Eid-e-Mabo'th (the day of declaration of Prophethood).

15th Sha'ban is the birthday of Hazrat Sahibuzzaman i.e. the 12th Imam Hazrat Mehdi (a.s.). 18th Zilhijja is Eid-e-Ghadeer, 24th Zilhijja is Eid-e-Mubahila and 25th is Eid-e-Dahwularz (creation of earth). It is sunnat to take bath on these days.

According to some scholars, one should take bath on Nawroz.

According to Moalla Ibne Khuniash, it is stated in a tradition that on the day of Nawroz, the sun enters into Burje Hamal. It is sunnat to take bath before wearing Ehram for Haj and Umrah.

The bath for the recitation of Salutation (Ziarat) of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Holy Imams (a.s.) is sunnat whether salutation is offered from far or near.

Bath is sunnat for Istakhara-e-mutlaq and is advisable for Istakhara-e-Bilkhusus, and special prayers offered for a certain end.

Bath is sunnat for remission of sins and also for offering Qaza prayers of solar eclipse but in the latter case; only when the prayers had not been offered intentionally and the sun had gone into total eclipse. According to few scholars, this bath is compulsory and care should be taken not to avoid it. Others are of the opinion that if the prayers are missed intentionally, when the sun was not in total eclipse, still one must compulsorily take the bath for offering the prayers late; and according to a strong opinion, the bath is compulsory even when the sun was in total eclipse.

There are different types of sunnat baths (Ghusl) for entering Harams, the city of Mecca and the Mosque of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and also for perfoorming Tawaf-e-Haram-e-Madina and the city of Madina.

The bath on the birthday of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and for the Ziarat of the day is sunnat.

The bath for Namaze Istisqa is sunnat and also after killing a lizard or intentionally witnessing a hanging. According to others, this bath is compulsory. Some scholars are of the opinion that bath is sunnat even when one sees a hanging, three days after it had taken place, whether the hanging was based on justice or not, on Islamic law or otherwise. Some scholars are of the opinion that performing of compulsory bath is sunnat when it was taken while any part of the body was bandaged on account of wounds etc.

According to some scholars, the bath is sunnat for shrouding the dead body i.e. if one had touched the dead body (when it gets cold) before it was shrouded, then one should take a bath before covering it with a shroud.

In the same manner, a person who touches the dead body after it had been washed, then taking a bath is sunnat.

If a man died in the state of Janabat, he should be given Ghusle Janabat (Janabat bath) before or after Ghusle Mayyat (i.e. dead body), and it is sunnat.