Author Topic: Ghusl - complete bathing?  (Read 212 times)

mjamja

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Ghusl - complete bathing?
« on: June 13, 2022, 12:38:12 PM »
What is everyone's understanding of verse 4:43 and 5:6 regarding ghusl? I don't understand the rationale behind excessive cleaning after sexual activity. The word in arabic is ghusl, but many translations, including the one here on free minds says bathe. Ghusl means cleaning but can also mean complete cleaning, according to Sam Gerrans. Do we need to bathe completely or is washing the dirty area sufficient? Thanks.
His comment regarding 4:43 says:
Quote
The instance here of the form VIII of the verb ghasala is the only one in the text. This fact makes it vulnerable to the Traditionalist’s practice of ascribing highly specialised values to rare or unique terms — values which have no explicit Qur’anic basis — and this opportunity has not been overlooked. The objective facts are these: the gh-s-l root occurs a total of four times (4:43, 5:6, 38:42, 69:36). Certainly, the gh-s-l root means to wash; and in Arabic today the form VIII verb has a reflexive sense both of to wash and to wash completely. The Traditionalist, for his part, generally claims two types of ‘religious’ washing: ghusl and wudhu. By ghusl he means a full-body wash (which is what he claims at this verse). By wudhu he means the washing method (with some embellishments of his own) outlined at 5:6. He has criteria for when either ghusl or wudhu should be done. These criteria do not correlate with the scenarios given at either 4:43 or 5:6 (for example, he claims that what he calls ghusl is needed after contact with women but not that it is needed after defecation). The terms ghusl and wudhu are nowhere found in the Qur’an. These are verifiable facts. My understanding based on the methodology here is this: what is meant by unclean is made clear in the sentence following the expression then find not water (namely: after illness, a journey, defecation or sexual intercourse). This is a concession — what to do when one does not find water. What, then, is to be done in the case where water is to be found? That instruction is given at 5:6. The correlating verse at 5:6 does not use the form VIII of the verb ghasala to describe the washing process; it bears no relation to the non-Qur’anic word ghusl. It uses another expression: purify yourself (based on the ṭ-h-r root). What purify yourself means in the context is, likewise, understood by inference from the concessive allowance at that verse, one which is identical to that at 4:43. On this basis, my conclusions are these: the words for washing at 4:43 and 5:6 mean the same thing; the washing requirement for both cases (given access to water) is outlined at 5:6; the terms ghusl and wudhu have no Qur’anic basis (there being no case in which ghusl as understood by the Traditionalist is a Qur’anic requirement, and his requirement for what he calls wudhu exceeds that mentioned in the Qur’an). I am not arguing against washing fully after sexual contact; I am arguing against ascribing to the revealed word of God values it does not contain. Human washing practices and requirements over and above what is specified in the text are a matter of personal taste and judgment, and not of revealed imperative.

Euphoric

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Re: Ghusl - complete bathing?
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2022, 12:57:36 PM »
I don't understand his point.

In 4:43 it uses the term TAGHTASILU the letter 'Ta' shows that the washing is more than normal, more severe. That's why it's described as a bath and not a simple normal washing.

mjamja

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Re: Ghusl - complete bathing?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2022, 02:18:02 PM »
I think his point is that the words in both 4:43 and 5:6 mean the same thing.
What evidence do we have for the word in 4:43 to mean to bathe or wash fully?

Euphoric

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Re: Ghusl - complete bathing?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2022, 04:20:22 PM »
I think his point is that the words in both 4:43 and 5:6 mean the same thing.
What evidence do we have for the word in 4:43 to mean to bathe or wash fully?

The evidence is the Arabic language, that's how the language works.

We can't look at Arabic through English grammar rules, they're completely different. And at times the Quran even goes against modern Arabic grammar.

You have to understand the function of old Arabic to understand the Quran.

Wakas

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Re: Ghusl - complete bathing?
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2022, 02:19:32 AM »
I believe the Arabic is literally "wash yourself" in 4:43 so yes you could interpret that as washing the parts that are considered unclean or washing your whole self, e.g. bathe/shower. I think it's left open to a personal choice. Also bear in mind access to plentiful water is not universal so maybe limited for some.
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

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mjamja

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Re: Ghusl - complete bathing?
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2022, 01:31:09 PM »
Thanks to both of you. Are we able to actually analyse what this word means? The root ghsl means to wash, afaik. I do not understand how the prefix "ta" makes it more severe. Isn't it like the word walk, coming from the root مشي, whereas the prefix "ta" (تمشي) would make it mean you walk? Similarly, using this logic (thaghtasil) تغتسل would mean you wash. But this is coming from my limited Arabic, and I am open to other input of course. My primary question would be if it was truly meant to mean to wash fully/completely why this was not made more clear. I do understand that there is a difference though in 5:6, using the word غْسِلُو, meaning to wash and I am trying to understand the difference. I do assume that this is a deliberate difference, and I might not have a sufficient background in Arabic to understand this. Thank you :)

Aladin Azra

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Re: Ghusl - complete bathing?
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2022, 09:23:38 PM »
G-S-L means to relief, to relax, to drain and so. Form VIII is reflexive, so its subject and object are the same. If one's taking a bath this can be named by this root if his goal is to relax, but if he wants to be clean that T-h-r root is used as can be seen in 5:6 in  وَإِن كُنتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُوا (and if you've been junub then clean youselves).

Salaat in both cases is a connection with other people, in 4:43 in drunk state, in 5:6 in general. G-S-L here is about removing tensions in relations.
It doesn't matter where I'm from, as long as you know where I'm traveling.

Euphoric

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Re: Ghusl - complete bathing?
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2022, 03:53:19 AM »
G-S-L means to relief, to relax, to drain and so. Form VIII is reflexive, so its subject and object are the same. If one's taking a bath this can be named by this root if his goal is to relax, but if he wants to be clean that T-h-r root is used as can be seen in 5:6 in  وَإِن كُنتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُوا (and if you've been junub then clean youselves).

You're absolutely wrong AGAIN. Why are you spreading misinformation?? Are you a shaitan?

GSL means to wash or to clean something by washing. This is the root meaning.

GSL does NOT mean relief or relax or even related to that. [/]

mjamja

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Re: Ghusl - complete bathing?
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2022, 11:07:15 AM »
G-S-L means to relief, to relax, to drain and so. Form VIII is reflexive, so its subject and object are the same. If one's taking a bath this can be named by this root if his goal is to relax, but if he wants to be clean that T-h-r root is used as can be seen in 5:6 in  وَإِن كُنتُمْ جُنُبًا فَاطَّهَّرُوا (and if you've been junub then clean youselves).

Salaat in both cases is a connection with other people, in 4:43 in drunk state, in 5:6 in general. G-S-L here is about removing tensions in relations.

Agree with Euphoric. There is no way the word ghusl can be interpreted in this way in this verse. Given the context alone it is clear that it means washing.