Ghusal (Bathing) linguistically means: The action of people by pouring water over the whole body and rubbing it.

And according to the Scholars: The usage of pure water over the entire body in a specific manner..

Evedently Allah said, "If you are in a state of Janaba (i.e. after a sexual discharge), purify yourselves (bathe your whole body)." (V.5:6).

The things that necessitate a full bath are the following:
1-Diurnal ejaculation of semen due to desire, or passage of semen during sleep, with or without pleasure; and this includes Sexual intercourse, masturbation, or looking at something or thinking of something with desire that courses sperm to discharge. the Prophet (pbuh) said, '"If sperm is ejaculated, perform ghusl." (Abu Dawuod).

And as for wet dreams this includes women as well, Narrated Um-Salama: (the mother of the believers) Um Sulaim, the wife of Abu Talha, came to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! Verily Allah is not shy of (telling you) the truth. Is it necessary for a woman to take a bath after she has a wet dream (nocturnal sexual discharge)?" Allah's Apostle replied, "Yes, if she notices a discharge." (Bukhari)

If a women can not distinguish her sperm and its characteristics, the Prophet said, "The sperm of a man is white and thick and the sperm of a women in yellow and thin." (Muslim)

However, if seminal fluid flows due to sickness or medication without the accompaniment of sexual arousal, Ghusl is not required. Such case as a severe blow to the body like concussion. The Scholars say that due to the fact its characteristic differ because its described as being thin in texture opposite to that which is emitted through desire, And Allah knows best...

2-Entrance of the head of the penis into the vulva, even without ejaculation; The Prophet said, "When a man sits in between the four parts of a woman and had sexual intercourse with her, bathing becomes compulsory." (Bukhari)

3-Upon accepting Islam, whether for the first time or after apostasy; Narrated Abu Huraira, regarding the story of Thumama bin Uthal (he was one of the companions) when he embraced Islam: The Prophet (pbuh) ordered him to take a bath.' (Bukhari & Muslim)

4-Menstruation; based on the Prophet's statement to Fatimah bint Abi Hubaish:"Leave Salat for the number of days you used to menstruate, then perform a Ghusl and offer Salat." (Bukhari & Muslim)

5-Post-partum bleeding; post-partum bleeding gets the same ruling according to the consensus of the Sahabah.
6-Death of a Muslim; if a Muslim dies, he must be given a Ghusl (before burial), by the consensus of the scholars.

The Obligatory Acts of Ghusl:

It is obligatory to have the intention that one is performing ghusl in order to purify themselves from a state of major impurity.
It is sufficient to -
1-wash the entire body including rinsing one’s mouth and nostrils.

A complete Ghusl in its sequence entails eight things:
1-saying 'Bismillah'at the beginning; The Prophrt (pbuh) said, 'Every important matter that does not begin with Bismillah is imperfect.'

2-Washing the hands before entering them into a vessel; Narrated 'Aisha: Whenever Allah's Apostle took a bath of Janaba, he washed his hands first. (Bukhari)

3-washing the impurities from the private parts; Narrated Maimuna:I placed water for the bath of the Prophet and he poured water with his right hand on his left and washed them. Then he washed his private parts and rubbed his hands on the ground, washed them with water, rinsed his mouth and washed his nose by putting water in it and blowing it out, washed his face and poured water on his head. He withdrew from that place and washed his feet. A piece of cloth (towel) was given to him but he did not use it. (Bukhari)

4-making wudoo; Narrated Maimuna: (the wife of the Prophet) Allah's Apostle performed ablution like that for the pray.. (Bukhari)

5-Pouring water on the head three times; Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: The Prophet used to pour water three times on his head. (Bukhari)

6-pouring water on the entire body; 'The Prophet uses to take three handfuls of water, pour them on his head and then pour more water over his body.' (Bukhari)

7-rubbing the body with the hands;Narrated 'Aisha: Whenever the Prophet took the bath of Janaba (sexual relation or wet dream) he asked for the Hilab or some other scent. He used to take it in his hand, rub it first over the right side of his head and then over the left and then rub the middle of his head with both hands. (Bukhari)

8-Starting with the right side of the body; Narrated Aisha: Whenever any one of us was Junub (pre-, she poured water over her head thrice with both her hands and then rubbed the right side of her head with one hand and rubbed the left side of the head with the other hand. (Bukhari)

Impermissible acts during the state of minor impurity (Not Having Wuduo):

1-Touching the Qur’an; Many scholars have also used verses 77-80 of Sura Al Waqiah to establish this law. The verses state: - ‘This is indeed an honorable Quran, in a book well guarded, which none can touch but the pure ones’. With respect to this verse, although some scholars from among the Sahabahs and Tabieen have stated that ‘pure ones’ in the verse mean ‘angels’, many others have stated that it is a law that is connected to the human beings. It therefore means that none can touch the Quran except that he/she is in a state of purity (that is, being in a state of wazu or a bath if he needs one). (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.4 pg.298)

2-Prayer; The Prophet (pbuh) said, 'The key to paradise is prayer, and the key to prayer is wudu.'
(Tirmidhi, & Ahmad)
3-performing the Tawaaf-(circulating) around the Ka’bah; based on the statement of the Prophet (pbuh), "Tawaf around the House is Salat, except that Allah has permitted in it (ordinary) speech, so whosoever speaks should speak nothing but good." (Tirmidhi).

Impermissible acts during the state of major impurity:

1-Recitation of the Qur’an; this is an agreed upon issue amongst the Scholars. 2-Attending the Mosque (Masjid), The Mosque is a place for worship, and the condition upon worship being excepted requirers one to be pure.

Disliked acts during the state of major impurity:

1-Sleeping after sexual intercourse or emission of semen without making wudoo; Narrated 'Aisha: Whenever the Prophet intended to sleep while he was Junub, he used to wash his private parts and perform ablution like that for the prayer. (Bukhari)

2-Wasting water while bathing; Allah said, 'Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful. (17/27)
In addition the Prophet and Maimuna used to take a bath from a single pot. (Bukhari)

The Sunnah (recommended) acts for Ghusal is as follows,

1-For Eid Prayers; It was narrated in a authentic hadith in al-Muwatta’ and elsewhere that ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar (radi Allahu anhu) used to do ghusl on the day of al-Fitr before going out to the prayer-place in the morning. [Al-Muwatta’ 428]

2-Juma'ah (Friday Prayers); Doing ghusl on Fridays is mustahabb (recommended), not obligatory, according to the majority of Scholars’, in the sense that not doing it is a sin. Although some of the Scholars view that it is obligatory, and Allah knows best... Doing ghusl on Fridays is mustahabb (recommended), not obligatory.This understanding of the Prophet's saying is derived from what al-Bukhari recorded about an incident from Ibn 'Umar about his father. One day, 'Umar ibn al-Khattab was standing and delivering the khutbah when 'Uthman, one of the people from among the emigrants and helpers, entered. 'Umar said to him, "What time is it now?" He said, "I was busy and could not return home. When I heard the call to prayer, I did not make more than the regular ablution." 'Umar said, "And the ablution only, when you know that the Messenger of Allah ordered us to perform ghusl ?" Commenting on the incident, says ash-Shaf'i, " 'Uthman did not leave the prayer to perform ghusl, nor did 'Umar order him to do so. This illustrates that the companions knew that this order was one of choice. It also shows that it is preferred."and Allah knows best...

3-One that looses control, wrath or rage, this is to help clam one down, as similarly mention in the Sunnah when one gets angry to perform Wudu...

4-Whom wakes from unconsciousness; to help one wake up and feel fresh, & also due to the fact that some people may be unconscious for a long period time which may require to purify themselves from any apparent impurities..

5-After washing a deceased person; Narrated 'Aisha Allah's Messenger (pbuh) used to take a bath from four things; after sexual intercourse, on Fridays, after extracting blood from his body, and after washing a dead body. (Abu Dawud and Ibn Khuzaima graded it authentic)
Related by 'Umar, who said, "We used to wash the dead. Some of us would perform ghusl and some would not." (Related by al-Khateeb with a sahih chain.) When 'Asma bint Umaish washed the body of her deceased husband, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, she asked if there were any among the emigrants present, and said, "This day is extremely cold and I am fasting. Do I have to make ghusl?" They said, "No." (Related by Malik.)6-For

6-the rituals of Huj & Umrah; According to the scholars, it is also preferable for one who is undertaking the pilgrimage or 'umrah to perform ghusl. Zaid ibn Thabit related that he saw the Messenger of Allah, when he intended to perform the hajj, perform ghusl. (Related by ad-Daraqutni, al-Baihaqi and at-Tirmizhi, who called it hassan.)
And Allah knows best..

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Basic's Of Fiqh: The Chapter of Ghusal (Bathing)