In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
The purpose of having ghusl after sexual intercourse is to clean the body and refresh the spirit. Sexual emission is not just an ordinary matter like urination or defecation. When it happens, the whole body, mind and spirit get involved in it.
In his response to the question you raised, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America, states:
The Qur’an says:
“Truly Allah loves those who turn unto Him, and loves those who have a care for cleanness.” (Al-Baqarah 2:222)
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) states: “Cleanliness is half of faith.” (Muslim)
This ghusl is called ghusl al-janabah. It is obligatory to take a full bath after sexual intercourse or ejaculation (i.e. in a wet dream or if sperm comes out due to sexual desire, also sexual dream and discharge in the case of women).
This is mentioned in the Qur’an and the Sunnah.
The purpose of this bath is to clean the body and refresh the spirit. Sexual emission is not just an ordinary matter like urination or defecation. When it happens, the whole body, mind and spirit get involved in it. After it, one feels lazy and dull.
The full shower makes a person fresh in body and spirit. There are many spiritual as well as physical and medical benefits in it.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.