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Can You Do Ghusl without Washing Hair?

15 February, 2024
Q As-salamu `alaykum. I have been suffering from asthma for several years. My husband knew about my illness and had willingly agreed to marry me. I suffer from increased illness (breathing issues) when I do ritual bathing (ghusl) at night/dawn (especially after I wet my hair, even with keeping my braids on). So, whenever my husband calls me (for intimacy) he asks me whether I can perform the bath before Fajr and my answers are almost always negative. So, he refrains himself, and it sometimes occurs that we live celibate lives for almost a month (he works at another place). My husband doesn't say anything to me but I feel that he gets disappointed every time I tell him about my inability. My husband is patient and considerate, but I feel that the lack of intimate relations is causing more and more problems between us. Points to note: we have a little kid, and we live in a joint family. So, we feel that it is only night time that is convenient for us to be intimate. I can bathe without wetting my hair at night, and that doesn’t cause severe problems. But I know that ritual bathing includes pouring water over one's head. My question is: will it be possible for me to do my ritual bathing without wetting my hair at night, so that I can pray Fajr?


Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

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:

1- A good practical solution for your problem is to have intimacy after Fajr Prayer so that you can have a plenty of time till Zhuhr Prayer.

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2- In case you fear health problems due to washing your hair, you can perform ghusl without washing your hair and perform tayammum instead.

Answering your question, Dr. Muhammad Salama, PhD in Islamic Studies in English, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Islamic Sciences al-Madinah International University (Mediu) states:

The intimate relation usually takes minutes not hours. If it is difficult for you to have bath at night, you may have this intimate relation after Fajr Prayer. In this way, you will have a lot of time before Zhuhr Prayer and you will take the bath in the morning.

Still, you should allow your husband to have an intimate relation with you at night because this is his right and your refusal will leave negative effects on him as well as your marital life.

As washing your hair at that time causes health problems for you, you can wash other parts of your body and then make tayammum (ritual using of clean dust to wipe it over one’s hands and face) instead of washing your head.

Allah Almighty knows best.