in Islam, the "major ablution" that entails washing the entire body in ritually pure water and is required in specified cases for both the living and the dead. The ghusl, accompanied by a statement of intent, must be performed whenever a state of major ritual impurity has been incurred: following sexual intercourse, seminal emission, menstruation, or childbirth. One who is junub (impure) cannot perform the daily ritual prayer, circumambulate the Ka'bah in Mecca during the major and lesser pilgrimages, touch the Qur'an or recite its verses, or enter a mosque.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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