Ghusl, in Islam, is the complete washing of the body in pure water following the declaration of the intention, nhya, to do so. This ablution is obligatory following sexual relations, which includes sexual relationship or a seminal emission, and it also is obligatory for women after menstruation or having given birth within the last forty days. Such ablution is required to remove a state of major impurity, janaba, which is incurred after sexual relations.
It is recommended that the ghusl be carried out before the prayer of Friday; the two main feasts, id al-adha and id al-fitr; and before touching the Qur’an. The ghusl also conducted before burial of the dead. A.G.H.
Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, pp. 8, 374
Robinson, Neal, Islam: A Concise Introduction, Washington, D. C., Georgetown University Press, p. 99 [ISBN 0-87840-224-1]
MJ, 8, 374; R, 99