Here is a chapter from the research I compiled in regards to means of dawah to the non-Muslim.
It is recommended for someone who is wishing to accept Islam to take a shower.
The Prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam said:
عَنْ قَيْسِ بْنِ عَاصِمٍ، أَنَّهُ أَسْلَمَ فَأَمَرَهُ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنْ يَغْتَسِلَ بِمَاءٍ وَسِدْرٍ
Qais bin Asim narrated that:
he accepted Islam and the Prophet ordered him to perform Ghusl with water and Sidr (lotus leaves)
[Saheeh Tirmidhi no. 605]
The shower can be done before pronouncing the Shahadah or afterwards.
Imam Nawawi rahimahullah wrote:
إذا أراد الكافر الإسلام فليبادر به ولا يؤخره للاغتسال، بل تجب المبادرة بالإسلام، ويحرم تحريما شديدا تأخيره للاغتسال وغيره، وكذا إذا استشار مسلما في ذلك حرم على المستشار تحريما غليظا أن يقول له أخره إلى الاغتسال, بل يلزمه أن يحثه على المبادرة بالإسلام. هذا هو الحق والصواب. وبه قال الجمهور
“If a disbeliever wants to enter into Islam, then they should hasten it and not delay it to shower. Rather, it is obligatory to hasten with Islam and it is severely prohibited to delay it in order to shower and for other than it. If a Muslim is consulted in that matter, it is severely prohibited for him to say that he should delay entering Islam in order to shower. Rather it is necessary to encourage him to hasten to accept Islam. This is the truth and what is correct. The majority of the Scholars say this..”
However, Imam Nasaai rahimahullah wrote the following chapter title in his Sunan:
تقديم غسل الكافر إذا أراد أن يسلم
Chapter: The disbeliever preceding the shower if he wants to accept Islam
Then he brings the following Hadith:
أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ، يَقُولُ إِنَّ ثُمَامَةَ بْنَ أُثَالٍ الْحَنَفِيَّ انْطَلَقَ إِلَى نَجْلٍ قَرِيبٍ مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ فَاغْتَسَلَ ثُمَّ دَخَلَ الْمَسْجِدَ فَقَالَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
Abu Hurairah said:
“Thumamah bin Uthal Al-Hanafi went to fetch some water that was near the Masjid and performed Ghusl, then he entered the Masjid and said: ‘Ashhadu an la ila ha ill-Allah was ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasuluh (I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger)
[Saheeh Nasaai no. 189]
So here, the Companion Thumamah radiallahu anhu preceded the shower before pronouncing the Shahadah. Imam Nawawi rahimahullah responded to this argument writing:
فليس بصحيح ولا دلالة فيما ذكره لما ادعاه
“So it is not correct and there is no evidence for what he mentioned and claimed”
However, there is another evidence to support Imam Nasaai’s argument.
Imam Muslim reports the story of the conversion of Abu Hurairah’s mother radiallahu anhu where it states:
فَسَمِعَتْ أُمِّي خَشْفَ قَدَمَىَّ فَقَالَتْ مَكَانَكَ يَا أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ . وَسَمِعْتُ خَضْخَضَةَ الْمَاءِ قَالَ – فَاغْتَسَلَتْ وَلَبِسَتْ دِرْعَهَا وَعَجِلَتْ عَنْ خِمَارِهَا فَفَتَحَتِ الْبَابَ ثُمَّ قَالَتْ يَا أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
My mother heard the noise of my footsteps and she said: Abu Huraira, just wait. And I heard the noise of falling of water. She took a bath and put on the shirt and quickly covered her head with a headdress and opened the door and then said: Abu Huraira, I bear witness to the fact that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His bondsman and His Messenger.
[Saheeh Muslim no. 2491]
So it can be done before the Shahadah or after it. Although the majority take the opinion that the shower comes after it.
In order for the shower to be correct in Islam, a person must:
- Have an Intention – In this case, it is “the intention of adopting Islam and repenting from the previous disbelief” [Fatawa Bin Baz (6/298)]
- Rinse the mouth and nose
- Wash the entire body from head to toe
[See ad-Daraariyul Mudiyyah of Imam Shawkani pg. 98].
This is also the opinion of Shaikh Ibn ul-‘Uthaymeen rahimahullah
[Reference removed since it no longer exists]
Side-benefit: It is also recommended for a new Muslim to wash his/her clothes upon accepting Islam.
Imam Tirmidhi mentions under Hadith no. 605:
والعمل عليه عند أهل العلم يستحبون للرجل إذا أسلم أن يغتسل ويغسل ثيابه
“And the People of Knowledge act upon it. They recommend a man, if he accepts Islam, to shower and wash his clothing”
This is not an obligation but rather a recommendation. It should be noted that it does not imply that a disbeliever is impure, but it will remove any impurities that may have been on the clothing.
Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullah wrote:
وقال أحمد : ” إذا أسلم يغسل ثيابه ، ويغتسل ويتطهر بماء وسدر ” ؛ لأن ثيابه مظنة ملاقاة النجاسة ، فاستحب تطهيرها
“Imam Ahmad said: If a man accepts Islam, he should wash his clothing. He should shower with water and sidr (lotus leaves)”. This is because his clothing is the place that impurity comes in contact with. So purifying it is recommended”
[Sharh Umdatul-Fiqh pg. 350]
And Allah Knows Best
Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan