Question: Do wudu' and ghusl contain any health benefits?
Yes, they contain many health benefits. However, it is not permissible to do wudu' and ghusl purely and simply for their medical benefits. Even if they did not have any benefits pertaining to the body, one must still do them simply because Allahu ta'ala commanded them. Some health benefits of wudu' and ghusl are as follows:
1. Our hands touch many things every day, with the result that germs are transferred onto our hands. Washing the hands, face, and feet provides protection against skin diseases and inflammation.
2. Washing the nostrils prevents dust and germs trapped inside from entering the body.
3. Washing the face strengthens skin and relieves feelings of heaviness and fatigue in the head. It excites the activities of blood vessels and nerves. A person who does wudu' regularly will not lose the beauty and freshness on his or her face, even though he or she gets old.
4. After ghusl, the body regains its former vigor. Washing the body at certain intervals is highly important in terms of preventive medicine, too. Our religion orders us to take ghusl every Friday.
5. The body has a balance of static electricity. The build-up of this electric charge is four times as much as normal when one gets angry and twelve times as much as normal when one becomes sexually impure (junub). Today, infrared pictures of ectoderm have been shot, and it is found out that there is excess accumulation of electric charge on the entire surface of the human body after sexual intercourse. When one is washing oneself, water molecules bleed the body of excess charge and restore it to normal. For this reason, ghusl is a cleaning method necessary for medical reasons as well.
6. Wudu' and ghusl have positive effects on the circulatory system, too. They prevent stiffening and narrowing of the blood vessels. The lymphatic system is stimulated by the washing of the tonsils and the region behind the nose, which are one of the most important centers of lymphatic system. Besides, wiping (masah) the back of the neck and its sides with wet hands has a beneficial effect on the lymphatic system. Wudu' and ghusl facilitate lymphatic circulation, whereby warrior cells called lymphocytes protect the body against pathogens and enhances the resistance of the body.
7. As for tayammum, which is done with soil, it removes excess static charge in the body considerably and causes it to bleed off to ground.
A person who performs wudu' and ghusl only because Allah has commanded them will get temporary benefits in this world, in addition to eternal benefits in the world to come.