Praise be to Allaah.
You have to do wudoo’ using water from
whatever is around you of the river or sea. The Prophet (blessings and
peace of Allah be upon him) was asked about doing wudoo’ from the sea and
he said: “Its water is a means of purification and its dead meat recovered
from it is permissible .” So, praise be to Allah, if you took a dip in the
sea to cool off or to remove dirt and the like, it is not sufficient;
rather you have to do wudoo’.
But if you were in a state of janaabah, and
you intended to remove both major and minor impurity by doing ghusl, it is
sufficient. However, it is better to do wudoo’ as for prayer, then do ghusl
to remove janaabah. This is what the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah
be upon him) used to do. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon
him) would start with wudoo’. He would clean himself first, then he would do
wudoo’ as for prayer, then he would do ghusl. This is the Sunnah and that is
But if he intended to do both together, and
did not start with wudoo’, rather he intended to do ghusl and wudoo’
together with one intention, that is sufficient according to a number of
scholars. What is better is to do what the Prophet (blessings and peace of
Allah be upon him) did, namely clean oneself and do wudoo’ as for prayer
first, then pour water over the body to complete one’s ghusl. This is the
Sunnah when purifying oneself from janaabah. This also applies in the case
of menses. When a woman’s menses ends, she should clean herself and do wudoo
as for prayer, then she should wash herself, making sure that water reaches
all parts of the body. This is what is enjoined in sharee‘ah, and this
suffices for both wudoo’ and ghusl.
The water may come from the sea or a river
or a well. Praise be to Allah, the matter is broad in scope. Allah, may He
be exalted, said (interpretation of the meaning): “…and you find no
water…” [al-Nisa’ 4:43].
Water includes seas, rivers, streams and wells. All of them come under the
heading of water. End quote.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah
have mercy on him)