Does a simply washing the body purify an individual who has to obtain purification after having sex or one has to follow a set of rules govering the ritual bath?
The Shari'ah requires a Muslim to take bath after sexual intercourse. However, it has not prescribed a set procedure. The related Qur'anic directive states that the believers should wash their bodies thoroughly. Now every one would act upon this directive according to the application they deem appropriate and so did the Prophet (sws) whose example is the only example that should be followed in religious matters. Muslims try to follow his example in this regard which includes:
a)performing the wudu (except for washing the feet)
b)washing the body thoroughly
The Prophet (sws) applied available means to clean his body. We can also use anything to help us wash the body (for example soups and shampoos etc). Following is how the Prophet (sws) bathed after sexual intimacy:
'A'ishah (rta) reports that when the Prophet (sws) would have the ceremonial bath after janabah, he would first wash both hands. Then he would clean his genital area by the left hand by pouring water on it by the right one. Then he would do wudu the same way as wudu is done for the prayer. He would then take some water and insert his fingers in his hair until the water reached the skin. He would then pour three handfuls of water on his head. Then he would drench all his body with water and then wash both feet. ( Muslim, No: 316)