Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 1: Purification
Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 1: Purification
The shari'ah has divided water into four kinds:
-1- mutlaq water,
-2- used water (for purification),
-3- water mixed with pure elements and
-4- water mixed with impure elements. We shall discuss each of them
This kind of water is considered pure because of its inherent purity
and as such, it can be used by an individual to purify him or herself.
It consists of the following categories:
These substances are pure because Allah says so: "And sent down
water from the sky upon you, that thereby He might purify you..."
(al-Anfal 1), and "We send down purifying water from the sky"
(al-Furqan 48). This is also supported by the following hadith: Abu
Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, used
to be silent between the (opening) takbir of the prayer and the verbal
Qur'anic recitation. Abu Hurairah asked him, "O Messenger of Allah, may
my father and mother be sacrificed for you, why do you remain silent
between the takbir and the recital? What do you say (silently during
that time)?" He said, "I say, 'O Allah, make a distance between me and
my sins similar to the distance you have made between the East and the
West. O Allah, cleanse me of my sins in the manner that a white garment
(is cleansed) from dirt. O Allah, wash my sins from me with snow,
water, and hail."' This hadith is related by the "group", except for
Sea water's purity is based on the following hadith: Abu Hurairah
related that a man asked the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, "O
Messenger of Allah, we sail on the ocean and we carry only a little
water. If we use it for ablution, we will have to go thirsty. May we
use sea water for ablution?" Said the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be
peace, "Its (the sea) water is pure and its dead (animals) are lawful
(i.e., they can be eaten without any prescribed slaughtering)." This
hadith is related by "the five." At-Tirmizhi calls it hassan sahih, and
al-Bukhari says it is sahih.
'Ali narrated that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace,
called for a bucket that contained water from the well of Zamzam. He
drank from the bucket, then made ablution (with its water). This hadith
is related by Ahmad.
This involves water whose form has been altered because of its being
in a place for a long period of time, or because of the place in which
it is located, or because of its being mixed with a substance that
cannot be completely removed from it (i.e., water mixed with algae,
tree leaves, and so on). The scholars agree that this type of water
falls under the heading of mutlaq water.
The rationale is simple: everything that falls under the general term
of water, without any further qualifications, is considered pure, for
the Qur'an says, "...and if you find not water, then go to clean, high
ground..." (al-Ma'idah 6).
This category refers to water which drips from the person after he
performs ablution or ghusl. It is considered pure because it was pure
before its use for ablution, and there is no basis to think that it has
lost its purity. This statement is supported by the hadith of Rab'i
bint Mu'wazh which describes the ablution of the Messenger of Allah.
She states, "He wiped his head with (the water) remaining on his hands
from his ablution." This hadith is related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud. Abu
Dawud's version is, "The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, wiped
his head with the extra water that was in his hand." Abu Hurairah also
reported that the Messenger of Allah met him alone in the streets of
Madinah while he was in post-sex impurity. He therefore slipped away,
made ghusl and returned. The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace,
asked him "Where have you been, Abu Hurairah?" He answered, "I was in
post-sex impurity and did not want to sit with you while I was in that
condition." The Prophet replied, "Glory be to Allah. The believer does
not become impure." This is related by "the group."
This is based on the rationale that since a believer never becomes
impure, the water he uses for purification also does not become impure.
Thus, a pure object touching a pure object cannot result in one's
becoming impure. Ibn al-Munzhir said that it is related that 'Ali, Ibn
'Umar, Abu Umamah, 'Ata, al-Hassan, Makhul and anNakha'i said that if a
person forgot to wipe his head while making ablution, it is sufficient
for him to wipe his head with any water remaining in his beard. Ibn
al-Munzhir stated that this proves that they took "used water" as pure.
This opinion comes from one of the narrations attributed to Malik and
ash-Shaf'i. Ibn Hazm ascribes it to Sufyan al-Thauri, Abu Thaur, and
all scholars of the Zhahiri school of thought.
This category includes water that has been mixed with substances
like soap, saffron, flowers, and so on, that is, objects considered
pure by the shari'ah. Such water is considered pure as long as it has
not been so mixed with other substances that one can no longer call it
water. If this is the case, the water is still considered pure, but it
cannot be used for purification. Umm 'Atiyah narrated that the
Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, entered her house after the
death of his daughter Zainab and said, "Wash her three or five or more
times--if you see fit to do so--with water and dry tree leaves. For the
final washing, use some kafoor or something from kafoor. When you are
finished, inform me." She did so, after which he gave the women his
outer garment and told them to wrap Zainab in it. This was related by
The deceased should be washed with something that may purify a live
person. Ahmad, an-Nasa'i and Ibn Khuzaimah record from Umm Hani that
the Messenager of Allah and Maimunah washed themselves from one (water)
container that had a trace of dough in it. In both of these hadith, we
find that the water was mixed with another substance, but since the
other substance was not substantial enough to alter its nature, it
remained fit for consumption.
We can divide this category into two sub-categories:
-1- The impure substance alters the taste, color or odor of the water.
In this case, it can not be used for purification. According to Ibn
al-Munzhir and Ibn al-Mulaqqin, there is a consensus on this point.
-2- The liquid is still considered water, meaning that the impure
substance has not altered its taste, color or odor. Such water is
considered pure and may be used for purification. This is based upon
the following hadith: Abu Hurairah reported that a bedouin urinated in
the mosque. The people stood to get him (and stop him). The Prophet
said, "Leave him and pour a bucket of water or a container of water
over his urine. You have been raised to be easy on the people, not to
be hard on them." This hadith is narrated by "the group," except for
Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri asked the Prophet, "Can we make ablution from the
well of Buda'ah (i.e., a well in Madinah)?" The Prophet, upon whom be
peace, told him, "Water is pure and nothing makes it impure."
This hadith is related by Ahmad, ash-Shaf'i, Abu Dawud, anNasa'i and
at-Tirmizhi, who classified it as hassan. Ahmad said, "This hadith is
sahih and Yahya ibn Ma'een and Muhammad ibn Hazm classified it as
such." This is also the opinion of Ibn 'Abbas, Abu Hurairah, al-Hassan
al-Basri, Ibn al-Musayyab, 'Ikrimah, Ibn Abu Laila, al-Thauri, Dawud
azh-Zhahiri, an-Nakha'i, Malik and others. Says al-Ghazzali, "I wish
ash-Shaf'i's opinion was like Malik's."
There is also a hadith from 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar in which the Messenger
of Allah is reported to have said, "If there are at least two buckets
of water, it will not carry any impurity." This hadith is related by
the "five." However, this hadith is muzhtarab in its chain of narrators
and text. Ibn 'Abdul-Barr said in at-Tamheed, "As to the opinion of
ash-Shaf'i which is based on this hadith, it is weak on scrutiny and is
not confirmed by historical reports."
"Leftover water" is what remains in a pot after some has been drunk.
There are five different types of leftover water.
According to the shari'ah, such water is considered pure regardless
of whether the one who drank from the pot was a Muslim, an unbeliever,
a person in post-sex impurity or a menstruating woman.
Although Allah says in the Qur'an, "Verily, the idol worshippers are
impure" (at-Taubah) this is a reference not to their physical state,
but to their false beliefs and creed. They may come into contact with
dirt or impurities, but this does not mean that their possessions or
bodies are impure. In fact, they used to mix with the Muslims. Their
emmissaries and delegations used to visit the Messenger of Allah and
enter his mosque. The Prophet, upon whom be peace, did not order that
the objects they touched be cleansed. As for mensturating women,
'Aishah said, "I used to drink (from a container) while I was
menstruating. I would then pass it to the Messenger of Allah and he
would drink from the same spot where I had put my lips." (Related by
Such water is considered pure. Since the animal qualifies for
consumption, its saliva is also pure. Abu Bakr ibn al-Munzhir said,
"The scholars are agreed that such water is permissible to drink or use
Such water is also considered pure, based on the hadith of Jabir in
which the Messenger of Allah was asked about making ablution with
drinking water left by donkeys. The Prophet, upon whom be peace,
answered, "Yes, and from the drinking water left by any of the beasts
of prey." This hadith was related by ash-Shaifi, ad-Daraqutni and
al-Baihaqi who said, "When its different chains are put together they
become strong." It has also been related from Ibn 'Umar that the
Messenger of Allah went out at night while he was on a journey. He
passed by a man who was sitting by a pond. Said 'Umar, "Did a beast of
prey drink from your pond tonight?" The Messenger of Allah told him, "O
owner of the pond, do not inform him. It is not necessary, for him (the
beast of prey) is what he carried in his stomach and for us is what he
left, water to be used for drinking and purifying." This is related by
ad-Daraqutni. Yahya ibn Sa'eed reported that once 'Umar was among a
group that included 'Amr ibn al-'Aas and, when they came upon a pond,
'Amr said, "O owner of the pond, have the beasts of prey discovered
your pond?" 'Umar said, "Do not inform us, since the people drink after
the wild beasts and the wild beasts after the people." This is related
by Malik in al-Muwatta.
Such water is also considered pure. This is proven by the hadith of
Kabshah bint Ka'b who, when she was under the care of Abu Qatadah,
entered the room to pour some water for him. A cat came, drank some of
the water, and Qatadah proceeded to tilt the container so the cat could
drink more. Kabshah said, "He noticed that I was watching him." He
asked, "Are you surprised, O niece?" I answered, "Yes." He said, "The
Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said, 'It (the cat) is not
impure. They intermingle with you."'
Such water is considered impure and must be avoided. Al-Bukhari and
Muslim have recorded, on the authority of Abu Hurairah, that the
messenger of Allah said, "If a dog drinks from one of your containers,
wash it seven times." Ahmad and Muslim also have this addition,
"Cleanse one of your containers if a dog licks it by washing it seven
times, the first washing being with dirt." As for the leftover water of
a pig, it is clearly considered filth and impure.
Najasah refers to impure substances that the Muslim must avoid and
wash off if they should happen to contaminate his clothes, body and so
on. Says Allah in the Qur'an, "Purify your raiment" (alMudathar 4);
and, "Allah loves those who repent and who purify themselves"
(al-Baqarah 222). The Messenger of Allah also said, "Purity is half of
This refers to animals which die from "natural causes," that is,
without the proper Islamic way of slaughtering. It also includes
anything that is cut off of a live animal. Abu Waqid al-Laithy reported
that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "What is cut off of a live
animal is considered dead," i.e., it is considered like an animal that
has not been properly slaughtered. This is related by Abu Dawud and by
at-Tirmizhi, who classifies it as hassan and says that the scholars act
according to this hadith.
Ibn 'Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "Two types of
dead animals and two types of blood have been made lawful for us. The
types of dead animals are seafood and locusts. The two types of blood
are the (blood of the) liver and the spleen."
This is related by Ahmad, ash-Shaf'i, al-Baihaqi and adDaraqutni. The
hadith is weak, but Imam Ahmad says that it is authentic in mauqoof
form. Abu Zar'ah and Abu Hatim have said the same. Such a report has
the implication of a marfu' hadith because a companion saying, "This
was allowed for us" or "This was forbidden for us" is like one of them
saying, "We were ordered to do this," or "We were forbidden to do
this," and so on. (Such statements are considered marfu' with respect
to their regulations). And we have already mentioned the Prophet's
statement concerning the ocean, "Its water is pure and its 'dead
animals' are allowable (to eat.)."
(That is) bees, ants, and so on. They are considered pure. If they
fall into some substance and die, the substance will not become impure.
Ibn al-Munzhir said, "I do not know of any disagreement concerning the
purity of such water save what has been related from ash-Shaf'i. It is
well-known that he views them as being impure. Nevertheless, it does
not bother him if the object falling into a substance does not alter it
(in any way)."
All of these are considered pure. Concerning the bones of dead
animals, az-Zuhri said, "I have met some scholars of the preceeding
generations who used such objects for combs and pots for oil, and they
did not see anything wrong in that." This is related by al-Bukhari.
Said Ibn 'Abbas, "The client of Maimunah was given a sheep as charity,
and it died. The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, passed by it
and said, 'Why do you not remove its skin, treat it and put it to use?'
She said, 'It is dead' (i.e., it has not been slaughtered properly). He
said to her, 'Only eating it is forbidden."' This is related by the
group. Ibn Majah attributes the incident to Maimunah and her client.
Al-Bukhari and an-Nasa'i do not mention treating the skin. It is
reported from Ibn 'Abbas that he recited: "Say (O Muhammad): "In all
that has been revealed to me, I do not find anything forbidden to eat;
if one wants to eat thereof, unless it be carrion, or blood poured
forth, or swine flesh..." (al-An'am 145). Then he said, "What is
forbidden is its meat. As for its skin, skin used for waterskins,
teeth, bones, fur and wool, they are permissible." This is narrated by
Ibn Munzhir and Ibn Hatim. Similarly, its rennet and milk are
considered pure. This is supported by the fact that when the companions
conquered Iraq, they ate the cheese of the Magians which was made from
rennet, although their slaughtered animals were considered the same as
'dead animals.' It is confirmed from Salman al-Farsi that when he was
asked about cheese, clarified butter and pelts, he said, "What is
permissible is what Allah made permissible in His book. What is
forbidden is what Allah made forbidden in His book. What he omits, He
has pardoned for you." It is well-known that he was being asked about
the cheese of the Magians, as Salman was 'Umar's deputy in Mada'in,
This includes blood that pours forth from an animal's body, such as
blood from a slaughtered animal, or from menstruation, except for what
small amounts are overlooked. Ibn Juraij said about the Qur'anic verse
"...or blood poured forth..." (al-An'am 145), that this is the blood
that flows out. The blood that does not flow out, but remains in the
veins, is permissible. This is related by Ibn al-Munzhir. And it is
also related from Abu Majlizn in his discourse on blood that he was
asked, "What about the blood that remains in the slaughtered sheep or
at the top of the cooking pot?" He answered, "There is no problem with
it. What is forbidden is the blood that flows out (of the animal at the
time of slaughtering)." This was recorded by 'Abd ibn Hameed and by Abu
ash-Shaikh. It is also related from 'Aishah that she said, "We used to
eat the meat when the blood was streaking the pot." Al-Hassan said,
"The Muslims always prayed, even while they were bleeding." This was
mentioned by al-Bukhari. It is confirmed that 'Umar prayed while his
wound was bleeding. Elucidating the point, Ibn Hajr says in Fath
al-Bari (a commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari): "Abu Hurairah did not see
anything wrong in a drop or two of blood during the prayers. Based on
this report from Abu Hurairah, the blood of a flee or the blood that
comes from a pimple are to be overlooked. Abu Majlizn was asked about
pus that gets on the body or the clothes. He said, 'There is nothing
wrong with them. Allah mentions only the blood, not the pus."'
Commenting on the subject, Ibn Taimiyyah says, "It is obligatory to
clean the clothes from pus, purulent matter or similar fluids." He also
says, "There is no proof concerning its impurity." It is preferred for
the person to avoid contact as much as possible with these substances.
According to the verse (al-An'am 145) quoted earlier, items
mentioned therein are impure. The pronoun 'they' refers to all three of
the mentioned items. It is, however, allowed to knit with the hair of a
pig according to most of the scholars.
There is agreement among the scholars that these objects are impure.
But, a slight amount of vomit (commonly understood as a small amount of
liquid) and the urine of an unweaned male baby are overlooked and
pardoned. It is sufficient just to sprinkle water over the urine of an
unweaned male baby. This is based on the hadith of Umm Qais. She came
to the Messenger of Allah with her unweaned son. After a while, the
baby urinated in the Prophet's lap. The Prophet, upon whom be peace,
called for some water, which he sprinkled over his clothes, and did not
give them a complete washing. This is related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.
'Ali narrated that the Messenger of Allah said, "The urine of a baby
boy should have water sprinkled upon it. The urine of a baby girl is to
be washed off." Says Qatadah, "This refers to a male baby that has not
yet begun to eat. If he already eats, then the garment is to be
This hadith is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmizhi and Ibn Majah.
In al-Fath, Ibn Hajr says its chain is sahih.
Sprinkling is sufficient as long as the boy is still nursing. If he
eats solid food, his urine must be washed from the clothes and body.
There is no disagreement on this latter point. Perhaps the reason for
this exemption to the male baby's urine is that people have a tendency
to carry their male babies around, and it would have been difficult to
clean the clothes after their frequent urinations.
Wadi is a thick white secretion discharged (by some people) after
urination. It is considered impure. 'Aishah said, " Wadi comes out
after urination. The person should wash the private parts and perform
ablution. It is not necessary to perform ghusl. This is related by Ibn
al-Munzhir. Ibn 'Abbas related that "mani (sperm) requires ghusl. As
for mazhi (semen) and wadi they require a complete purification." This
is related by al-Athram. Al-Baihaqi has it with the wording,
"Concerning mazhi (prostatic fluid) and wadi, he said, 'Wash your
sexual organs and perform the same type of ablution as you perform for
This is a white sticky fluid that flows from the sexual organs
because of thinking about sexual intercourse or foreplay, and so on.
The person is usually not aware of when exactly it is secreted. It
comes from both the male and the female sexual organs, although the
amount from the latter is usually more than the former's. Scholars are
agreed that it is impure. If it gets on the body, it is obligatory to
wash it off. If it gets on the clothes, it suffices to sprinkle the
area with water, as it is very hard to be completely protected from
this impurity, especially for the young, single person. 'Ali said, "I
used to excrete mazhi, so I asked a man to ask the Messenger of Allah,
upon whom be peace, about it. I was shy to do so because of my position
with respect to his daughter ('Ali was the Prophet's son-in-law). He
said, 'Make ablution and wash your penis." This is related by
al-Bukhari and others. Sahl ibn Hanif said, "I used to suffer from
excessive amounts of mazhi. I used to make lots of ghusl because of it.
So I mentioned this to the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, and
he said, 'It is sufficient to take a handful of water and sprinkle it
over your clothes wherever the fluid appears."
The hadith is related by Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, and at-Tirmizhi. The
latter says, "The hadith is hassan sahih. In the chain is Muhammad ibn
Ishaq, who is considered weak when he relates in mu'an'an (handed-down)
form because of his reputation as one who commited tadlis. But in this
narration, he makes it clear that he heard the hadith directly."
Al-Athram narrated the same hadith with the wording, "I was bothered by
a great deal of mazhi, so I went to the Prophet, upon whom be peace,
and informed him of this. He said 'It is sufficient for you to take a
handful of water and sprinkle it over (the mazhi)."'
Some scholars say that sperm is impure, but apparently it is pure,
for it is only recommended to wash it off if it is still wet, and to
scratch it off if it is dry. Said 'Aishah, "I used to scratch the sperm
off the Messenger of Allah's clothes if it was dry, and wash it off if
it was still wet." (This is related by ad-Daraqutni, Abu 'Awanah and
al-Bazzar). It is also related that Ibn 'Abbas said, "I asked the
Messenger of Allah about sperm on clothes. He said, 'It is the same as
mucus and spittle. It is sufficient to rub the area with a rag or
The hadith was related by ad-Daraqutni, al-Baihaqi and atTahawi. There
is a difference in the narration over whether it should be in marfu'or
Both of these are considered impure. Ibn Mas'ud related that the
Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, went to answer the call of
nature. He asked 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud to bring three stones. 'Abdullah
said, "I could not find three stones, so I found two stones and animal
dung and brought them to him. He took the two stones and threw away the
dung saying, 'It is impure."'
The hadith is related by al-Bukhari, Ibn Majah, and Ibn Khuzaimah. In
one narration it states, "It is impure. It is the stool of a donkey." A
little amount of it is pardoned though, as it is very difficult to
completely protect one's self from it. Al-Waleed ibn Muslim says, "I
said to al-Auza'i, 'What about the urine of animals whose meat is not
eaten, like the mule, donkey and horse?' He said that they used to come
into contact with these during their battles, and that they did not
wash it off their bodies or clothes. As for the urine and stools of
animals whose meat is permissible, Malik, Ahmad and a group of the
Shaifiyyah says that it is pure. Commenting on the subject, Ibn
Taimiyyah says, "None of the companions held that it is impure. In
fact, the statement that it is impure is of recent origin and not from
the early generations of the companions."
Said Anas, "A group of people from the tribes of Ukul or 'Uraina came
to Madinah and became ill in their stomach. The Prophet ordered them to
get a milking she-camel and drink a mixture of its milk and urine."
This hadith is related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari and Muslim and points to a
camel's urine as being pure. Therefore, by analogy, other permissible
animals' urine may also be considered pure. Says Ibn al-Munzhir, "Those
who claim that that was permissible only for those people are
incorrect. Specification is only confirmed by some specific proof." He
also says, "The scholars permit, without any objection, the sale of
sheep's stools and the use of camel's urine in their medicine, both in
the past and in the present, again without any objection. This shows
that they are considered pure." Says ash-Shaukani, "Apparently, the
urine and stools of every living animal permissible to eat is pure."
There is nothing to prove otherwise.
Jallalah refers to an animal that eats the waste or flesh of other
animals, such as camels, cows, sheep, chickens, geese, and so on. Ibn
'Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah forbade the drinking of
such animals' milk.
This hadith is related by "the five," except for Ibn Majah. At-Tirmizhi
grades it as sahih. In one narration it states, "It is also prohibited
to ride upon a jallalah. (Related by Abu Dawud.) 'Amr ibn Shu'aib
related on the authority of his father, from his grandfather, that the
Messenger of Allah prohibited the meat of domestic donkeys. As for the
jallalah, he prohibited riding or eating them." (Related by Ahamad,
an-Nasa'i and Abu Dawud.) If the jallalah animal is kept away from the
other animals for some time and is given clean food to eat, then it
becomes pure and is no longer called jallalah. If this is the case, it
becomes permissible to eat, as the reason for its prohibition was the
change it underwent due to eating filth, a state which would no longer
According to most scholars, alcohol is impure. Says Allah in the
Qur'an, "Alcohol, games of chance, idols and divining arrows are only
an infamy of Satan's handiwork." Some scholars say that it is pure, for
they take the meaning of rajis in its abstract sense as describing
alcohol and whatever is related to it. This is not labeled as impure in
a definite, sensory way. Says Allah, "Stay away from the impurities of
idols." Idols are impure in the abstract sense, and they are considered
impure if one touches them. The explanation of the preceding verse is
that they are a tool of Satan, for they cause enmity and hatred and
keep people away from the remembrance of Allah and pra.yer. In Subul
as-Salaam it says, "Their origin is pure and their being prohibited
does not mean that the object itself is impure. For example, hashish is
prohibited but it is pure. But, something impure is not necessarily
prohibited. Every impure thing is prohibited, but not vice-versa. That
is because of the ruling that something impure cannot be touched under
any circumstances. If a ruling says that something is impure, it is
also prohibited. This differs from a ruling that something is
prohibited. For example, it is forbidden to wear silk and gold, but
they are absolutely pure by consensus." If one understands that, then
the prohibition of alcohol does not necessarily entail its also being
considered impure: it needs some other evidence to prove that it is
impure. If not, then we are left with the original position that it is
pure. If one claims other than that, he must substantiate it.
If the clothes or body are contaminated with impurities, it is
obligatory to wash them with water until they are cleansed of the
impurities. This is especially the case if the impurity is visible,
such as blood. If there are some stains that remain after washing which
would be extremely difficult to remove, they can be overlooked. If the
impurity is not visible, such as urine, it is sufficient to wash it one
time. 'Asma bint Abu Bakr related that a woman came to the Prophet,
upon whom be peace, and said, "Our clothes are contaminated with
menstrual blood. What should we do about this?" He said, "Scrape it,
rub it with water, pour water over it and then pray in it." (This is
related by al-Bukhari and Muslim) If impurities get on the lower
portion of a woman's dress, it is purified by dust as she trails along.
A woman said to Umm Salamah, "I have a long dress that drags on the
ground, even when I walk through places that contain filth. What should
I do about it?" Umm Salamah answered her, "The Messenger of Allah said,
'What comes after it purifies it."' This is related by Ahmad and Abu
Dogs are considered impure. Any container that a dog has licked must
be washed seven times, the first time with dirt. Abu Hurairah reported
that the Messenager of Allah, upon whom be peace, said, "Purifying a
container that a dog has licked is done by washing it seven times, the
first washing being with dirt (that is, water mixed with dirt until it
becomes muddy)." This was related by Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and
al-Baihaqi. If a dog licks a pot that has dry food in it, what it
touched and what surrounds it must be thrown away. The remainder may be
kept, as it is still pure. As for a dog's fur, it is considered pure.
If there are impurities on the ground, it is purified by pouring
water over it. This is proven by Abu Hurairah's hadith, mentioned
earlier, about the bedouin who urinated in the mosque. The Prophet,
upon whom be peace, said all that needed to be done for purification
was to pour water over it. Said Abu Qulabah, "The drying of the ground
is its purification." 'Aishah said, "The purification of the ground is
its becoming dry." (Related by Ibn Abi Shaibah.) This, of course,
refers to the case where the impurity is a liquid. If the impurity is a
solid, the ground will only become pure by its removal or decay.
Ibn 'Abbas relates from Maimunah that the Prophet, upon whom be
peace, was asked about a mouse that fell into a pot of clarified
butter. He said, "Take (the mouse) and what is around it out, and throw
it away. Then eat (the rest of) your clarified butter." This is related
Commenting on the subject, al-Hafezh Ibn Hajr says, "Ibn 'Abdul Barr
reported that there is agreement that if a dead animal falls into a
solid matter, what the dead animal touches and what is around it must
be thrown away, provided that one can make sure that the animal did not
touch the remainder. As for a liquid substance, there is some
difference of opinion. The majority say that the entire liquid becomes
impure; az-Zuhri, al-Auza'i, and some others disagree with that
Tanning purifies the skin and the fur of a dead animal. This is
based on the hadith of Ibn 'Abbas, in which the Prophet said, "If the
animal's skin is tanned, it is purified." (Related by al-Bukhari and
Mirrors, knives, swords, nails, bones, glass, painted pots and other
smooth surfaces that have no pores are purified by simply wiping them
and removing any impure remains. The companions of the Prophet used to
pray while wearing swords smeared with blood, and they used to just
wipe the swords to purify them.
Shoes may be purified by rubbing them against the ground, as long as
the remains of the impurity are removed. Abu Hurairah narrated that the
Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said, "If one of you stepped in
some filth, the dirt will purify his shoes." Related by Abu Dawud. In
another narration it states, "If one of you steps in some filth with
his shoes on, the dirt will purify them." Abu Sa'eed reported the
Prophet, upon whom be peace, saying, "When a person comes to the
mosque, he should look at his shoes. If he finds any filth on them, he
should wipe them against the ground and pray in them." (Related by
Ahmad and Abu Dawud.) Since shoes are repeatedly exposed to filth, it
is sufficient just to wipe them against the ground. This is similar to
the case of defecation. In fact, it is stronger than that case, as
defecation usually occurs only two or three times a day.
Rope used for hanging clothes with impurities on them may afterwards
be used for hanging pure clothes.
If a liquid falls on a person and he does not know if it was water or
urine, he need not inquire about it. If he does inquire, the one who is
asked need not answer him even if he knows that the liquid is impure.
In that case, the person need not wash his clothes.
If a person finds something moist on his body or clothes at night, and
he does not know what it is, he need not smell it to discover what it
might be. It is related that 'Umar passed by a gutter (and got wet).
'Umar's companion asked the owner of the gutter if the water was pure
or impure. 'Umar told the owner not to answer the question, and went on
Clothes that have street mud on them need not be washed. Reported
Kamyal ibn Ziyad, "I saw 'Ali wading through the mud, after which he
entered the mosque and prayed without washing his legs."
If a person finishes his prayer and sees some impurities on his clothes
or body of which he was not previously aware, or he was aware of them
but forgot about them, or he did not forget about them but he was not
able to remove them, then his prayer is still valid and he need not
repeat it. This opinion is supported by Allah's statement, "And there
is no sin for you in the mistakes you make unintentionally." (al-Ahzab
5). Many of the companions and those of the following generation gave
this legal verdict.
If a person can not determine what part of his clothes contain the
impurity, he should wash the whole garment. This is based on the axiom,
"If an obligation cannot be fulfilled except by performing another
related act, then that act also becomes obligatory."
If a person mixes his pure clothes with his impure clothes (and gets
confused between them), he should investigate the matter and pray once
in one of the clothes. This is similar to the question of the exact
direction of the qiblah. It does not matter if the proportion of pure
clothes was large or small.
It is not proper for one to carry something that has Allah's name
upon it (unless he is afraid of losing it or having it stolen), while
he is going to the bathrom. Anas related that the Messenger of Allah,
upon whom be peace, had a ring engraved with Muhammad Rasool-ullah,
(Muhammad the Messenger of Allah), which he would remove when he went
to the bathroom. Ibn Hajr says that this hadith is malul (a type of
weak hadith having a defect) and Abu Dawud says it is m unkar,
(singularly related by people who are not trustworthy). The first
portion of the hadith is authentic, however.
This is especially true in the case of defecation, so others can not
hear noxious sounds or smell bad odors. Said Jabir, "We were journeying
with the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, and he would only
relieve himself when he was out of sight." (This is related by Ibn
Majah.) Abu Dawud records that, "When he wanted to relieve himself, he
would go where no one could see him." He also related, "When the
Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, went out he would go very far
Anas reported that when the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace,
entered the privy he would say, "In the name of Allah. O Allah! I seek
refuge in you from male and female noxious beings (devils)." This is
related by "the group."
One should not respond to a greeting or repeat what the caller to
prayer is saying. He may speak if there is some necessity (i.e., to
guide a blind man who fears he may be harmed). If he sneezes, he should
praise Allah to himself and simply move his lips (without making a
sound). Ibn 'Umar related that a man passed by the Prophet, upon whom
be peace, and greeted him while he (the Prophet) was urinating. The
Prophet did not return his greeting. (This is related by "the group,"
except for al-Bukhari.) Abu Sa'eed reported that he heard the Messenger
of Allah, upon whom be peace, say, "Isn't it true that Allah detests
those who converse while they relieve themselves?" This was related by
Ahmad, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah.
This hadith seems to support the position that it is forbidden to talk.
Many scholars, however, say that it is only disliked, not forbidden.
Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be
peace, said, "When one of you relieves himself, he should neither face
the qiblah nor turn his back on it." This was related by Ahmad and
The prohibition implies that it is only disliked. As Ibn 'Umar related
that he once went to Hafsah's home, where he saw the Messenger of Allah
relieving himself while facing Syria with his back to the Ka'bah. This
is related by "the group." Some reconciliate these hadith by saying
that in the desert it is forbidden to face or turn one's back on the
Ka'bah, while it is permitted in buildings. Said Marwan al-Asghar, "I
saw 'Umar sitting on his she-camel and facing the qiblah while
urinating. I said, 'O father of 'Abdurahman ... is this not forbidden?'
He said, 'Certainly not ... This has been prohibited only in open
areas. If there is a barricade (or separator) between you and the
qiblah, there is nothing wrong with it."
This is related by Abu Dawud, Ibn Khuzaimah and al-Hakim. Its chain is
hassan as Ibn Hajr said in Fath al-Bari.
Abu Musa related that the Messenger of Allah came to a low and soft
part of the ground and urinated. He then said, "When one of you
urinates, he should choose the proper place to do so."
This is related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud. One of its narrators is
unknown, but its meaning is sound.
Qatadah related from 'Abdullah ibn Sarjas who said, "The Messenger
of Allah forbade urination into a hole." Said Qatadah, "What is
disliked about urinating into a hole?" Said he, "It is the residence of
This hadith is related by Ahmad, an-Nasa'i, Abu Dawud, al-Hakim and
al-Baihaqi. Ibn Khuzaimah and Ibn as-Sakin classified it as sahih.
Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be
peace, said, "Beware of those acts which cause others to curse." They
asked, "What are those acts?" He said, "Relieving yourself in the
people's walkways or in their shade." This hadith is related by Ahmad,
Muslim and Abu Dawud.
'Abdullah ibn Mughaffal narrated that the Prophet said, "None of you
should urinate in a bathing place and then make ablution in the water.
The majority of waswas comes from that." This is related by "the five,"
but the statement, "and then make ablution in it" was only related by
Ahmad and Abu Dawud. Jabir said the Prophet forbade urinating in still
as well as running water. (Related by Ahmad, an-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah.)
In Majma az-Zuwaid it states, "This was related by at-Tabarani, and its
narrators are trustworthy."
If there is a drain in the bathing place, it is permissible to urinate
If a person can guarantee that no impurities will touch his clothes,
it is permissible to urinate while standing. Said 'Aishah, "If someone
relates to you that the Messenger of Allah urinated while standing, do
not believe him. He only urinated while sitting." This hadith is
related by "the five," except for Abu Dawud. At-Tirmizhi's comment is,
"It is the best thing related on this point, and it is the most
One should not forget that what 'Aishah said is based on the knowledge
that she had. Huzhaifah relates that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom
be peace, went to a public garbage dump and urinated while standing.
Huzhaifah went away, and the Prophet then called him over. The Prophet
made ablution and wiped over his shoes. This is related by "the group."
Commenting upon the issue, an-Nawawi says, "To urinate while sitting is
most desirable in my opinion, but to do so standing is permissible.
Both acts are confirmed by the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace.
To do so, he can use a rock, stone or any other pure matter. One may
use only water to clean the area, or any combinations of purifying
agents. 'Aishah reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be
peace, said, "When one of you goes to relieve himself, he should clean
himself with three stones." (Related by Ahmad, anNasa'i, Abu Dawud and
Anas related that the Messenger of Allah would enter the privy, and
that Anas and another boy would carry the water container and spear for
him. The Prophet would clean himself with water." (Related by
al-Bukhari and Muslim.)
Ibn 'Abbas related that the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace,
passed by two graves and said, "They are being punished. But they are
not being punished for a great matter (on their part). One of them did
not clean himself from urine and the other used to spread slander."
(Related by "the group.")
Anas also related the Prophet as saying, "Purify yourselves from urine,
as most punishment in the grave is due to it."
'Abdurahman ibn Zaid related that Salman was asked, "Your Prophet
teaches you everything, even how to relieve yourselves?" Salman said,
"Certainly ... He forbade us from facing the qiblah while doing so,
from cleaning ourselves with our right hand, and from cleaning
ourselves with less than three stones. We also should not use an impure
substance or a bone to clean ourselves." (Related by Muslim, Abu Dawud,
Hafsah reported, "The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, reserved
his right hand for eating, drinking, putting on his clothes, taking and
giving. He used his left hand for other actions." (Related by Ahmad,
Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban, al-Hakim and al-Baihaqi).
Abu Hurairah said, "When the Messenger of Allah upon whom be peace,
relieved himself, I used to bring him a container of water. He would
cleanse himself, then rub his hands against the soil." (Related by Abu
Dawud, an-Nasa'i, al-Baihaqi, and Ibn Majah.)
Make sure that he has cleansed himself. If one finds some dampness
in his clothes after so doing, he can content himself by saying, "That
is just water." This is based on the hadith related by al-Hakim ibn
Sufyan or Sufyan ibn al-Hakim who said, "When the Messenger of Allah,
upon whom be peace, urinated, he would wash and sprinkle (his penis)."
In another narration it states, "I saw the Messenger of Allah urinate,
after which he sprinkled water over his penis." Ibn 'Umar used to
sprinkle his penis until his underwear became wet.
One should enter the bathroom or a privy with his left foot, and
exit with his right foot, saying: "O Allah! I seek your forgiveness."
'Aishah related that when the Messenger of Allah left the bathroom, he
would say this supplication. (Related by "the five," except for
an-Nasa'i.) What 'Aishah stated is the soundest statement on this
topic. It is related through a number of weak chains that the Prophet,
upon whom be peace, used to say, "Praise be to Allah who made the filth
leave me and who has given me health," and "Praise be to Allah who let
me enjoy it, kept for me its energy and relieved me of its harm."
Allah has chosen certain acts for all of His prophets and their
followers to perform. These acts distinguish them from the rest of
mankind, and are known as sunan al-fitra, (the acts that correspond to
the nature of mankind).
This prevents dirt from getting on one's penis, and also makes it
easy to keep it clean. For women, it involves cutting the outer portion
of the clitoris. Abu Hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah
said, "Ibrahim circumcised himself after he was eighty years old."
(Related by al-Bukhari.) Many scholars say that it is
obligatory.'ø The Shaf'iyyah maintain that it should be done on
the seventh day. Says ash-Shaukani, "There is nothing that states
explicitly its time or indicates that it is obligatory."
They are two sunan acts. If the hair is only trimmed or pulled out,
it will suffice.
Ibn 'Umar related that the Messenger of Allah said, "Differ from the
polytheists: let your beards (grow)" and shave your moustache."
(Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim). Abu Hurairah reported that the
Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said, "Five things are part of
one's fitra: Shaving the pubic hairs, circumcision, trimming the
moustache, removing the hair under the arms and trimming the nails."
(Related by "the group.") It does not mention which one would
specifically fulfill the sunnah. One should make sure that his
moustache is not so long that food particles, drink and dirt accumulate
in it. Zaid ibn Arqam related that the Prophet, upon whom be peace,
said "Whoever does not take (off) some of his moustache is not one of
us." (Related by Ahmad, an-Nasa'i and at-Tirmizhi, who classified it as
sahih.) It is preferred to cut the pubic hairs, pluck out the underarm
hairs, cut the nails and trim the moustache on a weekly basis, a
practice which is most hygenic. If some unnecessary hair is left on the
body for a longer period of time, it may disturb the person. One may
leave this action for forty days, but no longer. Said Anas, "The time
period for us to trim the moustache, cut the nails, pluck out the
underarm hairs and cut the pubic hairs was forty nights." (Related by
Ahmad, Abu Dawud and others).
This is a feature of dignity. It should not be cut so short that it
appears like a shaved beard, nor should it be left so long that it
becomes untidy. It is also a sign of manhood. Says al-Bukhari,
"Whenever Ibn 'Umar made the hajj or 'umrah, he would hold his beard in
his fist and, whatever exceeded his fist, he would cut off."
Abu Hurairah reported the Prophet, upon whom be peace, as saying,
"Whoever has hair should honor it." (Related by Abu Dawud.)
Said 'Ata ibn Yasar, "A man came to the Prophet with unkempt hair and
an untidy beard. The Prophet pointed to him, as if ordering him to
straighten his hair and beard. He did so and returned. Thereupon the
Prophet observed, 'Is that not better than one of you coming with his
hair unkempt, as if he were a devil?"' (Related by Malik.)
Abu Qatadah related that he had a great amount of hair. He asked the
Prophet, "O Messenger of Allah, I have lots of hair. Should I comb it?"
He answered, "Yes ... and honor it." Abu Qatadah used to oil it twice a
day due to the Prophet's words, "... and honor it."
Cutting one's hair off is permissible, and so is letting it grow if one
honors it. Ibn 'Umar narrated that the Prophet, upon whom be peace,
said, "Shave it all or leave it all." (Related by Ahmad, Muslim, Abu
Dawud and an-Nasa'i). To shave part of it and leave part of it is
greatly disliked. Nafa' related from Ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of
Allah prohibited qiza'. Nafa' asked, "What is qiza' ?" He said, "It is
to shave off part of the hair of a youth and to leave part." (AlBukhari
This applies to both men and women. 'Amr ibn Shu'aib related on the
authority of his father from his grandfather that the Prophet said, "Do
not pluck the grey hairs as they are a Muslim's light. Never a Muslim
grows grey in Islam except that Allah writes for him, due to that, a
good deed. And he raises him a degree. And he erases for him, due to
that, one of his sins." (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmizhi,
an-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah.) And Anas said, "We used to hate that a man
should pluck out his white hairs from his head or beard." (Related by
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said,
"The Jews and Christians do not dye, so differ from them." (Related by
"the group.") Abu Zharr reported that the Messenger of Allah said, "The
best thing that one can use to change the color of grey hairs is henna
and katm (a reddish dye)." (Related by "the five.")
There are some narrations that state that dying is disliked, but it is
obvious that these narrations conflict with the sunnah and custom. It
is related from some of the companions that it is better not to dye,
while others say it is better to do it. Some used a yellow dye, while
others used henna or katm. Others used saffron, and a group of them
used a black dye. Ibn Hajr mentioned in Fath al-Bari that az-Zuhri
said, "We used black dye if our face was youthful, but if wrinkles were
present and the teeth were gone we would not use it." Said Jabir, "Abu
Quhafah (Abu Bakr's father) was brought to the Prophet during the
conquest of Makkah while his head was "white." The Prophet, upon whom
be peace, said, "Take him to one of his wives and let her change the
color of his hair with something, but she should avoid (making his
hair) black." (Related by "the group," except for al-Bukhari and
at-Tirmizhi). This dealt with a certain incident, and cannot be
generalized. Furthermore, black would not be proper for someone as old
as Abu Quhafah.
These are pleasing to the soul and beautify the atmosphere. Anas
reported the Messenger of Allah as saying, "Among the things of this
world, I love women and perfume, and the coolness of my eyes is
prayer." (Related by Ahmad and an-Nasa'i.) Abu Hurairah reported that
the Messenger of Allah said, "If someone offers perfume, do not reject
it, for it is light to carry and has a sweet scent." (Related by
Muslim, an-Nasa'i and Abu Dawud.) Abu Sa'eed reported that the Prophet
said about musk, "It is the best of perfumes." (Related by "the group,"
except for al-Bukhari and Ibn Majah).
Nafa' narrated that Ibn 'Umar used to burn and inhale a branch called
aluwah that has a nice smell. He also used camphor. He used to say,
"This is the way the Messenger of Allah inhaled such scents (that is,
by burning them.)" (Related by Muslim and an-Nasa'i.)