Types of impurities:
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 the faith."
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-Tirmidhi, who classifies it as hassan and says that the scholars act according to this hadith.
Dead animals of the sea and dead locusts:
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.)."
Dead animals that have no running blood :
(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-Mundhir 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)."
Bones, horns, claws, fur, feathers, and skin and so on of dead animals:
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 Mundhir 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, Iraq.
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-Mundhir. 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.
Vomiting of a person, urine, and excrement:
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 washed." This hadith is related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhi 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-Mundhir. Ibn 'Abbas related that "mani (sperm) requires ghusl. As for madhi (semen) and wadi they require a complete purification." This is related by al-Athram. Al-Baihaqi has it with the wording, "Concerning madhi (prostatic fluid) and wadi, he said, 'Wash your sexual organs and perform the same type of ablution as you perform for prayer."'
Al-Madhi or prostatic fluid:
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 madhi, 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 madhi. 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-Tirmidhi. 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 madhi, 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 madhi)."'
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 cloth."'
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 mauqoof form.
The urine and stools of animals that are permissible to eat:
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-Mundhir, "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-Tirmidhi 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 be present.
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.
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.
Useful points that are greatly needed concerning purification:
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 his way.
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.
© copyright Arabic Paper