Islamic Law Islamic Studies Purification

Manual of Fiqh as-Sunnah

410758336_63a618fccd_oby Arif Hussain

Part I | Part II

Shaykh Sayyid Sābiq has done a great service to the Muslim world by providing a solid text on Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) that brings to light the difference of opinion of scholars regarding matters of worship, while also providing a reference to the sources of Islamic law.  An individual may study this text and have a working manual to live their life by.

The elaborate discussions in the book however, may make it difficult for one to memorize the rulings and discern the final opinion of the scholar. In light of this, I’ve set out to derive the final rulings of Sayyid Sābiq so that one may implement what they learn immediately. In most of the discussion below, I have left out the opinions that are not taken by the Shaykh. I wished to provide the final opinion of the Shaykh along with the textual source of this opinion and a list of the Companions and Scholars that agreed with this opinion. I also recorded the opinions of the Four Imāms whenever they were mentioned. However, occasionally I provided a summary of the debate of a particular topic because it is a matter that is often a source of conflict in the Muslim community and therefore, one might require some insight to fully understand the difference of opinion. Also, occasionally the Shaykh may mention the various opinions but not mention the opinion he agrees with. In those cases, I simply laid out the different opinions as mentioned in the book.

I must make it clear that this work was not meant to replace the discussions presented within Fiqh-us-Sunnah, but rather to provide a practical manual of Fiqh as derived from the final rulings of Fiqh-us-Sunnah. Also, no human endeavor is free of defect. I ask Allah for His pardon, and I pray that this may be of benefit to all of us.

May Allah bless this effort and allow us to worship Him based on the Sunnah (sayings and actions) of His last Messenger. Ameen.


Types of Water: Water is broken down into four categories: (1) mutlaq water, (2) used water, (3) water mixed with pure elements, and (4) water mixed with impure elements.

(1) Mutlaq Water is that which is considered inherently pure, and therefore may be used to purify oneself.  The types include:

a. Rain, Snow, and Hail:

وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً طَهُورًا

“We sent down purifying water from the sky” (Qur’an, 25:48).

b. Sea Water:

A Hadīth narrated by Abū Hurairah states:

هو الطهور ماؤه، الحلُّ ميتته

“It’s water is pure and it’s dead (animals) are lawful” (related by “the five” and Al-Bukhāri calls it sahīh).

c. Zamzam Water

(2) Used Water is that which is left over after one does Wudhū’ or Ghusl. This water may be used to purify oneself.

  • Hadīth: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ wiped his head with the water remaining on his hands from wudhū’.”(Ahmad & Abū Dawūd)
  • Scholars: Malik, Shafi`i, Sufyan Al-thauri, Abu Thaur, Dhāhiris.

(3) Water Mixed with Pure Elements includes water that has been mixed with substances that are considered inherently pure. Examples of pure substances are dough, flowers, leaves, saffron, soap and others. Such water is considered pure so long as the mixture is small enough that you can still call it water. If the substance becomes so overwhelming that the mixture is no longer called water, then it cannot be used to purify oneself.

  • A Hadīth reported that the Messenger ﷺ and Maimunah washed themselves from a container of water with traces of dough in it (Ahmed, Nasā’i, Ibn Khuzaimah)

(4) Water Mixed with Impure Elements includes water that is mixed with impure substances (najāsah) that is mentioned later. This water is split into two categories:

  1. The impure substance alters the taste, color, or odor of the water.  This water is not to be used for purification. Ibn al-Mundhir and Ibn al-Mulaqqin state that there is consensus on this matter.
  2. The Impure substance does not alter the taste, color, or odor of the water.  This water is allowed for purification. A Hadīth narrated by Abū Hurairah states: When a Bedouin urinated in the masjid the Prophet ﷺ 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.”

It appears that this was used as evidence because it was sufficient for the companions to pour water over the urine, thereby making the ground pure and appropriate for Salāh. Had the mixture been considered impure then the ground would not be appropriate for Salāh. Thus, the water was a large enough amount that none of its characteristics were changed and it was considered pure after mixing with the urine.

  1. Scholars: Ibn `Abbās, Abu Hurairah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Ibn al-Musayyab, ‘Ikrimah, Ibn Abu Laila, al-Thauri, Dawūd adh-Dhāhiri, an-Nakha’i, and Mālik.

Leftover Water: This is water that is leftover after something drank from it. This is divided into what or who has drank from the water.

Water leftover after people drank from it. This water is considered pure whether the individual was Muslim, Non-Muslim, menstruating or non-menstruating. The reference in the Qur’an that states “Verily the Mushrikīn are impure” (9:28) is referring to their impurity in beliefs and creed, not physical impurity.

Water leftover after an animal drank from it, whose meat is permissible for consumption. Such water is considered pure and allowed for purification.

Water leftover after being drank by a donkey, mule, beasts or birds of prey. Such water is also considered pure and usable for purification. This is based on a few ahadīth that mention that we are allowed to drink from a pond after beasts have already drank from it.

Water remaining in a pot after a cat drank from it. This water is also considered pure.

  • Hadīth narrated by Kabshah bint Ka’b who mentioned that Qatādah fed a cat water that he was going to drink from, and he said that the Messenger ﷺ said, “It (the cat) is not impure, it is of those that intermingle with you.” (From “the five” it is Sahīh)

Water leftover after a pig or dog drank from it. This water is considered impure and to be avoided.

  • Hadīth narrated by Abū Hurairah: “If a dog drinks from one of your containers, wash it seven times.” (Ahmad & Muslim)

Continued in part two.

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  • Assalamualaikum Akhi,

    I think you may need to explain the used water part more clearly. There is water left over that the wudu was taken from, and there is also the water that his been compiled from what fell off of the persons body while making wudu. Also, the Shafii madhhab clearly states that water used after the first mandatory wash of Wudu (ablution) is not to be re used for purifying one self again. If the water was used for the second or third wash, which are Sunnah, then that water may be reused for another person’s Wudu. Also, the water that is left over in the container that the water was taken from, has two situations. 1. If the water is considered alot (there is a difference in opinion in what alot is), and it did not change to an extent that you can not call it pure water anymore, then it is ok to use for wudu and ghusl. If the water is considered to be less than that “alot” amount, and you actually put your hand or other body part while making the first mandatory wash, then the water is considered used in the shafii madhahab. Whether or not it changed. I am just making clear the shafii madhhab, because of what you stated. This is the strong opinion within the madhhab. Yes, the Malikii madhahb states that it is ok to use the leftover water that falls from a person after there wudu, but it is disliked if the water is little. If it is alot, then it is not disliked. Also, if the water that falls off of the person after he makes wudu or ghusl has changed to the point where it cannot be called water anymore, then it cannot be used again for the mandatory wudu or ghusl even if it was alot. This is also the ruling for the water that remains in the container that was used to purify oneself, if ofcoarse he put his body directly inside of the bucket instead of pouring it on to his body parts during the first mandatory wash.
    Also, I have heard that the original version of fiqh as Sunnah as some inaccurate information in some places.

    Wallahu A3lam

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