Islamic Law Islamic Studies Personal Development Purification

Fiqh as-Sunnah (Part II)

2420799856_0c9fb04ed6_oby Arif Hussain

Part I | Part II

…continued from previous post.

Impurities (Najasah): These are the substances that the believer must remove from himself to be considered pure for prayer.

1. Dead Animals: Animals that have died due to natural causes, not as a result of Islam-regulated slaughter. The following are exceptions to the rule: animals of the sea, locusts, bees, ants, bones, horns, claws, fur, feathers, and skin.
2. Blood: Allah mentions “…Or blood that pours forth…” (Quran, 6:145). A drop or two of blood is fine, but one should avoid having more than that.

3. Pig’s Meat: “…Or pig’s meat…” (Quran, 6:145).

4. Vomit, Urine, Human Excrement: This is an agreement among the scholars.  The exceptions include a slight amount of vomit, and urine of an un-weaned male baby. In these cases it is sufficient to sprinkle water on your garments.

Hadīth narrated by Ali: “The urine of a baby boy should have water sprinkled upon it.  The urine of a baby girl is to be washed off.”

بول الغلام ينضح عليه، وبول الجارية يغسل

Qatādah says, “This is if they have not been fed [solid food] yet. If they start being fed, then their urine is to be washed.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawūd, Al-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Mājah.  Ibn Hajr says it is Sahīh)

5. Al-Wady: This is the thick white discharge after urination. One should wipe their private parts and perform wudhū before prayer. Ghusl isn’t required. This is the opinion of Ayesha and Ibn Abbas.

6. Al-Madhy: This is the white sticky fluid that flows from organs because of sexual stimulation/excitation. The scholars are agreed that it is impure. One is to follow the same guidelines as al-Wady.

7. Al-Many: This is what would be called sperm, which is released during intercourse.  One Must wash it off if it is wet, or scratch it off if it is dry.  Ayesha said, “I used to scratch the sperm from the Messenger’s cloth if it was dry, and wash if off if it was still wet, then he would pray in those clothes.” (Muslim).  Since one is only required to scratch it off, some scholars believe that this is not considered najāsah, because najāsah must be purified with Water.

8. Urine and Excrement of Animals that are unlawful to eat: This is based on a hadīth narrated by Abdullah Ibn Mas’ūd that he gave the Prophet what appeared to be a stone but turned out to be the dung of a donkey and the Prophet said, “It is impure.” (Bukhāri, Ibn Mājah, and Ibn Khuzaimah).

أتي النبي الغائط فأمرني أن آتيه بثلاثة أحجار، فوجدت حجرين،
والتمست الثالث فلم أجده، فأخذت روثة فأتيته بها،
فأخذ الحجرين وألقى الروثة وقال: “هذا رجس”

9. Al-Jallālah: This is an animal that eats the waste or flesh of other animals. Its milk is forbidden to consume and its meat is forbidden to consume.
10. Dogs: If they lick a pot or utensil you are to wash it seven times. Based on a hadīth mentioned above.
Substances considered pure despite difference of opinion

1. Urine and Excrement of Animals that are lawful to eat: This is the opinion of Mālik, Ahmad, a group of Shafi`iyyah, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn al-Mundhir, Ash-Shaukāni.

  • Ibn Taymiyyah said, “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.”
  • Al-Shaukani said, “Apparently, the urine and stools of every living animal permissible to eat, is pure.”

2. Alcohol: Most scholars consider it to be impure because of Allah’s statement “Wine (alcohol), gambling, idols, and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan’s handiwork” (Quran, 5:90). But Shaykh Sayyid Sābiq is of the opinion that just because something is considered prohibited doesn’t make it impure unless further evidence substantiates that opinion. FINAL RULING: NOT IMPURE (but not permissible to consume).

How to purify oneself from impurities

One should purify themselves if an impure substance falls upon them.

Purifying one’s body and garments: One is to wash themselves with water until the impurity is no longer present. If the stain is difficult to remove despite repetitive cleaning, then it may be overlooked. If the impurity is not visible, then one washing is sufficient. The bottom of one’s clothes may pass through some najāsah that one is not aware of. This is cleaned by default by the dirt that follows.

Purifying the ground: One is to pour water over the location.

Purifying solidified food substances such as butter: One is to remove the portion that has been exposed to the najāsah and eat the rest.

Purifying the skin of a dead animal: This is purified by tanning. According to a hadīth narrated by Ibn Abbas: “If the animal’s skin is tanned, it is purified.” (Bukhari and Muslim).

إذا دُبِغَ الإهاب فقد طَهُرَ

Purifying mirrors, knives and other such smooth surfaces: All that is required is wiping.

Purifying Shoes: One is to wipe them against the dirt.  This is based on a hadīth narrated by Abū Hurairah “If one of you steps in some filth with his shoes on, the dirt will purify them.”

إذا وطيء أحدكم بنعله الأذى فإن التراب له طُهورٌ

Etiquettes of Using the Restroom

For quick guidance, I will simply list the manners of using the restroom unless some explanation is needed due to difference of opinion.

1. One is not to carry anything with Allah’s name upon it.

2. One should move and hide himself from others’ view.

3. One should mention the name of Allah and seek refuge in Him.

4. One should not speak.

5. One shouldn’t face his front or back to the qiblah if s/he is in an open location.  This is acceptable if it’s within walls or there is a barrier.

6. One should not relieve oneself into a hole in the ground.

7. One should avoid shaded places and places where people walk.

8. One should not urinate in bathing places or still water.

9. One may not urinate while standing. We see that it is the best option to urinate while sitting. However, it is permissible to stand and urinate as this is also found in the sunnah.  This difference of opinion can be understood based on the following two hadith in which the Prophet is related to have urinated both while standing and while sitting.  The statement of Ayesha does not necessarily indicate that the Prophet never stood while urinating, as it illustrated by the second hadith, but rather it only determines that she never witnessed the Prophet, herself, urinating while standing.

Hadīth One: Ayesha narrates that “If someone relates to you that the Messenger of Allah urinated while standing, do not believe him. He only urinated while sitting.” (related by “the five” except for Abu Dawud)
Hadīth Two: Hudhaifah narrates that the Prophet (ﷺ) urinated while standing while at a public garbage dump.  (Related by “the group”)

10. One must remove any impurity from his body and clothes. This should be done with at least three stones. It is also narrated that the Prophet cleaned himself with water.

11. One is not to clean himself with his right hand.

12. One should remove any bad smell from his hands.

13. One should sprinkle his private part with water.

14.One should enter the bathroom with his left foot and leave with his right foot, while saying “غفرانك ” (ghufrānak: I ask your forgiveness [O Allah]).

Acts that Correspond to the Nature of Mankind (Al-Fitrah)

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 called Sunan Al-Fitrah.  These actions are found in a hadīth narrated by Abū Hurairah as related by “the group.” These include…

  1. Circumcision
  2. Shaving pubic hair
  3. Pulling out underarm hair
  4. Clipping one’s fingernails
  5. Trimming the mustache

Other Acts of Hygiene: There are other acts as prescribed by the sunnah to keep ourselves clean and tidy. These include the following:

1. Letting the beard grow and become thick

2. Oiling and combing one’s hair

3. Leaving grey hair

4. Dying the hair with other than black dye. Though this is preferred, Sayyid Sābiq and Ibn Hajr are of the opinion that it is acceptable to dye one’s hair black.

Ibn Hajr mentions in Fath al-Bāri that Az-Zuhri said, “We used black dye if our faces were youthful, but if our faces were wrinkled and our teeth were gone we wouldn’t use it.

The Shaykh mentions that the following hadith, which is used for proof against black dye, is related to a specific person rather than being a general ruling because the companion was very old. “Take him (Abu Quhāfa, the father of Abu Bakr) to one of his wives and let her change the color of his hair with something, but she should avoid using black.”

إذهبوا به إلى بعض نسائه فلتغيره بشيء وجنبوه السواد

5. One should use musk and burn incense like camphor and a branch called al-aluwwah.

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