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 Home   Imam's Corner   Various Topics 

The Basics of Fiqh
 
Prepared by

Prepared by:

Mohamed Baianonie

(Imam of the Islamic Center of Raleigh, NC)

 

What are Physically Impure Things?

 

They can be placed in three different categories:

 

1.      Confirmed Impurities (agreed upon by all scholars).

2.      Controversial Impurities with the Stronger Opinion being Impure.

3.      Controversial Impurities with the Stronger Opinion being Pure (because everything is pure unless clear-cut evidence states otherwise).

 

*Details to follow.

 

What are Physically Impure Things?

 

First: Confirmed Impurities (agreed upon by all scholars).

 

1.      Human Urine.

2.      Human Excrement.

3.      Wadi: Thick white secretion that might be discharged after urination.

4.      Mathi: a white sticky (Prostatic) fluid (other than sperm or semen).

5.      Menstrual Blood.

6.      Defecation and Urine of animals whose meat is not permissible to eat.

7.      Carcass of terrestrial animals (i.e. those which do not live in water) that have running blood when cut or killed (which does not apply, for example, to insects).

 

Second: Controversial Impurities with the Stronger Opinion being Impure.

 

1.      Dog’s Saliva.

2.      Water remaining after the Beasts have drunk from it.

 

Third: Controversial Impurities with the Stronger Opinion being Pure (because everything is pure unless clear-cut evidence states otherwise).

 

1.      Alcoholic Drinks.

2.      Sperm.

3.      Human Vomit.

4.      Blood of Human & Living Terrestrial Animals.

5.      The Body of a Dead Person.

6.      Urine and Defecation of Animals Whose Meat is Permissible to Eat.

7.      The Tanned Skin of a Dead Animal (Carcass).

8.      Pork.

 

What are Physically Impure Things?

 

First: Confirmed Impurities (agreed upon by all scholars).

 

1.      Human Urine: Based on an authentic Hadith(1) reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim that a Bedouin urinated in the Mosque (of the Prophet (S.A.W.)) and the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: “Leave him alone and do not make him interrupt his urination.” After the Bedouin ended his urination, the Prophet (S.A.W.) requested a bucket of water and poured it on the urine.

 

2.      Human Excrement: Based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Abu Da’ud that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said: “If one of you steps on Al-Atha (excrement), dirt will purify his shoes.”

 

3.      Wadi: Thick white secretion that might be discharged after urination. Based on an authentic Hadith by Imam Abu Da’ud and Al-Baihaqi that Ibn Abbas in his answer said: “In regards to Wadi and Mathi, you should wash your private parts then make Wudu (ablution) for prayer.”

 

4.      Mathi: a white sticky (Prostatic) fluid (other than sperm or semen) that flows (secretes) from the sexual organs (male and female) because of thinking about sexual intercourse or foreplay that might not be noticed when it comes out, but is noticed on the clothes or the body. Based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet (S.A.W.) commanded Ali to wash his private parts from Mathi then make Wudu (ablution) for prayer.

 

5.      Menstrual Blood: Based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim that a woman asked the Prophet (S.A.W.) that if one of us (women) has menstrual bloods on her clothes what should she do? The Prophet (S.A.W.) answered that “She should scrape the blood, rub it with water, then wash that part of the clothing, and then she may pray in it.”

 

6.      Defecation and Urine of animals whose meat is not permissible to eat: Based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Bukhari and others on the authority of Abdullah Bin Mass’oud, it was related that the Prophet (S.A.W.) went to answer the call of nature. “He asked me to bring him three stones. I could not find three stones, so I found two stones and a donkey’s defecation. He took the two stones and threw away the defecation, and said: ‘It is Rijss (impure).’ ”

 

7.      Carcass of terrestrial animals (i.e. those which do not live in water) that have running blood when cut or killed (which does not apply, for example, to insects): Based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Muslim and others the Prophet (S.A.W.) said: “When the Ihab (skin of an animal which died by itself or was not killed according to Islamic law) is tanned, it becomes purified.”

 

However, Dead Sea animals are pure based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam At-Tirmithi, An-Nasa’i and Abu Da’ud that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said about the sea that “its water is purifying and its dead (animals) are permissible (to eat).”

 

As for the insects that do not have running blood when cut or killed (example, flies or locusts), they are also pure based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Bukhari and others that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said, “When a fly falls in the drink of one of you, he should fully dip it and then throw it (the fly) away because there is disease in one of its wings and cure in the other.” And also in a part of another authentic Hadith reported by Imam Ahmad and Al-Baihaqi that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said, “Two types of dead animals … have been made lawful for us, the two types of dead animals are locusts and fish (sea animal)...”

 

Second: Controversial Impurities with the Stronger Opinion being Impure.

 

1.      Dog’s Saliva: Based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Muslim that the prophet (S.A.W.) said: “Tahour To purify (cleanse) the utensils belonging to one of you, if it has been licked by a dog, wash it seven times, using soil the first time.” The Prophet’s (S.A.W.) use of Tahour is evidence that the dog’s saliva is Najiss (impure) because purifying is only needed when things are impure. This opinion is adopted by the Hanafi Madh-habs (School of Islamic Law). The Shafe’e and Hanbali Madh-hab are of the opinion that the entire dog is Najiss (impure), not just its saliva. The Maliki Madh-hab considers the entire dog Tahir (pure), and the cleansing of the utensils is needed only to follow the commands of the Prophet (S.A.W.).

 

2.      Water remaining after the Beasts have drunk from it: Based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Abu Da’ud, At-Tirmithi, An-Nasa’i and Al-Haakim that the Prophet (S.A.W.) replied to a person who asked him about the purity of the water found in the open areas like ponds with the possibility of beasts drinking from them. The prophet (S.A.W.) answered: “If the quantity of the water is two Quillah (pots) or more, it does not carry any impurity.” This proves that the leftover water of beasts is impure, because if it were pure the Prophet (S.A.W.) would not have mentioned the minimum quantity of two pots or more as a condition for it to be pure. This opinion is adopted by the Hanafi Madh-hab while the other three Madh-habs consider the remaining water after the beasts have drunk from it as being pure with no minimum required. Imam An-Nawawi said that this opinion is based on three weak ahadith.

 

Third: Controversial Impurities with the Stronger Opinion being Pure (because everything is pure unless clear-cut evidence states otherwise).

 

1.      Alcoholic Drinks: It is considered impure by the four Madh-habs based on the verse of the Qur’an (Surah 5 (Al-Ma’idah), Verse 90) what can be translated as “O you who believe!  Surely Al-Khamer (alcoholic drinks), gambling, Al-Ansab(2), and Al-Azlam(3) are Rejss.” They said that Rejss means Najiss, impure. Other scholars adopted the opposite opinion, like the Tabe’e(4) Rabeea Al-Rae’e and after him Imam Al-Laith Ibn Sa’ad and Ismail Bin Yahya Al-Muzni, also Imam Ash-Shawkani and As-Sana’ani. These scholars interpret the word Rijss as Moral (Conceptual) Impurity.

 

2.      Sperm: Is impure according to the opinion of Hanafi and Maleki Madh-hab. Pure according to the Shafe’e and Hanbali Madh-hab and others, based on the saying of Aeysha as reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim: “I used to scrape it (the sperm) off the garment of the Prophet (S.A.W.), and then he used to perform prayer with it.” In another hadith reported by Imam Ad-Daraqatni, Bayhaqi and At-Tahawi on the authority of Ibn-Abbas who said, “I asked the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) about Sperm on the clothes. He said: ‘It is the same as mucus and spittle. It is sufficient to rub the area with a rag or cloth.’”

 

3.      Human Vomit: Is impure according to the four Madh-habs(5). Pure according to the opinion of Imam Ibn Hazm and Ash-Shawkani and others as there is no Quranic verse or Hadith.

 

4.      Blood of Human and Living Terrestrial Animals: Is impure according to the four Madh-habs(6). Pure according to the opinion of Imam Bukhari, Ibn Hazm and others as there is no Quranic verse or Hadith. In addition, the companions of the Prophet (S.A.W.) used to pray while their wounds were bleeding and the Prophet (S.A.W.) knew about it. Also, it was reported by Imam Bukhari and Ahmad that a man from Ansar(7) was praying at night when a disbeliever shot him with arrows and he continued praying while he was vigoursily bleeding.

 

5.      The Body of a Dead Person: Is impure according to the Hanafi Madh-hab. Pure according to the opinion of the other three Madh-habs, based on the saying of the Prophet (S.A.W.) that a Muslim does not become impure. In addition, everything is pure unless clear-cut evidence suggests otherwise.

 

6.      Urine and Defecation of Animals Whose Meat is Permissible to Eat: Is impure according to the Hanafi Madh-hab and some Shafe’es. Pure according to the Madh-hab of Malik, Ahmad and some Shafe’es.  Imam Ibn Taymeah said that none of the companions of the Prophet (S.A.W.) said that it is impure. In addition, they also base it on the Hadith reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim that some people from A’klen and Oreina (two Arab tribes) became sick and came to the Prophet (S.A.W.) who told them to drink from the urine and milk of the female camel.

 

7.      The Tanned Skin of a Dead Animal (Carcass): Is impure according to the Maliki and Hanbali Madh-habs. Pure according to  the Hanafi and Shafe’e Madh-habs, based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Muslim and others that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said that when the skin of a dead animal is tanned, it becomes purified.

 

8.      Pork: Is impure according to the Hanafi, Shafe'e, and Hanbali Madh-habs based on the verse of Quran (Sura 6 (Al-An’am) Verse 145) which means “Say (O Muhammad (S.A.W.)) I do not find that which has been revealed to me anything forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be a dead animal or blood poured forth or pork for that surely is Rijss….”. These scholars said that the word Rijss means Impure. Pure according to the opinion of Imam Malik, Imam Ibn Hazm, and others, who said that this verse is evidence for prohibition of eating and not evidence for proof of physical impurity.

 

How to Purify Things?

 

  1. Purifying the body and clothes.
  2. Purifying the clothes from the male infant’s urine.
  3. Purifying the hem of a woman’s clothes from what may touch it from impurity on the ground.
  4. Purifying the bottom of shoes.
  5. Purifying the ground.
  6. Purifying the utensils if they were touched by a dog’s saliva.
  7. Purifying mirrors and similar objects (as knives, glass and other smooth surfaces that have no pores).
  8. Purifying ghee (cooking butter) and other similar substances.
  9. Purifying the skin of a dead animal (not slaughtered according to the Islamic law).

 

How to Purify Things?

 

The Scholars agreed that purification from impurities is performed by using water based on a verse from Quran (Surah 25 (Al-Furqan), Verse 48) what can be translated as, “… And We send down pure cleansing water from the sky”, and on another verse (Surah 8( Al-Anfal), Verse 11) what can be translated as, “… and He sends down on you from the sky water to purify you with it…”

 

And the Scholars agreed that purification from urine and excrement is performed by wiping with paper, stones or any similar pure material based on many authentic narration of sayings and actions of the Prophet (S.A.W.), like an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Abu Da’ud and An Nasa’I, “If any of you goes to relieve himself, let him take three stones with him to clean himself, as it is enough for him.”

 

It is also allowed to use water for purification from urine and excrement based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim that Anass Bin Malik narrated: “Whenever Allah’s Messenger (S.A.W.) went to answer the call of nature, I along with another boy used to accompany him with a tumbler full of water for him to clean himself with.”

 

1.      Purifying the body and clothes: This is performed by washing them with water until they are cleansed of the impurities. This is especially the case where the impurity is visible, such as the menstrual blood. If there are some stains that remain after washing which would be difficult to remove, they can be overlooked based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Abu Da’ud and Baihaqi that a woman came to the Prophet (S.A.W.) and said “O Messenger of Allah, I don’t have but one outfit and I have my monthly period when I am wearing it, and sometimes I see blood on it. What should I do?” The Prophet (S.A.W.) replied: “After the menstrual cycle is over, wash the blood stained area and then you can pray with it.” The woman said “O Messenger of Allah, what if the blood traces don’t come out?” He replied: “It suffices for you to clean it with water, and the traces of blood will not harm you.” If the impurity is not visible, such as urine, it is sufficient to wash it once.

 

2.      Purifying the clothes from the male infant’s urine: This is performed by sprinkling water on it. The urine of a female infant needs to be washed. This is based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Bukhari, Abu Da’ud and An-Nasa’i that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said, “The urine of a baby girl should be washed off and the urine of a baby boy should be sprinkled (with water)”. This opinion is adopted by the scholars except by Imam Malik.

 

3.      Purifying the hem of a woman’s clothes from what may touch it of the impurity on the ground: This is performed by touching the pure ground after it. Based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Abu Da’ud, At-Termithi and Ibn Majah that a woman asked Um Salamah (the Prophet’s wife) “I am a woman who makes my clothes extra long and I may walk on impure places.” Um Salamah replied that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said “touching pure ground after it will purify it.”

 

4.      Purifying the bottom of shoes: This is performed by rubbing them against the ground as long as the remains of the impurity (Najassah) are removed. Based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Abu Da’ud that the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: “If any of you step on impurities (Najassah) with his shoes, rubbing them against the soil will purify it.” This opinion has been adopted by the scholars except by Imam Ash-Shafe’e who requires that they should be washed with water.

 

5.      Purifying the ground:

(a)   By pouring water over it: Based on the Hadith reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim that a Bedouin came and urinated in the Masjid of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.), and he said to them: “Leave him alone and pour a bucket of water over his urine. You have been sent to make things easy and not to make them hard.” This opinion has been adopted by the scholars except by Imam Abu Hanifah who requires that in case the ground is solid, it needs to be dug and the impure soil removed.

 

(b)  Drying of the ground is its purification if the impurity is gone: Based on a Hadith reported by Imam Bukhari that Ibn Umar said that  “dogs used to urinate in the Mosque of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) during his time and his companions did not pour any water on it (i.e. let it dry by itself).” This opinion has been adopted by the Hanafi Madh-hab contrary to the majority.

 

6.      Purifying the utensils if they were touched by a dog’s saliva:  This is performed by washing them seven times with water, the first mixed with soil. This is based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Muslim: “Tahour to purify by cleaning utensils belonging to one of you. If it has been licked by a dog, wash it seven times, using soil at the first time.”

 

7.      Purifying mirrors and similar objects (as knives, glass and other smooth surfaces that have no pores): This is performed by wiping them and removing any impure remains.

 

8.      Purifying ghee (cooking butter) and other similar substances: This is performed by taking out the impurity and what is around it. Based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Bukhari that the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) was asked regarding ghee in which a mouse had fallen. He said: “Take out the mouse and throw away the ghee around it and use the rest”. As for a liquid substance, there is some difference of opinion. The majority of scholars are of the opinion that the entire liquid becomes impure. Imam Az-Zuhri, Al-Auza’i and Al-Bukhari and some companions of the Prophet (S.A.W.) like Ibn-Abbas and Ibn-Mas’ud say it is pure.

 

9.      Purifying the skin of a dead animal (not slaughtered according to the Islamic law): This is performed by tanning. Based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Muslim that the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: “When the skin is tanned it becomes purified.” This opinion has been adopted by Hanafi and Shafe’e Madh-habs and not by Maliki and Hanbali Madh-habs. Imam Ash-Shawkani supports and adopts the opinion of Ath-Thahiriah Madh-hab that tanning purifies all kinds of animal skin, including dogs and pigs, because the authentic ahadith do not differentiate between these two kinds of animals and others. It is obvious that if an animal is permissible to eat and is slaughtered according to the Islamic law, then it is already pure.

 

Sunan Al-Fitrah

The State (Condition) That Allah (S.W.T.) Likes the Humans to Be In

 

1.      Circumcision.

2.      Shaving pubic hair

3.      Pulling out underarm hair.

4.      Clipping one’s fingernails and toenails

5.      Trimming or shaving his mustache.

6.      Letting the beard grows and become thick.

7.      Using the Siwak (a piece of a root of a tree called Al-Arak found in the region of Hejaz in the Arabian Peninsula).

 

Sunan Al-Fitrah

 

The State (Condition) That Allah (S.W.T.) Likes the Humans to Be In.

 

1.  Circumcision: is obligatory according to Shafei’s and Hanbali’s, based on a fair Hadith reported by Imam Abu Da’ud and Al-Baihaqi that the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) had said to a man who converted to Islam: “Get rid of the Kufr hair and circumcise.” It is only recommended according to Hanafi’s and Maleki’s, because they consider the above-mentioned Hadith as weak. Imam Ash-Shawkani also favors this opinion. They all base their opinion on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said that five acts are considered from the (Sunan) Al-Fitrah and he mentioned circumcision as one of them.  Since this Hadith does not include any commands, it is proof that it is a recommended act.  The scholars who preferred it to be done on the seventh day after birth based their opinion (according to Imam Ash-Shawkani) on two weak Ahadith.

 

2/3.  Shaving pubic hair and pulling out underarm hair: These are two recommended acts. If either hair is shaved, trimmed or pulled out, it will suffice. Based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said that five acts are considered from the (Sunan) Al-Fitrah and he mentioned shaving the pubic hair and pulling out the underarm hair as two of them. It is preferred that they are removed whenever they get long, not exceeding forty days. In an authentic Hadith reported by Ahmad, Abu Da’ud and others that Anass (R.A.A.) said: “The time period for us to trim the moustache, cut the nails, pluck out the underarm hair and cut the pubic hair was forty nights.”

 

4/5.  Clipping one’s fingernails and toenails, and trimming or shaving his mustache: Based on an authentic Hadith reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said that five acts are considered from the (Sunan) Al-Fitrah and he mentioned clipping one’s fingernails and toenails, and trimming or shaving his mustache as two of them. It is preferred that they are removed whenever they get long, not exceeding forty days as reported in the Hadith by Anass (R.A.A.)  mentioned above in 2&3.

 

6.  Letting the beard grow and become thick: It’s prohibited to shave it according to the opinion of the four scholars, because it is considered as changing Allah’s creation of the male and imitation of the female. In many authentic Ahadith, the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) ordered the believers to grow their beards. Among this is a Hadith reported by Imam Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: “Be different from the Mushrikin (idolaters) and let your beards grow and trim your mustaches”. Imam Bukhari added “Ibn Umar (R.A.A.) used to grab his beard with his full hand and trim any excess, after performing Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) or Umrah (a visit to Makkah different from Hajj)”. And the same act was done by Umar Ibn Al-Khattab and Abu Hurierah (R.A.A.) during the life of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.).

 

7.  Using the Siwak (a piece of a root of a tree called Al-Arak found in the region of Hejaz in the Arabian Peninsula): It is recommended whether the person is fasting or not, based on many authentic Ahadith like the one reported by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim that the Prophet (S.A.W.) said: “Had I not feared burdening my Ummah (Muslims), I would have ordered them to use the Siwak before every prayer.” In another narration reported by Imam Ahmad “… to use the Siwak with every ablution.” The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) used  the Siwak when he entered his home and when he woke up for the Tahajjud (late night prayers).  If a Siwak is not available, it can be replaced with a toothbrush or any similar object to clean one’s teeth. Continue Reading

 

(1) (Plural: authentic Ahadith) The sayings, actions and approvals accurately narrated from the Prophet (S.A.W.). Return to Text

(2) Al-Ansab is plural of An-Nusub . They were stone-altars at fixed places or graves, etc., whereon sacrifices were slaughtered on certain occasions in the name of idols, jinns, angels, pious men, saints, etc. in order to honor them, or to expect some benefit from them. Return to Text

(3) Arrows for seeking luck or decision. Return to Text

(4) The generation that came after the Prophet’s (S.A.W.) companions. Return to Text

(5) Because they assumed it mixes with impurities inside the body. Return to Text

(6) Because they include them in the general prohibition of blood; and also because they made an analogy with the impurity of menstrual blood. Return to Text

(7) Al-Ansar are the natives of Madinah who accepted Islam and supported the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.). Return to Text


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