What is Purification?
Tahara or Purification in Sacred Law is lifting a state of ritual impurity (hadath), removing filth (najasa), or matters similar to these, such as purificatory baths (ghusl) that are merely sunnah or renewing ablution (wudu) when there has been no intervening ritual impurity.
Purifying means it is pure in itself and it purifies other things.
Pure means it is pure in itself but cannot purify other things.
After Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was appointed to his mission of Prophethood and commanded to propagate the message of Allah, the first duty enjoined on him after the doctrine of Tauhid was to purify him.
“…And purify yourself.” (74:4)
This Quranic command means that he should purify himself spiritually as well as physically, meaning he should purify his heart and soul of all impurities of belief and creed and his dress and body of all kinds of filth, defilement and uncleanliness.
The Quran has impressed great importance on personal purification, so much so that it declares:
“…Allah likes those people who like to keep themselves pure.” (9:108)
“Most surely Allah loves those people who refrain from evil and keep themselves pure and clean.” (2:222)
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had presented by his personal example the highest sense and level of purification. He had impressed its great importance over and over again on the Muslim community. He is reported to have said:
“Purification is one half of the faith.”
He had enjoined cleanliness and had given detailed instructions about the ways of achieving it and demonstrated practically how to keep oneself neat and clean at all times. It is, therefore, binding on every Muslim to know, understand and follow the injunctions to keep his inner and outer self clean and pure.
Wudu is the foremost pre-requisite of the prayer. The Quran has enjoined its importance:
“O Believers, when you rise to offer Salat you must wash your faces and hands and arms up to the elbows and wipe your heads with wet hands and wash your feet up to the ankles.” (5:6)
The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) reported to have said:
“On the Day of Resurrection, I shall be able to spot my people by their faces and hands and feet, which will be shining on account of wudu.”
The Fard (Obligatory) Actions in Wudu:
There are 4 obligatory actions of Wudu.
- Washing the face.
- Hands up to the elbows.
- Feet up to the ankles.
- Wiping (mash) the head – the obligatory part in wiping the head is the extent of the forelock (one-fourth)
The Sunnah Actions in Wudu:
- Washing the two hands before starting the wudu.
- Taking the name of Allah, the Exalted, at the start of the wudu.
- Siwak/brushing teeth.
- Rinsing the mouth.
- Sniffing water to clean the nose.
- Wiping the ears.
- Combing the beard.
- Combing the fingers.
- Repeating the washing up to thrice (3 times)
- To intend purification
- Covering the entire head with wiping
- Performing the wudu in order, such that one starts with the name of Allah, the Exalted.
Mustahabb (recommended) Actions in Wudu
- To perform wudu at a raised ground so that the used water flows away and one is safe from the spatter and splash.
- To face the Qiblah while performing wudu.
- To perform wudu all by oneself without anyone’s assistance in pouring water or washing the limbs, except in case of necessity and helplessness.
- To use the right hand for rinsing mouth and nose.
- To clean the nose with the left hand.
- To pour water with the right hand and wash the feet with the left hand.
- To wash all the limbs thoroughly so that no part remains dry and all dirt etc is washed away.
- It is recommended to start all actions with the right parts.
Wudu: The Prescribed Way
- The intention should be to please Allah (SWT) and to seek His approval for all one’s actions and deeds. One should start wudu with Bismillah and pray:
الاهم اغفرلي ذنبي و وسع لي في د اري و با رك لي في رزقي
Allahumm-aghfirli zanbi wa wass’i li fi dari wa barik-li fi rizqi.
“O Allah! Forgive me my sins and grant me spaciousness in my abode and bless for me my provisions.”
- Wash both hands three times up to the wrists.
- Rinse mouth with the right hand three times.
- Rinse/Sniff (and blow out) nose with water three times.
- Taking water in the cup of the palms, wash face three times so that no portion of it remains dry. If one has a thick beard, it has to be combed with wet fingers so that water reaches to the roots of the hair.
- Wash hands, first right and then the left, well up to the elbows thrice. One should move the ring (or the bracelets) to and fro so that no part of the skin remains dry; the spaces between fingers have also to be made wet and cleaned.
- Wipe the head and the ears with wet hands in the following manner: Join the middle, ring and little fingers of one hand with corresponding fingers of the other hand, tip to tip, and wipe at least one-fourth of the head by moving them jointly from the hair of the forehead towards the rear of the head and then back from the rear of the head towards the front: then wipe the inside of the ears with the forefinger and the outside with the thumb, and the back of the neck with the back of the fingers. [The wisdom underlying this procedure is that no part or side of the hands or fingers is used twice for wiping the head, ears and neck.
- Wash both feet, first right and then the left, thrice up to the ankles with the left hand, using little finger for cleaning the spaces between the toes, starting from the little toe of the right foot and finishing with the little toe of the left foot.
One has to perform the whole wudu continuously in the given sequence without pause. After completing the wudu, one should recite the following dua thrice:
اشهد ان لا اله الا الله وحده لا شريك له و اشهد ان محمد ا عبده و رسوله
اللهم اجعلنى من التوابين واجعلنى من المتطهرين
Ash-had-u al-la-ilaha ill-Allah-u wahda-hu la-sharika-lahu wa-ash-had-u anna Muhammad-an ‘abdu-hu wa rasuluh, Allahumm-aj’alni min-al tawwabina waj’alni min-al mutatahhirin.
“I bear witness that there is no god but Allah: He is One and has no partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Apostle; O Allah! Join me with those who repent of their sins again and again, and join me with those who keep themselves neat and clean at all times.”
Special Request: Make sure to leave the bathroom or the place of wudu dry and clean. Jazakum Allahu Khair!
Actions which must be avoided during Wudu
- To use more water than necessary.
- To use less water with the result that limbs are not properly washed.
- To talk irrelevant things.
- To splash the face and other limbs causing water to be spattered in all directions.
- To wash the limbs more than thrice.
- To wipe the head thrice with fresh water every time.
- To splash water from the hands after wudu.
- To wash other parts of the body besides those which have to be washed, without a reason.
The Invalidators of Wudu
The incidents which invalidates wudu are:
- Anything, which exits from the two paths.
- Blood, pus or serum when they exit from the body on a place which it is incumbent to purify.
- Vomit, if it was a mouthful.
- Sleep lying down, or leaning (on one’s side) or reclining such that if it were removed he would fall.
- Loss of consciousness through fainting or insanity.
- Laughter in any prayer containing ruku and sujud.
Injunctions concerning Wudu
It is imperative (Fard) to perform wudu for the following:
- To perform any kind of prayer, prescribed or optional.
- To perform the funeral prayer.
- To perform Sajdah Talawat. (The Ahl al-hadith does not regard wudu necessary for this).
Wudu is Wajib for the following:
- To perform circumambulation (tawaf) of the Ka’bah.
- To touch and handle the Quran.
Performing wudu is Sunnah:
- Before going to bed.
- Before taking a bath.
It is Mustahabb (recommended) to be in a state of wudu:
- Before pronouncing Azan or Takbir.
- Before reciting Khutbah, whether at Friday prayer or at a marriage ceremony.
- While imparting religious instructions.
- While engaged in dhikr (remembrance of Allah SWT)
- After waking up in the morning.
- After washing a dead body.
- At prayer time when one is having their period or nifas.
- As a rule, it is commendable to be in the state of wudu at all times.
The Purificatory Bath (Ghusl)
Ghusl means purifying oneself in the prescribed way or performing total ablution as a religious duty.
The Fard (obligatory) Actions in ghusl
- Rinsing the mouth.
- Rinsing the nose.
- Washing the rest of the body including all that is possible to wash without undue hardship.
It is not necessary for a woman to undo her braids, if the water reaches the roots of her hair, and it is not necessary that the water reach all her braided hair.
It is necessary, however for a man who had braids to undo them to ensure that the water reach every single hair.
The Sunnah actions in ghusl
1. Begin with washing his hands and private parts.
2. Remove filth if it is on his body, then
3. Perform wudu', like the wudu' for salah, except for his feet, then
4. Pour water over the rest of his body thrice, then
5. Step aside from that place and then wash his feet.
Mustahabb (recommended) Actions in ghusl
- To have bath in a private place.
- To wash the right side first and then the left side.
- To have ghusl on a clean place.
- To use neither too much water resulting in its wastage, nor so little that the body doesn’t become thoroughly wet.
- To have ghusl in a sitting posture.
Ghusl: The Prescribed Way
- To begin by saying Bismillah (‘In the name of Allah’) before revealing one’s nakedness (`awra), and with an intention for ghusl.
- To begin by washing one’s hand, private parts, and any filth (najasa) that may be on the body.
- Then one washes both private parts, even if they are free of filth.
- Then one performs a complete ablution.
- Then one pours water on one’s body three times, making sure the entire body is washed each time.
- One begins with the head, then the right shoulder, then the left, and then the rest of the body. One wipes with the first washing.
- The body parts should be washed successively (without excessive intervals).
If one submerges oneself in flowing water, or moves in a large body of still water, it is considered that all the sunnah acts were performed.
Proper manners (adaab)
The same proper manners as in ablution, except that one does not face the qiblah
The actions disliked in the ablution are disliked in the purificatory bath.
Injunctions concerning ghusl
Ghusl is performed for 3 purposes:
- To obtain purity.
- To please Allah (SWT) and seek His approval. This is Sunnah and highly recommended.
- To clean the body of dirt and dust or to seek relief from the heat of the summer. This is Mubah (permissible)
The Necessitators of Ghusl
The incidents that obligate ghusl are:
- Emission of semen, accompanied by spurting and excitement, from a man or a woman.
- Contact of the two circumcised parts (even) without ejaculation.
- Post-natal bleeding
There is no ghusl (required) for (emission of) prostatic fluid and wady, but wudu' (is needed) for (emission of) them.
Occasions when Ghusl is Sunnah
The Messenger of Allah, Sallahu Alaihi Wassalam, made ghusl for:
- The Two `Ids
Occasions when Ghusl is Mustahabb
- On one’s embracing Islam.
- After washing a dead body.
- On one’s regaining one’s sanity [or recovering from intoxication/drunken state or upon regaining consciousness etc.]
- On entering the Holy precincts of Makkah and Madinah.
- Before observing the solar and lunar eclipse Prayers, or the prayer for rain, prayer of fear etc.
- On repenting of one’s sins.
- On coming back home from a journey.
- For the night of immunity (laylat al-bara)
- For the ones who observe the night of decree (laylat al-qadr)
- For the one who has najasa on his body but is unsure exactly where it is.
- If a person needs to have ghusl and plunges into a canal or stream, or stands in the rain, so that his whole body becomes thoroughly wet with water, and he puts water into the mouth and nose as well, he will be deemed to have performed ghusl and obtained purity.
- If a person does not perform wudu before ghusl, but had proper ghusl in the prescribed way, he may not perform wudu later, as all the essential parts to be washed in wudu have already been washed during ghusl.
- If a person does not put water into the mouth before ghusl, but has drunk enough of water, the condition of ghusl is fulfilled.
- If a person has applied oil to his hair, or massaged his body with it, and water seems to be slipping off the oily body during ghusl, he will be deemed to have performed ghusl and achieved purity.
- If a person has applied polish or paint to the nails etc, it is necessary to remove it before performing ghusl, so that water reaches every part of the skin.
- If on account of a disease, pouring of water over the head is deemed to be harmful, one may wash the rest of the body for the purpose of ghusl, and wash the head later when there is no such risk.
Other relevant issues
It is required to trim the moustache, nails, remove the hair from the armpits and shave the pubic hairs within the period of forty days. However, the prescription of forty days is to illustrate the maximum period one should forgo without performing the afore -mentioned acts and not necessarily the most preferable period. The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would trim his nails and moustache every Friday (before the jumu`a prayer) he would shave around his private parts after every twenty days and remove/ pluck the hair from his armpits every forty days.
The purpose of shaving is to remove any hair that may impede one from attaining thorough cleanliness, therefore, no minimum period can be appointed given that the hair growth differs from person to person. The recommended method would be that one shave before the hair grow so long that they become an obstacle in attaining cleanliness provided this is performed within the period of forty days. To exceed forty days is makruh. (Kawkab al-durri `ala jami` al-tirmidhi, 3/401).
Tayammum (Dry Ablution)
The ideal means of Purification is water that Allah (SWT) through His grace has made available to man in abundance. But there may be conditions or circumstances when water is not available, or if available may not be possible for a person to obtain purity through it, or its use may be harmful to health. In such cases, Allah (SWT) in His infinite mercy has granted Muslims concession of using pure dust as means of purification, and has also taught them the method of cleansing themselves with it, so that they may carry out their religious duties without any hardship. This also emphasizes that the religious duties cannot be neglected under any circumstances and have to be performed in all conditions and circumstances and in all regions of the world.
The Quran says:
“…and if you can find no water, then cleanse yourselves with pure dust; strike your palms on it and wipe your hands and faces with it. Allah does not will to make life hard for you, but he wills to purify you and complete His blessings upon you so that you may show gratitude.” (5:6)
What is Tayammum?
Literally Tayammum means ‘to will or to turn to’, but here it means turning to pure dust for the purpose of obtaining purity from the state of impurity.
Tayammum can be performed instead of Wudu and Ghusl both, and so one can cleanse oneself of both the minor and the major impurities.
Excuses Permitting Tayammum
- One who cannot find water while traveling.
- [One who is] outside settled land with approximately one mile or more between him and the water.
- If there exist a genuine danger of an enemy, or of a harmful animal, like a snake etc, near the source of water.
- If water is available but in such little quantity that if it is consumed in wudu or ghusl, nothing would be left for drinking and cooking purposes.
- [One who] can find water, but is sick, and is afraid that if he uses the water, his sickness will be intensified.
- If one in janabah fears that if he makes ghusl with the water, the cold will kill him or make him ill [in all these cases] one may perform tayammum with the surface of the earth.
- Tayammum is permissible for a healthy person in a settled area if a funeral is present, and the executor/guardian is other than himself, such that he fears that if he occupies himself with purification then the salah will elude him. So, he performs tayammum and prays.
- Similarly, one who is present at `Id, and fears that if he occupies himself with purification, the salah of [one of] the Two `Ids will elude him, he performs.
- If one who attends Jumu’ah fears that if he occupies himself with purification, the salah of Jumu’ah will elude him, he does not perform tayammum. Rather, he makes wudu, and then if he catches Jumu’ah, he offers the prayer, otherwise he prays Zuhr as four (rak’ah).
- Similarly, if there is not enough time and one fears that if he makes wudu, the time will elapse, he does not perform tayammum. Rather, he performs wudu and offer the missed prayer.
- It is recommended for one who does not find water, but is hopeful of finding it at the end of the time, to delay the prayer to the last [part] of the time. Then, if he finds water, he performs wudu’ with it and prays, otherwise he performs tayammum [and prays].
- It is not [obligatory] upon the traveler, if he is not inclined to believe that there is water close to him, to seek water. But, if he is inclined to believe that there is water, it is not permissible for him to perform tayammum until he has searched for it. If his companion has water, he should ask for it before he performs tayammum. If he denies it to him, he performs tayammum and prays.
- If a person is traveling non-stop in a bus, train or airplane, and water is not available on board, or if available, one cannot perform wudu due to rush of passengers, one may perform tayammum.
Fard Actions in Tayammum
- To have the intention of seeking purity for the sake of Allah (SWT)’s approval.
- To strike both the palms on pure dust and wipe the face.
- To strike both the palms on pure dust and wipe the hands up to and including the elbows.
Sunnah Actions in Tayammum
- To begin with Bismillah.
- To follow the prescribed sequence: wiping the face first and then the hands.
- To strike the palms and not the back of hands on dust.
- To shake or blow off extra dust.
- To keep the fingers apart while striking the palms on dust.
- To wipe the face and the hands with at least three fingers.
- To wipe the right hand first and then the left hand.
- To comb the beard (with fingers) after wiping the face.
Tayammum: The Prescribed Way
- Begin with Bismillah and have the intention of performing tayammum.
- Strike both the open palms gently on pure dust, shake off or blow off extra dust, if any, wipe entire face completely and comb the beard (with fingers) as well.
- Strike the open palms once again on pure dust, shaking off extra dust, first wipe the right hand from the fingers to the elbow. Then the left hand from the elbow to the fingers completely, including the back of hands and spaces between fingers. If one is wearing a watch, bracelet or ring etc., one should move it and wipe the skin under it, too.
Tayammum from hadath and janabah are the same [in their manner].
Means of Tayammum
- Tayammum can be performed with pure dust or anything that is of the category of earth, such as, soil, sand, stone, lime, brick, marble and other hard stones.
- Tayammum cannot be performed with those things and articles that can burn to ashes or can melt, e.g., wood, iron, gold, silver, copper, brass, tin and other metals, also coal, grain, paper, nylon and articles made of plastic etc.
- If, however, there is a layer of dust on any of these articles, one may perform tayammum with it. For instance, if dust has settled on a bundle of cloth, chair, table etc., one may perform tayammum with it.
- Articles with which tayammum is allowed, e.g., stone, brick, earthenware, etc., can be used for tayammum even if they have been washed and there is no dust whatsoever on them.
Conditions that invalidates Tayammum
- Tayammum is invalidated by everything which invalidates wudu’.
- It is invalidated also by seeing water, if one is capable of using it.
- If a person has performed tayammum on account of a genuine reason, it will become void as soon as the reason has ceased to be genuine.
- One may pray with his tayammum whatever he wishes of obligatory and optional prayers. However, if one has performed tayammum only for the purpose of handling and reciting the Quran, or entering a mosque or a graveyard, one cannot observe a prayer with that tayammum.
- If a person cannot perform tayammum by himself due to a disability, he is allowed to have another person’s help to perform tayammum; the other person will strike his own hands on the dust and wipe the face and hands of the disabled person.
- A person can perform tayammum several times with the same clod of earth; even several persons can use it for performing tayammum; the clod is not to be treated like used water.
Masah (Wiping over the socks – Khufayn)
In intensely cold climates it is not always possible to wash the feet every time one performs wudu for the prayers. The Law-Giver, therefore, has very graciously allowed the concession of only wiping over the socks with wet hands for the purpose of ablution for minor ritual impurity.
As far as leather socks are concerned, all have agreed that they may only be wiped to fulfill the condition of wudu. But there is some difference of opinion regarding permissibility of wiping over the woolen, cotton, silken or nylon socks. Though some scholars hold that wiping is permissible on all kinds of socks because according to them, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) wiped his shoes and socks without prescribing any conditions. The explanation given in this regard by Maulana Maududi is highly enlightening. His argument is as follows:
“The majority of the followers of the Sunnah have agreed that wiping over the leather socks is permissible, but as for the conditions prescribed by the jurists regarding the description of the woolen and cotton socks, I have been able to find no basis thereof. The Sunnah is explicit that the Holy Prophet did sometimes wipe over the socks and shoes, but we do not find any specification or description of the socks anywhere. I am, therefore, satisfied that the conditions imposed by the jurists have no basis whatsoever, and if a person wipes over the socks without any regard for them, his wudu will be complete and he will not be violating any injunctions of the Shari’ah. The concession of wiping over the socks is just like the concession of Tayammum, which has been granted in special circumstances when keeping the feet covered up may be absolutely necessary and washing them every time may be harmful or involving unnecessary hardship. The concession is in fact a special favor of Allah (SWT) and may be availed of as such. One may, therefore, wipe over any description of socks that one may be wearing, with complete satisfaction of the heart, even over a bandage that one may have put on the feet to keep them safe from cold or dust, or to cover a wound.” (Rasa’il-o-Masa’il – Vol. II, p. 37)
Conditions for the permissibility of masah over the khufayn
1. Wiping on the khuffs is permissible, based on the sunnah, from every hadath necessitating wudu’, provided one wore the khuffs in a state of complete purity and then underwent hadath [after that]. Wiping on the khuffs is not permissible for one on whom ghusl is obligatory.
2. The Khuf must cover the foot up to, and including, the ankle.
3. It should be possible to walk continuously in them. It is unlawful to do masah over khufayn made of glass, wood or metal.
4. Each khuf must be free of any tear equivalent in size to the three smallest toes. (If there are multiple tears, summation of which is equivalent to three toes, this will not invalidate the masah.
5. The khufayn should cling to the feet without being tied.
6. They should prevent water from reaching the skin.
7. At least the equivalent of three of the smallest fingers of the hand from the front of the foot should exist, if this amount is absent then it is unlawful to do masah over the khuf, even though the heel of the foot exists.
Fard Action in masah
It is fard to do masah upon a portion equivalent to the three smallest fingers of the hand over the top frontal part of each khuf.
Sunnah Action in masah
The sunnah is to start from the tips of the toes with spread fingers up until the shin.
Masah (wiping) over the Socks: The Prescribed Way
1. Wet hands with fresh water and wipe only the upper surface of the right foot with right hand fingers, and the left foot with the left hand fingers, keeping the fingers apart and drawing them from the front to the rear.
2. Wiping is to be performed only once in such a manner that the fingers seem to be having wet lines on the surface of the socks.
Duration/Time Limit for Wiping
- If one is resident, one may wipe a day and a night. If one is a traveler, one may wipe three days and nights. The start [of the time limits] is after the [first] hadath. For instance, if one performs wudu at twelve and wears his khufayn. At three breaks his wudu, then the duration of masah over the khufayn will commence from three.
One who began wiping while resident, and then traveled before the end of a day and a night, may wipe three days and nights. One who began wiping while traveling, and then took up residence, and then if he had wiped a day and a night or more, he is required to remove his khuffs and wash his feet. If he had wiped for less than a day and a night, he may complete his wiping [until] one day and night [have passed completely].
Invalidators of masah
The wiping is invalidated by:
- That which invalidates wudu.
- Removing the khuff.
- Expiry of the time limit. If [only] the time limit expires, one removes one’s khuffs and washes one’s feet and pray, and one is not obligated to repeat the remainder of the wudu’.
- By water reaching into the greater portion of any one of the two feet that are in the khufayn.
- It is unlawful to do masah over a turban, hat, veil or gloves.
Few Special Cases
- Wiping is permissible if one fears that an essential religious duty, e.g., staying the in the plain of Arafat, or a congregational prayer etc, would be missed in case time was spent in washing the feet.
- Wiping is permissible if the water available is not enough and just sufficient for washing the other parts in wudu except the feet.
- Wiping is also allowed over the shoes which cover the whole foot up to the ankles, without leaving any portion of the skin uncovered, whether they are made of leather, rubber, plastic or nylon, etc.
- The person performing tayammum need not wipe the socks but the one having a bath has to wash the feet as well.
The minimum menstrual bleeding is three days and nights, so anything which falls short of that is not menstrual blood (hayd) but chronic bleeding (istihadah).
The maximum menstrual bleeding is ten days and nights, so anything which exceeds that is istihadah.
That red, yellow and murky [discharge] which a woman sees in the days of menstrual bleeding is menstrual discharge, [and her period persists] until she sees pure white [liquid].
What is prohibited with hayd and nifas
- Hayd waives salah from a woman, and prohibits fasting for her.
She makes up the fasting [later], but does not make up the salah.
- She may not enter a mosque,
- Nor circumambulate the House [i.e. the Ka`bah]
- Nor may her husband approach her [for intercourse]
A menstruating woman and one in janabah:
- May not: recite the Qur'an
- [They, as well as] one with hadath may not touch a mushaf [i.e. Qur'an], unless they hold it with its case.
Completion of purity
- If the menstrual bleeding ceases in less than ten days, it is not permissible [for her husband] to have intercourse with her until
- She performs ghusl
- Or the complete time of salah passes her by.
- If her bleeding ceases after ten days, it is permissible (but not recommended) to have intercourse with her before (she performs) ghusl.
- If purity interrupts two bleedings within the period of menstruation, it is (treated) as (continuously) flowing blood.
- The minimum period of purity is fifteen days, and there is no limit for its maximum.
Chronic Bleeding (Istihadah)
- The blood of istihadah is that which a woman sees for less than three days or more than ten days [in menstruation, or more than forty days after child-birth].
- Its verdict is [the same as] the verdict of a perpetual nosebleed; it does not prevent fasting, or salah, or intercourse.
- If bleeding exceeds ten days, and a woman has a known cycle, it is referred back to the days of her cycle, and whatever exceeds that is considered istihadah. If she entered maturity in the state of istihadah then her menstrual bleeding is [considered to be] ten days of every month, and the remainder is istihadah.
The woman with istihadah, and [similarly] someone with a constant drip of urine, or a perpetual nosebleed, or a wound which does not stop [bleeding], performs wudu' for the time of each salah, and then they [may] perform with that wudu' whatever they wish of fard and nafl. Then, when the time exits, their wudu' is invalidated, and they must repeat the wudu' for another salah.
Post-Natal Bleeding (Nifas)
- Nifas is the blood that exits following childbirth. The blood, which a pregnant woman sees, and that which a woman sees during childbirth but before the emergence of the child is istihadah.
- There is no limit for the minimum [duration] of nifas, but maximum is forty days. Whatever exceeds that is istihadah. If bleeding exceeds forty [days], and this woman had given birth before and has a regular [cycle] in post-natal bleeding, it is referred to the days of her regular [cycle]. But, if she does not have a regular [cycle] then her initial nifas is forty days.
- Whoever gives birth to two children in one pregnancy, her nifas is that blood which exits after the first child...
Purification of filth from the body and clothing of the musalli is obligatory, as from the place in which he performs salah.
Means of Cleansing
- Cleansing of filth is permissible with water, and with any pure liquid with which it can be removed, such as vinegar and rose water.
- If filth has touched or become affixed to a khuff, and it has body, and then it dried, then rubbing it with the ground is permissible.
- Semen is unclean so it is obligatory to wash it, but if it has dried on a garment it suffices to scrape it off.
- If filth becomes affixed to a mirror, or a sword, it is sufficient to wipe it.
- If the ground is contaminated by filth, and then it dries in the sun and its trace disappears, salah is permissible in that place, but tayammum is not permissible from it.
- Any hide (animal skin) that has been tanned has become clean - salah is valid on it, and wudu from it - except the skins of pigs and humans. The hair of a dead animal, its bones, hooves, sinews and horns are clean.
Regulations of Cleansing
- Whoever is contaminated by severe filth, such as blood, urine, stool, or wine, to the extent of a dirham or less, salah is permissible with it, but if it is more [than a dirham] it is not permissible.
- If he is contaminated with light filth, such as the urine of those [animals] whose flesh may be eaten, salah is permissible with it as long as it does not reach one fourth of the garment.
- Cleansing of the filth which is obligatory to wash is of two categories:
- That which has a visible essence, its cleansing is the removal of its substance, unless there persists some trace of it which is cumbersome to remove.
- That which does not have a visible essence, its cleansing is that it be washed until the one washing it is satisfied that it has been cleansed.
Istinja’ (Cleansing of private parts after answering the call of nature)
Cleaning of the private parts is stressed over and over again so much so that negligence in this regard has been declared as sinful and a major cause of the torment of the grave. Once the Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) passed by two graves and said:
“The two persons buried here are undergoing severe torment for the trivial negligence: one of them did not cleanse himself properly after urinating, and the other was given to back biting.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Occasions when istinja is Fard
1. If najasa spreads and is more than the size of a dirham. (which is approximately about the size of an American quarter)
2. To wash away whatever (najasa) is in the orifice while bathing to remove a state of major ritual impurity, even though the najasa is of a small quantity.
Occasions when istinja is wajib
If najasa spreads and is equivalent to the size of a dirham.
Occasions and actions when istinja is sunnah
It is sunnah to perform istinja from any najasa that exits from the front or back passages and has not spread past the orifice.
Means of performing istinja
It is sunnah to do istinja’ with a cleansing stone or toilet paper or the like [all things pure and not valued or venerated can be used in place of a stone]. To perform istinja’ with water is preferred. The best is to combine both water and toilet paper, first by wiping with the toilet paper and then washing. To use only water or to wipe with paper alone is also permissible.
[Paper being a source of attaining knowledge is a venerated item, thus to perform istinja’ with it is makruh. Whilst the usage of toilet paper which is specifically made for the purpose of istinja’ and not for writing is permitted]
Method of performing istinja’
If one’s testicles are hanging one should wipe with the first stone (or toilet paper) from the front to the back and with the second from the back to the front and with the third from the front to the back [for fear of defiling one’s testicles, Mf: p.89]. If the testicles are not hanging, then one should start from the back.
A female should start from the front to the back for the fear of defiling her vagina.
Thereafter, one should wash the hand and using water wipe the soiled area with the inner side of one, two, or even three fingers if needed. A male will raise his middle finger over the rest when commencing the istinja’ [then after washing slightly] he will raise the ring finger [and if need be then the small finger and then the index finger]. One should not suffice upon the use of one finger.
A female should raise her ring and middle finger simultaneously from the outset for
fear of being sexually aroused.
The utmost should be done in cleansing oneself until the foul smell has been eliminated, whilst thoroughly relaxing one’s buttocks [Z: so as to clean what is in the passage to the best of one’s ability, Mf: p.91], unless fasting. Upon completion one should wash the hand again. If fasting one should wipe oneself before standing.
- It is unlawful to uncover one’s `awra (the private parts that need to be covered) for istinja’ in the presence of others.
- Using of the right hand without an excuse. [Z: The scholars are unanimous that it is mustahabb to start with the right in all those things of reverence, such as wudu’, bathing, wearing clothes, shoes, socks, trousers, when entering the mosque, when performing miswak, trimming the nails, plucking the hair from the armpits, when shaving the head, performing the salam at the termination of the prayer, when departing from the lavatory, whilst drinking, performing istilam (kissing) of the hajr al-aswad (the black stone), when taking, giving and other similar tasks. It is mustahabb to start from the left when performing those actions which are to the contrary, i.e. not revered, such as blowing the nose, performing istinja’, when entering the lavatory or departing from the mosque, removing the khufayn, shoes, trousers or other garments, al-Binaya, 1/188].
- It is makruh to enter the toilet wearing anything with the name of Allah, Mf: p.96. Abu Da’ud and Tirmidhi have related upon the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said, “When the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would enter the lavatory he would remove his ring, “because engraved upon it was ‘Muhammad the Messenger of Allah.’” Tibi commenting upon this states, “In this there is a proof that it is wajib upon the one performing istinja’ to remove anything with the name of Allah upon it or His Messenger or anything from the Qur’an. Ibn Hajr has stated, “that it can be derived from this that it is mustahabb to remove anything which has a revered name upon it from the Names of Allah, the Prophets or Angels.” Not to remove it would be deemed makruh due to disrespect]
- It is makruh (whilst relieving oneself) to have one’s face or back towards the Qiblah, even though one is in a building.
- It is also makruh to sit and urinate in the direction of the wind. [The reason for this is that the wind may blow the urine back to the person, thus causing his clothes to be soiled and the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) warned against this in a number of ahadith].
- It is forbidden to urinate in running or stagnant water.
Manners (adaab) of relieving oneself
1. One should enter the toilet leading with the left foot.
2. Before entering seek refuge in Allah from the rejected Satan.
Allahumma inni a`udhu bika min al-khubuthi wal khaba’ith
[O Allah I take refuge in You from demons, male and female];
- One should sit leaning upon the left foot.
- One should not speak, except out of necessity.
- One should leave the lavatory with one’s right foot then recite:
Ghufaranak alhamdulilla hilladhi adhhaba `annil adha-wa- `afani
“[O Lord] Your forgiveness. Praise be to Allah who rid me of the filth and gave me health.”
“I seek forgiveness”
Ashadu anna la ilaaha antastaghfiruka wa itubu ilaik.
Extracted from 'Mukhtasar al-Quduri'