Thursday, January 3, 2013

Purification (Taharah) - Water, Filth, Ablution (Wuzu)


Alläh said:
اِنَّ اللّٰهَ يُحِبُّ التَّـوَّابِيْنَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِيْنَ   ٢٢٢؁  (القرآن ٢٢٢:٢)
Surely Alläh loves those who are most repenting, and loves those who keep themselves pure.
Alläh’s Prophet said:
الطُّهُورُ شَطْرُ الْإِيمَانِ. (مسلم ٢٢٣)
Purification is the foundation of worships, so Saläh is invalid without Purification.
Alläh’s Prophet said:
مِفْتَاحُ الْجَنَّةِ الصَّلَاةُ، وَمِفْتَاحُ الصَّلَاةِ الطُّهُورُ. (أحمد ١٤٦٦٢)
The key to Paradise is Saläh and the key to Saläh is Purification.
The literal meaning of the Arabic word for Purification, Aẗ T̈ahärah, is cleanliness.
In Shari'ah, Aẗ T̈ahärah is ceremonial Purification which is divided into two categories:
1.       Purification from de jure Filth: It is called de jure Purification.
2.       Purification from de facto or real Filth: It is called de facto Purification.
Purification from de jure Filth is obtained by Ablution, Bath, or Tayammum when using water is unfeasible.
Purification from de facto or real Filth is obtained by getting rid of the de facto Filth by using tangible agents of purification like clean water, pure soil, gravel, or by the process of animal-hide-treatment.

Purifying Water

Kinds of water which cause Purification

Purification is obtained by absolute water.
Absolute water is that which exists with its original attributes as no Filth has mixed with it nor has any other thing overwhelmed it.
Absolute water includes:
1. Rain water              2. River water
3. Well water             4. Fountain water
5. Sea water               6. Water from melted snow, hail or ice

Kinds of water and their rulings

Pure water
Purifying water
Water is classified into five types based on whether purification is obtained from it or not:

1. Pure, purifying[1], non-Avoidable water

Absolute water is pure and Purification may be obtained from it.

2. Pure, purifying, Avoidable water

It is that water which has been licked by cat, hen, carnivorous bird or snake.
Ablution and Bath are Undesirable with this kind of water if absolute water (of the first type) is present. But if absolute water is not present, then there is no undesirability in its use.

3. Pure, doubtfully purifying water

It is pure but there is a doubt in its purifying capability.
This is the water which has been licked by a donkey or mule. It is undoubtedly pure but there is a doubt whether Ablution (and Bath) with it will be valid or not.
If no other water is available, then the person should perform Ablution with it and then do Tayammum.
He has the option to perform Ablution before Tayammum or Tayammum before Ablution.

4. Pure, non-purifying water

It is the Used-up water which is pure but not purifying, so Ablution or Bath with it will not be valid.
Used-up Water: It is the water which has been used in Ablution or Bath for the purpose of getting rid of de jure Filth or for obtaining reward from Alläh, like Ablution with the intention of getting reward by a person whose ablutional purity still exists.
If an ablutionally pure person performs Ablution with water for cooling himself or for demonstrating the method of Ablution to students, the water will not be termed Used-up.
However, if an Ablutionally impure person performs Ablution with water for cooling himself or for demonstrating the method of Ablution, then the water will become Used-up[2] i.e., pure but non-purifying.
Water becomes Used-up when it is applied and then gets separated from the body of Ablution- or Bath-performer.

5. Filthy water

It is the small-quantity, stagnant water in which de facto[3] Filth has got mixed whether the attributes of the Filth is apparent in the water or not.
When the (attributes of) Filth becomes apparent, the water becomes impure whether it is large-quantity or small-quantity and whether it is flowing or stagnant.
If water is in a cistern or pond so big that if water is shaken at one end, the water at the other end is not affected, then it is termed large-quantity water.
How to identify large-quantity water?
Water is considered large-quantity if its cistern or pond is ten by ten in area and it is so deep that if water is taken up with hand, the ground beneath is not laid bare.
Small-quantity water is that whose container is of lesser dimension.
The ruling for Filthy water is that it is impure and no kind of Purification can be obtained with it.
Rather, when it is mixed with something else, that thing also becomes Filthy.
Ablution with water that comes out of a plant or fruit is also not valid whether it comes out by its own without squeezing or it squeezes out due to external pressure.
Similarly, water whose nature[4] has transformed due to cooking, etc. cannot be used for Ablution e.g., soup and beverage.

Rulings of water in which some pure thing has got mixed

When a pure thing like soap, flour, saffron gets mixed in water and this extraneous thing does not become the major part of the resulting mixture/solution, then the water-mixture is pure and purifying.
But if the extraneous thing forms a major part of or overwhelms the mixture such that it deprives the water of its thinness and fluidity, then the water-mixture is pure but not purifying.
If the color, taste or odor of water changes due to stagnating for a long time, it remains pure and purifying.
If such a thing mixes up with water from which water is not free most of the time and on most of the occasions like alga, fallen tree-leaves and fruits, etc., then the water is pure and purifying.
If a fluid that has two distinguishing attributes[5] only like milk – which has color and taste but no odor – mixes up with water and one of the attributes of milk becomes perceptible in the water-fluid solution, then it will be ruled that water is overwhelmed and so Ablution with it is not Permissible.
If a fluid having three distinguishing attributes like vinegar mixes with water, then if two of the three attributes of the fluid become perceptible in the water solution, then only it will be ruled that the water has become overwhelmed and so Ablution with it will not be valid.
If a fluid with no distinguishing attribute – like Used-up water[6] or rose-oil which has lost its odor – mixes up with water, then its overwhelmingness will depend upon its proportion by weight.
So, if two kg of Used-up water mixes with one kg of pure water, Ablution with it will not be valid.
But if one kg of Used-up water mixes with two kg of pure water, Ablution with it will be valid.

Rulings of leftover water

Leftover water: It is the water which remains in a vessel after a man or animal has drunk from it.
The rulings for leftover water vary according to the animal that has drunk from the vessel.

1. Pure and purifying leftover water

The leftover of a man is pure and purifying if there was no sign of Filth in his mouth when he drunk from the vessel. It does not matter whether the person is a Muslim or Disbeliever, or whether he was pure or impure with major de jure Filth[7].
Similarly, leftover of horse is pure and Purification can be obtained with it without any problem.
The leftover of an animal whose flesh is Permissible to eat is pure and purifying without any detestability; e.g., camel, cow and goat.

2. Pure and avoidably purifying leftover water

 The leftover of a cat with no trace of Filth in its mouth is pure but Ablution with it is Undesirable when Absolute water is present.
Similarly, leftover of a carnivorous bird like falcon and eagle is pure but performing Ablution with it is Undesirable.
The same is the ruling for leftovers of animals which live in houses like mice.

3. Pure but doubtfully purifying leftover

Leftover of donkey and mule is undoubtedly pure but there is a doubt whether Ablution with it will be valid or not. So if no other pure water is present, the person will perform Ablution with it and do Tayammum and then offer Saläh.

4. Filthy leftover

 Leftover of pig is Filthy and Purification cannot be obtained using it.
Similarly, the leftover of dog is Filthy and purification cannot be obtained from it.
Leftover of a carnivorous quadruped like lion, leopard and wolf is also Filthy and purification cannot be obtained from it.
If an animal’s leftover is pure, his sweat is also pure.
If his leftover is Filthy, his sweat is also Filthy.

Rulings of well-water

When Filth falls in a well, throwing out all the well-water is Compulsory even if the Filth was in small quantity.
When an inherently Filthy animal i.e., pig falls down in a well, it will be Compulsory to throw out all the water in the well no matter the pig dies in the well or comes out alive and whether his mouth touched the water or not.
If a non-inherently Filthy animal whose leftover water is Filthy falls down into a well, throwing out the entire water of the well is Compulsory.
If a man with no trace of Filth on his body falls down into a well and comes out alive, the water will not become Filthy.
Similarly, if a donkey, mule, falcon or eagle with no trace of Filth on its body falls down into a well and comes out alive, the water will not become Filthy provided that its mouth did not touch the water.
If the saliva of a fallen animal reaches the water, then the water will take have the same ruling as that of the fallen animal’s leftover.
If an animal without flowing blood e.g., bug, housefly, wasp and spider, falls into a well and dies therein, the water will not be Filthy.
Similarly, the death of an animal like fish, frog and crab, which is born in and lives in water does not make the water Filthy.
If a large animal like dog or goat, or a man dies in a well and is pulled out immediately afterwards before it swells up, the well-water will become Filthy and it will be Compulsory to pull out all the water of the well.
In all the cases wherein pulling out the entire water of the well is Compulsory but pulling out the whole is not feasible, it will be sufficient to pull out two hundred average-sized buckets of water.
If an animal like cat or hen[8] dies in a well, then pulling out forty buckets of well-water is sufficient.
If an animal like sparrow or rat dies in a well, pulling out twenty buckets of water will be enough.
When the Compulsory quantity of water has been pulled out of the well, the well becomes purified as also the rope, bucket and the hands of the person(s) who pulled out the water.
A well does not become Filthy if dung of animals like horse, donkey,  camel, goat, deer, cow, etc. falls in a well except when it is in such a high proportion that every bucket pulled out from the well contains a dropping or more. In that case, the well-water becomes Filthy.
Similarly, well-water does not become Filthy if droppings of pigeon or sparrow fall into it.
If a dead and swollen up animal body is discovered in a well and nobody knows when it fell[9], it will be ruled that the well-water has been Filthy for three days and nights. So all Salähs offered with Ablution from this water will have to be repeated.
If this water has been used in this period in Bathing and cloth-washing, then the persons will take a Bath once again and rewash those clothes with pure water.
If a dead animal is found in a well before it swells up and it is not known when the animal actually fell, then it will be ruled that the well-water has been Filthy for one day and night, so the Salähs offered in this period will have to be repeated.

Etiquettes of relieving oneself[10]

Alläh’s Prophet said:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «إِنَّمَا أَنَا لَكُمْ بِمَنْزِلَةِ الْوَالِدِ، أُعَلِّمُكُمْ فَإِذَا أَتَى أَحَدُكُمُ الْغَائِطَ فَلَا يَسْتَقْبِلِ الْقِبْلَةَ، وَلَا يَسْتَدْبِرْهَا وَلَا يَسْتَطِبْ بِيَمِينِهِ، وَكَانَ يَأْمُرُ بِثَلَاثَةِ أَحْجَارٍ، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الرَّوْثِ وَالرِّمَّةِ» (أبو داود ٨)
I am like a father for you, so I teach you that when you go for relieving yourself, you should not face the Holy Ka'bah, nor should you turn your back towards it, nor should you cleanse you Filth with your right hand. Alläh’s Prophet would instruct us to use three gravels and would forbid using dung or bones (for cleansing).
Whoever intends to relieve himself either from urine or excreta should observe the following etiquettes:
1. He should go far away from the eyes of the people till no one is able to view him nor hear the sound of what comes out of his body nor smell the odor.
2. He should select a soft and low ground for easing himself so that urine droplets may not fly back towards him.
3. Before entering washroom he should recite:
أَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الْخُبْثِ وَالْخَبَائِثِ.
I seek refuge in Alläh from evil and the evil-doers (or from impure male jnns and impure female jinns). (EQ 25706)
A person who intends to relieve himself outside his house in the open should recite this dua when he starts tucking up his garments and before his private parts are revealed.
4. Going to the washroom, he should first enter his left foot and coming out he should first put out his right foot.
5. He should sit putting more weight on his left foot as this posture is more helpful in excretion.
6. He should cover his head at the time of relieving himself and cleansing.
7. He should not urinate in a hole in the ground as it is possible that there might be some reptile in the hole which would hurt him.
8. He should not urinate nor relieve himself on road or in graveyard.
9. He should not urinate or relieve himself in a shadow[11] wherein people usually sit.
10. He should not urinate or relieve himself at a place where people gather for conversation.
11. He should not urinate or relieve himself under a fruit-laden tree.
12. It is Avoidable for a person engaged in relieving himself to talk without necessity.
But if he sees a blind man walking towards a pit and fears that he might fall into the pit, it will be Compulsory for him to speak and guide the blind man.
13. It is Avoidable for him to recite the Quran or a remembrance formula while he is engaged in the act of relieving himself or cleansing his Filth.
14. It is strictly Prohibited to face the Ka’bah or keep his back towards it whether he is inside a washroom or in open space.
15. It is strictly Prohibited that he urinate or relieve himself in small-quantity, stagnant water.
16. Urinating or relieving himself in flowing water or large-quantity, stagnant water is Undesirable.
17. Urinating in bathroom is Avoidable.
18. Urinating or relieving oneself near a well, river or pond is Avoidable.
19. Revealing his private parts for the purpose of relieving himself in a non-hidden place is Avoidable.
20. Cleansing himself with his right hand without any necessity is Avoidable.
21. Urinating in standing posture without necessity is Avoidable as the droplets of his urine might fly back to his body or garments.
22. When he has finished relieving himself, he should step out with his right foot first, then he should recite:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَذْهَبَ عَنِّي الْأَذَى وَعَافَانِي.
Praise be to Alläh Who has relieved me of impurity and given me good health. (EQ 30224)

Rulings of cleansing

Alläh said:
فِيْهِ رِجَالٌ يُّحِبُّوْنَ اَنْ يَّتَطَهَّرُوْا  ۭوَاللّٰهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُطَّهِّرِيْنَ   ١٠٨؁ (القرآن ۱۰۸:۹)
In it there are people who like to observe purity; and Alläh loves those observing purity.
Alläh’s Prophet said:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ , أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «اسْتَنْزِهُوا مِنَ الْبَوْلِ فَإِنَّ عَامَّةَ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ مِنْهُ» (سنن الدار قطني: ٤٦٤)
Keep safe from urine as most of the time, the torment of grave occurs on account of that.
Cleansing is clearing of the external organ for urine[12] or excreta[13] after relieving oneself from urine or excreta, no matter cleaning takes place with the help of water, gravel or something else.
Istibrä is necessary before Cleansing.
Istibrä is expulsion of whatever is left in the organ of urine or excreta till it appears to him overwhelmingly probable that nothing remains in the organ. If a person has a particular habit in this regard, he should do that like standing, walking, hitting the ground with a foot, clearing throat by hemming, etc.
There is some detail in the rulings for Cleansing:
When Filth oversteps the organ of urine or excretion and gets bigger than a dirham[14], washing it with water becomes Obligatory[15] and Saläh is not Permissible in its presence.
When Filth oversteps the organ and is equal to a dirham, washing it with water is Compulsory.
When Filth does not overstep the organ[16], then Cleansing is customary.
In Cleansing, it is Permissible to use water alone.
Similarly, it is Permissible to use only gravel or anything similar to it as long as the overstepped Filth does not get bigger than a dirham.
But washing with water is better.
The most Preferable way is to first mop up with gravel or a similar thing and then wash with water as this would clean more efficiently.
It is Desirable to Cleanse using three gravels.
Limiting oneself to two gravels or only one gravel is Permissible if that is able to clean the organ.
When one has finished mopping up with gravel, he should first wash his hand and then the organ with water.
He should thoroughly clean the organ till the odor ends.
Upon completing this Cleansing, he should wash his hand and thoroughly rub it till the malodor finishes.

Kinds of Filth and their rulings

Alläh said:
وَثِيَابَكَ فَطَهِّرْ  Ć۝۽ (٤:٧٤)
Purify your clothes.
Alläh’s Prophet said:
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ: إِنِّي سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ: «لَا تُقْبَلُ صَلَاةٌ بِغَيْرِ طُهُورٍ» (مسلم ٢٢٤)
Saläh is not acceptable without Purification.
Filth: It is the state of a human body, garment or place which is disgusting to the Shari'ah and so the Shari'ah commands Purification from that state.
There are two kinds of Filth:
1. De jure Filth                   2. De facto Filth

1. De jure Filth

It is the state of a person in which Saläh is invalid. De jure Filth is also called Ḧadath.
There are two kinds of de jure Filth:
·         Major de jure Filth[17]: It is the state of a person in which Bath is Compulsory and Saläh offered in this state is invalid. Similarly, recitation of the holy Quran in this state is impermissible.
·         Minor de jure Filth: It is the state of a person in which Ablution is Compulsory.
Saläh in this state is not Permissible but oral recitation of the holy Quran is Permissible.

2. De facto Filth

It is the squalor keeping away from which is Compulsory for a Muslim and if some of it sticks to his body, garment etc., then eliminating it is Compulsory.
There are two kinds of De facto Filth too:
(a) Severe Filth (b) Mild Filth
(a) Severe Filth
Definition: It is the thing whose filthiness has been established by an evidence which is beyond doubt.
Examples of Severe Filth:
1.       Spilled-out blood
2.       Wine
3.       Flesh and skin of a dead animal
4.       Urine of a Flesh-inedible animal
5.       Excreta of dog
6.       Excreta and saliva of a carnivore
7.       Dropping of hen and duck
8.       Anything whose emission out of the human body leads to invalidation of Ablutionary state.
Rulings of Severe Filth:
Severe Filth is pardonable if it is smaller than or equal to a dirham.[18] If the Severe Filth is larger than a dirham, washing it off with water or some other removing substance is Obligatory. With this quantity on a person’s body, garment or prayer-mat, Saläh is not Permissible.
(b) Mild Filth
Definition: It is a substance whose filthiness is not certain because of the presence of another evidence which indicates its Purity.
Examples of Mild Filth:
1.       Horse urine
2.       Urine of Flesh-edible animal like camel, cattle, goat and sheep.
3.       Dropping of Flesh-inedible bird
Rulings of Mild Filth:
Mild Filth is excusable as long as it is not large-quantity.
Large-quantity is estimated to be a quarter of body or garment.

Miscellaneous rulings

Droplets of urine like needle-eye in size is excusable.
If a Filthy garment or Filthy bed sheet gets wet by the sweat of a sleeping person or by the wetness of a person’s foot, then if the effect of Filth is apparent on the person’s body or foot respectively, it will be ruled that the body or foot is Filthy.
If the effect of Filth is not apparent on the person’s body or foot, it will not be Filthy.
If a wet garment is spread over a dry, Filthy ground and the ground gets wet due to the garment, then if the effect of Filthy is not visible on the garment, it will not be Filthy.
If a dry, Pure garment is wrapped up in such a wet, Filthy garment from which water does not drop on wringing, then the Pure garment will not become Filthy.
If wind blows over a Filth which as a result reaches a wet garment, the garment will become Filthy if the effect of Filth is apparent on the garment.
If the effect of Filth is not apparent on the garment, it will not become Filthy.

How to remove Filth?

Purity from a visible Filth like blood and excreta is obtained by eradicating the body by washing, no matter the body of Filth gets removed by washing once or more number of times. However, if the trace of Filth in the form of color or odor remains on the garment and removing it is very difficult, then there is no problem.
Purification from non-visible Filth like urine is obtained when the garment is washed thrice and wringed each time in such a way that water stops dropping provided that each time new, Pure water is used.
De facto Filth is removed from body and garment with water or any liquid removing the Filth with which is possible, like vinegar and rose oil.
As for Ablution with vinegar, rose oil and the like, it is not Permissible.
Shoes and thick socks are purified by washing.
Shoes can also be purified by scrubbing over Pure ground when the Filth has a body no matter it is wet or dry.
Sword, knife, mirror and oiled utensils are purified by wiping off.
Ground becomes Pure when it dries up and the effect of Filth dies off. Saläh on such a ground is Permissible but Tayammum with it is not.
When the body of Filth transforms completely like it becomes salt, then it will become Pure.
Filth also becomes Pure on burning in fire.
If the semen of a person attaches to a garment or the person’s body and then dries up, it may be purified by scraping it off.
But if the semen is wet, the garment will be purified only by washing.
Hide of a dead animal is purified by tanning, no matter the tanning was de facto[19] or de jure[20].
In no case will the hide of a swine become Pure. Tanning it or not has no effect.
Skin of a human becomes Pure by tanning, but its use is not permitted. Making use of a human body or any of its organs conflicts with Man’s high status and honor.
Hide of a non-Flesh-edible animal becomes Pure if the animal has been slaughtered in the Shari'ah-prescribed manner.
An organ in which blood does not enter does not become Filthy on account of the animal’s death. Example: hair, cut-off feather[21], horn, hoof and bone.
This is the case when there is no fat in the above things. But if there is fat in them, then they become Filthy upon death of the animal.
Nerve of a dead animal is Filthy.
Musk pouch[22] is Pure just as the musk is Pure and eating it is permitted.

Ablution (Wuz̄ü)

The ruling of Ablution

Alläh, the High, said:
يٰٓاَيُّھَا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْٓا اِذَا قُمْتُمْ اِلَى الصَّلٰوةِ فَاغْسِلُوْا وُجُوْهَكُمْ وَاَيْدِيَكُمْ اِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوْا بِرُءُوْسِكُمْ وَاَرْجُلَكُمْ اِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ ۭ (القرآن ٦:٥)
O you who believe, when you rise for Salah, (prayer) wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows, and make MasH (wiping by hands) of your heads and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. (Qurän 5:6)
Alläh’s Prophet said:
لاَ يَقْبَلُ اللَّهُ صَلاَةَ أَحَدِكُمْ إِذَا أَحْدَثَ حَتَّى يَتَوَضَّأَ. (البخاري ٦٩٥٤)
Alläh does not accept prayer of anyone of you if he does Hadath (passes wind) till he performs the ablution (anew). (EQ 6569)
The literal meaning of the Arabic word Al Wuz̄ü is beauty and cleanliness.
In Shari'ah, Al Wuz̄ü (Ablution) means: ceremonial Purity obtained with water which includes the washing of face, arms and feet, and wiping over the head by hand with fingers.
Salah is not valid without Ablution.
Touching the holy Quran without Ablution is not allowed.
A person who is in a state of Ablution all the time is worthy of reward and elevation of rank in the hereafter.

Essentials[23] of Ablution

There are four pillars of Ablution. They are its Obligatory constituents[24].
1.       Washing the face once
·         The lengthwise limit of the face starts from the upper level of the forehead and continues till the under the chin. Breadthwise it lies between the two earlobes.
2.       Washing the two hands along with the elbows once
3.       Wiping a quarter of the head with wet hands
4.       Washing the two feet along with ankles once.

Prerequisites for validity of Ablution

Ablution is valid only when the following three conditions are satisfied.
Similarly, the desired benefit from Ablution can be obtained only when these conditions are fulfilled.
1.       Water should reach the entire organ, washing of which is essential in ablution.
2.       There should be no material on the skin which prevents from reaching the skin underneath, e.g. wax, flour.
3.       Things which invalidate Ablution should not occur.
·         If one of the things which invalidate Ablution takes place during ablution, it will be rendered invalid.

Prerequisites for Ablution to become essential

Ablution is essential only when the following conditions are present:
1.       Adulthood[25]: Ablution is not essential for a child.
2.       Sanity: Ablution is not essential for an insane person.
3.       Islam: Ablution is not essential for a disbeliever.
4.       Having at one’s disposal the amount of water which would be sufficient for all relevant body-organs
·         If he does not have within his power  use of the amount of water which would be sufficient for all the organs, then Ablution would not be essential for him.
·         Similarly, if he is able to use water but the water is not enough for all the relevant body-parts, then also Ablution would not be essential for him.
5.       Existence of minor de jure Filth
·         So Ablution is not essential for a person already in a state of Ablution.
6.       Being free of major de jure Filth
·         Ablution will not be enough for a person on whom Bathing has become essential.
7.       Lack of time
·         If there is ample amount of time available (for Saläh, etc.), then Ablution will not be essential for the person immediately. It will be permissible for him to delay the Ablution.

Other rulings related to Ablution

If the beard is dense[26], washing the front of the beard will be essential.
Washing only the front part of a sparse beard will not be enough. It will be essential to make the water reach the skin beneath the beard.
Washing the beard-hair which flows down from the face is not essential. Wiping it is also not essential.
If an object which prevents water from reaching the skin beneath lies inside nails like wax and flour, then removing it and washing the underlying skin will be essential.
Similarly, if the nail is so long that it envelopes the finger-end, then it will be essential to clip it so that water may reach the underlying skin.
The dirt beneath nails and droppings of fleas do not obstruct  water from reaching the underlying skin.
It will be essential to shake a tight-fitting ring if water does not reach the underlying skin without shaking it.
If washing feet-cleaves hurts the person, then it is permitted to let the water pass over the ointment which he has applied over the cleaves. Washing the underlying skin is no more necessary.
If a person wipes with wet hands his head during Ablution, then shaves his head, he does not need to repeat wiping the head.
If a person performs Ablution, then clips his finger-nails or clips his moustache, he does not need to repeat washing.

Traditions of Ablution

The following acts in Ablution are Prophet’s Traditions. So, these should also be performed so that the Ablution takes place in a perfect manner. He should:
1.       make intention of Ablution before starting.
2.       say Bismilläh-ir Raḧmän-ir Raḧïm[27] (بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ).
3.       wash the hands up to the wrists.
4.       clean his teeth with tooth-stick, if not available then with fingers.
5.       rinse out his mouth.[28]
6.       sniff water into his nose[29].
7.       rinse and sniff thoroughly, if not fasting.
8.       wash every body-part thrice.
9.       wipe with wet hands the entire head once.
10.   wipe with wet hands both the ears – inside and outside.
11.   run his fingers through his beard from below.
12.   run his fingers through the fingers of the other hand.
13.   scrub[30] his organs while washing.
14.   wash the next organ before the previous one dries up.
15.   wash the organs in order. He should first wash the face, then the hands up to the elbows, then wipe his head followed by washing of his feet.
16.   wash the right hand before the left and the right foot before the left.
17.   start the wiping of his head with wet hands from the front of his head.
18.   wipe with wet hands his neck[31], but not his throat.
·         Wiping with hands the throat is heretical[32].

Etiquettes[33] of Ablution

The following acts are Desirable in Ablution. The person should:
1.       sit on a raised place for Ablution so that droplets of Used-up water do not reach him.
2.       sit facing the Qiblah[34].
3.       not seek help from others.
4.       speak words of conversation with humans.
5.       recite the invocations reported from Alläh’s Prophet during Ablution.
6.       combine the intention for Ablution in his heart with verbal intention.
7.       recite Bismilläh-ir Raḧmän-ir Raḧïm (بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ) while washing every organ.
8.       insert his wet little fingers inside his ear-holes while wiping the ears.
9.       shake his loose-fitting ring.
·         If the ring is tight-fitting, shaking it is essential for the Ablution to be valid.
10.   lift up water for rinsing and sniffing in his right hand.
11.   Use the left hand for nose-picking[35].
12.   Perform Ablution before the time for Saläh starts unless he is in the category of the excused person for whom performing Ablution in the period of every Saläh is essential.
13.   stand facing the Qiblah upon finishing Ablution and recite the following invocation:
·         أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ، اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِي مِنَ التَّوَّابِينَ، وَاجْعَلْنِي مِنَ المُتَطَهِّرِينَ۔ (الترمذی: ٥٥)
·         There is no God besides Alläh who is the One and Who has no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. O Alläh!  Cause me to be among those who repent and cause me to be among those who purify themselves. (EQ 25754)

Avoidable acts of Ablution

The following acts are to be avoided in Ablution. The person should NOT:
1.       squander water during Ablution.
2.       be stingy in use of water during Ablution.
3.       hit the face with water.
4.       speak words of human conversation.
5.       take help from others.
·         If he has some excusable difficulty, then there is no problem in taking help from others.
6.       wipe with wet hands his head thrice taking fresh water every time.

Kinds of Ablution

There are three kinds of Ablution:
1.       Obligatory20
2.       Compulsory
3.       Desirable[36]

When is Ablution Obligatory (Farz̄)?

Ablution is Obligatory for a person in each of the following four cases:
1.       For offering Saläh irrespective of whether it is Obligatory or Desirable.
2.       For funeral Saläh.
3.       For prostrations of Qurän recitation.
4.       For touching the holy Qurän.
·         Ablution is also Obligatory for him when he intends to touch a Quränic verse inscribed in a wall paper or coin.

When is Ablution Compulsory (Wäjib)?

Ablution is Compulsory in only one case, that is for circumambulation of Ka`bah.

When is Ablution Desirable?

Ablution is Desirable in the following cases:
1.       Sleeping with ceremonial Purity.
2.       On getting up from sleep.
3.       To be with ceremonial Purity perpetually.
4.       For Ablution over the existing Ablutionary state with the intention of earning reward[37].
5.       After committing an act of backbiting, slander or lying.
·         Ablution is also Desirable after committing any other kind of sin.
6.       After reciting a sinful poetic couplet.
7.       After loud laughter outside Saläh[38].
8.       For Bathing a dead body.
9.       For carrying a dead body towards grave.
10.   At the time of every Saläh[39].
11.   Before Bathing oneself on account of major de jure Filth.
12.   Before eating, drinking or sleeping, for a person in a state of major de jure Filth.
13.   When angry.
14.   For reciting the Holy Qurän verbally[40].
15.   For reading or narrating Ḧadïths.
16.   For studying any Islamic science.
17.   For major Saläh-call.
18.   For minor Saläh-call.
19.   For Friday’s Arabic sermon.
20.   For visiting Prophet’s grave.
21.   For Ârafah stay during Major Pilgrimage.
22.   For to and fro running between S̈afä and Marwah during Pilgrimage.

Invalidators of Ablution

Ablution is invalidated if one of the following happens:
1.       Anything (like urine, excrement or flatus[41]) comes out of either the penis or the anus.
2.       Blood or pus comes out of the body and spreads to the skin such that the skin’s purification becomes necessary.
3.       Blood comes out with saliva in a quantity greater than or equal to saliva.
4.       The person vomits out food, water, blood clot or bile and the quantity is mouthful[42].
5.       The person sleeps and his buttocks do not remain on the ground.
·         Similarly, if his buttock rises from the ground before he awakes.
6.       He falls unconscious.
7.       He loses sanity.
8.       He gets intoxicated.
9.       A non-sleeping adult laughs with sound during a Saläh consisting of bowings and prostrations.
·         If a child laughs loudly in a Saläh, his Ablution will not be invalidated.
·         The Ablution of a sleeping person is also not invalidated due to loud laugh.
·         Similarly, if the person laughs loud in Funeral Saläh or Qurän Reciatation prostration, his Ablution remains valid.

Things which do not invalidate Ablution

The following things appear similar to Ablution invalidators but they are not Ablution invalidators.
1.       Blood appears at a cut but does not flows over its place.
2.       A piece of flesh falls down but blood does not flows out as in the disease of Al Ìrq-ul Madanï[43] (Närü in Urdü)
3.       A worm comes out of a wound or ear.
4.       The person vomits but the vomit is not mouthful.
5.       He vomits phlegm. Whether the phlegm is small or large in quantity makes no difference.
6.       A Saläh-offerer falls asleep during Saläh – while standing, sitting, bowing or prostrating – provided that he remains in the prescribed Saläh posture.
7.       A person in a state of Ablution falls asleep but his bottom[44] remains fixed on the ground.
8.       He touches his penis with his hand.
9.       The person touches another person of opposite sex.
10.   A sleeping person sways while in a posture that does not invalidate Ablution.

[1] Pure water is that in which there is no de facto or tangible Filth. Purifying water is one which can be used for Ablution and Bath. All purifying water is pure but not vice versa.
[2] Because when an ablutionally impure person performs Ablution, he gets rid of de jure Filth whether he intends to get rid of that or not.
[3] Real or tangible
[4] The nature of water comprises the three essential properties of thinness, fluidity and thirst-quenching ability.
[5] Out of a total of three attributes viz., color, taste and odor
[6] Use-up water and rose oil are pure, so they can be used to remove perceptible Filth but non-purifying, so de jure Purification cannot be obtained with them.
[7] Major de jure Filth is the state when a person requires Bath to become pure like when a man has ejaculated semen or a woman’s menses has ended, etc.
[8] Or one of its size.
[9] In case, the well is covered and many Muslims have been using it for Ablution, etc. and offering Saläh.
[10] = Excretion, defecation
[11] Of tree, wall, etc.
[12] penis
[13] anus
[14] In viscous Filth, comparison to dirham will be done by weight and the weight of a dirham is about three gram. In thin fluid Filth, the comparison takes place by area and the area of a dirham is equal to that of the palm’s depression.
[15] Obligatory (= Mandatory, Farz̄): An act whose essentiality is established by an evidence which is beyond doubt.
Compulsory (Wäjib): An act whose essentiality is established by an evidence in which there is a bit of doubt. For example, the evidence is from a tenable source, or the evidence is from an incontrovertible source like Qurän, Mutawätir Hadïth but its words allow for two or more interpratations. But in practice, there is no difference between Obligatory and Compulsory.
Custom / Customary (Sunnah): An act which is established by Prophet’s practice and statement but the Prophet also missed the act at times.
[16] Or oversteps but is smaller than a dirham
[17] A man or woman enters into this state when seminal fluid shoots out of him/her in spurts in a state of sexual stimulation while sleeping or awake. Similarly, if the points of circumcision of the male and female genitals touch each other, both the man and the woman enter into this state.
[18] If the severe Filth on the garment or body of a person is equal to a dirham, Saläh is Permissible but Avoidable. If he has the means, he is supposed to offer Saläh after eliminating it.
[19] De facto tanning: It is the process in which acacia, gall oak, etc. which remove malodor and defect of the animal-hide are used.
[20] De jure tanning: It is the process in which acacia, gall oak, etc. or other chemicals are not used, instead the hide is dried up in the sun or is smeared thoroughly in soil.
[21] However, if the feather has been plucked out, then it is Filthy as it contains fat.
[22] It is the skin-pouch in which musk collects up.
[23] The English word for Pillars is “Arkän”, plural of “Rukn”. It is the act which is an essential part of the main thing and the evidence for its binding nature is beyond doubt, i.e. its source is established incontrovertibly (e.g. Qurän, Mutawätir Hadïth), and its meaning is also categorical without ambiguity.
[24] The English word for Obligatory constituent is “Faräiz̄”, plural of “Farz̄”. A farz̄ is an act, the evidence for binding nature of which is beyond doubt, no matter it is an essential part of the main thing or external to it. So, “Farz̄” (Obligatory act) includes Prerequisites and Pillars.
[25] A boy is considered adult when nocturnal ejaculation occurs to him, or he ejaculates at the time of sexual intercourse, or he makes a woman pregnant. If none of these occur to him then he becomes adult on completing 15 years. The minimum age for him to become adult is 12 years.
A girl is considered adult when menstruation, nocturnal ejaculation or pregnancy occurs to her. If none of these occur, then she becomes an adult on completing 15 years. The minimum age for her to become an adult is 9 years. (From Al Hidäyah 3/281)
[26] A beard is said to be dense when its hairs cover the skin so that an onlooker is unable to view the person’s facial skin.
[27] In the name of Alläh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
[28] The person should move and rotate water inside his mouth, and then expel it.
[29] The person should pull in water into his nose.
[30] Press and rub
[31] He should not wipe the front of his neck, only the hind part and the sides.
[32] Bidàh
[33] The Arabic for Etiquettes is Ädäb. Ädäb, Mustaḧabbät (Desirable acts) and Faz̄äil (Preferable acts) mean the same thing. However, there is a difference between Etiquette and Tradition. Tradition or Sunnah is the act which Alläh’s Prophet did regularly missing it only once or twice. A Muslim is rewarded by Alläh upon its performance and is reproached for missing it. Etiquette or Adab is the act performing of which carries reward and missing it carries no censure.
[34] The direction of holy Ka`bah in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
[35] Extracting dried nasal mucus prior to sniffing water.
[36] Desirable (Mustaḧab): An act which the Prophet performed once or twice and did not observe regularly.
[37] Ablution over existing ablutionary state is Desirable only when the person has performed an act of worship with his previous Ablution. If he has not performed an act of worship with the first Ablution, then the fresh Ablution instead of being Desirable will be reckoned as squandering.
[38] If the loud laughter occurs inside Saläh, the Ablution stands invalidated.
[39] Even though he is already in a state of Ablution.
[40] Without touching the holy Book.
[41] Flatus: The mixture of gases that are formed as byproducts of  digestion process and expelled through the rectum, often accompanied by unpleasant odour and sound.
[42] Mouthful: When the vomit is in such large quantity that the mouth gets filled up to the extent that the person is unable to speak except with difficulty, then it is adjudged to be mouthful.
[43] Al Ìrq-ul Madanï: A skin disease of legs and shanks usually occurring in hot regions. (
[44] buttocks

1 comment:

  1. JazakAllahu Khaira for this post. May Allah reward you and give you the opportunity to do more of such works.