Fiqh of At-Tahaarah (Purification) (1 of 3)

Alhamdulillah wasalatu wasalaam ‘ala rasuulillah

One of the prerequisites for the validity of one’s salat (prayer) is purification or ritual purity (i.e. wudu, ghusl, or tayammum). Purification is of utmost importance in performing ibadah in Islam, and it has medical, social and spiritual benefits. In fiqh, there are two kinds of impurity that needs to be clean from, namely an-najasah and al-hadath.

An-najasat from the word najis (نجس‎), are things regarded as ritually unclean that Muslims must avoid and wash off after coming into contact with them. Allah says: Purify your raiment (Q74:4) and: Allah loves those who repent and who purify themselves (Q2:222). Contact with najis things brings a Muslim into a state of ritual impurity, then, ritual purification is required before religious duties such as salat (prayer) is performed.

Al-Hadath is ritual impurity, and it is of two classes; Al-Hadath-al-Akbar and Al-Hadath-al-Asgar. Al-Hadath-al-Akbar refers to a state of major ritual impurity. The condition of Hadath-Akbar requires the complete ablution (al-ghusl) before one can pray, circumambulate the Kaaba etc. Examples of Hadath-al-Akbar include: discharge of sperm (al-maniy), sexual intercourse with or without ejaculation, and menstruation etc.

حَدَّثَنَا عَبَّاسُ بْنُ الْوَلِيدِ، حَدَّثَنَا يَزِيدُ بْنُ زُرَيْعٍ، حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدٌ، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، أَنَّ أَنَسَ بْنَ مَالِكٍ، حَدَّثَهُمْ أَنَّ أُمَّ سُلَيْمٍ حَدَّثَتْ أَنَّهَا، سَأَلَتْ نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَنِ الْمَرْأَةِ تَرَى فِي مَنَامِهَا مَا يَرَى الرَّجُلُ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ إِذَا رَأَتْ ذَلِكِ الْمَرْأَةُ فَلْتَغْتَسِلْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَتْ أُمُّ سُلَيْمٍ وَاسْتَحْيَيْتُ مِنْ ذَلِكَ قَالَتْ وَهَلْ يَكُونُ هَذَا فَقَالَ نَبِيُّ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ نَعَمْ فَمِنْ أَيْنَ يَكُونُ الشَّبَهُ إِنَّ مَاءَ الرَّجُلِ غَلِيظٌ أَبْيَضُ وَمَاءَ الْمَرْأَةِ رَقِيقٌ أَصْفَرُ فَمِنْ أَيِّهِمَا عَلاَ أَوْ سَبَقَ يَكُونُ مِنْهُ الشَّبَهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Anas b. Malik reported that Umm Sulaim narrated it that she asked the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about a woman who sees in a dream what a man sees (sexual dream). The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: In case a woman sees that, she must take a bath. Umm Sulaim said: I was bashful on account of that and said: Does it happen? Upon this the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Yes (it does happen), otherwise how can (a child) resemble her? Man’s discharge (i. e. sperm) is thick and white and the discharge of woman is thin and yellow; so the resemblance comes from the one whose genes prevail or dominate. Sahih Muslim 311

Al-Hadath-al-Asgar refers to a state of minor ritual impurity. Examples of Hadath-al-Akbar include Passing wind.

حَدَّثَنَا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْحَنْظَلِيُّ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّزَّاقِ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا مَعْمَرٌ، عَنْ هَمَّامِ بْنِ مُنَبِّهٍ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ، يَقُولُ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ لاَ تُقْبَلُ صَلاَةُ مَنْ أَحْدَثَ حَتَّى يَتَوَضَّأَ ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ رَجُلٌ مِنْ حَضْرَمَوْتَ مَا الْحَدَثُ يَا أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ فُسَاءٌ أَوْ ضُرَاطٌ‏.‏

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “The prayer of a person who does Hadath (passes urine, stool or wind) is not accepted till he performs the ablution.” A person from Hadaramout asked Abu Huraira, “What is ‘Hadath’?” Abu Huraira replied, ” ‘Hadath’ means the passing of wind.”Sahih al-Bukhari 135

To be cont…inshaa Allah

May Allah grant us understanding of His religion.