Office Of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid M.S.Al-Hakeem - Books-Muslims Guide: Guidance and Edicts - Taharah And Najasah

Books Muslims Guide: Guidance and EdictsTaharah And Najasah



Q1: What is the ruling about a non-Muslimas far as Taharah is concerned?
A: Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians are by themselves Tahir unless they contact an external Najasah, such as wine, a dead body, urine, etc. Other non-Muslims are deemed to be Najis on an obligatory precaution, whether they are atheists who do not believe in any religion, or those who follow a creed that does not recognize Allah Almighty, or those who follow a creed that does recognize Allah Almighty but is not amongst the three aforementioned religions (Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism).
Q2: A Muslim in the West rents a furnished home. Can he regard everything in it as Tahir if he does not find any traces of Najasah in it, even if the individual who used to live in that house was Christian or Jewish? What if he is Buddhist or denies the existence of Allah Almighty, His messengers and prophets?
A: Everything in the house about which he knows that it was Najis and doubts that it was made Tahir is considered Najis and the rules of Najasah apply. Everything else is regarded as Tahir, whether he knew before that it was Tahir and then doubts that it became Najis, or whether he knew it became Najis and it became Tahir – even if the Taharah or Najasah was not intentional – and he does not know which one occurred last. In both cases, it is judged as being Tahir.
Q3: The floors of most homes rented in the West are covered with thick carpets which stick to the floor, making it difficult to lift them and place a pot of water underneath them in order to purify them when they become Najis; so, how can this carpet be cleansed if it is made Najis with urine, blood, etc. and the water used in the cleansing is little[i]or abundant[ii], considering both cases?
A: If the cleansing is done with abundant water, it is only obligatory to wash the carpet or it’s like once in such a way that it removes the Najasah of the urine, etc. and the water soaked in the carpet does not have to be removed after the cleansing process; this water is Tahir, not Najis. But if cleansing is done with little water, the water used in the process of cleansing must be removed (from the carpet). The water coming out in this case will be Najis. If the carpet is made Najis by urine, it should be washed twice to cleanse it; if it is made Najis by another form of Najasah, then it is sufficient to wash it once, provided that the actual Najasah (e.g. the blood) is removed in the process.
Q4: If one sees that a thing is Najis in his home which is contacting clothes and bodies of incomers with transferring wetness, should he tell them about it? Is the ruling different if he himself or someone else was the cause [of the Najasah]?
A: He does not have to tell them, unless they rely on his apparent conduct with them in considering the thing as Tahir. For example, a towel is provided to wipe the hands, and then he comes to know that it became Najis, so it will be obligatory on him to inform them.
Q5: If something borrowed by someone becomes Najis, should the latter inform the lender of it being Najis? Is the ruling different in the case where the borrowed item is to be used for a purpose which requires Taharah, or that it is not used for a purpose which requires Taharah, or that it is drunk or eaten from?
A: If it is something eaten or drunk from, he must tell him. If it is something which is not eaten or drunk from, such as clothes, and if it is apparent from his returning the item, without informing the lender about its status of Taharah, by his silence over it being Najis, that he is cheating the owner of the borrowed clothes or other property, then he must notify him; otherwise, there is no need to do so, such as if the borrowed item tends to become Najis through use.
Q6: Should one notify someone else, while the latter is praying or eating, about something relevant to his praying or eating as being Najis?
A: It is not obligatory to notify him about the Najasah, except for the case where the latter depends on them in his affairs, as in such circumstances it is an obligatory precaution to inform him. Similarly, it is not permissible to present others with Najis food which is likely to be eaten by them.
Q7: If a guest makes an item Najis at the house of his host, such as pots, utensils, etc., should he notify his host about it?
A: If the usage of such items requires them to stay Tahir, then based on obligatory precaution, he should tell the host about their Najasah when they become Najis.
Q8: There are some automatic washing machines attached to mains water supply, and the water runs through the clothes then it is cut off, and the washing machine starts emptying the water and the clothes go through a circular motion inside the machine. Then water is supplied again, and so on, several times. Will the clothes become Tahir through this method of washing if they were Najis before?
A: Yes, the clothes washed by the mentioned electric washing machines become Tahir.
Q9: In the West, public laundries are common. Muslims and non-Muslims wash in them their Najis and Tahir clothes alike. Is it permissible for us to pray wearing such clothes while we do not know if the washing machine, taking into consideration that is not connected to the mains water supply throughout the whole washing process, makes the clothes Tahir or not?
A: If the washed piece of clothing was Najis, it is deemed to be Najis even after it is washed; and if it was Tahir, it is regarded as remaining Tahir unless one knows that it contacted during the washing process a Najis object. However, all this is based on the assumption that there is doubt in the purification process which arises when there is a possibility that the connection of water supply is present only while the water in the washing machine is mixed with washing powder, soap, etc.
If one knows that the water supply is connected to the unmixed water in the machine, while the water sufficiently penetrates the clothes in such a way that makes them Tahir, the clothes will be deemed to be Tahir, and one should not pay attention to his doubts, should they arise.
Q10: Are the clothes washed with liquid detergents at places whose owner is not Muslim, where Muslims and others wash their clothes, regarded as being Tahir?
A: If they were Tahir before being handed over to the owner of such a place, they are deemed to be Tahir unless there is knowledge that they came in contact through wetness with something Najis, causing them to become Najis.
Q11: If there is doubt about a garment being Tahir, is it permissible to perform prayers wearing it?
A: Yes, prayer can be performed while wearing it because it is deemed to be Tahir, unless there is knowledge about its being Najis in the past and there is doubt whether it was ritually purified thereafter. In such a situation, it is regarded as being Najis and prayers are invalid when performed wearing it.
Q12: If one has access to only one piece of clothing [sufficient for prayer] which is Najis, can one perform the prayers wearing it?
A: If he has no choice except to wear it, perhaps due to coldness or something else, prayers in it are valid. But if he can take it off, he should, as an obligatory precaution, pray wearing it first, and then repeat the prayers without it, naked, in the manner described in detailed books of Islamic law.
The above is only applicable if there is nothing Tahir to wear in order to cover his private parts during the entire time available to pray. But if one can wait to perform the prayer until the last possible time within this period, in order to get a Tahir covering, one must do so.
Q13: In Europe, various religions mix. So if we buy from a place selling moist food which the seller touches with his hand, and we do not know what religion he follows, can we regard such food to be Tahir?
A: As long as one does not know the religion of the seller, the food he touches is Tahir. Yet it is best and a recommended precautionary to refrain from it, or make it Tahir if doing so is possible.
Q14: Natural leather is manufactured in a European country the origin of which is unknown. Here, some say that the European countries import cheap leathers (hides) from Islamic countries, and they then process them. Can one rely on such a weak probability and regard it to be Tahir?
A: Such a probability should not be relied upon. The said leather is deemed to be Najis and not allowed to be worn during prayers even if it is not used to cover private parts. Rather, it is an obligatory precaution not to even carry it while praying, let alone wear it.
Q15: What is the ruling about leathers of animals about which it is doubted whether they were slaughtered Islamically or not: Are these leathers Tahir or Najis, and can one pray wearing them accordingly?
A: Such leathers are considered to be Najis corpse, and prayers performed while wearing them are invalid if they were not taken from Muslims, and were not manufactured in the lands of Muslims. The same applies if they are taken from a Muslim and that Muslim had taken them from a non-Muslim, knowing that the Muslim did not care about ensuring that they were taken from an Islamically slaughtered animal.
Therefore, such leathers are deemed to be Islamically slaughtered, Tahir and permissible to pray in them in three circumstances:
(i)                 If they were manufactured in the lands of Muslims;
(ii)               If they were taken from a Muslim, and it is not known that he obtained it from a non-Muslim;
(iii)             If they were taken from a Muslim, and that Muslim obtained it from a non-Muslim, but it’s probable that the aforementioned Muslim was sure of it being Islamically slaughtered.
Q16: While wiping the head during Wudhu, is it sufficient to wipe over the top of the hair, or should the fingers go in between the hairs, wiping from top to bottom?
A: It is sufficient to wipe over the hair on the front top part of the head as long as the wiped hair are not so long that they can fall on other parts of the head when made to do so. Also, this wiping does not have to be from top to bottom; it is sufficient to just wipe (once) however it may occur.
Q17: What is the ruling about touching the names that are similar to those of the Prophets and Imams (peace be upon them) without the Ritual Purity obtained from performing Wudhu, Ghusl or Tayammum?
A: Touching the names of Prophets and Imams (peace be upon them) as well as similar names, without such ritual purity, according to our edict, is permissible.
Q18: Can one touch the name of the Almighty without Wudhu, if it is written in a language other than Arabic?
A: As an obligatory precaution, one should not to touch it.
Q19: Is a man or woman who is in the state of Janabah, or a woman in the state of Haydh (i.e. in her menstrual period), permitted to recite the Qur'an without touching the Qur'an?
A: Such people in the state of Janabah and Haydh are permitted to recite the Qur'an, although it is disliked, especially if it exceeds seven verses. However, it is forbidden for them to recite the verses of prostration from the four chapters:
(1) Verse 15 of the Chapter Alif Laam Meem Sajda (Ch. 32)
(2) Verse 38 of the Chapter Haa Meem [or Fussilat] (Ch. 41)
(3) Verse 62 of the Chapter Al-Najm (Ch. 53)
(4) Verse 19 of the Chapter Al-Alaq [or Iqra'] (Ch. 96)
Q20: Should one who wishes to write down a Qur'anic verse be in the state of Wudhu?
A: He does not have to unless writing necessitates touching the words, in which case he must perform Wudhu as an obligatory precaution.
Q21: Does seminal discharge happen to a woman, whether or not during sexual intercourse?
A: Yes, it is possible that she may have seminal discharge, with or without sexual intercourse. It is an obligatory precaution that she must, in such a case, regard herself as being in a state of Janabah. Such a precaution is not fulfilled except by combining Wudhu and Ghusl. Of course, her seminal discharge is not similar to that of males [since she has no sperm]; rather, it is a liquid which is discharged when she reaches sexual orgasm accompanied by convulsions similar to those a man experiences when he ejaculates.
Q22: What is the ruling regarding the blood which a woman sees at the start of her menstrual period the color of which is similar to that of Istihadha? What is the ruling of performing prayers while being in such a state? And what about fasting that day if the blood came out minutes before Maghrib time?
A: This blood is regarded as menstruation blood, and the fast of that day becomes void if blood comes out before the sun sets.
Q23: What is the ruling of a woman who uses a contraceptive that causes bleeding when it is not her period's usual time in as far as prayers and Ghusl are concerned?
A: If the said blood comes out ten days or more after the end of her menstruation, she has to regard it as menstruation blood provided the rest of the conditions associated with it are met. If the said blood comes out before the passing of ten days from the end of her previous menstruation, she should regard it as Istihadha and its respective rulings apply to it.
Q24: A woman may take a medicine that prevents the discharge of menstrual bleeding, yet occasional blood may be intermittently discharged from her during her menstruation period which does not have the characteristics of menstruation, keeping in mind that if she stops taking the said medicine menstruation blood will be discharged three days after she stops taking it; so, what is the ruling relevant to this occasional intermittent bleeding?
A: If the said intermittent blood is discharged along with any other bleeding for a total period of three days within a period of ten days, it is menstruation blood; otherwise, it is Istihadha.
To explain this: if the sporadic bleeding periods within the period of ten days are added up as though they went on successively, they will reach three days or more, then the bleeding within the ten days will be considered to be menstruation. If they do not add up to three days, it is Istihadha.
Q25: If a woman cannot find cotton during Istihadha, how can she determine the type of her Istihadha (minor or medium), and can she use a clean piece of cloth or a piece of tissue paper to determine the type of her Istihadha?
A: Suffices her to use anything like cotton which absorbs blood such as gauze which is used in dressing wounds at hospitals. Perhaps similar to it are tissue papers if they are of a good quality and not too thick.
Q26: Do the rulings of running water apply to tap water (commonly known mains water supply) or do the rulings of Kurr water apply to it in regards to purification?
A: We do not make a distinction between the rulings relevant to running water, Kurr water and tap water, and repeated washing or squeezing is not required during purification in any of them. Yes, the tap water must be connected to Kurr water or mains water supply.
Q27: Does purifying with Kurr water need squeezing or repetition if the Najis thing is a garment or bedding?
A: The said is not required, but the actual Najasah (the actual blood or urine, for example) must be removed. For example, in the case of urine, it must come out of the garment or bedding even if one has to keep pouring water on it.
Q28: Does a single continuous pouring of water (that takes a duration of two washes or pours with a gap in between) suffice and is equivalent to the two pours or washings required, in some circumstances, to purify clothing or body or anything else? Or, in order for two washings to take place, a gap between them is necessary?
A: An interval should take place in between two separate washings; one single pouring, however long it may be, does not suffice.
Q29: What is the ruling about water dripping after performing an obligatory Ghusl into a pot of water or something else?
A: The said water is Tahir and does not make what it falls upon Najis. If drops of it fall on some other water, one can perform Ghusl or Wudhu using that water. However, if much of it falls on a little, such that it is not overwhelmed by the latter, Ghusl or Wudhu using it is not valid.
Q30: If a man is a guest at another’s house and he enters the state of Janabah, and due to his embarrassment he does not ask for water purposefully, is his Tayammum valid since he encountered a social embarrassment?
A: No, his Tayammum is not valid, and such embarrassment is not an excuse.
Q31: If water is not accessible, how does one cleanse himself after using the toilet?
A: He should purify himself from the feces with the use of stones, rags, tissues or the like and the place becomes Tahir in this way. The part of the body that is contaminated with urine cannot be made Tahir without the use of water. If water is not available and time is short to perform prayers, he has to dry it off with anything available so that the Najasah may not transfer to other parts or things through contact. It remains Najis, but he can perform his prayers in such an urgent situation.
Q32: If a part of my body is Najis with urine, for example, is it permissible for me to make it Tahir through these methods:
(1) I remove the Najasah with a rag or something like that if the actual Najasah is present, then I wash the rag and wet it with a small quantity of water, then wipe the Najis area with it, then I wash it and repeat the process once more?
A: No, it is not sufficient to wipe with such a rag no matter how many times the process is repeated; water has to reach the Najis area through pouring or dipping or something like that.
(2) Can I use the same method, but I replace the wiping with squeezing water out of the rag on the Najis area?
A: If pouring takes place by this method, and the water used in the process is separated from the Najis area, and if it is repeated twice, it suffices for purification. But prior to that, the rag has to be Tahir.
(3) Can I wet my hand and remove the actual Najasah, if it is there, then I wash my hand, wet it then wipe the area, and then I wash my hand and wet it again and wipe the place?
A: We have already mentioned that wiping is not sufficient in the process of purification. However, purifying can instead be done by first purifying the palm of the hand then taking water and pouring it on the Najis area so it may reach it twice.
Q33: What is meant by the sweat of Janabah?
A: It is the sweat that comes out after one enters the state of Janabah and until he takes the Ghusl of Janabah.
Q34: If a believer is in a state of Janabah and his body is wet with water, do the things which he touches become Najis? Is there a difference in the ruling whether the Janabah results from committing a forbidden act, like masturbation?
A: Things that contact the body of someone who is in the state of Janabah do not become Najis even if it may be through the transfer of wetness, and there is no difference whether the body is sweating or not, or whether the Janabah resulted from a prohibited act or not. But, if the body is sweating while he is in the state of Janabah, and if this Janabah resulted from committing something prohibited, based on compulsory precaution, prayers are invalid if performed in clothes or other items that came in contact with that sweat.
Q35: What is the ruling about a mosque built by non-Muslim workers who are considered to be Najis, keeping in mind that these workers build it with cement and paint it, that is, wetness that transfers Najasah is present as they do their work?
A: If they are Jews, Christians or Zoroastrians, they are taken as being Tahir and they do not make anything they touch with wetness Najis. But if they follow other creeds, it is an obligatory precaution not to let them build the mosque unless it becomes necessary to do so. Also, it is an obligatory precaution to purify the apparent parts of the mosque which they come in contact with.
Q36: If something Najis falls on an electronic device and penetrates it, it makes anything that comes in contact with it Najis, but the aforementioned Najasah does not harm the equipment; how is it to be cleansed?
A: If it is not possible to cleanse it with water, it remains Najis, and anyone who touches the Najis area through transferring wetness should treat the parts that touched it as Najis.
Q37: It is common knowledge that among the ingredients of soap is fat and other materials. After chemical processes, soap is made. If this fat is Najis, or it became Najis throughcontamination, can such soap be regarded as Tahir since it went through Istihala (transformation)?
A: Such change does not suffice to be regarded as Istihala which purifies the material. Rather, Istihala particularly purifies the end substance where it is from the same origin as the source although it is conventionally understood to be different in actuality; for example, a chick from an egg, ashes from a burnt item, steam from water.
Q38: Among the ingredients of some types of soap and shampoo is alcohol. Can it be regarded as being Tahir through Istihala? Can the same apply to medicines and perfumes?
A: It does not become Tahir because Istihala does not occur by that, as we stated in our answer to the previous question. Yes, if Inqilab (change) takes place, it becomes Tahir, that is, if it is no longer an intoxicant before being mixed with the other materials that make up soap and shampoo.
Q39: The primary sources for making alcohol vary. They include wood, and they include orange peel, as well as other liquid sources. So, can one regard medicines or perfumes to which alcohol is added as being Tahir if we do not know the source of the alcohol?
A: No, the variety of sources does not affect the ruling. What makes the alcohol Najis is it’s being intoxicating and originally liquid. Yes, if the type of alcohol was originally solid while it is intoxicating, it is not regarded as being Najis, and does not become Najis when it liquefies when mixed with something, even if its intoxicating effect remains after it thus becomes liquid.
Q40: Some perfumes have written on them a statement saying that they contain a percentage of alcohol. Is it permissible to use them? And if their use is not permissible, is it permissible to sell them?
A: It is permissible to use them as perfumes. But if the alcohol is intoxicant and is naturally liquid, it is Najis. As regarding their sale, it is permissible while indicating the fact that it contains a percentage of alcohol. The sale is also permissible even without such indication if it does not entail cheating.
Q41: Is "spirit” (industrial alcohol) regarded as an alcohol, and is it Tahir or Najis?
A: What we know is that “spirit” is an alcohol, and it is Najis on the basis that it is an intoxicant and originally liquid, as many people of expertise and knowledge have testified.
Q42: If the toothbrush head is made of pig's hair, is it permissible to buy and sell it? Does it make the mouth Najis when used?
A: Neither its sale nor its purchase is permissible except if the purpose is to buy its handle and the brush goes with it. Yes, it does not make the interior of the mouth and the teeth Najis, but it makes the outer mouth Najis if it comes in contact with it when it is wet.
Q43: There are things in Denmark that are made of pig's meat, fat or hair, such as soap, toothpaste and toothbrush. We do not know if the pig's fat or meat or lard in these items has undergone Istihala or not. So, what is the ruling in its regard, and which of these items undergo Istihala so it is permissible to use?
A: The purification process of Istihala does not occur in these types of things. On this basis, they must be regarded as Najis, as is indicated in the answer to question 37 above.
Q44: Is the alcohol that is added to some medicinal material regarded as having undergone Istihala due to the chemical interactions; so, does the medicine then become Tahir?
A: If alcohol changes by itself and if it no longer remains to be an intoxicant due to the chemical transformation, it becomes Tahir.
But the medicine is not considered Tahir unless the quantity of the material added to the alcohol is so little that it is conventionally understood to become part of the alcohol.
However, if the added material has greater quantity than this, it will become Najis simply by coming into contact with the alcohol before its transformation, and it will thus not follow it in becoming Tahir.
Having said this, if the alcohol does not intoxicate because it is diluted by mixing it with other medical ingredients without altering its intoxicant nature by itself, it remains Najis and causes other things to be Najis as well, whether the material mixed with it – in the process of making the medicine - is little or much in quantity.
Q45: There is a type of agricultural fertilizer the origin of which is human feces; then it was entered into a process until it turned into tiny granules similar to laundry washing powder. Since it comes in large sacks, there are those who divide this fertilizer into smaller bags. This leads to the spread of these granules on one's face, hands and the rest of his body. So, is it sufficient to wash the hands and face, or should one wash all parts of his body where it came into contact with the substance, while having a perspiring body?
A: If the said agricultural fertilizer has been processed from feces into a chemical material that is quite different from it as understood conventionally, it is Tahir. But if it stayed as itself (without such transformation), such as ground coffee and dried milk, it is Najis, and it causes anything that comes in wet contact with it to be Najis too, whether it’s the face, hands or anything else

[i]The term “little” refers to the amount of water that does not exceed Kurr which equals in mass to 464.1 kg, and it is preferred to consider 470 kg for the Kurr as a precaution.
[ii]The term “abundant” refers to water that equals or exceeds Kurr.


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