Misc. Questions on Taharat Najasat
T H I N G S
(a) If a najis thing, after removing the najasat,
is immersed once in Kurr or running water, in such a
way that water reaches all its najis parts, it
B O D Y
If a body becomes najis, and if the Najasat is
removed in Kurr or running water, the body will
become paak, except when it becomes najis
because of urine, for which one washing is not
enough. It needs two washing. But it is not
necessary to walk in and out of water to achieve two
washings. If a person under water wipes the najis
part with hand, allowing water to reach there again,
it will suffice.
H A I R
(a) If the najis hair of head or face is washed with under-kurr water and if it is not overgrown, it is not necessary to squeeze them for remaining water to flow off.
F O O D
(a) If the exterior of wheat, rice, soap, etc. becomes najis, it becomes paak by dipping it in kurr or running water. But if their interior becomes najis, they will be paak if kurr or running water reaches the internal parts. However, in the case of a soap and similar objects, water does not reach the internal parts at all.
(b) If the outer part of rice, meat, or any
other similar thing becomes najis, it may be
placed in a bowl, etc., and then water is poured on
it once. Then the bowl is emptied so that the object
in it becomes paak. But if the bowl itself is
najis, this process must be repeated three times. At
the end, the bowl will also become paak.
Q) If a very
negligible small drop of blood falls in the
food while cooking, since the food is being
heated, will the entire food be considered
A) Even a
small particle of blood falling in the food,
while it is being boiled, will make the
entire food together with its container
najis, as per obligatory precaution, &
boiling, heat, or fire does not make it Pak.
Q) If a very negligible small drop of blood falls in the food while cooking, since the food is being heated, will the entire food be considered Najis?
A) Even a small particle of blood falling in the food, while it is being boiled, will make the entire food together with its container najis, as per obligatory precaution, & boiling, heat, or fire does not make it Pak.
H O U S E H O L D U T E N S I L
(a) The interior of a najis vessel or utensil
must be washed three times if less than kurr
water is used, and as per obligatory precaution, the
same will apply if kurr or running water is used.
C L O T H A N D C A R P E T
(a) A najis cloth or carpet when immersed once in
kurr or running water, in such a way that water
reaches all its najis parts, it becomes paak. It
is not necessary to squeeze or wring or press it.
If it becomes najis with urine, it must be washed
F L O O R (a) If the floor which is made of
stone, or bricks or other hard ground, in which
water is not absorbed, becomes najis, it can be
made paak with under-kurr water, but, it is
necessary that so much water is poured on it that it
begins to flow. And if that water is not drained
out, and it collects there, it should be drawn
out by a vessel or soaked by a cloth.
MISCELLANEOUS Q&A ON THE SUBJECT Some more qa from Ayt Sistani.org on Najasat
NAJAASAT [RITUAL IMPURITY] AND TAHARAT [RITUAL PURITY]
Answers to Questions asked are according to the FATAWA of Ayatullah Al-Uzma Seyyid Ali-Husaini Seestani Dama-Dhilluhu.
(Sources: Islamic Laws, Jurisprudence Made Easy, A Code of Practice for Muslims in the West, Cotemporary Legal Ruling in Shi’I Law,Current Legal Issues and
The Ritual and Spiritual Purity by Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi) (unless otherwise specified)
Paper # 1
A well known religious law says: “Everything is ritually pure for you unless you come to know that it is ritually impure”. This law declares everything to be pure unless one becomes sure that a particular item has become impure. And as long as you are not sure that it has become ritually impure, it is to be considered pure and you can apply all the rules of purity to it without any hesitation or doubt EXCEPT THAT WHICH IS INTRINSICALLY (INHERENTLY, ESSENTIALLY) NAJIS.
Q) What are the things that are inherently najis?
A) The following ten things are essentially najis.
1. & 2. Urine and Faeces (excrement, dung) of human beings, and animals whose meat is haraam to eat and when slaughtered, blood gushes out from its body.
NOTE: 1] Urine
and feces of human beings is NAJIS
2] Urine and feces of animals whose meat is haraam to eat and whose blood gushes out forcefully when its large vein (jugular) is slit is NAJIS.
3] The excretion of those animals who are haraam to eat but its blood does not gush forth forcefully when killed, like haraam fish is PAK.
4] Droppings of mosquito and flies are PAK.
5] Urine of an animal whose meat is haraam should be avoided as per obligatory precaution, even if its blood does not gush forth when killed.
6] The urine and droppings of those birds which are haraam to eat is PAK, but it is better to avoid them.
3. Semen of human beings, and of every animal whose blood gushes out when slaughtered, even of the kind whose meat is halal to consume.
4. Dead Body of a human being and those animals whose blood gushes when slaughtered, irrespective of whether it dies a natural death or is killed in a manner other than that prescribed by Islam. Those parts of a dead body which do not contain life like, wool, hair, teeth, nails, bones and horns are pak.
Note: As the blood of a fish does not gush forth, its dead body is pak, even if it dies in water.
5. Blood of a human being, and of every animal whose blood gushes forth when slaughtered. The blood of an animal like fish or an insect like mosquito, is pak because it does not gush forth.
Note: Even a small particle of blood falling in the food, while it is being boiled, will make the entire food together with its container najis, as per obligatory precaution, and boiling, heat or fire does not make it pak.
6.&7. Dogs and Pigs which live on land are najis, and even their hair, bones, paws and nails, and every liquid substance of their body, is najis. However, sea dogs and sea pigs are pak.
8. Unbelievers whether alive or dead, excluding Christians, Jews and Christians.
9. Alcoholic Liquors and beverages.
10. The sweat of an animal who persistently eats najasat. The perspiration of every animal which is habituated to eat najasat is najis.
The above ten things are inherently najis. Their najasah (impurity) will render other objects najis by any means of contact, if there is dampness.
Q) Kindly explain to me ways of proving Najasat.
A) (a) One should be certain, or satisfied that something is najis. If one suspects that something may be najis, it is not necessary to avoid it.
(b) If a reliable person who possesses, controls or manages a thing, says that it is najis. For example, if the wife, or a servant, or a maid says that a particular utensil or any other object which she handles, is najis, it will be accepted as najis.
(c) If two just persons testify that a certain thing is najis, provided that their testimony deals with the reason for najasat.
Paper # 3
Q) If a dog licks my body or clothes, how do I purify it?
A) It is sufficient to wash it once. However, if the water is qalil, it is necessary to rid it of the water by wringing it.
Q) If the pages of the Holy Qur’an happen to become Najis, is it obligatory to make the same Paak?
A) To make the script and pages of Holy Qur’an Najis, and violate its sanctity, is undoubtedly Haraam, and if it becomes Najis, it should be made Paak immediately with water. In fact, as an obligatory precaution, it is Haraam to make it Najis even if no violation of sanctity is intended, and it is obligatory that it should be made Paak by washing it with water.
Q) Can a Muslim sell or lend a Najis thing to a fellow Muslim brother or sister?
A) To sell or lend a Najis thing which can be made Paak, has no objection, but the buyer or the borrower must be told about it, particularly in the following two situations:
(i) That if he is not informed, he might contravene the law of Shariah, like, if he wants to eat or drink it.
(ii) That the buyer or borrower will pay heed to the advice. If one knows that it will have no effect, it will not be necessary to tell him.
Note: If a borrowed object becomes Najis, the borrower must inform the owner, provided the two situations mentioned above is observed.
Q) If I see a fellow Muslim eat or drink something Najis, or pray with a Najis dress, is it Wajib for me to draw his attention?
A) It is not necessary to admonish him.
Q) If I am invited for lunch or dinner in a Muslim house and during the meals, I become aware that a particular food served is Najis, is it Wajib for me to bring to the attention of other invited guests?
A) It is not necessary for you as a guest to inform others about it. But if the host comes to know during the meals, that that particular food served is Najis, he should inform the guests about it.
Note: It is Haraam to eat or drink or make others eat or drink something which
Q) Are there set down rules in Islamic shari'ah applicable when using the lavatory (toilet) and on how to wash oneself after passing urine and stool?
A) The urine and stool of human beings are `ayn najis (inherently najis). The Islamic shari'ah has prescribed certain rules on how to cleanse oneself of urine and stool.
1. The organ of urination can be made tahir only by the pouring of water on it at least twice. It is better to wash it three times.
2. As far as the anus is concerned, a person can clean himself/herself with water, or with three pieces of papers, or three pieces of rags or three stones. The papers, rags and stones can be used only if the anus is not more than normally dirtied, i.e., the excrement has not spread more than normal. If the area dirtied is large, or the excrement is mixed with some other najasat like blood, then only water can be used to purify oneself.
3. In case of cleaning oneself with three pieces of papers, rags or stones, it is obligatory to use all the three pieces even if the body becomes clean by one or two of them. However, if the body is not clean even after using the three pieces, then extra pieces must be used till the body becomes clean.
4. It is recommended for men to do istibra' after urinating. Istibra' means to clean something, to get rid of something. Here it means getting rid of the remaining drops of urine from penis. The method of istibra': Squeeze with the middle-finger of the left hand from the anus to the root of the penis three times; then holding the penis between the thumb and the fore- finger, squeeze three times from the root up to the glans; and squeeze the glans itself three times.
The benefit of istibra':
If a liquid comes out of a man's urinary organ after urinating and he doubts whether this is urine or something else, then he can assume it to be tahir if he has done istibra'. But if he has not done istibra', then he must consider it najis.
5. In western toilets, there is no water, only tissue paper is available. As far as stool is concerned, it can be cleaned with tissue paper as explained above. In case of urinating, would it be enough to wipe the related part with tissue paper? No, wiping with tissue paper would not purify the organ of urination. Nonetheless, in such a case, one should do istibra' and then wipe the organ with tissue paper, and later on when it becomes possible, he or she must purify the organ with water. The benefit of istibra' and wiping with tissue paper is that the organ will become dry and not make the underwear or the thighs najis.
However, in the above case, if the person's private parts sweat, then he or she must purify the organ, the immediately surrounding area and the underwear with water.
Paper # 5
6. While urinating or emptying the bowels, it is necessary to conceal one's private parts from the on-lookers. This condition is easily taken care of in normal toilets, but one must be careful while on the call of nature in an open area, e.g., during a picnic or while travelling, etc.
7. A Muslim should also realize that even for such a trivial thing as using toilet, Islam emphasizes that either you must be the owner of the washroom or you must have the permission of the owner; otherwise, it will be haram for you to fulfill your natural needs in that place.
8. It is haram to face the qiblah or to keep the qiblah on the back side while urinating or evacuating the bowels. Qiblah means the direction of the Ka'bah (Mecca). Therefore, a Muslim must make sure that the toilet of his house is not built in such a way that when he sits on the toilet, his front or back side is towards the qiblah. If the circumstances make it necessary to use a toilet on which a person will either be facing the qiblah or will have his back towards it, then he should refrain from facing the qiblah.
Q) Are the excrement of animals and birds to be considered najis?
1] Urine and
feces of human beings is NAJIS
2] Urine and feces of animals whose meat is haraam to eat and whose blood gushes out forcefully when its large vein (jugular) is slit is NAJIS.
3] The excretion of those animals who are haraam to eat but its blood does not gush forth forcefully when killed, like haraam fish is PAK but it is better to avoid them.
4] Droppings of mosquito and flies are PAK.
5] Urine of an animal whose meat is haraam should be avoided as per obligatory precaution, even if its blood does not gush forth when killed.
6] The urine and droppings of those birds which are haraam to eat is PAK, but it is better to avoid them.
Q) What should a person do if he finds animal stool or excrement on his dress or person and doesn't know from which type of animal it originated?
A) In all the cases of ignorance and doubt, one can assume that it came from an animal whose urine or excrement is tahir.
Paper # 6
Q) I understand that Semen and Urine are najis. How about other liquid a man releases?
A) Sometimes a liquid, other than semen and urine is discharged from man; this type of liquid is not najis. These liquid are of three types:
1. Mazi: a whitish liquid which is discharged from the organ of urination during fore-play.
2. Wazi: a liquid which comes out after the discharge of semen.
3. Wadi: a liquid which comes out after urinating.
All these discharges are tahir.
NOTE: As for Wazi and Wadi, they will be considered pak if he has done istibra’. If he has not done istibra’, then he must consider it najis.
Q) Please, advise me which type of blood is considered najis and which type of blood is considered pak?
A) 1. Blood of human being is najis.
2. Blood of the animals whose blood spurts out is also considered najis.
3. The blood found in an egg is also najis.
NOTE: If the blood is in the yolk (yellow portion) the albumen (white portion) will be pak, as long as the skin over the yolk is not torn.
4. The blood of an animal whose blood does not spurt out is tahir, e.g., the blood of fish or the body-fluid of a mosquito but it would be haraam to consume.
5. After an animal has been slaughtered and the normal amount of its blood has flowed out, the blood remaining in its body is tahir but it would be haraam to consume.
6. If there is blood on someone's dress or on his person and he doubts whether it is of an animal whose blood spurts out or not, then he should consider it tahir.
7. If a yellowish liquid comes out of a wound and one doubts whether it is blood or something else, then he should consider it tahir.
8. If a person cannot discern whether it is dried blood under the skin, or that the flesh has turned that way because of being hit, it is pak.
Paper # 7
Q) Is the dead body of a Muslim considered najis?
A) The dead body of a Muslim becomes najis after becoming cold and before being washed (ghusl mayyit).
Those parts of a dead body which do not contain life, like hair, teeth, nails and bones are pak.
If a part of a living human being's body is cut off, it will be considered najis. This law, however, does not apply to the dry skin which comes off the lips or the skin which comes off from a healing wound, or pimples, dandruff, etc.
A miscarried fetus is also najis.
Q) How about the dead bodies of animals?
A) "Dead body-maytah" in case of the animals means: an animal which had died naturally or was slaughtered in a non-Islamic way.
The dead body of an animal whose blood spurts out is also najis with the exception of those of its parts which have no life (feeling) in them during life-time, e.g., hair, nails, bones, beak, horn and teeth. Of course, these parts become najis by being in contact with the dead body; so after separating them from the animal's body they must be purified.
The dead body of the animal whose blood does not spurt out is tahir; for example, a dead fish.
Q) How about a belt or a wallet made of an animal’s skin?
A) If someone buys a dress, a belt, or a wallet, etc, made of an animal's skin and does not know for sure whether or not the animal was slaughtered Islamically, then in such a case there are two possibilities:
1. Either he has bought it from a Muslim or from a Muslim market, then he can assume that the animal was slaughtered according to the shari'ah.
2. Or he has bought it from a non-Muslim. In such a case if there is a probability that the skin or hide has been taken from an animal which was slaughtered according to the shari'ah, then he can consider it tahir and use it. However, he still cannot use such a thing in salat (prayers). And if there is no such probability, then he cannot consider it tahir, it should be regarded as najis.
Q) How about dead bodies of dogs and pigs?
A) Dogs and pigs are najis during their life-time and after they die or slaughtered.
All parts of pigs and dogs, even their nails, hair, teeth and bones, and their saliva, milk, urine and excrement are najis. Therefore, all things made from pig's fat, skin, hair, and other parts of its body (e.g., belt, gloves, jackets, and shoes) are najis. Similarly, all the food items produced from the meat and fat of pig is najis.
Paper # 8
Q) What are the stands of our Mujtahids as regards to ritual purity or impurity of non-Muslims (kafirs)?
A) The answer requires a detailed explanation. I will quote a passage on the subject written by Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi in his book “The Ritual and Spiritual Purity”.
What is the meaning of "kafir?" Kafir (pl. kuffar) means an infidel, an unbeliever as opposed to a Muslim, a believer. "Muslim" is defined as a person who believes in Oneness of God, prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.w.) and the Day of Judgement. A person who rejects any of these three principles is a kafir.
From Muslims' perspective, the kuffar are divided into two main groups: kafir dhimmi and kaf'ir harbi. "Kafir dhimmi" is a kafir who lives under the protection of an Islamic government. "Kafir harbi" is a kafir who does not have such a protection. I must also mention a third, but rare, category of kafir: murtad. "Murtad" means an apostate; there are two types of murtad: "Murtad fitri" a person who was born of a Muslim parent, but then declared his disbelief in Islam. "Murtad milli" a non Muslim who had accepted the religion of Islam and then apostates from it.
While discussing the ritual purity or impurity of the non-Muslims, the mujtahids divide all the kuffar--dhimmi, harbi, murtad fitri and milli - into two distinct groups: mushrik and ahlu '1-kitab.
Mushrik (pl. mushrikin) means a polytheist, a person who believes that God has partner(s). It is used for the idol-worshippers also. The followers of Hinduism, of most far eastern religions and of the tribal religions fall in the category of mushrikin. Ahlu ' l-kitab means the people of the Book; it is a name given to those who believe in any of the Books revealed by Allah before the Qur'an. Under Islamic system, the Ahlu '1-kitab have a preferred status in comparison to other non-Muslims. The people who are unanimously counted as Ahlu '1-kitab are: the Jews, the Christians and the Zoroastrians.
As for the mushrikfn, the mujtahids are unanimous that they are najis. This is so because Allah has clearly declared in the Qur'an that: "O you who believe! The polytheists (mushrikun) are indeed unclean; therefore, they should not approach the Sacred Mosque after this year of theirs (i.e., 9 AH)." (9:28) Some Muslims try to interpret the word "unclean" in spiritual sense only. They are wrong because one cannot ignore the literal meaning of a word unless the context supports the departure from a literal to a symbolic meaning. The context of the verse does not leave any room for an exclusively symbolic or spiritual interpretation of the word "unclean." It immediately says that "they should not approach the Sacred Mosque." This reflects the physical uncleanliness. However, our interpretation does not exclude the spiritual impurity of the mushrikin along side the physical, ritual impurity.
When we move on to the Ahlu ' 1-kitab, we find that the mujtahids disagree about their ritual purity or impurity. There are three different views on the Ahlu 1-kitab.
(1) A minority group says that the Ahlu '1-kitab are pure and tahir, just like Muslims. To this group belong the late Ayatullah al-`uzma Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim at Tabataba'i (d. 1970) and the late Ayatullah ash-Shahid Sayyid Muhammad Baqir as-Sadr (d. 1980).
(2) The majority view says that the Ahlu '1-kitab have become corrupt in their beliefs and are not different from mushrikin; therefore, they are najis. Those who belong to this group from the present mujtahids are: Ayatullah al-`uzma Sayyid Ruhullah al-Musawi al-Khumayni and Ayatullah al-`uzma Sayyid Muhammad Riza alGulpaygani.
(3) The third group is of those mujtahids who theoretically agree with the first view but when it comes to issuing a fatwa for their followers, they tread on the path of precaution and side with the majority. The most prominent among this group is the Ayatullah al`uzma Sayyid Abu '1-Qasim al-Musawi al-Khu'i.
Paper # 9
NON-MUSLIMS - continued
Ayatullah al-Khu'i, in his lectures on fiqh, says: "It is apparent from what we have discussed above that the purity (taharat) of the Ahlu '1-kitab was taken for granted by the narrators of hadith till the end of the era of our Imams [i. e., till the minor occultation], and whatever they asked the Imams concerning the works of the Ahlu '1kitab was just because of the doubts they had about external najasat which might have affected them.
"Therefore, it is difficult to give a fatwa on basis of the ahadith which apparently say that the Ahlu '1-kitab are najis; however, on the other hand, to gave a ruling on basis of the ahadith which say that they are tahir is even more difficult because the majority of our jurist companions, both from the early days and the later days, believe in the najasat of Ahlu '1-kitab. And so there is no escape from a binding precautionary measure on this issue." And therefore we see that while issuing the fatwa for his followers, Ayatullah al-Khu'i writes, "As for the kiadbi (kafir), the famous view says that he is najis; and it is precautionarily necessary (to consider him as such)."
“Quote” from the Islamic Laws of Ayatullah Al-Sistani Dama Dhilluhu.
As regards the people of the Book (i.e. the Jews and the Christians) who do not accept the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad bin Abdullah (peace be upon him and his progeny), they are commonly considered najis, but it is not improbable that they are pak. However, it is better to avoid them.
There are three other groups - ghulat, nawasib, and khawarij - who are also considered kafir and najis by the Shi`ah fiqh, in spite of the fact that these groups were off shoots of Muslims during the early stage of the Islamic history.
Ghulat (s. ghali) are those who declare their faith in Islam but exaggerate in their beliefs about some prophets or Imams, e.g., those who believe that an Imam is an incarnation of God. This is against the fundamental belief of Islam that God cannot incarnate into anyone or anything.
Nawasib (s. nasibi) are those who declare their faith in Islam but display enmity toward the Ahlu'1-bayt (peace be upon them). This goes completely against the Qur'anic order which says, "(O Muhammad) say, `I do not ask from you any reward for it (i.e., conveying the message) except the love for my near ones." (42:23) The Prophet has said, "Whosoever dies in enmity to the family of Muhammad, dies as an unbeliever (kafir). Whosoever dies in enmity to the family of Muhammad, will not smell the scent of Paradise." However, one must realize that if a person is not a Shi'ah Muslim it does not automatically follow that he also hates our Imams. There are many Sunnis who do not believe in our Imams as the leaders and the caliphs after the Prophet, but neither do they hate them---on the contrary many of them respect and even love the Imams of the Ahlu '1-bayt.
Khawarij (s. khariji) are those who rebelled against Imam 'Ali bin Abi Talib in the battle of Siffin. Finally, Imam 'Ali had to fight against them in the battle known as Naharwan. They believed that Imam 'Ali had become a kafir by accepting the intermediaries during the battle against Mu`awiyah. The verse and the hadith mentioned above is equally applicable to the khawarij, and therefore, they are also kafir and najis.
There is one more category of a kafir. The person who rejects the unanimously accepted tenets of Islam (for example, the obligation of salat or haj), is also regarded as a kafir and najis. Such a person will become kafir provided he realizes that rejecting such Islamic tenets amounts to believing that the Qur'anic verses on salat and hajj are not part of Allah's Book, and this in turn means that Prophet Muhammad had not been faithful in fulfilling the mission of Allah. In short, such a person becomes a kafir only if he realizes the consequence of his rejection of the unanimously accepted tenets of Islam. However, one must note that negligence and rejection are two different things; so if a person believes in the unanimously accepted tenets of Islam but neglects them, he is not a kafir, he is only a sinner.
ALCOHOLIC LIQUOR (INTOXICATING LIQUIDS)
Q) Are all alcoholic liquids considered najis and haraam to consume?
A) Every intoxicating liquid is najis.
Allah says in the Qur'an: "O you who believe! Surely intoxicants, games of chance, idols and azlam are unclean (and) work of Shaytan, so shun it; may be you will prosper." (5:90) The word "unclean" in this verse, at least as far as the intoxicants are concerned, has a spiritual as well as a ritual connotation to it. And ritual uncleanliness is another word for najis.
Beer is also najis. But all non-intoxicating drink made from barley are tahir.
The non-liquid intoxicants are haram (forbidden) but not najis.
Methyl alcohol (also known as wood alcohol or wood spirit) is tahir; it is mostly used for industrial solvents, and for making synthetic rubber, chemicals, rubbing alcohol, inks, dyes and stains, antifreeze and other similar products.
Q) Kindly provide general rules in relation to trading in najis and/or haraam commodity?
A) Buying or selling the following najasat is haraam:
All types of intoxicating liquids, dead bodies, pigs and dogs (except the dogs used for hunting).
However, one is allowed to buy or sell the other najasat if there is any lawful benefit in them, e.g., buying or selling excrement for manure.
It is also permitted to buy or sell those parts of a dead animal's body (other than dog and pig) which have no feeling in them during life-time, i.e. horn, nails, teeth, hair, etc..
It is haram to sell grapes or dates to a person who purchases it for producing wine.
The medicines, perfumes, soap and waxes purchased from a non-Muslim country can be considered tahir unless one becomes sure that they are najis.
WAYS OF PROVING NAJAASAT
Q) What are the ways of proving Najaasat?
A) There are three ways of proving Najaasat.
i] One should be certain, or satisfied that something is najis. If one suspects that something may be najis, it is not necessary to avoid it.
ii] If a reliable person who possesses, controls or manages a thing says that it is najis. For example, if the wife, or a servant, or a maid says that a particular utensil or any other object which she handles is najis, it will be accepted as najis.
iii] If two just persons testify that a certain thing is najis, provided that their testimony deals with the reason for najaasat.
Q) If a thing which was originally paak, later a doubt arises as to whether it has become najis or not, should it be considered najis or paak?
A) A thing which was originally paak, and one doubts whether it has become najis, will be considered paak. On the other hand, if a thing was originally najis, and if one doubts whether it has become paak, it will be considered najis.
Paper # 11
WAYS OF PROVING NAJAASAT
Q) If a person does not know whether a certain thing is paak or najis. What is his shari’i obligation?
A) If he does not know because of ignorance, for example, if he does not know whether the droppings of a rat is paak or not, he should enquire from those who know. But, if he knows the rule, and doubts the nature of a particular thing, like when he doubts whether a thing is blood or not, or if he does not know whether it is the blood of a mosquito or a human being, the thing is paak, and it is not necessary to make investigation or enquiry about it.
Q) If a person knows that out of his two dresses, one has become najis, but he does not know which of the two has become najis, what is his shari’i duty?
A) He should refrain from using both them. He is required to make paak both them if he wants to use for prayers.
Q) Does a paak thing become najis if it comes in contact with a najis thing but there is a doubt if either or both of them were wet or not?
A) The paak thing does not become najis.
THE MUTAHHIRAT (THE PURIFYING AGENTS)
Mutahhirat is plural of mutahhir. It means a thing or a process which can ritually purify the najis things and the a'yan najisah (the plural of `ayn najis). "Mutahhirat" can be translated into English as "the purifying agents."
Q) What are the purifying agents?
A) The mutahhirat are twelve in number. These mutahhirat can be divided into three groups:
2. the earth;
3. the sun;
4. istihalah (chemical change);
5. inqilab (change in properties);
6. intiqal (change in place);
7. zawalulI-`ayni n-najasah (disappearance of the najasat);
8. istibra' (quarantining);
10. taba`iyyah (to follow);
11. ghaybatu ' 1-muslim (disappearance of a Muslim).
12.Draining of the usual quantity of blood from the slaughtered body of an animal.
Paper # 12
THE MUTAHHIRAT (THE PURIFYING AGENTS)
Q) Kindly explain to me how to go about purifying Najis things with water?
Please, also include the various types of water and the various types of objects involved.
A) First among the mutahhirat is water.
Water is indeed the most common and widely used purifying agent. However, the way water can purify a najis thing depends on its type and quantity. So first we will describe the various types of water and then explain the rules of purification.
According to the shari'ah, water can be of two types: mutlaq and muzaf.
Mutlaq means pure water, water which is not mixed with any other liquid. When we use the term pure, in the present context, we do not mean scientifically pure water, i.e., H20, a liquid compound consisting of 2 part of hydrogen and 16 of oxygen. By mutlaq we mean water which people in general would consider pure, without putting it to a scientific test.
Muzaf is opposite of mutlaq, it means a water which is mixed with some other liquid, e.g., orange juice, tea, etc. Muaf water, however large its quantity may be, becomes najis when even a small particle of Najasat falls in it. A najis thing cannot be made pak with mixed water nor are Ghusl and Wudhu valid when performed with muzaf water.
For the purpose of purifying a najis thing, only the mutlaq water can be used. Therefore, muzaf water is not one of the mutahhirat.
The mutlaq water can be found in five different forms:
1. Rain. By rain is meant a sufficient downpour, and not scanty shower or droplets.
2. Well water.
3. Running or flowing water, e.g., river, stream. The water running from the pipes in the houses is treated as `running water' as long as it is running.
4. Kur water: a body of water which is still (not moving). It must be at least 388 litres. To determine kur by weight is not free from ishkal. Examples of kur water: a swimming pool, a pond, a lake, a sea or an ocean.
5. Less than kur. A body of still water which is less than the kur.
The first four types of pure water are known as Kathir water, and the last one is known as qalil water. Kathir means abundant or plentiful; qalil means less.
Water can make a najis thing tahir on the following conditions:
1. it must be mutlaq;
2. it must be tahir;
3. it must not become muzaf by coming in contact with the najasat;
4. the najasat must be washed away from the najis thing, but there is no harm if the color or smell of the najasat remains in it.
Because of its quantity, the Kathir water is immune from becoming najis by contact with a najasat except when the najasat is so strong or so much that it changes the taste, or the colour or the smell of the water. When cleaning a najis thing with the Kathir water, it is enough to wash it just once after removing the najasat.
Unlike the Kathir water, qalil water becomes najis as soon as it comes into contact with a najasat. When cleaning a najis thing with qalil water, it is necessary to wash it twice. However, it is better to wash three times.
THE MUTAHHIRAT (THE PURIFYING AGENTS)
Q) How do I make pak a najis thing using kur water, less than kur water and running water? Is there any difference in making pak various types of articles, i.e. thing, household utensils, dress, carpet, etc.?
A) Before making anything pak it is necessary to remove any oily or greasy substances which would prevent water from reaching the thing to be made pak.
A najis thing does not become pak unless the essential najasat like urine, blood, etc. is removed from it. In other words, any particles of essential najasat should not remain behind in a najis thing after it has been washed. But there is no harm if the color or smell of the najasat remains in it. So, if blood is removed from a cloth, and the cloth is made pak with water, it will become pak even if the color or smell of blood remains in it. But if, on account of the smell or color, it becomes certain or seems possible that some particles of najasat are still present in the cloth, etc. it will remain najis.
i] HOUSEHOLD UTENSILS
a) The interior of a najis vessel or utensil must be washed three times if less than kurr water is used, and as per obligatory precaution, the same will apply if kurr or running water is used.
b) A najis utensil can be made pak with less than kurr water in two ways.
(i) The utensil should be filled up with water and emptied three times.
(ii) Some quantity of water is poured in it, and then the utensil is vigorously shaken, so that the water reaches all najis parts before it is spilled. This should be done three times.
c) If a dog drinks any liquid from a utensil [or licks it and something remains in it] it should first be scrubbed with pak earth, and after washing off the dust, it should be washed three times with kurr water or less than kur water.
d) If the saliva of a dog falls into the vessel, as per obligatory precaution, it should be scrubbed with pak earth, and after washing off the dust, it should be washed three times. If the mouth of a utensil which a dog has licked is narrow, dust should be thrown into it and after adding some quantity of water, it should be shaken vigorously, so that the dust may reach all parts of it. Thereafter, the utensil should be washed in the manner mentioned above.
e) If a utensil is licked by a pig, or if it drinks any liquid from it, or in which a field-mouse has died in it, then it should be washed seven times with running water, kurr or less than kurr water.
f) If a utensil becomes najis with alcoholic beverage, it should be washed three times with kurr, less than kurr or running water.
a) If a najis thing, after removing the najasat, is immersed once in Kurr or running water, in such a way that water reaches all its najis parts, it becomes pak.
b) If a thing becomes najis with najasat other than urine it can be made pak with less than kurr water by first removing the najasat and then pouring under kurr water once, allowing it to flow off.
c) When a thing has become najis with urine, it can be made pak with less than kurr water by pouring less than kurr water once on it, and as the water flows off eliminating all the traces of urine, the thing will become pak.
THE MUTAHHIRAT (THE PURIFYING AGENTS)
iii] CLOTH AND CARPET
a) A najis cloth or carpet when immersed once in kurr or running water, in such a way that water reaches all its najis parts, it becomes pak. It is not necessary to squeeze or wring or press it. If it becomes najis with urine, it must be washed twice.
b) If a najis cloth or carpet is to be made pak with less than kurr water, it should be washed once but it must be wrung or squeezed till the water remaining in it runs out. If it becomes najis with urine, it must be washed twice and also squeezed or wrung each time till the water remaining in it runs out.
c) If a najis dress which has been dyed is dipped into kurr or running water, it will become pak if water reaches all its parts before water becomes muzaf with color. But if it is made pak with less than kurr water, it will become pak only if muzaf water does not come out at the time of wringing or squeezing.
d) If a part of najis dress or carpet is washed with less than kurr water, the parts adjacent to it where water usually reaches will become pak, when the najis part becomes pak. It means that it is not necessary to wash those sides independently, as the najis part and parts around it become pak together.
iv] BODY AND HAIR
a) If a body becomes najis, and if the Najasat is removed in Kurr or running water, the body will become pak, except when it becomes najis because of urine, for which one washing is not enough. It needs two washing. But it is not necessary to walk in and out of water to achieve two washings. If a person under water wipes the najis part with hand, allowing water to reach there again, it will suffice.
b) If a part of the najis body is washed with under-kurr water the parts adjacent to it where water usually reaches will become pak, when the najis part becomes pak. It means that it is not necessary to wash those sides independently, as the najis part and parts around it become pak together.
c) If the najis hair of head or face is washed with under-kurr water and if it is not overgrown, it is not necessary to squeeze them for remaining water to flow off.
(a) If the exterior of wheat, rice, soap, etc. becomes najis, it becomes pak by dipping it in kurr or running water. But if their interior becomes najis, they will be pak if kurr or running water reaches the internal parts. If one doubts whether najis water has seeped into the interior of soap or not, its interior will be considered pak.
(b) If the outer part of rice, meat, or any other similar thing becomes najis, it may be placed in a bowl, etc., and then water is poured on it once. Then the bowl is emptied so that the object in it becomes pak. But if the bowl itself is najis, this process must be repeated three times. At the end, the bowl will also become pak.
(c) If najis food remains between the teeth, and water is taken in the mouth and moved in such a way that it reaches the entire najis food, the food becomes pak.
(d) If najis sugar, or syrup is turned into solid cubes, or granules, it will not become pak if it is immersed in kurr or running water.
If the floor which is made of stone, or bricks or other hard ground, in which water is not absorbed, becomes najis, it can be made pak with under-kurr water, but, it is necessary that so much water is poured on it that it begins to flow. And if that water is not drained out, and it collects there, it should be drawn out by a vessel or soaked by a cloth.
THE MUTAHHIRAT (THE PURIFYING AGENTS)
2] THE EARTH
Q) Please, explain how does the earth act as a purifying agent?
A) The second among mutahhirat is the earth.
However, the earth is not a universal purifying agent like water. It's purifying scope is very limited. It can only purify the sole of the shoes and the sole of the feet provided:
a. The earth is tahir.
b. The earth is dry, as a precaution.
c. As an obligatory precaution, the shoe or the foot had become najis by a najasat on the earth;
d. The najis element is removed from the sole of a foot or shoe by walking on the earth, or by rubbing the foot or the shoe against it. But it is better that one should walk a distance of at least fifteen arm-lengths or more, even if the najasat disappears by walking a lesser distance, or by rubbing ones foot on earth.
Q) Would any type of ground make tahir the soles of a foot or shoe by walking?
A) The earth should be of dust or sand, or consisting of stones or laid with bricks. Therefore, walking on a tar road, wooden floor, carpet, mats or green grass will not make the sole of feet or shoes tahir.
Q) Is it a condition that the najasat caught must be wet?
A) It is not necessary that the najis of one’s feet or shoes are wet. They become tahir by walking on earth even if they are dry.
Q) If the najisul ayn disappears from the sole of a shoe or foot by itself without walking or rubbing on earth, will it become tahir?
A) If the najisul ayn happens to vanish by itself and not by walking or rubbing on the ground, the foot or the sole will not become tahir, as an obligatory precaution.
Q) Would the najasat caught from the earth on knees and hands become tahir by moving on the earth on his hands and knees?
A) If a person moves on his hands and knees, and his hands or knees become najis, it is improbable that they become tahir by such movement. Similarly, the bottom part of a walking stick or the bottom part of an artificial leg would not become tahir.
Q) If the color or smell of the najasat still remains after walking, would it be necessary for him to walk further until the color or smell disappears completely?
A) If after walking, the smell or color of the najasat, or its invisible particles, remain in the sole of the feet or the shoe, there is no harm in it, although the recommended precaution is that one should walk so much, that these things also disappear.
Q) Would the inner part of the shoe become tahir by walking?
A) The inner part of the shoe does not become tahir by walking.
THE MUTAHHIRAT (THE PURIFYING AGENTS)
3] THE SUN
Q) What are the conditions set out for the sun to make things tahir?
The sun is the third and last among "the natural mutahhirat."
The sun is also a limited mutahhir like the earth. The sun can purify the earth, building and walls provided the following five conditions are fulfilled:
1. The najis place or thing is sufficiently wet. So if a najis place or thing has become dry and you wish to purify it by the sun, then you will have to pour water on it and let it dry up by the direct rays of the sun.
2. The najisul ayn is removed from the thing intended to make tahir before it is dried by the direct rays of the sun.
3. the najis thing or place must become dry by the direct rays of the sun. Nothing should intervene between the najis thing and the sun. Therefore, if the rays fall on the najis thing from behind a curtain or a cloud, and meks it dry, the thing will not become tahir. But there is no harm if the cloud is so thin that it does not serve as an impediment, between the najis thing and the sun.
4. Only the sun should make the najis thing tahir. So, if a najis thing is jointly dried by the wind and the sun, it will not become tahir. However, it would not matter if the wind blows lightly, and it may not be said that it had any share in making the najis thing dry.
5. The sun should dry up the whole najis part of the building all at once. If the sun dries the surface of the najis earth or building first, and later on dries the inner part, only the surface will become tahir , and the inner portion will remain najis.
Q) Would the direct rays of the sun also make tahir the doors and windows of a building?
A) The sun does not, in all probabilities, make tahir the doors and the windows of a building and the nails which are fixed on the walls, nor does it make tahir the trees and the grass which have not been cut yet.
THE MUTAHHIRAT (THE PURIFYING AGENTS)
4. ISTIHALAH (Chemical Change)
Q) Please, explain how the process of transformation makes a najis object tahir giving examples?
A) Istihalah is the fourth mutahhirat. Istihalah means change or more precisely, a chemical change. It is the most universal mutahhirat in the category of `physical change'.
An `ayn najis or a najis thing can become tahir by changing chemically into another tahir thing.
Example of an `ayn najis changing into a tahir thing: a dog falls into a salt mine and changes into salt, it becomes tahir.
Example of a najis thing changing into a tahir thing: A najis wood is burnt and changes into ashes or coal derived from a najis wood is tahir.
Q) Will that bread be considered tahir which has been baked from najis wheat after having been made into flour?
A) A najis thing does not become tahir if its essence or category does not change; Therefore, if najis wheat is ground into flour, or is used for baking bread, it does not become tahir.
5] INQILAB (Change in Properties)
Q) How does the process of inqilab works to make a najis thing tahir?
A) Inqilab like istihalah means change. The difference is in the degree of change. In istihalah, the shape and form, all are changed; whereas in inqilab, only the properties change but the shape is not entirely changed. Its only example is of the wine changing into vinegar. When this change takes place, the vinegar becomes tahir.
Paper # 18
THE MUTAHHIRAT (THE PURIFYING AGENTS)
6] INTIQAL (Change in Place)
Q) Please, explain the term intiqal in relation to it making a najis thing tahir?
A) Intiqal means change of place. Certain `ayn najis things can become ritually pure by change in its location or place. For example, human blood is najis. Now, if a mosquito sucks the blood of a man and the blood becomes `blood of mosquito', then it will become tahir. Similarly, if an organ of a kafir is transplanted to a Muslim (and after some time the organ becomes a part of the Muslim's body), then it will become tahir.
7] ZAWA LU `L-'AYNI 'N-NAJASAH (Disappearance of the Najasat)
Q) One of the purifying agents mentioned is disappearance of the najasat. Kindly explain how does it work?
A) Zawalu ' l- `ayni ' n-najasah means disappearance of the najis element. This mutahhir is mostly useful in case of animals.
If there is any najasat on the body of an animal, whether with najisul ‘ayn, for example, blood, or with something which has become najis, for example, najis water, its body will become tahir when the najasat disappears.
Likewise, the inner parts of human body, for example, inside of the mouth, nose, eyelids or ears become tahir after the najasat has disappeared. But the internal najasat, like the blood from the gums or the teeth, does not make inner mouth najis.
Q) Are dentures included in this rule because they are foreign to mouth?
A) If the dentures come in contact with blood from other teeth, it does not require rinsing. Of course, if it contacts najis food, it must be made tahir with water.
Q) How about food that remains between the teeth and comes in contact with blood from the gums or the teeth?
A) If food remains between the teeth, and blood emerges within the mouth, the food will not be najis if it comes in contact with that blood.
Q) If dry najis dust settles on cloth and something wet touches that cloth, will that cloth become najis?
A) If najis dust settles on a cloth or carpet, but is shaken off, and thereafter something wet touches that cloth, etc. that thing will not become najis.
Q) Does the needle used, in injecting medicine into the body of a human or animal, become najis as a result of meeting with blood inside the body?
A) No, it does not become najis if it comes out uncontaminated with blood. This is because najasah does not materialize through meeting najis things inside the body per se.
Paper # 19
THE MUTAHHIRAT (THE PURIFYING AGENTS)
8] ISTIBRA' (Quarantining)
Q) What does istabra’ refer to and how does it act as a purifying agent?
A) Istibra' means to clean something or to get rid of something.
This mutahhir is limited to certain animals. You already know that the urine and excrement of the halal animals are not najis. However, such animals loose their status of purity if they start eating human refuse. And when they do so, then their meat become haraam to consume, so does drinking of their milk. Their urine and excrement also become najis.
And when this happens, then the only way to make them tahir is istibra' which means keeping these animals away from eating najasat, and fed with tahir food until such time that they may no longer be considered animals which eat najasat.
As a recommended precaution, the following animals should be prevented from eating najasat for the period specified: the camel for 40 days, the cow for 20 days, the sheep or goat for 10 days, the duck or fowl for 7 or 5 days, and the chicken for 3 days.
The period specified above should be completed, even if the animals cease to be considered as eaters of najasat earlier than that.
Q) When an unbeliever convents to Islam, does he immediately become tahir along with the clothes he is wearing?
A) Islam is the first among "the spiritual mutahhirat."
The only way a kafir can become tahir is for him/her to accept Islam. With the acceptance of Islam, he or she will immediately become tahir. However, if the person's clothes were najis, then the declaration of faith in Islam will not purify them; he will have to make them tahir with water.
10] TABA`IYYAH (To follow)
Q) Please, explain how does taba’iyyah work as a purifying agent? And what and whom does it render tahir?
A) Taba`iyyah means to follow. In the present context, it means that when a najis thing or person becomes tahir, the things which are related to them also become tahir automatically.
A few examples are given below:
Paper # 20
THE MUTAHHIRAT (THE PURIFYING AGENTS)
11] GHAYBATU 'L-MUSLIM (Disappearance of a Muslim)
Q) One of the mutahhirat mentioned is “disappearance of a Muslim”. Please, explain how does it work?
A) The last among the mutahhirat in the group of spiritual change is ghaybatu 'l-Muslim. Maulana Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi has counted it as one of the spiritual mutahhir because it is based on a most important moral teachings of Islam which says that one must be positive in judging other Muslims.
Ghaybatu 'l-Muslim means disappearance or absence of a Muslim. In the present context, it means the following:
Suppose the body or anything related to a Muslim (who is serious in following the shari'ah) becomes najis. Then that person goes out of your sight long enough for him to purify himself or his belongings. Now, he comes back and you see him using that particular thing, then you should consider it tahir if you believe that he may have purified them. But the recommended precaution is that you should not take it as tahir, except with the following conditions:
· That Muslim should be believing in the najasat of an object which made his body or dress najis. For example, if his dress with its wetness touches a non-Muslim, and he does not believe a non-Muslim to be najis, his dress will not considered tahir after his disappearance.
· That Muslim should be aware that his body or dress has become najis.
· That Muslim should have been seen using that thing for a purpose which requires it being tahir. For example, he should have been seen offering prayers with that dress.
· There should be an expectation that that Muslim knows the condition for the act he wants to perform is to be tahir. For example, if he does not know that the dress of one who offers prayers should be tahir, and he offers prayers with a najis dress, that dress cannot be considered to be tahir.
· That Muslim should be conscious of the difference between najis and tahir, and that he should not be careless about it. If he is uncaring, his things will not be considered tahir.
Q) If I derive satisfaction that a certain najis thing has been made tahir, or a reliable Muslim informs me that it has been rendered tahir, will the said najis thing be considered tahir?
A) If a person is certain or satisfied that a thing which was najis has been made tahir, or if two just persons testify showing why it is tahir, then that thing is to be considered tahir. And similarly, when a person who possesses that najis thing, reliably says that it has ben made tahir, or when a Muslim has washed the najis thing with water, even if it may not be known whether or not he has washed it properly, the thing will be considered tahir.
12] Draining of the usual quantity of blood from the slaughtered body of an animal.
Q) After the animal has been slaughtered, is the blood which remains inside its body tahir?
A) If an animal whose meat is halal to eat, is slaughtered in accordance with the rules prescribed by Islam, and blood flows out of its body in normal quantity, the blood which still remains in the body of the animal is tahir. However, the blood which goes back into the body of the animal due to breath, or because of its head having been at a higher level at the time of its slaughtering is najis. As a recommended precaution, it does not apply to the haraam parts of the body of an animal, whose meat is halal to eat.
The above rule does not apply to an animal whose meat is haraam to eat.
Paper # 21-24
In this Paper and subsequent Papers to follow, we will discuss: what should be our attitude towards the najasat as presented by Maulana Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi in his book “The Ritual and Spiritual Purity” based on the rulings of our Mujtahideen and Ahadith of our Aimmas (a.s.)
OUR OUTLOOK TOWARDS THE NAJASAT Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi
What should be our general outlook towards the najasat? This is a question of utmost importance to the Muslims, especially for those who live in a society which is predominantly kafir. Usually we get two types of responses to this question: On the one hand is a group which has adopted a `liberal' view and says that such shari'ah laws are no longer relevant during our time. It is needless to say that this view has no support in the Islamic sources. The essence of Islam is a voluntary submission to the will of God and `liberal' attitude is opposite of that idea. The liberal view results partly from the ignorance about the dynamics and the adoptive nature of the shari'ah, it is the result of confusing the form for the substance; and partly from the influence of western liberal tradition. There is, on the other hand, a group which has adopted the holier-than-thou attitude and says that we must totally abstain from the najasat in all spheres of our lives. This view is based on some misconceived ideas about the shari'ah and the Islamic world-view in general. It ignores or is ignorant of the fact that Islam itself has described its shari'ah as "shari'atu 'n-sahla" or it shari`atu 'n-samha," a simple shari'ah, a lenient shari `ah.
While every informed Muslim recognizes the need to combat the liberal view, it is equally important to fight against the rigidity of the holier-than-thou mentality. The latter group is not without blame in pushing many ordinary Muslims towards the so-called liberal group. Between these two extremes lies the Islamic view, a view which can be named as the straight path-the path of those on whom Allah has showered His blessing, not of those with whom He is angry, nor of those who have gone astray! It is this view which I shall try, with the help of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala, to explain here.
Let me begin by raising the following question: Should we start with the assumption that everything is najis and haram unless we come to know otherwise? OR Should we start with the assumption that everything is tahir and halal unless we come to know otherwise?
My answer to this question is that we should start with the assumption that everything is tahir and halal unless we come to know otherwise. Anyone familiar with the principles of the shari'ah cannot but agree with me. However, as all general rules have exceptions, the view I have adopted also has one exception. What I have said is valid at all times except in case of animal products obtained from non-Muslims. As for the animal products obtained from Muslims, we still start with the assumption that it is tahir and halal. It is only in case of the animal products obtained from the kuffar that we must start with the assumption that everything is najis and haram unless we come to know otherwise. This view is supported fully by all the mujtahids of our time, including Ayatullah al-Khu'i and Ayatullah al-Khumayni.
Here I wish to just quote Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Kazim at-Tabataba'i al-Yazdi a prominent Shi`a mujtahid of the early present century whose book al- `Urwatu' 1-wuthqa is used by later mujtahids as a text for their ijtihad lectures. Ayatullah al-Yazdi writes:
"(1) The utensils of the mushrikin and other kuff"ar are to be considered tahir as long as it is not known that they have touched them with flowing wetness. [This rule is valid] provided the utensils are not made from leather, otherwise they will be considered najis unless it is known that the animal [from which the leather originated] had been slaughtered Islamically or that it had been in possession of a Muslim [before coming into the kafir's possession].
"(2) Similarly other things that need to be slaughtered Islamically (e.g., meat and fat), if found in the possession of the kuff'ar must be considered najis unless it is known that the animal has been slaughtered Islamically or that it had been in possession of a Muslim [before coming to the kafir's possession].
"(3) However, a thing that does not need slaughtering is to be considered tahir unless you have knowledge that it is najis. And the conjecture that the kuff"ar may have touched it with wetness is not sufficient [to consider such a thing najis].
"(4) An item about which one is not sure whether or not it is from animal's .skin, flesh or fat is to be considered as a non-animal product and tahir, even if it is obtained from a kafir." (al-Yazdi, al-`Urwah, p. 52.)
All the mujtahids of our time have annotated the al-`Urwatu 'l-wuthqa and all of them have agreed with the above views of Ayatullah al-Yazdi. Although the above quotation is sufficient, but for the sake of clarity I would like to quote Ayatullah al-Khu'i. In the first volume of Minhaju 's-Salihiyn, under the section of najasat, he writes:
"What is obtained from the hands of the kdfirs -like bread, oil, honey and other similar things, whether they are liquid or solid- is tahir unless you come to know that they have touched it with flowing wetness. The same applies to their clothes and utensils. And conjecture about najasat [in such cases] should not be taken into account." (al-Khu'i, Minhaj, vol. 1, p. 114.)
But while discussing the rules of food and drinks, in the second volume of Minhaj, he writes:
"The skin, flesh and fat that is obtained from the hands of a kafir is to be considered najis even if he informs you that it has been slaughtered Islamically." (Ibid, vol. 2, p. 332.)
What our mujtahids have said that you can assume everything --except the animal products obtained from a kafir- as tahir and halal unless you come to know otherwise is based on the clear guide-lines provided by our Imams (as).
Fuzayl bin Yasar, Zurarah bin A'yan and Muhammad bin Muslim, the three highly respected companions of the fifth and sixth Imams, asked Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) about buying meat from the markets while they do not know what the butchers do when slaughtering the animals. The Imam said, "Eat if it is from a Muslim market and do not question about it." (Wasa'il, vol. 16, p. 294.)
Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Abi 'n-Nasr asked Imam 'Ali ar-Riza (as) about the [leather] shoes which have come in the [Muslim] market and a person buys a shoe while he does not know whether it [originated from an animal that] had been slaughtered Islamically or not. What do you say about praying in such a shoe while the person does not know [whether it is from a slaughtered animal]? Can he pray in it? The Imam said, "Yes; I also buy the shoes from the market, and it is made for me and I pray in it. You do not have to ask [whether it is from an Islamically slaughtered animal or not]."' (Wasa'il, vol. 1, p. 1072.)
al-Hasan ibn al-Jahm asked Imam 'Ali ar-Riza (as) a similar question about leather shoes and upon hearing the same answer, he said, "I am more restrained than this (in dealing with najasat)." Imam 'Ali ar-Riza (as) said, "Do you dislike what Abu '1-Hasan [i.e. Imam Musa al-Kazim] used to do?!" (Ibid, p. 1073.)
'Ali bin Abi Hamzah heard a person asking Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (as) about a man who was praying while he was carrying a sword-can he pray with it? The Imam said, "Yes." Then the person asked, even if its sheathe was made of leather from an animal which might have or might not have been slaughtered Islamically? The Imam said, "If you know that it is from an un-Islamically slaughtered animal, then do not pray in it." (Ibid, p. 1072.)
An interesting incident is narrated by Mu'awiyah bin `Amman, one the famous companions of the sixth Imam. Mu'awiyah asked Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (as) about the dress which is made by the Magi who are unclean, who drink intoxicants and their women are also of the same type: "Can I wear such a dress without washing it and pray in it?" The Imam said, "Yes." Thereafter, Mu'awiyah cut a shirt for the Imam from the cloth obtained from a Maji, designed it, and also prepared a waist-band and a robe from it. Then on a Friday, just before the noon time, he sent the dress to the Imam. He wanted to see whether or not the Imam puts it on without washing it. In Mu'awiyah's own words, "It seemed the Imam had understood my intentions, and came out with that same dress for the Friday prayer." (Wasa'il, vol. 1, p. 1093.). A somewhat similar question was put in writing to Imam Mahdi (as) about praying in a dress made by a Maji without washing. Imam Mahdi (as) replied, "There is no problem in praying in it." (Ibid)
`Abdullah bin Sanari narrates that my father asked Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (as), "I loaned my dress to a dhimmi kafir whom I know that he drinks intoxicants and eats pork, and then he returns it to me-do I have to wash that dress before praying in it?" The Imam said, "Pray in that dress and do not wash it for that particular reason because when you loaned it to him, it was tahir and now you are not sure about its becoming najis." (Ibid, p. 1095)
The first four ahadith make it clear that whatever you get from a Muslim or a Muslim market -whether a non-animal product or an animal product- you can assume that it is tahir and halal, you do not even have to inquire about it. The last three ahadith make it quite clear that whatever non-animal products you get from a kafir is to be considered tahir and halal unless you come to know for sure that it is najis and haram.
The restrictions of a Muslim or Muslim market found in the first three ahadith clearly indicates that animal products can be assumed as tahir and halal provided they are from the Muslim market. It automatically follows that animal products from non-Muslim sources cannot be considered tahir and halal unless we come to know otherwise. Here I will just quote two more hadith on this specific issue:
Husayn bin al-Mundhir said to Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a. s.): We are a people who frequently go to the mountains and the distance is great between us and the mountains. We therefore buy animals in large number for food, and we ask the herdsmen about their religion and they reply that they are Christians. "So what do you say about the slaughtering of animals by the Jews and the Christians?" The Imam said, "O Husayn! The Islamic slaughtering can be done with Allah's name only and no one can be trusted with that except the people of tawhid (i.e., Muslims)." (Wasa'il, vol. 16, p. 279-80.)
Once Ibn Abi Ya'fur and Mu'alla bin Khunays were travelling on the Nile and disagreed with each other about eating the meat slaughtered by the Jews. Mu'alla ate that meat while Ibn Abi Ya'fur refrained. Finally, they came to Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (as) and informed him about their disagreement. The Imam approved the decision of Ibn Abi Ya'fur and disapproved Mu'alla's decision to eat that meat. (Ibid, p. 285.)
I would like to end this section with an interesting comment by Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Abi 'n-Nasr al-Bizanti on the holier-than-thou attitude. Ahmad al Bizanti was a very trustworthy and educated companion of Imam Riza (as) and Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (as). Ahmad bin Muhammad bin `Isa asked Ahmad al-Bizanti about a person who buys a leather robe while he does not know whether it is from an animal that was slaughtered Islamically or not--can he pray in it? It is obvious that the question is about buying such a thing in a Muslim society. Ahmad al-Bizanti answered, "Yes, and you do not have to question about it. Imam Muhammad at-Taqi (as) used to say, `The Khawarij had put much restrictions upon themselves out of ignorance, whereas the religion is broader [in its outlook] than that."' The statement about the Khawarij has also been narrated from Imam Musa al-Kazim by Shaykh as-Saduq. (Wasa'il, vol. 1, p. 1071)
It is on these shari'ah principles that our mujtahids have based their opinions about assuming everything except the animal products obtained from a kafir to be tahir and halal unless we come to know otherwise. Islam does not expect us to totally abstain from najasat, it only wants us to be free from najasat in our food and drink, and during the salat.
Paper # 25 -29
DIVERSE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS RELATING TO NAJAASAT [RITUAL IMPURITY] AND TAHARAT [RITUAL PURITY]
Q) A person eating food purportedly to be Halal according to the Shari’ah turns out to be NOT HALAL, although he would not be committing a sin by doing so because he was not aware of the same being non-halal, the question that has been posed is:
Would eating of such non-halal food adversely affect his soul in spite of the fact that he was not aware that the food he was taking was not halal?
A) Many Ulama believe that eating Najis or non Halal food will adversely affect the soul, under any situation, even if the person was not aware that it was non Halal. The bad effect will be much more if he knew that it was non Halal and still did eat it. Other Ulama say that as he was believing that the food was Halal, there is no punishment on him, unless he did not put enough effort to verify that the food is Halal before consuming it.
The Ulama in this matter have different opinions, some of them say that if he has really verified and was sure that it was Halal, then he will not have bad effect on his soul. Some say that the bad effect of Haraam food is natural like the effect of fire which burns and cannot be avoided if it falls on something, but still repeating Estighfaar will be always useful to avoid any bad effect. (M.M.)
Q) If one’s clothe is stained with blood and one cannot change it, to avoid the Namaz from getting postponed, what should one do?
A) If the area of the blood-stain is more than one’s thumb-print, it is not permissible to offer Namaz wearing such clothes. Even if the blood is splattered in such a manner that collectively it is more than the thumbprint, offering Namaz with such clothes is not valid. If a change in to clean clothing is not possible without making the Namaz Qaza, the person should remove his shirt if it is stained. It is sufficient to have clean clothes which cover the private parts during prayers. It is Ehtiyat for a male to cover one’s body from the navel to the knees. (M.M.)
Q) Is there any way of purifying Najis (impure) milk?
A) If one is sure that the milk is Najis, it cannot be made Paak, (purified) at all. Even if sweets or other deserts are prepared from Najis milk, it still remains Najis. Also, Najis milk cannot be made Paak by boiling it. (M.M.)
Q) Is it enough to wash a saucer with soap, which was licked by a dog?
A) No, it is not enough. Even if it is washed a hundred times with soap, it will not be considered clean. It is necessary to rub the entire saucer with mud (dry or wet) before washing it once with running or ‘kur’ water or twice if the water is less than a ‘kur’. (M.M.)
Q) Can a person dry himself after urinating with paper, cloth or stone and offer namaz in that state?
A) No. The person does not become clean. Use of water is necessary for cleaning the place of urination. Temporarily, he can use it to dry to avoid, the spread of Najasat (uncleanness) in the absence of water, but before Namaz he should use water if it is available. If it is not possible to find water and the time of prayer is passing, he will offer Namaz in that state. It is Satanic misguidance to postpone Namaz because of un-cleanliness. Namaz cannot be abandoned at any cost.
Q) Does hydrogenated oil (ghee) becomes ‘najis’ (impure) if excreta of a rat falls in it?
A) If the hydrogenated oil is in solid state such that after taking out a portion which came in contact with the rat’s excreta, the space remains vacant or fills up gradually later, only that part which acquired impurity will be considered as impure. The rest will remain pure. However, if the excreta of a rat, or for that matter, of any animal whose meat is unlawful for consumption, falls in a syrup or food, such that after removing a portion, the space does not remain vacant, the entire quantity will become impure as soon as the slightest part becomes impure. (M.M.)
Q) Are nail, hair, teeth and bones of dead human beings or animals pure?
A) Those parts of a dead body (other than that of a dog, pig or a disbeliever) which does not contain life, such as nail, hair, teeth and bones are pure. (M.M.)
Q) Does the impure sole of one’s foot or shoe become purified by walking?
A) The impure sole of one’s foot or shoe is purified by walking provided the following three conditions are fulfilled
(a) The earth should be pure
(b) The earth should be dry.
(c) If the original impurity, like blood or urine is stuck on the sole of the foot or shoe of a person, it should be cleared by walking on earth or by rubbing the foot or shoe on it. It is necessary that the earth consists of clay or sand or floor made of stones or bricks. Walking on green grasses or tar or wooden floor cannot serve the purpose. (M.M.)
Q) Is it necessary to find out the legal position about the state of purity of a thing?
A) It is obligatory for a ‘muqallid’ (follower of a jurist) to learn the judgements about the problems which are faced by him usually. If a person does not know whether a thing is pure or not, he should refer to the relevant book or ask someone reliable to enlighten him. However, if in spite of knowing the legal position, he is doubtful whether or not the thing is pure — the thing is pure and it is not necessary for him to make investigation or inquiry about it. (M.M.)
Q) What is the order regarding a person’s purity whose faith is not known?
A) A person about whom it is not known whether he is a Muslim or not is pure. However, he does not enjoy other rights applicable to Muslims. For example, he cannot marry a Muslim woman and should not be buried in the graveyard of the Muslims. (M.M.)
Q) Does the sitting of a fly or an insect on a pure thing which is also wet make the thing impure?
A) If one knows that the fly or insect was carrying impurity with it, the pure thing which is also wet will become impure. But it will remain pure if one does not know. (M.M.)
Q) What should one do when the impurity of dress is realized after completing the prayers?
A) If you were not aware of the impurity of the dress and came to know about it after completing the prayers, the prayers are in order. But in case you had forgotten about it and recollected it after completing the prayers you should offer the prayers again with pure clothes, and if the time prescribed for that prayer has passed, you should offer its qaza. (M.M.)
Q) Some types of soap which are imported from outside contain lard in their ingredients but at the end, only 5% remains in them. In that case, is the ruling of transformation (istehalah) applicable to it and is the soap ruled to be ritually pure, or does it remain ritually impure?
A) It remains ritually impure. God knows best. (M.M.)
Q) What is the ruling on blood that coagulates under the fingernail, being the result of a blow or some other cause? This blood then moves gradually to the outside and it is not possible to remove it. Is this blood ritually impure or ritually pure? And how is it treated if it is considered ritually impure?
A) If it does not change (into something other than blood), it is to be considered ritually impure, and it is obligatory to remove it if there is not difficulty in doing so. But if it presents a problem, then that which seems apparent is to substitute tayammum for Wuzu and ghusl (bath). God knows best. (M.M.)
Q) It often happens that I shake hands with someone while my hands are wet. I do not know whether the one with whom I shook hands is a Muslim or an unbeliever (kafir), who is not, regarded as ritually pure (tahir). Is it obligatory for me to ask him in order to make sure?
A) Certainly not. It is not obligatory for you to ask him. You may assume that the hand with which I touched his hand was ritually pure. (M.M.)
Q) While walking in the rain the bottoms of my trousers become wet from the water being splashed up from the sidewalk/pavement. Do I need to change trousers before I pray?
A) You do not need to change such cloth for praying because you are not sure that it became Najis, though it became wet from the sidewalk or pavement. Such wetness is not Najis. (M.M.)
Q) Is there a ruling from Ayatullah Seestani stating that if there are hair from the body of a cat on a cloth, wearing such cloth in prayers invalidates these prayers?
A) According to Ayatullah Al-Sistani Dama-Dhilluhu, cat's hair is not najis and presence of cat's hair on the body or cloth does not invalidate prayer. (Y.K.)
Q) Is it necessary for the host to inform the guests if the food which is served or the prayer carpet is Najis?
A) It is incumbent for the host to inform his guests about the ‘Najasat’ in his food or prayer-carpet. A Muslim neither eats nor gives others to eat unclean (Najis) food. (M.M.)
Q) If blood is seen in the yolk or the white part of the egg, does it make the egg impure and haram for us? Is there a solution for it?
A) The clot of blood inside the egg is pure, but it is haram [for consumption]. Therefore, the egg can be eaten by removing the blood from it, provided it is not very minute and been absorbed in it. [In the latter case, is not removable, then the egg becomes haram.] – A. Sistani Web.
Q) Sometimes I see blood mixed with the saliva of my mouth. It often happens when I brush my teeth. What is the ruling on this kind of blood?
A) The blood, which comes from inside the teeth, vanishes as it gets mixed with the saliva, the saliva is Pak, and it can go down the throat. – A. Sistani Web.
Q) What is your order about using perfume containing alcohol?
A) There is no problem in it.
Q) Is salat valid if the person uses cologne? Is cologne ritually pure?
A) Yes, it is pure and salat in it is correct.
Q) Are we allowed to eat any food (vegetarian or Halaal meat) prepared by a Hindu. Are we allowed to eat at a Hindu's residence any vegetarian dish prepared by a Hindu.
A) It is permissible to eat the food that is not known to be najis, even though the cook is a Hindu or Bhuddist. All kinds of food with the exception of meat, fat, and their extracts are permissible for a Muslim as long as he does not know that they are najis. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Comments of Sheikh Safdar Razi Ali (when different explanations were posted via E-mail)
of all the if unqualified people start to give fatwas and opinions based on
their thoughts and conclusions, then such is a mere astray and deviation
from the pure path of Islam explained and taught by AHLUL BAYT
(AS), the last thing we need amongst the followers of AHlul BAYT (AS) is
people like some of the icons of school of the companions who were
unqualified and started given opinions based on their mere thoughts
or based on weak evidences which lead many to deviate and astray from the
right path of AHLUL BAYT (AS).
Our great scholars and as I say the giants of knowledge they deal with the evidences, and not with personal or mere opinions which is an act which was seriously condemned by our beloved Infallibles (AS) , the condemnation of our beloved Imam Jafer Sadiq (AS) to Imam Abu Hanifa on using mere opinion and personal analogies is a clear cut example.
I believe who ever tried to use his personal thoughts in deriving conclusions in this issue without being a qualified MOJTAHID or without referring one who is a qualified Marjae or without understanding the methodology of the evidences in this issue must have done it unintentionally and out of ignorance of such being forbidden.
Secondly, Without any doubt the evidences indicate that all non Muslims are impure except for the people of book (Jews, Christian , and Zoroastrian), and based on that the FATWA of our great qualified MARAJE such as AYATULLAH AL-KHOEI (RA) and AYATULLAH AL-SISTANI (DZ) clearly indicates their being impure.
Yes the scholars differed in the type of impurity whether it is physical/ transferable such as the impurity blood, or it is metaphysical non transferable by wetness such as the impurity of a woman in HAIDH of a men in the state of JANABAH.
The majority concluded form the obviousness of the evidences that it is from the first type which is transferable by wetness, and very few chose the metaphorical indication and concluded second type non transferable. We respect all our great qualified scholar whether they choose this type or that type.
AT this point if someone follows a MARJE who considers them like form the first type then they things will be pure unless known to be impure (touched with wetness) , and that is obvious from the FATWA of both of the great MARAJE (AL-KHOEI and AL-SISTANI) , that they allow their food as long as their is no evidence that they have touched that food with wetness, even if there was a larger probability such as 80% for example , as long as a person has not seen with his own eyes , or a trustworthy person has not informed about the specific food in front touched by transmitting wetness and not any simple wetness, then and then only it will be considered impure , otherwise their food will be considered pure.
Please forgive me if I have offended any of my comments.
Keep me in your duas,
The least student and servant of our beloved Imam ALQAAEM (AF)
Safdar Razi Ali
The Director and The Instructor of
ALQAEM (aj) INSTITUTE (HOWZA)
Advanced Islamic Studies in Islamic Law and Theology
Q) On what basis are Hindus najis? Are we talking of Bodily Najasat or Spiritual najasat?
A) In several verses, the Qur'an warns them of the consequences of their evil acts and even curses them for it. e.g. (2:6). Verse 2:221 asks us not to marry them until they believe.
The definition of a kafir is not a Shi'a Ithna-asheri definition rather it is a Qur'anic definition.
The prohibition on eating a kafir's food has nothing to do with his/her physical state of uncleanliness. Rather, it is connected with his/her spiritual state. What we eat makes a difference to our own spiritual state and our character formation. Therefore, we are required to eat pure food for the sake of the well being of our own spiritual states. Purity in the spiritual realm is dependent on consuming that which is spiritually pure. By the way, this is not unique to Islam - Yogis, some Hindus share a similar view. Therefore the najasat is connected to the spiritual state of a kafir. There is no doubt that we still have to treat them humanely. Talking about the cleanliness of a kafir is very misleading since people assume it is connected to their physical state, I would therefore prefer using the term spiritual well-being or spiritual state. (L.T.)
Q) A shia Girl is forced to stay and share a flat with Hindu Students. There is only one Washing machine in the flat. Can this Shia girl wash her clothes in this washing machine along with clothes of those Hindu Students and will this clothes be considered Paak?
A) Yes, it should be okay since most of the washing machines in North America have at least two spins--the water comes in and is drained out twice. (M.R.)
Q) Clothes were najis with semen. They were put in a washing machine and then dryer. After removing from the dryer, it was noticed that there was still a trace of semen on the clothes.
I am aware that the clothes are still najis and need to be made tahir, but how is it possible to make the dryer tahir, considering that the clothes were rather damp when put in there.
Also, there might be damage done to the dryer if it is washed with running water. Can you please help with a solution?
A) The najis is only transferable if the najis item has "flowing wetness". Dampness is not a sufficient media for transfer of a najasat from one item to another. The way clothes are washed in the machines with rapid rinsing--the clothes are damp but have no flowing wetness. So there is no need to worry about the dryer. (M.R.)
Q) At what age/or point does urine of a baby/new born becomes najis? Are there any difference in masallah if the baby is breastfed or bottlefed and also if the baby is a male or a female. Please reply according to Sayyid al-Seestani.
A) Urine is Najis. The urine of a human being is always Najis, there are no exceptions about age, sex etc. (Masa'il 85, Agha Seestani, Islamic Laws). (Mulla Asgharali)
Q) What is your ruling on buying and using leather products in non-Muslim countries?
A) Leather products are impure (najis) and salãt in them is not permissible, if we know that they have been made from the hide of an animal not slaughtered according to Islamic laws. Such products are considered pure and salat in them is permissible, if there is a probability that they were made from skin of an animal that is essentially halãl and was slaughtered according to Islamic laws.
Concluded; Wal-Hamdu Lilla-h
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