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Your Purification: Part 1

Your Purification: Part 1

The Meaning of Purification

The Arabic word tahaarah (purification) denotes purity and cleanliness.

Allah commands Muslims to purify themselves outwardly from forbidden appearances and all types of physical impurities, and inwardly from the unpardonable sin of shirk as well as diseases of the heart such as envy, pride and hatred. Once they do so, they become worthy of His love, as the Qur’an states, “Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.” (Soorat Al-Baqarah, 2:222)

Allah also commands them to purify themselves prior to standing before Him in prayer. If man generally cleans himself and puts on his finest clothes before meeting a person who has a worldly position of authority, such as being a king or a president, then, surely he has to do so before standing before the King of kings.

What is the Required Purification for Performing the Prayer?

Allah commands Muslims to purify themselves and perform the partial ablution (wudoo’) before engaging in such ritual acts as performing the prayer, touching the Qur’an and circumambulating the Ka‛bah in Makkah. He also recommends them to perform wudoo’ before doing a number of things, such as reciting the Qur’an from memory, supplicating and sleep

Therefore, before a Muslim offers a prayer, he must remove two things:

  • Ritual Impurity
  • Physical Impurity
  • Purification from Physical Impurity

Najaasah The Arabic word najaasah denotes all physical substances which Islam considers impure and commands us to remove them before engaging in an act of worship.

Sharee‛ah The general rule in Islamic law (Sharee‛ah) is that all things are considered pure, and physical impurity (najaasah) is only an intervening factor. Thus, if a person has doubts as to whether or not his trousers, for instance, are clean or not but there is no proof for any type of physical impurity on them, then they should be assumed to be clean, following the general rule.
If we wantto pray, we must first remove all physical impurities from the body, clothing and the place where we intend to offer the prayer.

Things that are considered impure include the following:

  1. Human urine and faeces,
  2. Blood (except if it constitutes an insignificant amount),
  3. Urine and dung of animals that are considered unlawful for human consumption,
  4. Dogs and pigs,
  5. Dead animals (except for those ones that are considered fit and lawful for human consumption and have been slaughtered according to Islamic rules. Human corpses, fish and insects are considered pure.
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