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Your Purification: Part 2

Your Purification: Part 2

Removing Physical Impurity

Physical impurity on the body, clothes, place where the prayer is intended to be performed, or anything or anywhere for that matter, can be removed with anything, be it water or otherwise, for Islam commands removing it. It is not stipulated as to how many times it must be washed off, except in the case of the physical impurity of a dog (i.e. its saliva, urine and faeces), where it must be washed seven times, one of which must be done with earth. For the rest of physical impurities, they must be washed off, and if some smell or stubborn stains remain after washing, they may be ignored. Once a woman asked the Prophet May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him about washing off menstrual blood, and he said, “It would suffice to wash it off, and you do not have to worry about any stains that are left.” (Sunan Abu Daawood: 365)

Toilet Etiquette

A Muslim is recommended to enter the toilet with the left foot first after saying, Bismillaah. Allaahumma inneea‛oodhu bika min-al-khubthi wal-khabaa’ith          (I seek refuge with You, O Allah, from the male and female jinn)

He is also recommended to leave the toilet with the right foot first and then say, “Ghufraanak”(I seek Your forgiveness, O Allah).

He must cover his private parts while answering the call of nature.

He must not answer the call of nature in a place where he may be seen or where he may offend people. Doing so is strictly forbidden

If he is out in an open space, such as the desert, he must not relieve himself in a hole, as he may either harm creatures that live in holes in the ground or be harmed by them. Doing so is strictly forbidden.

He must not face the qiblah, the direction of the Ka‛bah in Makkah towards which Muslims pray, or turn his back towards it, for the Prophet May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him said,“When you are answering the call of nature, you should not face the qiblah or turn your back towards it.”(Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 386; Saheeh Muslim: 264).This mainly applies if one is out in an open space. There is no harm, however, to do so in buildings, such as in present-day toilets.

He must try to be careful not to have any impurities splashed onto his body or clothes. If this happens accidentally, then one must wash the impurity off the affected place thoroughly.

Once he has relieved himself, he must:

1) clean them three or times or more with anything that would serve the purpose, such as toilet tissue or stones. This act is called istijmaar in Arabic. It is recommended to use the left hand for cleaning the private parts.


2) either clean his private parts thoroughly with water. This act is called istinjaa’ in Arabic.

Ritual Impurity (Hadath)

Ritual impurity (Hadath) refers to the state of intangible uncleanliness that prevents a Muslim from offering the prayer until he removes it. It is not physical like najaasah.

This ritual impurity can be removed by performing the partial ablution (wudoo’) or a full ablution (ghusl /bath) using pure water. Pure water is water that has not been in contact with any physical impurities that might otherwise change its colour, taste or smell. If he performs wudoo’, then he can perform as many prayers as he wishes as long as he does not break it.

Ritual impurity is of two types:

Minor ritual impurity: This can be removed by performing wudoo’ (partial ablution).

Major ritual impurity: This can be removed by performing (ghusl /ritual bath).

The Minor Ritual Impurity and Wudoo’:

The partial ablution (wudoo’), becomes invalid with any of the following:

Natural discharges from the private parts (both the external genital and excretory organs), such as urine, excrement and wind.Detailing things which invalidate ablution, the Qur’an states, “…or have just satisfied a want of nature.” (Soorat An-Nisaa’, 4:43)

When the Prophet r was informed about a man who had doubts as to whether he has passed wind or not (i.e. whether he had broken his wudoo’ or not) during the prayer, he advised, “He should not turn away or leave the prayer unless he hears a noise or smells something.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 175; Saheeh Muslim: 361)

Lustfully touching the private parts with bare hands, for the Prophet r said,

“Whoever touches his private parts must perform wudoo’ again.” (Sunan Abu Daawood, 181)

Eating camel meat: The Prophet r was once asked, “Should we perform wudoo’ after eating camel meat?” he replied, “Yes.” (Saheeh Muslim: 360)

Loss of consciousness because of sleep, insanity or drunkenness.

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