Jurisprudentially Taharah means the removal of ritual impurity as well as the impure objects.
Two divisions of Tharah:
1. Spiritual Purity: from polytheism.
2. Physical Purity: from ritual and tangible impurities.
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Wudhu: purification from minor ritual impurity.
Istinja: purification from tangible impurities
Gusl: purification from major ritual impurity.
Tayammum: purification from minor ritual impurity.
Hiding: purification from tangible impurities.
During following deeds wudhu become compulsory:
1. Touching the Qur’an: Allah says: none touch it except the purified….” (Surah Al waqi, ayah 79) .Shaykhul Islam said that prohibition of touching the Quran when in a state of ritual impurity (major or minor) has been agreed by all four imaams1.
2. While offering Salah: wudhu is compulsory before offering Salah, as Allah states in Quran, O you who have believed ,when you raised to (perform prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles…..”(Al Maidah, ayah 6) and prophet sallallahu Alai wa sallam said in a hadith that ‘Allah does not accept a prayer without purification”2.
3. Doing Tawaf: Prophet Sallallahu Alai wa sallam always did wudhu prior to tawaf and he stated that tawaf is considered a prayer; the difference is that Allah allowed speaking during tawaf.
Six obligatory acts in Wudhu with proof:
1. Washing entire face: includes mouth and nose also. Allah says in the Quran “wash your faces….. (Al-Maidah, ayah 6) and even prophet sallallahu Alai wa sallam used to do the same.
2. Washing the forearms including the elbows: Prophet Sallallahu Alai wa sallam used to do this way which has been narrated by hadees1.Allaha exalted says in Quran (Al-Maidah, ayah 6).
3. Wiping over the entire head: Prophet sallalhu alai wa sallam advised us to wipe overhead and ears as ears also considered as part of the head, which has been confirmed by compilers of hadith2.Allah says in the Quran “and wipe over your heads”.
4. Washing the feet including the ankles: Allah mentions in the Quran (Al-Maidah, ayah 6)”…..and wash your feet to the ankles…”which is confirmed by hadith by showing how it should be done.
A) Eating Camel meat: Some scholars take a proof from an incident in which once Prophet sallallahu alai wa sallam was addressing a gathering and one among many passed a wind, he was too embarrassed to leave the gathering and he, so the messenger sallallahu alai wa sallam in order prevent his embarrassment, instructed in general to everyone that whoever has eaten camel meat should go and do wudhu, so few among the crowd including the person who passed wind went and did wudhu.
B) Light sleep: In case where the persons awareness is not effected and if he is conscious enough if that is the situation, light sleep does not invalidate wudhu as indicated by hadith of Prophet sallalahu alai wa sallam used to delay Isha prayer on some times unless the shabees used to doze and then they used to do salah without repeating wudhu4.
C) Touching the skin of the opposite sex without lust: According to Imam Malik and Imam Ahmad touching of opposite sex does not invalidate wudhu as Messenger sallallahu ali wa sallam used to move Aisha radia allahu anhas foot in order to make way for sujood during salah.(Al-Bukhari 498).
Khuff: Khuffs are leather socks or shoes or their like.
It’s made permissible by Allah the most exalted for those doing wudhu to wipe over the khuffs rather than removing it and cleaning below and this has been proved many narrations that Prophet sallahu alai wa sallam used to wipe over the khuffs whenever he used to travel or at his residence and instructed to do similar way. AL –Hassan said regarding confirmation of this that seventy of the shabees confirmed that Prophet Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam used to wipe over the khuffs during wudhu5.
Time period of taharah with a khuff: It is instructed for a resident to wear the khuff and wipe above it for a time period of one day and night and for the person who is on journey far enough so that he is eligible to shorten his salah, the legality is three days and nights as per the hadith narrated by Imam Muslim6.
It’s been stated that wiping over the bottom of the khuff is not considered as a teaching of prophet sallahu alaihi wa sallam as per the narration of Ali radhiyaallahu anhu who stated “if the religion where in accordance with the opinion in that case Prophet would have instructed us to wipe the bottom of the khuff, but have seen him doing the upper part of the khuff only “, so this hadith clarifies that the wiping over the upper part of the khuff is the correct way of doing it.
If a lady has to unplait her hair when performing janabah gusl: According to a hadith in which ummu salamah radhia allahu anha asked prophet s about this issue, he replied, No ,in fact it will be enough for her to pour three hand full of water on your head and then pour water over herself and she will be purified, which has been narrated by Imam Muslim in his Saheeh.So if a lady pours water on her head three times should suffice her gusl and she need not unplait her hair because of this authentic narration7.
Four states in which gusl becomes compulsory:
a)Ejaculation: Gusl is mandatory if a male or female ,in a state of conscious provided that pleasure was attained or while sleeping even unless because of some illness or not able
Control it then gusl is not compulsory. The major rule in relation to gusl after discharge is based on narration of Abu Saeed al Khudri radia allahu anhu in which Messenger said water is for water (Muslim343)
b) Inserting a male penis into female’s vulva: Prophet stated that, when anyone lies between four parts of the female and the circumcised parts touch each other, gusl becomes mandatory for both8. This narration confirms gusl after intimation with or without ejaculate.
c)Death; this the third case which mandates gusl except for martyrs, because, Messenger told to a lady when her offspring passed away, wash her three, five or more than that9.
d) Menstruation and post natal bleeding: these are the two conditions for females which indicates gusl and its been clearly stated in Quran and confirmed by Prophet, he said to a lady that whenever you have menstruation, stop doing your salah and when you finish your periods have gusl and continue your salah, Allah the most exalted instructed males not to approach their wives whenever they are menstruating unless it stops and they …..They have purified themselves…” (Surah Al-Baqarah, ayah 220) which implies gusl after the periods.
Gusl for jumuah prayer: As for Muslims gusl on Friday for jumuah has been highly recommended as its considered as one of the way of cleaning ourselves and better way of preparing for the jumuah and this will prevent the distraction of others during salah in the gathering because of each other’s sweat and persipiration,which has been proved by Prophet sallallahu alai wa sallam ,as narrated by Abu Saeed that gusl is wajib on every adult and using toothbrush and applying perfume.(related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).But it has been never made obligatory ,instead generally recommended which is confirmed by following hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah from Prophet saying that whoever does wudhu perfectly and attends jumuah salah with full concentration .will be forgiven period between Friday to next Friday and additional three days.(Al-Qurtubi).So this hadith confirms that gusl is never obligatory and it’s not considered as legality for the acceptance of the Friday prayer ,in fact wudhu is the obligatory condition which will suffice.
Prayer is considered as second pillar of our religion and this is the first thing will be questioned on the day of judgment .Purity is considered as main condition for ones salah to become valid and purity from major and minor impurity can be attained by performing wudhu and gusl according to the kind of impurity to make our deeds to be accepted by Allah, the most exalted.
Dr.Salih Al-Fawzan, A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence (Al-Maiman Publishing House, 2005)
Dr.Abu Ameenah Bilal Philip, The evolution of Fiqh (International Islamic Publishing House, 2006)
1. Ibn Tayimiyas Majmu ul Fatawa [21/266]
2. Muslim (536) [2/99]
3. At-Tirmidhi (961) [3/293].
4. Al Majmoo’, 2/14-24, Muslim (376)
5. Al-I’lam Befawawaid ‘Umdat Al-Ahkam [1/615]
6. Muslim (637)[2/167]
7. Majmoo Fataawa al –Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 10/182.
8. Muslim (781) [2/261](783)[3/265],Al-Bukhari(291)[1/512
9. Al-Bukhari (1253), Muslim (939)
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