Al-Miyaah (The Waters)
Notes From Mu’tassim Al-Hameedee’s Fiqh Class
Source Book: Al-Wajeez Fee Fiqh As-Sunnah Wal-Kitaab Al-Azeez of Shaykh Abdul-Adheem Al-Khalafi (student Of Shaykh Al-Albaanee)
Definition Of Taharah:
Linguistic: cleanliness / purity and freedom from filth
Islaamic: refers to Islaamic or religious purity
Science Of Fiqh: lifting the state of religious impurity (raf’ul-Hadath) and removing physical impurity (an-najas)
Religious And physical Impurities:
Al-Hadath is religious impurity such as janaabah after sexual intercourse – it is an abstract state.
An-Najas is physical impurity or filth such as human faeces and urine.
As we perform wudhu and ghusl to purify ourselves we need to know about the different types of water – and questions do come up like “Can we use water whic has some soap in it for wudhu?”
Taahir – something that is pure in itself ie clean water, olive oil. It can also refer to a place ie a masjid.
Mutahhir – something that has the ability to purify other things ie clean water.
Tahoor – combines both the above (Taahir and Mutahhir). Can be used for purification.
Al-Miyaah (The Waters):
Allaah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) says in the Qur’aan:
وَأنزَلنَا مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء طَهُورًا
“…And We send down Tahoor water from the sky.” [Al-Furqaan (25):48]
So rainwater is Tahoor (it is something that is pure in itself and has the ability to purify)
Also the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said when he was asked about the sea:
“It’s water is pure and its dead creature are permissible (to eat).”
[Related by the four – Al-Albaanee says: Saheeh] 1
Therefore we can eat anything from the sea (even sharks) as the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) gave a general ruling.
Different Types Of Water:
1) Al-Maa’ul-Mutlaq (absolute water) ie pure water, this is Tahoor ie rain, spring water (because it is rain water) snow and hail.
2) Water that is mixed with something PURE ie water mixed with soap, orange juice, salt oil etc.
Can we use this second type of water for purification? There are two rulings about this:
a) If the water mixes with something taahir but it doesn’t change the taste, smell or colour then it is taahir and mutahhir (ie Tahoor) and can therefore be used for purification.
b) If it changes one of the characteristics or more then as long as we consider it water then we can use it for purification.
Evidence: Hadeeth concerning the woman who prepared her daughter for burial:
He (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
“Wash her three times, or five times, or more than that if you consider it necessary, with water and sidr (an aromatic essence derived from the lotus tree) and add kaafoor (camphor) to it the last time, or something like it.” [Agreed Upon]
Here the sidr and kaafoor change the taste of the water but it was still used for purification.
bii) However if we can no longer call it water ie now it is called mud or tea – then we cannot use it for purification. This is because Allaah ordered us to use water for purification in the Qur’aan. [see Al-Maaidah (5):6]
Note: Rose water is not water because we are not calling it water but we are attaching rose to it.
What is considered to be water is based upon the general understanding (al-‘Urf) of the people – there is no clear cut percentage ie 80% water and 20% orange juice etc.
3) Water that is mixed with najas (filthy substance) ie urine.
There are 2 rules concerning this:
a) The water is mixed with najas but no change in taste smell and colour then it is Tahoor.
Evidence: Hadeeth: Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudree (Radiya ‘Llahu ‘anhu) said: “It was said: “O Messenger Of Allaah! May we make ablution from the well of Budhaa’ah,
in spite of the fact that menstrual blood, dead dogs and other filth are thrown 2 into it? He (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
“Water is pure and nothing can make it impure”
[Abu Daawood, At-Tirmidhee, An-Nasaa’ee and others. Al-Albaanee says Saheeh in Irwa’]
b) If it mixes with najas and one or more of the characteristics change then it is NOT Tahoor but najas and therefore cannot be used for purification.