Archive for April, 2010

Minhāj al-Sālikīn pt. 3

Chapter: Purifying the private parts and the etiquettes of answering the call of nature.

If one enters the bathroom he enters with the left leg first and says,

“In the Name of Allah (bismillah), Oh Allah, indeed, I seek refuge with You from the unclean and the filth.”[1]

When he exits, [he exits] with his right and says,

“You forgive (ghufraanak). All praise to Allah, Who kept from me the harmful and pardoned me from the harm.”[2]

When sitting down, he should lean on his left leg and raise his right leg; shield himself with a wall or something similar and stay away from open spaces. It is not permissible to relieve oneself on the roadways, the streets, place where people sit, underneath fruit bearing trees, or anyplace that can cause people harm. He should not face toward the Qiblah nor place his backside towards it while relieving himself. He (s) said,

“When you go to relieve yourselves, do not face towards the Qiblah, nor turn your backs towards it, whether you are urinating or defecating; rather face towards the east or the west.”[3]

After relieving himself, if he wipes with three stones or something similar, or cleaned the area and purified himself with water, then that is enough. It is sufficient to restrict to one of them only. He should not wipe himself with dung, manure, animal droppings, or bones. The Prophet (s) prevented us from using such things, therefore it is forbidden.

It is sufficient to wash the impurities of the body and the clothing, [such as] stains and something similar until the contaminated area vanishes. This is because the legislation does not stipulate the number of washing for removing the impurity, except for the impurity of a dog. [For the impurity of a dog] it is stipluated that the washing of the contaminated area occur seven times, with one of them being with dirt or dust.

The impure things are: natural [menstrual] blood, urine, and blood. One is pardon for the blood that flows continuously, as this is an exception. For example the blood that is shed from an edible animal, without staying in the meat or the veins, is pure. From the impure is the urine and feces of every animal whose consumption is forbidden, thus every carnivorous animal is impure. Also, the dead [are impure], except the blood of the dead and any dead person who not longer retains any fluids in him. Fish, shrimp, crayfish, locust, grasshoppers are pure. Allah say,  

“Forbidden for you are dead animals and blood.” (Al Ma’idah: 3)

The Messenger of Allah said,

“The believer is pure alive or dead.”[4]

He (s) also said,

“Permissible for you are the two dead and the two bloods; as for the two dead they are fish and locust; as for the two bloods they are the liver and spleen.”[5]

As for the feces and urine of animals whose consumption is permissible, it is clean. As for semen it is clean because the Prophet would clean off the sticky semen and scratch off the dried semen left on his clothing with his finger. Regarding the urine of a male toddler, who cannot consume solid foods, it is enough to sprinkle water on the [affected] area as he (s) said,

“Wash the urine of an infant girl and sprinkle water on the urine of an infant boy.”[6]

When the impure area decrease, it becomes clean and if the color or smell stays there is no harm. Likewise, the Prophet said to Khawlah bint Yasaar regarding menstruation blood,

“Water is sufficient for you and there is no harm in the [remaining] stain.”


[1] Related from ‘Anas. Bukhārī: 142, 5963; Muslim: 375.

[2] His (s) saying, “ghufraanak” is authentically reported and what comes after is not.  Ghufraanak is reported by Abū Dāwūd: 30; al-Tirmidhī: 7; ibn Mājah: 300; Aḥmad: 6/155.

[3] Muslim: 264, Bukhārī: 144

[4] Al-Haakim in Mustadrak no. 1422. Saheeh without the statement “alive or dead”

[5] Ibn Mājah: 3314, and Ahmad: 2/97; it is sahīh.

[6] Abū Dāwūd: 376, al-Nisā’i: 305, ibn Mājah: 526, ibn Khuzaymah: 283, al-Ṭabārī: 22/384, al-Ḥākim: 589, and al-Bayhaqī: 2/415.

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Hadith 29

By way of Aboo Zaid Usaamah b. Zaid bin Haarithah, the mawlaa (freed slave) of Allah’s Messenger, his beloved friend, son of his beloved friend, may Allah be pleased with them both, who related, “The daughter of the Prophet (S) sent a message to him [saying], ‘The time has arrived for [the death of] my son, so come to us.’ So he sent a message conveying the salutations and saying, ‘What Allah takes is His, and what He gives is His; everything with Him has a stated term, so be patient and anticipate [Allah’s reward].’ So she sent a message to him beseeching him to come to her. So he set off, and with him was Sa‘d b. ‘Ubaadah, Mu‘aadh b. Jabal, Ubayy b. Ka‘b, Zaid b. Thaabit, and some other men, may Allah be pleased with them. The child was brought to the Allah’s Messenger and he sat him in his lap; his [the child’s] breathing was sporadic (taqaqa), so his [the Prophet’s] eyes flowed [with tears]. Sa‘d asked, ‘Messenger of Allah, what is this?’ He replied, ‘This is mercy which Allah, the Exalted, places in the hearts of His servants.’” In one narration, “In the hearts of whomever among His servants He wills; and Allah only has mercy upon His servants that are compassionate.’” [Agreed upon].

The meaning of taqaqa is departing and troubled.


Explanation of Hadith

The author, may Allah have mercy with him, [records the narration] related by Aboo Zaid Usaamah b. Zaid b. Haarithah, may Allah be pleased with both of them; Zaid b. Haarithah was the freed slave of Allah’s Messenger; he had [initially] been a slave who was gifted to the Prophet by [his first wife] Khadeejah; he freed him and so he became his mawlaa (freed slave). He was nicknamed Hibbu Rasul Allah meaning: Beloved One of Allah’s Messenger. His son [Usaamah] was also nicknamed Hibbu. So, Usaamah was his beloved and son of his beloved, may Allah be pleased with both of them.

He [Usaamah] relates that one of the daughters of the Messenger (S) sent a herald to him informing him that the time, meaning the time of death, had arrived for her son, and she wanted the Prophet (S) to be in attendance. The herald informed the Messenger of Allah (S) to which he (S) said, “Whatever Allah takes is His, and what He gives is His; everything with Him has a stated term, so be patient and anticipate [Allah’s reward].”

So the Prophet (S) ordered the man whom his daughter had sent, to command his daughter, the mother of this dying son, with these statements:

He said, be patient, that is, anticipate the reward from Allah for your patience. There are some who are patient but do not expect reward from Allah: patient in staying away from disobedience and is not angry [with the decree], but they do not hope for Allah’s reward; resulting, in huge loss of reward. However if he is patient and anticipates Allah’s reward – meaning, he wants Allah to reward him for his patience and to grant him recompense – then this is called al-ihtisaab (anticipating the reward from Allah).

So be patient with this affliction and anticipate from Allah the reward for that. His statement, what Allah takes is His, and what He gives is His, is tremendous indeed. Since all things belong to Allah, if He removes a thing from you, then it was His possession, and if He bestows on you a thing, then it was His possession. How then can you be angry when He takes from you something that [already] belongs to Him?

Therefore if Allah takes from you a thing that you adore, then you should say: this is Allah’s; He takes what He wills and gives what He wills.

This is why the Sunnah teaches that when a person is afflicted with a suffering, then he should say, “We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return,” meaning, we are Allah’s property and He does with us as He wills. Likewise, when He takes away a thing that we adore, then it was His: what He takes is His, and what He gives is His.  So whatever He gives to you, you are not its owner, rather it belongs to Allah, and so you are unable to use what He gives you except in accordance with what He has permitted. This proves that whatever is in our possession was bestowed on us by Allah; ours ownership of it is lacking, and we do not have absolute control over its disposal; so if a person wants to have absolute control on the spending of his wealth in a way not allowed by the Law, we tell him to cease because it is not possible to do so; that wealth belongs to Allah, as He says, “Give them something out of the wealth of Allah.” (24:33) This wealth belongs to Allah, so do not spend it in a manner other than what you have been permitted. This is why he said, what Allah takes is His, and what He gives is His, so if what Allah takes is His, then why should we be concerned? How can we be angry with the Owner taking back what belongs to Him. This is contrary to reason and to what has been revealed.

 He said, everything with Him has a stated term, meaning, everything has been apportioned by Allah. Allah says elsewhere in the Qur’an, “Everything with Him is in due proportion.” (13:8) [Meaning,] apportioned in its time, place, essence, attributes, and all that relates to it for a stated term, meaning, it is specified. So when you are certain of this – what Allah takes is His, and what He gives is His, and, everything with Him has a stated term – then you will be satisfied. The last part, [everything with Him has a stated term,] means that a person cannot alter the stated term, neither advancing it nor delaying it, as Allah says,  For every nation there is a term appointed; when their term comes, neither can they delay it nor can they advance it a moment.” (10:49)

 So when something has been predetermined, unable to be advanced or delayed, then there is no benefit in being worried or annoyed concerning it, because even if you are [affected], you can never alter what was been ordained.

The envoy related to the Prophet’s daughter what he was commanded to say, but she sent a message back to him requesting him to come. The Prophet (S) stood up, along with a group of his companions, to go to her. [When he arrived] the boy was given to him while he was gasping: his breath was disturbed, going up and down. The Messenger (S) wept, his eyes shedding tears. Sa‘d b. ‘Ubaadah, who was with him and was the Chief of the Khazraj, said, what is this? He thought the Messenger (S) was weeping out of worry. The Prophet (S) replied, This is mercy, that is, I weep out of mercy for the child and not in dissatisfaction with what has been ordained.

Afterwards, he (S) said, Allah only has mercy upon His servants that are compassionate. In this lives evidence for the permissibility to cry of mercy for the one afflicted.

So when you see a person suffering an affliction mentally or physically, and you weep out of mercy for him, it is proof that Allah, the Exalted, has placed mercy in your heart, and when Allah places mercy in a person’s heart, then he is counted among the compassionate upon whom Allah will have mercy. We ask Allah to bestow His mercy upon us.

In this narration is evidence for the obligation of patience, as the Messenger (S) said, so be patient and anticipate [Allah’s reward].


It is also indicative of a better way of offering condolence, better than the saying, “May Allah increase your reward, make good your condolence, and forgive your deceased.” Some scholars recommended this phrase, however the one expressed by the Messenger (S), what Allah takes is His, and what He gives is His; everything with Him has a stated term, so be patient and anticipate [Allah’s reward] is better, because when the afflicted hears it, he becomes pleased.

To offer condolences, in reality, is not to celebrate, as some ignorant masses wrongly believe it to be a celebration: setting up chairs, lighting candles, readers, and varieties of food present on such occasion. Rather, condolence is meant to bring solace and to strengthen the afflicted, so that he endures patiently. Thus, if a person shows no concern for an affliction: for example if his cousin dies and he shows no concern for it, then there is no need to show any condolences to him. That is why the scholars have said, “It is from the Sunnah to offer condolences to the afflicted,” and they did not say that it is Sunnah to give condolences to the relatives; it is possible that a relative may not grieve from the death of a relative, while a non-relative may grieve, owning to the strength of the friendship, for example, that existed between the two of them.

Thus, condolences are only offered to the afflicted and not the relatives. However, today it is the opposite, unfortunately, the tables have turned: condolences have become the standard for the relatives, to the extent that even if he is pleased with the death of his relative, beating a drum [in happiness], he is offered condolences.

 [An example is:] a person is poor and many problems exist between him and his cousin, the cousin then dies and leaves behind millions of dirhams. [Now,] would he be happy that his cousin died or would he feel like a great calamity has befallen him? In most cases he would be happy, saying, “Praise Allah, who saved me from his problems and caused me to inherit his wealth.” Condolences are not offered to this person; if we were to say anything to him, then it would be congratulations.

It is important for us to know that condolences are meant to strengthen the patience and sense of stability of the one who is afflicted with the distress, so the best and most appropriate words should be chosen that convey it, and there can be no better way of offering condolence than what was said by our Prophet (S). Allah is the granter of success.


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Qur’anic Verse

255. Allah, there is no diety but Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His Permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, but they will never encompass anything of His knowledge except what He wills. His Kursee extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. He is the Most High, the Most Great.

 Qur’anic Exegesis

This noble verse is amongst the greatest and most revered of all the verses of the Qur’ān; it narrates the greatest of Allah’s attributes along with other various important issues. Many hadīths persuade and encourage us to recite this noble verse in the morning and the evening, at bedtime, and after every obligatory salaah. Allah says about Himself, there is no diety but Him, hence, every worship and servitude must be for Him, alone, because He is the Most Virtuous and Revered, and showers His blessings on all and sundry. Being one of Allah’s creation and His servants it is our rightful duty that we consistently show Him our gratefulness by obeying His commandments and refraining from His forbiddences. Since all things are transient, except for Allah who is Eternal, so all worship [toward others] is incorrect except for the worship of Allah. Only Allah is the Creator so only He is Perfect, while all other things are mere creation, imperfect and ever dependent on Him; so a creation can never be worthy of being worshipped. The Ever-Living, the Sustainer of all that exists, within these two sacred names of Allah: al-Hayy and al-Qayyoom, there is an indication of all His other attributes, may it be through similitude, connotation or necessity.

Al-Ha’ee refers to the Entity Who is the most Eternal and has the Most Perfect life, and refers to Allah’s personal attributes such as listening, seeing, knowing, having authority, etc. Al-Qayyum refers to the Entity Who is Ever Existing and others exist because of Him. This includes all authoritative attributes of Allah that indicate Him doing whatever He likes. Ascending, descending, speech, judgment, creation, giving sustenance, giving death, giving life and other such innumerable actions and deeds are all proofs of Allah’s attribute of al-Qayyum. Some researchers say that this is the greaty words which, when recited, ensures that no supplication will be rejected.

Another indication of Allah’s Eternity and Self-Existence is that neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth. He is the Master and all others are His slaves. He is the Creator, the Sustainer, and the Discreet, while all others are mere creation, needy, and indiscreet. No one in the entire universe, on the earth and in the heavens, has any control over his own matters or that of others, except Allah. Thus Allah says, who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission, that is, no one can intercede for another, as authority of intercession is only with Allah. When Allah desires to shower His kindness on someone, He allows that revered servant to intercede on his behalf; and this would indeed be an increase to the reverence of the intercessor. No one will be able to intercede on his own on behalf of another, until Allah grants him permission to do so.

Afterwards, Allah says, He knows what is before them and what is behind them, that is, He knows regarding all their past and future matters, and knows the details of all their obvious and hidden, past, present, and future deeds. Man has no authority on, or knowledge of, his own matters until and unless Allah notifies him regarding them; for this reason Allah declares, they will never encompass anything of His Knowledge except what He wills. His Khursee extends over the heavens and the earth. This is an indication of the perfection of His grandeur and the vastness of His domain. When even His Khursee (footstool) is so huge that it is bigger than the earth and the skies, although they, despite being so huge, are not the biggest of Allah’s creations and there are others far bigger than them, such as the ‘Arsh (throne) and other things that only Allah has knowledge of; since it is impossible for our limited comprehensions to imagine them, then how can it be possible to comprehend and understand the grand persona of their Creator, Allah, who gave them life and placed in them His innumerable wisdom and secrets. He, Who solely holds [in place] the earth, the skies, and the universes so that they do not leave their designated places, and Who never feels fatigued in doing so. Hence, Allah says, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them, that is, it is not the least difficult for Him to care for all His creation. He is with respect to His persona, the Most High, enthroned on the Mighty Throne.

All His creation is under His dominion, because He is on the highest place. He is on the highest position of esteem, because all His attributes are the most perfect, and the Most Great. Lords, rulers, and kings of this world are nothing compared to Allah’s stature, because He is the Mightiest and Greatest of all Lords. This noble verse contains all the three forms of tawheed: Tawheed al-Uloohiyah, Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah, and Tawheed al-Asma wa’l-Sifaat. This noble verse also contains the description of the vastness of Allah’s dominion, of the unfathomed depth of His knowledge, of the enormity of His unlimited kingdom, of His utmost authority, His unrivalled prominence, His distinct eminence, and His unequalled Singularity. Hence, this noble verse is the most comprehensive and complete description of Allah’s names, virtues, traits, and attributes.

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Qur’anic Verses

67. When Moosa said to his people, “Allah commands you to slaughter a cow.” They said, “Do you make fun of us?” He said, “I seek refuge in Allah from being among the ignorant.” 68. They said, “Call upon your Lord to make clear to us what it is!” He said, “Allah[1] says, ‘It is a cow neither old nor young, but between the two conditions’, so do what you are commanded.” 69. They said, “Call upon your Lord to make plain to us its color.” He said, “Allah says, ‘It is a yellow cow, bright in its color, pleasing to the beholders.’” 70. They said, “Call upon your Lord to make clear to us what it is, to us all cows are alike. If Allah wills, we will be guided.” 71. He said, “Allah says, ‘It is a cow neither trained to till the soil nor water the fields, sound, having no blemish.’” They said, “Now you have brought the truth.” So they slaughtered it though they almost did not. 72. Then when you killed a man and fell into dispute, Allah brought forth that which you were concealing. 73. So We said, “Strike him [the dead man] with a piece of [the cow].” Thus Allah brings the dead to life and shows you His signs so that you may understand. 74. Yet after this, your hearts were hardened and became as stones or even harder; for there are stones from which rivers gush forth, and there are some which split open and water flows from them, and there are some which fall down in fear of Allah. Allah is not unaware of what you do.

Qur’anic Exegesis 

So remember the events which occurred between Moosa and yourselves, when you murdered a man and started arguing with each other about the murderer; accusing each other of it, until you carried this dispute to such extremes that if Allah had not intervened you would have gotten involved in a major conflict.

Prophet Moosa, to find the murderer, ordered you to sacrifice a cow. You were obliged to obey him immediately and to not raise any objections, instead what occurred is that you began objecting and said, “Do you make fun of us?” Allah’s Prophet replied, “I seek refuge in Allah from being among the ignorant,” because only an ignorant person will say such useless things and make a mockery of others. A wise person knows that making a mockery of someone from his own people is the worst defect in wisdom and faith. Although he may really have some superiority over others, but such superiority demands that he should thank Allah for it and be kind and humble to others.

When Prophet Moosa said this, they realized its truth and said, call upon your Lord to make clear to us what it is, meaning, ask Allah to relate to you how that cow should be–what is her age, etc? He said, “He says, ‘It is a cow neither old nor young, Moosa replied that Allah says that the cow is not an aged one, neither old nor young, but between the two conditions.’” So instead of getting into unnecessary arguing, do what you have been ordered to do. They said, “Call upon your Lord to make plain to us its color.” He said, “He says, ‘It is a yellow cow, bright in its color, that is, it should be of a pure golden color pleasing to the beholders,’” whoever sees her admires her because of her beauty.

They said, “Call upon your Lord to make clear to us what it is, to us all cows are alike, we do not know what cow you speak off and if Allah wills, we will be guided.” He said, “He says, ‘It is a cow neither trained to till the soil, that is, she has not been used to plough farmland, nor water the fields, she has never been used to draw water from a well, sound, she should be free of all imperfections and must never have been used for labor and having no blemish.’” so aside from the color that has been previously described, she should not have any mark of any other color.

They said, “Now you have brought the truth.” Now you have clearly defined how the cow should be. It was from their ignorance to say this, because Prophet Moosa had initially described the truth. If they would have presented any cow, the desired objective would have been achieved, but since they adopted the way of unnecessary argument, hence Allah too put them to hardship. Additionally, if they would not have said the words if Allah wills they never would have found the required cow.

So they slaughtered it, that is, they slew the cow which had the described attributes though they almost did not, because of their rowdiness and unnecessary questioning, it never really seemed that they would sacrifice the cow.

When they did sacrifice the cow, Allah said to them to touch the murdered person with one of its [the cows] pieces. This might have meant any piece or a particular piece and there is no use trying to establish which one. Thus, when they touched one of cow’s pieces to the murdered person, Allah brought him back to life. Hence, Allah revealed what they had been trying to hide and informed them of the murderer. Bringing the murdered person back to life in front of their eyes was an absolute proof that Allah will give life to the dead. So that you may understand, that is, so you may use your intellect and refrain from what Allah has forbidden for you.

Yet after this, your hearts were hardened and no amount of admonition would be effective on you because your hearts became too hardened after this event. Yet after this, that is, after Allah granted you His greatest bounties and showed you His biggest signs. It was not sensible after such a showing that your hearts became hardened, because what you had witnessed [should have been] enough to make your hearts submissive and obedient to Allah.

Afterwards, Allah defines the characteristics of a hardened heart by saying, became as stones, that is, their hearts have become harder than stone, which is more resilient than iron. When steel or lead is heated in a fire it melts, but stone never melts even [when placed] in fire. Or even harder, that is, hardness of their hearts is not less than that of stone. Here or (او) is not in the meaning of rather (بل).

Accordingly, Allah gives superiority to the stone over their hearts and says, for there are stones, from which rivers gush forth, and there are some which split open and water flows from them, and there are some which fall down in fear of Allah–because water streams out from some stones, some split open and from them water seeps out, and some stones fall down in fear of Allah–so, due to these attributes even stones are far better than your hearts. Then Allah warns them of the dire consequences by saying, and Allah is aware of what you do, that is, He is aware of all that you do; He is aware of all your deeds, big or small, recording them and will soon reimburse you for them appropriately.

It must be remembered that the majority of Qur’anic exegeses have filled their commentaries with detailed Israelite stories. They comment on the Qur’an from the context of Israelite events and explain the Qur’an in the light of those events. For their argument they quote the hadeeth of the Prophet, “Narrate from the Children of Israel, there is no harm [in this].”[2]

My opinion regarding this is that even if there is no wrong in quoting Israelite event, it gives an impression that such events can be described outside of the Qur’anic context. It is not right to present these events separately from the Qur’an and make them part of a Qur’anic commentary until they have been proven by an authentic saying from the Prophet. This is because of a dictum from Prophet Muhammad, “You should neither believe nor disbelieve the People of the Book.”[3]

When we know that these tales are not fully authenticated and we also know that it is the requirement of our faith to keep full belief in the Qur’an, its words and meanings, so it is not appropriate in any way to absolutely consider these unauthentic tales or narrations as the real meaning of the Qur’an, as there is a strong possibility that these tales are mostly fictitious or untrue. No one should be in any doubt about this and we have already suffered a great deal by violating this principle. Allah is the best Conciliator.

[1] The pronoun He is used in the original text.  Since it is used to refer to Allah in this verse, the name Allah has been used for ease of reading.

[2] Abi Daawood: no. 3662

[3] Bukhaaree: no. 4485.

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[The Ruling of Semen]

 Hadīth 25a

 25.) ‘Ā’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated that “Allah’s Messenger, may the peace and blessing of Allāh be upon him, used to wash off the semen, then depart for prayer in that garment, while I could still see the trace of the washing on it.” It is agreed upon.[1] 


 From ‘Ā’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, she is the Mother of the Believers, the daughter of Abū Bakr al-Siddīq. Her mother is Umm Rūmān, the daughter of ‘Āmir. The Prophet proposed marriage for her in Makkah and then married her in Shawwāl in the tenth year of the Prophethood while she was six years old. He consummated the marriage in Al-Madīnah in Shawwāl in the second year of the hijrah – when she was nine years old – and there are other opinions. She was widowed at the age of eighteen, and he did not marry another virgin besides her. She asked the Prophet for a kunyah so he told her, “Take a kunyah based on the son of your sister, ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr.”[2]

She was a faqīhah and a scholar. She was eloquent and noble and narrated many adīths from Allāh’s Messenger. She was also knowledgeable concerning the history and poetry of the Arabs. A number of the Companions and the Tābi’īn narrated from her and ten verses from Sūrah al-Nūr were revealed to prove her innocence (of adultery). Allāh’s Messenger died in her house and was buried in it. She died in Madīnah in the year 57 – and it is also said 58 – on the night of Wednesday, the seventeenth day of Ramaān. She was buried in al-Baqī’ and Abū Hurayrah prayed over her. At the time, he was the khalīfah (deputy) of Marwān in Madīnah.

It is agreed upon. It was also reported by Bukhārī from the adīths of ‘Ā’ishah with different wordings that she would wash the semen from his (the Messengers) garment. In some of them, it is reported as, “While the mark of washing on his garment was like spots of water.” [3] In another wording, “So he would depart for prayer while spots of water were on his garment.”[4]  Also in another wording, “While the mark of washing on it was like spots of water,”[5]  Another has it as, “Then I would see it on it as if it were a spot or spots.”[6]

However, al-Bazzār said, “This adīth of ‘Ā’ishah revolves around Sulaymān ibn Yasār and he did not hear from ‘Ā’ishah.”[7] Al-Shāfi’ī preceded him in this view in al-Umm, citing it from someone else.[8] The response to what al-Bazzār said is that al-Bukhārī’s authentification of it – as well as Muslim – necessitates that he heard from ‘Ā’ishah and that the correct view is that it is marfū’.[9]

This adīth is used as a proof by those who hold the opinion that semen is impure such as the Hādawīyyah, the Ḥanafīyyah, and Mālik; and it is a narration from Aḥmad. They said that washing is not for anything except that which is impure, and they made qiyās between it and other filthy bodily excretions like urine and feces. The reasoning is that they all end up in the same place, they are all transformed from sustenance (food and drink). Also, any bodily excretions that require purification are impure (according to their argument), and semen is from those. Another reason is that it comes from the same route as urine, so it should be washed with water like the rest of the impurities. They formulated explanations to reconcile the following statement with their view.

Hadīth 25b

Muslim reports, “I used to scrape it from the garment of Allah’s Messenger, may the peace and blessing of Allāh be upon him, then he would pray in it.”[10]

 In one wording of his, “I used to scrape it, while dry, from his garment with my fingernail.”[11]


 Muslim has from ‘Ā’ishah, a wording which Bukhārī did not narrate, and it is her statement, “I used to scrape it from the garment of Allah ’s Messenger, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, by rubbing (farkan). This is a madar of emphasis to confirm that she was rubbing it and scraping it.[12] Al-fark is to rub, so it is said, “he faraka the garment” if he rubbed it.

Then he would pray in it.”  In one wording of his, that is from Muslim from ‘Ā’ishah, “I used to scrape it, referring to the semen, while it was in the state of being dry, from his garment with my fingernail.”

Muslim is alone in narrating the mention of scraping and it was not reported by Bukhārī. However, rubbing and scraping were also narrated by al-Bayhaqī, al-Dāraquṭnī, ibn Khuzaymah, and ibn al-Jawzī from the ḥadīths of ‘Ā’ishah. The wording from al-Bayhaqī is, “Sometimes I would scrape it from the garment of Allāh’s Messenger while he was praying.”[13] The wording from al-Dāraquṭnī and ibn Khuzaymah is, “She used to scrape the semen from the garment of Allāh’s Messenger while he was praying.”[14] The wording of ibn Ḥibbān is, “I have found myself scraping the semen from the garment of Allāh’s Messenger while he was praying.”[15] Its narrators are from the narrators of the aī.

Similar to this adīth is the adīth of ibn ‘Abbās found with al-Dāraquṭnī and al-Bayhaqī that Allah’s Messenger was asked about semen getting on the garment so he said, “It is of the same status as mucus and spit,” and he said, “It is sufficient that you wipe it with a rag or idhkhirah.[16] After reporting it, al-Bayhaqī commented, “It was narrated by Wakī’ and ibn Abī Laylā in mawqūf fashion from ibn ‘Abbās and that is what is correct.”[17]

So those who hold the opinion that semen is impure interpreted these adīths to mean scraping along with washing with water and that is a far-fetched explanation. Conversely, the Shāfi’īyyah say that semen is pure, and they use these adīths as a proof for its purity. They said the adīths of washing are understood to mean that it is preferable and washing is not a proof for impurity because it could have been done for the sake of cleanliness and removal of filth and similar to that. They said that his likening it to spit and mucus is also a proof that it is pure, and the order for wiping it with a rag or idhkhirah is for removing filth that is disliked to remain on the garment of the muallī.[18] If it was impure, it would not be sufficient to just wipe it.

As for likening semen to the filthy excretions like urine and feces as those who say it is impure did, then there is to be no qiyās in the presence of a text. They (those who regard it impure) also say that these adīths about scraping and rubbing are only in regards to his (the Prophet’s) semen, and his (the Prophet’s) excretions are pure so others are not included in this. The response to this is that ‘Ā’ishah has informed about the scraping of the semen from his (the Propehet’s) garment, so it is possible that it was due to sexual relations and could have been mixed with the female ejaculate as well, therefore it would not be his (the Prophet’s) semen alone.[19] Wet dreams are not possible for the Prophets since it is from the toying of the devil,[20] and he has no power over them (the Prophets).

It is also said that it was his (the Prophet’s) semen alone and that it came from the effects of desire that came about after the causes for it coming out, such as foreplay and similar to that, and nothing else was mixed with it. Since this is possible, it cannot be used as an evidence in the presence of this possibility. The Ḥanafīyyah held the opinion that semen is impure, like others, however they said it is purified by washing or scraping or removing it with idhkhir or a rag, in acting upon both adīths. There are numerous debates and lengthy, drawn out discussions between those who say it is impure and those who say it is pure, which we have mentioned in full in the footnotes to Shar al-‘Umdah.[21]



[1] Al-Bukhārī (no. 229) and Muslim (no. 289).

[2] Reported by al-Bukhārī in al-Adab al-Mufrad (no. 850) and ibn Sa’d in al-Tabaqāt al-Kubrā (8/66) and it appears to be aḥīḥ. ‘Abdullāh ibn al-Zubayr was the son of her sister, Asmā’.

[3] Al-Bukharī  (no. 230).

[4] Al-Bukharī (no. 229).

[5] Al-Bukharī (no. 231).

[6] See ḥadīth no. 232.

[7] As cited by ibn Ḥajar in al-Talkhīṣ (1/33-34).

[8] Al-Umm (1/74).

[9] Al-Dāraquṭnī also graded it aḥīḥ in his Sunan (1/125), and the narration of al-Bukhārī is explicit that he heard the ḥadīth from ‘Ā’ishah.

[10] Muslim (no. 288).

[11] Muslim (no. 290).

[12] The maṣdar of a verb is sometimes mentioned along with the verb to emphasize the action performed as in this case.

[13] Cited by ibn Ḥajar in al-Talkhīṣ (1/32). It is mentioned by al-Bayhaqī in al-Sunan al-Kubrā (2/416-417) with different wording from what is mentioned here in the commentary.

[14] Reported by ibn Khuzaymah (no. 290) and attributed to al-Dāraquṭnī by ibn Ḥajar in al-Talkhīṣ (1/32). To see the wording of the narrations of al-Dāraquṭnī, see his Sunan (1/125).

[15] Ibn Ḥibbān (no. 1377).

[16] Idhkhir or Idhkhirah is a pleasant-smelling grass that the people of Makkah would use in the building of their homes as mentioned in a long ḥadīth reported by al-Bukhārī (no. 112) and Muslim (no. 1353); also, see ibn al-Athīr’s al-Nihāyah (1/33).

[17] Al-Dāraquṭnī (1/124-125) and al-Bayhaqī in al-Sunan al-Kubrā (2/418). Al-Bayhaqī and al-Dāraquṭnī indicated that the correct version is mawqūf from ibn ‘Abbās; ibn ‘Abdil-Hādī stated likewise in al-Tanqī (1/81).

[18] Muṣallī: one performing the ṣalāh.

[19] The Arabic word manī is also used for the sexual fluid of the woman, but has been translated as semen for the most part as that is its most common usage.

[20] With the human being.

[21] Another argument used for the view that it is pure is that it is the origin of the human being, therefore it should be pure. This argument has been mentioned by ibn Bāz in his lectures on Bulūgh al-Marām and al Bassām in Taysīr al-‘Allām (1/89).

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In the Name of Allāh the Most Beneficent the Most Merciful

 May Allāh send salāh and peace upon Muhammad and his family.


كتاب الوضوء 

The Book of Ablution

 What the Scholars of the Different Lands Have Agreed

Upon Regarding Invalidation of Ablution

Abū Bakr Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm b. al-Mundhir mentioned to us [that there is ijmāʿ[1] among the people of knowledge that]:


[Invalidators of Wudūʾ (Ablution)]

 ١- أجمع أهل العلم على أن الصلاة لا تجزىء إلا بطهارة إذا وجد المرء إليها السبيل

1. The people of knowledge have agreed that prayer is not valid without purification if it is within one’s capability.

 ٢- وأجمعوا على أن خروج الغائط من الدبر، وخروج البول من الذكر، وكذلك المرأة، وخروج المني، وخروج الريح من الدبر، وزوال العقل بأي وجه زال العقل :أ حداث ينقض كل واحد منها الطهارة، ويوجب الوضوء

2. They agreed that excretions due to defecation from the anus, excretion of urine from the male and female privates, excretion of sperm, passing of wind from the anus, and loss of rationality by any means,[2] are all invalidators of purification and necessitate ablution.

 ٣- وأجمعوا على أن دم الاستحاضة ينقض الطهارة، وانفرد ربيعة وقال: لا ينقض الطهارة

3. They agreed that post-menstrual blood invalidates purification; however Rabiʿah[3] held view that it does not invalidate purification. 

٤- وأجمعوا على أن الملامسة حدث ينقض الطهارة

4. They agreed that mulāmasah[4] invalidates purification.

٥- وأجمعوا على أن الضحك في غير الصلاة لا ينقض طهارة، ولا يوجب وضوءا

5. They agreed that laughing outside of prayer does not invalidate purification nor does it necessitate ablution.

٦- وأجمعوا على أن الضحك في الصلاة ينقض الصلاة

6. They agreed that laughing during prayer invalidates the prayer.[5]


Agreement Regarding Water

٧- وأجمعوا على أن الوضوء لا يجوز: بماء الورد، وماء الشجر، وماء العصفر. ولا تجوز الطهارة: إلا بماء مطلق، يقع عليه اسم الماء

7. They agreed that it is not permissible to perform ablution with: flower water, tree water, or dyed water. It is not permissible to perform ablution with anything except water which is unrestrictedly called water.[6]

٨- وأجمعوا على أن الوضوء بالماء جائز

8. They agreed that it is permissible to perform ablution with water.

٩- وأجمعوا على أنه لا يجوز الاغتسال ولا الوضوء بشيء من هذه الأشربة سوى النبيذ

9. They agreed that it is not permissible to perform the ritual bath or ablution with any drink except for nabīdh[7].[8] 

١٠- وأجمعوا على أن الوضوء بالماء الآجن من غير نجاسة حلت فيه جائز، وانفرد ابن سيرين، فقال: لا يجوز

10. They agreed that it is permissible to perform ablution with brackish water so long as no impurities were added to it, except for ibn Sīrīn who said that it is not permissible. 

١١- وأجمعوا على أن الماء القليل والكثير إذا وقعت فيه نجاسة فغيرت للماء طعماً أو لوناً أو ريحاً: أنه نجس ما دام كذلك

11. They agreed that when an impurity falls in a small or larger amount of water and alters its taste, color, or smell, the water becomes impure and remains in such a state. 

١٢- وأجمعوا على أن الماء الكثير من النيل والبحر ونحو ذلك إذا وقعت فيه نجاسة فلم تغير له لوناً ولا طعماً ولا ريحاً: أنه بحاله، ويتطهر منه

12. They agreed that when some impurity falls into a large amount of water, such as the Nile, the ocean, or something similar and its color, taste, or smell does not change, it remains as it was and it can be used for purification.[9] 

١٣- وأجمعوا على أن سؤر ما أُكل لحمه طاهر، ويجوز شربه والوضوء به

13. They agreed that the water left over after an animal [whose meat is permissible] drinks from it is pure. It is permissible to drink and perform wuḍuʾ from it.[10] 


Washing Some Parts before Others and Wiping and Washing for Ablution

١٤- وأجمعوا على أن لا إعادة على من بدأ بيساره قبل يمينه في الوضوء

14. They agreed that it is not obligatory for the one who began with his left before his right, in performing ablution, to repeat his ablution.


 [Placement of Khuffs]

١٥- وأجمعوا على أنه كل من أكمل طهارته ثم لبس الخفين وأحدث، أن له أن يمسح عليهما

15. They agreed that anyone who is completely purified, then puts on khuffs[11], and afterwards invalidates his purification, can wipe over them.

١٦- وأجمعوا على أنه إذا توضأ إلا غسل إحدى رجليه، فأدخل المغسولة الخف ثم غسل الأخرى وأدخلها الخف أنه طاهر

16. They agreed that when someone performs ablution upon all parts except one foot, and places a khuff on the washed foot, and then washes the other one and places a khuff on it, he is purified.

[1] The term ijmāʿ refers to the consensus of Muslim jurists, in a determined period, on the scope and meaning of a principle or rule of Islāmic Law.

[2] Ibn Qudāmah mentions that loss of consciousness is of two types: The first is loss of consciousness due to sleep in which case a short sleep does not affect one’s state of ritual purity. The second is the loss of consciousness due to other than sleep such as insanity, fainting, intoxication or using drugs which cause the loss of mind and so on, in which case ritual purity is lost absolutely. Ibn Qudāmah claims unanimity of opinion on this case. Ibn Qudāmah, 1/128. 

[3] He is Rabiʿah b. ʿAbd al-Raḥman, also known as Rabiʿah al-Raʾy and is considered as one of the teachers of Mālik, whom he taught fiqh al-raʾy (understanding by mental perception).  He died in 136 A.H.

[4] Its literally meaning is touching. Here it can refer to sexual relations, mere touching, or touching out of desire (similar to fore-play). Since there is disagreement among the jurists regarding mere touching, it would seem that he is referring to the touching which is similar to fore-play. This is the only type of touching which the Ḥanafīs view as an invalidator of ablution and is agreed by the other Schools. Therefore, the most apparent explanation is that ibn al-Mundhir did not find any valid opposition to this opinion. It is also possible though that this word could refer to actual sexual relations because as he said ‘this invalidates purification,’ and he did not simply say ablution. This possibility, however, is fairly weak since sexual relations necessitate the ritual bath (ghusl) and not simply ablution. Also, in al-Iqnāʿ he added “that a man engages in mulāmasah with his wife” amongst those which necessitates ablution. Additionally, one chapter of al-Awsat actually reads: Mulāmasah Nullifies Ablution. Allāh knows best.

[5] Although there is a consensus amongst the jurists that laughter in prayer invalidates the prayer, however they differed in regards to laughter as an invalidator of ablution. Abū Ḥanīfah held the opinion that laughter invalidates both the prayer and the ablution based on the ḥadīth of Abū al-ʿĀliyah in which he says, “While the Prophet was praying with the people, a person who had problems with his sight walked into a covered well and fell.  At this some people burst out laughing and the Prophet commanded them to repeat their ablution and prayer.”  It was reported by al-Dāraquṭnī in his al-Sunan 1/169. Abū Ḥanīfah also transmitted it from Ḥasan al-Baṣrī, see Kitāb al-Āthār pg. 43.  This was also the view of Ibrāhīm al-Nakhaʿī who said regarding a person who laughs out loud during the prayer, “He should repeat both the ablution and the prayer, and has to ask for forgiveness from his Lord, because it is one of the most severe of impurities.”  Imām Muḥammād [al-Shaybanī] said, “We adhere to it and it is the opinion of Abū Ḥanīfah.” See Kitāb al-Āthār 43. The Ḥanafīhs say that this is only for prayer which contains bowing and prostration and therefore excludes the funeral prayer and only if the laughter is of an audible sound that can be heard by others. al-Fiqh al-Islāmī

The majority of the jurists held the view that laughter is not a nullifier of ablution. They viewed the ḥadīth as mursal and opposed to the principles, as it makes something a cause for the invalidation of ablution during the prayer and not outside of it. Meaning that laughter done outside of prayer does not break the ablution so how can it do so while in prayer. Ibn Rushd, Bidāyat al-Mujtahid, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyah, Lebanon, 1/263 Trans. Imran Niyaze, The Distinquished Jurist Premier, Garnet, (1/203).

[6] Aḥmad held the view that purity is achieved through the use of absolutely clean water, namely that which is not annexed to any other noun such as bean water, chick-pea water, rose water, saffron water, and so on, from among substances whose names always occur in conjunction with the noun water. Partial wuḍuʾ can be performed with such water into which has fallen anything from what we have mentioned, and so on, provided it is a small quantity and there is no change noticed of the water in terms of taste or color, or if no considerable amount of ordor is smelt, to the point that the water could be attributed to it. Al-Khiraqi, 4.

[7] Nabīdh is a beverage that is made with dates.  

[8] Abū Ḥanīfah permitted the one on a journey to make ablution with nabīdh, basing his opinion on the ḥadīth of ibn ʿAbbās, ‘Ibn Masʿūd went out with the Messenger of Allāh on the night of the jinn and the Messenger asked him, “Do you have any water?”  He replied, “I have nabīdh in my container.” The Messenger of Allāh said, “Pour out some,” and he made ablution with it saying, “It is a beverage and a purifying element.”’  It is related by Aḥmad 1/398, Ibn Mājah 1/135-6 no. 385, and Ṭaḥāwi in Sharh Maʿāni al-Āthār 1/94. He also quoted the ḥadīth of Abū Rāfiʿ, the client of ibn ʿUmar, derived from ibn Masʿūd, with similar wording, ‘The Messenger of Allāh said, “It is a good fruit and purifying water.”’ It is related by Aḥmad 1/455, Ṭaḥāwi in Sharh Maʿāni al-Āthār 1/95, and al-Dāraquṭni 1/77 no. 15. They also claimed that this opinion is attributed to ʿAlī and ibn ʿAbbās, and amounts to a consensus sinse no Companions opposed them in it. He was opposed in this opinion by his two students, Abū Yusuf and Muḥammad al-Shaybanī, as well as all the jurists of the different regions.

The traditionists, however, rejected this ḥadīth because of its weak chain of transmitters and because more reliable routes have related that ibn Masʿūd was not with the Messenger of Allāh on night of the jinn as was related by Aḥmad 1/436, Muslim 1/333 no. 152 & 450, Abū Dāwūd 1/67 no. 85, al-Tirmidhi 5/382 no. 3258, and al-Dāraquṭni 1/77 no. 12. The majority rejected the stated tradition on the basis of the words of the Exalted, “And if you cannot find any water, find some clean clean soil and wipe your faces and hands with it.” Qur’ān, al-Nisā’ [4:43]. They said that He did not permit the use of anything beside water and clean soil. They also argued on the basis of the words of the Prophet, “Clean soil constitutes the ablution of a Muslim, even if water is not found for ten seasons, and as soon as he finds water let him touch his face with it.”  It was related by ibn Abī Shaybah 1/106-7; Aḥmad 5/2146-7 155; Abū Dāwūd 1/235-6 no. 332 & 333. Ibn Rushd, 1/38 (1/31).

[9] The jurists differed over water that contains impurities while none of its attributes have been altered. One group said that it is pure irrespective of its size being large or small and is one of the opinions held by Mālik and the opinion of the Ẓāhirites. Another group made a distinction between the amount of water, saying if the amount is small, it is impure and if it is large then it is not. They also disagreed about differentiating small from large quantity of water. Abū Ḥanīfah held the view that a large quantity of water is that in which a ripple caused by a person at one end does not reach the other side.  Al-Shāfiʿī placed the limit to that which can fill two qullas (containers), which weigh about five hundred raṭl (pounds). This was also the opinion of Aḥmad to which he added that unless the impurity is urine or diarrheic human feces, except if the water originates from the ponds on the way to Mecca or a body of water originating from a large area that cannot be drained. Some jurists did not impose any limit, though they held that impurities defile water in small quantities, even if its attributes have not changed, which is also related from Mālik. It is also related that such water is not defiled, but that its use is undesirable. Therefore, three opinions are attributed to Mālik regarding the use of small quantities of water in which small impurities have fell. First, that is has been defiled or it has been rendered unusable.  Second, that it has not been defiled, so long as its attributes have not changed. Third, that its use is reprehensible. The jurists agreed that a small amount of impurity does not defile a large amount of water. Ibn Rushd, 1/27-9 (1/21); al-Khiraqi, 32.

[10] The jurist agreed about the purity of the leftover water of the cattle, but disagreed about others animals. Some held the opinion that the leftover water of every animal is pure, while others made an exception in the case of swine alone and these two views were related from Mālik. Some jurists made an exception in the case of swine and dogs, which was also al-Shāfiʿī’s opinion. Some excluded the beasts of prey generally, which was ibn al-Qāsim’s opinion. Others held the opinion that if the meat of the animal is permissible to eat then their leftover water is also pure and was the view of Aḥmad. Aḥmad also said that it a cat and whatever is lower than it in terms of creation drinks from it, it is still lawful to use. Ibn Rushd, 1/32 (1/25); al-Khiraqi, 32.

[11] They are thick leather socks that cover the foot from the ankle to the toes.

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Short Biography of Ibn al-Mundhir


He is Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm b. al-Mundhir Abū Bakr al-Nisābūrī. This is all that is known of his name and lineage. It is known that he was born in Nisābūr which is in present day Iran, but the exact date is unknown. Al-Zirkali attempted to date his birth and placed it in the year 242 A.H. while al-Dhahabi approximated it to be around the death of Aḥmad, the year 241 A.H. Beyond this not much is known about his upbringing. It seems that he probably studied under the many various scholars of Nisābūr from an early age and it is most probable that he traveled to other lands to seek knowledge as other scholars did, however, the actual places he traveled to are unknown. All that is known is that he eventually resided in Makkah and became the Shaykh of the Ḥaram. He later died there around the year 318 A.H.

He had many teachers and students and had attained a great level of scholarship. He reached the highest level of ijtihād according to many of the other scholars and was therefore no longer bound to any particular School of Thought. Despite this fact, he is almost unanimously ascribed to the Shāfiʿī School, in which he initially started. This fact was mentioned by al-Dhahabi, al-Suyūtī, al-Nawawi, and al-Shirāzi.

Al-Dhahabi said regarding him, “The āfizh, the ʿallāmah, the faqīh, the unique scholar, the Shaykh of the Ḥaram, and the one who authored books the likes of which have never been written.”

An-Nawawi said regarding him, “The famous imām and one of the Islāmic leaders. Everyone is agreed that he was an imām, virtuous, and very knowledgeable, both in the fields of adīth and fiqh.” He also said, “He was at the top level of knowledge when it comes to which adīth were authentic and which were weak.”

Al-Subki said, “The imām, Abū Bakr al-Nisābūri, the one who resided in Makkah and one of the great scholars of this Nation. He was an imām, a mujtahid, a āfizh, and extremely pious.”

Ibn Hajar said, “The āfizh, the ʿallāmah, the one who wrote many works. He was upright and truthful from what I know.”

Ibn Khalkaan said, “He was a faqīh and an absolute scholar.” Many others have praised him as well.

He was also quite knowledgeable of the differing opinions amongst the various scholars; having knowledge of who held which opinion and their supporting evidences. Despite the fact that he wrote on topics such as tafsīr, adhkār, the life of al-Shāfiʿī, and the virtues of the wealthy and the poor, his most famous books are on fiqh and the differing opinions of the scholars regarding this science.

Possibly the largest of these was a book entitled al-Mabsūt, however it is no longer in existence. He abridged this book and wrote a magnificent compilation which he entitled al-Awsat, however, only a few volumes of this book have been found and even fewer have been printed. He also abridged this book into a smaller work titled al-Ishrāf. This book is widely acclaimed as the best book of its kind as he briefly mentions within it all of the different opinions regarding each topic and occasionally mentions which opinion he chose as the most correct. He later wrote al-Iqnāʾ, which most probably is also an abridgment of al-Awsat as it maintains the chains of the adīths used while al-Ishrāf omits them, making it is less likely that al-Iqnāʾ is an abridgment of al-Ishrāf.

He also authored a book about the evidence of qiyās (analogical reasoning) which, obviously, deals with usūl al-fiqh.[1]

[1] See the Introduction of al-Iqnāʾ by ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad al-Jabūri.

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