June 23, 2024
al-muqni'
Al-Muqni' is a famous text of Hanbali Madhab written by Imam ibn Qudamah al-Hanbali. rahimahullah.

The Impure Water

If the impurity is removed by the water while it is still undergoing a change (i.e., the properties of the water are still altered), or before the impurity ceases to exist, then the water is considered impure. However, if the water separates from its location without causing any change in its properties after the impurity ceases to exist, then the water is considered pure if the location is on the ground. If the location is not on the ground, then the water is considered pure according to the more valid of the two opinions. Is it considered purifying? There are two opinions on this matter. If a woman utilizes the water for ritual purification alone, then it remains purifying. However, it is not permissible for a man to perform ritual purification with it, according to the apparent view in the madhab. The third category: Impure water. This refers to water that has changed due to contact with impurities. If it does not undergo any change and it is in a small quantity, does it become impure? There are two narrations regarding this matter. However, if the water is in a large quantity, it remains pure (purifying), except in the case of it being mixed with urine or liquid filth. There are two narrations regarding this as well: one stating that it does not become impure, and the other stating that it does become impure. However, if the water is of such a large quantity that it cannot be drained out,
then it does not render the water impure.

The paragraph from the text Al-Muqni’ gives the following insights into the water used for purification.

The third category of water in the Hanbali madhab is impure water. This refers to water that has been contaminated with physical impurities. There are two aspects to consider when determining the impurity of water: the quantity and
the change in its properties.

Detectable Impurity

Firstly, if a small quantity of impurity mixes with a small amount of water, it becomes ritually impure, even if there is no change in its taste, color, or odor. The presence of impurities renders the water impure and unsuitable for ritual purification. This ruling highlights the sensitivity of the Hanbali madhab towards the purity of water and the importance of avoiding any contamination.

Secondly, even if water is in large quantities, it can still be considered impure if any of its properties, such as taste, color, or odor, have changed due to contamination. This emphasizes the significance of preserving the original properties of water and avoiding any alteration caused by impurities. The Hanbali madhab emphasizes the necessity of using pure and untainted water for ritual purification.

By categorizing water into impure water, the Hanbali madhab emphasizes the importance of maintaining the purity and cleanliness of the water in matters of worship. It underscores the significance of using untainted and unaltered water for acts of ritual purification, ensuring that the water itself does not carry any impurities that may compromise the validity of the purification process.

Adhering to these guidelines ensures that individuals following the Hanbali madhab maintain the highest level of purity and observe the principles established by the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It reflects the meticulousness and attention to detail in matters of purification within the Hanbali school of thought.

In the Hanbali madhab, the consideration of water becoming impure due to the mixing of impurities stems from the general Islamic principle of cleanliness and purity. Allah Almighty, in His infinite wisdom, has commanded believers to
stay away from filth and impurities in all aspects of life. This includes physical cleanliness as well as spiritual purification.

The importance of cleanliness is emphasized throughout the teachings of Islam, and there are numerous Hadiths that specifically address the avoidance of various types of impurities, such as human urine and feces. These Hadiths serve as guidance for Muslims to maintain cleanliness and purity in their daily lives.

When it comes to water, which holds a significant role in acts of ritual purification, any impurity that mixes with it renders the water impure as well. This is based on the principle that impurity contaminates and taints the purity of water, making it unsuitable for use in acts of worship and purification.

By categorizing water as impure when it comes into contact with impurities, the Hanbali madhab underscores the importance of maintaining a state of cleanliness and avoiding any form of filth. The discussion on the impurity of water within this section of the commentary serves as a reminder to believers to be cautious and diligent in their efforts to maintain cleanliness and purity in all aspects of their lives.

It is important to note that the focus on the impurity of water in this context is specific to the avoidance of filth. The intention behind these rulings is to ensure that Muslims have access to clean and pure water for their acts of
worship and purification. By adhering to these guidelines, individuals following the Hanbali madhab strive to fulfill the commandments of Allah and maintain a state of cleanliness and purity by the teachings of Islam.

Undetectable Impurity

Abdullah bin Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported that Allah’s Apostle ( May Allah shower His blessings and peace on him) was asked about water in the desert country and what is frequented by animals and wild beasts. He replied: When there is enough water to fill two Qullahs (pitchers), it bears no impurity.

[Musnad Imam Ahamad:H.4605, 4753, 4803, 4961, 5855,  Sunan Abu Dawood:H.63, 64, 65, Jami at-Tirmidhi:H.67, Sunan
Ibni Majah
:H.517, 518, Sahih Ibni Hibban:H.1249, Sahih Ibni Khuzaimah: H.92]

When discussing the impurity of water and its interaction with impurities, it is important to consider the concept of undetectable traces. In the teachings of the Hanbali madhab, there is an emphasis on maintaining the purity of water, even in situations where impurities may not be visually or perceptibly present.

This Hadith highlights an important principle in the Hanbali madhab regarding the purity of water. Even though there may be factors that potentially introduce impurities into the water, if the water is in sufficient quantity, it is considered pure and free from impurities. This principle takes into account the practical challenges of water sources in certain environments, such as desert regions where water scarcity may be prevalent.

The emphasis on quantity in determining the purity of water reflects the understanding that undetectable
traces of impurities in water do not necessarily render it impure. Instead, the focus is on ensuring that the water available for use is in a sufficient amount to outweigh any potential contamination. By setting a threshold of two Qullahs (pitchers) of water as a measure of sufficiency, the Hanbali madhab provides a practical guideline for determining the purity of water in such circumstances.

The question raised to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) specifically refers to a situation where water may have traces of impurities mixed with it, but there is no apparent change in the properties of the water such as taste, color, or odor. The focus of the question is on the presence of potentially undetectable impurities rather than any observable changes in the water.

In response to this question, the Prophet (peace be upon him) establishes a criterion for determining the purity of water in such circumstances. He states that when there is enough water to fill two Qullahs (pitchers), it bears no impurity. This implies that as long as the quantity of water is sufficient, even if there are undetectable traces of impurities present, the water is still considered pure and suitable for use.

By addressing the issue of undetectable impurities mixed with water, the Hadith provides guidance on
the purity of water in situations where visual or sensory changes are not apparent. It highlights the importance of focusing on the quantity of water available rather than relying solely on observable properties to determine its
purity.

Therefore, based on the context of the Hadith, we can indeed conclude that the question raised pertains to a situation where traces of impurities may be present in the water, but there is no discernible change in the properties of the water itself.

Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Apostle ( May Allah shower His blessings and peace on him) said, “If a dog drinks from the utensil of any of you it is essential to wash it seven times.”

[Musnad Imam Ahamad:H.7440 Sahih Bukhari:H.172, Sahih Muslim: H.279, Sahih Ibni Hibban:H.1296, Sahih Ibni Khuzaimah:H.98]

dog_drinking_water

The Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) highlights the importance of purifying utensils that have come into contact with a dog’s saliva. While this Hadith specifically addresses utensils, it indirectly supports the idea of contamination of a small quantity of water with traces of impurities.

Dogs are considered impure in Islamic teachings, and their saliva is also considered impure. In this Hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) instructs that if a dog drinks from someone’s utensil, it is necessary to wash the utensil seven times to remove the impurity.

Although the Hadith specifically mentions utensils, the underlying principle is that impurity can transfer from one object to another through contact. This concept can be applied to water as well. If a small quantity of impure water or a substance containing impurities were to come into contact with a small quantity of water, it is reasonable to assume that the impurities could contaminate the small body of water.

The following Hadith also fortifies this ruling:

Kabshah, daughter of Ka’b bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) and wife of Ibni Abu Qatadah, reported that Abu Qatadah (May Allah be pleased with him) visited (me) and I poured out water for him for ablution. A cat came and drank some of it and he tilted the vessel for it until it drank some of it. Kabshah said: He saw me looking at him (with wonder); he asked me: Are you surprised, my niece? I said: Yes. He then reported the Messenger of Allah (May Allah shower His blessings and peace on him) as saying: It is not unclean; it is one of those (males or females) who go round among you.

 [Musnad Imam Ahamad:H.22950, 23013, Sunan Abu Dawood:H.75, Jami at-Tirmidhi:H.92, Sahih Ibni Hibban:H.1299, Sahih Ibni Khuzaimah:H.104]

Kabshah bint Ka’ab was surprised thinking that the little water would get impure when a cat drank from it, assuming the cat was unclean. The companion of the Messenger of Allah (May Allah shower His blessings and peace on him) Abu Qatadah (May Allah be pleased with him), confirmed her perception in a way and rejected her assumption on the other hand, by declaring that cat and its saliva is not impure. His words prove that if the cat’s saliva would be impure, the little water in the utensil would become impure.

Here are more examples of avoiding a small amount of filth when mixed in water:

Salama bin Al-Akwa’a (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that we went out with the Prophet (May Allah shower His blessings and peace on him) to Khaibar. A man among the people said, “O’ Amir! Will you please recite to us some of your poetic verses?” So Amir got down and started chanting among them, saying, “By Allah! Had it not been for Allah, we would not have been guided. “Amir also said other poetic verses which I do not remember. Allah’s Apostle said, “Who is this (camel) driver?” The people said, “He is Amir bin Al-Akwa’a.” He said, “May Allah bestow His Mercy on him.” A man from the People said, “O’ Allah’s Apostle! Would that you let us enjoy his company longer.” When the people (Muslims) lined up, the battle started, and Amir was struck with his own sword (by chance) by himself and died. In the evening, the people made a large number of fires (for cooking meals). Allah’s Apostle (May Allah shower His blessings and peace on him) said, ”What is this fire? What are you making the fire for?”
They said, “For cooking the meat of donkeys.” He said, “Throw away what is in the pots and break the pots!” A man said, “O’ Allah’s Prophet! May we throw away what is in them and wash them?” He said, “Never mind, you may do so.”

[Musnad Imam Ahamad:H.16640, Sahih al-Bukhari:H.2477, Sahih Muslim: H.1802, Sahih Ibni Hibban:H.5276]

Abu Tha’alabah al-Khushni (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that I said, “O’ Allah’s Apostle (May Allah shower His blessings and peace on him) we live in the country of the People of the Book, indeed they eat pork and drink wine, so what we do with their utensils?” He said, “If you do not find the utensils except theirs, then wash them with water and cook in them and drink.” [Musnad Imam Ahmad:H.17889]

Imam Hasan al-Basri r.a (d. 110 H) was asked if a few drops of wine or blood, get mixed with water in a container, and he commanded to pour it out.

[Musannaf Ibni Abi Shaybah:H.1772]

These Hadiths reveal the general trend of Allah’s Apostle (May Allah shower His blessings and peace on him), his companions (May Allah be pleased with them), and their descendants, regarding a slight amount of filth, even if it does not alter the properties of water.

 

In the third category, which is impure water, we further discuss the concept of large quantity and its implications when mixed with impurities. When the volume of water is equal to or greater than two Qullahs (pitchers), it is considered to be a large in quantity. In such a case, if something impure or filth falls into the water, there are two possibilities to consider.

The first possibility is that the impurity causes a change in the color, odor, or taste of the water. In this scenario, the water is deemed impure and unclean. It is forbidden to use such water for purification purposes according to the consensus of all Muslim scholars. This is because the impurity has altered the essential properties of the water, making it unsuitable for ritual purification.

However, if there is no change in the properties of water in large quantities (two Qullahs or more) after mixing with impurities, then water is considered pure and purifying by Hanbali scholars except in the second scenario.

The second possibility is when human feces or urine mixes with a large quantity of water, but none of the characteristics of the water undergo any change. In this situation, the water is considered to be filthy, except that the water body is too large to be drained out. Although the water retains its original properties, the presence of human waste makes it impure and unsuitable for purification. However, it should be noted that there are
differing opinions among Hanbali scholars regarding whether such water is considered impure or not. The earlier Hanbali scholars held the view that it remains impure, while later scholars considered it to be pure.
In situations where a large body of water, such as a reservoir or a large body of stagnant water, contains a significant quantity of water that cannot be easily drained out, the presence of human waste or impurities does not render the entire body of water impure. This ruling takes into consideration the practicality and the difficulty of completely removing the impurity from such a vast volume of water.

The reasoning behind this ruling is that if the water is so abundant that it cannot be practically drained or replaced, the impurity becomes inseparable from the water. In this case, the water is still considered permissible and suitable for general use, despite the presence of impurities. The impurity is regarded as an exceptional circumstance, and the overall status of the water remains unchanged.

It is important to note that this ruling applies specifically to situations where the volume of water is significant and
draining or replacing the water is not feasible. It recognizes the practical limitations faced by individuals in certain circumstances, such as when dealing with large reservoirs, lakes, or bodies of water.

In our understanding, the threshold of two Qullahs (pitchers) mentioned in the Hadith is primarily referring to the situation where the impurities in the water are not visibly detectable. In such cases, if the water volume is equal to or greater than two Qullahs and there are no visible changes in its color, odor, or taste, then it is considered large in quantity and is regarded as pure.

However, it is important to note that if the impurities in the water are visible, regardless of the water volume, the water will still be considered impure and unclean unless the body of water is so large that draining or replacing it is not feasible. This exception applies to situations where the water body is exceptionally vast and it is practically impossible to eliminate or replace the water due to its size or other limitations.

If the water separates from the place of impurity while it is still altered, there is no difference of opinion regarding its impurity. However, if the separation occurs before the impurity ceases to exist and the water is not altered, and it is less than two Qullahs (pitchers), it is considered impure based on the contamination of a small amount of water simply by encountering the impurity.  

And whatever separates from the place of impurity while still undergoing a change due to it, then both it and the place are considered impure. Even if it has been washed seven times unless the filth no longer exists in its place (e.g. private parts).

If the water separates from the place of impurity after the impurity has ceased to exist, and the separated water remains unchanged, then it is considered pure water, whether the place of impurity lies on the ground or the human body. This ruling implies that the moisture left on the private parts after removing the filth is pure and it does not make the body or clothes impure. However, such unaltered pure water is not considered purifying in the madhab.

Water left over after a woman’s ritual purification

In pre-Islamic Arabia, the pagan Arabs held various superstitious beliefs and practices regarding ritual purification. One such belief was related to the water left over in a container after a woman completed her menstrual period. According to their belief, this water was considered impure and unsuitable for the purification of others.

These superstitious beliefs were not based on any divine revelation or rational understanding but were rooted in the customs and traditions of the pagan Arab society. They held these beliefs as part of their cultural and religious practices without any factual basis.

However, with the advent of Islam and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), these pagan beliefs and practices were abolished. Islam brought a rational and comprehensive understanding of purity and impurity, based on divine guidance and reason.

In Islamic teachings, the water left over in a container after a woman completes her menstrual period is not considered impure or contaminated. It remains pure and suitable for the purification of others. Islam emphasizes the importance of cleanliness and purity, but it rejects the baseless superstitions and customs that were prevalent in the pre-Islamic era.

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him):

One of the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) took a bath from a large bowl. The Prophet (peace be upon him) wanted to perform ablution or take from the water left over. She said to him: O Prophet of Allah, verily I was sexually defiled. The Prophet said: Water not defiled.

[Sunan Abu Dawood: H#68]

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) emphasized the importance of rationality, common sense, and adherence to divine guidance in matters of purity and impurity. He taught that impurity lies in the
actual physical impurities and not in the residual water left over from a woman’s menstrual purification.

Therefore, in Islam, the water left over in a container after a woman completes her menstrual purification is considered pure and can be used for the ritual purification of others without any reservations or superstitions. The same ruling applies to all types of ritual purification.

However, whether a man is allowed to utilize the leftover water after a woman’s ritual purification? There are two narrations reported by Imam Ahmad. The more famous report says that a man is not allowed to utilize the leftover water after a woman’s ritual purification. Most of the later Hanbali scholars go with this view.

This ruling is based on the following Hadith:

Hakam bin Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Apostle (May Allah shower His blessings and peace on him) forbade a man to make ablution by the water left after the purification of a woman.

[Musnad Imam Ahmad:H.1801, Sunan Abu Dawood:H.82]

The reason for the fame of this ruling might be its uniqueness, while no school of law follows this ruling, except Hanabilah.

In our understanding, the text of the aforementioned Hadith is mudhtarib (confused), and it contradicts the authentic Hadiths narrated by well-versed companions like Abdullah ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him). His aunty Maymonah (may Allah be pleased with her) was the Prophet’s wife. He narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) took a bath with the water left over by Maymonah (may Allah be pleased with her).

[Sahih Muslim: H#323, Sunan ibn Majah: H#372]

Abdullah ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) passed a ruling based on this Hadith for the permissibility of ritual purification for a man with leftover water by a woman. [Nayl al-Awtar]

Some prominent Hanbali scholars including Imam ibn Aqil, Imam Abu al-Khattab, and Imam Abu al-Barakat Majd al-Din ibn Taymiyyah followed the ruling of permissibility. 

[Al-Insaf

The Hadith of prohibition might be taken as Makruh Tanzihi to avoid confusion. So it is better for a man and an effeminate to avoid utilizing the leftover water for ritual purification by a woman, as described earlier.

 

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