4 Rabi al-Awwal 1444

Purity – Umdatul Ahkaam – Part 4

By Admin
In Articles
Aug 13th, 2015

Narrated Abu Hurairah, May Allah be pleased with him: Allah’s Messenger salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “If anyone of you performs ablution, he should put water in his nose and then blow it out and whoever cleans his private parts with stones should do so with odd numbers. And whoever wakes up from his sleep should wash his hands before putting them in the water for ablution, because nobody knows where his hands were during sleep.”

Now this Hadith mentioned three important topics. First is the ruling on what is known as al-Istinshaq (sniffing water through the nose) and al-Istinthar (blowing water out of the nose). What is the meaning of Istinshaq? It is inhaling, and the Hadith clearly states that whoever performs wudhu, he should not inhale, blow. So how can I blow water before inhaling? So this is understood from the hadith and other Hadiths. So part of washing the face is that you bring water and you inhale the water up your nostrils, through breathing it. Of course, do not overdo it or you will drown! However, it is sufficient to enter the water into this area and then you blow it using your breath again. And this is a Sunnah and the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam is telling us that when you perform wudhu, you should do this when doing the wudhu, but before that we also have in another Hadith ‘rinsing the mouth’, known as al-Madumada. What is that? It is getting water, putting it in your mouth, turning it around your mouth to clean whatever there is, and then spitting it out. Therefore, we have this rinsing and we have inhaling and blowing your nose; part of the Sunnah. The majority of the scholars say that they are Sunnah, not mandatory. Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal says that it is mandatory. Why?-because throughout the life of the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, the Companions never reported to us that he did not do it. On the contrary, and in the Hadith of Laqit ibn Saburah, may Allah be pleased with him, the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam told him to exaggerate in rinsing the mouth and blowing the nose unless you are fasting. He told him to exaggerate or ‘baligh’, that is, do it a lot, which means that it is something that is mandatory.


Now the first part is the ruling on rinsing your mouth and inhaling the water and blowing it in wudhu. Of course, we know that part of the etiquettes is that we do it when we wake up from sleep. We have to blow our nose three times when we wake up from sleep because the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam told us that the Shaitan sleeps on our nostrils so ‘when you wake up, you inhale and blow the water three times so that you can remove all of these traces.’


The second part of the Hadith is, ‘whoever cleans his private parts with stones should do so with odd numbers’. Now people say, “Cleaning your private parts with stones? What is this? Are we living in a cave in Bora-Bora? What are you talking about?’’ Well listen, when was this Hadith said; how many centuries ago?-15 centuries ago. Moreover, where were the people, Europe or in the US or in Paris? Did they have the luxuries that we have now? No, so this is how the people used to clean themselves. Moreover, it is amazing to find a religion that tells you “whenever you urinate or defecate, it is part of your worshipping Allah Azza wa Jall that you cleanse yourself, that you purify yourself, that you clean yourself’’. I do not know about other religions, I know only about mine but I can see by practice that people do not clean themselves. If you work {some country that is un-Islamic} in the laundry, it is a filthy job! Just look at the underwear of people (without being noticed, because then they will think that you are a pervert)! However, because this is your job, you have to wash it. You will find filth! not with the Muslims-never with the Muslims! The Muslims’ underwear is always as clean as it can be. Why?-it is because it is part of the religion. I cannot pray with traces of urine or traces of feces in my clothes. Islam tells us that it is part of your religion to clean yourself. It is part of your religion to always be in top form and part of that is when you answer the call of nature, you purify yourself. Purifying yourself has two ways: either by using hard substances such as stones, tissue, toilet papers anything that is hard or by washing it with water- and this is the top way of cleaning yourself: by using water.


Now it was reported in Sahih Imam Muslim that the Jews were making fun of Salman al Farisi, may Allah be pleased with him, saying: “Your Prophet taught you everything, even how to defecate, even how to answer the call of nature. What is this?’’ They are making fun. They are saying that your Prophet taught even this! Salman did not even pay attention to them. He is teaching them our religion. He said, “Yes, the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam forbade us from facing or giving our back to the Qiblah, to the Ka’bah, when answering the call of nature. And he told us not to touch our private parts with our right hand and he forbade us from cleaning ourselves with our right hand or to clean ourselves with less than 3 stones. And whenever we want to stop, we should make that on odd numbers.’’ Islam is a religion that controls everything in your life; it tells you everything you need to know. So in this Hadith the Prophet salla Allah alaihi wa sallam is telling us that when you use Istijmar, which is hard substances, you should use it on what?- on Witr. What is the meaning of Witr? It means odd numbers. And what is the word for even numbers in Arabic? It is Shaf’. “Was shaf’yi wal watr”-“And By the even and the odd” {Surat al-Fajr, ayah 3}.Witr is one, three, five, seven, nine, eleven, etc. And Allah azza wa jal is Witr; One who has no second. That is why the Prophet salla Allah alaihi wa sallam said, “O people of the Quran, pray Witr because Allah azza wa jal is Witr and He loves Witr.’’ So the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam is saying in Arabic “Wa man istaj ma ra fal witr.’’ Meaning: whoever uses hard substances like toilet paper, stones etc., he should use it in odd numbers. So if you cleaned yourself by four stones, use a fifth. If you cleaned yourself by six wipes using toilet papers, use the seventh. You have to have it on that, on Witr. Is it necessary? No, it is ‘recommended.’ What about when we use water? If I wash myself, do I use odd numbers? Scholars say no, because water purifies by itself, it cleans by itself and it is not a number of wipes. When urinating, it is simply enough to pour water after you finish urinating. When defecating, it is different, you have to wipe and you have to follow the sequence that we have just mentioned.


The last and the third issue is that the Prophet salla Allah alaihi wa sallam tells us that whenever you wake up, you have to wash your hands before putting them in the bucket and utensils. Now one would say, “What is this? What is this?’’ Before, centuries ago, people did not have faucets; they did not have tap water. What did they have? They used to fetch water from the well and put it in a container or in a bucket and used this water. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam is telling us: when you wake up do not insert your hands into the bucket. Rather before you do that, wash your hands from the bucket itself, without putting them inside and then, once your hands are washed, you can do that (insert them in) and take from the bucket as much as you want. Why?-the Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Because you do not know where your hands spent the night.’’ One would say, “What?-I do know; my hands were there next to me. What do you mean?” The answer is that while being asleep, you do not know where your hands go. You might touch your private parts. You might touch something that is impure and it would not be wise to pollute the water by inserting your hands in it. So, is this the only reason? Yes and there might be another reason: you do not know what the Shaitan did with your hands. We know that he sleeps on the peoples’ nostrils. What does he do with their hands-we do not know. A person may ask, “What about if a person goes to bed and before he sleeps he puts a glove and he ties the glove and he goes to sleep and when he wakes up, he takes off the glove. Does he have to wash his hands or can he put his hands in the water?’’ The scholars say, “The ruling stays as it is. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam told you to wash your hands, so you have to wash your hands.’’


This is, more or less, what we need to know. The most important thing is the issue of inhaling water and cleansing your nose by blowing it.

Questions and Answers


Question: Sheikh, I just wanted to clarify with you the ruling on combining intentions in Ibadah. We have heard many of the scholars say that Fard and Mustahab intentions cannot be combined, so I just wanted to know the general principle of combining intentions in Ibadah.

Answer: Well, the general principle is that if a particular Ibadah is supposed to be done in a certain fashion and another Ibadah, that shares the exact motion and the exact movement and the exact name can be performed, then both can be performed as one and you get the reward for both. For example, I go to the Masjid after the azan of Fajr and I know that I cannot sit until I pray the two rakahs for greeting the Masjid, ‘Tahiyyat al-Masjid’. Moreover, I know that part of the Sunnah is to pray two rakahs ‘Sunnat al-Fajr’, the voluntary two rakahs of Fajr. Do I pray them separately two plus two? The scholars say no, pray only two rakahs with the intention of Sunnat al-Fajr. The Tahiyyat al-Masjid is gone. How about if I have something to pray for Allah azza wa jal, for example Salat al-Istikharah. Can I pray two rakahs intending that these are Sunnat al-Fajr and Tahiyyat al-Masjid and al-Istikharah? There is no reason not to. The Prophet salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Whenever one of you wants to do something, you should pray two rakahs other than the Faridah” (two rakahs of al-Istikharah). In the above example, I am not praying Faridah; rather I am praying Nafl. Hence, we can combine the intentions like this.

Likewise, in Tawaaf al-Ifadah, which is a pillar of Hajj (they call it Tawaaf al-Ifadah, Tawaaf al-Ziarah, Tawaaf al-Hajj; it is all the same thing). It is supposed to be on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah, on the day of Eid, but you have the option of doing it on the 11th, 12th or 13th. So, if someone does not do it on the 10th and before he moves out from the Holy Shrine, leaving khalas, he finished everything. On the 12th or on the 13th, he offers Tawaaf al-Ifadah and immediately leaves. Do we say to him, “Go back and do your Tawaaf al-Wadah (Farewell Tawaaf).” No, the Tawaaf al-Wadah has been joined in with Tawaaf al-Ifadah because they have the same characteristics, etc.

If you fast on the Day of Arafah, Allah will forgive you the sins of how many years?-two years. However, it is voluntary. This is why Sheikh ibn Uthaimeen, may Allah have mercy on his soul, said that if you have days missed in Ramadan and you fast one of the days missed in Ramadan on Arafah, you get both rewards. One day of Ramadan has been fasted and two years of forgiveness have also been attained and Allah azza wa jal knows best.


Question: My question is regarding wudhu, regarding some paint spot on your hand or something. Since I belong to a construction industry in India, I have seen that most of the construction projects are in remote places. Indian working patterns do not sanction times for Salah and Indian working laborers are not offered clothes as per international labor laws by providing them with masks, body cover, etc. There are thousands of laborers whose work is painting the big shades, etc. and they have many sprays of paint on them, the schedule is very tight, and the laborers are very poorly paid. So how can they manage? Removing each stain will be difficult, and it may even cost them the job, etc.

Answer: This, Akhi, is an issue of belief. A worker, no matter how low his salary is, no matter how difficult the conditions are and no matter how rigid the rules and regulations regarding taking a break are, has to set up his priorities. As a Muslim, what is your priority?-to pray. As a Muslim, what is your priority?-to obey Allah azza wa jal. If someone else is telling you not to pray or not to obey Allah azza wa jal or not to do what Allah azza wa jal commands you to do, who do you follow? The answer will give you an indication as to what will happen to this individual on the Day of Judgement. We have to set the record straight by us Muslims being on the top of our fields, our professions, whether we are laborers or professionals like doctors, engineers, etc. By being on the top, we can ask for favors. However, if we are lazy, if we are not doing our job on time or in the best way, then when we ask people to give us 5 minutes break to pray, they will not give us. Well, tough luck but you have to stop and pray and you have to clean yourself because this is the religion of Allah azza wa jal. If you give in, if you surrender, if you are weak or if you compromise your religion, then this will happen in fasting as well. You will not be allowed to fast or you will say to yourself, “Oh, I have to work, so I will skip fasting!” This will happen with your Hijab if you are a sister, they will tell you to take off the Hijab. This will happen with your modesty, you may have to compromise, for example; your boss may like you if you are a woman or your boss may be a woman. You have to do this and you have to do that. When do you draw the line? When do you say, “No, I can’t! This is my religion.” You have to know when certain things have to be done and, in sha Allah, whenever there is a will, there is a way. Whenever you have full trust in Allah azza wa jal and you depend on Him, Allah azza wa jal will make a way out for you as Allah azza wa jal says in the Quran, “Whoever Fears Allah, Allah will make a way out for him.” Not only that but also, “He will grant him provisions from sources he could never imagine.” This is in the Quran. Now, someone says, “Yes, but I get my check from my manager.” No, you get your check from Allah. Depend on Him and He will give you whatever you need and Allah knows best.


Question: If I entered the Masjid when the Iqamah is being given for the Fajr, and it is Fard, can I intend to pray the greeting of the Masjid along with the Fajr? Or if it is a Fard act that I am doing, does that mean that I can’t combine it with anything else?

Answer: It is true that with Fard you cannot combine anything else. Therefore, if you go to the Fajr prayer and the Iqamah is given, you have to join the congregation and pray Fajr without any other intention. I have seen many brothers here in the Masjids, when the imam is reading in the first rakah of Fajr, they do not join in; they go and pray two rakahs Sunnah of Fajr. Their prayer is invalid and they are sinful. The Prophet Muhammad salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Whenever the prayer has been called for, there is no prayer except the Faridah (the one that is being prayed).” After you finish the Fajr prayer, pray your two rakahs of Sunnah but you cannot join intentions with the Faridah; Fajr is Fajr. You cannot combine Fajr (or any other Fard prayer) with any other prayer.


Question: While watching news channel or any other channel, if the anchor is a lady, so…?

Answer: Ok, I get your question. The brother is asking, “By looking at the opposite sex, does it nullify my wudhu?” This is one of the beauties of Fiqh; once you master something, you do not need anyone to tell you anything about that particular subject. The things that nullify wudhu are the five that I have mentioned to you: passing wind, urinating, defecating (or anything that comes out of your private parts), sleeping and eating camel’s meat. So, if someone says, “Okay Sheikh, what is the ruling on smoking? Does it nullify my wudhu?” Talk to the hand; meaning these are the five. Is smoking there? No, then khalas, talk to the hand but this does not mean that smoking is Halal. You cannot say, “Okay, Alhamdulillah, if it doesn’t nullify my wudhu, give me a cigarette!” No, it is Haram, but it does not nullify your wudhu. One says, “Ok Sheikh, I performed wudhu when I wasn’t wearing any clothes. I was in the bathroom alone, I was nude and I performed wudhu. Does it nullify my wudhu?” No. One says “What about touching women? Does it nullify wudhu?” Ah, this is a dispute among scholars; we will come to that in sha Allah. The most authentic opinion is no, it does not. “Ok, what about touching my private parts?” Again, this is something that is an issue of dispute among scholars and we will come to that in sha Allah. Therefore, by knowing these things, anything else that comes, you can easily answer yourself. Now, to answer your question, yes, looking and watching or seeing something of the opposite sex is not permissible unless under the guidelines and exceptions that we have in our religion; but watching a film or watching a TV series is not permissible. However, it does not affect your wudhu, unless you see something so exciting that something comes out of your body; you discharge something. Then, in this case, it falls under the five categories and accordingly, you have to make a new wudhu and Allah knows best.

The Quotations from the Qur’an and Hadiths in this Article are a rough translation of the meanings of the original text!

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