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Types of Pollution (najasah):

First of all, we must know that pollution [najasah] is of two types:

  1. That which is observable and perceptible; and
  2. That which is mandatory, that is, which enjoins the performance of ablution or taking of ritual bath for purification.

The first type includes the following matters:

  1. Dead animals: If a Halal cattle dies without ritual slaughter [dhibh] it will be regarded as dead and Similarly, if a live haram animal is slaughtered it will not become halal but will still remain dead and haram. Allah (T’ala) has commanded:

قُلْ لا أَجِـدُ فِي مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ مُحَرَّماً عَلَى طَاعِمٍ يَطْعَمُهُ إِلاَّ أَنْ يَكُونَ مَيْتَةً أَوْ دَماً مَسْفُوحاً أَوْ لَحْمَ خِنزِيرٍ فَإِنَّهُ رِجْسٌ أَوْ فِسْقاً أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ فَمَنْ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلا عَادٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ (الأنعـام145)

(Translation of meaning) [“Say: I find not in that which is revealed unto me aught prohibited to an eater that he eat thereof, except it be carrion, or blood poured forth, or swine flesh—for that verily is foul—or the abomination which was immolated to the name of other than Allah. But whoso is compelled [thereto], neither craving nor transgressing, [for him] lo! Your Lord is Forgiving, Merciful” (Al-An’am: 145)]

The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has proclaimed: “Two types of blood (the liver and the spleen) and two types of dead body (the fish and the locusts) have been made halal for us” (Ahmad).

  1. Blood: Any quantity of blood flowing or pouring out of a body whether of an animal or a human and similarly pus will be regarded as filthy.
  1. Swine: This animal is absolutely filthy and impure. Likewise, its bones and skin are also impure. Allah (Ta’ala) has declared:

 

إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ الْمَيْتَةَ وَالدَّمَ وَلَحْمَ الْخِنْزِيرِ (البقرة : 173)

(Translation of meaning) [“He hath forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swine flesh” (Al-Baqarah: 173)].

  1. The vomit  [puke] and the urine and faeces of human beings are filth. The exception is that if a suckling infant who has not started eating urinates water should be sprinkled over the spot to purify it. Once Umme Qais (RadhiAllahu Anha) came to see the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) with her infant child. The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) took him in his lap and he then urinated on him. The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) called for water and sprinkled it over the affected spot and did not wash the whole garment (Muslim). But if a female infant urinates the whole garment will have to be washed (Ibn Majah). Urination and defecation are calls of nature. The Islamic religion has given certain instructions regarding them to keep neat and clean. These are convenient and easy to follow. For instance, a suckling mother should keep herself clean from her infant’s urine and faeces. In the same way, a meat seller should avoid getting touched with animal blood or its sprinkles. The cattle keepers and merchants should try to keep clean of the urine, dung and blood of their cattle. However, if there is a slight pollution which is invisible or unobservable it is waived. In matters of purity and pollution Islam adopts a moderate approach and does not inflict unnecessary encumbrances upon the people. Once the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) passed by two graves. He then observed that the inmates were undergoing torture not for any great sins. One is being punished because he did not take precaution against being polluted by urine drops and the other because he had the habit of backbiting (Al-Bukhari & Muslim).
  1. Wadi: it is a thick fluid which comes out after urination. One should take care of it. He should not wash his genital until he is satisfied that he is rid of all fluid. However, if perchance it sticks to a garment one must wash only the affected part.
  1. Madhi: It is a thin fluid which is secreted naturally as a result of foreplay. In this case simple performance of ablution [wudhu] is enough for purification and full bath is not necessary. If some part of the garment is touched by it that part should be washed or sprinkled with water.
  1. Semen: Ejaculation of semen [mani] as a result of sexual intercourse or nocturnal emission (wet dreams) necessitates full ritual bath for purification. If it touches the garment that must be washed. However, the jurists have differed over the question of purity or pollution of the semen. Some say it is pure because it is the very medium of the procreation of man. Others hold it to be impure. If it is wet on the garment it must be washed. If it is dry it must be rubbed off. Hadrat Ayesha (RadhiAllahu Anha) narrates that she used to rub off the dry semen from the garment of the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and wash it if it was wet (Dar Qutni, Bazzaar). In any case it is better and more akin to nature to wash it away.
  1. The urine and refuse of animals whose meat is haram: It is narrated of Hadrat Ibn Masud (RadhiAllahu Anhu) that once the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked him to bring three pieces of stone for his toilet. He brought two pieces of stone and one piece of dry dung. The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) took the stones but rejected the dung saying it is impure (Bukhari).
  1. Canine saliva: The saliva of the mouth of a dog is impure. That is why if a dog puts its mouth in a vessel it must be washed seven times (Al-Bukhari & Muslim). According to another narration, the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ordered that if a dog puts its mouth in a vessel it must be washed seven times, and the first time it should be rubbed with clay (Muslim, Ahmad). One should be careful about keeping dogs. It is permitted to keep them for protection or for gaming. But is not good to keep them as a pet because the risk of getting polluted by them is always there.
  1. Liquor: All liquors and intoxicants are impure and, therefore, absolutely haram. Allah (Ta’ala) has ordained:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالأَنصَابُ وَالأَزْلامُ رِجْسٌ مِنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ (90)

(Translation of meaning) [“O ye who believe!  Liquor [Strong drink]  and games of chance and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan’s handiwork. Leave it aside in order that ye may succeed” (Al-Maedah: 90)]. Since all liquors are impure and Satanic, their production, consumption, extraction,  purchase and sale are all prohibited. Modern medical science has unravelled the evils and harms of the intoxicants. Diseases caused by them are numerous and most dangerous. Thus modern science has accepted not only the truth of Islamic teachings but also has testified them.

Water is the medium to get purification from pollution. But not all kinds of water can beget purification. It is, therefore, essential to discuss the nature of water that can be  used as a medium of purification.

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