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What substances are impure (najis)?

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

This is a translation of the section on what is filth (najasa) and what is pure from Tadrib Al-Salik, by Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Aal Mubarak, one of the great Maliki scholars from Ahsaa, Arabia (d. 1360 AH). Tadrib Al-Salik is a summary of Aqrab Al-Masalik by Imam Ahmed Dardir (d. 1204 AH) which is one of the great summaries and expansions of the seminal text of the Maliki school, Mukhtasar Khalil by Imam Khalil Ibn Ishaq Al-Jundi.

Najasa, or filth, is an attribute of certain substances. There are rulings for these substances, such as it being impermissible to eat these substances, to buy and sell them, to pray when they stick to the body (even if the substance of the filth is removed), clothes, or the place where one places their limbs during prayer. The ruling of being affected by filth (hukm ul khabath) is only lifted by pure water. However, in times of need, such as in cases where it is difficult to remove the filth such as someone whose occupation or life is constantly dealing with filth, such as a butcher, surgeon, or a breastfeeding mother, the obligation to remove the filth is lifted.

This following translation is only to clarify what substances are najasa. As for the excuses for when the prohibition to buy/sell najasa is lifted, or when one is excused from cleaning the najasa and are permitted to pray with it on their body or clothes, and other times where the rulings for najasa are lifted, these will require separate posts for each different situation. The words in parenthesis are my own to help clarify the text.

To Proceed:

Imam Abdul Aziz Aal Mubarak, may Allah have mercy on him and reward him says:

  • Every intoxicant that is a liquid is filth.
  • And what is broken off from the parts of a land animal that has flowing blood before it is slaughtered (such as the foot of a cow broken off before the cow was slaughtered), other than sweat, mucus, tears, and saliva.
  • When it dies, then all of its parts are impure except for the hair, fur, wool, down feathers, (which are pure even) if they were separated from it living or dead.
  • Among filth is: black bile, pus, and sanguinopurulent (the mixture of blood and pus in a wound).
  • And blood, even if it is from a fish, fly, or lice.
  • And pre-seminal fluid, prostatic fluid, and semen from every animal.
  • And urine and feces from a prohibited [to eat] animal, or disliked animal, and permissible animals if it uses filth even if it is just probable.
  • And (all the above listed excretions) from humans except the Prophets (whose excretions are all pure, as established by proofs from the Qur’an and Sunnah).
  • And milk of the prohibited (to eat) animal.
  • And rotting eggs.
  • And vomit and bile, and in their souring/acidification, there is a difference of opinion (whether it is impure or not).
  • And everything aside from what is mentioned is pure.

And Allah knows best.

Translated by Uthman Qureshi

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