Thursday, 25 August 2011

Purification: What are Impurities?

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah!

The salat (proper prayer) is invalid without purification, thus our Path requires taharah as a pre-condition for the validation of salat no matter whether it is in the purification of body, clothes, or the places of ritual.

Ok, this is technical, but this is some portions of religious science. What is طهارة taharah? Taharah basically means cleaning or purification. Terminologically it refers to an act of purifying ourselves, our clothes, and places from حدث hadath and نجس najas. To purify ourselves from hadath, we would have to perform ritual washing like ghusl, wudhu', and tayammum which involves certain body parts or whole external body parts where water could reach. To purify ourselves from najas, we purify ourselves by eliminating filth at our body, clothes, and related places.

Before that, let me explain what does hadath and najas mean according to my understanding. If I am wrong please knowledgeable brothers and sisters who pass by help me correcting them.  I am here learning with dearly brothers and sisters too. May Allah grants everyone wisdom, insyaallah.


Hadath means impurity caused by certain events. Hadaths are divided into two which are:

Hadath al-Akbar

حدث الأكبر hadath al-akbar means that the impurity is of major events and need extra care. It requires such act like غسل ghusl. For ghusl, we have many types of ghusl. Some are سنة sunnah (optional) while some are واجب wajib (obligatory). Obligatory ghusl for example is required for a woman who had finished her menstrual term. It is also required for both male and female after intimate intercourse with or without ejaculation and others. Without performing this obligatory ghusl, a person could not be in contact with holy verses and could not perform salat.   

Hadath al-Asghar

حدث الأصغر hadath al-asghar means impurity caused by minor events. It needs only minor ghusl which is وضوء wudhu' or ablution. Before we perform salat, we are required to perform wudhu' too. Such impurity in this event is like farting. We will talk more about this in wudhu' section if Allah permits us, His Will.


We have few classifications on this matter. This ritual impurity also need us to perform specific cleaning according to our schools of jurisprudence. We could not perform salat or touching scripture without removing these ritual impurities from our body, clothes, or places to perform ritual like salat. There are three kinds of najas. We may divide it to another post too as not to make it haywire as some school of jurisprudence may differ with the other in non-principal matters. This is as to make sure that we emphasize only our school of jurisprudence is right will others are wrong without checking the basis of others' reliance.


So, these are some terminologies that we use in our everyday life. Sometimes, non-Arabic speaking people could not understand them. So, we try to translate them as possible as we can according to what we understood from our previous learning. Anything to add please kindly suggest it here.

If we could translate everything since the past, we would certainly do that even into Greek or Latin though it may take time to learn those languages as to learn a language is also to learn the philosophies of life and languages' worldview which are of course varies from a region to another.

Just to make sure that some who could not understand get better understanding in term of diversity in the world since world is divided to West and East and standard of the world is always being tagged to the West. I also mean diversity to our faithful brothers and sisters, not only to non-believers. Don't just nod our head when we heard about something. But do investigation and further studies. Just like our brother in soul, Salman al-Farisi from the land of Persia who searched for something that he heard of. May Allah bless his soul.

Let us set up again our own standard from the smallest ones for example hygiene to the biggest one with sincerity toward Allah the Most Highest in our daily life. Not only emphasizing on physical hygiene but also spiritual hygiene with good conducts such as avoiding bribery, integrity, checking the quality of our family life through scriptural and prophetic tradition prescriptions, concern about others' soul through services like business and etc. If we just say that Islam will dominate this and that, we do not really perform any service to the God. Instead, that is not true at all. Allah asks us to spread mercy, love, peace, and brotherhood to every creature regardless they are visible or invincible.

How could we dominate others while the dominion of the universe is with Him? Service to the God part of it is through علوم 'uluum (sciences and knowledge), تمدن tamaddun (civilization), and آداب adaab (manner and art). This is also a reminder for me. Hope it helps me to rise up again :' 

Thus I end this humble post with prayers for mercy, peace, and love, amin!

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