At-Taharah [Purification]

The Islamic Shari’ah takes care of all aspects of the human life, including that of Taharah [purification]. It makes the Taharah incumbent on every Muslim, ordering him to purify himself and to get rid of the Najasat, for the purpose of performing particular ritual acts, such as the Tawaf [circumambulation] around the Ka'bah [in Mecca], the Salat, etc. For, the existence of Najasah on the body, the dress or the place of the Sujud, would render the Salat Batil [invalid].

The Najasat are defined, counted things, such as urine, faeces, blood, etc. Islam orders them to be removed, and the Muslim is to purify himself from them, in order to carry out the ritual Taharah. As getting rid of the Najasah realizes the religious Taharah for worshipping, it also preserves general health, helps in protecting the body against diseases and harmful microorganisms.

Taharah keeps the Muslim in good appearance and creates in him the love of purification and bodily cleanliness, which leads to having a pure heart and a clean conscience, and self-free from sins and wrongdoings.

What are the Najasat (Impurities)

The Najasat are defined, harmful objects. Islam commands us to remove them, and their places must be washed and purified. It makes this removal and purification a condition for the validity of some worshipping rituals. These Najasat are:

1&2. Urine and faeces: They are either of human beings or of animals whose meat is Haram to eat. As to the fish, insects, worms and the 1allil meat animals, such as sheep, chickens and the like, their urine and faeces are Tahir.

3&4. Dogs and pigs, except the sea types, with all their parts are Najis.

5. Intoxicants which are originally liquid, including beer.1

6. The Maytah [carrion] of human beings2 and animals, as well ac; parts amputated from living human and animal bodies, such as legs, ears, pieces of meat, etc. As to the maytah of insects, fish and worms, they are not Najis, but dirty.

Note: Every small thing or part separable from the pure (Tahir) animal or human body, such as the pi mples, shells, scales and dry skins are considered Tahir. And also the parts of the dead body, which are originally lifeless like the horn, tooth, hair, wool, feather, etc, are all considered Tahir. But as to the impure animal which is Najis Ayni, i.e. impure in itself, like the dog or the pig, every part of it is Najis (impure).

7. The semen, whether of human beings, birds or other animals,3 whose blood gushes out when slaughtered.

8. Blood, whether of human beings, birds or other animals whose blood gushes out when slaughtered, is Najis But the blood of insects, worms and fish as well as animals whose blood does not gush out when slaughtered, is Tahir.

The blood which remains in the slaughtered animal after the gushing out of the usual amount of blood by slaughtering, is Tahir, if no Najasah has touched it, such as the knife by which it was slaughtered.

9. The Kafir [disbeliever] other than the Kitabi [one who follows a Divine (revealed) religion]. As to the Kitabi, such as a Christian, he is Tahir, in the opinion of some Faqihs. But when we want to mix with him in having food and drinking water, we have to be sure of his purity (Taharah) from the outer Najasat, such as [eating] pork, [drinking] wine and from urine, etc.

10. The sweat of the Jallalah animals.4 These are the animals which are accustomed to eat human faeces. These are the Najasat from which one is to cleanse oneself by Tahir (pure) water in obedience of Allah's command, in order to become pure and clean for the performance of one's worshipping rituals, and to preserve one's health.

The Difference between the Najasat and Qadhurat [Qadharat]

The Najasat differ from the Qadharat (filthy things or filth) in a way that the Najasat are, as was formerly mentioned, particular materials, whose existence on one's body or clothing renders the Salat and the Tawaf around the Ka'bah Batil (invalid). Whereas the filthy or dirty things do not render the Salat and the Tawaf Batil, if they exist on the body or the dress.

Nevertheless, Islam dislikes filth, and persuades people to get rid of it. The Noble Prophet (s) censured the dirty person and described his appearance as to be ugly. He said: "How bad a dirty servant [of Allah] is!"

The Prophet (s) encouraged cleanliness and good appearance. He said: "Islam is clean, so be clean." Islam wants the Muslim to be clean and Tahir.

How does the Najasah Spread

The aforementioned Najasat do not affect other Tahir things, except through humidity which causes the Najasah to infiltrate and transfer from the Najasah to the Tahir object. But by touching dry Najasah, the Tahir object, such as the body, the dress or the utensils, will not become Najis.


Q1. Fill in the blank: The Najasah does not infiltrate from a Najis or a Mutanajjis object to the Tahir objects, except through infilterable..................................

Q2. Put the sign √ befor the correct statement and the sign X before the incorrect one.
a. Fish blood is Najis.

b. The faeces of birds and sheep are Tahir.

c. A dead sheep is Tahir.

Q3. Answer the following questions.
a. Why do we clean ourselves from the Najasat?

b. How does the Najasah spread?

  • 1. Some jurisprudents consider beer to be Tahir, though it is Haram.
  • 2. Human Maytah is considered Najis by the jurisprudents-who follow the teachings of Ahlul-Bayt (a.s.), and the followers of Abu Hanifah.
  • 3. Exceptional is the semen of the animals whose blood does not gush out when slaughtered. This is accepted by all sects except the Shafi’is, who take only the semen of dogs and pigs to be Najis. While the Hanbalis regard the only Najis semen to be that of the animals whose meat is lawful to eat.
  • 4. Some jurisprudents see that the sweat of the Jallalah animals is all Tahir, except that of the Jallalah camels which is Najs.