Is Wudu or Ghusl Permissible from Rainwater or Water gathered in a Large Container?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question 

Is water collected in a water storage tank from a borehole or rain permissible to be used for wudhu and ghusl?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Performing Wudu with Rainwater

It is permissible to make Wudu from rainwater. Allah Most High says, “And We have sent down from the sky purifying water.” [Quran, 25:48]

Performing Wudu with Water Gathered in a Large Container

The principle regarding water is that it is pure until proven otherwise. Therefore, the water collected in a tank or large container is pure and can be used for wudu or ghusl. Note that if any impure substance mixes with the water, it may become impure due to the following considerations.

  • If the amount of water is small and any impure substance (e.g., urine, feces, blood, alcohol, etc.) comes in contact with it, it is impure and cannot be used for purification. [Shurubulali, Maraqi al-Falah]
  • If the amount of water is large, it will remain pure, despite any impurity coming in contact with it. However, if the impurity traces (i.e., smell, taste, or color) become visible in the water, the water is considered impure. [Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar]

Specifications of a Small Body of Water versus a Large Body of Water

A large body of water is ten cubits by ten surface areas. As per modern measurements, this equates to over 25 square meters in surface area. Also, the depth of the water, to be considered large, must be such that the surface beneath the water is not exposed when scooping out the water. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar]

Hope this helps
Allah A’lam

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.