Do I Need to Clean the Impurities of a Dog and Does It Transfer by Touching?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


Is it necessary to clean dog impurities, and will it automatically transfer with sweat on hands? Recently I was with a friend who had a dog with him. He pets the dog, and it licked his hand right in front of me. After that, he touched a leather car seat and seatbelt with a wet hand with dog saliva.

If I follow the Hanafi madhab, then:

Is it necessary to clean these items? Do I have to clean only if traces are visible or every time there is moisture on the impurity/clean item? Does moisture/sweat always mean impurity has transferred?

How to clean the dog saliva from the leather seat and seatbelt? Can I wipe it once with a wet wipe, or how do I wash it off?

Is it necessary to wash it, or ok to sit on it as it has dried? Can I continue using the dry seat and seatbelt as long as I make sure to sit on it when my clothing is dry?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

A dog’s saliva is considered a heavy impurity (najasa ghaliza).

If it comes in contact with the place upon which one will pray, it is obligatory to remove it.

If it comes in contact with the clothing that one will pray in or their body, removing such impurity is obligatory if it is more than a 5cm surface area. This is because the validity of the prayer depends on it.

If it is 5cms or less in surface area, it is recommended to remove and somewhat disliked to leave, if one has the means to remove it.

Types of Impurity Regarding Transferal

For impurity to transfer from one place to another is not as simple as many think. Consider the following situations:

Wet Impurities

If a wet impurity, such as a dog’s saliva, comes in contact with something – that object is impure. Note the key word here is ‘wet’, not mere moisture like that which would occur of the nose of the dog.

Wet impurities make them impure whatever they contact, whether that object is dry or wet.

Moist Impurities

The moisture found on the nose of the dog has the same ruling as its saliva (i.e., impure). If this moisture were to come in contact with something, that object would only be considered impure, if there is a visible moisture transfer onto that object.

For instance, if a dog rubs its nose on someone’s pants and a spot of moisture is visibly left behind on the pants, the impurity has transferred. If there is no visible spot, the pants remain pure.

Moist impurities make impure any moist or wet object they come in contact with. As for dry things, impurity is based on the above conditions.

Dry Impurities

Dry impurities do not transfer to another object, whether wet or dry unless clear traces on the impurity (such as the color) are manifestly visible on the object of contact.

We can see from the above that the hand of the person is definitely impure by the dog licking it. This is a wet impurity contacting a dry surface. If immediately after the dog lick his hand, he touches the seat belt with a hand made wet by dog saliva, the impurity once again travels.

However, if some time elapsed between the two events, the saliva likely dried on his hand before touching the seatbelt, and the seatbelt remains pure. As this is a dry-to-dry scenario.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best

[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.