Does a Wet Mop Used on a Bathroom Floor Spread Filth Wherever It is Used?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Sidi Tabraze Azam

Question: Regarding mopping impure floors, most public bathrooms are cleaned by mopping without first removing any filth on the ground. For a public bathroom one uses regularly, one often sees filth on the ground near the toilet and then sees a custodian wipe the entire bathroom floor with a wet mop. In such a case, is the floor filthy while it is still wet such that one’s shoes will become impure by stepping on the wet floor, or is this excused because of the difficulty in avoiding it?

This is a frequently an issue at my local masjid, and presumably is an issue at many other masajid as well. Moreover, the cleaning crew at my local masjid uses the same mops to wipe the hallway in front of the prayer hall, where one walks barefoot from the shoe area to enter the prayer hall. Is it problematic to walk over this area barefoot when it is still wet?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalaam Sidi,

If the traces of filth (color, taste and smell) are not apparent on one’s feet, one can assume purity. [Ala’ al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Alaiyya]

Over analysis is such issues is not called for; one does not have to look for filth around the toilets and then watch the cleaner “clean” the floor and subsequently put oneself into difficulty.

The Sahaba (May Allah be pleased with them all) were too busy to worry about such matters of filth and purification. Unless one is absolutely certain that this is the case, one should ignore any misgivings that occur and focus on what one came to the mosque for in the first place, namely, the prayer.

The sunna is to be easy going and cautious when it is called for.

And Allah knows best.


Tabraze Azam