How Can I Be Sure to Have Purified My Body?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi

Question

I feel like I have paint on my toenails because I painted the garden around two months ago I feel like it’s waswasa because I look deeply into the nails and skin around it with a flashlight. Still, I don’t know how to stop this constant feeling. Is there help that can be provided?

Answer

In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

You don’t have to worry about this matter anymore as you are confident in having cleaned your nails and skin, and reaching certainty in this matter is not asked of us.

When it comes to purity, the criteria to apply to know if your ritual bath( ghusl) was valid, if your wudu was valid, if you have removed from body impurities or physical barriers … is to have a strong presumption that you have performed these things correctly. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Certitude to thoroughly wash your body is not a condition to deem your Ghusl valid. Certitude to have removed the paint on your nails is not a condition to consider your Wudu and Ghusl valid. What is needed for the validity of those is simply for you to be confident that you have performed them correctly and that it is farfetched (but possible) that they are invalid. This confidence is enough to make these actions valid, and we are not required to do more.

Allah, Most High, says: “It is not Allah’s Will to burden you, but to purify you and complete His favor upon you, so perhaps you will be grateful.” [Quran, 5:6]

You are confident in having removed the paint from your nails. This is enough for the validity of your worship. Your mind is asking now from you to reach certainty in this matter. This certainty is not needed for the validity of your worship. And since you are worshipping Allah, Most High, not your mind, there is no need for you to ponder this matter anymore. You now must move on and continue to strive to worship your Lord as He has asked you to do so, not as your mind is asking you to do so.

The Prophet  (blessings and peace be upon him)  stated: “None makes the religion difficult except that it overcomes him. So, aim for what is right, stick to the moderate way.” [Bukhari]

The way of the Companions (Allah be pleased with them) of the Prophet (Blessings and Peace be upon him) was to be lax in reaching external purity, and they would exert all their efforts in purifying their hearts. [Ghazali, Ihya Ulum al-Din]

Allah, Most High, says: “Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship.” [Quran, 2:185]

And Allah knows best.

[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Sufyan Qufi is an advanced seeker of knowledge, originally from Algeria, who grew up in France. He began searching far and wide for answers to the fundamental questions of life and was disappointed at the answers he found.

Then he connected with various traditional teachers and gradually connected with SeekersGuidance. He embarked on his journey of learning through the various teachers at SeekersGuidance, including his mentor Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

He studied numerous texts in Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith, and other areas with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other teachers, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Sha’ar, Shaykh Ali Hani, and others.

He is an active instructor at SeekersGuidance and answers questions through the SeekersGuidance Answers Service.