How to Deal with Doubts When Washing Impurities?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi


With respect to obsessive misgivings (waswasa), keep in mind that the default assumption of all acts of worship is soundness and validity.

What is the clear meaning of soundness and validity? Does it mean the act of doing it? For example, if I had najasa on hand and I washed my hands, so washing my hands come under soundness and validity? Or I make sure water reaches every corner of my hand?

And while washing filth on hands, the water splashes back on my forearms and the basin is that water which splashes impure?


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

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

The legal principle mentioning that “the default assumption of all acts of worship is soundness and validity” means that as long as there is no clear proof that an act of worship (such as prayer, wudu, or fast) is not invalid, then this act of worship is valid. This means that mere doubts about the invalidity of an act of worship are to be ignored.

Thus when you have washed a hand affected by filth, you can assume that the filth has been removed and that you should ignore any doubts about traces of filth remaining in your hand.

Water splashing over you while washing a filthy hand is deemed pure as long as no traces of filth (color, smell, or taste) appear into it because you are using running water. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

You don’t have to smell or taste this water! Merely being confident that this water is free from the smell or the taste of this filth is enough to deem it pure. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

It is only in the case of still water that water becomes filthy by the mere presence of filth in it, regardless of the manifestation of its traces. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

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.