Is My Tap Water Pure Because It Smells?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi


The water that comes out of my water tap smells like chicken. My clothing, which was washed under the tap, also smells like chicken, and I know there is a chicken shop nearby that slaughters and sells chickens.

Because of this odor, is the water from my taps and washing machine still pure and purifying?


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

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

Even if this factory is slaughtering chickens without following the rules of Islamic ritual slaughter, you can assume that the water from your tap is pure because the “smell of chicken” doesn’t necessarily mean that there is the smell of meat or blood in the water. [al-Majalla]

The ruling above is based on the fact that Allah, Most High, has created the water available on earth as pure and purifying. Allah, Most High, says: “And He sent down rain from the sky to purify you.” [Quran, 8.11]

Using the following legal principle: “The basis is for things to remain as they were.” we can deduce that the water you are using is ritually pure because mere doubts regarding its purity being lifted are to be disregarded. [Ibn Nujaym, al-Ashbah wa al-Nazahir]

Practical Advice

Are you sure that the water is safe to drink? You should talk to local experts to help clear up this issue.

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.