What Is the Ruling Regarding Bird Droppings?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi


Please explain the entire ruling on bird droppings. Is there a distinction between dry and wet? How does it impact the purity of the clothing worn for prayer? Are all bird droppings regarded the same? Are the rulings consistent across all four schools of thought?


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

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

The rulings related to the dropping of birds differ from school to school.

Here is a summary of the rulings related to the dropping of birds according to the Hanafi school:

Birds are of two types: those that defecate while flying and those that only defecate on the ground (because they don’t fly in the first place).

Birds That Only Defecate on the Ground

As for birds that only defecate on the ground, such as chickens and ducks unable to fly, their droppings are deemed to be severe filth. This means that a prayer with more than 5 grams of solid droppings on your clothes, body, or place of prayer is invalid. The ruling is the same if these droppings cover a circle with a diameter of more than 5 cm if they are liquid. You need to wash it with water or any other liquid that will remove the body of this filth to be able to pray a valid prayer. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Praying with this amount (i.e., 5 grams for solids or 5 cm diameter for liquids) or less is disliked. Nevertheless, your prayer is still valid. [Ibid]

Birds That Only Defecate in the Air

As for birds that defecate in the air, they are two types. Those that are edible according to Islam and those that are not.

Edible Birds

The droppings of edible birds, such as pigeons that defecate in the air, are pure. Regardless of the amount affecting your clothes or body, your prayer will be valid. [Ibid]

Non-edible Birds

The droppings of non-edible birds that defecate in the air, such as falcons and eagles, are deemed to be light filth. Your prayer will remain valid as long as this filth doesn’t cover that one-fourth of your body or clothes.  [Ibid]

Note: Both light and severe filth render a small body of water filthy, even if a small amount of this filth affects the water. [Ibid]

An exception is made for wells: the droppings of non-edible birds that defecate in the air won’t affect the purity of the water in the well because of the hardship of protecting it. [Ibid]

Please see this answer to learn the edible and the non-edible birds:
What Animals Are Halal and Haram to Eat in the Hanafi School?

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.