How Should I Clean Filth?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


My dress became stained with (filth) najas. I only had a bucket of water and a cup to clean the dress. I placed the cup in the water, scooped some water, and poured it onto the stained area. Then, I used my hand to scrub the area and remove the stain. After that, I used the same hand to pick up the cup and placed it back in the bucket to get more water. Therefore, the hand I used to scrub the najas came into contact with the cup and water.

In this situation, did the cup and water become najas?

How can I clean appropriately in this situation without spreading najas?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

Water only becomes contaminated by filth if one has seen (there is evidence) that the filth came into contact with water. Your hands may have been wet with used water, not necessarily contaminated water, especially since the water was constantly in motion (flowing), and Allah knows best. [Nawawi, al-Majmu‘]

Remove as much of the filth substance as possible, remove the remaining traces with flowing water, and use a cleaning agent if needed. The surface is considered clean if two of three traces (color, taste, and smell) are removed, and Allah knows best. [Ibid.]

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.