What Should You Do If You Cannot Remove a Spot of Filth?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle


What should you do if you cannot remove a spot of filth? Also, does filth in the cracks of your feet affect wudu?


Thank you for your important question.


If a spot of filth is still visible after washing thoroughly, the item of clothing is considered pure. [Ba Fadl, al-Muqaddima al-Hadramiyya]

“Thoroughly” means scrubbing it three times. Many have added that one must use some form of detergent. [Ibn Hajar, Tuhfat al-Muhtaj]

As far as I understand, putting an item of clothing like a bloodstained shirt into the washing machine would fulfill the condition of washing “thoroughly”. Therefore, finding blood, etc., on an item of clothing washed among other clothes would not mean that you would have to re-wash anything else.

There is also no need to repeat any prayers prayed in clothes with such traces on them.

Barrier on Skin

Dead skin and dried sweat in the cracks of one’s skin do not affect one’s wudu. Caked oil and dirt do, so they would have to be removed in order for the wudu to be valid. (Bughyat al-Mustarshidin, Abd al-Rahman Mashhur)

There is a dispensation for people who work with their hands, such as mechanics and farmers. According to this position, dirt under their nails, etc., that is difficult to remove and accumulates on a regular basis is overlooked. (Bughyat al-Mustarshidin, Abd al-Rahman Mashhur; Muntaha al-Iradat, al-Bahuti) This is based on the verse of the Quran, “And never did We make for you any difficulty in religion.” [Quran, 22:78]

I pray this helps.
[Shaykh] Farid Dingle
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.