Do Clothes in a Washing Machine Become Impure When an Item With Dog Saliva Is Therein?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


Dog saliva had gotten onto a pair of trousers and was washed with other clothes in the washing machine. The clothes were only on for one cycle, and the filth area was not washed before this.

The clothes were washed by a non-practicing family member who doesn’t believe in the rule of washing dog saliva seven times, once with earth/detergent.

Has the impurity spread to the other clothes? Will I need to wash the trousers six more times or the whole load?

If a whole load of clothing is najis, how do I rectify this as the household uses the machine, and the family member won’t re-wash anything?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

There are differing views about the purity status of dogs and pigs. When one encounters situations such as the one described, it may be wiser to treat them according to the less strict views. According to these valid opinions, the single machine wash was sufficient to clean the trousers, and the other clothes remained clean. Allah knows best.

Are Dogs Clean?

Dogs, like pigs, are considered filth (najasa) in the Shafi’i School. [Nawawi, Minhaj al-Talibin]

Every living animal, even dogs, and swine, is physically pure in the Maliki school. [Jaziri, al-Fiqh ‘ala al-Madhahib al-Arba’a]

While the more conservative view is that of the Shafi’i School, the dispensation exists for those with difficulty preventing dog contamination. On condition that their prayer, with its prerequisites, is considered valid in the Maliki School and Allah knows best. [Keller, Reliance of the Traveler]

Filth (Najasa) Contamination of Dogs and Pigs

The type of contact that would cause contamination by pigs and dogs is restricted, in the Shafi’i school, to contamination by traces of moisture, whether saliva, urine, anything moist from them, or any of their dry parts that have become moist [Shirbini, Mughni al-Muhtaj]

Cleaning Heavy Contamination

In the Shafi’i School, something contaminated by filth from dogs or swine can only be cleansed by washing seven times. One of which (recommended not to be the last) must be with purifying earth mixed with purifying water and must reach the entire affected area. One may not substitute something else like soap or glasswort in place of the earth. If something dry, such as the animal’s breath or hair, touches one’s person, it need only be brushed away. [ibid.]

In the Maliki and Hanafi Schools, the above sevenfold washing is a sunna and not obligatory. [Jaziri, al-Fiqh ‘ala al-Madhahib al-Arba’a]

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.