How to Deal With Waswas Regarding Purity According to the Shafi’i School?
Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan
Question: Assalam alaykum,
I suffer from OCD.
1. After using the toilet, how much water is normally used? Is the water that splashes from the bottom of the toilet bowl filthy?
2. After making istinja, are my hands technically clean?
3. Before having intimacy, a sticky, colorless fluid comes out. Does sperm becomes filthy when it is mixed with this fluid?
4. When making the ghusl must the sticky fluid around the private parts be washed off completely? Can I use soap? How can I be completely certain that all the skin became wet?
5. When making wudhu, must I rub the hands and arms with water?
Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam
May Allah ease all your affairs.
In an Islamic paradigm, OCD is usually borne from an eagerness to fulfill ritual obligations accurately or a fear of being taking to task if not. This is an important foundation for all your questions. If it is Allah you fear or wish to please, then you must take the advices of the scholars and give their guidelines precedence over your thoughts or obsessions. Allah instructed all believers to turn to Allah, His Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam and the scholars for guidance. Thus, when you act upon the guidance of scholars over your concerns or obsessions borne from your condition, you are pleasing Allah; giving preference to your concerns and thoughts borne from your condition over the guidance of scholars will effectively mean the opposite.
Istinja means to clean the front and back privates from filth or najasah. There is no set amount of water that should be used – the objective is to remove the najasah. Usually for the front private 100 – 200ml should suffice. Once water has been poured over the organ it suffices and there is no need to question whether all najasah has been removed. RasuluLlah sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam permitted the usage of stones, acknowledging that stones may not remove all najasah. Consequently, one should remember that mere pouring of water is more effective than stones which were allowed by the Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam. The same would apply to the backside, save that scholars advised that one uses the middle finger of the left hand to remove the filth. Use as little water as required, when no traces of najasah remains your istinja is complete and no thoughts or obsessions should be entertained. After relieving oneself, the water inside the toilet bowl will be considered najis, however it is only when you have absolutely no doubt that water has splashed from the toilet bowl onto your body or clothing that you need to wash the affected area. Anything less than physically seeing water splash onto your body, clothing or floor around the toilet, must be ignored, full stop. You asked about the hair of your leg touching the inside rim of the toilet, if you have not seen physically without doubt that najasah reached a spot that you touched with the inside of your leg or hand or any part of your body or clothing, then it should be considered clean and thus no need to wash.
2. Cleaning hands
Your hands are not impure after istinja. In the case of the front private this is clear. Regarding the back private, once you’ve poured water over your hand while washing the back private, your hand is already considered clean. If you however, see traces of najasah on your hand, then merely rinsing your hand with water once would suffice to remove najasah. Thereafter if you wish to use soap or any other detergent, you may do so, but it’s not a requirement from the Shari’ah.
Pre-ejaculate is najas, whether mixed with residue of urine or not. During intimacy if you know of an area of your linen that came in contact with pre-ejaculate, then it should be washed. Again, you must know without doubt, whereby you actually saw pre-ejaculate transferring to your linen, otherwise the default ruling would apply that it is clean. A thousand thoughts may enter your mind regarding the storing possibility that some pre-ejaculate may have transferred here or there, but these thoughts must be ignored in the face of the scholarly guidelines as mentioned previously. If you wish, and this not necessary, you may dedicate special linen for times of intimacy, that is removed afterwards.
Yes, pre-ejaculate and other najasah should be washed off before performing ghusl. You could perform ghusl before washing your body with soap or after. It’s important that ghusl be performed with water only. With a three litre bucket of water the Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam completed a ghusl and he sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam had thick, long and dense hair. Standing under a shower while wiping the body where possible, definitely ensures water reached every part. What you could do to ensure water reached areas such as the back private is to wipe the area with a cloth.
It is preferred to rub the hands. You can be certain that water reached your entire hand by observation. If you saw water running over the entire hand, then it reached all of the hand.
Lastly, please stick to these guidelines and others that you previously studied on the Seekers Hub website. Do not entertain thoughts that emanate from OCD as this does not only mean that you will be neglecting the injunction of following the advices of scholars, but it will make your life complicated and difficult and many a times effect your relationship with others.
May Allah guide and protect us all, Amin.
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan
Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.