Is Pool Water Purifying?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


Is pool water purifying, and does going in a pool purify you from physical impurities? It has bleach and smells like it. Does it count as purifying?

My hair was impure, then I got it braided tightly, and I didn’t want to open it, so does going in the pool, which is a large body of water, and dunking my head in take away the impurity?


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

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

Suppose the chlorine changes the water to such an extent that it would no longer be considered (absolute) water but rather “chlorine water.” In that case, it would not be allowed to use the water for religious purification, i.e. it would be pure but not purifying. [Shirbini, Mughni al-Muhtaj]

Generally, swimming pools contain “much” water (Qullatayn – 200 or more liters), a large body of water. Large bodies of water do not become impure (najis) by mere contact with filth unless there is an apparent change in color, taste, or smell. [Ibid.]

Similarly, when a pure substance (such as chlorine) mixes with a large body of water, it does not remove the water’s ability to purify unless there is such a change (in the color, taste, or smell) that it is no longer called (plain) water. If that happens, the water remains pure but not purifying unless the change disappears, in which case, it would once again be purifying, 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.