What Is the Excusable Amount of Filth in the Shafi’i School?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


What is the excusable amount of filth (najasa), such as urine, in the Shafi’i School?

How would I calculate and decide?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah guide us to that which pleases Him, Amin.

Impure substances (najasa) indiscernible by a regular visual inspection are excusable. Though if visually discernible, they are inexcusable. In other words, that which an everyday look can see is not excusable, while that which can only be seen by minute scrutiny is excusable, and Allah knows best. [Misri, ‘Umda Al-Salik]

Blood and Pus

Blood or pus from a squeezed pimple, a boil, a sore, being bled, cupped, or something else is excusable if little.
[Ba Fadl, Muqaddima Hadramiyya]

Relative Terms in Sacred Law

In rulings of Sacred Law, the application of vital descriptive terms like ‘little, much, near, far, briefly, at length,’ and so forth is governed by the concept of common acknowledgment (‘urf).

To know whether something is little or much, which could be stipulations in a particular ruling, we stop to reflect whether it is commonly acknowledged as such, namely, whether most people would describe it as such when speaking about it.

Common acknowledgment (‘urf) also takes into consideration what is typical or expected under the circumstances. For example, a few drops of animal blood on the clothes of a butcher would be ‘little,’ while the same amount on the clothes of students would be much, and Allah knows best. [Keller, Reliance of the Traveler]

I pray this is of benefit.
[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 pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.