OCD Causing Hardship with Impurities

Ustadh Salman Younas advises on how to deal with impurities when suffering from OCD.

I have been struggling with OCD for the past few years. It’s mainly obsessive thoughts about impurities (najas).  I have read that certain things that are considered najis in the Hanafi madhab aren’t najas in, for example, the Maliki maddhab.

My life would become easier if I could consider less things to be impure since I am very afraid of touching impure things. Is it possible to follow the ruling of other madhabs when it comes to things being impure?

Yes, this would be permitted and particularly if there is a genuine reason to do so in cases of hardship.

Leading Sunni scholars have stated that it is not obligatory for a person to follow a single madhhab on every issue. Rather, he may follow different schools on different issues so long as he does not systematically seek out dispensations, or combine opinions in a way where the end action is one unacceptable in all schools. (Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar)

In your case, if your OCD makes it difficult for you to deal with certain types of impurities, you may treat them as pure if there are other opinions stating so, to avoid the mental anguish that comes with OCD. However, I would advise you to only do this as a temporary solution until you are able to overcome your OCD.

For this, you should seek professional help and advice, and, for the time being, avoid the more technical aspects of fiqh. Rather, focus on the very basics and don’t overburden yourself with details, which might aggravate your situation.


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

How to Wash Impurities Using Washing Machines? [Shafi'i School]

Answered by Ustadh Shuaib Ally
Question: If my pants have Madhi (pre-seminal/prostatic fluid) on it, will my other clothes become affected if I wash them together in a washing machine?
What is the status of dried Madhi and Mani (semen/sexual fluid) on a fabric? Are they still dirty?
Answer: Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
There are two main opposing opinions regarding washing clothes that have a form of moderate impurity (such as madhi i.e. pre-seminal fluid) on it with other clothes in an automatic washing machine. Both rely on the authoritative position of the Shafi’i school that water (if less than approximately 216 litres) must be poured onto the impurity so as to not render the water impure.
Two Opinions
A machine will rinse the laundry multiple times after washing it with detergent. Those who hold that the clothes are rendered pure consider this rinsing to fulfill the requirement of the school to have the water poured on the impure entity (in this case, all of the clothes). Those who hold that the clothes remain impure do not consider this rinsing sufficient in fulfilling that requirement. It considers the water and the clothes to have become impure.
To prevent the outcome of the second opinion, one must wash away anything that is considered ritually impure (such as madhi) before putting it in the washing machine. While the first opinion does not necessitate this, it is recommended that one do so, so as to not fall within an area of juristic disagreement.
Mani (semen/sexual fluid) is considered pure. This is because of the agreed upon report of ‘Aisha that she would scratch off semen from the clothes of the Prophet (peace be upon him), in which he would then pray. Were it impure, the school reasons, the area would have been washed prior to being prayed in.
Madhi (pre-seminal/prostatic fluid) is considered impure, and must be washed and removed, even if dried on fabric. This is because of the agreed upon report that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered ‘Ali (Allah be pleased with him) to wash his private parts due to its presence.
Source: Mughni al-Muhtaj
Shuaib Ally

Must We Use Soil to Clean Dog Saliva, Blood, and Urine?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Is using to soil to clean only done when there are dog impurities? E.g. If I believed that there was an invisible impurity like urine or blood could I just wash it once and leave it on the rack to dry?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

Yes, if there is some impurity (such as blood, urine) on your clothing, you simply wash it until no traces remain. If you cannot see the the impurity, you should wash the item of clothing thrice, in the place where you think it has been affected, squeezing each time. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

Using dust is only a recommendation when removing dog saliva.

See also: Dog Saliva, Dog Hair, and How to Purify Impurities

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Does Contact With Impurities Make a Ritual Bath Obligatory or Affect Our Ability to Pray?

Answered by Sidi Tabraze Azam

Question: Are there any impurities that touch a person’s skin which then makes ghusl obligatory?

And are there any impurities that come on a person’s clothes with which one cannot pray salah?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray you are in the best of health and faith.

According to the Hanafi school, any impurity which comes into contact with the skin does not make the ritual bath (ghusl) obligatory upon. In regards to filth affecting one’s clothing or person, a small amount would be excused and would not affect the validity of one’s prayer.

The Excused Amount of Filth

A small amount is defined as the extent of:

[1] Five grams of solid filth;

[2] Five centimetres, in diameter, of liquid filth;

What Necessitates the Ritual Ablution (Wudu)

[1] Everything that exits from the front and the rear private part;

[2] Everything that exits and flows beyond the point of exit from other than the private parts;

[3] Vomiting a Mouthful;

[4] Sleeping lying down;

[5] Unconsciousness;

[6] Loss of Sanity;

[7] Laughing out loud in prayer;

[8] The meeting of the erect male private part with the female private part without a barrier;

What Necessitates the Ritual Bath (Ghusl)

[1] The disappearance of the top of the male private organ into the front or rear of a living person;

[2] Ejaculation with gushing (dafaq) and desire;

[3] The legal ending of menstruation (hayd) or post-natal bleeding (nifas);

[4] Awakening to find ejaculate (mani) in one’s undergarment.

[`Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya; Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Mawsili, al-Mukhtar li’l Fatwa]

“God does not desire to make any hardship for you; but He desires to purify you, and that He may perfect His grace upon you; so that you might give thanks” [5:6]


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani