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Doubts about Cleanliness

Shaykh Salman Younas is asked if minute amounts of filth affect ritual purity.

I prayed my salah and after I came to washroom I found a drop of urine to the size of an ant, so I just soaked my hand with water and rubbed it gently, and did not squeeze that, and the stain was gone too. Please tell me whether I am tahir or najis?

You are not considered impure.

Even if you prayed with a small drop of urine on your body/clothing of the type you describe, this is excused. In the Hanafi school, the extent of approximately 5 cm, in diameter, is excused in liquid filth that is deemed “major filth,” such as urine. While it is best to remove such filth before praying, if one did pray while being effected by this amount of filth, the prayer is valid.

This ruling shows that there is leeway when it comes to the rulings of filth and impurities. As such, we should not be excessive in how we deal with this issue, nor fall into baseless misgivings. The base assumption that we hold regarding our bodies, clothing, place of prayer, etc., is that it is pure unless there is clear evidence to the contrary.

Salman

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

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.

Salman

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.