Excusable Filth in the Four Madhhabs

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat answers a series of questions about the excusable amount of filth according to the four madhhabs.


Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I have a big problem. I suffer from OCD. It’s driving me crazy. I need to know how much filth (najasa) is excusable. I know what the four Madhhabs say about excusable amounts of filth for prayer, but I don’t know which is the best and correct position.

Sometimes when urinating I feel a tiny drop on my foot or when I’m washing myself I feel used water drop on my feet but when I check my feet, I don’t see anything. The Shafi‘is say that tiny drops we cannot see are excused and they think its true.

Please tell me which madhhab’s position is true and please explain why? And please tell me if the water of istinja is impure? (Water flows while I’m washing myself.) It doesn’t seem so to me, because there is more water than urine, so the color and smell doesn’t change.


Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

The Four Schools of Law

All of the four schools of law are correct, because they are based on sound understandings of the the greatest scholars of the Umma. These scholars had the highest levels of knowledge, understanding, and ability. They did not make rulings up; rather they interpreted the Qurʾan and the Sunna to give the the rulings of the Shariʿa.

So if they are all valid, and all their rulings are correct, which one should you choose to follow? The answer is, the easier one for you, and the one which you can easily learn and apply.

I personally feel that the Hanafi school is very easy to learn; and there is a lot of flexibility in the rulings relating to purity. I think the Shafi‘i is slightly harder in this matter. See which school you can easily learn with local scholars or with a course at SeekersGuidance, and apply it.


As for the water for istinja, you cannot tell if it is actually impure. Also the fact that it is flowing means it is pure as long as the colour, smell or taste of impurity do not show. You can assume the drops are pure. Even small drops of urine in situations like this are excused (Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab; Shurubnulali, Maraqi al-Falah).

I advise you to learn a school with a qualified scholar, and have your questions on purity answered. Also, please look at our OCD archives and get some therapy if you need it to get over the issue.

May Allah facilitate every good for you in this world and the next.


Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

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

Removing Rear Hair

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it required that one shave the hair between the buttocks? Is that considered pubic hair?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Merciful.

The pubic hair that one is expected to remove refers to the front private areas.

As for removing the hair between the buttocks, this is recommended, as it prevents filth (najasa) from getting stuck there, and is more clean. [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]


Faraz Rabbani

Using a Feather Duster Made with Real Ostrich Feathers

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it permissible to use a feather duster made with real ostrich feathers? Are the
feathers pure (tahir) in the Hanafi school of jurisprudence (madhhab) if one does not know
if the feathers are taken from a live or already slaughtered bird?

Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Merciful.

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray that this finds you well, and in the best of health and spirits. May Allah grant you all good
and success in this life and the next.

In the Hanafi school, feathers of any animal are pure, regardless of whether they were plucked
when the animal was alive or dead. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

Filth, Carpets and Misgivings

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I heard there is a fiqhi opinion whereby the sole of shoes, if it were to be in contact with any liquid najasa (filth), will be purified through the friction of the floor with the sole of the shoe. Is this true?

I was wearing slippers whose insides were contaminated with najasa. I didn’t bother cleaning it since the sole of the shoes weren’t affected. I had gone to my garden wearing them and some water accidentally fell on the slippers. Subsequently affecting the sole of the slippers. Again, I went ahead and walked back into my home wearing the shoes. Moreover, with these contaminated shoes I had walked over our home carpet where siblings and relatives often pray on. I am having difficulty concentrating on dhikr and my prayers out of worrying that I have contaminated the carpet again.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

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

If there are no traces of filth, you can assume purity. You certainly do not have to have the carpet professionally cleaned.

When a wet, filthy object comes into contact with a dry, pure object, the basis is that the dry object is not deemed filthy except if the traces of filth are clearly visible. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

Ignore any misgivings including strong possibilities of filth transfer.

As for liquid filth affecting the underside of one’s footgear, if it acquires a body (such as dirt/dust), it can be purified as you describe. [ibid.]

And Allah knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani