Does Washing Filthy Clothes With Pure Clothes Entail That All My Clothes Are Impure?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I am struggling to go back to the straight path.

Does washing filthy clothes with pure clothes entail that all my clothes are impure? Does it entail that all the items of my house are impure?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

If an item of clothing comes out of the washing machine without any clearly distinguishable traces of filth, it is deemed pure.

Consequently, you should focus more on renewing your faith, fulfilling your current and past obligations, and resolving to leave your past completely.

Please also see: Washing Filthy Clothing in the Washing Machine and: Are My Pants and Washing Machine Filthy? and: How Do I Wash My Clothes Properly to Ensure That Filth Doesn’t Spread?

Consider taking the following free class at SeekersHub: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Basic Hanafi Jurisprudence (STEP)

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

Are My Pants and Washing Machine Filthy?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I have a question regarding purity. I had dog feces on the bottom of my shoes and in an attempt to remove the feces with an object, it broke and my finger came in contact with the bottom of my shoe. Regardless of whether or not my finger touched the feces, I assumed it did. I found a patch of grass near by and I rubbed my fingers on it quite thoroughly and since there wasn’t water around I walked off. As I was looking for water, I put my hand in my pocket. Eventually finding water and washing up. After washing my pant pocket 7 times with water and putting it in the washing machine I thought to myself that my pants should’ve been washed with soil first. Are my pants and washing machine both impure?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

No. Your trousers are not filthy and nor is your washing machine.

If filth, which has a visible body, affects one’s person (or clothes), one simply removes the body of the filth. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; `Ala al-Din Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya]

Practically, if one removed the body of the filth, one’s finger is no longer filthy. Therefore, it is of no consequence whether one put one’s hand into one’s pocket or not.

As for assumptions, one assumes purity. Misgivings are from the devil.

And Allah knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Household Cats & Rulings Related to Purity and Filth

Answered by Ustadha Umm Ihsan

Question: We recently adopted a a cat and I have a few questions in regards to the purity of a house cat. I was hoping that a clear ruling can be given to me as to what is filthy and what is not. I am also worried about it using the litter box and then walking around the house and jumping on the tables and couches. Is it considered filthy if she has just come out of the litter box and then is touching the tables and couches? How about the saliva?

Answer: Bismi Llahir Rahmanir Rahimi

Ramadan Mubarak.

My husband and I used to have two cats in our household. I understand your concerns. However, once one is familiar with the rulings related to purity and tamed cats, it’s not so worrying.

Household Cats & Basic Rulings of Purity

Hanafi scholars deduce that:

1. Cat hair is pure.

2. Cat saliva is pure.

3. Cat feces and urine are impure (najis), and they are considered major filth.

4. Cat blood is impure (najis), and it is considered major filth.

5. Cat vomit is impure (najis), and it is considered major filth.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Household Cats & Soiled Furniture

When dealing with rulings related to purification, the basis is purity. Thus, one always assumes purity in cases of doubt, unless one is certain filth is present. One does not need to get obsessive or frantic.

Scattered cat litter is not filthy in and of itself. From my personal experience, I have found that most cats use the restroom in the litter box and spend a few moments covering up their excrements with unsoiled cat litter before exiting. Therefore, it’s quite likely that any cat litter stuck in its paws is clean and not filthy. If one changes the litter every two days and fills the litter box with a sufficient amount of litter, this lessens the possibility of spreading impure cat litter around one’s house.

If one notices invisible traces of filth (e.g. urine) on one’s furniture or carpet, one purifies the area by washing it with water, drying it each time, until one believes the trace is removed. Scholars say three times is more than sufficient.  Traces of filth are known by color, taste, or smell.

If one notices visible filth (e.g. feces, blood, or vomit) on one’s furniture or carpet, one purifies the area by washing it with water until the filth is completely removed, even if it only takes one washing. Leftover stains that are hard to remove are excused, as long as the physical body of filth is removed. Using soap is not a requirement.

If either invisible or visible filth is found on a smooth surface (e.g. countertops or tiled floors) that are free from open pores, then one can simply wipe up the remnants with a tissue or cloth. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Tahtawi, Hashiyyat al-Tahtawi; ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Alternatively, if one notices filth on removable household decor (e.g. pillow cases, prayer rugs or bedsheets), one can purify the item in the washing machine, though it is more precautionary to follow the aforementioned rulings before placing it in the washing machine. Please read this related link:

Washing Filthy Clothing in the Washing Machine

Detailed Rulings Related to the Saliva of Household Cats

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said about tamed cats, “It is not impure, it is of those [creatures] that mingle with you.” [Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi] Thus, due to the excessive interaction between humans and cats, the rulings related to the saliva of tamed cats differ from other animals out of necessity. [ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

All of the rulings below are relevant if one is unsure if the cat’s mouth is filthy. If one is certain that the cat’s mouth is filthy (e.g. it just ate a mouse), then the related ruling of filthiness applies. If a cat renews its saliva, the mouth is purified and it is no longer impure.

Cat saliva is pure in the Hanafi madhhab, but there are a few rulings one should know:

1. If a cat drinks from a container of water, the leftover water remaining in the container is pure.

However, it is slightly disliked (makruh tanzihi) to use it for purification if other water is available for use. If no other water is available, one must use the leftover water and cannot resort to dry ablution (tayammum).

2. If a cat licks one’s hand, it is slightly disliked (makruh tanzihi) to pray without washing one’s hand first.

3. If cat saliva gets on one’s garment, it is slightly disliked (makruh tanzihi) to pray with it.

4. If a cat eats solid food, it is slightly disliked to eat from the same place it put its mouth if one is financially capable of eating something else. If one is not financially able, then it is not disliked out of necessity.

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Tahtawi, Hashiyyat al-Tahtawi; ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Barak Allah fikum

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Umm Ihsan is a female student of Islamic knowledge from the US. She studies with leading Hanafi scholars from Syria and elsewhere.

Washing Filthy Clothing in the Washing Machine

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: What is the ruling of putting filthy clothes in the washing machine? If the clothing comes out clean and the substance of the filth (such as semen) has gone but a stain can still be seen, is the clothing considered clean? If not how many more times do i have to put it in the washing machine before it is excused?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

1. If one washes semen from body or clothes and the substance itself is removed, then traces that are hard to remove (namely, anything not removed by a regular washing) are excused.

2. While it is permitted to put ritually filthy clothing in washing machines, it is religiously superior to wash away the filth first under the tap to avoid differences of opinion. As the scholars say, “There is nothing like safety.”

3. If one puts filthy clothes in the washing machine, it is best to wash the clothes in three cycles of water.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani