General Purity

بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

“In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.”

General Purity

Purity is of two types:

  1. Haqeeqi – Physical impurity that you can see e.g blood, urine, alcohol, puss
  2. Hukmi- a state of impurity. This is not visible. For e.g being in need of wudhu / Ghusl.

-If a person has some physical impurity on their body or clothes, which is less than or equal to 50p coin (2.75cm) & for some reason they cannot wash it off, then it is permissible to perform salaah in that state, however it will be makrooh (disliked). 

-If a person has some physical impurity on their body or clothes, which is more than a 50p coin (2.75cm), then it will be necessary to wash it off, salaah will not be valid without washing it.

-If you can see the impurity, you will wash it till the effect of the impurity (colour & smell) no longer remains on the body / clothes.

However if after washing it many times, it leaves a stain which cannot be removed, it will be considered as pure.

-If you cannot see the impurity, such as urine, then you will wash it & wring it, squeezing out all the water. By doing this three times the cloth will become pure.

-If impurity gets onto a mattress or thick carpet, which you cannot take to the tap & wash, then in this day & age simply cleaning it with a liquid suction vacuum three times will suffice.

If one does not have a liquid suction vacuum, they will pour water over the thick carpet & scoop & dry up all the water using a towel / sponge till it dries at least to the extent that it would not drip water if you were to lift it up. By repeating this three times the carpet or mattress will become pure.


-Istinja is the term used to describe the process in which one removes uncleanliness after they have been to the toilet. If Istinja is not done properly then it will leave a person in an impure state. If the person is in an impure state, then all actions of worship which require a condition of ritual purity will not be valid.

– Our toilets are filled with water at the bottom and so it is best to put a small amount of tissue paper in the toilet first to reduce the risk of splashing. Splashes can sometimes reach our exposed body parts and cause them to become even more unclean. 

-The method of istinja for men & women is different. Males have to perform Istibrā’ which is the process of ensuring that no urine is left in the private part after urination. Men will place toilet paper on their private part and take several steps, shake their private area  whereby the urine drops leak out onto the toilet paper. This can usually take up to 15 mins. They should only commence performing Wudhu after feeling assured that no more drops of urine will come out. Before, performing Salaah the toilet paper should be removed or replaced with clean toilet paper.

-Women must be confident that they have relieved themselves fully . Once this has been done, it is recommended to use some tissue paper first (with the left hand) to absorb any drops of urine which may be left and then wash the private area with water. When washing, the utensil must be held in the right hand and the left hand used to clean the actual area.

– When doing istinja from major impurity, wipe 3 times with tissue paper, from front to back, this will stop the spreading of the uncleanliness to the front private part. If necessary use more tissue paper. Hold the utensil in the right hand and wash the private part using the left hand using as much water till the impurity and smell has been removed. Wash the hands with soap after Istinjā.

-Istinja should be made with water. When out & about one should keep a small bottle with them to do istinja.

-It will be sufficient to cleanse onsself with toilet paper ONLY if the impurity did not spread beyond the private part equivalent to a 50p coin.

Cleaning Pubic Hair / Trimming Nails

-The trimming of nails & removing of pubic hair should be done before the elapse of 40 days.  Imam Muslim  narrates:

Anas (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah ﷺ stipulated the time for trimming the mustache, clipping the nails, plucking the armpit hair, shaving the private parts, that it should not exceed forty days. (Sahih Muslim).

To remove the pubic hair /clip the nails in the state of major ritual impurity (after intercourse / wet dream) is disliked. This will not be the case for mensturation & bleeding after child birth, in other words it will not be disliked in these two states.

-According to the sunnah, one should cut the nails every week on a Friday.

The preferable manner of cutting the nails is that one should begin with the right hand first. In this hand, one must cut the nails in the following procedure:-

1st- the index finger
2nd- the fore finger
3rd- the ring finger
4th- the little finger

After this, one will continue by cutting the nails of the left hand in the following procedure:-

1st- the little finger
2nd- the ring finger
3rd the fore finger
4th- the index finger
5th- the thumb of the left hand.

After this, a person should cut the nail of the thumb of the right hand.

-One should start clipping the toe nails from the small right toe and end at the small left toe.

-One should remember that at the time of wudhu it is necessary for wudhu to be valid that water reaches inside the nails if the nails are longer than normal. Many times women may get different types of ingredients (such as flour etc) stuck under their nails. If this is not removed & water does not reach the skin inside the nails, wudhu will be invalid.

Brushing The Teeth

Oral hygiene is not only emphasised in Islam, but it also plays a big role in your health & in the first impression that you leave on a person. Good breath & a beautiful smile with clean teeth is an attractive quality. Bad breath & bad teeth on the other hand can leave a negative impression of you on others.

The minimum you should be doing, with regards to keeping your mouth clean, is brushing twice a day with a standard toothbrush & toothpaste. This includes the brushing of the teeth & tongue. Often we forget the tongue which is a big cause of bad breath. It is also highly encouraged in Islam to brush the teeth & tongue after eating any foods that contain a strong odour such as garlic, leeks, onions etc. This is because bad breath causes inconvenience to others & anything that causes harm to another person is prohibited. Moreover a person should not enter the masjids etc without the brushing of the teeth & tongue after eating such foods as it causes inconvenience to the angels.

The miswaak (tooth stick) is a twig taken from certain kind of trees. It is a highly emphasised sunnah of our beloved prophet ﷺ & scientifically proven to have many benefits. This solution to oral hygiene that was presented to us over 1400 years ago does not only hold physical benefits but spiritual too & its environmentally friendly!. In one hadith it has been mentioned: “The miswaak purifies the mouth & pleases the lord”. [Ibn Majah].

The miswaak can easily be found in local stores, ebay etc & its very easy to use. Remove it from the packet, peel a bit of the end as usually shown on the packet & chew until it resembles bristles. The sunnah method of holding a miswaak is to hold it in the right hand, placing the little finger at the bottom end, the thumb under its head & the remaining fingers on the top side. Wet the miswaak & brush horizontally. It is recommended to brush in the either one of the following two ways:

a) From the right incisor to the last tooth on the right & thereafter, from the left incisor to the last tooth on the left. (same procedure for the bottom set of the teeth)

b) From the last tooth on the right to the last tooth on the left. (same procedure for the bottom set of the teeth)

Thereafter the tongue & the palate should be brushed. Insha’Allah not only will this help with bad breath, but also spiritually purify us from the many sins we commit with our tongue.

If you are struggling to use the miswaak due to the taste, start off with using it after brushing the teeth with toothpaste The taste will be a lot milder & you will eventually get used to it.

It has been reported in many hadiths as to how the prophet saw used the miswaak not only morning & evening but on different occasions throughout the whole day. For instance, before salaah, before entering the home, when the smell of the mouth changed, when going to the masjid, when fasting, before the tahajjud prayer at night, during wudhu etc.

Below are a few benefits of miswaak:

  1. Reward of salaah is multiplied by 70 when done before it.
  2. Increases sustenance.
  3. Removes phlegm
  4. Cures headaches.
  5. Sharpens the eyesight.
  6. Keeps the stomach functioning properly.
  7. Improves the eloquence of the tongue.
  8. Aids digestion
  9. Increases intelligence.
  10. Delays the effects of old age.
  11. Will help one to recite the kalimah at the time of death.
  12. Whitens the teeth & reduces coffee, tea , tobacco stains.
  13. Removes bad breath.
  14. Cure for toothache.
  15. Increases salivation & prevents a dry mouth.

~Written by Umm Aa’ishah -Graduate of Ar-Rahman Madrassah (Bolton)