Taharah linguistically means cleanliness from physical filth, and it also means purity from sins. From an Islamic perspective it has two meanings:

  1. Cleaning the actual physical filth, like urine on the body or blood on clothes or feces on ground.
  2. The action taken (as an Islamic ruling) because of an action that caused impurity, like urinating or an intimate act. Such action could be either ablution (Wudu) or taking a bath (Ghusl), or Tayammum when water is not available.

Importance of Taharah:

Taharah is important because it is a condition for performing the five daily obligated prayers. Islam urged people to be clean at all times as a healthy status of the body and the public. Allah (SW) said: {Indeed, God loves those who are ever-penitent, and He loves those who purify themselves} 2:222.

Who is exempted from Taharah?

The list below is in relation to Taharah being a condition for prayer but in many cases Taharah is required as an ethical and purity status:

  1. Individuals who are not of sound mind, they are not liable for performing acts of worship.
  2. Children are also not liable to perform acts of worship.
  3. People unable to remove impurity because of illness or age.
  4. People who forgot the status of impurity they were in.

What is used to clean impurity?

Things agreed upon between scholars:

  1. Water. Allah (SW) said: {Moreover, He sent upon you, from the sky, water to purify you thereby} 8:11.
  2. Clean objects that remove actual filth. (For example toilet paper)
  3. Any earth based dirt like sand, mud or dust used to remove the status of impurity by the process of Tayammum.

Things disputed among scholars:

  1. Pre-used water if color, odor and taste have not changed.
  2. Squeezed water (like rose water) extracted from pure materials would only be used to remove actual impurity on body, clothes and ground, but not to make Wudu or bathe.
  3. Water that took color, odor or taste because of containment. (For example water in a clay pot)
  4. Earth dirt will be pure from the wind and sunshine if dry.
  5. Tanned animal skins.

By Sh Kifah Mustapha