14 December, 2018 | 5 Rabi al-Thani, 1440 H

"What corrupts generosity is mentioning it."

- The Prophet Muhammad (s)

Learning
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Core Curriculum

Section 1 - God, Religion and Islam: An Introduction
  • Topic 1.1 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 1.2 - God, Allah and Religion

  • Topic 1.3 - Introduction to Islam

  • Topic 1.4 - What is “Religion” and What’s the Point of it Anyways?

  • Topic 1.5 - A Brief Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (s), the Prophet of Islam

Section 2 - Foundations of Islam - Theology
  • Topic 2.1 - Entering Islam: The Shahada

  • Topic 2.2 - The Usūl al-Dīn: The Fundamental Beliefs of Islam

  • Topic 2.3 - Tawhīd: The Unity and Oneness of God in Islam

  • Topic 2.4 - Adala: Divine Justice in Islam

  • Topic 2.5 - Nubuwwa: The Purpose of Prophethood in Islam

  • Topic 2.6 - Imāmah or divinely guided leadership in Islam after the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Topic 2.7 - Maʿād: The Day of Judgment in Islam

  • Topic 2.8 - The Sharīʿa: Purpose and Practice

  • Topic 2.9 - The Islamic Concept of the Nafs: Battling the Human Ego

  • Topic 2.10 - Satan, Jinns and Angels: Their Influence in the World

  • Topic 2.11 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

Section 3 - Foundations of Islam - Obligatory Acts
  • Topic 3.1 - Accepting Islam: Putting Faith into Action

  • Topic 3.2 - Jihād in Islamic Law and Spirituality

  • Topic 3.3 - Salāt: Obligatory Ritual Prayers in Islam

  • Topic 3.4 - Ritual Purity in Islamic Law: Understanding Tahāra and Najāsa

  • Topic 3.5 - The Five Categories of Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.6 - Tawalla and Tabarra, its Basics and Purpose

  • Topic 3.7 - The Purpose of Zakat and Khums in Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.8 - The Hajj Pilgrimage

  • Topic 3.9 - The Furūʿ al-Dīn: The Fundamental Practices of Islam

  • Topic 3.10 - Fasting in Islam, its Purpose, Dos and Don’ts

  • Topic 3.11 - Other Obligatory and Forbidden Acts in Islam

  • Topic 3.12 - Niyya: Religious Intention as the Foundation of Islamic Practice

  • Topic 3.13 - Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil in Islam

Section 4 - Prophethood in Islam
  • Topic 4.1 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Childhood (PART I of III)

  • Topic 4.2 - Bio: The Prophet Muhammad as a Prophet of God (PART II of III)

  • Topic 4.3 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Character (PART III of III)

  • Topic 4.4 - The Prophet Muhammad (s) as Messenger and Teacher

  • Topic 4.5 - The Prophet and his Relationships

  • Topic 4.6 - The Prophet’s Sunnah and Hadith

  • Topic 4.7 - Ghadīr and Arafah: The Two Last Sermons of the Prophet

  • Topic 4.8 - Jesus and Mary in Islam

Section 5 - The Qur'an and Hadith
  • Topic 5.1 - Islam and Other Religions

  • Topic 5.2 - What is the Qur’an? A Short Introduction to Islam’s Holy Book

  • Topic 5.3 - The Structure of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.4 - The Quran and Islamic law

  • Topic 5.5 - The Qur’an, Allah and Humankind

  • Topic 5.6 - Hadith and Sunnah, difference and variations

  • Topic 5.7 - The Reliability of Hadiths

  • Topic 5.8 - A Reflection on Verses of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.9 - Hadith al-Thaqalayn

  • Topic 5.10 - Imam Ali (as) and Nahj al-Balagha.

  • Topic 5.11 - Taqlid and Tawḍih Al Masail Genre of Literature

Section 6 - Measuring Good and Bad in Islam
  • Topic 6.1 - The Effects of Our Actions in this World

  • Topic 6.2 - The Gray Areas of Islamic Law and Morality

  • Topic 6.3 - Heaven and Hell in Islam

  • Topic 6.4 - Life and Death in Islam

  • Topic 6.5 - Guidance According to Islam

  • Topic 6.6 - Fate and the Consequences of our Choices in Islam

  • Topic 6.7 - The Effect of Culture and Environment in Shaping our Religious Choices

  • Topic 6.8 - Major Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.9 - Why Allah Allows People to Sin

  • Topic 6.10 - Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.11 - The Three Kinds of Rights in Islam

  • Topic 6.12 - Sinning Against Others and their Delayed Punishment

  • Topic 6.13 - Kufr in Islam

  • Topic 6.14 - Trivializing the Harām

  • Topic 6.15 - Benefits of Islamic Law in this World

  • Topic 6.16 - Good and Bad Deeds: The Spiritual Consequences of our Choices

Section 7 - The Legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as)
  • Topic 7.1 - Islam and Knowledge: the Importance of Islamic Education

  • Topic 7.2 - The Ahl al-Kisa

  • Topic 7.3 - Imamah in the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.4 - Fatima al-Zahrah (as)

  • Topic 7.5 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam al-Hasan until Imam Muhammad al-Baqir)

  • Topic 7.6 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam Jafar al-Sadiq until Imam Hasan al-Askari)

  • Topic 7.7 - A Brief Look at the Life and Importance of Imam al-Mahdi (aj)

  • Topic 7.8 - Salawat and Atonement in Islam

  • Topic 7.9 - The Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet According to the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.10 - Clerical Hierarchies in Muslim Communities

  • Topic 7.11 - Mosques in Islam

  • Topic 7.12 - The Philosophy of Karbala and Majalis

  • Topic 7.13 - A Brief Biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)

  • Topic 7.14 - The Battle of Karbala: A Brief History

Section 8 - Islamic Relationships, Sects and Conflicts
  • Topic 8.1 - Misconceptions about Shi’ism

  • Topic 8.2 - Major Sects of Islam

  • Topic 8.3 - Islam and Religious Conflicts

  • Topic 8.4 - Islam and Rights

  • Topic 8.5 - Sunnism and Shi’ism, beginnings and historical developments.

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Special Topics

Section 9 - Independent Topics
  • Topic 9.1 - Muslim Converts – Welcome to Islam!

  • Topic 9.2 - Basic Dos and Don’ts of Being a Muslim

  • Topic 9.3 - Halal Food and Zabiha

  • Topic 9.4 - Family, Parents and Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.5 - Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.6 - Islam and Sex

  • Topic 9.7 - Modesty in Islam

  • Topic 9.8 - Women’s Menstruation in Islam

  • Topic 9.9 - Music, Alcohol, Drugs and Pork in Islam

  • Topic 9.10 - Islam and Science

  • Topic 9.11 - A Reading List of Islamic Knowledge

  • Topic 9.13 - Ritual Prayers and Supplications in Islam

  • Topic 9.14 - Death & Burial Rituals in Islam

  • Topic 9.15 - The Battle of Armageddon: An Islamic View

  • Topic 9.16 - The Muslim Calendar

  • Topic 9.17 - Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shariah

  • Topic 9.18 - A Timeline of Major Events in Islamic History

  • Topic 9.19 - Introducing the Qur’an: Why it is the way it is

  • Topic 9.20 - The School of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq

  • Topic 9.21 - Major Fields in Islamic Studies

  • Topic 9.22 - The Caliphate in Sunni and Shia Islam

  • Topic 9.24 - Islam, Racism and Anti-Semitism

Section 10 - Islam, Religion, and Modern Controversies
  • Topic 10.1 - Modern Fallacies about God: where Theists and Atheists Agree

  • Topic 10.2 - Tawhīd: The Muslim God according to the Prophet Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt (as)

  • Topic 10.3 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Being (Wujūd)

  • Topic 10.4 - God’s Existence: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

  • Topic 10.5 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Design

  • Topic 10.6 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 10.7 - Why did God Create Us? The Purpose of our Creation

  • Topic 10.8 - Why Humans Need Religion according to Islam

  • Topic 10.9 - Jahl and Spiritual Ignorance in Islam

  • Topic 10.11 - Do Non-Muslims Go to Hell?

Ritual Purity in Islamic Law: Understanding Tahāra and Najāsa

Abstract

This is an introduction to the basic meaning and function of ritual purity (tahāra) and impurity (najāsa, janāba) in Islam and the basic practices that bring about states of purity. These are necessary for performing ritual duties like prayer.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters.

 

Welcome back to the Muslim Converts Channel!

 

In many religions across the world, ritual purification is often required before performing a certain ritual. In Islam the state of ritual purity is called tahāra. The opposite of ritual purity is ritual impurity, called najāsa.

 

In this lesson, we’ll look into the meaning and purpose of tahāra in Islam. We will also look into the different kinds of ritual purification and najāsa in Islamic law.

 

BODY OF TEXT

 

Do not stand [for prayer] within it - ever. A mosque founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy for you to stand in. Within it are men who love to purify themselves; and Allah loves those who purify themselves. (Chapter 9, verse 108 of the Holy Qur’an)

 

If a Muslim wants his or her prayer, fasting or Hajj to be valid, then he or she must be in a state of ritual purity before performing those actions. In other words, one must be tāhir. To ritually purify oneself, one can do one of three things, perform wudū (minor ablution), ghusl (major ablution) or tayamum (purification through the use of earth or dust).

 

Examples of when you have to do wudū

 

Wudū is when you take water with your hands and wipe your face, wipe your forearms down to your hands, wipe the top of your head and wipe your feet. Wudū is a must if you want to pray or touch the Qur’an. If you fall asleep and wake up, you will lose your state of wudū and will have to redo it again. If you go to the bathroom and go #1 or #2, or pass wind, then you must also perform wudū if you want to pray or touch the Holy Qur’an.

 

Examples of when you have to do ghusl

 

If you lose your wudū, you lose your minor state of ritual purity. However, you do not necessarily enter a state of major ritual impurity if you lose it. Entering a state of major impurity is called janāba. Things which make a person enter a state of major impurity are, among other things, sexual intercourse with one’s spouse or bleeding during one’s monthly cycle. If a person wants to pray or fast for example, the major ablution, that is, ghusl must be performed. Ghusl consists of washing the whole of one’s body. Ghusl may also be performed by submerging oneself completely under water, this is called ghusl irtimāsī in Islamic law. Once ghusl is performed, one does not need to perform wudū as ghusl automatically puts a person in a state of wudū in most cases. Ghusl is also needed if a person touches a dead body.

 

Tayamum

 

When performing wudū or ghusl, one must do so with ritually pure water. This means that, for example, the water cannot be discolored (or have its odor changed) with ritually impure things, such as feces.

 

When a person is unable to find water, or does not have enough water, or does not have ritually pure water, or if performing ghusl would take too long and prayer time is about to be over, then a person can purify oneself with clean earth. Tayamum is done through wiping one's forehead and hands with earth or dust. Tayamum has the same effect as ghusl.

 

For more information on how exactly to perform wudū, ghusl and tayamum, please see the links below the screen:

 

http://www.al-islam.org/articles/laws-practices-how-perform-wudhu-and-tayammum#how-perform-wudhu-and-tayammum

 

http://www.al-islam.org/islamic-marriage-syed-athar-husain-sh-rizvi/major-ablution-ghusl-janabat

 

A common misunderstanding about tahāra and najāsa is equating the terms with cleanliness and dirtiness. But this is incorrect. Tahāra and najāsa refer to ritual purity and impurity, meaning that they are pure or impure within the context of religious rituals. For example, items that are najis or ritually impure include pigs, dogs, blood, semen, or feces among many other things. But this does not mean they are necessarily dirty. A pig or a dog may be given a bath and thus be considered clean in the conventional sense but still ritually impure.

 

Similarly, it doesn’t mean that if something is tāhir is necessarily clean. For example, bird excrement may be considered tāhir, but many people would consider it dirty. Another example would be a person who comes out working in a mine. He or she will be considered very dirty in the conventional sense, but still be considered tāhir and able to perform prayer as long as he or she is still in a state of wudū.

 

This distinction is really important to understand because often enough, it is used as a point to attack Islam. For example, a woman who is in her menses or who just gave birth will be required at some time to perform ghusl if she wants to pray again. But some people mistakenly interpret this as a form of sexism where they think that women's biology is dirty according to Islam. They forget that men can also enter states of ritual impurity, like when they discharge semen. So these kinds of ignorant statements should be discarded because 1) both genders have states of ritual impurity and 2) ritual impurity does not necessarily mean dirty!

 

Before we let you go, it’s important to clarify another matter. Although ritual purity or impurity does not necessarily translate to cleanliness or dirtiness, Islam also emphasizes on cleanliness anyways. The Prophet Muhammad (s) once said: “cleanliness is half of one’s religion”

 

For more information on how to get rid of ritual impurities, you may want to look at the following link under the screen:

 

http://www.al-islam.org/ritual-and-spiritual-purity-sayyid-muhammad-rizvi/i-najasat-taharat

 

Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh

 

 

 

Tahāra

Ritual purity 

Najāsa

Ritual impurity 

Janāba

State of major ritual impurity which requires ghusl 

Tāhir

A person or object that is ritually pure 

Najis

A person or object that is ritually impure 

Ghusl

Major ablution 

Wudū

Minor ablution 

Ghusl Irtimāsī

Major ablution by way of completely submerging oneself under water. 

Tayamum

A method of ritual purification by using earth or dust. 

Q1

What is tahāra?

Tahara is ritual purity. Tahāra is necessary for ritual practices like prayer.

Q2

What is najāsa?

Najasa is ritual impurity. Excrement, blood or semen are considered najis or ritually impure in Islam.

Q3

What is tayammum?

Tayammum is a form of ritual purification with the same effects of ghusl. It is performed when one does not, for example, have water.

Q4

If I perform ghusl, do I have to perform wudū as well?

Generally no. There are cases which it may be needed, but this is subject to disagreement among Muslim scholars.

Q5

Does najāsa or janāba mean dirty?

No, it means ritual impurity. Something may be ritually impure, but be considered clean in the conventional sense. The same applies to tahāra.

Muslim
God
Allah
Hereafter
Prophet Muhammad
Messenger of Allah
Religion
Ahl al-Bayt
Sin
Sins
Salvation
Soul
Spirit
Islamic community
Islamic law
Tahāra
Najāsa
ritual purity
ritual impurity
Janāba
Tāhir
Najis
Ghusl
Wudū
Ghusl Irtimāsī
Tayamum
purification
taharat

 

Islamic Laws by Sayyed as-Seestani

 

Philosophy of the Islamic laws by Naser Makarem Shirazi

 

The Five Schools of Islamic law by Muhammad Jawad Mughniyyah