What Is the Correct Method to Clean a Baby Who Urinates in the Bathtub as I Wash Him?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salamu alaykum,

What is the correct method to clean a baby who urinates in the bathtub as I wash him?

My wife refuses to wash him down on the basis that only a small amount urine has been added to the larger volume of clean water.

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

Legally, the urine of a baby is the same as the urine of an adult, namely, ritually filthy. Thus, if it falls into a small body of water, such as a bath tub, it would make the entire contents filthy and unsuitable for ritual purification.

As for the tradition (hadith) in which the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) “sprinkled water” over a baby’s urine, it is understood to refer to washing by pouring water over the area, as the commentators explain.

However, bearing in mind the hardship involved in bathing the baby in water at an appropriate temperature, and the fact that the baby obviously isn’t called upon to be in a state of ritual purification, his urinating in the tub would be somewhat excusable.

Nevertheless, you would still need to wash your own hands afterwards to rid them of the traces of filthy water, and similarly any traces on your person in the case of splashes and the like. Having said that, what would be superior is to give him a brief rinse at the end with some clean water as doing otherwise would be contrary to propriety and the way of excellence.

[Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar li Ta`lil al-Mukhtar (1.114)]

Please also see: Are the Urine, Feces and Vomit of a Baby Filthy According to the Maliki School?

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

wassalam,
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam was born and raised in Ipswich, England, a quiet town close to the east coast of England. His journey for seeking sacred knowledge began when he privately memorized the entire Qur’an in his hometown at the age of 16. He also had his first experience in leading the tarawih (nightly-Ramadan) prayers at his local mosque. Year after year he would continue this unique return to reciting the entire Quran in one blessed month both in his homeland, the UK, and also in the blessed lands of Shaam, where he now lives, studies and teaches.