How to Wash Impurities Using Washing Machines? [Shafi’i School]

Answered by Ustadh Shuaib Ally

Question: If my pants have Madhi (pre-seminal/prostatic fluid) on it, will my other clothes become affected if I wash them together in a washing machine?

What is the status of dried Madhi and Mani (semen/sexual fluid) on a fabric? Are they still dirty?

Answer: Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Introduction

There are two main opposing opinions regarding washing clothes that have a form of moderate impurity (such as madhi i.e. pre-seminal fluid) on it with other clothes in an automatic washing machine. Both rely on the authoritative position of the Shafi’i school that water (if less than approximately 216 litres) must be poured onto the impurity so as to not render the water impure.

Two Opinions

A machine will rinse the laundry multiple times after washing it with detergent. Those who hold that the clothes are rendered pure consider this rinsing to fulfill the requirement of the school to have the water poured on the impure entity (in this case, all of the clothes). Those who hold that the clothes remain impure do not consider this rinsing sufficient in fulfilling that requirement. It considers the water and the clothes to have become impure.

Conclusion

To prevent the outcome of the second opinion, one must wash away anything that is considered ritually impure (such as madhi) before putting it in the washing machine. While the first opinion does not necessitate this, it is recommended that one do so, so as to not fall within an area of juristic disagreement.

Note

Mani (semen/sexual fluid) is considered pure. This is because of the agreed upon report of ‘Aisha that she would scratch off semen from the clothes of the Prophet (peace be upon him), in which he would then pray. Were it impure, the school reasons, the area would have been washed prior to being prayed in.
Madhi (pre-seminal/prostatic fluid) is considered impure, and must be washed and removed, even if dried on fabric. This is because of the agreed upon report that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered ‘Ali (Allah be pleased with him) to wash his private parts due to its presence.

Source: Mughni al-Muhtaj

wassalam,

Shuaib Ally