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The Fiqh of Washing Machines

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Can one throw filthy (najis) and pure (tahir) clothing together in an automatic washing machine, and have them come out pure?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate. All praise is to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. And the blessings and peace of Allah be upon His Chosen Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad, his family, companions, and followers.

If one washes filthy clothes in a washing machine, and they come out without any trace of filth, they are considered to have become ritually pure (tahir).

It is strongly suggested, however, that one run the clothing through 3 washing cycles, as the scholars asked about this differed as to whether washing it three times is a necessary condition or not.

The way of caution, however, is to rinse off the filth first, before washing in the washing machine. This also saves water. This is why it is stated in As a Rule:

“When ladies wash clothes in automatic washing machines, articles that are affected with filth (najasa) should be rinsed off by hand before they are put into the washer. One shouldn’t run the washing machine through several cycles in order to rinse out either najasa or surplus soap. Water is important.” [As a Rule, p. 18]

[Based on Questions asked of Shaykh Adib al-Kallas, Shaykh Muhammad Jumu`ah (who reported the answer of Shaykh Abd al-Razzaq al-Halabi), and Shaykh Mahmoud Ashraf Usmani]

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani,
Amman, Jordan.

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.

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