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Washing Seven Times

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Sidi Moustafa Elqabbany

Al hamdu lillah I am aware that dog and swine make clothing najasa and that when this happens seven washings become necessary. I am wondering what one washing entails? Does that garment need to be washed and then dried in between washings, wrung out, or just squeezed and washed again? Also do any other impurities besides dogs and swine necessitate seven washings one with dirt?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Pigs, dogs, and anything obtained from them (such as their saliva, skin, hair, and flesh) are heavy filth (Ar. najasah mughallazah). (There is no other kind of heavy filth.) If an object comes into contact with heavy filth and there is moisture between the two of them, the object has to be washed seven times, six of which are with purifying water and one of which is with pure soil mixed with purifying water until it becomes muddy. It is recommended that soil be used in the first washing.

An area affected by heavy filth (by having moisture between the two) must be washed entirely for that washing to count. Also, the first washing only happens when all traces (if any) of the heavy filth are removed. If it takes seven washings to remove all traces of filth, this is still the first washing. I don’t know of any reason why rinsing would be required between washings, and Allah knows best.

A Relevant Fiqhi Principle

If a liquid touches an area affected by filth, it takes the ruling of that area upon separation from it. For example, if a garment affected with heavy filth is washed once, the garment still needs to be washed six more times. The water that separates from the garment after washing it has the same ruling: anything this water touches must be washed six times. If no soil is used during the first washing, the garment must still be washed with soil. Since the water takes the same ruling, anything it touches must also be washed in soil. If soil is used during the first washing, the garment needs to be washed six times in plain, purifying water. The same holds for anything that is touched by the muddied water that separates from the garment after the first washing: it must be washed six times with plain, purifying water. For this reason, it is recommended to use soil with the first washing: it saves one from having to use soil when washing things affected by the water that flows off of the washed object.

Allah the Exalted knows best.

Moustafa Mounir Elqabbany
Metro Vancouver, Canada

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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