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Removing Baby Filth

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Sidi Mostafa Azzam

  How is one to remove baby vomit, urine, and stool from a hard surface, a mattress, carpet, or clothing?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

First of all, the rulings regarding filth and its removal are personally obligatory knowledge.  One’s prayer is dependent upon knowing them and their occurrence is regular, so everyone is obligated to know them.          

          The text The Essentials of Prayer covers such rulings along with other rulings that the validity of one’s prayer is dependent upon knowing.  Anyone that is not very familiar with the rulings in that text needs to study it and should inquire about who can teach it.  The text is attached to this answer.

            As for the answer to the above Question in particular, I will quote The Essentials of Prayer and explain it.  


“Filth includes the following bodies: …, (2) excreta from the private parts, …, (4) vomit, …” (The Essentials of Prayer)  

Thus baby vomit, urine, and stool are filth.  

Transferrence of Filth  

“All the above are filth in themselves, and if any of them touches a solid that is pure in itself, with moisture between them, the filth is transferred and that solid is filthified.” (The Essentials of Prayer) 

Thus if vomit, urine or stool contact a pure solid with moisture between the filth and the solid, the filth is transferred and that solid is filthified.  It then needs to be purified as will be described.  If there is no moisture (as in the case of dried stool, for example), there is no filthification and the filth only needs to be physically removed without any need to purify the object contacted, since it was not filthified.  Remember, “dry on dry … does not filthify.”  

Removal of Filth  

“A filthified solid is purified by removing the filth’s traces—its body, taste, color, and smell—and then flowing unfilthified, unused water over it.” (The Essentials of Prayer)  

So the first step in removing baby vomit, urine, and stool is to remove all traces of the filth.  (If the color or smell is difficult to remove, it need not be removed.)  This can be done from a hard surface by wiping it or scrubbing it, for example.  Removing the traces of the filth from a mattress, carpet, clothing, or other absorbent material may require first drying such a material, since the body remains in an absorbent material until it is wrung out or left to dry.  Note that removing filth from a mattress might only be possible from its surface, since getting to the inside of the mattress may not be possible.

            After removing all traces of the filth, unfilthified, unused water must flow over all of the filthified area.

 And Allah knows best.  

Mostafa Azzam

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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