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Answered by Sidi Mostafa Azzam

At what point does water become used if purifying clothes of intangible filth? When it comes off the clothes, or as soon as it touches the spot?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful



The Great Scholar

Salim Ibn Sumair al-Hadrami (d. 1271 AH)

Translated by Mostafa Azzam


In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

Praise Allah, lord of the worlds.  From Him we seek help in worldly and religious matters.  Allah favor and salute our master Muhammad, seal of the prophets, his family, and his companions, one and all.  There is no strength or ability except through Allah, the High, the Tremendous.



Pillars of Islam

The pillars of Islam are five: (1) testifying that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; (2) performing the prayer; (3) paying the zakat; (4) fasting Ramadan; and (5) pilgrimage (hajj) to the House for whoever is able to find a way.


Pillars of Faith

The pillars of faith are six: that you have faith in (1) Allah; (2) His angels; (3) His books; (4) His messengers; (5) in the Last Day; and (6) in faith in destiny—that its good and evil are from Allah (how high is He!).


The Meaning of “There is no God but Allah”

The meaning of “There is no god but Allah” is “There is none in existence rightfully worshipped but Allah.” [1]


Logical Rulings

Logical rulings are three: (1) necessary; (2) impossible; (3) possible.


Articles of Belief

Articles of belief are fifty: twenty necessary for Allah, twenty impossible for Allah, one possible for Allah, four necessary for the messengers, four impossible for the messengers, and one possible for the messengers.


Necessary for Allah

Necessary for Allah are twenty: (1) existence; (2) beginninglessness; (3) endlessness, (4) dissimlarity to all else; (5) independence; (6) singularity; (7) ability; (8) will; (9) knowledge; (10) life; (11) hearing; (12( sight; (13) speech; (14) being able; (15) being willing; (16) being knowing; (17) being living; (18) being hearing; (19) being seeing; (20) being speaking.


Impossible for Allah

Impossible for Allah are twenty, the opposites of the necessary: (1) non-existence; (2) beginning; (3) ending;Him (4) similarity to another; (5) dependence; (6) multiplicity; (7) inability; (8) unwillingness; (9) ignorance; (10) death; (11) deafness; (12) blindness; (13) dumbness; (14) being unable; (15) being unwilling; (16) being ignorant; (17) being dead; (18) being deaf; (19) being blind; (20) being dumb.


Possible for Allah

Possible for Allah is one: (1) doing or not doing anything potential.


Necessary for Messengers

Necessary for the messengers are four: (1) truthfulness; (2) loyalty; (3) intelligence; (4) conveyance.


Impossible for Messengers

Impossible for the messengers are four, the opposites of the necessary: (1) lying; (2) treachery; (3) stupidity; (4) concealing.


Possible for Messengers

Possible for the messengers is one: (1) any human condition that does not entail a decrease in their high ranks.


Messengers Necessary to Know

The messengers necessary to know in particular are twenty-five: (1) Adam; (2) Idris; (3) Nuh; (4) Hud; (5) Salih; (6) Ibrahim; (7) Lut; (8) Isma`il; (9) Ishaq; (10) Ya`qub; (11) Yusuf; (12) Ayyub; (13) Shu`ayb; (14) Harun; (15) Musa; (16) al-Yasa`; (17) Dhu l-Kifl; (18) Dawud; (19) Sulayman; (20) Ilyas; (21) Yunus; (22) Zakariyya; (23) Yahya; (24) `Isa; (25) Muhammad.


Books Necessary to Know

The books necessary to know in particular are four: (1) the Tawrah; (2) the Zabur; (3) the Injil; (4) the Qur’an.


Angels Necessary to Know

The angels necessary to know in particular are ten: (1) Jibril; (2) Mika’il; (3) Israfil; (4) `Azra’il; (5) Munkar; (6) Nakir; (7) Raqib; (8) `Atid; (9) Malik; (10) Ridwan.


Kinds of Following (Taqlid)

Following (taqlid) is two kinds: (1) following in the foundations of belief (usul al-din); (2) following in derived legal rulings (furu`).  Following in the foundations of belief is forbidden; following in derived legal rulings is forbidden to someone able to derive them and necessary upon someone unable.


Schools of Belief

The schools of belief are two: (1) Ash`ari; (2) Maturidi.


Schools of Law

The schools of law are four: (1) Hanafi; (2) Maliki; (3) Shafi`I; (4) Hanbali.


Legal Rulings

Legal Rulings are five: (1) necessary (wajib); (2) praiseworthy (mandub); (3) permitted (mubah); (4) detestable (makruh); (5) forbidden (haram). [2]


Signs of Majority

The signs of majority are three: (1) completing fifteen years (for a male or a female); (2) nocturnal emission after nine years (for a male or a female); (3) menstruation after nine years (for a female).



Conditions of Fulfillment with Stones

The conditions of fulfillment with stones are eight: (1) that it be with three stones; (2) that it clean the area; (3) that the filth not dry; (4) that it not shift; (5) that nothing else contact it; (6) that it not pass one’s inner buttocks or the head of one’s penis; (7) that water not affect it; (8) that the stones be pure.


Essentials of Ablution

The essentials of ablution are six: (1) intention; (2) washing the face; (3) washing the lower arms including the elbows; (4) wiping some of the head; (5) washing the feet including the ankles; (6) sequence.



The intention is meaning something when doing it.  Its locus is the heart.  Uttering it is sunna.  Its time is upon washing the first part of the face.



The sequence is that one body part not be put before another.


Volumes of Water

Water is either a small volume or a large volume.  A small volume is less than two barrels; a large volume is two barrels or more.  A small volume is filthified if filth falls into it, even if it does not change; a large volume is not filthified unless its taste, color, or smell changes.


Necessitators of Bathing

The necessitators of bathing are six: (1) insertion of the glans penis into private parts; (2) exiting of ejaculate; (3) menstruation; (4) childbed; (5) childbirth; (6) death.


Integrals of Bathing

The integrals of bathing are two: (1) intention; (2) covering the body with water.


Conditions of Ablution

The conditions of ablution are ten: (1) Islam; (2) discernment; (3) absence of menstruation and childbed; (4) [absence of] anything that prevents the water’s reaching the skin; (5) that there not be anything on the body part that changes the water; (6) knowledge of its essentiality; (7) that one not believe one of its essentials to be sunna; (8) purifiying water; (9 & 10) entrance of the time and continuity (for someone constantly impure).


Nullifiers of Ablution

The nullifiers of ablution are four things: (1) whatever exits either of the two excretory tracts, front or back, gas or otherwise, except ejaculate; (2) losing reason, through sleep or otherwise, except the sleep of someone seated with his behind firmly planted to the ground; (3) the meeting of the skins of a man and a woman that are mature and marriageable, without a barrier; (4) touching the genitals or anus of a human with the inside of the palm or inside of the fingers.


Things Forbidden During Ritual Impurity

Whoever’s ablution is nullified is forbidden four things: (1) prayer; (2) circulation; (3) touching a copy of the Qur’an; (4) carrying one.  Forbidden to someone with sex-related impurity (junub) are six things: (1) prayer; (2) circulation; (3) touching a copy of the Qur’an; (4) carrying one; (5) staying in the mosque; (6) reciting Qur’an.  Forbidden during menstruation are ten things: (1) prayer; (2) circulation; (3) touching a copy of the Qur’an; (4) carrying one; (5) staying in the mosque; (6) reciting Qur’an; (7) fasting; (8) divorce; (9) passing through the mosque if she fears soiling it; (10) sexual pleasure between the navel and knee.


Causes of Wiping with Dirt (Tayammum)

The reasons for wiping with dirt are three: (1) absence of water; (2) sickness; (3) needing [the water] due to the thirst of an inviolable animal.  Those not inviolable are six: (1) an omitter of prayer; (2) a consummator (muhsan) fornicator (zani); (3) an apostate; (4) a warring (harbi) disbeliever; (5) a mad dog; (6) a pig.


Conditions of Wiping with Dirt

The conditions of wiping with dirt are ten: (1) that it be with dirt; (2) that the dirt be pure; (3) that it not be used; (4) that flour or the like not be mixed in it; (5) that one purpose it; (6) that one wipe one’s face and lower arms with two strikes; (7) that one first remove filth; (8) that one estimate the qibla before it; (9) that the wiping with dirt be after the entrance of the time; (10) that one wipe with dirt for each essential [prayer].


Essentials of Wiping with Dirt

The essentials of wiping with dirt are five: (1) transferring the dirt; (2) intention; (3) wiping the face; (4) wiping the lower arms to the elbows; (5) sequence between the two wipings.


Nullifiers of Wiping with Dirt

The nullifiers of wiping with dirt are three: (1) whatever nullifies ablution; (2) apostasy; (3) suspecting water if one had wiped with dirt due to its absence.


Purifiable Filths

Filths that can become pure are three: (1) wine when changed to vinegar on its own; (2) hide of unslaughtered dead when tanned; (3) whatever becomes an animal.


Levels of Filth

Filths are three: (1) heavy; (2) light; (3) medium.  Heavy is filth of dog, pig, or the descendant of either.  Light is the urine of a baby boy that has ingested nothing besides milk and has not reached two lunar years.  Medium is all other filths.


Purifying Filth

Heavy filth is purified by seven washings after removing its substance, one of them with dirt.  Light is purified by splashing water over it, given covering it and removing its substance.  Medium is categorized into two categories: (1) substantial; (2) virtual.  Substantial is that which has color, smell, and taste: it is necessary to remove its color, smell, and taste.  Virtual is that which has no color, smell, or taste: flowing water over it suffices you. 


Menstruation (Hayd) and Childbed (Nifas)

The minimal menstruation is a day and a night; its usual is six or seven; its maximal is fifteen days with their nights.  The minimal purity between two menstruations is fifteen days; its usual is twenty-four days or twenty-three days; its maximal has no limit.  The minimal childbed is any expulsion; its usual is forty days; its maximal is sixty days.



Excuses for Delaying Prayer

The excuses from prayer are two: (1) sleep; (2) forgetting.


Conditions of Prayer

The conditions of prayer are eight: (1) purity from the two ritual impurities; (2) purity from filth in clothing, body, and place; (3) covering the shameful area; (4) facing the qibla; (5) entrance of the time; (6) knowledge of its essentiality; (7) that one not believe one of its essentials to be sunna; (8) avoiding the invalidators.


Ritual Impurities

Ritual impurities are two: (1) minor; (2) major.  Minor is that which necessitates ablution; major is that which necessitates bathing.


Shameful Areas

Shameful areas are four: (1) the shameful area of a man, without exception, and of a slavegirl in prayer is what is between the navel and knee; (2) the shameful area of a freewoman in prayer is her entire body except the face and hands; (3) the shameful area of a freewoman and a slavegirl around outsiders is the entire body; and (4) around her unmarriageables and women is what is between the navel and knee.


Integrals of Prayer

The integrals of prayer are seventeen: (1) intention; (2) the opening Allahu akbar; (3) standing for someone able in the essential prayer; (4) reciting the Fatihah; (5) bowing (ruku`); (6) repose in it; (7) straightening up; (8) repose in it; (9) prostrating (sujud) twice; (10) repose in it; (11) sitting between prostrations; (12) repose in it; (13) the final testification (tashahhud); (14) sitting during it; (15) praying for the Prophet (Allah favor and salute him) during it; (16) the salaam; (17) sequence.


Levels of Intention

The intention is three levels: (1) if the prayer is an essential one, purposing the act, specification, and [intending] the essentiality are necessary; (2) if it is a non-necessary one that is time-specific (such as a regular sunna) or has a reason, purposing the act and specification are necessary; (3) if it is an unconditional non-necessary one, only purposing the act is necessary.  The act is “I pray”; specification is “the afternoon prayer” or “the late afternoon prayer”; essentiality is “essential”.


Conditions of the Opening Allahu Akbar

The conditions of the opening Allahu akbar are sixteen: (1) that it occur during standing in the essential prayer; (2) that it be in Arabic; (3 & 4) that it be with the utterance “Allah” and with the utterance “akbar”; (5) sequence between the two utterances; (6) that one not stretch the ‘ of “‘Allah”; (7) not stretching the b of “akbar”; (8) that one not double the b; (9) that one not add a w (unvowelled or vowelled) between the two words; (10) that one not add a w before “Allah”; (11) that one not stop between the two words of “Allahu akbar” (neither a long nor short stop); (12) that one make all its letters audible to oneself; (13) entrance of the time for a time-specific prayer; (14) performing it while facing the qibla; (15) that one not mispronounce any of its letters; (16) the follower’s Allah akbar occurring after the imam’s Allahu akbar.


Conditions of the Fatihah

The conditions of the Fatihah are ten: (1) sequence; (2) continuity; (3) correctly pronouncing its letters; (4) correctly pronouncing its doublings; (5 & 6) that one not pause a long pause or a short pause with which one means to cease reciting; (7) reciting all its verses, of which the Basmalah is one; (8) the absence of a mispronunciation that changes the meaning; (9) that it be during standing in the essential prayer; (10) that no foreign invocation interrupt it.


Doublings of the Fatihah

The doublings of the Fatihah are fourteen: (1) “Bismi Llahi” on the l; (2) “r-Rahmani” on the r; (3) “r-Rahimi” on the r; (4) “al-Hamdu liLlahi” on the l of majesty; (5) “rabbi l-`alamin” on the b; (6) “ar-Rahmani” on the r; (7) “r-Rahim” on the r; (8) “maliki yawmi d-din” on the d; (9) “‘Iyyaka na`budu” on the y; (10) “wa ‘iyyaka nasta`in” on the y; (11) “‘Ihdina ssirata l-mustaqim” on the s; (12) “sirata lladhina” on the l; (13 & 14) “‘an`amta `alayhim ghayri l-maghdubi `alayhim wa la ddallin” on the d and the l.


Occasions of Raising the Hands

Raising the hands is sunna on four occasions: (1) at the opening Allahu akbar; (2) at bowing; (3) at straightening up; (4) at standing from the first testification.


Conditions of Prostration

The conditions of prostration are seven: (1) that one prostrate on seven body parts; (2) that one’s forehead be bare; (3) pressing one’s head down; (4) not descending for something else; (5) that one not prostrate on something that moves with one’s movement; (6) raising one’s lower parts above one’s higher parts; (7) repose in it.


Prostration Parts

The prostration parts are seven: (1) the forehead; (2 & 3) the insides of both hands; (4 & 5) both knees; (6 & 7) the bottoms of both feet’s toes.


Doublings of the Testification

The doublings of the testification are twenty-one, five in its ideal and sixteen in its minimal: (1 & 2) “At-tahiyyatu” on the t and y; (3) “l-mubarakatu ssalawatu” on the s; (4 & 5) “ttayyibatu” on the t and y; (6) “liLlah” on the l of majesty; (7) “As-salamu” on the s; (8, 9, & 10) “`alayka ‘ayyuha n-nabiyyu” on the y, the n, and the y; (11) “wa rahmatu Llahi” on the l of majesty; (12) “wa barakatuh. As-salamu” on the s; (13) “`alayna wa `ala `ibadi Llahi” on the l of majesty; (14) “ssalihin” on the s; (15) “‘Ashhadu ‘al la ‘ilaha” on the la; (16 & 17) “‘illa Llah” on la and the l of majesty; (18) “wa ‘ashhadu anna” on the n; (19, 20, & 21) “Muhammadar rasulu Llah” on the the m of Muhammad, on the r, and on the l of majesty.


Doublings of the Prayer for the Prophet

The doublings of the minimal prayer for the Prophet are four: (1 & 2) “Allahumma” on the l and m; (3) “salli” on the s; (4) “`ala Muhammad” on the m.



The minimal salaam is “As-salamu `alaykum.”  The doubling of the salaam is on the s.


Times of Prayer

The times of prayer are five: (1) the beginning of the afternoon (zuhr) prayer’s time is the sun’s descent, and its end is when something’s shadow becomes equal to it excluding the shadow of noon; (2) the beginning of the late afternoon (`asr) prayer’s time is when everything’s shadow becomes equal to it and increases slightly, and its end is the setting of the sun; (3) the beginning of the sunset (maghrib) prayer’s time is the setting of the sun, and its end is the setting of the red twilight; (4) the beginning of the nightfall (`isha’) prayer’s time is the setting of the red twilight, and its end is the rising of true dawn; (5) the beginning of the morning (subh) prayer’s time is the rising of true dawn, and its end is the rising of the sun.

The twilights are three: (1) red; (2) yellow; (3) white.  The red means the sunset prayer, and the yellow and white mean the nightfall prayer.  Delaying the nightfall prayer until the yellow and white twilights set is praiseworthy.


Forbidden Times for Prayer

Prayer that has no preceding or coinciding reason is forbidden during five times: (1) at the rising of the sun until it rises the measure of a spear; (2) at noon on other than Friday until it descends; (3) at the yellowing until it sets; (4) after the morning prayer until the sun rises; (5) after the late afternoon prayer until it sets.


Pauses of Prayer

The pauses of the prayer are six: (1) between the opening Allahu akbar and the opening supplication (du`a’ al-iftitah); (2) between the opening supplication and seeking refuge (ta`awwudh); (3) between the Fatihah and seeking refuge; (4) between the end of the Fatihah and “amin”; (5) between “amin” and the Qur’anic chapter; (6) between the Qur’anic chapter and bowing.


Integrals Requiring Repose

The integrals in which repose is required are four: (1) bowing; (2) straightening up; (3) prostrating; (4) sitting between prostrations.  Repose means stillness after movement such that every body part settles in its place for the measure of “Subhana Llah.”


Reasons for the Prostration of Absentmindedness (Sujud al-Sahw)

The reasons for the prostration of absentmindedness are four: (1) omitting one, or part of one, of the prayer’s elements (ab`ad); (2) doing that whose deliberate performance invalidates and whose absentminded performance does not, when one does so forgetfully; (3) transferring an oral integral to other than its place; (4) performing a physical integral with the possibility of being extra.


Elements (Ab`ad) of Prayer

The elements of prayer are seven: (1) the first testification; (2) its sitting; (3) praying for the Prophet (Allah favor and salute him) in it; (4) praying for the Family in the final testification; (5) the qunut; (6) its standing; (7) praying for and saluting the Prophet (Allah favor and salute him) and his family and companions in it.


Invalidators of Prayer

Prayer is invalidated by fourteen things: (1) by ritual impurity; (2) by the occurrence of filth if not immediately removed without carrying; (3) exposing of the shameful area if not immediately covered; (4) deliberate utterance of two letters or a letter conveying meaning; (5) by a deliberate spoiler of fasting; (6) forgetfully eating much; (7) three continuous movements, even if absentmindedly; (8) a gross jump; (9) an excessive hit; (10) deliberately adding a physical integral; (11) preceding or lagging behind one’s imam by two physical integrals without excuse; (12) intending cutting short the prayer; (13) making cutting it short dependent on something; (14) indecision about cutting it short.


Prayers Requiring Intention of Imamate

Those in which the intention of imamate is required are four: (1) Friday prayer; (2) repeated prayer; (3) vowed group prayer; (4) advance prayer in rain.


Conditions of Following

The conditions of following are eleven: (1) that one not know the invalidity of the imam’s prayer, due to ritual impurity or otherwise; (2) that one not believe the necessity of his making it up; (3 & 4) that he not be a follower or an illiterate; (5) that one not stand ahead of him; (6) that one know the movements of one’s imam; (7) that they join in a mosque or approximately 300 cubits; (8) that one intend following or the group; (9) that the form of their prayers agree; (10) that one not contradict him in a sunna whose contradiction is gross; (11) that one follow him.


Scenarios of Following

The scenarios of following are nine, being valid in five: (1) a man’s following a man; (2) a woman’s following a man; (3) a hermaphrodite’s following a man; (4) a woman’s following a hermaphrodite; (5) a woman’s following a woman; and being invalid in four: (6) a man’s following a woman; (7) a man’s following a hermaphrodite; (8) a hermaphrodite’s following a woman; (9) a hermaphrodite’s following a hermaphrodite.


Conditions of Advance Combining

The conditions of advance combining are four: (1) beginning with the first; (2) intending combining in it; (3) continuity between them; (4) the excuse remaining.


Conditions of Postponed Combining

The conditions of postponed combining are two: (1) intending postponing while there remains from the time of the first enough to fit it; (2) the excuse remaining until completion of the second.


Conditions of Shortening

The conditions of shortening are seven: (1) that one’s travel be two marhalahs; (2) that it be permitted; (3) knowledge of the allowance of shortening; (4) intending shortening at the opening Allahu akbar; (5) that the prayer be a four-cycle one; (6) continuing travel until its completion; (7) that one not follow someone praying fully in any of one’s prayer.


Conditions of Friday Prayer

The conditions of the Friday prayer are six: (1) that it be entirely in the time of the afternoon prayer; (2) that it be performed within the districts of town; (3) that it be prayed as a group; (4) that they be forty that are free, male, of age, and inhabitant; (5) that no Friday prayer precede it or coincide with it in that town; (6) that two sermons precede it.


Integrals of the Friday Sermons

The integrals of the two sermons are five: (1) praising Allah in both of them; (2) praying for the Prophet (Allah favor and salute him) in both of them; (3) advising wariness (taqwa) in both of them; (4) reciting a verse of the Qur’an in one of them; (5) supplicating for the male and female believers in the last.


Conditions of the Sermons

The conditions of the two sermons are ten: (1) purity from the two ritual impurities, minor and major; (2) purity from filth in clothing, body, and place; (3) covering the shameful area; (4) standing for someone able; (5) sitting between them more than the repose of prayer; (6) continuity between them; (7) continuity between them and the prayer; (8) that they be in Arabic; (9) that he make forty hear them; (10) that it be entirely in the time of the afternoon prayer.


Funeral Rites

Requirements for the Deceased

What is required for the deceased are four things: (1) bathing him; (2) shrouding him; (3) praying over him; (4) burying him.



The minimal bathing is covering his body with water.  Its ideal is that one wash both his private parts, that one remove the dirt from his nose, that one give him ablution, that one rub his body with ground jujube leaf, and that one pour water over him three times.



The minimal shroud is a garment that covers him.  Its ideal for a man is three wrappings and for a woman a gown, headscarf, skirt, and two wrappings.


Integrals of Funeral Prayer

The integrals of the funeral prayer are seven: (1) intention; (2) four Allahu akbars; (3) standing for someone able; (4) reciting the Fatihah; (5) praying for the Prophet (Allah favor and salute him) after the second; (6) supplicating for the deceased after the third; (7) salaam.



The minimal burial is a pit that conceals his smell and protects him against carnivores.  Its ideal is the height of a man with arms outstretched.  His cheek is to be put on the dirt.  Facing him to the qibla is necessary.


Reasons to Dig Up the Deceased

The deceased is to be dug up for four reasons; (1) for bathing if he has not changed; (2) for facing him to the qibla; (3) for property if it was buried with him; (4) for a woman if her fetus was buried with her and its life is possible.



Aids are four types: (1) permitted; (2) contrary to the better; (3) detestable; (4) necessary.  The permitted is bringing the water.  The contrary to the better is pouring the water on (for example) someone performing ablution.  The detestable is for someone to wash one’s body parts.  The necessary is for someone sick when unable.



Properties Liable to Zakat

The properties upon which zakat is due are six kinds: (1) livestock; (2) the two monies; (3) crops; (4) trade wealth (whose due is one fortieth of the value of the trade goods); (5) buried treasure; (6) deposits.

[1] Here begins the section that the translator has added.

[2] Here ends the section that the translator has added.

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