Surety and Doubts

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question Summary

I change my clothes when I wake up for prayer. My sleep clothes were contaminated (najasa) I recall changing. Later I wasn’t sure any longer. What’s the ruling?

Question Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

May Allah guide every dimension of our lives to that which pleases Him.

Nature of Semen

If your question refers to ‘semen,’ know that it is considered pure (tahir), not filth (najis) in the Shafi’i School. [Nawawi, Al-Majmuʿ Sharh Al-Muhadhdhab]

Surety and Doubts 

If the filth described refers to actual filth, then your problem will be resolved by applying the following legal maxim: “Doubt does not remove certainty (al-yaqin la yuzal bi al-shakk).” [Nawawi, Al-Majmuʿ Sharh Al-Muhadhdhab]

You were sure (regular surety) that you changed clothes. The doubt crept in later. Ignore the doubt and go back to the status quo of surety. This legal maxim is a blessing from Allah. Seek refuge in Allah from the insinuations of the Devil, and Allah knows best.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.

This answer was collected from It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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