Tranlation by Aboo Aamir Ishaaq bn AbdirRaheem
Section of Rulings on Water
Water that is regarded as being clean and suitable for purification will not cease to have those two qualities except when its smell, colour and taste change due to the effect of impurities. As for the factor of colour, it will cease to become water when pure things mix with it and its colour changes absolutely. And there is no difference with respect to little or much water, or what is more than two pots or less, and whether it flows or it is stagnant, or whether it is used or not.
This section involves a number of issues:
One: The fact that water is clean and it is suitable for purification; there is no difference of opinions about that. In fact the Book and the Sunnah have both mentioned that fact, just as the Proof to indicates its being clean and suitable for purification; there is also Ij'mâ' (Consensus) over that. Al-Asl (Root), Azh-Zhâhir (Obviousness) and Al-Barâ'ah (Freedom from liability) also indicate that. The basis is that water is clean and suitable for purification, no controversy about that; so also does obviousness indicate that, and freedom from liability serves as the basis for its being regarded as unmixed with impurities.
His words: '…will not cease to have those two qualities…' that is, the quality of its being clean and the quality of its being suitable for purification.
His words: '…except when its smell, colour and taste change due to the effect of impurities.'
That is the second issue in the section; that nothing will make water cease from having the two qualities except what might affect one of the three factors among impurities, nothing else.
It is this view that is clearer and stronger. The proof for that is what was recorded by Ahmad, and authenticated by him; Abu Dâwud, At-Tirmidhî who also graded it as hasan; An-Nasâ'î, Ibn Mâjah, Ad-Dâraqutnî, Al-Bayhaqî, Al-Hâkim who also authenticated it; Yahyâ bn Ma'în – may Allâh bestow mercy on him – too graded it as authentic, so also Ibn Hazm – may Allâh bestow mercy on him, as it has come in the hadith of Abu Sa'eed – may Allâh be pleased with him – who said:
'O Messenger of Allâh, should we perform ablution from Budâ'ah Well? A well which menstrual things, dog flesh and dirt are flung.' Then the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – said:
)) الْمَاءُ طَهُورٌ لَا يُنَجِّسُهُ شَيْءٌ ((.
'Water is regarded as being clean, nothing can make it impure.'
Ibn Al-Qattân – may Allâh bestow mercy on him – was of the opinion that the hadith has a hidden defect (as regard its authenticity). There are many opinions with respect to the names of many Companions of the Prophet – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – and the Followers, that however does not necessitate the claim of anonymity (the hadith is said to have). Even Ibn Al-Qattân – may Allâh bestow mercy on him – himself said after regarding the hadith as having a hidden defect: 'It has a better route than this;' then he mentioned the route from Abu Sa'îd – may Allâh be pleased with him.
The proof has been established over the authentication of those who authenticated the hadith among the scholars.
The hadith has supportive proofs such as the hadith of Sahl bn Sa'd – may Allâh be pleased with him – with Ad-Dâraqutnî; hadith of Ibn Abbaas – may Allâh be pleased with him – with Ahmad, Ibn Khuzaymah, Ibn Hibbân; and the hadith of Aaisha – may Allâh be pleased with her – with At-Tabarâni in Al-Ausat, and Abu Ya'lâ and Al-Bazzâr, Ibn As-Sakan all of which are like the hadith of Abu Sa'îd – may Allâh be pleased with him. However Ad-Dâraqutnî recorded it with an additional exception as it has come in the hadith of Thaubân – may Allâh be pleased with him – in this wording:
))الْمَاءُ طَهُورٌ لَا يُنَجِّسُهُ شَيْءٌ إِلاَّ مَا غَلَبَ عَلَى رِيحِهِ أَوْ طَعْمِهِ ((.
'Water is regarded as being clean, nothing can make it impure except what dominates its smell or taste.'
Ibn Mâjah too recorded it with an addition so also At-Tabarâni in the hadith of Abu Umâmah – may Allâh be pleased with him – in this wording:
)) إنَّ الْمَاءَ طَهُورٌ إلا أَنْ يُغَيَّرَ رِيحُهُ أَوْ لَوْنُهُ أَوْ طَعْمُهُ بِنَجَاسَةٍ تُحَدَّثُ فِيْهِ ((.
'Indeed water is regarded as being clean except when its smell, or colour, or taste is made to change by an impurity that falls into it.'
The chain of the above hadith has a fellow who cannot be taken as a proof.
The People of Hadith are unanimous as to the weakness of the addition but a consensus has come over what it contains (of message) as Ibn Al-Mundhir – may Allâh bestow mercy on him – reports that so also Ibn Al-Mulaqqin – may Allâh bestow mercy on him – in Al-Badr Al-Munîr, and Al-Mahdî in Al-Bahr. Those who see proof in Ij'mâ' will accept the addition as being tenable, and those who do not see proof in Ij'mâ' will only see the consensus as being beneficial with regard to the addition; that it has become what scholars have agreed over its meaning, and accepted; it is from that perspective that it is taken as a proof not from the perspective of the Ij'mâ over it.
His words: 'As for the factor of colour, it will cease to become water when pure things mix with it and its colour changes absolutely.'
This is the third issue under the section. And it is in this perspective: That water that has been made permissible for us in purification is the one that has the absolute quality of water which cannot be ascribed to what might mix with it; thus if anything mixes with it then it becomes imperative that it is ascribed to that thing that has mixed with, as it is said, for instance, 'rose water' or what is similar to that. This kind of water that is ascribed to rose cannot be called water absolutely such that it will be said that it is suitable for purification in the understanding of the Qur'ân and Sunnah, as Allâh the Mighty said:
Clean water [Al-Fur'qân: 48].
And as it has come in the authentic Sunnah:
))الْمَاءُ طَهُورٌ ((.
'Water is regarded as being clean…'
Thus with that, such water ceases to be suitable for purification though it does not cease to be clean because what has mixed with it is clean – and when two pure things mix together, that does not necessitate the two ceasing from having the quality that each of them possesses before they mix together.
His words: 'And there is no difference with respect to little or much water.'
This is the fourth issue under the section. What is intended by little or much water is as regard the difference of opinions among the People of Knowledge after they had agreed that whenever any of the three qualities of water is changed then the water ceases to be clean. Some say much water is the one that reaches the level of two pots; little water is whatever is less than that due to what was recorded by Ahmad and the Collectors of the Sunan [i.e. Abu Dâwud, at-Tirmidhî, an-Nasâ'î and Ibn Mâjah], so also Ash-Shâfi'î, Ibn Khuzaymah, Ibn Hibbân, Al-Hâkim, Ad-Dâraqutnî, Al-Bayhaqî – may Allâh bestow mercy on all; Al-Hâkim authenticated the report based on the precepts of the Two Shaykhs (Al-Bukhâri and Muslim) in the hadith of Abdullâh bn Umar bn Al-Khattâb (may Allâh be pleased with both the father and son) who said: 'I heard the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – when he was being asked about water of the desert which carnivores and other animals drink from; then the Messenger of Allâh – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – said:
))إِذَا كَانَ الْمَاءُ قُلَّتَيْنِ لَمْ يَحْمِلْ الْخَبَثَ ((.
'When water is contained in two pots, it cannot bear impurities.'
In the version of Ahmad it reads:
)) لَمْ يُنَجِّسْهُ شَيْءٌ ((.
'Nothing can render it impure.'
In the version of Abu Dâwud– may Allâh bestow mercy on him – it reads:
)) لَمْ يَنْجُسْ ((.
'It cannot become impure.'
Ibn Hibbân reported the like of the version above so also Al-Hâkim. Ibn Manda – may Allâh bestow mercy on him – said: 'The chain of the hadith of two pots is upon the conditions of Muslim.' End of quote.
But there is collision (Al-Idtirâb) in the chain and context of the hadith as explained in its respective places (in the study of hadith) while some have tried to answer the question of the claim of collision in the hadith.
The hadith thus indicates that if water reaches the level of two pots, it will not bear impurities.
But if the water is less than two pots, it may bear impurities; but as it is stated in the hadith: 'Water is regarded as being clean, nothing can render it impure,' that addition upon which there has come a consensus (of the people of knowledge), thus the hadith of the two pots will be understood in that context such that it will be said that water that reaches the level of two pots will not in any way bear impurities except when one of its qualities (colour, smell and taste) is affected by the impurity, then such water can bear impurity as can be observed through the sense. But there is no negation between the hadith of the two pots and the addition wherein there is a consensus of the scholars.
As for whatever is less than the two pots of water, it is liable to bearing impurities.
However there is nothing in the statement (above) that implies that it must bear impurities (if less than two pots) nor that whatever impurity it might bear makes it to cease from being clean because the impurity that can make water to become impure is the one that can affect one of its qualities or all of them; not the impurity that does not cause any change.
The conclusion is that what is implied in the hadith of the two pots is that whatever is less than the two pots can bear impurities. The benefit from it therefore is that that is the limit which if there occurs any impurity in the water, it can affect the water.
As for the assertion that it can make the water cease to be clean, that is not implied in the hadith. And there is no connection between water that can bear impurity and the filth that can make water to cease from being clean because the Lawgiver has negated impurity from water in the absolute sense as it has come in the hadith of Abu Sa'îd – may Allâh be pleased with him – that was earlier mentioned, and what has been brought has a supportive proof that negates impurity from water that reaches the level of two pots as it has come in the hadith of Abdullâh bn Umar – may Allâh be pleased with him – that was also earlier mentioned. The rule is that negation in words is the most profound manner of establishing a generality.
He said in the first one: 'Nothing can render it impure;' and in the second he said – as it has come in that chain – 'Nothing can render it impure.' Thus that implies that all water on the surface of the earth is clean except what might have been clearly excepted from this generality which might make it clear that such water has become impure as it has occurred in the addition upon which there is a consensus – it came in the manner of an exception from the hadith therefore it will be regarded as one of the pertinent specific rule in comparison to the hadith of Abu Sa'îd – may Allâh be pleased with him. And if compared to the hadith of Abdullâh bn Umar – may Allâh be pleased with him, it is an extraneous specific rule, if to consider the most prevailing opinion in the Principles of Jurisprudence, that says generality is absolutely built upon the specific.
Therefore, upon this precept, there is no negation between the implied meaning of the hadith of two pots and the rest of the Ahâdîth (over the issue); rather it could be said with regard to that: Whatever is less than two pots, if it bears impurities then the smell of the water must change or its colour or its taste. This is what can make the water to be regarded as being impure or not having the quality of being regarded as clean. But if it were an impurity that cannot change its qualities that the water bears, then such cannot be regarded as being impure.
Some have tried to determine the level of water that can be less than two pots (that will be regarded as having the tendency of bearing impurities); but many are of the opinion that two pots is the limit; such as Ash-Shâfi'î and his companions, so also An-Nâsir and Al-Mansûr bi-llâh from the family of the Prophet – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam.
Some said the limit of water less than the two pots is the one that can be said anybody using it is using an impurity for purification; while others said the level that it cannot be said anyone using it is using impurity for purification. Among those who have the latter opinion was Ibn Umar – may Allâh be pleased with him, Mujâhid – may Allâh bestow mercy on him – and some people from the family of the Prophet – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – such Al-Haadi, Al-Mu'ayyad bi-llâh and Abu Tâlib.
That has also been reported from Shâfi'î, Abu Hanifah and Ahmad bn Hanbal – may Allâh bestow mercy on all; I do not know whether this report is authentic from them or not. The schools-of-thought of these people are well-documented in the books of their followers; whoever wants to find out should visit those books.
Those who have the above opinion do cite proof in Allâh's Statement, the Mighty:
And keep away from Ar-Rujz (the idols)!
They also cite the hadith on what to be said when one wakes up and when one enters the house and the Ahâdîth forbidding urinating into stagnant water; all these are contained in the Sahîh but they do not indicate what is desired even if we have agreed that one of them has a particular indication, that indication will be regarded as being limited by what has been earlier mentioned; this is so because worship can only take place with supposition s in accordance with the Shariah. That it is not far to say that an intelligent person will not think of using impurity via water except when its mass mixes with water or its smell, or colour or taste in a very clear manner as might be indicated by the supposition. And there is no doubt in the fact that any water upon such a description is impure because when mixing takes place with the mass of dirt, the person performing ablution will be regarded as using an actual dirt.
If the mixing takes place in the smell or the colour or the taste, there is no contradiction between the former and the latter school-of-thought whose view we said is clearer.
The conclusion is that they intend with their statement that if what is thought by using an impurity is its small quantity, if that is not the thought then it is its large quantity which is more than the actual dirt – its smell, colour and taste. Therefore there is no contradiction between the former and the latter schools-of-thought whose view we said is clearer except from the perspective that the people of the latter opinion consider the thought while the people of the former opinion consider the sign. But it is not unknown that when the supposition comes from other than the people of uncertainties and doubt, it will not oppose the sign in an issue like this.
If they intend the use of the actual dirt only and not using it, this is a separate school-of-thought apart from the latter school-of-thought but what is clear is that they intend the first meaning and what indicates that is the fact that there is a consensus that whatever changes the colour of the water, its smell or taste among the dirt necessitates the impurity of the water as that had been earlier stated.
The people of this school-of-thought are among those who say that because of the fact that they enter within the consensus; in fact that is well-stated by the author of Al-Bahr as earlier mentioned. Therefore it is established with this that what they intend is the first meaning I mean what is more than the actual dirt, the smell, colour and taste whether it is established or not. Thus with that, it can be said that there is no contradiction between the two schools-of-thought because those who belong to the first school-of-thought do not deny the fact that using pure water that has a clear dirt will necessitate the water ceasing to be clean in addition to its ceasing be so with the mere use of it, irrespective of the smell, colour or taste; ponder over this, it is very beneficial.
In fact, the main issue upon which this work rests on with regard to causing a merger between the different schools-of-thought on water, and between the proofs indicating that upon this picture I have summarized it which I think none among the people of knowledge has arrived on. The issue is among the most difficult ones wherein every verifier stumbles, and where every adept researcher looks stupid when going over its matters. I have settled the matter in my other works – in different ways. I specifically said much about it in Teebun-Nashr. Some people of knowledge had cited proof for the like of this opinion with hadith like:
)) اسْتَفْتِ قَلْبَكَ وَإِنْ أَفْتَاكَ المُفْتُوْنَ ((.
'Consult your heart even if the Muftis give your verdicts.'
And this hadith:
))دَعْ مَا يَرِيبُكَ إِلَى مَا لَا يَرِيبُكَ ((.
'Leave what makes you to be doubtful for what does not make you to be doubtful.'
What can be derived from the two hadith is that being careful when having a thought is very important.
The people of this school-of-thought make it imperative that such a supposition should be worked with without any qualifications; and you have come to know that the proofs of the first school-of-thought, as we summarized them, indicate the view of the second school-of-thought, thus the hope is far from the like of the two hadith: 'consult your heart…' and 'leave what makes you to be doubtful...;' this is not as expected.
If a person says what he intends is mere citing of proof over acting with suppositions without considering the matter; it will be said that proofs that make it permissible to work with suppositions are many in the Qur'ân and Sunnah but proofs that say suppositions should not be worked with are more. So also is reliance on the hadith of when dog touches the vessels and the hadith of what to be said when one wakes from sleep, or similar Ahâdîth; they do not indicate all that.
Also there a lot of opinions as regard the limit of the large quantity of water among which is the opinion that it is sea-like water, some said a collection of water which if a side of it is shaken the other side will not shake; some said any water whose surface is like the last; there are several other opinions.
All these opinions have no traces of knowledge rather they fall short of narrations that can be accepted and intelligent study.
His words: 'Whether it flows or it is stagnant.'
What that means is that even when water is stagnant – though there is a prohibition as regard using it for purification when it so – that does not make it to cease from being pure because it will return to its being regarded as being pure when it merely moves.
There are proofs that indicate that stagnant water cannot be used for purification so far it remains stagnant; that is due to the hadith of Abu Hurairah – may Allâh be pleased with him – that is recorded by Muslim and others; that the Prophet – Sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam – said:
))لا يَغْتَسِلَنَّ أَحَدُكُمْ فِي الْمَاءِ الدَّائِمِ وَهُوَ جُنُبٌ ((.
'None of you should take bath in a stagnant water while he is in a state of sexual impurity.'
They said: 'O Abu Hurairah, what should we do?' He replied: 'He should take some handfuls from it.'
In the version of Ahmad – may Allâh bestow mercy on him – it reads:
))لَا يَبُولَنَّ أَحَدُكُمْ فِي الْمَاءِ الدَّائِمِ وَلَا يَغْتَسِلُ فِيهِ مِنْ الْجَنَابَةِ ((.
'None of you should urinate into a stagnant water neither should he take bath in it while in state of sexual impurity.'
In the version of Al-Bukhâri – may Allâh bestow mercy on him – it reads:
))لَا يَبُولَنَّ أَحَدُكُمْ فِي الْمَاءِ الدَّائِمِ الَّذِي لَا يَجْرِي ثُمَّ يَغْتَسِلُ فِيهِ ((.
'None of you should urinate into stagnant water – that does not flow – then take bath in it.'
In the version of At-Tirmidhî – may Allâh bestow mercy on him – it reads:
)) ثُمَّ يَتَوَضَّأُ مِنْهُ ((.
'…then (he) performs ablution in it.'
There are other similar narrations (like the above) which all indicate that it is prohibited to urinate into stagnant water, on one side; and that it is prohibited to take bath in it, on another side. And there is a prohibition regarding merging the two acts. But it is not correct to say that the two narrations on the separate sides are limited by the narration that merges the two acts because urinating into water – alone – is not permissible this thus indicates that taking bath in it or performing ablution in it without urinating into it is equally not permissible.
Therefore, whoever wants to perform purification and does not see except stagnant water should try to shake the water so that it will not be regarded as being stagnant then he should perform ablution from it.