Clean and Unclean Signs of Water According to Islam ~ Hi! In this article, I will invite all of you to recognize the characteristics of unclean water. As Muslims, we must understand this very well, because it involves the obligation to carry out religious orders. You can imagine the consequences if we don’t know whether the water we use for bathing, ablution, drinking, cooking, washing clothes, etc. is holy water or unclean water! If the water is sacred then it doesn’t matter. But if the water is unclean, the services we perform, such as prayer and reading the Quran, will be null and void.
Actually, there is a hadith from the Prophet Muhammad which describes the clean and unclean signs of water.
Hadith About Clean and Unclean Signs of Water
The hadith about clean and unclean signs of water that I mean is below;
عَنْ أَبِيْ أُمَامَةَ الْبَاهِلِيِّ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : إِنَّ الْمَاءَ لَا يُنَجِّسُهُ شَيْءٌ إِلَّا مَا غُلِبَ عَلَى رِيْحِهِ وَطَعْمِهِ وَلَوْنِهِ . أَخْرَجَهُ اِبْنُ مَاجَهْ
From Abu Umamah al-Bahili radliyallahu anhu, he said, “The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said, “Surely the water is not unclean unless the smell, taste, and color change.” The hadith is narrated by Ibn Majah.
All readers! If we look at the hadith above, we will know that there are three properties of water that we can use to infer whether the water is holy or unclean. These three properties are aroma, taste, and color. In the hadith explained, that in fact the water was not unclean, unless one or even three of its characteristics changed because of the fall of something unclean.
For example, in our bathroom there is a container filled with water. If there is an object falling into it, but it does not change one of the properties of water, then the water is holy. We may use it for bathing, ablution, etc., because the water is indeed holy and purifies. If there is an object that falls into coffee or tea, if the object does not change one of the original properties of coffee or tea, then the coffee and tea are not unclean and we may drink it. Vice versa!
But Muslim scholars differed on water which was unclean, but one of its characteristics did not change. Imam Malik argues that the water is not unclean, both in small or large quantities. That is because there are other hadiths;
عَنْ أَبِيْ سَعِيْدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : إِنَّ الْمَاءَ طُهُوْرٌ لَايُنَجِّسُهُ شَيْءٌ . أَخْرَجَهُ الثَّلَاثَةٌ
From Abu Sa’id al-Khudri radliyallahu anhu, he said, “The Messenger of Allah alaihi wa sallam said, “Surely the water is holy and cannot be defiled by anything. “The hadith is narrated by three people (Abu Daud, at- Tirmidhi, and an-Nasa’i).
Imam Malik also said that if the unclean has changed one of the properties of water, then the water is unclean. The flow of Syafi’iyah, Hanafiyah, and Hanabilah, says that if the water is a little it is unclean, but if the water is large, it is not unclean. A little water is not up to two Qullah (about 203.125 liters) of water, whereas a lot of water is two Qullah water or even more.