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Mutahhirat

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Muṭahhirāt (Arabic: المطهِّرات, purifying agents) is a jurisprudential term means the eleven things that makes a mutanajjis tahir (ritually cleanse a thing that became unclean by contact with another unclean thing). Tahara (purification) from najasa is a condition for the validity of some acts of worship, such as prayer and tawaf. Also, eating najis and mutanajjis is haram.

Terminology

Tahara (Arabic: الطهارة) means cleaning the inside and the outside from dirt and vices. The term is used in jurisprudence and ethics.

The jurisprudential tahara has two kinds:

Mutahhirat (Arabic: المطهرات) is a plural form of mutahhir (Arabic: المطهر) and a derivative from tuhr (Arabic: الطهر) and tahara (Arabic: الطهارة). Lexicologically, tahara means cleanliness, purification, and cleanness. Terminologically, it is a ruling of the situation (al-Hukm al-Wad'i) which includes everything except for najis and mutanajjis things. It is obvious that a thing can only be mutahhir when itself is tahir (ritually pure).

General Ruling

In Islamic jurisprudence, tahara of clothes and body is a validity condition of some acts of worship, such as prayer and tawaf. If a part of a mosque or one of the shrines of Prophet Muhammad (s) and the Imams (a) becomes najis, it is an urgent obligation to clean it.

Most of Shi'a jurists mentioned ten things as essentially najis things (al-'ayn al-najis) that never can become tahir, and if something touches them while being wet, it will be mutanajjis. These things are:

  • Blood
  • Urine
  • Feces
  • Semen
  • Dead body (Mita)
  • Dog
  • Pig
  • Unbeliever (Kafir)
  • Fuqqa' (beer)
  • Alcoholic liquor

If something becomes mutanajjis, it can be purified by mutahhirat, which are:

  • Water
  • Ground
  • The sun
  • Transformation (istihala) and Change (inqilab)
  • Transfer (intiqal)
  • Islam
  • Subjection (taba'iyya)
  • Removal of najis
  • Istibra of an animal which eats najis
  • Disappearance of a Muslim
  • Draining of blood from the slaughtered animal

Mutahhirat

1. Water

Water is the most common mutahhir among Muslims. Only pure water is mutahhir. The only sect that believes mudaf water (mixed water), such as rosewater or vinegar, are mutahhir is Hanafi of Sunnis.

2. Ground

The dry and clean ground makes mutanajjis things, such as a mutanajjis sole of feet and shoes, tahir, by some conditions. However, the najis substance should be removed by walking or rubbing or other ways.

3. The Sun

In Shi'a jurisprudence getting dry by the sun makes immovable things, such as trees, buildings, ground, and walls, tahir, by some conditions.

On the other hand, Hanafis believe that however (by the sun or air flow) the things mentioned above get dry, they become tahir.

Shafi'is, Hanbalis, and Malikis believe that these things can not become tahir by getting dry even by the sun; instead they can only become tahir by water.

4. Transformation and Change (Istihala and Inqilab)

Istihala means the transformation of the essence of something to another thing completely, for instance, a mutannajis wood burns and transforms to ashes or a dog falls in a salt-marsh and transforms into salt. Shafi'is and Hanbalis from Sunnis believe that the smoke and ashes of essential najis things are najis as well.

According to the viewpoint of the majority of Shi'a scholars, Inqilab means the change of wine to vinegar. Inqilab makes the previous wine tahir.

5. Transfer (Intiqal)

Intiqal means a najis becomes part of a tahir thing, for instance, the blood that a mosquito has sucked from a human (blood of mosquito is tahir) or a najis fertilizer absorbed by a tree.

6. Islam

Unbelievers are najis and if they convert to Islam become tahir.

7. Subjection (Taba'iyya)

Taba'iyya means a mutanajjis becomes tahir, in the subjection of another thing becoming tahir, for example, the container of wine becomes tahir after that it transferred to vinegar.

8. Removal

In some cases, removal of najis causes the mutanajjis to become tahir. For instance, the body of animals or the inner parts of human body (inside the nose and mouth).

9. Istibra

Urine and feces of a halal animal which get used to eating najis are najis. Istibra' makes that animal tahir. Istibra' means not letting that animal eat najis for a specific time, which differs between different animals.

10. Disappearance of a Muslim

If body, dress or things that are in possession of a Muslim become mutanajjis; the next time that one encounters the Muslim these things are tahir; provided that, the one believes the Muslim has cleaned them, and there is no need to ask the Muslim whether he has cleaned the things or not. However, the Muslim should be at least in the age at which a child can discern between right and wrong (mumayyiz) and know the rulings of tahara.

11. Draining of Blood

After slaughtering a halal animal following the rulings prescribed in Islam (dhibh), and flowing out of blood from its body in normal quantity, the blood which remains in the body of the animal is tahir.

References

  • The material for this article is mainly taken from مطهرات in Farsi Wikishia.