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Najis

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Al-Najasa (Arabic:النجاسة) or impure things (al-'Ayan al-najisa) is a jurisprudential term referring to the things that according to Islamic laws are not allowed to be eaten or drunk or carried during Salat or Hajj.

Al-'Ayan al-najisa are ten things that their essence and nature is impure and are not capable of being purified, while other thing are originally tahir and if they contact these najis things while being wet they become najis or, more technically, they become Mutanajjis, and are capable of being purified.

Terminology

Najis (نجس), in Islamic jrusprudence, referes to things which are regarded ritually impure. the antonym of the word Najis is the word tahir (ritually pure), not clean or hygenic. Therefore it is possible that something clean is ritually considered as impure and something unclean could be ritually pure.

The Arabic word is pronounced in three ways: Najas, najis and Najs.

Ten Impure Things

According to Islamic jurisprudence, there are several thing that are considered essentially impure; i.e. they are not capable of being purified, like blood, urine and pig. These things are called najis al-'ayn (نجس العین). Most Shi'a faqihs have counted ten thins as impure by it self: Blood, urine, feces, semen, dead body, dog, pig, unbeliever, wine and beer.

* Blood: The blood of human and any animal whose blood gushes forth if one of its large veins is cut, is najis. Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanafi believe that all kind of blood (whether that animal has gushing blood or not) are najis.

* Urine and feces: The urine and feces of human and every animal whose meat is haram and has gushing blood is najis. There is disagreement about the Najasa of feces of birds whose meat is haram, such as crow.

Shafi'i and Hanafi say that the feces of animals with halal meat is also najis, and they have different rulings about birds.

* Semen: The semen of every animal that has gushing blood is najis.

There is disagreement among Sunni scholars about Najasa of semen as Shafi'i and Hanbali believe that it is tahir.

* Dead body: The dead body of an animal that has gushing blood is najis and is called mita. Human dead body is also najis before Ghusl al-Mayyit (although, there is disagreement about its Najasa after death before that it gets cold). The body of animals with halal meat which have been slaughtered according to Islamic laws are tahir; while the meat, leather, bone and gelatin obtained from the same animals which are not slaughtered according to Islamic rulings is najis; therefore, things that are made of leather in non-Muslim countries are najis; as the animals have not been slaughtered according to Islamic laws, even if there were made of the leather of animals of halal meat, such as cow and sheep.

Moreover, skin and hair of some animals whose meat is haram can become tahir, provided they have been slaughtered according to Islamic rulings.

* Dog and pig: All body parts of dog and pig is najis, including their saliva.

Maliki believe that all kind of animals, including dog and pig are tahir, and Hanafi believe that only pig is najis.

* Unbeliever: According to majority of Shi'a faqihs non-Muslims, who are divided into seven categories, are najis. However, there is disagreement in Najasa of some of these categories:

  • Atheists
  • Polytheists (who believe that God has a partner)
  • Follower of distorted divine religions such as Judaism and Christianity.
  • Who reject an essential belief of Islam while knowing that it is essential.
  • Who do not believe in prophethood of Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah (s) (the Prophet of Islam).
  • Who swear at the infallible Imams or has enmity towards them, such as Khawarij and Nasibin.
  • Ghulat (who believe that one of the infallible Imams is God or that God has incarnated in his body.

* Wine: Wine and other intoxicants, that are liquid originally, are najis, and drinking them is haram.

There is disagreement about the Najasa of medical and industrial alcohol.

If grape or its juice are boiled, they become najis unless the two third of them evaporates. There is no difference between the case that it was boiled by itself or by the heat, nor between the case that the boiled liquid is intoxicating or not.

* Beer (Fuqqa':فقاع): Fuqqa' or beer is also najis.

Some faqihs have added the following things:

  • Sweat of a person who has become Junub from haram way (e.g. masturbation and fornication)
  • Sweat of an animal with halal meat that has got used to eat human feces.

Sunni believe that vomit is najis. Wadhi and Madhi is najis in the viewpoint of Hanafi, Maliki and Shafi'i. Hanbai believe that Wadhi and Madhi of human and every animal with haram meat is najis.

Pure Things Become Impure

Except ten impure things (al-a'yan al-najisa), other things are originally pure (tahir); but if a pure thing come into contact with an impure thing, while they are wet, the pure thing becomes impure. In this condition, the pure thing is called Mutanajjis (lit. the thing which has become impure). Unlike 'Ayan al-najis, Mutanajjis is capable of becoming tahir (clean).

However, like 'Ayan al-najis, a Mutanajjis can make other things Mutanajjis if it contacts them while being wet.

Rulings about Najis

In Islamic jurisprudance, there are some rulings about impure things which mulslims should obsurve them. Some of these rulings are as following:

  • The ten impure things are intrinsically najis and cannot become pure (tahir), but by using mutahirat (purifiers) such as water, the mutanajis (the pure thing become impure) can become pure.
  • Eating najis is haram. However, eating mutanajis after purifying it is allowed.
  • The body and clothes must be clean from impurity during prayer and Tawaf.
  • The water for Wudu and ritual bath (ghusl) must be pure (tahir).
  • Making the Qur'an and mosque najis is haram and cleaning them is immediate obligation.

Comparison of Najis Things between Shi'a and Sunni Fiqhi Schools

There are some differences between Shi'a and Sunni fiqhi schools, some of which are as follow:

Title Shi'a Maliki Shafi'i Hanafi Hanbali
Dog and pig Najis Tahir Najis Najis Najis
Purifying a dish in which saliva of dog dropped One time rubbing with soil then one time washing with water Washing with water seven times One time rubbing with soil then washing with water six times --- One time rubbing with soil then washing with water six times[1]
Purifying a dish in which saliva of pig dropped Washing with water seven times Washing with water seven times One time rubbing with soil then washing with water six times --- One time rubbing with soil then washing with water six times[2]
Dead body Dead body of muslim, before ghusl al-mayyit, is najis and with ghusl al-mayyit becomes tahir Human dead body is tahir Human dead body is tahir Human dead body is najis and wiht ghusl al-mayyit becomes tahir Human dead body is tahir[3]
Martyr's blood[4] Najis Tahir Tahir Tahir Tahir .[5]
Semen The semen of human and every animal that has gushing blood is najis The semen of human and every animal is najis The semen of human and every animal, except for dog and pig, is tahir --- The semen of human and halal animals is tahir.[6]
Pus(pus of injury) Tahir Najis Najis Najis Najis.[7]
Feces of animals Feces of all animals is tahir except for those animals that have gushing blood Feces of halal animals is tahir and feces of haram animals that have gushing blood is najis Feces of all animals is najis Feces of all animals except for those halal birds which drop feces from the sky is najis Feces of halal animals is tahir and feces of haram animals that have gushing blood is najis.[8]
Vomit Tahir Najis Najis Najis Najis.[9]
Madhy and wadhy Tahir Najis Najis Najis From halal animals is tahir and from haram animals is najis.[10]
Remainder of food or drink of animals Remainder of dog and pig's food or drink is najis Remainder of human and all animals' food and drink is tahir Remainder of dog and pig's food or drink is najis Remainder of dog and pig, alcohol drinker, wild animals and a cat's (after which mouse eats or drinks) food or drink is najis Remainder of dog and pig's food or drink is najis.[11]

Notes

  1. al-Jazīr, ʿAbd al-Raḥman, al-Fiqh ʿala madhāhib al-khamsa, vol.1 p.24.
  2. al-Jazīr, ʿAbd al-Raḥman, al-Fiqh ʿala madhāhib al-khamsa, vol.1 p.24
  3. al-Jazīr, ʿAbd al-Raḥman, al-Fiqh ʿala madhāhib al-khamsa, vol.1 p.24
  4. when he is martyred in battlefield.
  5. al-Jazīr, ʿAbd al-Raḥman, al-Fiqh ʿala madhāhib al-khamsa, vol.1 p.24
  6. al-Jazīr, ʿAbd al-Raḥman, al-Fiqh ʿala madhāhib al-khamsa, vol.1 p.25
  7. al-Jazīr, ʿAbd al-Raḥman, al-Fiqh ʿala madhāhib al-khamsa, vol.1 p.25
  8. al-Jazīr, ʿAbd al-Raḥman, al-Fiqh ʿala madhāhib al-khamsa, vol.1 p.26
  9. al-Jazīr, ʿAbd al-Raḥman, al-Fiqh ʿala madhāhib al-khamsa, vol.1 p.26
  10. al-Jazīr, ʿAbd al-Raḥman, al-Fiqh ʿala madhāhib al-khamsa, vol.1 p.26
  11. al-Jazīr, ʿAbd al-Raḥman, al-Fiqh ʿala madhāhib al-khamsa, vol.1 p.27

References

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