Things Considered Impure (Najas) in Hanbali Fiqh

There is a difference of opinion among Muslims scholars as to what type of things are considered impure (najas). The evidences behind their conclusions are discussed in more advanced classes. In the Hanbali school, the following things are considered impure (najas):

  1. Any intoxicating liquid
    • This includes any hashisha that intoxicates
  2. Any bird or animal that is not allowed to be eaten and is larger than a cat
    • Examples: lions, wolves, dogs, pigs, eagles, elephants, vultures, etc.
    • Anything originating from such animals is also considered impure, such as, their saliva, snot, meat, milk, sperm, urine, feces, etc.
  3. Any carcass that has flowing blood is impure after its death even if it is smaller than a cat
    • Examples: mice, snakes, frogs, geckos, etc. are impure after their death even though they are pure while alive
    • The following are exceptions, thus, considered pure before and after death: human beings, fish, locusts and any animal or bird that is permissible to eat. For the last category (animals or birds permissible to eat), it is considered pure after death only if it was slaughtered according to Islamic guidelines, otherwise, it will be considered impure
    • This also means anything that does not have flowing blood is considered pure whether its alive or dead, such as, spiders, roaches, bugs, flies, mosquito, bees, worms, ants, lice, fleas, etc. If such things contain small amount of blood, then that is tolerated but it must not be flowing blood.
      • However, if such insects originate from something impure, then they become impure as well whether they’re alive or dead. For example, if an insect left its eggs in feces and then these eggs hatched.
  4. The following from a human being are considered impure: blood, pus, urine, feces, pre-ejaculatory fluid (madhi) and vomit

What does it mean in Hanbali law when we say such things are impure? It simply means that we cannot eat them and if their saliva, snot, feces, urine, etc. get on our body, clothes, or floor, then we must wash it out with water. For example, if a dog licks our hand, then we must wash the hand out with water to remove the impurity, otherwise, we cannot pray with that unwashed hand even if the hand dried after a while. It does not mean that we treat the above animals with disrespect or abuse.

There are more details involved to the above general list, but they are discussed in more advanced level books.

7 thoughts on “Things Considered Impure (Najas) in Hanbali Fiqh”

  1. Abdulwahid Hinawy

    Isn’t the BOOK of ALLAH SubhanawataaLla Certified as having “NO DOUBT”?, “FULLY DETAILED?” having left out “NOTHING”? Why then do we have split opinions of HIS TEACHINGS among the “schools of thought”?
    With all these Different Opinions, end of the Day, how do we know which is correct and which is faulty?

    1. Your comment seems to indicate that you are not familiar with Islamic intellectual history or Islamic sciences. I advise you study usool al-fiqh with a good teacher and all will be made clear insha’Allah.

      “Why then do we have split opinions” – I’ve discussed this already here.

      “With all these Different Opinions, end of the Day, how do we know which is correct and which is faulty” – The same way we do so for ALL OTHER SCIENCES. We evaluate the evidence and judge it based on that. It’s not that difficult. The details are discussed in books of fiqh and how the laws are derived are discussed in usool al-fiqh. You can also read my piece on islamic philosophy of knowledge here.

      As for what the evidences particularly to the Hanbali school are, then you can refer to the book Manaar al-Sabeel here.

  2. Assalamu alaikum! My brother told me that some dawah channel on YouTube claimed frogs urine is to be considered pure because some frog tried to quench fire of kiln Ibrahim (Alahihiwasallam) was put into by urinating in it. Please, provide me with the correct information. JazakAllah khair.

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