Q & A Wudu' and Purity

Q & A: “Dogs touching clothes…”


Q. Salam *** does dog touchging [sic.] our clothes make it impure?


            A number of things need to be mentioned regarding dogs, impurity (najasa) and requirements of cleanliness.

  1. According to the dominant and most correct Hanafi view as stated by Alahazrat Imam Ahmad Reza Khan (Allah have mercy on him),[1] a dog is not impure in and of itself[2] only its saliva, blood and meat is. This was the opinion of Imam al-A`zam Abu Hanifa (ra) and it is the one taken in the school. Thus, if a dry dog say merely passes by brushing one’s trousers then provided the dog did not pass on any impurities (faeces, etc) from the street, one will not need to wash the clothes and praying with the trousers will be valid:

“His saying (a dog is not filthy of itself) rather its meat and blood is impure […].[3]

قوله ( ليس الكلب بنجس العين ) بل نجاسته بنجاسة لحمه ودمه ولا يظهر حكمها وهي حي ما دامت في معدتها كنجاسة باطن المصلي فهو كغيره من الحيوانات

  1. According to a lesser Hanafi opinion, if a wet dog shakes itself and the water falls on a person’s clothes then it will render the affected areas of the clothes impure and hence it will require washing:
“[…] if a dog comes out of the water and shakes itself and then touches the clothes of a person, then it will be impure not if the rain water touches it because the decisive point in the first case is its skin (jilduhu)* which is impure whereas in the second case it is its hair which is pure…”[4]

 […]إذا خرج الكلب من الماء وانتفض فأصاب ثوب إنسان أفسده لا لو أصابه ماء المطر لأن المبتل في الأول جلده وهو نجس وفي الثاني شعره وهو طاهر

*** The view of Imam Ahmad Reza Khan is that the skin of a dog is not impure (najas) (because if a dog is not unclean in its essence then this includes all its parts). He quotes from numerous Hanafi fiqh manuals one being Shaykh Zadeh’s Majma’ al-Anhur:

“[…] and some of [our jurists] differed over whether the hide/skin of dogs is pure or not; however the most correct opinion is that it is pure…”[5]

و اختلف في جلد الكلب والصحيح انه يطهر…

Another being Imam `Abd al-Hayy al-Laknawi’s al-Si`aya:

“The skin of a dog too is pure based on the fatwa of the school declaring [the animal as] pure even though some of [our jurists] considered it impure…”[6]

يطهر الجلد الكلب أيضا بناء على ما عليه الفتوى من طهارة عليه و ان رجح بعضهم النجاسة…

  1. If a dog playfully licks or bites onto an area of one’s clothes, the affected area will have to be washed but if it bites out of anger gnashing with its teeth on the clothes then it will not require washing. The point to note is the moisture from the dog’s saliva. If there is any contact with the saliva, the affected area will have to be washed because the dog’s saliva is considered impure (najis):

“His saying (and neither its bite) meaning the bite of a dog onto one’s clothes and his saying (as long as no saliva is seen) gives consideration to actually seeing any moisture or wetness which is the preferred view. And in Nahr of al-Sayrafiyya it has: what makes saliva evident is the moisture when one touches it. It is said that if a dog bites out of play and desire, it makes [the clothes] impure because moisture comes out of its lips which does not occur when it is angry because it bites down with its teeth…”[7]

قوله (ولا بعضه) أي عض الكلب الثوب قوله (ما لم ير ريقه) فالمعتبر رؤية البلة وهو المختار نهرعن الصيرفية وعلامتها ابتلال يده بأخذه وقيل لو عض في الرضا نجسه لأنه يأخذ بشفته الرطبة لا في الغضبلأخذه بأسنانه

And Allah knows best.

[1] See his fantastic discussion in Salb al-Thalb `an Qa’ilin bi-Taharat al-Kalb reproduced in his splendid magnum opus the al-Fatawa al-Ridwiyya, vol.4, pp.399-472.

[2] Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, vol.1, p.139.

[3] Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, vol.1, p.207.

[4] Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, vol.1, p.208.

[5] Shaykh Zadeh, Majma’ al-Anhur Sharh Multaqa al-Abhur, vol.1, p.32.

[6] al-Laknawi, al-Si`aya fi Kashf ma fi Sharh al-Wiqaya, vol.1, p.409.

[7] Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, vol.1, p.208.





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