What do the scholars and muftis of the mighty Shari’ah say regarding this matter: in England, when the washing machine has washed the clothes once, it removes all the dirty water, then fresh water is taken in and after washing, the water is removed again and the same procedure occurs for the third time. Will clothes become pure through this?

Questioner: Uthmaan from UK


بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

Yes, indeed! If a washing machine does as mentioned above, then the clothes will definitely become pure. Impurity is of two types: (1) Mar’iyyah – that which can be seen e.g. dung and semen. (2) Ghayr Mar’iyyah – that which cannot be seen e.g. urine.

The method of purifying visible impurity [mar’iyyah] is that if the essence of the impurity be done away with, then an impure garment will become pure. This can be achieved by thoroughly washing it once or twice, and this can be achieved to a higher degree via a washing machine, as mentioned.

The method of purifying impurity which cannot be seen [ghair mar’iyyah] is that the impure garment be washed three times and that it be wrung with full strength each time. In this case, the machine will also wash & strain the garment three times and cause it to become pure.

It is mentioned in the well-known Hanafī book of law, al-Hidāyah,

“وَالنَّجَاسَةُ ضَرْبَانِ : مَرْئِيَّةٌ ، وَغَيْرُ مَرْئِيَّةٍ فَمَا كَانَ مِنْهَا مَرْئِيًّا فَطَهَارَتُهُ زَوَالُ عَيْنِهَا  وَمَا لَيْسَ بِمَرْئِيٍّ فَطَهَارَتُهُ أَنْ يُغْسَلَ حَتَّى يَغْلِبَ عَلَى ظَنِّ الْغَاسِلِ أَنَّهُ قَدْ طَهُرَ ۔۔وَإِنَّمَا قَدَّرُوا بِالثَّلَاثِ۔۔ ثُمَّ لَا بُدَّ مِنْ الْعَصْرِ فِي كُلِّ مَرَّةٍ فِي ظَاهِرِ الرِّوَايَةِ”

“Impurity is of two types: mar’iyyah [visible] and ghair mar’iyyah [not visible]; the removal of the essence of the mar’iyyah will cause that thing to become pure. And ghair mar’iyyah should be washed as many times as it takes for the washer to have pre-dominant assumption [zann ghālib] of the impurity being removed. The ‘Ulamā’ state that zann ghālib can be estimated by washing it three times and wringing [i.e. squeezing adequately] to the best of one’s ability each time.”

[al-Hidāyah, vol 1, pg 36]

It is stated in Bahār-e-Sharī’at that if the impurity is thick (e.g. faeces, dung, blood, etc.) then there is no stipulated number of times that it be washed, it is necessary to do away with it [impurity]. If it is removed through one washing, then one washing will be sufficient to make it pure, and if it takes four or five washings to remove it, then it must be washed four or five times.”

[Bahār-e-Sharī’at, vol 1, part 2, pg 397]

“If the impurity is thin, then washing it three times and wringing it with full force will cause it to become pure. To wring with full force means that one wrings it with such strength that if he were to squeeze it again, no drop would come out. If he does not take into consideration the garment material and does not wring it properly, it will not be purified.”

[Bahār-e-Sharī’at, vol 1, part 2, pg 398]

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri

Translated by Zameer Ahmed

Read the original Urdu answer here – [Q-ID0253] Does a washing machine purify clothes that are Islamically impure?

Also see:

[Q-ID0097] Can we mix pure and impure clothes together and then wash them?

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