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The Division of Water into Two Classes

Imām Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn

A brief discussion on whether there is a class of water that is ṭāhir, i.e. clean but not suitable for wuḍūʿ?

Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn said [concerning the ones who divide water into three types]:

  1. ṭahūr [amenable for wuḍūʿ],
  2. ṭāhir [clean in and of itself but not amenable to wuḍūʿ],
  3. and najis [not amenable to wuḍūʿ],

The correct opinion [in this matter] is that water is divided into just two types: ṭahūr and najis.

If water is changed [in taste, colour, or smell] by something that is considered najis, then that water is najis. Water that is unchanged by najis is ṭahūr. As for the [third] division of ṭāhir, it does not exist in the sharīʿah. This is also the opinion taken by Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah. The evidence of this is the lack of evidence. For if the class [of water] termed ṭāhir was present in the sharīʿah, it would have been a widely known, well understood division clarified and espoused in aḥādīth. This is because the [presence of such a class] is not a trivial or meaningless matter; it can determine whether or not an individual purifies himself with water or has to make tayammum. Thus, people would have a dire need to know [of this class of water] just as they have a requirement to be aware of that which nullifies their wuḍūʾ and other similar matters that would have been related to us if confirmed.

Source: al-Sharḥ al-Mumtiʿ:54
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: July 12, 2022
Edited: February 9, 2023

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