In the name of Allah ,the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

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by:  Abdulrahman Al-Sheha.
Original language:  English.
Translted to english by:  Ghalib Ahmad Masri.
Publishing house:  Islamic Propagation Office in RABWAH.
Publishing date:  1422H/2001G.
ISBN:  .

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            Praise be to Allah! may Allah's blessing and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions.

            Purity (Tah�rah) is a beautiful word that is pleasing to the eye, and a quality which everyone wishes to maintain. From an Islamic perspective, purity has a general meaning. Thus it may mean, on the one hand, physical cleanness which is the purity (of the body) from perceptible filth or ritual purification. On the other hand, it may mean spiritual purity which is the purity of the self from vices, sins and abandoning disobediences, and getting used to good deeds and words. This comprehensive meaning of purity is expressed in the words of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), as reported by Abu Hurairah, (may Allah be pleased with him):� What do you think if there was a river at the door of one of you in which he bathes five times a day: Does this leave any dirt on him? They answered, Nothing is left. The Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said, That is like the five prayers with which Allah remove sins� (Bukhari & Muslim).

            Ritual purity is a prerequisite to prayer (Sal�t); this comprises either ablution (wudu') for minor impurity or ceremonial bath (ghusl) for major impurity. If a Muslim purifies himself in accordance with Allah's commandments and the Prophet's instructions, his prayer will purify him of sins. Islam is the religion of both outward and inward purity. Allah's Messenger peace and blessings of Allah be upon him warned those who neglected physical purity which is considered a prerequisite for validity of certain devotions, like prayer, touching or holding the Holy Qur'an, etc. Ibn 'Abbass reported Allah's Messenger's words when he passed by two graves:� They are being punished for some- thing which seemed trivial to them: this one used not to clean himself of urine; whereas the other was used to tale bearing. Then he requested a wet branch which he split into two half and put a half on either grave, then said, With that, punishment will be reduced unless they (the branches) become dry� (Bukhari & Muslim).

            Training his companions to love purity, he used to say the following supplication:� O Allah! Praise be to You as much as that which fills the heavens and the earth and as much as You will. O Allah! Purify me with snow, hail and cool water. O Allah! Purify me of sins as a white dress is purified of dirt� (Ahmad).

            The teachings of Islam urge cleanliness. J�bir narrated that Allah's Messenger peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, once came to them and saw a man with shaggy hair. He said,� Couldn't he find something to tidy his hair up? When he saw another man with dirty clothes, he said, Couldn't this man find water to clean his dress?� (Ahmad, Nasai and Abu Daud).

            Ibn Al-Qayyim stated, " If a person purifies himself and then meets Allah in the Hereafter he will enter Paradise without obstacles. However, in case he does not purify himself in this world: if his impurity persists, like the disbeliever, he will not be allowed into Paradise; but if his impurity is transient, he will be allowed to enter Paradise after he is purified in Hell of that impurity for a period of time" (Ighathatullahfan 1/57).

            What demonstrates the comprehensiveness meaning of purity in Islamic perspective is the fact that was expressed in the Holy Qur'an in one word (i.e. Taharah) which gives several meanings:

    1. Purity from sins. The Qur'an says in this regard, which meaning is translated as:
    � Take alms from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it� (At-Taubah:103). According to Ibn Abbass, may Allah be pleased with him, � The Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him prescribed Zakatul-Fitr as a purification of the fasting person from empty and obscene talk and as food for the poor. If anyone pays it before the Eid prayer, it will be accepted as Zakat, and if anyone pays it after the prayer, it will be counted as alms (Sadaqa) like any other alms� (Abu Daud & Ibn Majah).

    2. Purity (Freedom) from idols, as indicated in the Holy Qur'an, which meaning is translated as:
    � Purify My House for those who perform tawaf (circumambulate) and those who stay therein for worship and those who bow down and prostrate themselves (in worship)� (Al-Baqarah :125).

    3. Purity in the sense of glorification and veneration:
    � Those who disbelieve among the people of the Scripture and the idolaters could not have left off (erring) till the clear proof came unto them, a messenger from Allah, reciting purified scriptures� (Al-Bayyinah:1-3).

    4. Purity also means what is lawful:
    � Upon them will be garments of fine green silk and heavy silk. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a purifying drink� (Al-Insan: 21).

    5. Purity of the heart from suspicion:
    � And when you ask them (the Prophet's wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a partition: that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts� (Al-Ahzab:53).

    6. Purity from unchastity:
    � And (remember) when the angels said: O Mary! Lo! Allah has chosen you and made you pure, and has preferred you above (all) the women of the world (of her times)� (Al-Imran:43).

    7. Purity from dirt and filth:
    � And as for those who believe and do good works, We shall make them enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow, they abide therein for ever; there for them are purified mates (wives), and We shall make them enter plenteous shade� (An-Nisa :57).

    8. Purity from ritual impurities:
    � O you who believe! When you rise up for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands up to the elbows, and wipe your heads (with wet hands), and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. And if you are in a state of major ritual impurity (janaba), purify yourselves (by taking a bath). And if you are sick or on a journey, or one of you comes from the answering of call of nature, or you have had contact with women, and you find no water, then go to clean earth and wipe your faces and hands with some of it. Allah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you and to perfect His grace upon you that you may give thanks� (Al-Maidah :6).

            �'isha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported: Asma asked the Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him about washing after menstruation. He said:� Everyone amongst you should use water (mixed with the leaves of the lot-tree) and cleanse herself well, and then pour water on her head and rub it vigorously till it reaches the roots of the hair. Then she should pour water on it. Afterwards she should take a piece of cotton smeared with musk and cleanse herself with it. Asma said: How should she cleanse herself with the help of that? Upon this he (the Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) observed:Glorify be to Allah, she should cleanse herself. �'isha said, that she should apply it to the trace of blood. She (Asma) then further asked about bathing after sexual intercourse. He (The Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: She should take water and cleanse herself well or complete the ablution and then (pour water) on her head and rub it reaches the roots of the hair (of her) head and then pour water on her. �'isha said: How good are the women of Ansar (helpers) that their shyness does not prevent them from learning religion� (Bukhari & Muslim).

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