Insights into Purification: Muhammad ﷺ , the Purest of all People

Extracts from lessons given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) on the rulings and etiquettes of purification. Habib Umar is teaching Habib Abdullah bin Husayn Balfaqih’s “Kifayat al-Raghib” in Shafi`i fiqh.

 

Things which are considered impurities in the case of most people are considered pure in the case of the Prophet ﷺ and the other Prophets. There are many hadith that point to this fact.

Abdullah bin Zubayr drank the Prophet’s blood after cupping him. Other Companions sucked the blood from his wounds.

One night the Prophet ﷺ urinated into a container and left it under his bed. In the morning he asked Umm Ayman to remove it. She said that she woke up in the night and she was thirsty so she drank it, not knowing that it was urine. The Prophet said to her: “In that case you will never suffer from stomach pain.” This was the case until she died.

Umm Sulaym used to collect the Prophet’s sweat in a jar when he was sleeping. He once awoke to find her doing so. He asked her what she was doing and she replied: “O Messenger of Allah, we use your sweat as perfume and as a source of blessings for our children.”

“You did the right thing,” the Prophet said.

The Prophet did not forbid anyone from doing these things. He did not say to anyone that they had committed an innovation or associated partners with Allah.

The Prophet’s favourite perfume was musk although he only used perfume to teach his Ummah to do so. His natural scent was sweeter than musk. Once a drop of his sweat fell on the ground in a place in Madinah. The sweet smell remained in the that place for a whole year!

Sayyiduna Ali said: “Allah placed the most valuable worldly things in the lowest of creatures. The most valuable type of food is honey, and it comes from the stomach of a bee. The most valuable type of clothing is silk and it comes from a worm. The most valuable perfume is musk and it comes from a gazelle’s blood.

He also said: “If someone’s main concern is what enters his stomach, his value is what exits from it.”

Insights into Purification: Removing Impurities (Part Two)

Extracts from lessons given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) on the rulings and etiquettes of purification. Habib Umar is teaching Habib Abdullah bin Husayn Balfaqih’s “Kifayat al-Raghib” in Shafi`i fiqh.

 

It is possible to purify something which has been contaminated with filth but it is impossible to purify something which is itself filth. It is impossible to purify excrement, even if you washed it twenty times. The filth would in fact increase.

Likewise through an intention, an act which is merely permissible can become something which is recommended or it can become something which is forbidden. Eating is praiseworthy if it is done with the intention to gain strength to worship Allah. However, an intention has no effect on an act which is forbidden. Stealing someone’s money with the intention of giving it to the poor does not make stealing permissible.

People often get their priorities wrong. They are not concerned about whether their food and drink is lawful but when it comes to impurities they are over cautious. They might wash something twenty times out of fear of it being contaminated by filth. The Companions and the pious people of the Ummah, on the other hand, were extremely concerned about the lawfulness of their income and not overly concerned about impurities. Habib `Alawi bin Shihab said: “If only people were scrupulous about their food and drink and not about purification. Any deficiencies in purification are much more likely to be overlooked.”

Imam al-Ghazali said that when it comes to purification people think things which are highly unlikely (ie that something is impure) are a real possibility. But when it comes to money and food they think things which are a real possibility (ie that it is from an unlawful source) are highly unlikely. This is because they are not well grounded in taqwa and scrupulousness.

 

Insights into Purification: Removing Impurities (Part One)

Extracts from lessons given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) on the rulings and etiquettes of purification. Habib Umar is teaching Habib Abdullah bin Husayn Balfaqih’s “Kifayat al-Raghib” in Shafi`i fiqh.

Allah says: Truly Allah loves those who constantly repent and those who constantly seek to purify themselves. [1]

Allah said to the most pure of people ﷺ: Cleanse your garments. [2]

Allah says: Only the purified ones may touch it. [3] Habib Ahmad bin Hasan al-`Attas said that this principle applies to all things. Whoever wishes to obtain knowledge or certitude or proximity to Allah, say to him: Only the purified ones may touch it. Only when a person has purified himself is he ready to receive divine gifts. Likewise only when he has removed outward impurity is he ready to enter into Allah’s presence by performing the prayer.

Linguistically impurity or filth (najasah) is everything which someone of a sound disposition would regard to be foul.

Its definition according to the Sacred Law is every foul thing which prevents the prayer from being valid (as long as there is no dispensation regarding it). It includes urine, excrement, blood, pus, vomit, liquid intoxicants, dogs, pigs and unslaughtered dead animals.

It is impermissible to allow your clothing or your body to be soiled with najasah. Likewise Allah is not content for anyone to be soiled with arrogance, envy or pride. He dislikes every foul attribute, word and intention.

Allah created impure things and gave us the means to cleanse ourselves. He decreed that impurities come forth from our bodies. We thus come to know our weakness and slave-hood to Allah. We come to know our deficiencies and Allah’s perfection. For every sickness He gave us a remedy. Likewise He gave us the means to purify ourselves from the sicknesses of the heart.

Removing impurities was something extremely difficult for the Jews. According to their law, if they wished to remove impurities from their clothing they had to cut off the affected area, but through the Beloved ﷺ things were made easy for us. He came to remove people’s burdens and hardships.

Allah says: Those who follow the Messenger, the Unlettered Prophet whom they find described in their Torah and Gospel – he enjoins on them good and forbids them from evil, he makes lawful for them all good things and prohibits them from what is foul and he relieves them of their burden and the fetters that were upon them. Those who believe in him, honour him, support him and follow the light that was sent down with him – they are successful. [4]

When you remove impurities, pray, fast, raise your children and honour your parents do so in a state of awareness that you believe in him, honour him, support him and follow the light that was sent down with him. Then you will be among the successful. If you have this awareness in every act of worship you will receive a portion of the light that was sent down with him. This light is above all the Qur’an, but the Prophet ﷺ himself and everything related to him is light – his words, his deeds, his states and his teachings. Allah says: There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book [5]. Your portion of this light is according to the degree to which you believe in him, honour him and support him.

[1] Al-Baqarah, 2:222

[2] Al-Muddathir, 74:4

[3] Al-Waqi`ah, 56:79

[4] Al-A`raf, 7:157

[5] Al-Ma’idah, 5:15

 

Insights into Purification: On Loss of Intellect and Sleep

Extracts from lessons given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) on the rulings and etiquettes of purification. Habib Umar is teaching Habib Abdullah bin Husayn Balfaqih’s “Kifayat al-Raghib” in Shafi`i fiqh.

If someone loses their intellect their wudu is nullified.

The word for intellect (`aql) has the meaning of preventing. A person’s intellect prevents him from committing a reprehensible act.

It has been narrated that if someone commits a sin, part of his intellect departs and never returns. The meaning of this is that committing a sin dims the light of a person’s faith and intellect. If he repents and performs a good deed it will wipe out the effect of the sin but it will not make up for the loss of intellect. Had he not committed the sin in the first place the light of his faith and intellect would have increased.

The scholars also agree that sleeping nullifies your wudu, although they differ on the details.

Allah made sleep a manifestation of mankind’s weakness. No one can say that he can do without sleep, except those who have undertaken spiritual struggle (mujahadah) in the correct way. Someone on the spiritual path strives to reduce four things: his sleep, food, speech and contact with people.

This is the advice of Imam al-Haddad:

وكن في طعام والمنام وخلطة  ** ونطق على حدِّ اقتصارٍ  وقلةِ

Since sleep is a manifestation of our weakness and deficiency, Allah decreed that there is no sleep in Paradise. When we are in a state of joy In this life we are unable to sleep. That joy passes, but the joy of Paradise never passes so no one in Paradise ever sleeps. The people of the Fire do not sleep either, but this is due to the punishment they are receiving. May Allah protect us from the Fire.

One of the unique attributes of the Prophet ﷺ was that his wudu was not nullified when he fell asleep, even if he fell asleep lying down. He said about this: “My eyes sleep but my heart does not sleep.”

The Sacred Law teaches us the etiquettes of going to sleep. It has been said that if someone observes the etiquettes of going to sleep, he will be in a wakeful state even when he is asleep. Likewise if someone fails to observe the etiquettes of going to sleep, he will be asleep even when he is awake. This is because his heart is asleep.

Insights into Purification: When is it recommended to perform Wudu?

Extracts from lessons given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) on the rulings and etiquettes of purification. Habib Umar is teaching Habib Abdullah bin Husayn Balfaqih’s “Kifayat al-Raghib” in Shafi`i fiqh.

There are many times and situations in which it is recommended to perform wudu. Here are some of them:

1.       When you wish to read or carry the books of tafsir and hadith, out of veneration for the speech of Allah and His Messenger . Allah says: If someone venerates the things Allah has made sacred, this is truly a sign of piety in the heart. [1] When Imam Malik was asked to narrate hadith, he would perform ghusl, put on perfume and put on his best clothes before doing so. This shows you the secret of adab (correct etiquette) which is a means of elevation. When Muslims neglected these etiquettes they lost out on great good. They lost the spirit of their acts of worship while the outward form remained. One of the knowers of Allah said: “The religion is veneration for the religion.” The degree to which you benefit from any act of worship is according to the degree of your veneration for that act of worship.

2.       When you wish to remember Allah. The scholars are in agreement that it is permissible to remember Allah in a state of minor and major ritual impurity (janabah). However, it is recommended to be in a state of wudu when you remember your Lord.

One of the Companions once gave the Prophet greetings of salam while he was making wudu. The Prophet did not respond until he had finished his wudu. He said that what had prevented him from responding was that he did not wish to remember Allah while not in a state of wudu. Saying: “Peace be upon you and the mercy and blessings of Allah,” constitutes remembrance of Allah and ‘al-Salam’ is one of the names of Allah.

You should have a time during the day or night in which you remember Allah in the best possible state: in wudu, with tranquillity and facing the qiblah. You should also remember Allah in other states –when you are in a state of minor or major ritual impurity, when you are lying down, when you are walking and so on. The Prophet  would remember Allah in every state.

3.       When you wish to study the sacred sciences, because the light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah extends to them. Someone who is studying Arabic grammar in order to be able to understand the Qur’an and the Sunnah, for example, should do so in a state of wudu. He should be in a state of wudu not just when he attends the lesson but also when he reviews it.

4.       When you wish to recite the Qur’an without touching the mushaf or when you wish to listen to the Qur’an, although it is permissible to do both while not in a state of wudu.

5.       Before sleeping. The Prophet said: “When you go to your bed, perform wudu as you would for prayer.” If someone is in a state of major ritual impurity it is strongly recommended for him to make wudu before sleeping, just as it is recommended for him to make wudu before eating and drinking.

6.       When you become angry. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Anger is from the Devil and the Devil was created from fire. Water puts out      fire,     so if one of you becomes angry, then he should perform wudu.” In general when someone’s normal state changes they should perform wudu to help them to return to a state of calmness and balance.

7.       After forbidden speech, such as backbiting, tale-bearing or lying. Some Zaydi scholars are of the opinion that lying and backbiting invalidate a person’s wudu. So if you want to know if someone is telling the truth about something you wait for him to make wudu and then ask him about that thing. If he goes to make wudu again before praying it means he was lying.

8.       After committing a sin

9.       When you wish to perform ghusl it is recommended to perform wudu first

10.      Before giving the adhan. It is disliked (makruh) to give the adhan while not in a state of wudu, and even more disliked to give the iqamah while not in a state of wudu.

11.       Before spending time in the mosque. It is impermissible to spend time in the mosque in a state of major ritual impurity

12.       Before performing Sa`i between Safa and Marwah

13.       Before visiting graves in general and the grave of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and any other prophet specifically. Imam Malik said that people should say they are visiting the Prophet and not merely his grave. One of the Companions came and kissed the grave of the Prophet and rubbed his face against it. When asked what he was doing he said: “I did not come for the sake of the earth or the stone. I came to the Messenger of Allah.”

14.      After touching or carrying a dead person

15.      After cupping, vomiting and eating camel’s meat due to the fact that some scholars are of the opinion that these things invalidate your wudu.

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[1] Al-Hajj, 22:32

Insights into Purification: Maintaining and Renewing Your Wudu

Extracts from lessons given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) on the rulings and etiquettes of purification. Habib Umar is teaching Habib Abdullah bin Husayn Balfaqih’s “Kifayat al-Raghib” in Shafi`i fiqh.

Wudu is the weapon of the believer, and is a means of protection. It is recommended to be constantly in a state of wudu, and this is one of the etiquettes of the seeker on the path to Allah. If harm comes to you when you are not in a state of wudu, then only blame yourself.

These are some of the benefits of remaining in wudu:

  1. Allah increases your provision
  2. You are better able to control yourself and thus your character improves
  3. Your guardian angels who are constantly with you will love you
  4. You are protected from committing acts of disobedience
  5. You are protected from sorcery, the evil eye and all types of harm

 

If you are in a state of wudu and have already performed a prayer with that wudu, it is recommended to renew your wudu to perform another prayer, whether the prayer is obligatory or recommended.

It is narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ would perform wudu for the obligatory prayer regardless of whether he was already in a state of purity or not. Sayyiduna `Umar and Sayyiduna `Ali would perform wudu for each obligatory prayer, even if they were already in a state of wudu. They would recite the verse:

‘O you who believe, when you rise to perform the prayer, wash your faces..’ (5:6)

It has also been narrated that the Prophet ﷺ would perform two, three or even four obligatory prayers without renewing his wudu.

On the Farewell Pilgrimage he prayed Zuhr and `Asr at `Arafah and Maghrib and `Isha at Muzdalifah and it is not narrated that he performed wudu between those two times.

 

Insights into Purification: Seeking Barakah from the Prophet’s Wudu Water

Extracts from lessons given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) on the rulings and etiquettes of purification. Habib Umar is teaching Habib Abdullah bin Husayn Balfaqih’s “Kifayat al-Raghib” in Shafi`i fiqh.

Sayyiduna Bilal would bring the Prophet ﷺ water for him to perform wudu. He would pour the water for him and collect the water that ran off his blessed body in a container. Then he would go and distribute this water to the Companions, who would almost fight to get some. Some would drink from it and others would pour it on their faces and chests. Those who did not receive any water would take some of the moisture from those who had received water.

This was the understanding of the Companions, who knew the meaning of barakah. In their midst was the greatest of all teachers , so they were not in need of anyone else to correct their understanding.

Insights into Purification: Not Wasting Water

Extracts from lessons given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) on the rulings and etiquettes of purification. Habib Umar is teaching Habib Abdullah bin Husayn Balfaqih’s “Kifayat al-Raghib” in Shafi`i fiqh.

Water is a blessing from Allah. If you were to be deprived of it, you would die of thirst.

Allah says:

“Allah does not love the wasteful” (6:141)

and

“The wasteful are the Devil’s brothers.”(17.27)

The Prophet  ﷺ once passed by Sayyiduna Sa`d and rebuked him for wasting water while performing wudu.

He replied:

“O Messenger of Allah, is there wastage in wudu?”

“Yes,” said the Prophet, “even if you are performing wudu in a flowing river.”

It is disliked to waste water while performing wudu even if you are doing so on the seashore or a riverbank. The river or the sea will not be affected even if you use a lot of water, but you will be affected. If you are excessive in your use of permissible things you will fall into disliked and dubious things and this will lead to forbidden things.

The Prophet  ﷺ said:

“The one who falls into dubious things falls into forbidden things, like the shepherd who allows his flock to graze around a prohibited area. His flock is likely to stray into it.”

The Prophet  ﷺ once performed wudu and  washed each body part three times. He said: “This is my wudu and the wudu of the Prophets who came before me. Whoever does more or less has done something wrong.” It is recommended to wash each body part three times. To wash a fourth time is disliked. It is also disliked to wash less than three times.

The Prophetsaid: “There will be people that go to an excess in their purification and in their supplication.”

The Prophet used around 500 ml for his wudu and around 2 litres for his ghusl.

Just as we should not waste water in purification, we should not be wasteful in other things. We should only take what we need of the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon us.

Imam Ahmad bin Hasan al-`Attas said:

“We do not ask for a large amount of provision or a small amount. Rather we ask for what we need—no more and no less.”

He built a large house to accommodate his many guests. Other people copied him and built large houses. He built his house since there was a need to do so but they built their houses when there was no need.

Sayyiduna al-Hasan al-Basri said that he would enter the Prophet’s apartments and touch the ceiling with his hand. The people of al-Madinah wept when these apartments were removed so that the mosque could be enlarged.

Sayyiduna al-Hasan said:

“I wish that they had left them as they were so that people could see how the Prophet lived.”

When it comes to spending money for Allah’s sake there is no wastage. It has been said:

“Just as there is no good in wastage, there is no wastage in spending on good things.”

 لا سرف في الخير كما لا خير في السرف

Insights into Purification: Supplications after Wudu

Extracts from lessons given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) on the rulings and etiquettes of purification. Habib Umar is teaching Habib Abdullah bin Husayn Balfaqih’s “Kifayat al-Raghib” in Shafi`i fiqh.

The Prophet ﷺ said that if someone says the following after performing wudu, the eight doors of Paradise will be open for him and he may enter through whichever one he wishes:

أَشْهَدُ أن لا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُهُ ورَسُولُه

‘I bear witness that there is no deity save Allah alone. He has no partners. I bear witness that our Master Muhammad is His slave and messenger.’

Generally speaking, before mentioning the Prophet ﷺ it is recommended to say ‘our Master’ (Sayyiduna). Shaykh Ahmad al-Siddiq al-Ghumari compiled a work which mentions forty proofs from the Sunnah to show that this is recommended. There is no doubt that the Prophet is the master of the children of Adam and the master of creation.

One should also say:

الَّلهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِي مِنْ التَّوَّابينَ واجْعَلْنِي مِنْ المُتَطَهِّرينَ و اجْعَلْنِي مِنْ عِبادِكَ الصَّالِحين

سُبْحَانَكَ الَّلهُمَّ وبِحَمْدِكَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لا إِلهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وأَتُوبُ إِليْكَ.

‘O Allah, make me amongst those who constantly repent to You and seek to purify themselves and amongst Your pious slaves. ‘

‘Transcendent are You, O Allah, and praise be to You as You praise Yourself. I bear witness that there is no deity save You. I seek Your forgiveness and I repent to You.’

This supplication has also been narrated in a sound hadith:

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي ذَنْبِي ووَسِّعْ لِي في دَارِي وبَارِكْ لِي في رِزْقِي

‘O Allah, forgive me my sins, make expansive my abode, and bless and increase my provision.’

It is recommended to end the supplication with prayers upon the Prophet, since through that the supplication will be accepted. In fact, some scholars say that prayers upon the Prophet should come at the beginning and the end of any supplication, and even the middle. This is because Allah honours His Prophet by accepting the prayers of the believers upon him, and Allah is too generous not to accept the supplication which accompany them.

One should make the supplication facing the qiblah, raising one’s arms and one’s eyes to the heavens, for just as the Ka`bah is the qiblah of the prayer, the heavens are the qiblah of supplication. Many of the early Muslims would raise their gaze to the heavens when supplicating. This does not mean of course that Allah is in a place, whether it be the Ka`bah or the heavens.

Reciting Surat al-Qadr three times after performing wudu and Ayat al-Kursi have also been narrated.

The full supplications with all the narrations combined are as follows:

أَشْهَدُ أنْ َلاّ إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُهُ ورَسُولُهُ

الَّلهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِي مِنْ التَّوَّابينَ واجْعَلْنِي مِنْ المُتَطَهِّرينَ و اجْعَلْنِي مِنْ عِبادِكَ الصَّالِحين

سُبْحَانَكَ الَّلهُمَّ وبِحَمْدِكَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لا إِلهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وأَتُوبُ إِليْكَ

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي ذَنْبِي ووَسِّعْ لِي في دَارِي وبَارِكْ لِي في رِزْقِي

وصَلَّى اللهُ على سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ وعلى آلِ سَيِّدِنا مُحَمَّدٍ وسَلَّم

Insights into Purification: Facing the Qiblah

 

Extracts from lessons given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) on the rulings and etiquettes of purification. Habib Umar is teaching Habib Abdullah bin Husayn Balfaqih’s “Kifayat al-Raghib” in Shafi`i fiqh.

The best place on the earth after the place in which the Prophet is buried ﷺ is the Noble Ka`bah.

Allah says:

Whichever way you turn, there is the countenance of Allah.[1]

In spite of the fact that the heavens and the earth belong to Allah, He made it such that facing certain directions has a specific effect. He thus made it obligatory to face the Noble Ka`bah in prayer.

Allah says:

Turn your face towards the Sacred Mosque, and wherever you may be, turn your faces towards it. [2]

It is also recommended to face the qiblah in other situations, such as performing wudu. Many people make light of this Sunnah. When they build mosques they should make wudu areas in such a way that the person making wudu faces the qiblah. Facing the qiblah has an effect on the heart and the soul.

If someone is studying, remembering Allah or calling to Allah he should try to face the qiblah and then what he is doing will have more effect and more benefit.

There were once two students who had a similar level of understanding and intelligence. However, Allah gave an opening to one and not the other. The reason for this was that the one who was given the opening always studied facing the qiblah.

It is recommended to sleep facing the qiblah, but once again people neglect this Sunnah because they do not realise its importance.

Extracts from lessons given by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah preserve him and benefit us by him) on the rulings and etiquettes of purification. Habib Umar is teaching Habib Abdullah bin Husayn Balfaqih’s “Kifayat al-Raghib” in Shafi`i fiqh.

***

[1] Al-Baqarah, 2:115

[2] Al-Baqarah, 2:144