Pre-conditions of the prayer, lesson 4, By Muhammad Allie Khalfe.

Shafi’i Fiqh

Book of Prayer, Lesson 4

Pre-conditions of the prayer

Ma-ul Musta’mal

[All important words in need of clarification will be defined as we go along]

Ma-ul Musta’mal in the Ma’natul lughawi [Language of the Arab] means “Water which has been used [in any way].”  The Shari’ meaning [as understood within the Shari’a] is specific and means “The water which has already been used for a Fard [Compulsory] act like wudhu”. Before entering on to a discussion on the definition, the importance must be pointed out of the Usul al-Fiqh principals, especially that of Ta’rif [definition] and Mantiq because each Madhab [referring here to the four Sunni orthodox schools of thought] defines certain words in accordance with the specific in accordance to their school under and study and implications thereof. Here we adhere to the Madhab of Imam al-Shafi’i.

Fard [Compulsory]

If we take for example the Wudhu [Ablution] and Ghusl [a Spiritual Bath washing the entire body with water] then it is well known that there are two types of Wudhu namely, a Fard Wudhu and a Sunnah [Non obligatory act] Wudhu; A Fard Ghusl and a Sunnah Ghusl. Furthermore there are body parts which are Fard to wash and others which are Sunnah to wash. The body parts washed are done so more than once. For example in the Wudhu, the washing of the face is Fard and it is only the first wash which constitutes the Fard. The second and third are considered as Sunnah.

The conceptual thing [Amr I’tibariyy]

There are three Shari’ meanings to Hadath but the one which is of concern to us here is “the unseen bodily condition which prevents the performance of the Prayer [Salah]”. This is the Hadath we are concerned with in this lesson. In other words, one cannot see that the person has not performed wudhu or ghusl. This unseen bodily condition is termed Amr I’tibariyy.

It must be noted firstly that it is the Fard Whudh or Ghusl which removed the Hadath i.e. The Amr I’tibariyy, and enables one to perform the Salah. It is Sunnah to renew one’s wudhu but this sunnah wudhu does not remove the Hadath because the Amr I’tibariyy has already been removed with the Fard Wudhu.

Secondly, it is the first wash [example, of the face or arms or forehead or feet] i.e. the Fard wash, which removes the Hadath and the second and third wash, which are Sunnah, does not remove the Hadath.

Having clarified these issues, one is able to fully understand Ma-ul Musta’mal.

Ma-ul Musta’mal is the water which has been used to remove Hadath. In other words, the water has removed the Amr I’tibariyy and enables one to perform Salah. It can be seen that Ma-ul Musta’mal applies only to that water which has been used in a Fard and not to water used for the Sunnah’s.

Can Ma-ul Musta’mal be used for Tahara?

[Tahara in the language of the Arab meaning “to clean” and in the Shari’a, “meaning to perform Wudhu, Ghusl or removing Najis”].

To re-cap, we confirmed in earlier lessons that Ma al-Mutlaq [Pure water, see lesson 2] is water, which one is able to use for Wudhu, Ghusl and the removal of Najis, and that Ma- al-Mushammas is disliked [Makru] for the aforementioned. Before answering the question regarding the usage of Ma-ul Musta’mal for Tahara, one has to look at the types of Qawls [Opinions] of those qualified to give legal opinion within the Shari’a [Mujtahidin p. Mujtahid].

Types of Qawls

Qawl Qadim: This is the opinion or verdict first arrived at by the Mujtahid. It is well known that the Ijtihad of the Mujtahid can be changed but the Qawl Qadim remains the first Ijtihad reached. For example the performance of the Jumu’a congregational prayer where Imam al-Shafi’i’s Qawl Qadim was that three people was enough for the performance of Jumu’a. Subsequently, this number was changed to forty people.

Qawl Jadid: This is the new Qawl after the Ijtihad has been changed and is termed the Nas of the Ijtihad in that the scholars [‘ulama] maintain that this is the final say of the Madhab.

However, some of the ‘ulama contend that one is able to work with the Qawl Qadim. According to the Madhab of Imam Shafi’i, the Qawl Qadim on Ma-ul Musta’mal was that the water was Mutlaq [Pure] and thus able to be used for Tahara. Thus, in times or places of water scarcity, according to this Qawl, the Ma-ul Musta’mal can be gathered and used for Wudhu or Ghusl.

The Qawl Jadid however maintains that the Ma-ul Musta’mal is not Mutlaq and most of the scholars within the Shafi’i madhab [Shafi’iyya] adhere to this as the Nas of the Madhab. It can be seen that in this case the ‘ulama indicate that Ma-ul Musta’mal is a Qayid Lazim [see lesson 2 for definition of the Qayid Lazim].

If the Ma-ul Must’mal is a little in measure then it cannot be used again. If however, such water is in a large quantity or, a little Ma-ul Musta’mal is mixed with a lot of water which is Mutlaq, then such waters can be used again.

A large quantity is defined by the ‘ulama as two Qulla’s [Qullatayn]. This is a measurement which was historically known as two Qulla’s of Hajr which at the same time was found to weigh five-hundred Baghdadi pounds. In cubic measure this is a cube of one and a quarter elbow lengths in breadth, width and height. The suggested volume measurement is to take the average of say twenty-five men of average height and measure their elbow lengths. One thus gets the average of an elbow length and from this calculation the measurement of  one and a quarter elbow lengths using this measurement cubed, the capacity of Qulla’s can be outlined.

Tahir and Muttahir

Ma-ul Musta’mal is not Najis. The dalil [proof] for this is provided by the following hadith’s of the prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]:

  1. On visiting a companion who was ill, the prophet [peace be upon him] performed wudhu. He [peace be upon him] then used the same leftover water and sprinkled some of it over the sick person. This proves that Ma-ul Musta’mal is not Najis.
  2. When water used for wudhu fell onto the clothes of the prophet [peace be upon him], he did not treat it as Najis but rather performed Salah with the same clothes on.
  3. The Prophet [peace be upon him] said that the Human being is by default pure and clean. Therefore, water which washes off from the body must also be clean. Further ahadith [p. hadith] indicates and illustrates that, although the Ma-ul Musta’mal is not Najis, it is considered as Ghayru Tahur i.e it cannot be used for Tahara.
  4. There is no evidence to support the fact that the Prophet [peace be upon him] re-used water, which he previously used for Tahara for Tahara again.
  5. The companions [Allah be pleased with them] did not use such water i.e Ma-ul Musta’mal again. If it occurred that they did not have any water then they performed Tayamum [Ablution using dust]. This clearly shows that if it could be used for Tahara, they would not have performed Tayamum.

[Note that the above five points are extracts from ahadith of the prophet [peace be upon him]

It can thus be seen that the first three ahadith are Dalil for Ma-ul Musta’mal to be Tahir i.e. clean in itself and not Najis. The remaining two hadith’s qualifies Ma-ul Musta’mal as Muttahir or Ghayru Tahur i.e. it cannot be used for Tahara.

The I’lla [reason] for Musta’mal

A khilaf [difference of opinion] exists as to the I’lla for water being Musta’mal [water previously used for Wudhu or Ghusl as mentioned earlier]. As pointed out earlier, some of the ‘ulama contend that Ma-ul Musta’mal is not Mutlaq [pure water] because Musta’mal constitutes a Qayid Lazim [a mixture to the water like rose or sugar and so forth as mentioned in previous lessons]. Other ‘ulama disagree with this, maintaining that it [Pure water mixing with our body for example during wudhu] is not Qayid Lazim because no change of smell, colour or taste can be discerned. The first mentioned ’ulama, however, point out that the condition or state of being Ma-ul Musta’mal is a Qayid Lazim [the additional characteristic mixed with the water]. Both arguments are fairly strong and the ‘ulama maintain that the best way out of this controversy is to say that it is Ta’abbudi i.e. there is no reason for Musta’mal given in the Shari’ah, we accept it because it is the way of the Prophet [peace be upon him].

Return to previous lesson.

Proceed to lesson 5.

Allah knows best.

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