Pre-conditions of the prayer, lesson 2, By Muhammad Allie Khalfe.

Shafi’i Fiqh

Book of Prayer, Lesson 2

Pre-conditions of the prayer

Ma al-Mutlaq or pure water

The water must be free of or independent of a qayid lazim. The qayid Lazim is a description attached onto the water such that when the water is so described, it is no more independent but has the connotation of the qayid lasim.

Example: In the case of ‘rose water’, the adjective ‘rose’ cannot be detached from the actual water. In other words the water is now ‘rose water’ and cannot be described as just ‘water’. The same is the case with ‘sugar water’ or ‘curried water’. The qayid lazim is the sugar or rose or curry and it must be attached to the water.

Rain, sea, hail, snow, well, fountain or river water.

In these, the adjective can be detached from the water and the water still retains its identity as water. This is not the case of the qayid lazim. Water which is free of a qayid lazim is ma al-Mutlaq or pure water.

Imam Shafi’i maintains that only ma al-mutlaq can be used for Tahara and conversely, if water is described by means of a qayid lazim then such water may not be used for Tahara, although this water may be used for other purification purposes like bathing, washing the dishes etc.

The purity of the water.

The purity of the water is assessed in terms of a change in smell, color and taste. However, the water remains pure if the change it undergoes is due to any of the following:

–  The place over which the water flows is a salt river or stream or the likes of these.

–  Leaves which fall into the water.

–  Natural salts which are inherently present in the water.

–  Natural chalk or salts from the soil mixing with the water.

If any of the above causes the change in smell, color or taste then the water is still considered to be ma al-mutlaq or pure water, due to the fact that the change is natural and one which is unlikely to be prevented.

Substances which mix with the water are of two types, Mughalid and Mujawir.

Mughalid – a substance which dissolves completely in the water. It is water soluble and becomes completely mixed with the water. The Mughalid does not remain as a separate entity. It becomes one with the water.

Mujawir – insoluble and retains its separate identity. An example would be stones or wood or iron. These remain separate from the water after falling into the water.

According to Imam al-Shafi’i, water which changes by a Mughalid is not suitable for Tahara but that of the Mujawir even though it imparts say, a smell, to the water, the water remains ma al-Mutlaq.

Example: A tin falls into the water and the water tastes funny. This water is still ma al-Mutlaq and suitable for Tahara.

Estimation of the change.

–  If something falls into the water which could have been prevented and the change is extremely small then the water remains as ma al-mutlaq.

The change can either be Khissi or Taqdiri

–  Khissi, meaning the change can be detected by a change in smell, color or taste.

Example: Red curry fell into the water and the change in color is visible to the naked eye. This red curry is Mughalid as explained above and the Khissi change takes the water out of its ma al-mutlaq state and cannot be used for Tahara.

–  Taqdiri, meaning the change is not discernable and here, estimation can be made.

Example: A tea spoon of a certain apricot juice fell into the water and the color did not change. An estimation can be done (not practically but only an estimated judgment is required).

For taste: would a similar amount of pomegranate juice change the taste of water?

For color: would a similar amount of grape juice impart a change of color to the water?

For smell: would a similar amount of a certain type of incense give a change to the smell of the water?

and Allah knows best.

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