Chapter of Utensils | Book of Purification | Umadatul Fiqh

Usually, the scholars place the vessels in the chapter of purification since the vessels are what hold or contain the water being used for purification.

Types of Utensils

It is impermissible (Haram) to use vessels of gold or silver for purification or even in general. This is by the consensus of the scholars.

Narrated Hudhaifa: The Prophet ﷺ said,

لاَ تَشْرَبُوا فِي آنِيَةِ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ، وَلاَ تَلْبَسُوا الْحَرِيرَ وَالدِّيبَاجَ، فَإِنَّهَا لَهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَلَكُمْ فِي الآخِرَةِ

“Do not drink in gold or silver utensils, and do not wear clothes of silk or Dibaj, for these things are for them (unbelievers) in this world and for you in the Hereafter.” [Bukhari]

These vessels cannot be used for even possession or decoration.

Umm Salamah said: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

‏الذي يشرب في آنية الفضة إنما يجرجر في بطنه نار جهنم‏

“Whosoever drinks in utensils of silver, in fact, kindles in his belly the fire of Hell.” [Agreed Upon].
The narration of Muslim is: “Verily, the person who eats or drinks in utensils made of gold and silver.”

The default is that all utensils are permissible to be used unless proven otherwise as is seen above. The question now arises regarding the status of the wudhu done using such impermissible vessels. The madhab and the majority says that it is Haram to use such vessels but the wudhu is valid. There is another narration within the madhab that the wudhu itself is invalid.

If one of the vessels was welded or repaired with small quantities of silver then that is allowed. But if gold is used, no matter what the quantity is, it is impermissible to be used to drink, eat, make wudhu etc.

Narrated Anas bin Malik: When the cup of Allah’s Apostle got broken, he fixed it with a silver wire at the crack. (The sub-narrator, ‘Asim said, “I saw the cup and drank (water) in it.”) [Bukhari]

It is permissible to use any other types of vessels which are pure and they can be possessed and utilised at home. It could be a metal which is even more precious than gold etc.

This prohibition doesn’t refer to those items which are merely coloured silver or golden. It refers to those utensils which are either coated with gold, silver or made by them.

Using the utensils and the clothes of the People of the Book is allowed as long as one is certain that there is no impurity involved with them.

Narrated Abu Tha’laba Al-Khushni: Narrated: I said “O Allah’s Messenger! We are living in a land inhabited by the people of the Scriptures; can we take our meals in their utensils?” He said,

“لَا تَأْكُلُوا فِيهَا، إِلَّا أَنْ لَا تَجِدُوا غَيْرَهَا، فَاغْسِلُوهَا، وَكُلُوا فِيهَا

“If you can get utensils other than theirs, do not eat in theirs, but if you cannot get other than theirs, wash them and eat in them” [AgreedUpon].

This refers to the utensils in which they have eaten in. The utensils and cloths manufactured by them are permissible.
Utensils Made from Animals

The wool and hair of the dead animal, be it slaughtered in a permissible manner or not, is pure since it could be taken even when the animal was alive without harming it.

According to the madhab, every skin of a dead animal (not slaughtered Islamically) whether it was tanned or not is deemed najjis. Also if the animal is slaughtered in a permissible manner, then the skin is considered pure irrespective if it is tanned or not.

Another position says that for those animals that are Halal, even if the animal is not Islamically slaughtered, the skin is deemed pure if it is tanned.

Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet ﷺ saw a dead sheep which had been given in charity to a freed slave-girl of Maimuna, the wife of the Prophet ﷺ . The Prophet ﷺ said,

هَلاَّ انْتَفَعْتُمْ بِجِلْدِهَا

“Why don’t you get the benefit of its hide?”

They said, “It is dead.” He replied,

إِنَّمَا حَرُمَ أَكْلُهَا

“Only to eat (its meat) is illegal.” [Bukhari]

Narrated Ibn Abbas: Narrated: Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said:

إِذَا دُبِغَ الْإِهَابُ فَقَدْ طَهُرَ

“When the skin is tanned it becomes purified.” [Muslim]. Al-Arba’a have the words: “Any skin that is tanned … ”

As per the madhab though, it is not allowed to be used if the animal is found dead.

Similar is the case of the bone of such animals. Every dead body or the corpse is najjis. Anything which dies on its own without being slaughtered Islamically is najjis with the exception of the body of a human, those from the sea and those without blood (locusts, flies etc).

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet ﷺ came across me in one of the streets of Madinah and at that time I was Junub. So I slipped away from him and went to take a bath. On my return the Prophet ﷺ said,

 أَيْنَ كُنْتَ يَا أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ

“O Abu Huraira! Where have you been?”

I replied, “I was Junub, so I disliked to sit in your company.” The Prophet ﷺ said,

 سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ، إِنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَ لاَ يَنْجُسُ

“Subhan Allah! A believer never becomes impure.” [Bukhari]

Regarding the dead of the water, narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said regarding the sea,

هُوَ اَلطُّهُورُ مَاؤُهُ, اَلْحِلُّ مَيْتَتُهُ

“It’s water is purifying and its dead (animals) are lawful (to eat).” [Al- Arba’a and Ibn Abu Shaiba reported it. Ibn Khuzaima and Tirmidhi graded it Sahih. It was also reported by Malik, Shafi’i and Ahmad.]


Regarding Sea Animals

If the sea animals wash dead ashore, then they can be consumed without any problem. But, if it is a land animal which is found dead then it is impermissible to consume them at any cost.

A confusion arises regarding the amphibians, which reside in the sea as well as the land, such take the ruling of the land animals. Other scholars opine that they take the ruling of sea animals. They base their opinion on the mention of Allaah in the Qur’aan,

أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ صَيْدُ الْبَحْرِ وَطَعَامُهُ مَتَاعًا لَّكُمْ وَلِلسَّيَّارَةِ وَحُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ صَيْدُ الْبَرِّ مَا دُمْتُمْ حُرُمًا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ

Lawful to you is game from the sea and its food as provision for you and the travelers, but forbidden to you is game from the land as long as you are in the state of ihram. And fear Allah to whom you will be gathered. [Surah al-Ma’idah, Ayah 96]

Another group of scholars wrote that the amphibians take the ruling based on where they live more, the land or in the sea.

Regarding the creatures who don’t have flowing blood, they are considered pure and not najjis. They become impermissible when they emanate from places of impurity like sewage etc.


The following are notes transcribed based on the commentary of Umdatul Fiqh by Sheikh Mashhoor Muhammad al-Suhaibi. 

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