Najis (ritually unclean) Things in Islam
Almost everything around us in this beautiful world is considered Taher or you can say ritually pure. But in the Islamic laws, there are very few things that are considered Najis or ritually impure. We have eight common Najis things around us:
- Dead body
- Alcoholic liquors
So let’s get to know each of them a bit better, starting at the top of list:
Urine and Faeces
Number one and two; Urine and faeces. Is it from all the animals? No, not from all but from some of them. For example, the urine and faeces of sheep, cows and fishes is not Najis, but from cats and dogs it is Najis.
So what is the difference between these types of animals? To be able to distinguish between them, it’s important to know a bit more about two concepts; Halal meat and Gushing Blood. In the Islamic laws, animals are divided into two categories: those whose blood gushes from their veins, meaning that if their vein is cut, blood pours out forcefully. And the second category are those whose blood doesn’t gush out.
Now, the second concept; Halal meat. Again, the animals are split into two categories: either we are allowed to eat them, or not allowed to. To know which animal is halal or haram to eat, is a broad topic. For more info, please refer to the Islamic Laws book.
Alright then back to the Najis things! So, the urine and the faeces of all animals with gushing blood and whose meat is Haram, is considered Najis. Remember again, Haram meat plus having gushing blood. So according to this, the urine and the faeces of a lion is Najis. The same for monkeys, rats, cats, rhinos, and etc. But it’s not Najis for sheep, cows, camels, goats, and even for a buffalo, since its meat is halal to eat.
Now a question: Is the droppings of an eagle Najis or not?
Well, the right answer is that, according to some of our scholars, it’s not Najis. Even though the eagle’s blood gushes out and its meat is Haram for us to eat, some scholars exclude all birds from this categorization.
The third item is blood. This includes the blood of human beings and any animal whose blood gushes out of their veins. Once the blood is out of the body it’s considered Najis. And the blood of those animals that doesn’t gush out, such as fishes and insects, is not Najis.
So, another question! Sometimes when we buy Halal meat, we see some blood on the meat.
Is this blood Najis?
This blood is considered Taher. Since the animal was slaughtered according to the Islamic Laws, only the blood which comes out from the neck during the slaughtering is Najis. Once the animal is no longer alive and the blood stops gushing out, what remains inside the body is Tahir.
The 4th item is the dead body. Again, that of a human being or of any animal whose blood gushes out. If an animal of this category dies in a manner other than that prescribed by Islam law, like in an accident, or from illness it will be considered as Mayyet or dead body. No matter if its meat is Halal or Haram to eat! The Mayyet or the dead body and most of its parts are najis.For example the skin, meat, leather and whatever is made from them is Najis. But the dead bodies of animals who don’t gush blood, such as fishes, are not najis.
The 5th Najasat substance is the semen of human beings, and of every gushing-blood-animal.
Dogs and Pigs
Number 6 & 7 of the Najasat things are dogs and pigs and all their parts, dead or alive.But note that, these two animals like all other animals are respected in Islam and their rights should be observed.
Number 8 of Najasat is the Alcoholic Liquor made from grapes which intoxicates.Some scholars consider all types of intoxicants Najis, whether it’s from grape or not.
Now that we know what the Najis things are, let’s review some general rules:
- Being Najis does not necessarily mean being dirty. Some things could be completely clean, even sterile, yet still be considered Najis, and vice versa. For example, you could wash and disinfect a pig perfectly, however, it still remains Najis.
- If these Najis things touch any wet object, they make it Najis. If both objects are completely dry, nothing would happen and the impurity doesn’t transmit.
- Everything is Tahir, unless you are absolutely sure that it’s Najis. So, ‘I guess its najis’, or ‘I doubt its pure’ or ‘I think its najis’ have absolutely no value, and we shouldn’t pay any attention to these doubts, and even we are not obliged to investigate about it.
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