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All praises and thanks are due and belong to Allah and may His salutations and blessings be upon the holy Prophet Muhammad, his family and lofty companions.

The water that a person used in doing ghusl (bathing from major impurity) and in performing ablution is termed as “used water” in Islamic jurisprudence. It is such water that drips or trickles down from the washed organs of a person, and not the left over water in the container from which one washes. This is mentioned by imam Al-Qaraafi in Az-Zakheera (1/175)

A practical scenario on this is if a person bathes from major impurity after sexual intercourse or performs ablution for salaat with water, which was collected in a basin; can this water be used again for purification from major impurity or used again for another ablution?

The learned scholars among the Jurists and the experts of hadith have two main opinions concerning the purity of this water and its suitability to be used for purification.

Many of the scholars opined that the water used in removing dirt (ablution or bathing from sexual impurity etc.) is a clean water but not pure and hence, cannot be used again in removing dirt or cleaning from major or minor impurities. This opinion is stated in Al-Mugni (1/31) and Al-Majmoo’ (1/150)

The second group of scholars are those of the Maalikiya and Zuahiriyya schools of thought. They opined that water used in removing both the major and minor impurities remains in its pure state and that it is allowed for a person to used it again in purification.(pls see: Al-Istizkaar 2/198). This is the preferred opinion of Shaikh Al-Islam Ibn Taimiya, and he said: “ anything that could be described as water is pure and can be used in purification whether it is a used one or not..” (Majmoo’ Al-fatawa 19/236). Al-Mardawi said in his book “ Al-Insaaf-1/35) “this opinion was preferred by many Hambali scholars, he then said: “ it is the strongest in thought”

This later opinion is also the choice of Sheikh As-Sa’di, Sheikh Ibn Baaz and Sheikh Ibn Utheimeen (may Allah grant them all mercy).

Among their proofs is the hadith of our beloved Prophet –peace be upon him- who said: “a pure water does not get impure by anything”, and that it shows the purity of any water if it does not get altered and changed by dirt.

However for the sake of safety one may leave using such water for another ablution as mentioned by sheikh Ibn Baaz in Majmoo’ Al-fatawa (10/18)


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