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Shari'ah Ruling on the Use of Treated Wastewater

MIT
9/24/2017
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Praise be to Allah alone and may the blessings of Allah be upon the one after whom there is no Prophet, Muhammad, and upon his family and Companions. To go further; 

 

The use of treated wastewater to get rid of impurities and dirt is permissible according to the Shariah as long as the water has been purified completely and that it goes back to its original state in which there is no sign of alteration caused by impurity in its taste or color. It may be used for ritual purification and drinking so long as no harm to one's health will result from using it, in which case one should refrain from that so as to preserve one's health and ward off harm, not because it is impure. So if it is recommended that water should not be drunk, it would be due to reasons of public health and safety and not Islamic law.

 

The above rule is based on what the scholars have said about water of abundant quantity which has changed because of contamination with impurity, and that if the impurity is removed or pure water is added to it, or the impurity is removed by natural means with the passage of time or by the effects of sun or wind on it and so on, then the ruling of impurity ceases because the reason for it is no longer there.

 

However, it is recommended to not to use treated wastewater for drinking purposes to avoid health problems and also in consideration of the negative public sentiment about this water.

 

The Council of Senior Scholars of Saudi Arabia has issued a statement as regards the use of treated wastewater after it has been purified. The summary of the text is as follows;

 

Impurity in water can be removed by many means, and the modern technical means used to purify water are regarded as being among the best means of purification. A great deal of effort and technical methods may be used to rid water of impurities, as testified and approved by specialists and experts in that field, whose expertise is well established.  

 

Hence the Council thinks that this water is pure after it has been purified completely, in that it goes back to its original state in which there is no sign of alteration caused by impurity in its taste, colour or smell, and it is permissible to use it to get rid of impurities and dirt. One may use it to purify oneself (wudoo’ and ghusl), and it is also permissible to drink it so long as no harm to one's health will result from using it, in which case one should refrain from that so as to preserve one's health and ward off harm, not because it is impure. 

 

The Committee affirms that if it is possible to use something else instead of this to drink, that is safer for health and so as to ward off harm, and to keep away from something that may be off-putting.

 

And Allah is the source of strength. May Allah send blessings upon Allah Prophet Muhammad and upon his family and Companions. End quote.

 

Finally, If water is made clean again by filtration and distillation so as to get rid of all traces of impurities in the taste, color, and smell of the water, then it is permissible to use such water for ritual purification. And there is also no harm in using it in cooking and drinking if it is proven to be free of harm. But it is better to avoid using this water for drinking purposes, for that is safer for health and so as to ward off harm, and to keep away from something that may be off-putting.

 

Allah knows best.






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