Photo by Finding Dan | Dan Grinwis on Unsplash; tank water mixed with dirty water

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat clarifies the rulings on the purity of water, what makes it impure, and whether it can be used for purification.

Question:

Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I suffer from OCD in religious matters for the past year. I am getting psychotherapy for it. I used to repeat prayers and wudu due to misgivings but I am getting better now, Alhamdullillah, and the advice on your Website has been very helpful. May Allah reward you. I am currently doing the Steps 1 Hanafi Fiqh course. I reflect a lot on my past prayers.

Once when I was in Pakistan visiting family, there was problem with the tank water being mixed with dirty water. When this incident happened, I had only converted to Islam a few years ago so I asked my husband, should I do wudu with it? He replied, it should be OK. The water smelled filthy but I don’t remember taste or color.

This was years ago. I prayed at least one salah with that wudu. I don’t remember if I did any more, changed clothes (as there might have been filthy water on my clothes while doing wudu), had shower or what. Should I repeat my prayer, how many?

Jazak Allah for your help.

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh.

I pray you are well.

Alhamdulillah, it is good to know that your symptoms are improving. You can expect a lot of good from Allah, because His Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Whoever Allah wants good for, He tests him time and time again.” (Bukhari)

As for your prayer, you do not need to repeat it. You can assume every prayer you have prayed to be valid – unless there is certainty of it being invalidated. Ignore any doubts.

Here we see the value of the sunna and voluntary prayers. If there is any deficiency in the obligatory prayers Allah will say to the angels, “Look, does my servant have any voluntary [works]?” If so, He will say, “Complete My servant’s obligatory [works through them].” (Ahmad) This shows that the defects of our efforts will be compensated for by the generosity of Allah Most High.

The Default Ruling of Water

The default ruling of water is purity. This is a legal ruling, and not a customary one. Sometimes, you may find water which is not hygienic or clean – such as if a wasp was found dead in a water tank, or muddy water – but this does not affect its purity.

So, if the default ruling of water is purity, and there is nothing to establish with certainty that the water was impure, then we stick with the default ruling: purity, and the validity of all prayers performed with wudu made with that water.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

Abdul-Rahim

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.