Are you pure and ready for Salah  - Types of Taharah (Purification)

Are you pure and ready for Salah?

• Islam is a religion of purity and cleanliness; purity of the heart and cleanliness of the body.

Allah (Glorified be He) says:

“Surely Allah loves the ones constantly repenting, and He loves the ones constantly purifying themselves.”

(Qur’an 2:222)

•The eminent Muslim scholar, Hasan Al-Basri, would change into his best clothes whenever he stood to offer Salah. He was asked about this and replied, “Verily, Allah is Beautiful and He loves beauty, so I beautify myself for my Lord. He is the One Who says:

‘Take your adornment (proper clothes and cleanliness) at every Masjid (every time and place of prayer).’”

(Qur’an 7:31)

•In Islam, prayer is not only a form of spiritual worship; it is also a physical one. Essentially, it consists of physical cleanliness, purification, beautification, and tidiness. A prayer is invalid if purity is lacking. Purity of clothes, body, and place of prayer is a necessary precondition that Allah (the Great and Exalted) has stipulated for its validity.

Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

“Allah does not accept Salah without purification.”

(Narrated by Al-Nasa’i)

• Purification unlocks the door to Salah and puts the person in the appropriate physical and emotional state for addressing Almighty Allah.

Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

“The key to Salah is purification.”

(Narrated by Abu Dawud)

Types of Taharah

Taharah, linguistically, means cleanliness from impurities, both physically and morally. In Islamic terminology, it means lifting the state of Hadath (bodily ritual impurity) and removing defilements that preclude valid prayer.

Taharah is of two types:

1- Purification from discernible impurities: This is the process of purifying oneself from any visible physical impurity [such as urine, blood, or vomit] on the body, garment, or place of prayer that prevents the validity of that prayer. In this case, purification is accomplished by the removal of the defiling substance from the affected area by washing, sprinkling, or scrubbing with water.

2- Purification from indiscernible impurities: This is the process of purifying oneself from indiscernible impurity related to the body, referred to in Arabic as Hadath, that prevents a person from prayer and similar acts of worship. Ritual impurity can affect either the entire body, termed in this case as major ritual impurity [by causes such as sexual discharge, menstruation, or postpartum bleeding], and is eliminated by complete body wash; or it can affect specific parts of the body, termed in this case as minor ritual impurity [by causes such as sleep, passing wind, urine, or feces], and is eliminated by ablution.

Alternative purification method in the case of inability to obtain or use water: When water is unavailable or there is danger of sustaining physical harm by using it due to sickness, old age, or severe cold, Tayammum (dry purification with clean earth) can be performed as a substitute for purification with water (i.e., ablution and ritual bathing).