World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


In Islamic law, najis (Arabic: نجس‎) are things or persons regarded as ritually unclean.[1] According to Islam, there are two kinds of najis: the essential najis which cannot be cleaned and the unessential najis which become najis while in contact with another najis.[2]

Contact with najis things brings a Muslim into a state of ritual impurity (Arabic: نجاسةnajāsa, in opposition to ṭahārah, ritual purity). Ritual purification is then required before religious duties such as regular prayers are performed.


  • Islamic law 1
  • The Muṭahhirāt (The Purifying Agents) 2
  • Sources of law 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Islamic law

According to the Shafi'i school of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence, as systematised by Al-Nawawi in his book Minhadj, the following things are najis: wine and other spirituous drinks, dogs, swine, dead animals that were not ritually slaughtered, blood, excrements, and the milk of animals whose meat Muslims are not allowed to eat. Spirituous drinks are not impure according to the Hanafi school, while living swine and dogs are not impure according to the Malikis.[1]

To the list of impure things enumerated by al-Nawawi, Shi’a jurists traditionally add dead bodies and non-believers.[1][3]

Additionally, meat of any animal which is killed in a manner other than that prescribed by Islam is najis.[4]

Najis things cannot be purified, in contrast to things which are defiled only (mutanajis), with the exception of wine, which becomes pure when made into vinegar, and of hides, which are purified by tanning.[1]

The Muṭahhirāt (The Purifying Agents)

It is possible to purify a thing which has become najis. These muṭahhirāt agents that can purify najis can be divided into three groups:


  • Water
    • The Qur'an says:
“He (Allah) is the one who sends the winds as good news before His mercy; and We send down pure water from the cloud." (25:48)
According to the shari'ah, water can be of two types: muṭlaq and muḍāf. Muṭlaq is pure water without putting it to a scientific test. The five forms of muṭlaq are the following: rain, well water, running or flowing water (river or stream), Kur water (lake, sea or ocean), and less than kur. Muḍāf is mixed water as in tea or kool aid.
  • the Earth
  • the Sun

Physical Change

  • istiḥālah (chemical change)
  • inqilāb (change in properties)
  • intiqāl (change in place)
  • zawāl li-ʿayni n-najāsah (disappearance of the source of najāsah)
  • istibrāʾ (quarantining)

Spiritual Change

  • Islām
  • tabaʿīyyah (following)
  • ghaybat al-muslim (absence of a Muslim)

Not all of these agents can purify every najis. However, among the agents water is the most universal purifying agent while the other agents are limited.[5]

Sources of law

The notions of ritual impurity come mainly from the Qur'an and hadith. Swine and blood are declared forbidden food in the Qur'an ([Quran 16:115], [Quran 6:145], [Quran 5:3], [Quran 2:173]). All this can be found in the Qurʾān

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Weinsinck, A.J. "Nadjis". In P.J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis,  
  2. ^
  3. ^ Lewis (1984), p.34
  4. ^ Dead body
  5. ^ Najasat & Taharat

External links

  • Laws of Islam concerning ritual purity
  • Purifying Agents (Mutahirat)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.