Fiqh According to the Qur’an & Sunnah By Shaykh Muhammad Subhi bin Hasan Hallaq

(Part 2 – Chapter 1: Types of Water)

  • Well water:

Based upon the Hadith of Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri who said: “It was said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! May we perform ablution with the water of Budha’ah well, which is a well where menstrual rags, dead dogs and rotting things are thrown?’ The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alayhi was sallam) replied: “Water is pure and is not defiled by anything”[1]

Yaqoot Al-Hamawi said: “Budha’ah is the most common pronunciation, although it was called Bidha’ah by some; but the former is more common, and it was the abode of Banu Sa’idah in Al-Madinah, whose well is well known.”[2]

Ibn Al-Atheer said: “It is a well known well in Al-Madinah.” Abu Dawud said in his Sunan (1/129-130 – Awn Al-Ma’bood): “I heard Qutaibah Ibn Sa’eed saying: ‘I asked: “How deep was the water in Al-Budha’ah Well?” He said: “At its deepest, it was up to Al-Aanah.”[3] I said: “And when it decreased?” He said: “(It was) below Al-Awrah.”[4]

Abu Dawud said: “I measured Budha’ah well myself with Rida[5], stretching it across it, then measuring it, and I found that its width was six cubits. I asked the man who opened the gate of the garden and admitted me, if its construction had been changed from its original design. He said: ‘No, and I have seen water whose color was altered in it.”


  • Water that has changed due to it being in its place for a long period of time, or because of the place where it is located, or because of it being mixed with a substance such as algae or tree leaves, or something that in most cases cannot be completely removed from it. This type of water falls under the heading of Mutlaq water, according to the consensus of the scholars. The principle in this matter is that everything that falls into the general category of water without any further qualifications or restrictions, is considered pure, and may be used for making purification, for Allah Most High, says, in Surah Al-Ma’idah (5:6): “And if you no water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth.”[6]

Ibn Qudamah said: “Stagnant water – which is water whose color changed due to it remaining in the same place for a long period of time, but which has not been mixed with anything that changes it – is still considered Mutlaq water, according to more scholars.”[7]

Ibn Al-Munzir said: “All of those scholars whose opinions we have recorded are in complete agreement, that performing ablution with stagnant water – so long as it does not contain any filth or impurities – is permissible. The only exception was Ibn Sereen, who expressed dislike of this; however the opinion of the majority carries more weight.”[8]

Ibn Rushd said: “Likewise, they (the scholars) are in agreement that everything that changes water, and in most cases cannot be completely removed from it, does not remove from it the attribute of being pure and purifying water. There is no exception to this, except that it is reported from Ibn Sereen, that he disagreed with this conclusion regarding stagnant water, but its status is proven by the fact that it falls under the heading of Mutlaq water.”[9]

[1] Sahih: Recorded in Sunan Abi Dawud (1/55, no. 67), Sunan At-Tirmidhi (1/95, no. 66) and he said: “This Hadith is Hasan”, Sunan Nasa’i (1/174), Musnad Ahmad (3/15, 31 and 86), Ash-Shafi (1/21, no. 35 – Tarteeb Al-Musnad), At-Tayalisi (p. 292, 2199), Ibn Al-Jarood in Al-Muntaqa (no. 47), At-Tahawi in Sharh Ma’ani Al-Athar (1/11), Ad-Daraqutni (1/29, no. 10), Al-Baihaqi (1/4 and 257), Al-Baghawi in Sharh As-Sunnah (2/61) and he aid: “This Hadith is good and sound (Hasan Sahih).” It was declared authentic by Ahmad, as mentioned in At-Talkhees (1/13), by Nawawi in Al-Majmoo (1/82) and albani in Irwa Al-Ghaleel (no. 14)

[2] Reference: See Muj’am Al-Buldan (1/442)

[3] Al-Aanah: The hair that grows from the private parts. (Meaning; it reached the private area)

[4] Al-Awrah: According to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was sallam), the awrah for a man is from the navel to the knees, so what is intended here is the knees.

[5] Rida: A garment worn over the upper part of the body.

[6] Qur’an: Surah Ma’idah: (5:6)

[7] Reference: See Al-Mughni (1/42)

[8] Reference: See Al-Ijma (p. 33)

[9] Reference: See Bidayah Al-Mujtahid wa Nihayah Al-Muqtasid (1/72)


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