Part 1 – The Book of Purification – The Categories of Water
First: Ordinary water is Tahur (purifier), that is, it is pure in itself and purifies other things. Among its divisions are:
- Rainfall, snow and hail.
- Water of springs and rivers
- Sea water.
- Zam Zam water
- Water which has changed due to stagnation for a long time, or by tree leaves settling in it or moss growing in it, because it is still valid to call it “water” without qualifying the word, therefore it is valid to use it for purification.
Second: Used water, that is water which flows off the limbs when performing Wudu (ablution) or Ghusl (bath) pertains its purifying quality, just like ordinary water, based on the fact that it started out as purifying and there is no evidence from the Shariah (Islamic laws) indicating a change in its status.
Third: Water mixed with any clean substance, for instance soap or saffron, or flour, etc. remains purifying (Tahur) as long as the quantity of the adulterant is not enough to cause us to stop calling the mixture “water”. If it exceeds that limit when we can no longer call it simply water, then it is Tahir: pure in itself, but incapable of purifying anything else.
Fourth: Water mixed with Najasah (impure substance), this can occur in one of the two stages:
- The taste or colour or smell of the water changes due to the impurity, in which case, the water is not permissible to be used for purification by the consensus of the scholars.
- None of the three qualities of the water changes: in this case it remains purifying whether it’s a little or a lot and in this case the water has retained the name “Water” without the need to qualify the word.
Summarised from the book ‘The Pillars of Islam & Iman and What Every Muslim Must Know About His Religion’ By Sheikh Muhammad bin Jamil Zeno (Teacher at Dar-ul-Hadith Al-Khariyyah)