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Book: Taharah, Ritual Purity according to the Five Schools of Islamic Law

The present book, volume 1 of 8, deals with the subject of Taharah, ritual purity, from the viewpoints of the five Schools of thoughts.

The Muslims have paid great attention to Taharah (ritual purity) and have written lengthy treat about it. They make their children get accustomed to it and teach it in their places of worship and instruction. The leaders of all the schools of fiqh have considered it a basic condition for the validity of ‘ibadah (worship), and I am not exaggerating when I say no other religion had given importance to Taharah to the extent of Islam.

Taharah literally means purity, and in the terminology of the legists it implies the removal of hadath or khabath. The latter pertains to such physical impurities as blood and excrements. Hadath is a ritual condition which occurs to a person consequent to his performing an act that prohibits him from performing salat and necessitates the performance of wudhu or ghusl or tayammum. The tahara from hadath is not achieved unless accompanied by the intention (niyyah) to seek nearness to God (taqarrub) and obey His command regarding it. As to the tahara of the hands, clothes and utensils from najasah (impurity), it requires no niyyah; rather, if the wind carries a defiled (najis) piece of clothing and it falls into a ‘large quantity’ of water (al-mil al-kathir, details follow), it attains tahara automatically.

This work on the Shariah or Islamic Law offers a comparative study of the Divine Law that, according to authentic Islamic doctrines, embodies the Will of God in society. In the Islamic world view, God is the ultimate legislator. The five major schools that are used in the comparison are: Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafi’i, Maliki and Jaf’ari.

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