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Non-believers and najasah transfer


Dear Alim,

Could you please explain the level and extent to which a non-believer (outside of the people of the book, eg polytheists, athiests etc) affects our state of purity. It is said that a non-believer is ritually impure, and that najasah is transmitted through flowing wetness – could you please elaborate? I would like to check my understanding with the below examples:

1) I work with a number of non-believers and frequently we share the same table for eating. After eating the non believer makes tissues wet in their hands and wipes the table or touches it directly with his wet hand, rendering it najis. A later time, I am obliged to wipe the table in a similar way using water, and the najasah is transferred to my hand (when the wet tissue in my hand comes into contact with the table or my wet hand touches the table directly). I then incidentally wipe my hand on my shirt sleeve, so it becomes najis. I now cannot pray with this shirt any more, even though it may be just a small wipe. Am I correct? Is the sequence of najasah transfer that I have outlined, correct?

Now, if in this case where my shirt is najis, I wish to pray on time or as early as possible, but if I reach home in a few hours my prayer will not be qadha, will it be considered as “one who is compelled to pray in a state of najasah?” (Ruling 834 of Syed Sistani). What if I am planning to go somewhere else after work either for business or leisure, and by the time I reach home my prayer will be qadha, does it then apply?

2) Similar to the first example, one of my non-believing co-workers has eaten something oily and touches a frequently shared surface, such as a computer keyboard or mouse, smudging it with a layer of oil. I then use the same. The oil transfers to my hand. Hygiene issues aside, my hand is now najis, and anything that I touch next will also become najis. Am I correct? Is the sequence of najasah transfer also correct? And if I am already in wudhu, does this break my wudhu? Or do I just have to wash off the oil from my hand?

If my understanding is correct and these laws apply, could you please share some tips on preserving one’s ritual purity in a situation such as mine, as honestly it can get quite challenging because of frequently having to wash clothes that are not physically dirty and also delaying the prayer.

Lastly, and this is more to do with taharah in general, najasah is removed with three washings if non-kurr water. if a part of my face becomes najis, and in order to wash off the najasah, my hand touches the najis part, implying that the najasah on my face has transferred to my hand, do I purify my hand three times before I wash the najis part of my face the second time, and again three times before I wash my face a third time? Is my understanding correct?

Apologies for the length and multi-faceted nature of this question. I would really appreciate a thorough answer. God bless you all.


In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.
Wa-Alaykum Assalam Wa Rahmtu-Allah,

Please see the following: Ruling 103. A person who does not believe in Allah or in His oneness is impure. Similarly, the following are impure: extremists (ghulāt) (i.e. those who regard one of the Imams (ʿA) as Allah, or say that Allah has immanence (ḥulūl) in the Imam (ʿA)),(1) Kharijites (khawārij), and nawāṣib (i.e. those who show enmity towards the Imams (ʿA)). The same applies to a person who rejects prophethood or any one of the indispensable aspects of the religion – such as prayers (ṣalāh) and fasting (ṣawm) – if it is in a way that it amounts to refuting Prophet Muḥammad (Ṣ), albeit in a general manner. As for the People of the Book (ahl al-kitāb) (i.e. Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians), they are ruled as being pure.


Najasat is passed on through moisture on contact. If contact is made and both items in contact are dry there is no transfer of najasat.

Item 1: “I then incidentally wipe my hand on my shirt sleeve,” if your hand is najas and wet you transfer that najasat on to the shirt and can not pray with the shirt until you purify it or change clothes. Your suggestion is correct.
You should attempt to plan your day to ensure your prayers do not become qadha, or carry clothes that maintain purity as a precaution to pray with.

Item 2: Touching something najis does not invalidate your ablution. Just wash your hands.

You do not need to be in a state of purity until you come to your worship of prayer… so no need to stress upon this issue… just before prayer, wash your hands, change your clothes if you are certain that it has become najis… that is, if you are in doubt that it has become najis when before it was pure, you maintain the assumption that it is pure… keep one set of pure clothes with you at all times so that you pray with that set of clothes if needed.

Purifying something najis depends on what it is… See this re little water: and this section on how to purify in different settings

S.L. Al-Hakim