Impurities that affect water: Water cannot be rendered impure by anything except by that which changes its smell, taste and colour.

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In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy

Book of Purification (Bulūgh Al-Marām of Al-Hāfidh Ibn Hajr)

Chapter on the Types of Water

(no. 3)

وَعَنْ أَبِي أُمَامَةَ اَلْبَاهِلِيِّ ‏- رضى الله عنه ‏- قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ ‏- صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏-{ إِنَّ اَلْمَاءَ لَا يُنَجِّسُهُ شَيْءٌ, إِلَّا مَا غَلَبَ عَلَى رِيحِهِ وَطَعْمِهِ, وَلَوْنِهِ } أَخْرَجَهُ اِبْنُ مَاجَهْ‏ وَضَعَّفَهُ أَبُو حَاتِمٍ

Abu Umāmah Al-Bāhilī (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) narrated that Allāh’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Water cannot be rendered impure by anything except by something which changes its smell, taste or colour.” (This hadeeth was narrated by Ibn Mājah and declared weak by Abu Hātim)

وَلِلْبَيْهَقِيِّ: { اَلْمَاءُ طَاهِرٌ إِلَّا إِنْ تَغَيَّرَ رِيحُهُ, أَوْ طَعْمُهُ, أَوْ لَوْنُهُ; بِنَجَاسَةٍ تَحْدُثُ فِيهِ }

In the version of Bayhaqī, the Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Water is purifying unless something impure is added to it that changes its smell, taste or colour.” 1Ibn Mājah (521), As-Sunan Al-Kubrā (1/260), graded weak by Al-Albāni: see Da’eef Al-Jāmi’ (5899).


  1. Abu Umāmah’s name was Suddī Ibn ʿAjlān. He moved to Hims, Syria and died there in 81 or 86 AH. It is said that he was the last of the Sahābah to die in Shām (the Levant).
  2. The great scholar Abu Hātim Muhammad ibn Idrees Al-Handhalī (d. 277 AH) declared the narration weak because of the narrator Rishdeen Ibn Saʿd who is abandoned (matrook) by the scholars of hadeeth. So the narration is weak (da’eef).
  3. The second narration is reported from Al-Bayhaqī and he is Abu Bakr Ahmad Ibn Husayn. He came from Bayhaq which is a town near Naysaboor. Ad-Dāruqutnī stated: “This narration is not established.”
  4. An-Nawawī said: “The scholars of hadeeth are agreed upon the weakness of this hadeeth.”
  5. Ibn Al-Mundhir stated: “The scholars are in agreement (ijmāʿ) that if some impurity falls into water, whether it is a small amount of water or a great amount, and as a result, its taste or colour or smell are altered, then it becomes impure.” So the proof for the ruling is from the concensus (ijmāʿ) and not due this weak hadeeth.
  6. An-Nawawī said: “The scholars of hadeeth are in agreement that the hadeeth itself is weak, meaning the part of the hadeeth that states the exception (i.e., “except by something which changes its smell, taste or colour”) while the first part of the hadeeth is correct because that is established from the hadeeth of the Well of Budāʿah that has preceded (i.e., “Water is pure and nothing can make it impure” of Abu Sa’īd).
  7. There is a concensus (ijmāʿ) of the Ummah that water which is altered due to an impurity falling into it becomes impure.

Reference: Fathul-ʿAllām Li Sharhi Buloogh Al-Marām (1/28-29) of Imām Sideeq Hasan Khān Al-Qannawjī Al-Bukhārī, the Nawāb of Bhopal, born 1832 CE (1248 AH), died 1890 CE (1307 AH), rahimahullāh. He was a major exponent of the teachings of Shaikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728 AH) in the Indian sub-continent and was also influenced by the writings of Imām Ash-Shawkānī, and Shaikhul-Islām Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhāb in Tawheed. He was heavily criticised and persecuted by the colonialist British rulers of India for his religious beliefs and anti-British sentiments. His wife was Shah Jahan Begum (died 1901 CE, may Allah have mercy upon her), the “Begum” of Bhopal, India. She vehemently defended her husband. But the British would not stop harassing him and he spent the final five years of his life under house arrest. He ascribed himself to the belief and methodology of the Salaf and regarded himself as an Atharī upon the Madhhab of the Ahlul-Hadeeth of old.

Abu Khadeejah Abdul-Wāhid.


  • 1
    Ibn Mājah (521), As-Sunan Al-Kubrā (1/260), graded weak by Al-Albāni: see Da’eef Al-Jāmi’ (5899).

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