Question: Is it permissible to make wudu' with seawater or with undrinkable water in which coliform bacteria are detected? If a bar of soap falls into a large and deep container full of water, is there anything wrong with taking ghusl with that water? Is it permissible to make wudu' with water into which vinegar has been poured?
Seawater is clean and drinkable. Its being unfit to drink because of its high salt content does not cause it to be impermissible to be used for wudu' and ghusl. If some water is classified as undrinkable due to being najs (impure, religiously dirty), it is not used for wudu'. But one can make wudu' with water that is classified as undrinkable due to the presence of coliform bacteria in it. If a spoon of salt is added to the water in a cauldron, it can be used for wudu'.
If the salt added to it is so much that it cannot dissolve, then one is not allowed to make wudu' with this saline solution.
If a spoon of vinegar is added to the water in a cauldron, one can use it for wudu'. If something like milk is mixed into water to the extent that it changes the color of water, one cannot make wudu' with this water. If melon juice and sugar are mixed into water and if they do not change the taste of water, one can make wudu' with it. But if they are added so much that they have changed the taste of water, it cannot be used for wudu'.
It is permissible to drink fruit juices, but none of them can be used for wudu'. One can make wudu' and ghusl with Zamzam water. If ink is dripped into water and if it does not change the color of water, one can make wudu' with it. If the liquid that is mixed into water changes any of the three qualities of water, namely, color, smell, and taste, this water cannot be used for wudu' or ghusl. However, there are some exceptions to this rule: For example, if beans, chick peas or lentils remain in cold water for some time, it is permissible, unless it has lost its fluidity, to make wudu' with this water, even if its color, smell, and taste change. One cannot make wudu' with meat broth even if its color, smell, and taste do not change.
When clean things get mixed with some water, it can be used for wudu' as long as the name of the water does not change even if its color changes. When a little najasat (substances that Islam prescribes as dirty) falls in a small pool, it is not used for wudu' even if its three qualities did not change. Water whose three qualities have changed as a result of being kept too long does not become najs (impure, religiously dirty). It can be used for wudu'.
Water that is musta'mal
Question: What does musta'mal water mean? What is it used for?
Water that has been used for wudu' or ghusl is called musta'mal (used). Similarly, water with which the hands have been washed before or after a meal to follow sunnat is considered musta'mal, too. Musta'mal water is heavy najasat according to Imam-i A'zam. It is light najasat according to Imam-i Abu Yusuf. However, it is pure according to Imam-i Muhammad. The fatwa is based on what Imam-i Muhammad said. This water purifies najasat, but it cannot be reused for wudu' or ghusl. It is makruh to drink it or to make dough with it.
Apart from the Maliki Madhhab, the other three madhhabs say that musta'mal water is pure but not purifying. Najasat can be cleaned with it, but it cannot be reused for wudu'. According to the Maliki Madhhab, it is both pure and purifying. (Mizan-ul-kubra)
Question: If a bar of clean soap falls in a bucket of water and if I dip my hand into the water to take it out, is there a religious obstacle to making wudu' with this water?
If the soap does not melt and does not cause the water to lose its fluidity, this water can be used for wudu'. (Radd-ul-mukhtar)
Question: If vinegar is poured into a bucket of water, can it be used for wudu'?
Yes, it can be used.
Question: Is it permissible to make wudu' with water that smells bad because it has been kept for a long time?
The water whose three qualities have changed because of being kept for a long time is not considered impure. If the reason for any smelling water is not known, it will be considered to be clean. There is no need to inquire, to ask others.
Question: Can a person make wudu' in the sea or lake?
Yes, he can.
Question: Rivers and streams flow in the countryside without they having covers on top of themselves. Are they drinkable, and is it permissible to use the water of them for wudu'?
If no najasat gets mixed with them, their not having covers on top of themselves does not constitute a problem. A hadith-i sharif says: "Any water whose color, taste, and smell have not changed is clean; it is not impure" (Durar).
Question: Musta'mal water is clean according to Imam-i Muhammad. Despite this, is it better to avoid it?
One should protect oneself from it so as to follow also the words of the other imams.
Question: What does the term large pool mean for wudu' purposes?
In the Hanafi Madhhab, a pool with an area of 23 m2 is considered a large pool. In the Shafii Madhhab, a qullatayn is a pool that can hold 220 kg of water. This pool is considered clean.
Question: Is it necessary to do anything if, while having a bath, water splashes onto the water in the bucket I use for wudu' and ghusl?
No, it is not.
Question: It is written in the books of fiqh that water is considered clean unless its color, smell, and taste change. If we pour a cup of urine into a large container that is full of clean water, will the water not become impure (najs)?
When little najasat falls in a small pool, according to the Hanafi, Madhhab, or in any pool of water that is smaller than one qullatayn, according to the Shafii Madhhab, the water becomes najs even if its three properties did not change. Humans cannot drink it, nor can it be used in cleaning. If its three properties change, it is like urine and cannot be used in anything. According to the Maliki Madhhab, it is valid, but makruh, to make wudu' or ghusl with water whose color, smell, and taste have not changed (when najasat falls in it). In the Maliki Madhhab, the same rule applies to musta'mal water, too. (Se'âdet-i Ebediyye)
Question: Are the drops of water that accumulate on flip-flops during wudu' considered musta'mal? That is, can another person make wudu' by wearing wet flip-lops used by someone else without washing them first?
Drops of water that accumulate on flip-flops during wudu' are not considered musta'mal. One can perform wudu' with such flip-flops without washing them first.
Question: If kerosene or gasoline is dripped into the water that is used for wudu', one of the three properties of water, namely, color, smell, or taste, will change. Is it permissible to make wudu' with this water?
It is permissible. Kerosene and gasoline are not impure (najs). If a najs substance gets mixed with water and if any of the three properties of it changes, one cannot use this water for wudu'. (Jawhara)
Question: Can a person make wudu' with water that he meets on his way and has strong conviction that it is clean?
Yes, it can be used for wudu'. In fact, even if the water is little, one can make wudu' with it unless one knows well that it has been mixed with najasat. That is, it is considered clean. Acts of worship are considered to be pure and correct by strong conviction. But faith cannot be correct by strong conviction; it can be correct by knowing well.
Question: Supposing there is no water, but there is only snow. Can snow be used for wudu'? Does one have to make tayammum instead of wudu'?
One cannot make wudu' with snow, but it is permissible to clean the private parts with snow after defecation or urination. One can make wudu' with spring water. Tayammum is not a permissible substitute for wudu' in this case. Snow should be put in a pot to melt. When it becomes liquid, one should make wudu' with it. Being unable to find water in a city is not considered an excuse.
Question: Supposing a person cannot bend and wash his feet in wudu', nor can he lift his legs to wash his feet in a sink. If he dips his feet into a plastic basin full of water and then lifts them out again, is he considered to have washed his feet?
When he dips his foot into water in a plastic basin, it makes all the water musta'mal. However, according to another ruling, this act is permissible, so one is allowed to act upon the second ruling in case of necessity or strong necessity.
Question: At a time and at a place when and where there is no water available, is it permissible to make wudu' with musta'mal water that was used for wudu'?
According to the Hanafi Madhhab, one is not allowed to make wudu' with musta'mal water. When there is necessity like the mentioned one, it is permissible to make wudu' with musta'mal water by imitating the Maliki Madhhab.
Question: The color of our thermal water is red, which we attribute to its soil. Can we perform wudu' with it?
Yes, you can. That it has a different color does not mean it is impure. Wudu' is performed with any water that has the qualities of water and is not impure.
When clean things get mixed with some water, it can be used for wudu' as long as the name of the water does not change even if its color changes. (Endless Bliss)