Monday 28 Sha‘ban 1444 - 20 March 2023

Is pus najis (impure)?


Is a spot of pus that is yellow or white najis, whether it is solid or liquid?


Praise be to Allah.

[There are two words in Arabic that are commonly translated as pus; this article discusses the difference between them]

Qayh (pus) is a viscous yellow liquid that comes from wounds and the like because of some corruption or infection." (Mu‘jam Lught al-Fuqaha’ p. 373).

Sadeed (serous discharge) is a thin liquid that may be mixed with blood, before it thickens and turns into pus.

See: Tilbat at-Talabah (p. 22); al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (21/25).

Sadeed may appear in the wound before qayh.

The ruling on qayh and sadeed is the same as the ruling on blood, according to the majority of the fuqaha’ of the four schools and others, with regard to impurity (najaasah) and overlooking a small amount, because qayh and sadeed are originally blood, that have turned into something rotten and corrupt. Therefore if blood is impure, then qayh is more likely to be impure.

See: Badaa’i‘ as-Sanaa’i‘ (1/60); al-Majmoo‘ (2/558); al-Qawaaneen al-Fiqhiyyah (p. 27).

Qayh comes from blood, and what stems from something comes under the same ruling as its origin.

We have previously discussed the impurity (najaasah) of blood in the answer to question no. 114018.

It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah (34/128): The fuqaha’ are agreed that if qayh (pus) is expelled by the human body, it is impure, because it comes under the heading of unclean things (al-khabaa’ith: unclean, impure, evil things). Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): {… and prohibits for them bad things…} [al-A‘raaf 7:157]. And people of sound nature regard it as dirty. The prohibition in this case is indicative of impurity (najaasah), because there is a reason to regard pus as impure, as najis (impure) is a word that refers to what is regarded as repulsive, and pus is something that people of sound nature find repulsive, because it becomes dirty and foul-smelling, and because it comes from blood, and blood is impure. End quote.

Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdisi said: Qayh (pus), sadeed (serous discharge) and whatever originally comes from blood is to be regarded as being like blood, except that Ahmad said: It is not as serious as blood.

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar and al-Hasan that they did not think that it was like blood.

Abu Mijlaz said regarding sadeed (serous discharge): Allah only mentioned blood poured forth."(Al-Mughni  2/483).

And he said: Based on that, a greater quantity of it may be overlooked than in the case of blood, because its quantity is not regarded as being too great unless it is greater than the quantity that may be overlooked in the case of blood, and because there is no religious text concerning it. Rather it is regarded as impure because it is transformed from blood and has become a repulsive substance." (Al-Mughni by Ibn Qudaamah  2/484).

Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: Are blood and pus the same in your view? He said: No; the scholars did not differ concerning blood, but they differed concerning pus. On one occasion he said: Pus (qayh) and serous discharge (sadeed) are not as serious as a blood." (Ighaathat al-Lahfaan 1/151).

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah favoured the view that pus and serous discharge are pure (taahir), as he said: It is not required to wash the garment and the body from pus and serous discharge, and there is no proof that they are impure (najis)." (Al-Ikhtiyaaraat al-Fiqhiyyah  p. 26).

Undoubtedly the view of the majority of scholars is more prudent and better to absolve oneself of blame, except in the case of a small amount which may be overlooked, especially when it is difficult to protect oneself from it and it becomes a problem, as usually happens in the case of those who are sick or injured. What appears to be the case in the situation asked about, which refers to a spot, is that it is a small amount that has not reached the extent that is to be regarded as being too much.

In Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah it says: Blood, pus and serous discharge may be overlooked in small amounts, provided that they come out from anywhere other than the private part, because avoiding such a small amount is too difficult." (Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah  5/363).

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A