Purification [Taharat]

What does Islam say on using water heated by solar water heater?

Question: What is the verdict of the scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah regarding bathing [gusl] and ablution [wudu] with warm water heated by a solar water heater? Zayd says it gets warm from the sunlight, and it is said that in the hadith it is forbidden to ablute and bathe with water heated by sunlight.
 
Hazrat, please guide us in this matter.
 
Questioner: Muhammad Hanif Razvi Nigarchi, Bijapur (India)
 
The answer with the aid of the Almighty King, The Bestower.
Allah’s name be the beginning, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
We praise him, and we convey peace upon his noble beloved.

Answer:
 
There are two known accounts of the prohibition to bathe in water heated by sunlight. We will mention these first, then we will present the statements of the noble Muhaddithin and Fuqaha. Finally, we will clarify the Islamic statement.
 
It is narrated in Sunan al-Daraqutni from Sayyidah ‘Aisha al-Siddiqa (Allah be pleased with her):
 
دخل علي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وقد سخنت ماء في الشمس فقال:لا تفعلي يا حميرا فإنه يورث البرص
 
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to me, so I heated the water under the sunlight, then he said, “O Humayra![1] Do not heat the water under sunlight, as water heated by sunlight causes leprosy disease.”
[Sunan al-Daraqutni: vol. 1, p. 50 – Hadith number: 86]
 
Al-Daraqutni classified this hadith as remote [gharib].
[Ibid]

And Imam Abu Bakr al-Bayhaqi said about this hadith:
 
ولا يثبت ما روي عن عائشة،الخ
 
It has not been proven that this hadith was related by Sayyidah ‘Aisha.
[Sunan al-Saghir lil-Bayhaqi: vol. 1, p. 85 – Hadith number: 199]
 
And in Sunan al-Kubra it has the following wording:
 
وهذا لا يصح
 
This hadith is not authentic [sahih].
[Sunan al-Kubra lil-Bayhaqi: vol. 1, p. 11 – Hadith number: 14]
 
The same Imam Abu Bakr al-Bayhaqi says in his book Ma’rifat al-Sunan wa’l-Athar with reference to this hadith:
 
لا يثبت البتة، قد بينا ضعفه في كتاب السنن
 
This narration has not been proven, just as we have classified it as weak in our Sunan.
[Ma’rifat al-Sunan wa’l-Athar: vol. 1, p. 234 – Hadith number: 510]
 
Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari writes in Sharh al-Bukhari:
 
وهذا الحديث وإن كان ضعيفا ففيه ذكر الحميراء
 
Although this hadith is weak, it still mentions Humayra.
[Umdat al-Qari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari: vol. 6, p. 370 -باب الحراب والدرق يوم العيد]
 
Imam Isma’il al-Ajluni writes in explanation of this hadith in his book Kashf al-Khafa Wamuzil al-Ilbas ‘Amma Ishtahara min al-Hadith ‘ala al-Sinat al-Nas:
 
وأقول فيه إن الحديث الذي رواه البيهقي والدارقطني وغيرهما عن عائشة في الماء المشمس أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال لها لا تفعلي يا حميراءفإنه يورث البرص ليس بكذب مختلق بل ضعيف، قال فيه الرملي وهذا وإن كان ضعيفا لكنه يتأيد بما روی عن عمر أنه كان يكره الاغتسال فيه وقال أنه يورث البرص
 
And I say in regards to sunlight-heated water related by Sayyidah ‘Aisha, where the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “O Humayra! Do not heat the water under sunlight as it causes leprosy,” which has been reported by al-Bayhaqi, al-Daraqutni and others is not a lie and forgery. It’s rather weak. Al-Rimli said, “Although this hadith is weak, but the tradition of Sayyiduna ‘Umar, in which bathing in sunlight-heated water is disliked [makruh] and is a cause of leprosy, is emphasized here.
[Kashf al-Khafa: vol. 1, p. 375-حرف الخاء المعجمۃ]
 
Another narration from Sayyiduna ‘Umar al-Faruq al-Azam (Allah be pleased with him) in which he said:
 
لا تغتسلوا بالماء المشمس , فإنه يورث البرص
 
Do not bathe in water heated by sunlight, as this causes leprosy.
[Sunan al-Daraqutni: vol. 1, p. 52 – Hadith number: 88]
 
Mulla ‘Ali al-Qari, explaining the narration of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him), writes:
 
’’ (وعن عمر بن الخطاب قال: لا تغتسلوا بالماء المشمس) : وهو أن يوضع الماء في الشمس ليسخن، كذا قيل، وظاهره الإطلاق، فيشمل ما وضع وغيره، وقال ابن حجر: أي: المشمس في إناء منطبع، وهو ما يمتد تحت المطرقة من غير النقدين في قطر حار وقت الحر. أي: لا تستعملوه في أبدانكم، قليلا كان أو كثيرا، (فإنه يورث البرص) أي: طبا ; لما ذكره بعض الأطباء، واعلم أن استعمال الماء المشمس مكروه على الأصح من مذهب الشافعي، والمختار عند متأخري أصحابه عدم كراهيته، وهو مذهب الأئمة الثلاثة، والماء المسخن غير مكروه بالاتفاق، وحكي عن مجاهد كراهته، وكره أحمد المسخن بالنجاسة. (رواه الدارقطني) قال ميرك: حديث ضعيف، فقول ابن حجر: ” بإسناد صحيح ” يحتاج إلى بيان، وقوله: ” لم ينقل عن أحد من الصحابة مخالفة عمر في ذلك فكان كالإجماع ” محله إذا كان بمحضر منهم، ولا يكون النهي تنزيهيا ; للاحتياط بناء على كلام واحد من الأطباء، مع أنه لا اعتبار لكلامهم جميعا في سائر الأمور الشرعية، حتى في أمر الهلال الذي ما حققوا شيئا مثل تحقيقهم فيها، ومن الغرائب أن جماعة من الشافعية جعلوا هذا من عمر في حكم المرفوع، وأيدوه بخبر ضعيف بل موضوع، وهو ما أخرجه الدارقطني، وأبو نعيم’’عن عائشة رضي الله تعالى عنها، أنها قالت: سخنت للنبي ماء في الشمس فقال: ” لا تفعلي ; فإنه يورث البرص‘‘ ثم على التنزل في قبول الحديثين من أين تؤخذ الشروط المذكورة في فقه الشافعية المخالفة لظاهر الخبرين، ولذا قيل: لم يثبت عن الأطباء فيه شيء، وحديث عمر ضعيف ; فثبت أنه لا أصل لكراهته. ‘‘
 
In a narration by ‘Umar b. al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him), he said, “Do not bathe with water heated by sunlight!” This is when the water is placed to be heated in sunlight, this is exactly what has been said. And the hadith in its literal sense is; the one who has placed water under sunlight to be heated or water has been placed and sunlight has come – both aspects are taken into account. Ibn al-Hajar said that apart from silver and gold, if utensils made of iron, copper or any other material are heated under sunlight in a warm place in hot weather, it should not be used on the bodies, whether in less quantity or high, because it causes leprosy; that is with regard to health, as some doctors have said. And know that regarding the sound position on the use of sunlight heated water in the school of Imam al-Shafi’i is regarded as reprehensible [makruh]. And according to the later Shafi’s scholars, the tendency was for the absence of aversion. And this is the position [madhab] of the three imams. And heated water by fire is unanimously not reprehensible.
 
On the other hand, there is the narration of its reprehensibility from Mujahid. And Imam Ahmad disliked using heated water done on impurity (as narrated by al-Daraqutni). And Mirak said that this hadith is weak. So, Ibn al-Hajar saying that “its chain is authentic [sahih]” needs clarification. And his statement that “there is no narration in contrast to that of ‘Umar from amongst the companions, so [hence] this is [regarded] as consensus.” This matter is tended with only when said in the presence of the companions.
 
And there are no precautions based on the statement of some doctors, not even contempt [tanzihi]. To the extent that all their statements have no value in Islamic matters, not even in the issue of the moon. Therefore, there is no examination into this matter upon their method.
 
And it is also surprising that one of the Shafi’i scholars placed the statement of ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him) as marfu’ and the other as weak, even emphasising it on a made-up narration, which al-Daraqutni and Abu Nu’aym narrated from Sayyidah ‘Aisha (Allah be pleased with her), as she said, “I heated the water under the sunlight for the Prophet (peace be upon him), so he said: Do not do this for it causes leprosy.’” Where are the said conditions in Shafi’i jurisprudence even derived from the acceptance of both narrations, which are contrary to both narrations?
 
And so it is said that in this case nothing is evident from the doctors, and the hadith of ‘Umar is weak, so it has been proven that the use of sunlight heated water has no aversion at all.
[Mirqat al-Mafatih Sharh Mishkat al-Masabih: vol. 2, p. 459 – Hadith number: 489 -باب احکام المیاہ]
 
Shaykh Muhaqqiq ‘ala al-Itilaq Muhaddith al-Dehlwi (Allah have mercy upon him) writes in explanation of the narration of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him):
 
زیراکہ بدرستیکہ غسل کردن بآب کرم شدہ بآفتاب می آرد برص را،رواہ الدارقطنی ایں اثر ی است  ازعمر رضی اللہ عنہ آمدہ اما رفع آں بحضرت رسالت صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم بصحت نرسیدہ کذاقالوا ،ودرتنزیۃ الشریعہ ازعائشہ آوردہ کہ گفت کرم کردم براے آں حضرت صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم آب درآفتاب بس فرمود مکن یا حمیرا کہ آں مورث برص است۔رواہ ابن نعیم فی الطب والدارقطنی فی الافرادوفی السنن وابن حبان از انس آوردہ کہ گفت غسل نکنید بآبی کہ کرم شدہ است در آفتاب کہ وی می رساند ببرص وگفتہ کہ در اسانید ایں احادیث کذابان ووضاعان اند کہ قبول کردہ نمی شود ازایں شاں حدیث وثابت نشدہ از پیغمبر صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم دریں باب چیزی اما ازعمر رضی اللہ عنہ دریں باب ایں قول بثبوت رسیدہ۔وشافعی آں را بسندی آوردہ کہ رجال وی ثقات اندمکر ابراہیم کہ دروی اختلاف است وشیخ وی صدقہ ضعیف است۔ودارقطنی ازطریق دیکر آوردہ ومنذری وغیروی آں را تحسین نمودہ است واللہ اعلم۔دیکر بداں کہ قول عمر رضی اللہ عنہ کہ مؤلف آوردہ مخصوص بغسل است ودر سفرالسعادۃ کفتہ در استعمال آب کرم شدہ بآفتاب حدیثی صحیح نشدہ وایں شامل غسل ووضو وجزآنست وپوشیدہ نماند کہ برتقدیرثبوت مراداعتیادودوام براں خواہد بود یانزد عدم معارض ومانع ازاں۔چناں کہ در بعض اطعمہ کہ اطبا ازاں منع کردہ اند کفتہ اند۔
 
It is right that ablution with water heated by sunlight is a cause of leprosy. The narration of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him) does not reach the stages of soundness. This is what the scholars have stated. And it was narrated from Sayyidah ‘Aisha (Allah be pleased with her), “I heated the water under the sunlight for the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), then he said: O Humayra! Do not heat the water under sunlight, as water heated by sunlight causes leprosy disease.” This narration was reported by Ibn Nu’aym in his Tib and al-Daraqutni in Afrad and Sunan.
 
Moreover, Ibn Hibban narrated of Sayyiduna Anas, he said, “Do not bathe in water heated by sunlight, as it causes leprosy.” It has been said that in the chains of these ahadith there are false narrators. Their ahadith have not been accepted. Therefore, in this matter, nothing is evident from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). Although in this matter there is evidence of the blessed statement of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him), and Imam al-Shafi’i narrated it with his own chain in which mainly the narrators are trustworthy. But there is a difference of opinion regarding Ibrahim, and his Shaykh Siddiqa is weak. Al-Daraqutni related this with another chain approved by al-Mundhiri. And Allah knows best.
 
The second is that the compiler who reported this statement by ‘Umar is specific to baths. And it says in Safar al-Saádat that no authentic hadith has been transmitted regarding the use of water heated by sunlight. And this statement includes bathing, ablution and so on. And that this is consecutive to leprosy is in the case when one habitually bathes with this water or does it in the case when there is no cure and vaccine for the disease.
 
The same is true of food that has been prohibited by doctors from consuming and prevent you from it.
[Ash’at al-Lam’at: vol. 1, p. 132 -کتاب الطہارت باب احکام المیاہ]
 
From this he gave the same explanation in his Arabic explanation of Mishkat Sharif “Lam’at al-Tanqih” of which two quotations have been selected:
 
’’لعل المراد الاعتیاد علی ذلک أوعندعدم مایعارضہ أویمنعہ کما فی بعض الاطمعۃ التی منع منہ الاطباء وحذروا منہ ….ولیس فی الماء المشمس شیء یصح سندا۔انما یروی فی شیء من قول عمر رضی اللّٰہ عنہ وتعقب بان الحدیث وان کان واھیا من جمیع طرقہ فقول عمر شاھد لہ۔‘‘
 
Perhaps it refers to make showers with sunlight heated water a habit. Or it refers to showering when there is no cure and vaccination. Just like some foods that are forbidden by doctors to be consumed, and prevent you from it. (…) There is no narration with an authentic chain regarding showering with sunlight heated water. However, in this subject, the statement of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him) has been transmitted. And it has been re-examined; that although this hadith is the same in all methods, on the other hand, the statement of ‘Umar is quite clear.
[Lam’at al-Tanqih: vol. 2, p. 219 -کتاب الطہارۃ]
 
It is stated in Fatawa al-Shami:
 
’’ أقول: المصرح به في شرحي ابن حجر والرملي على المنهاج أنها شرعية تنزيهية لا طبية، ثم قال ابن حجر واستعماله يخشى منه البرص كما صح عن عمر رضی الله عنه واعتمده بعض محققي الأطباء لقبض زهومته على مسام البدن فتحبس الدم، وذكر شروط كراهته عندهم، وهي أن يكون بقطر حار وقت الحر في إناء منطبع غير نقد،وأن يستعمل وهو حار. أقول:وقدمنا في مندوبات الوضوء عن الإمداد أن منها أن لا يكون بماء مشمس، وبه صرح في الحلية مستدلا بما صح عن عمر من النهي عنه؛ ولذا صرح في الفتح بكراهته ومثله في البحر وقال في معراج الدراية وفي القنية: وتكره الطهارة بالمشمس،لقوله صلى الله عليه وسلم  لعائشة رضي الله عنها حين سخنت الماء بالشمس لا تفعلي يا حميراءفإنه يورث البرص، وعن عمر مثله. وفي رواية لا يكره، وبه قال أحمد ومالك. والشافعي: يكره إن قصد تشميسه. وفي الغاية: وكره بالمشمس في قطر حار في أوان منطبعة، واعتبار القصد ضعيف، وعدمه غير مؤثر اهـ ما في المعراج، فقد علمت أن المتعمد الكراهة عندنا لصحة الأثر وأن عدمها رواية.والظاهر أنها تنزيهية عندنا أيضا، بدليل عده في المندوبات، فلا فرق حينئذ بين مذهبنا ومذهب الشافعي، فاغتنم هذا التحرير.‘‘
 
Ibn al-Hajar and al-Rimli’s explanation in al-Minhaaj has stated on this matter that the use of sunlight heated water is an Islamic aversion [tanzihi], not medical. Then Ibn al-Hajar said that there is a fear of leprosy when using it. Just as it is correct, which is that of the narration of ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him). And even some doctors have relied on this because the fat clumps in the pores of the body and prevent blood flow. Ibn al-Hajar also mentioned the reprehensible conditions of that water according to the Shafi’i school, which is that utensil made of any material except gold and silver that was heated in a warm place in hot summers and it is only used whilst warm.
 
I say that in the ablution recommendations with reference to al-Imdad, we stated that the water should not be heated in sunlight. Whilst proving it with the statement of ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him), it was set forth in al-Hilya. And as a result, al-Fath and his parable al-Bahr has clarified its reprehensibility. And in Mi’raj al-Darayu, and then in al-Qunaya, it is said that it is disliked [makruh] to wash and bathe with sunlight water because of the statement of the noble Prophet (peace be upon him) to Sayyidah ‘Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) as she heated the water under sunlight, the noble Prophet (peace be upon him) said at that time, “O Humayra! Do not do this for it causes leprosy.”
 
And likewise, there is the tradition of Sayyiduna ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him). And in another narration, it is not disliked. And this is exactly what Imam Ahmad and Imam Malik have said. And Imam al-Shafi’i disliked deliberately heating the water under sunlight. In al-Ghaya it is said that warm water in hot areas and kitchen utensils that are warm is disliked. And it is flawed to trust the intention and if there is none of it then it is ineffective, as it is in al-Mi’raj. You have thought by now that our view is reprehensibility by reason of the soundness of its influence, and another narrative is the absence of reprehensibility, which makes it clear that our view is also that of reprehensible tanzihi. The reason for the evidence is gathered in the subject of the recommendation. Then there is now no difference between ours and that of the school of Imam al-Shafi’i. Consider this writing fruitful.
[Radd al-Muhtar ‘ala al-Durr al-Mukhtar: vol. 1, p. 180 -باب المیاہ]
 
Imam Ahl al-Sunnah Ala Hazrat states:
 
Absolute water heated under sunlight, if water or any other utensil material apart from gold and silver is in a hot space in summer weather getting warm by sunlight, until it does not get cold, it should not reach the body in any way, nor the one should moisten himself with it for the purpose of washing and bathing, inasmuch as the clothes that have been wet with it are not appropriate to wear until it is not dry. Because there is the assumption, Allah forbids, of leprosy when the water touches the body. There is much disagreement in this and in our book al-Aamaal fi al-Awfaq wa al-‘Amaal we have prioritised the sound statement from every dissensus and mentioned the succinct wording, of which the report is sufficient.
 
وھو ھذا قط (ای الدارقطنی) عن عامر والعقیلی عن انس مرفوعا قط والشافعی عن عمر الفاروق موقوفا لاتغتسلوا بالماء انشمس فانہ یورث البرص ۱ قط وابو نعیم عن ام المؤمنین انھا سخنت للنبی صلی اللّٰہ تعالٰی علیہ وسلم ماء فی الشمس فقال لاتفعلی یاحیمراء فانہ یورث البرص وقیدہ العلماء بقیود ان یکون فی قطر ووقت حارین وقد تشمس فی منطبع صابر تحت المطرقۃ کحدید ونحاس علی الاصح الا النقدین علی المعتمد دون الخزف والجلود والا حجار والخشب ولا للشمس فی الحیاض والبرک قطعا وان یستعمل فی البدن ولو شربالا فی الثواب الا اذا لبسہ رطبا اومع العرق وان یستعمل حارا فلو برد لاباس علی الاصح وقیل لافرق علی الصحیح ووجہ ورد فالاول الاوجہ قیل وان لایکون الاناء منکشفا والراجح ولو فالحاصل منع ایصال الماء المشمس فی اناء منطبع من غیر النقدین الی البدن فی وقت وبلد حارین مالم یبرد واللّٰہ تعالٰی اعلم۔
 
Al-Daraqutni narrated engrammically [marfu’] of ‘Amir and al-‘Uqayli of Anas. Al-Daraqutni and al-Shafi’i related a mawfuq tradition from ‘Umar al-Faruq, “Do not bathe with water heated by sunlight, as it causes leprosy.” Al-Daraqutni and Abu Nu’aym related about Umm al-Mu’minin in which she was heating water under sunlight for the noble Prophet (peace be upon him), so he said, “O Humayra, do not do this for it causes leprosy.” And the scholars have imposed a number of restrictions on it, such as; if there is hot water in a hot space in times of heat; warmed water in every utensil like water in an iron and copper utensil, but not warmed in gold and silver utensils according to the sound statement, and not a heated stony and wooden utensil under sunlight according to the reliable statement. Sun heated water in ponds and pits is absolutely not allowed, this water must not be used on the body. If someone drank from it then, the same fear exist, if clothes are washed out, there is no harm. Indeed, if one wore just the clothes whilst moist, then there is fear, or if one wears the clothes and sweats on the body. This water is useable if it is used after it gets cooled down then there is no harm. This is the very correct statement, and another statement is that there is no difference, and this is very correct. There is also on this an emphasisation and also a rebuttal, then the first reason is more correct. One explanation is that the utensil should not be open and the tendency is even if it is an open utensil. Thus, the summary is that it is forbidden [mamnu’] to use water heated by sunlight, to touch utensils of any material except silver and gold to the body, in times of heat and in hot areas without allowing it to cool. And Allah Almighty knows best.
 
And as a result, in my view, it is disliked as well to ablute and bathe from that water. Just as it has been cleared up in al-Fath, al-Bahr, al-Darayu, al-Qunaya and al-Nihaya. And this reprehensibility is Islamic [makruh] tanzihi.
 
کما اشار الیہ فی الحلیۃ والامداد ھذا ماحققہ ش خلافا للتنویر والدر حیث نفیا الکراھۃ اصلا ویمکن حمل التنویر علی التحریم اما الدر فصرح انھا طبعیۃ عند الشافعیۃ وھو خلاف نصہم۔
 
Just as al-Hilya and al-Imdad indicated it, “ش” did the same research. Al-Tanwir and al-Durr were against it, these two refuted the absoluteness of its reprehensibility. And the text of al-Tanwir loading it on sinfully disapproving [makruh tahrimi] is possible, but it has been stated in al-Durr that it is medically reprehensible according to the Shafi’i scholars and this is contrary to their clarification.

اقول:وزیادۃالتنویر قید القصد حیث قال وبماء قصد تشمیسہ لیس اتفاقیا بل الدلالۃ علی الاول واشارۃ الی نفی ماوقع فی المعراج ان الکراھۃ مقیدۃ عند الشافعی بالقصد فافہم۔

I say that in al-Tanwir there is the addition of the restriction of the intention. He said, “And the water that is deliberately heated up under sunlight.” This restriction is not consensual, rather it is evidence of its precedence, and what has been stated in al-Mi’raj is for its denial, because according to the Shafi’i scholars, the reprehensibility at that time is when it is intentional. So ponder over it.
[Fatawa al-Ridawiyyah: vol. 2, p. 464-466]
 
There are several statements about sunlight-heated water from the hermeneutics of the prophetic tradition and the Islamic jurists. It is evident from some to be reprehensible, and from some not to be reprehensible. Although the Hanafi jurists generally pass judgment on the tanzihi [disdain] reprehensibility. Just as we mentioned earlier from the reference to Fatawa al-Shami and Fatawa al-Ridawiyyah.
 
In the same light, the assessment of sunlight heated water from solar water is as follows that if the water from solar water only gets warm by the sunlight, then the warm water, until it has not cooled down, then subsequently it is disliked [makruh tanzihi] to ablute and so forth from it, and it is cause for leprosy.
 
And if the water from the solar water does not heat up by sunlight, but rather gets warm by the machine, thus on the basis that if there is no machine, the water from the solar water does not get warm by sunlight then in this aspect this water cannot be considered to be heated by sunlight, and therefore its use will not be prohibited Islamically.
 
Research shows that a different aspect is usually found within solar water heater. Therefore, the summary of the judgment will be that water heated by solar heater is worthy of use, there is no reprehensibility in ablution and bathing and so on.
 
And Allah Almighty knows best with rectitude.
 
Mufti Muhammad Zulfaqar Khan Naimi Kakralwi
Nuri Dar al-Ifta, Madina Masjid Ali Khan Kashipur
26-Rabi al-Awwal-1442 || ≈ 12-Nov-2020
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[1] The Prophet (peace be upon him) usually called her by this name.
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