RULES RELATING TO WELLS


Bahishti Zewar, Fiqh, Part 1-Beliefs & Laws of Tahara / Saturday, August 16th, 2008

RULES RELATING TO WELLS

  1. When any impurity (najaasat) falls into a well, it becomes impure. By drawing out the water, it becomes purified. Irrespective of whether a little or a lot of impurity falls in it, all the water will have to be drawn out. Once all the water has been drawn out, it will become purified. It is not necessary to wash the gravel and walls of the well. All these will be automatically cleaned. In the same way, the rope and bucket will also be automatically cleaned once the well is purified. There is no need to wash these things.

    Note
    : Drawing out all the water means that so much of water is drawn out that all of it is finished to such an extent that even half a bucket cannot be filled.

  2. If the excrement of a pigeon or sparrow falls into a well, it will not be rendered impure. However, the excrement of chickens and ducks will render it impure and all the water will have to be drawn out.

  3. If a dog, cat, cow or goat passes urine in a well, or some other impurity falls into it, all the water will have to be removed.

  4. If a human being, dog, goat, or any similar animal falls into a well and dies in it, all the water will have to be drawn out. If it dies outside and then falls into the well, the same rule will apply, i.e. all the water will have to be drawn out.

  5. If any living creature, big or small, dies in a well and gets bloated or bursts, even then all the water will have to be drawn out. Based on this, if a rat or sparrow dies and gets bloated or bursts, all the water will have to be drawn out.

  6. If a rat, sparrow, or any similar sized creature falls and dies, but does not get bloated or does not burst, then it is obligatory to draw out twenty buckets of water from the well. But drawing out thirty buckets is preferable. However, first the dead rat, etc. should be taken out, then only should one commence drawing out the water. If the rat was not taken out first, then whatever water was drawn out will not be considered. After removing the rat, that amount of water will have to be drawn out again.

  7. The same rule applies to a chameleon which has flowing blood, i.e. if it dies without getting bloated, twenty buckets will have to be drawn out and thirty will be preferable. However, the death of a lizard which does not have flowing blood does not render the water impure.

  8. If a pigeon, fowl, cat, or any similar sized creature falls and dies without getting bloated, then it is obligatory to draw out forty buckets of water and preferable to draw out sixty buckets.

  9. The water will be drawn out according to the bucket which is normally used for that well. If a bucket larger than the normal one is used, water should be drawn out proportionately: if it equals two buckets, it should be estimated accordingly. And if it equals four buckets, it should be estimated accordingly as well. In short, the water will be drawn out in proportion to the number of buckets that can be accomodated by this one bucket.

  10. If there is such a large spring in the well that all the water cannot be drawn out and as you draw out of it, it begins to fill again – then in this case one should estimate the amount of water that is presently in the well and then draw out accordingly. Note: There are several ways of estimating the amount of water. One method is that for example the depth of the water is equal to five hands. So draw out 100 buckets continuously and then see the extent to which the water level has decreased. If it has decreased by one hand, then accordingly, five hands will equal 500 buckets. Another method is to call two pious Muslims who have knowledge about water and are able to estimate it. Water should be drawn out according to whatever estimate they give. However, if it is not possible to employ these methods, 300 buckets should be drawn out.

  11. If a dead rat or any other creature came out of the well and it is not known as to when it fell into the well, nor has it burst or bloated, then whoever made wudhu from this well should repeat his salaat of one day and one night. And the one who washed his clothing in this well, should re-wash them. But if that dead creature got bloated or burst, then the salaat of three days and three nights should be repeated. However, those who have not made wudhu from this well do not have to repeat their salaat. All this is done as a precaution. Some ulama say that the well should be regarded as impure from the time its impurity has been established and all the previous wudhu and salaat will be proper. If anyone acts on this, it will also be proper.

  12. If anyone upon whom ghusl is necessary goes down a well in search of its bucket and there is no impurity on his body or clothes, the well will not be rendered impure. Similarly, if a non – Muslim goes down and there is no impurity on his body or clothing, the well will remain pure. But if there is some impurity, the well will become impure and all the water will have to be drawn out. If one is in doubt as to whether the clothing is clean or not, even then the well will be regarded as pure. However, there is no harm if 20-30 buckets are drawn out in order to keep one’s heart at ease.

  13. If a goat or rat falls into a well and comes out alive, the water will be pure and there is no need to draw out anything.

  14. If a rat is caught and wounded by a cat biting at it, thereafter it is left free and in this bleeding condition it falls into a well – then all the water will have to be drawn out.

  15. A rat comes out of a drain and its body is covered with impurity. Thereafter it falls into a well. All the water will have to be removed irrespective of whether it dies in the well or not.

  16. The tail of a rat was cut off and it fell into a well – all the water will have to be drawn out. The same rule applies to the tail of that lizard which has flowing blood.

  17. If the thing with which the well becomes impure cannot be removed despite trying to do so, then the nature of the thing should be established. If the object is pure in itself, but is rendered impure by some other impurity, eg. impure clothing, a dirty ball, dirty shoes, etc. then one is excused from removing the object. Only the water should be drawn out. If the thing is impure by nature, eg. a dead creature, a rat, etc. then as long as it is not established that that thing has decomposed and turned into mud, the well cannot become pure. But once this has been established, all the water should be drawn out and the well will now be pure.

  18. The quantity of water which has to be drawn out could be drawn out all at once or little by little. It will be purified in any way.

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