Water of the well of Budhaa'ah

14/09/2011| IslamWeb


Asalamu alikum , Basically I have come across this Hadith from Sunan Abu Dawud, book 1, Purification (Kitab Al-Taharah), Number 66 and 67 about using a well which contain dead dogs, mensurated clothes, excrement of people. http://www.iiu.edu.my/deed/hadith/abudawood/001_sat.html Please could you explain, I know I should only concern myself with matters that concern me, however it was raised in an Islamic forum online by a non muslim, to which I am difficulty understanding JazakAllah khair
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.
It might be that you are referring to the Hadeeth that is narrated by Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) was asked: "Can we perform ablution out of the well of Budhaa'ah, which is a well into which women’s menstrual rags, dead dogs and stinking things were thrown? He replied: ''Water is pure and it is not rendered impure by anything.”  [Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi, and An-Nasaa’ee]
We do not understand what is the problem or the ambiguity about this narration. If you mean how one can perform ablution from this well into which those things are thrown, then the answer is that since the water is a huge quantity and none of its three characteristics (i.e. smell, taste and colour) has changed because of what is thrown into it, then it remains as it is which means that it is pure. Al-Bayhaqui and some other Imaams  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  them stated that the well of Budhaa'ah contains much water and it is so large that its water does not change because of what is thrown into it. Imaam Abu Daawood  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said that he saw the well as it was at the time of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) and he found that its width is 6 cubits long, which means more than three meters and a half, and it is wide and contains much water.
Since this well is as described, then it is not wise to restrict its use and prevent people from using its water while being most in need for its water as long as its characteristics remained the same. However, if one of its characteristics changes, then it is impure according to the consensus of all the scholars  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  them and it is not permissible to use it. The Islamic Law advocates avoiding and purifying from impurities, as Allah Says to His Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) (what means): {And your clothing purify.}[Quran 74:4]  
Even though, the Islamic Law did not give any room for whispers about purity. In principle all things are pure unless it is proven that they became impure.
Allah Knows best.
Fatwa answered by: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb