In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Purity

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • The QurʾAnic Rules Of Purity
  • Theoretical Aspects of Purity and Ritual

Islamic Studies Purity
Sukidi Mulyadi
  • LAST REVIEWED: 28 June 2019
  • LAST MODIFIED: 14 December 2009
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195390155-0064


The idea of purity has been one of the most central doctrines and practices in Islam. It has been prescribed in the Qurʾanic texts and exemplified in the words and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad. There are several Qurʾanic texts used as the authoritative bases for the discursive interpretation and practice of ritual purity within the boundary of Qurʾanic discourse.

General Overviews

For a general introduction to the concept of purity in ritual worship, see Kader 1968, Williams 1994, and Katz 2001. Kuşçular 2007 is the best comprehensive guide to purity.

  • Kader, Ali Abdel. “The Concept of Purity in Islam.” In Proceedings of the XIth International Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions. Vol. 2, 104–107. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1968.

    A brief general introduction to the concept of purity in Islam and its division into two types: physical purity and spiritual purity.

  • Katz, Marion Holmes. “Cleanliness and Ablution.” In Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān. Vol. 1. Edited by Jane D. McAuliffe, 341–344. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 2001.

    Contains a brief vocabulary of purity in ritual worship,including ablution and purity in an ethical context, such as sexual purity and impurity.

  • Kuşçular, Remzi. Cleanliness in Islam: A Comprehensive Guide to Ṭahāra. Translated by Suleyman Basaran. Somerset, NJ: The Light, Inc., 2007.

    This book guides the readers through a comprehensive discussion of purity, including its definition, rules, and rituals.

  • Williams, John Alden. The Word of Islam. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994.

    Contains a modest introduction to the concept of purity in the books of fiqh (pp. 66–87).

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