Many people say you cannot use a plate or a cup after a Kafir has used it. Is this correct?

Quran

Hadith

Islamic Text

This is incorrect.

عَنْ أَبِي ثَعْلَبَةَ الْخُشَنِيِّ، أَنَّهُ سَأَلَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: إِنَّا نُجَاوِرُ أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ وَهُمْ يَطْبُخُونَ فِي قُدُورِهِمُ الْخِنْزِيرَ وَيَشْرَبُونَ فِي آنِيَتِهِمُ الْخَمْرَ، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «إِنْ وَجَدْتُمْ غَيْرَهَا فَكُلُوا فِيهَا وَاشْرَبُوا، وَإِنْ لَمْ تَجِدُوا غَيْرَهَا فَارْحَضُوهَا بِالْمَاءِ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا»

Abu Tha’labah al-khushani said that he asked the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, ‘We neighbour People of the Book and they cook swine in their pots and drink wine in their vessels.’ The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, ‘If you find other (pots or vessels) then eat and drink using them. But if you do not find any others, then wash them with water and eat and drink.’ (Sunan Abi Dawood 3839, Hasan).

In the Hadith above we see that it is permitted to use the utensils of Kufaar even when it is known that they have been used for Haram, however they must be washed first. This is in line with the general rule that washing removes impurities. Therefore, considering utensils used by Kufaar to be unusable thereafter is incorrect.

When there is no certainty that Kufaar have used utensils for Haram then it is no longer obligatory to wash them prior to use, rather it is recommended.

قَالَ مُحَمَّدٌ – رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى -: يُكْرَهُ الْأَكْلُ وَالشُّرْبُ فِي أَوَانِي الْمُشْرِكِينَ قَبْلَ الْغُسْلِ وَمَعَ هَذَا لَوْ أَكَلَ أَوْ شَرِبَ فِيهَا جَازَ إذَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ بِنَجَاسَةِ الْأَوَانِي وَإِذَا عَلِمَ حَرُمَ ذَلِكَ عَلَيْهِ قَبْلَ الْغُسْلِ (البحر الرائق شرح كنز الدقائق).

(Imam) Muhammad (May Allah Most High have mercy upon him) said, it is Makruh to eat or drink from the utensils of the idolators prior to washing them. However, it is permissible to eat and drink if he does not know of the presence of impurity in the utensils, but if he knows of it (the presence of impurity) then it is Haram for him (to use them) prior to washing them. (Imam Ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr al-Raiq).

وَلَا بَأْسَ بِالْأَكْلِ فِي أَوَانِي الْمَجُوسِ، وَلَكِنْ غَسْلُهَا أَحَبُّ إلَيَّ، وَأَنْظَفُ؛ لِمَا رُوِيَ «أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – سُئِلَ عَنْ طَبْخِ الْمَرَقَةِ فِي أَوَانِي الْمُشْرِكِينَ، فَقَالَ – عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ – اغْسِلُوهَا، ثُمَّ اُطْبُخُوا فِيهَا»؛ وَلِأَنَّ الْآنِيَةَ تُتَّخَذُ مِمَّا هُوَ طَاهِرٌ، وَالْأَصْلُ فِيهَا الطَّهَارَةُ إلَّا أَنَّ الظَّاهِرَ أَنَّهُمْ يَجْعَلُونَ فِيهَا مَا يَصْنَعُونَهُ مِنْ ذَبَائِحِهِمْ، فَيُسْتَحَبُّ غَسْلُهَا لِذَلِكَ، وَإِنْ تَرَكَ ذَلِكَ، وَتَمَسَّكَ بِالْأَصْلِ لَمْ يَضُرَّهُ (المبسوط)

And there is no harm in eating from the utensils of the Magians (Majoos), but it is preferable and purer to wash them first. Due to the narration that the Prophet ﷺ  was asked regarding cooking in the utensils of the idolators , He ﷺ said, ‘Wash them and then cook in them.’ Also because utensils are produced using pure materials, so the default regarding them is purity. However, it is apparent that they put their meat products in them (their utensils), so it is recommended to wash them due to this. But if one was to refrain from washing and stick to the original ruling (of purity) then there is no harm in it. (Imam al-Sarakhsi, al-Mabsoot).

So as we see from the Nusoos above, it is permitted to use such utensils without washing them, but recommended to wash them before use. If one knows they have been used for impurity then it is obligatory to wash them. In no situation is it required to dispose of them.

And Allah (Most High) Knows Best.

Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen (31.05.2021)

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