Praise be to Allaah.
Many scholars are of the view that purification of najaasah
can only be done with water, just as purification from hadath [wudoo’ and
ghusl] can only be done with water.
The view of Imam Abu Haneefah (may Allaah have mercy on him)
is that it is acceptable to purify najaasah with any pure liquid that can
remove it. This view was also favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may
Allaah have mercy on him). It says in al-Ikhtiyaaraat al-Fiqhiyyah
Najaasah may be purified with any pure liquid that will
remove it, such as vinegar and the like. This was narrated in one report
from Ahmad, and was favoured by Ibn ‘Aqeel, and it is the view of the
Hanafis. End quote.
The second view is more likely to be correct.
Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy
on him) was asked:
Can najaasah be purified with something other than water?
Does the steam with which coats are dry cleaned purify them?
Removing impurity is not an act of worship that is done for
its own sake, rather the aim of removing impurity is to remove a dirty and
impure substance, so whatever removes the impurity and its traces, that
thing is purifying for it, whether it is done with water or benzene or
anything else. So long as it removes the impure substance, by whatever
means, then it is regarded as purifying it. Indeed, according to the more
correct view which was favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, if it is
removed by means of sunlight and wind, then the place is purified, because
it is as I said: the issue here is the impure substance, and wherever the
impure substance is found, that place is regarded as impure, and when it is
removed the place goes back to its original state, i.e., it becomes pure
again. Everything that removes the impure substance and its traces – except
some colour (stain) that cannot be removed, and may be forgiven – is
something that purifies it.
Based on that, we say that if the steam with which coasts are
dry-cleaned removes the impurity, then it is something that purifies. End
Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen
And Allaah knows best.