Islamic toilet etiquette

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The Islamic faith has particular rules regarding personal hygiene when going to the toilet. This code is known as Qadaa' al-Haajah. Eating any food while on the toilet is strictly forbidden.[1][2]

Issues of chirality, such as whether one uses the left or right hand and foot to step into or out of toilet areas, are derived from hadith sources.[3] The only issue which the Qur'an mentions is the one of washing one's hands especially following going to the toilet which is mentioned in verse 5:6.


A Muslim must first find an acceptable place away from standing water, or people's pathways or shade.[4] They are advised that it is better to enter the area with the left foot,[5] facing away from the Qiblah.[1]

While on the toilet, one must remain silent. Talking, answering greetings or greeting others is strongly discouraged.[1] When defecating together, two men cannot converse, nor look at each other's genitals.[6] A man should not touch the his genitals with the right hand.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

When leaving the toilet, one is advised to leave with the right foot,[5] and also say a prayer – "Praise be to Allah who relieved me of the filth and gave me relief."[1] This is similar in concept to Asher yatzar, the prayers said by orthodox Jews when leaving the toilet in which they thank God for the orifices used to defecate/urinate,[14] and exact ways of proceeding and accompanying prayers are also specified in traditional Zoroastrianism.[15] It is also reported in the Hadith of Bukhari that whenever Prophet Muhammad went to the toilet, he said "In the name of Allah, O Allah! I seek refuge with You from all offensive and wicked things" (alternate translation: "from evil deeds and evil spirits").[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Shu'aib, Tajuddin B., "Qadaahul Haajah (Relieving Oneself)", The Prescribed Prayer Made Simple (MSA West Compendium of Muslim Texts), retrieved 2009-03-10 
  2. ^ Niamh Horan (April 8, 2007), Surgeons perform delicate operation for Muslims, Irish Independent 
  3. ^ Sachiko Murata (1992), "ch. 3 The Two Hands of God", The Tao of Islam, ISBN 978-0-7914-0913-8 
  4. ^ Narrated by Abu Hurairah and collected in Sahih Muslim (Book 002, Number 0516
  5. ^ a b Narrated by Anas bin Malik and collected in Sahih al-Bukhari (Volume 1, Book 4, Number 144) and Sahih Muslim (Book 003, Number 729)
  6. ^ Sunaan ibn Majah, 1.342
  7. ^ Sunaan Abu Dawud, 1.1.0031
  8. ^ Mishkat, 1.185
  9. ^ Mishkat, 1.183
  10. ^ Sunaan Nasai, 1.24, 25
  11. ^ Sahih Muslim, 2.0512
  12. ^ Sahih Bukhari, 1.4.156
  13. ^ "Whenever anyone of you drinks water, he should not breathe in the drinking utensil, and whenever anyone of you goes to a lavatory, he is advised better to neither touch his penis nor clean his private parts with his right hand." (Sahih Bukhari, 1. 4.155)[1][2]
  14. ^ See for the exact text.
  15. ^ Sad Dar 56:1-2. Also advocated [ here.
  16. ^ Hadith of Bukhari: Volumes I, II, III & IV. 1944. P.39. Hadith 1:144.

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