Islamic toilet etiquette

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The Islamic faith has particular rules regarding personal hygiene when going to the toilet. This code of Muslim hygienical jurisprudence is known as Qadaa' al-Haajah.

The only issue which the Qur'an mentions is the one of washing one's hands (verse 5:6). Issues of chirality (bodily symmetry), such as whether one uses the left or right hand, and which foot is used to step into or out of toilet areas, are derived from hadith sources.[1]

Rules[edit]

A Muslim must first find an acceptable place away from standing water, people's pathways, or shade.[2] They are advised that it is better to enter the area with the left foot,[3] facing away from the Qiblah (prayer point).[4]

While on the toilet, one must remain silent. Talking, answering greetings, or greeting others is strongly discouraged.[4] When defecating together, two men cannot converse, nor look at each other's genitals.[5] A man should not touch his genitals with the right hand.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12] Eating any food while on the toilet is strictly forbidden.[4]

The anus must be washed with water after defecating. Similarly, the penis and vulva must be washed with water after urinating. This washing is known as istinja. The Qur'an suggests that one should wash one's hands as well, which is discussed in verse 5:6.

When leaving the toilet, one is advised to leave with the right foot,[3] and also say a prayer – "Praise be to Allah who relieved me of the filth and gave me relief."[4] It is also reported in the hadith of Bukhari that whenever 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").[13]

Do's and Don'ts[edit]

Say a prayer when entering to ward off jinn and demons[edit]

— Narrated Zayd ibn Arqam: The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) said: These privies are frequented by the jinns and devils. So when anyone amongst you goes there, he should say: "I seek refuge in Allah from male and female devils."[14]
— Anas reported: When the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) entered the privy, and in the hadith transmitted by Hushaim (the words are): When the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) entered the lavatory, he used to say: O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from wicked and noxious things.[15]
— Narrated Anas: Whenever the Prophet went to answer the call of nature, he used to say, "Allah-umma inni a'udhu bika minal khubuthi wal khaba'ith i.e. O Allah, I seek Refuge with You from all offensive and wicked things (evil deeds and evil spirits)."[16]

Do not face nor turn your back to the direction of the Ka'aba[edit]

— Narrated Abu Aiyub Al-Ansari: The Prophet said, “While defecating, neither face nor turn your back to the Qibla but face either east or west.” Abu Aiyub added. “When we arrived in Sham we came across some lavatories facing the Qibla; therefore we turned ourselves while using them and asked for Allah’s forgiveness.”[17]
— Abu Ayyub reported: The Apostle of Allah said: Whenever you go to the desert, neither turn your face nor turn your back towards the Qibla while answering the call of nature, but face towards the east or the west. Abu Ayyub said: When we came to Syria we found that the latrines already built there were facing towards the Qibla. We turned our faces away from them and begged forgiveness of the Lord. He said: Yes.[18]

Remove your rings[edit]

— Narrated Anas ibn Malik: When the Prophet (peace be upon him) entered the privy, he removed his ring.[19]

Do not hold nor touch the penis with your right hand[edit]

— Narrated Abu Qatada: Allah's Apostle said, "Whenever anyone of you drinks water, he should not breathe in the drinking utensil, and whenever anyone of you goes to a lavatory, he should neither touch his penis nor clean his private parts with his right hand."[20]
— Narrated Abu Qatada: The Prophet said, "Whenever anyone of you makes water he should not hold his penis or clean his private parts with his right hand. (And while drinking) one should not breathe in the drinking utensil."[21]
— Abu Qatada reported it from his father: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: None of you should hold penis with his right hand while urinating, or wipe himself with his right hand in privy and should not breathe into the vessel (from which he drinks).[22]
— Abu Qatada reported it from his father that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: When anyone amongst you enters the privy he should not touch his penis with his right hand.[23]

Do not stand while urinating[edit]

— Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “Whoever tells you that the Prophet used to urinate standing up, do not believe him. He only ever used to urinate sitting down.”[24]
— Narrated Amr ibn al-'As: AbdurRahman ibn Hasanah reported: I and Amr ibn al-'As went to the Prophet. He came out with a leather shield (in his hand). He covered himself with it and urinated. Then we said: Look at him. He is urinating as a woman does. The Prophet (peace be upon him), heard this and said: Do you not know what befell a person from amongst Banu Isra'il (the children of Israel)? When urine fell on them, they would cut off the place where the urine fell; but he (that person) forbade them (to do so), and was punished in his grave.[25]
— Abu Huraira said: When any one amongst you squats for answering the call of nature, he should neither turn his face towards the Qibla nor turn his back towards it.[26]

Do not soil yourself with urine[edit]

This is a major sin.

— The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Most of the punishment of the grave will be because of urine.”[27]
— Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: Once the Prophet, while passing through one of the grave-yards of Medina or Mecca heard the voices of two persons who were being tortured in their graves. The Prophet said, "These two persons are being tortured not for a major sin (to avoid)." The Prophet then added, "Yes! (they are being tortured for a major sin). Indeed, one of them never saved himself from being soiled with his urine while the other used to go about with calumnies (to make enmity between friends). The Prophet then asked for a green leaf of a date-palm tree, broke it into two pieces and put one on each grave. On being asked why he had done so, he replied, "I hope that their torture might be lessened, till these get dried."[28]

Clean yourself with an odd number of stones[edit]

— Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Whoever performs ablution should clean his nose with water by putting the water in it and then blowing it out, and whoever cleans his private parts with stones should do it with odd number of stones."[29]
— Abu Huraira reported Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: When anyone wipes himself with pebbles (after answering the call of nature) he must make use of an odd number and when any one of you performs ablution he must snuff in his nose water and then clean it.[30]
— Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: When anyone performs ablution he must clean his nose and when anyone wipes himself with pebbles (after answering the call of nature) he must do that odd number of times.[31]
— Jabir b. 'Abdullah reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: When anyone wipes himself with pebbles (after answering the call of nature) he should do this odd number of times.[32]

Do not clean yourself with less than three stones[edit]

— Salman said that (one among) the polytheists remarked: I see that your friend even teaches you about the excrement. He replied; Yes, he has in fact forbidden us that anyone amongst us should cleanse himself with his right hand, or face the Qibla. He has forbidden the use of dung or bone for it, and he has also instructed us not to use less than three pebbles (for this purpose).[33]
— Narrated Salman al-Farsi: It was said to Salman: Your Prophet teaches you everything, even about excrement. He replied: Yes. He has forbidden us to face the qiblah at the time of easing or urinating, and cleansing with right hand, and cleansing with less than three stones, or cleansing with dung or bone.[34]

Do not use dung or bones[edit]

— Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas'ud: A deputation of the jinn came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: O Muhammad, forbid your community to cleans themselves with a bone or dung or charcoal, for in them Allah has provided sustenance for us. So the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade them to do so.[35]
— Narrated Abu Huraira: I followed the Prophet while he was going out to answer the call of nature. He used not to look this way or that. So, when I approached near him he said to me, "Fetch for me some stones for ' cleaning the privates parts (or said something similar), and do not bring a bone or a piece of dung." So I brought the stones in the corner of my garment and placed them by his side and I then went away from him. When he finished (from answering the call of nature) he used, them.[36]
— Narrated Ruwayfi' ibn Thabit: ... The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) said: You may live for a long time after I am gone, Ruwayfi', so, tell people that if anyone ties his beard or wears round his neck a string to ward off the evil eye, or cleanses himself with animal dung or bone, Muhammad has nothing to do with him.[37]
— Narrated 'Abdullah: The Prophet went out to answer the call of nature and asked me to bring three stones. I found two stones and searched for the third but could not find it. So took a dried piece of dung and brought it to him. He took the two stones and threw away the dung and said, "This is a filthy thing."[38]
— Jabir reported: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) forbade the use of bone or the droppings of camels for wiping (after excretion).[39]

Do not use your right hand[edit]

— Narrated Abu Qatada: Allah's Apostle said, "When you drink (water), do not breath in the vessel; and when you urinate, do not touch your penis with your right hand. And when you cleanse yourself after defecation, do not use your right hand."[40]


Do not uncover your private parts until after squatting[edit]

— Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar: When the Prophet (peace be upon him) wanted to relieve himself, he would not raise his garment, until he lowered himself near the ground.[41]
— Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wanted to answer the call of nature, he would not lift his garment until he had squatted close to the ground.”[42]

Wash yourself once you're done[edit]

— Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "The prayer of a person who does Hadath (passes urine, stool, or wind) is not accepted till he performs (repeats) the ablution." A person from Hadaramout asked Abu Huraira, "What is 'Hadath'?" Abu Huraira replied, " 'Hadath' means the passing of wind from the anus."[43]
— Narrated Anas bin Malik: Whenever Allah's Apostle went to answer the call of nature, I along with another boy used to accompany him with a tumbler full of water. (Hisham commented, "So that he might wash his private parts with it.)"[44]
— Narrated Anas bin Malik: Whenever Allah's Apostle went to answer the call of nature, I along with another boy used to carry a tumbler full of water (for cleaning the private parts) and an 'Anza (spear-headed stuck [sic]).[45]

The above hadith wants to say 'spear-headed stick.'

— Narrated AbuHurayrah: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The following verse was revealed in connection with the people of Quba': "In it are men who love to be purified" (ix.108). He (AbuHurayrah) said: They used to cleanse themselves with water after easing. So the verse was revealed in connection with them.[46]

No need to cleanse when done in a river[edit]

— Usama b. Zaid (Allah be pleased with him) reported: Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) on his way back from 'Arafat got down in one of these creeks (to answer the call of nature), and after he had done that I poured water (over his hands) and said: Are you going to pray? Thereupon he said: The place of prayer is ahead of you.[47]

Say a prayer when exiting the toilet[edit]

— Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: When the Prophet (peace be upon him) came out of the privy, he used to say: "Grant me Thy forgiveness."[48][49]

Do not speak in the toilet[edit]

— Narrated AbuSa'id al-Khudri: I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) say: When two persons go together for relieving themselves uncovering their private parts and talking together, Allah, the Great and Majestic, becomes wrathful at this (action).[50]
— Narrated Muhajir ibn Qunfudh: Muhajir came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) while he was urinating. He saluted him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) did not return the salutation to him until he performed ablution. He then apologised to him, saying: I disliked remembering Allah except in the state of purification.[51]
— A man said salaam to the Prophet (saw) while he was in the toilet, he did not answer the salaam.[52]
— It is disliked to give salams to someone in the toilet, and they do not answer back. Likewise the one eating [such that there is food in their mouth, because they are busy and unable to answer], reciting Quran, busy with Sacred Knowledge.[53][54]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sachiko Murata (1992), "ch. 3 The Two Hands of God", The Tao of Islam, ISBN 978-0-7914-0913-8 
  2. ^ Narrated by Abu Hurairah and collected in Sahih Muslim (Book 002, Number 0516
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ a b c d Shu'aib, Tajuddin B., "Qadaahul Haajah (Relieving Oneself)", The Prescribed Prayer Made Simple, MSA West Compendium of Muslim Texts, archived from the original on 2009-08-19, retrieved 2009-03-10 
  5. ^ Sunaan ibn Majah, 1.342
  6. ^ Sunaan Abu Dawud, 1.1.0031
  7. ^ Mishkat, 1.185
  8. ^ Mishkat, 1.183
  9. ^ Sunaan Nasai, 1.24, 25
  10. ^ Sahih Muslim, 2.0512
  11. ^ Sahih Bukhari, 1.4.156
  12. ^ "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] Archived 2011-05-25 at the Wayback Machine.[2]
  13. ^ Hadith of Bukhari: Volumes I, II, III & IV. 1944. P.39. Hadith 1:144.
  14. ^ Abu Dawud 1:6
  15. ^ Muslim 3:729
  16. ^ Bukhari 1:4:144
  17. ^ Bukhari 1:8:388
  18. ^ Muslim 2:507
  19. ^ Abu Dawud 1:19
  20. ^ Bukhari 1:4:155
  21. ^ Bukhari 1:4:156
  22. ^ Muslim 2:511
  23. ^ Muslim 2:512
  24. ^ "Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, al-Tahaarah, 12; he said, this is the most saheeh report on this topic. It was also classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, no. 11" - Is it haraam to urinate standing up? - Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 9790
  25. ^ Abu dawud 1:22
  26. ^ Muslim 2:508
  27. ^ "Reported by Ibn Maajah, 342; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1202" - Muslim bathroom etiquette - Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 2532. See also Sahih al-Jaami’ No. 1202
  28. ^ Bukhari 1:4:215
  29. ^ Bukhari 1:4:162
  30. ^ Muslim 2:458
  31. ^ Muslim 2:460
  32. ^ Muslim 2:463
  33. ^ Muslim 2:505
  34. ^ Abu dawud 1:7
  35. ^ Abu Dawud 1:39
  36. ^ Bukhari 1:4:157
  37. ^ Abu Dawud 1:36
  38. ^ Bukhari 1:4:158
  39. ^ Muslim 2:506
  40. ^ Bukhari 7:69:534
  41. ^ Abu Dawud 1:14
  42. ^ "Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 14; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4652" - Muslim bathroom etiquette - Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 2532.
  43. ^ Bukhari 1:4:137
  44. ^ Bukhari 1:4:152. See also Bukhari 1:4:153
  45. ^ Bukhari 1:4:154
  46. ^ Abu dawud 1:44
  47. ^ Muslim 7:2942
  48. ^ Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah and At-Tirmithi. An-Nasa'i recorded it in 'Amalul-Yawm wal-Laylah. Also see Ibn Al-Qayyim's Zadul-Ma'ad, 2/387.
  49. ^ Abu Dawud 1:30
  50. ^ Abu Dawud 1:15
  51. ^ Abu Dawud 1:17
  52. ^ An-Nasaa'i 37, Ibn Majah 353
  53. ^ Shaykh Faraz Rabbani. "Giving salams to someone in the toilet". Question ID 2118. SunniPath. Archived from the original on 2014-01-19. 
  54. ^ Ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr al-Raiq (8.236)

External links[edit]