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Rulings Concerning Relieving Oneself

1- Covering one’s nakedness from people when using the toilet. The Prophet ﷺ said: “A screen is set up between the eyes of the jinn and the private parts of the children of Adam when they mention Allah’s name (they say bismillah) before using the toilet.” [ narrated by At-Tirmidhi.]

2- Protection of the body and clothing from becoming stained with impurity, but if they become stained, he should wash them off. The Prophet ﷺ walked by two graves and said: “Both of them are being punished, but not for a major sin. This one did not wash urine from himself......” [ narrated by Abu Dawud]

Cleaning oneself by using water and stones; or the likes. On the authority of Anas Ibn Malik t who said: “Whenever the Prophet ﷺ went to the privy to answer the call of nature, a servant and I used to carry a skin water container and a spear, and he would cleanse himself with the water.” [ agreed upon.]

Prohibited Acts When Relieving Oneslf

1- Facing the Qiblah (direction of prayer, which is towards the Ka’bah) or turning one’s back to the Qiblah when relieving oneself in an open area e.g. the desert.

When in buildings, it’s best not to face or turn your back to the Qiblah. The Prophet ﷺ said: “When you relieve yourselves do not face the Qiblah and do not turn your backs to it while urinating or defecating, but turn west or east of it (e.g. turn in another direction if you are facing the Qiblah or your back is towards it).” [ agreed upon.]

2- To urinate or defecate in the paths and thoroughfares of people, their shade, or meeting places. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Beware of two who are cursed,” they (the Companions) y asked : “O Messenger of Allah, who are they?” He ﷺ said: “Those who relieve themselves in the path of people or where they take shelter and rest.” [ narrated by Muslim.]

3- Urinating in still/non-flowing water, like a pond, lake or place of bathing: e.g bath pond, hot spring. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Don’t anyone of you urinate in still water and then bath in it.” [ agreed upon.]

4- Entering the lavatory with the Qur’an.

Defecating in Thoroughfares Defecating in Thoroughfares

Recommended Acts when Relieving Oneself

1- Staying out of people’s sight while defecating or urinating outside.

2- To say while entering the lavatory: “Bismillah, O Allah, I seek protection in You from wicked male jinn and female jinn.”[ agreed upon.]

3- Entering the lavatory with the left foot first and leaving with the right foot first.

4- To seek Allah’s forgiveness upon exiting the lavatory by saying “Your forgiveness.” [ Narrated by Abu Dawud.]

Relieving Oneself in the Desert or Wilderness Relieving Oneself in the Desert or Wilderness
Entering with the Left Foot Entering with the Left Foot
Leaving with the Right Foot Leaving with the Right Foot
Urinating in Stagnant Water
It has been proven that urinating in stagnant water produces fluke worms/parasites (schistosoma) that cause bilharzia (schistosomiasis); commonly called snail fever. [ Prophetic Medicine in Light of Modern Science, Ghiyath Ahmad.]

Things Disliked When Relieving Oneself

1- Saying something while defecating or talking with someone else, except when the need arises. Ibn Umar  reported “that a man passed by the Prophet ﷺ while He (the Prophet) was urinating, and he said salams unto him, but the Prophet didn’t reply. ”[ narrated by Muslim.]

2- Entering the toilet with something bearing the inscription of Allah’s name, unless there is fear of it being stolen. If you enter the lavatory with a Mushaf/Qur’an or a book containing verses from the Qur’an and/or hadeeth’s of the Prophet, you must place them in a place away from the toilet itself e.g. on a window sill, ledge, in a coat pocket and then hang the coat from a hook, etc. It’s not permissable to hold them or have them on your person while you relieve yourself.

3- Touching the private parts with the right hand or cleaning oneself (either Al-Istin ja’a or Al-Istijmar) with it. The Prophet ﷺ said: “None of you should touch his penis with the right hand while urinating, neither should he clean himself (from defecation or urine) with his right hand after defecating.” [ agreed upon.]

4- Urinating into cracks and holes of rocky ground. This is to avoid harming the creatures living in them, or so that they will not harm you.

Speaking While Relieving Oneself Speaking While Relieving Oneself
Entering the Bathroom with something which has Allah’s Name on it Entering the Bathroom with something which has Allah’s Name on it.
Urinating in Holes Urinating in Holes
Entering the Bathroom with a Mushaf Entering the Bathroom with a Mushaf
Urinating Standing
Urinating while standing: The Prophet ﷺ forbade urinating while standing, but if the splash from urine can be avoided (while standing), then it is permissible to stand. This is found in the hadeeth of Hudhaifah t who said: “The Prophet ﷺ came upon some people’s trash pile and urinated (there) while standing.” [ narrated by Al-Bukhari.]

Al-Istinjaa and Al-Istijmar

Al-Istinjaa

Removal of traces of urine or feces with clean water.

Al-Istijmar

Removal of traces of urine or feces by wiping with stones or something similar.

The Ruling of Al-Istinjaa and Al-Istijmar

The use of water for purification after using the toilet has been legislated based on the hadeeth of Anas Ibn Malik t who said: “Whenever the Prophet ﷺ went to the privy to answer the call of nature, a servant and I used to carry a skin water container and a spear, and he would cleanse himself with the water.” [ agreed upon.]

It is permissible to clean oneself with stones, toilet tissues, leaves, etc. by themselves, instead of using water, if two conditions are met:

1- That urine or feces do not go beyond the regions from which they have exited. When they go beyond these regions it is compulsory to use water. (An example of this is if either of them runs down ones leg.)

2- Al-Istijmar should be done with three wipes or more until the passages (front or back) become clean.

The Wisdom Behind Al-Istinjah and Al-Istijmar

1- Cleaning oneself and removal of impurities.

2- Neatnesss and protection from causes of diseases.

Points of Benefit

- Al-Istinjaa doesn’t have to be performed after merely passing wind.

- Cleaning oneself with water is better than cleaning oneself with stones etc., because it is neater and cleaner.

The Conditions for What Is Used for Al-Istijmaar

1- It must be clean; Najasah may not be used for Al-Istinjah.

2- It must be permissible in Islam, it is wrong to use forbidden objects.

3- It must be capable of cleaning the soiled area.

4- It must not be a bone, dung or the likes. Salman Al-Farisi said: “Indeed, the Prophet ﷺ forbade us from facing the Qiblah while defecating or urinating, from wiping (ourselves) using the right hand, wiping with less than three stones, or wiping with dung and bones.” [ narrated by Muslim.]

5- It must not be something that has any respected importance or something sacred in the religion e.g. food or papers containing religious script and/or information.

Examples of things that can be used include clean stone, handkerchief, toilet paper, sanitary paper, and a piece of cloth.

Cleaning oneself with Bone Cleaning oneself with Bone
Cleaning oneself with a Piece of Cloth Cleaning oneself with a Piece of Cloth
Cleaning oneself with Food Cleaning oneself with Food
Cleaning oneself with Toilet Paper Cleaning oneself with Toilet Paper
Cleaning oneself with Revered Papers Cleaning oneself with Revered Papers
Cleaning oneself with Stone Cleaning oneself with Stone
Making Istinjaa with Ones Right Hand
Cleaning oneself after answering the call of nature with your right hand is forbidden. The Prophet ﷺ said “None of you should touch his penis with his right hand while urinating, neither should he clean himself (from defecation or urine) with his right hand.” [ narrated by Muslim.]