Islamic Rules Concerning the Use of Lavatory

on Friday, August 30, 2013

In Islamic Shariah, there is a provision for each and every act that a Muslim must perform under different conditions. It is no surprise, therefore, that the rules regarding the use of lavatory have also been explicated in the blessed Shariah.

The rulings regarding lavatory are varied, and most of them convey a general notion about a theme. It is reported from the Prophet (PBUH) that Muslims should not face or back the Holy Ka’ba, the sacred house of Allah during urination or defecation. This ruling not only preserves the sanctity of the Holy Ka’ba but also maintains respect for the same among the Muslim fraternity.

Muslims are not allowed to reveal their private parts during any act of urination, defecation etc. For this, they should squat close to the ground while relieving themselves. They should conceal their private parts either by covering them with their hands, or by ensuring that the toilet door is sealed so that no one can enter and see them in that state. Furthermore, they are required not to stand during defecation; for fear that some splashes of urine will contaminate their clothes and make them impure.

While cleaning themselves, they should use their left hand. The honorable wife of our beloved Holy Prophet (PBUH), Hazrat Hafsah (Radi Allahu Anha) reported that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) used his right hand for eating, drinking, and his left hand for other matters. It must also be noted that males should not touch their private parts with their right hand, as per the report made by Imam Bukhari in his Sahih.

If a Muslim is in a place where access to a toilet is not available, he should use a secluded spot, squat close to the ground, try to hide his private parts and then relieve himself, as per the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Hadith sources also refer to supplications that should be recited before entering the toilet and after leaving it. These are: “O Allah! I seek refuge from you, from male and female devils” and “I seek your forgiveness.”

A Muslim is required to clean himself thoroughly before leaving the toilet. A man during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was punished in his grave because he did not clean himself after relieving himself (Bukhari).

The blessed companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) reported that He (PBUH) used to wash his posterior region three times. They found it cleansing and healing. (Ibn e Maja’h)

Muslims, while urinating in the open because of the unavailability of lavatories, should not urinate in stagnant water, as this makes the water unfit for use.

It is also considered Mukrooh (disliked) to speak or talk in the washroom. Holy Prophet (PBUH) did not answer the Salam greetings made to him (PBUH) while he (PBUH) was answering the call of nature. Instead, He (PBUH) ordered his companions not to convey greetings to anyone in the process of relieving himself. (Ibn Maja’h)

Moreover, they should not enter the lavatory with any item (such as mobile phone, paper, ring) on which the name of Allah is written. If they cover and hide these articles so they cannot be seen, there is no blame on them.

Furthermore, exaggeration while cleaning oneself of minor impurity like stools is only a waswasa (whisper of Satan) and should be ignored.

Islamic rulings concerning Shariah are not only concise and relevant, but they also cover all practical aspects of the usage of lavatories. We must adopt these rulings to bring our life in conformity with Shariah and must thank Allah Almighty for making us among those who are beloved to Him because of cleanliness/ purification.

“In it are men who love to clean and to purify themselves. And Allah loves those who make themselves clean and pure” (9:108)

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