Taharah is an act of obtaining purity and cleanliness of both body and the spirit. Technically, it is characterized by cleansing oneself after using the lavatory, performing wud’hu before Salah, taking obligatory bath (ghus’l) after discharge and intercourse and keeping the place where one lives clean. In spiritual terms, it means cleansing the mind of any thoughts that are harmful and futile.
There are certain acts in Taharah, which can be regarded as mustahab (approved) and mukrooh (disliked or disapproved). In terms of using the lavatory, it is forbidden for a person to face or back the Holy Ka’ba while relieving himself. This is out of respect for the Holy Ka’ba and for the preservation of its sanctity.
It is considered Mukrooh to enter the lavatory with any item that has the name of Allah i.e. a ring, a piece of paper, a mobile screen etc on it. However, it is recommended that the article be hidden from view, or placed outside the toilet in good care.
It is forbidden that one relieve oneself on the side of a road, or in a place where people rest like the shade of a tree, or in a place from where they draw water i.e. a well or another source of stagnant water. This is in order that the people may not feel embarrassed or discomfited. It also ensures ones modesty.
Muslims are also forbidden to use dung or bones to clean themselves. This is because these items are food for the djinn. Instead, it is recommended that they use stone or tissue.
The blessed Prophet (PBUH) forbade from the use of the right hand for cleaning oneself after answering to the call of nature. According to Holy Prophet (PBUH)’s honorable wife Hazrat Hafsah (Radi Allahu Anha) Holy Prophet (PBUH) used his right hand for eating and drinking and his left for other matters.
It is generally considered (by members of the Malaki and Hanbali schools of thought) that it is not advisable to touch a non-Mehram after performing Wud’hu.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) has forbidden from answering the Salam (greetings) of anyone while relieving oneself. The caller should refrain from conveying greetings to the person who is in the lavatory, while the person in the lavatory should refrain from answering it. In fact, it is Mukrooh to talk while relieving oneself, except when some real need arises. This is in order to ensure that privacy is maintained.
When one gets up after sleeping, one may or may not be in need of ghusl, but one is not in a complete state of purity. Therefore, it is Mukrooh to put one’s hand in any vessel before washing it. This not only ensures hygiene, but also pinpoints the importance of cleanliness and purification in Islam. In Europe, according to Terry Deary, 39 out of 40 children died in infancy because of diseases contracted due to unhealthy sanitary conditions.
For Muslim Women, it is Mukrooh to perform the wud’hu while they are wearing lipstick or having decorated their nails with color and hands with any kind of dough, henna. The reason behind it is crystal clear, i.e. these make up materials prevent the water from reaching the skin. If one wipes oneself, but traces of grease are present, then Taharah will be considered valid. The same rule is considered for nail polish, earwax, ink, or anything used to dye the eyelashes.
It is generally recommended to relive oneself by answering the call of nature prior to sleep, before offering Salat, after discharge, and before legal intercourse.
Rubbing the beard is Mustahab for people to keep it. It is recommended to run the fingers through the beard if it is thick. If the beard is thin and the skin can be seen through it, then the water must reach the skin.
There are many other rulings—some of which apply under special conditions, such as whether it is Mustahab to perform Wud’hu again after involuntary discharge of some or not.
The purpose of Islam is to facilitate people. A Hadith reads:
Hazrat Abu Huraira (Radi Allahu Anha) narrated that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection.” (Sahih Bukhari)
This Hadith proves that religion is meant to facilitate people to lead their lives in a much better and convenient manner. The Islamic rulings which have been highlighted through this article concerning the Mustahab and Mukrooh Taharat acts are perfectly consistent and in accordance with a simple and sophisticated form of life. Let’s follow them so that Allah Almighty’s love becomes our companion.
May Allah Almighty save us all from any kind of impurity; physical or spiritual, and keep us on the straight path.
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