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ETIQUETTES OF BATHROOM OR TOILET OR WASHROOM


The Religion of Islam has introduced various manners which Muslims are encouraged to abide by in order to form a complete Islamic personality. Deen E Islam is a complete way of life, guides Muslims in every department of life including bathroom etiquettes.

 

Among the signs of the greatness of the blessed Islamic sharee’ah is the fact that there is no good thing, major or minor, that it has not commanded us to do or pointed the way to it, and there is no bad thing, major or minor, that it has not warned us against or forbidden. It is perfect and complete in all aspects, a fact which has often greatly astonished non-Muslims and earned their admiration. (At the time of the Prophet ), one of the mushrikeen (polytheists) said to (the Prophet’s Companion) Salmaan al-Farsi (may Allaah be pleased with him): “Your Prophet has taught you everything, even how to defecate!” Salmaan said: “Yes, he forbade us to face the qiblah when urinating or defecating, performing Istinja (washing the private parts with water after urinating or passing stool) with the right hand, using less than three stones for Istinja, and using dung or bones for Istinja…” Sunan at-Tirmidhi,16; he said it is a saheeh hasan hadeeth; also reported in Sunan Ibn Majah Vol.1: 316 .

 

Islamic sharee’ah includes a number of rules and manners to be followed when answering the call of nature, including the following:

 

Table of Contents

 

What to be read

Before entering bathroom or washroom

When one enters the toilet, they should supplicate. Anas(R) said that the Prophet upon relieving himself would say: Bismillah Allahumma inni a‘oozu bika min al-khubsi wal-khabaais.” (“I begin with the Name of Allah, O Allah, indeed I seek refuge in you from the male and female Jinn.”) Sunan Abi Dawud , Book 1, Hadith 4, 6

 

After leaving bathroom or washroom

A'ishah (R)said:  “When the Messenger of Allah would leave the place where he relieved himself, he would say: ‘Ghufraanak’ meaning ‘I seek your forgiveness.’Sunan Abi Dawud , Book 1, Hadith 30 and Sunan Tirmidhi Book 1, Hadith 7

 

Covering oneself from people or Seclusion

One should conceal himself when he answers the call of nature. Jabir (R) said: “Whenever the Prophet wanted to relieve himself he would retreat to a place where no one could see him.” Abu Dawood

 

Prohibition of facing Qiblah

Not to face the qiblah (direction of prayer, i.e. the Ka’bah which was built in Makkah by Ibrahim, upon whom be peace, as commanded by Allaah) when urinating or defecating. This is out of respect for the Qiblah and for the symbols and rituals of Allaah. The Messenger of Allaah said: “When any one of you sits down to answer the call of nature, he should not face the qiblah or turn his back towards it.” Sahih Muslim, 389

 

One should not face the Qiblah (direction of Mecca) nor give it his back while relieving himself. Abu Hurairah (t) said: “Indeed I am only like a father is to his son. You should not face the Qiblahnor give it your backs (when one of you goes to relieve himself) nor should they wipe themselves with less than three rocks, while not using a piece of dung or a bone” ” Sahih Muslim 262a (book 2 , hadith 504).

 

Using Left hand

He should not touch his penis with his right hand when urinating, because the Prophet said: “When any one of you urinates, he should not hold his penis in his right hand or clean it with his right hand; and (when drinking), he should not breathe into the vessel.” Sahih Al Bukhari, 154, and Sahih al Bukhari Hadith 1648

 

He should not remove najaasah (impurity) with his right hand; the left hand should be used for this purpose, because of the hadeeth quoted above, and because the Prophet said: “When any one of you wipes himself, he should not use his right hand.” Sahih al-Bukhari, 5199

 

The Prophet’s wife Hafsah (may Allaah be pleased with her) reported that the Prophet used to use his right hand for eating, drinking, making wudoo’, getting dressed, and giving and taking things, and he used to use his left hand for other things. Classed as Sahih by sheikh Albani in Sunan Abi Dawud 33,  by Imaam Ahmad; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4912. Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allaah said: “When any one of you cleans himself, he should not use his right hand, he should use his left hand.” Sunan Ibn Maajah, 308 and Saheeh al-Jaami’, 322

 

Privacy

The Sunnah is to answer the call of nature sitting, making oneself close to the ground, because this is more concealing, and makes it less likely that spray from one's urine will come back on one’s body or clothes, making them dirty. If a person can be sure of avoiding this, then it is permissible to urinate standing up. A person should be concealed from the sight of others when answering the call of nature. The Messenger of Allaah used to prefer to go behind a rise in the ground or a garden of date palms. Sahih Muslim, 517

 

If a person is out in an open space and cannot find anything to conceal him when he needs to answer the call of nature, he should move far away from the other people around him, because al-Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah said: “I was with the Prophet on a journey, when he felt the need to answer the call of nature, so he went far away.” Sunan at-Tirmidhi, 20; he said it is a saheeh hasan hadeeth). ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Abi Quraad said: “I went out with the Messenger of Allaah to an open space, and when he needed to answer the call of nature, he moved away.” Sunan Nisaa’i, 16; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4651

 

Sitting close to ground

A person should not uncover his ‘awrah (private parts) until after he has squatted close to the ground, because this is more concealing, as Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported: “When the Prophet wanted to answer the call of nature, he would not lift his garment until he had squatted close to the ground.” Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 14; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4652

 

If a person is in a (modern) toilet, he should not lift his garment until he has closed the door and is out of sight of other people. With regard to this point and the one before, it is worth noting that the habit of many people in the West and elsewhere, of urinating in a standing position in front of other people in public toilets (using urinals) is something which goes against good manners, modesty and decency, and is repulsive to anyone who possesses sound common sense and wisdom. How can anybody uncover in front of other people the ‘awrah (private parts) which Allaah has placed between his legs to conceal it and commanded him to cover it? The idea that it should be covered is well established among all wise and decent people of all races. It is wrong in principle to build restrooms of this shameful type, where the users can see one another, thus making them worse than some kinds of animals whose habit is to conceal themselves from one another when urinating or defecating.

 

Protect yourself from Male and female devils

It is also good manners according to Sharee’ah to recite certain adhkaar (supplications) when entering or leaving the toilet, which are quite appropriate to the situation and place. Our Prophet taught us that when entering the toilet, we should say: “Allaahumma innee a’oozu bika min al-khubsi wa’l-khabaa’is (O Allah, I seek refuge with You from male and female devils).” When leaving the toilet, he should say: “Ghufraanak (I seek Your forgiveness).”

 

Removing impurity(Najasah) and Avoid Splashes

He should be careful to remove all impurity after answering the call of nature, because the Prophet warned against being careless in cleaning oneself after urinating: “Most of the punishment of the grave will be because of urine.” Sunan Ibn Maajah, 342; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1202. Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with them both) reported that the Messenger of Allaah passed by two graves, and said: “They are being punished, but they are not being punished for any major sin. One of them used not to protect himself (i.e. keep himself clean from) his urine, and the other used to walk about spreading malicious gossip.” Sahih al Bukhari, 5592, Sunan Abi Dawud 20

 

Cleaning Odd number of times

Any impurity should be washed or wiped three times or an odd number of times greater than three, according to whatever is needed to cleanse it, because ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) reported that the Prophet used to wash his posterior three times. Ibn ‘Umar said: “We did this too and found it to be healing and cleansing.” Sunan Ibn Maajah, 350; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4993. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet said: “When anyone of you cleans himself (with stones or similar material) let him use an odd number.” Imaam Ahmad; classed as hasan in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 375

 

Avoid bones and dung

He should not use bones or dung to clean himself or wipe away the impurity, rather, he should use tissue, stones, and the like. Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that he used to carry a vessel for the Prophet to do wudoo’ and clean himself after answering the call of nature. Whilst he was following him, he (the Prophet) asked, “Who is that?” He said: “I am Abu Hurayrah.” He said: “Get me some stones I can use to clean myself, but do not bring me any bones or dung.” So I brought him some stones, carrying them in the hem of my garment, and placed them by his side, then I went away. When he had finished, I came back and asked him, “What is wrong with bones and dung?” He said: “They are the food of the jinn.” Sahih al Bukhaari, 3571

 

Avoid urinating in stagnant water, in shades and on walking paths

A person should not urinate into stagnant water, because Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allaah forbade anyone to urinate into stagnant water,Sahih Muslim, 423, and because this makes the water impure and harms those who use it.

 

A person should not urinate by the roadside or in places where people seek shade, because this is offensive to them. Abu Hurayrah(R) reported that the Prophet said: “Fear the two things that bring curses.” They asked, “What are the two things which provoke curses, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said: “When a person relieves himself in the road where people walk or in the place where they seek shade.”Sahih Muslim 269,Abu Dawud, 25; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 110

 

Avoid talking in rest room

One should not greet a person who is answering the call of nature, or return a greeting whilst one is answering the call of nature, out of respect to Allaah by not mentioning His name in a dirty place. [Translator’s note: the Islamic greeting is “al-salaam ‘alaykum (peace be upon you)”; one of the names of Allaah is al-Salaam (the Peace)]. Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah reported that a man passed by the Prophet whilst he was urinating, and greeted him. The Messenger of Allaah said to him: “If you see me in this state, do not greet me, because if you do, I will not respond.” Sunan Ibn Maajah, 346; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 575 The majority of scholars say that it is makrooh (disliked) to speak in the restroom unnecessarily.

 

Scholars view

A’isha(R) relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to like to start with the right side when putting on his sandals, combing his hair, engaging in his ritual purifications, and in all of his activities. This is an authentic hadîth related in Sahîh al-Bukhârî 168 and Sahîh Muslim 268b (Book 2, hadith 515) and among other books.


The meaning of the hadîth:

Starting with the right side has two meanings. When there are activities that involve both sides of the body, it means to start with the right side of the body. This is the case when it comes to such activities as washing the hands and putting on shoes. When the activity relates to coming in contact with something, it means to use the right hand instead of the left, as is the case with giving and taking. 


In this hadîth, it refers mainly to activities involving the hands and feet.


The phrase “in all of his activities” is a general statement that includes his entering and departure from buildings and from rooms. However, other evidence specifies this generality in this case. Therefore, the preference for the right foot is on occasions where a place of respect is being entered, like a mosque or a person’s home. In other places, like a lavatory, it is preferred to enter with the left foot. This specification of the hadîth has been discussed by Imam al-Nawawî in al-Majmu` (1/384) and Ibn Daqiq al-`Id in Ihkâm al-Ahkâm (1/40). 

 

Famous tradition but not proven, regarding covering head

This is merely a customary practice. There is no authentic evidence from the Sunnah to support it.


As for the hadîth in Sunan al-Bayhaqî about covering the head when entering the bathroom, these hadîth are as follows:


The first hadîth:


`A’ishah(R) said: “When the Prophet (peace be upon him) would enter the toilet, he would cover his head and when he approached his wife, he would cover his head.” 


This hadîth is related by al-Bayhaqî in al-Sunan al-Kubrâ (1/96) and by al-Dhahabî in al-Muhadhdhab fî Ikhtisâr al-Sunan al-Kabîr (#405). 

 

After relating this hadîth, al-Bayhaqî himself says: “This hadîth is one of those to be rejected from Muhammad b. Yûnus al-Kudaymî.” 


Al-Bayhaqî then relates that Ibn `Adî said about this hadîth: “I do not know anyone to relate it except al-Kudaymî with this chain of transmission. And al-Kudaymî is too well known to need to have it clarified just how weak this is.” 


Al-Dhahabî likewise says about al-Kudaymî while relating this hadîth: “He is accused of lying.” [al-Muhadhdhab (1/104)] 


Ibn `Adî says about him: “Al-Kudaymî has been accused of fabricating hadîth.”


Ibn Hibbân says: “Perhaps he fabricated over one thousand hadîth.” 


Refer to: al-Dhahabî, Mîzân al-I`tidâl (4/74 #8353). 

 

The second hadîth:


Habîb b. Sâlih relates: “When the Prophet (peace be upon him) would enter the toilet, he would put on shoes and would cover his head.” 


This hadîth is related by al-Bayhaqî in al-Sunan al-Kubrâ (1/96) and by al-Dhahabî in al-Muhadhdhab fî Ikhtisâr al-Sunan al-Kabîr (#406). 


Its chain of transmission is as follows:


Abû `Abd Allah al-Hâfiz from Abû Bakr Ahmad b. Ishâq al-Sibghî from Ismâ`îl b. Qutaybah from Yahyâ b. Yahyâ from Ismâ`îl b. `Ayyâsh from `Abû Bakr b. `Abd Allah from Habîb b. Sâlih. 


Al-Bayhaqî makes it clear from the start that this hadîth is mursal, meaning that it is related from the Prophet (peace be upon him) by a Successor without his mentioning the Companion who actually related it directly from the Prophet (peace be upon him). Habîb b. Sâlih is a Successor who never met the Prophet (peace be upon him). 


Al-Dhahabî, after relating it, comments on the narrator Abû Bakr b. `Abd Allah b. Abî Maryam, saying: “Abû Bakr is a weak narrator.” [al-Muhadhdhab (1/104)]  Abû Zur`ah ar-Râzî says about him: “He is a weak narrator and his hadîth are false (munkar).” 


Al-Dâraqutnî says: “He is to be abandoned.”


He is declared weak by a vast number of other specialists in the criticism of narrators, including Yahyâ b. Ma`în, Ahmad b. Hanbal, al-Nasâ’î, al-Ajurî, and others. 


Refer to: Siyar A`lâm al-Nubalâ’ (7/65) and Tahdhîb al-Tahdhîb (4/490). 

 

Medical Studies on URINATION

Seven Advantages of Squatting

  1. Makes elimination faster, easier and more complete. This helps prevent "fecal stagnation," a prime factor in colon cancer, appendicitis and inflammatory bowel disease.
     
  2. Protects the nerves that control the prostate, bladder and uterus from becoming stretched and damaged.
     
  3. Securely seals the ileocecal valve, between the colon and the small intestine. In the conventional sitting position, this valve is unsupported and often leaks during evacuation, contaminating the small intestine.
     
  4. Relaxes the puborectalis muscle which normally chokes the rectum in order to maintain continence.
     
  5. Uses the thighs to support the colon and prevent straining. Chronic straining on the toilet can cause hernias, diverticulosis, and pelvic organ prolapse.
     
  6. A highly effective, non-invasive treatment for hemorrhoids, as shown by published clinical research.
     
  7. For pregnant women, squatting avoids pressure on the uterus when using the toilet. Daily squatting helps prepare one for a more natural delivery. [1]


A recent 2010 Japanese study on the Influence of Body Position on Defecation in Humans, taken together with earlier findings, suggest that the greater the hip flexion achieved by squatting the straighter the recto-anal canal will be, and accordingly, less strain will be required for defecation. [2]
 

Dov Sikirov discovered it took ‘squatters’ an average of 51 seconds for a bowel movement while ‘sitters’ took an average of 130 seconds. [3]
 

Be proactive in avoiding colon cancer

The effective removal of excrement from the colon is vital, failure to do so can cause constipation which increases the risk of colon cancer.

 

Alleviate hemorrhoids

In the squat position the large intestine aligns correctly. The thighs supporting the abdomen prevent hernias and massage the intestine into action. The muscular contractions that push food along the digestive tract are hindered by the sitting position, yet assisted by squatting. The squat position eliminates the need for excessive straining alleviating hemorrhoids. 

 

Optimum birthing position

During birth the squatting position gives a greater increase of pressure in the pelvic cavity with minimal muscular effort. The birth canal will open 20—30% more in a squat than in any other position. Squatting will prevent hemorrhoids which often plague pregnant women. Squatting each day on the Lillipad will help prepare the body for this excellent birthing position.

 

Beneficial spinal stretch

Squatting is a difficult position to adopt straight away, be patient and give yourself a couple of weeks to get used to squatting. The muscles we use to defecate are exercised by getting down into, and up out of, the squat position. Not only will your balance improve, you will also give your spine a beneficial stretch. [4]

 

Conclusion

These are some of the rules and manners prescribed by the sharee’ah of Islam in this matter which is repeated many times a day by every person. If the sharee’ah has paid such minute attention to the details of such a mundane matter, what do you think it has to say about more important issues? Do you know of any other religion or system in the world that has brought laws like this? This is enough, by Allaah, to prove its perfection and beauty, and the necessity of following it.

 

References

[1] http://www.naturesplatform.com/health_benefits.html

[2] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1757-5672.2009.00057.x/abstract

[3] http://www.springerlink.com/content/rlu7151837n07562/

[4] http://www.lillipad.co.nz/squat-toilet-benefits/squat-benefits.html

[5] http://islamqa.info/en/2532

 

 

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