Published in  
October 4, 2020

Chapter on Answering Call of Nature | Book of Purification | Umadatul Fiqh

Entering the Toilet

It is recommended for the one entering the toilet to say, “اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْخُبْثِ وَالْخَبَائِثِ”

Anas bin Malik said: “When the Prophet would enter the toilet ‘He said:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْخُبْثِ وَالْخَبَائِثِ

“O Allah! Indeed I seek refuge in You from Al-Khubith and Al- Khaba’ith.” [Jami’ at-Tirmidhi]

The addition of Bismillah at its beginning was reported by Said bin Mansur [Fathul-Bari 1/244] Some scholars have declared the hadith with the addition of Bismisllah to be daeef. Others say due to multiple similar reports this narration becomes strengthened and becomes Sahih.

Sheikh Ibrahim Nuhu mentions in his explanation of Zaad al-Mustaqni that when we recite with a sukoon on الْخُبْثِ then this means al-Sharr or all the evil and خَبَائِثِ would mean the devils. So basically you are asking Allah for protection from evil itself and its people.

This is the best approach as it encompasses everything and as per Qadhi Iyad most narrations follow this.

Imam Khateeb al-Baghdadi writes that if you read it with a dhamma on الْخُبُْثِ then it is the plural of خبيث and الْخَبَائِثِ is the plural of خبيثا. So here you are just seeking refuge from the male and female Jinns.

An all-encompassing dua would be:  اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْخُبْثِ وَالْخَبَائِثِ

It is from the adab of responding to the call of nature, to say Bismillah (بِسْمِ اللَّهِ) and this is proven from the Sunan.

Ali bin Abi Talib narrated that: the Messenger of Allah said:

سَتْرُ مَا بَيْنَ أَعْيُنِ الْجِنِّ وَعَوْرَاتِ بَنِي آدَمَ إِذَا دَخَلَ أَحَدُهُمُ الْخَلاَءَ أَنْ يَقُولَ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ

“The screen between the eyes of the jinns and nakedness of the children of Adam when one of you enters the area of relieving oneself is saying: ‘Bismillah.'” [Jami’ at-Tirmidhi]

Exiting the Toilet

When a person exits the toilet, he says, “غُفْرَانَكَ”

‘Aishah said: “When the Prophet would exit the toilet he would say: غُفْرَانَكَ ‘Ghufranak.'” [Jami’ at-Tirmidhi]

It was narrated that Anas bin Malik said: “Whenever the Prophet exited the toilet, he would say:

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَذْهَبَ عَنِّي الأَذَى وَعَافَانِي

(Praise is to Allah Who has relieved me of impurity and given me good health).'” This addition is dhaeef. One should stick to just saying  “غُفْرَانَكَ”.

Adab in the Toilet

One should put forward their left foot when entering, and right foot first when exiting the toilet.

He should not enter the toilet with anything bearing the name of Allaah unless there is an absolute necessity. They base it on the narration of Anas bin Malik who reports: “When Rasulullaah ﷺ went to the toilet, he removed his ring” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

Other examples could be that a person has a pocket mus-haf and he has the need to visit the toilet. He has no place to keep this mus-haf and fears it to get stolen if left outside. Scholars say that in such a case, he can take it with him as long as he is able to hide it inside his adornments or bag etc.

Whenever a person sits to respond to the call of nature, he should lean towards the left. This is based on a weak hadith and no authentic proofs are found regarding this.

If the person is in an open area then he should try and go to a far off area and place a screen or a barrier which prevents him from being seen or revealed. This is from the adab mentioned in the Sunnah.

Al-Mughirah bin Shu’bah said: I was with the Prophet on a journey. The Prophet had to relieve himself, so he went far away.” [Jami’ at-Tirmidhi]

If he is going to urinate then he should find a ground that is soft so that the urine doesn’t splash back soiling his clothes and body. He should not urinate in a hole or a crack in the Earth. This is because there may be some creatures inside which might harm him.

Narrated Abdullah ibn Sarjis: The Prophet ﷺ prohibited to urinate in a hole.

Qatadah (a narrator) was asked about the reason for the disapproval of urinating in a hole. He replied: It is said that these (holes) are the habitats of the jinn. [Sunan Abi Dawud]

A person should not urinate in a path which the people use or under the tree whose shade or fruit the people benefit from. Such a person is causing hindrance to the community.

Abu Hurairah said: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

اتقوا اللاعنين

“Avoid two habits which provoke cursing.” The Companions said: “What are those things which provoke cursing?” He said,

‏الذي يتخلى في طريق الناس أو في ظلهم

“Relieving on the thoroughfares or under the shades where people take shelter and rest.” [Muslim]

Salim narrated from his father that: The Prophet forbade praying in the middle of the road, or defecating there, or urinating. [Sunan Ibn Majah]

A person should not face the sun, the moon, and the qiblah while defecating. One should also not have one’s back towards the Qiblah while defecating or urinating.

Narrated Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari: The Prophet ﷺ said,

إِذَا أَتَيْتُمُ الْغَائِطَ فَلاَ تَسْتَقْبِلُوا الْقِبْلَةَ وَلاَ تَسْتَدْبِرُوهَا، وَلَكِنْ شَرِّقُوا أَوْ غَرِّبُوا

“While defecating, neither face nor turn your back to the Qibla but face either east or west.”

Abu Ayyub 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.” [Bukhari]

Based on this we see that they faced the East while relieving themselves. There is no authentic proof which prohibits facing the sun or the moon while in the toilet but proofs of the prohibition of facing the qiblah or giving the back to the qiblah are well established.

According to the madhab, it is permissible to relieve oneself within the built houses or an area that is covered.

Narrated `Abdullah bin Umar: I went up to the roof of Hafsa’s house for some job and I saw Allah’s Messenger ﷺ answering the call of nature facing Sham (Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon regarded as one country) with his back towards the Qibla. [Bukhari]

The ulema reconcile between both the ahadith and say that if a person is in the open and there is no barrier between him then it is impermissible to relieve oneself facing the qiblah. But, if the person is inside a constructed building, then it is fine if he faces the qiblah while relieving himself.

Cleansing Oneself

If a person urinates and on completion, he should wash the private part from the tip till the root and shake it thrice to gurantee that there is nothing left. This issue has no proof from the Sunnah. This practice may even be declared harmful by the doctors as it could harm the organ.

One should not touch the private part with the right hand.

Abu Qatadah said: The Prophet ﷺ said,

إذا بال أحدكم، فلا يؤخذن ذكره بيمينه، ولا يستنجي بيمينه، ولا يتنفس في الإناء‏

“Do not touch your private parts with your right hand while urinating, nor for washing or cleaning (your private parts); and do not breathe into the drinking vessel from which you drink.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

The scholars say that the ruling here is of karaha (disliked) making it makruh without any proper reason.

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin: The Prophet ﷺ used his right hand for getting water for ablution and taking food, and his left hand for his evacuation and for anything repugnant. [Sunan Abi Dawud]

Based on this it is said that when a person is doing something good or pure, they use their right hand, but if the action involves something dirty or disliked then they should use their left hand.

A person cleans the place of impurity three times or odd numbers. As per the madhab, three times is the bare minimum. Istijmar is using stones or tissues etc to remove impurities from the privates and this should also be done three times. It is mustahab to follow this up by using water to clean oneself. If a person does only istijmar then that is also allowed as long as the impurity is removed.

If the impurity crosses the general area from which it exits then a person cannot do istijmar. They are obliged to use water to cleanse themselves. Ex: A person urinates and the urine touches the thighs. This cannot be wiped away, but needs to be washed to cleanse from the impurity.

It is not permissible to use less than three wipes when doing istijmar using stones, tissues or its likes. A person can use a single stone also if that stone has three faces where every face is used for a separate wipe. If the najjasa is not removed then obviously, a person is allowed as many wipes as needed to remove the impurities but it is better to do so in odd numbers.

It is fine to do istijmar with anything as long as it is pure (tahir) except the bones and dung of animals. That which is being used must be cleansing in nature and not one that increases the impurity or the level of impurity. Ex: Charcoal.

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger ﷺ forbade us to use a bone or dung for cleaning and said,

إِنَّهُمَا لَا يُطَهِّرَانِ

“These two things do not purify”. [Reported by Ad-Daraqutni who graded it Sahih].

Narrated Salman: Allah’s Messenger ﷺ forbade us to face the Qiblah when defecating or urinating, or to clean ourselves using the right hand, or to clean ourselves with less than three stones, or to clean ourselves with dung or a bone [Muslim].

Abdullah bin Mas’ud narrated that: Allah’s Messenger said:

لاَ تَسْتَنْجُوا بِالرَّوْثِ وَلاَ بِالْعِظَامِ فَإِنَّهُ زَادُ إِخْوَانِكُمْ مِنَ الْجِنِّ

“Do not perform Istinja, with dung, nor with bones. For indeed it is provisions for your brothers among the Jinn.” [Jami’ at-Tirmidhi]

It is also impermissible to use that which has a sacred value or a status attached to it. Ex: Papers which have the mention of Allah written on it, food, or a part of an animal.

The following are notes transcribed based on the commentary of Umdatul Fiqh by Sheikh Mashhoor Muhammad al-Suhaibi.

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