Please do not laugh. If we were to believe the following ahadith then it is certainly true that Islamic toilets are the perennial abodes of jinns and devils.
In Sunaan Abu Dawud (1.0006) we read that toilets are frequented by jinns and devils. Sunaan ibn Majah (1.296) writes that devils visit public toilets.
Let us read in full the first hadis:
Sunaan Abu Dawud, Book 1, Number 0006:Narrated Zayd ibn Arqam:
- The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: These privies are frequented by the jinns and devils. So when anyone amongst you goes there, he should say: "I seek refuge in Allah from male and female devils."
Pray Before Entering an Islamic Toilet
Since jinns and devils visit Islamic toilets, Muhammad instructed his followers to offer prayer when entering a lavatory. We have already read a hadis on this. Here are a few more.
- Pray when answering the call of nature…(Sahih Bukhari, 1.4.144)
- When you enter a lavatory say, “O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from wicked and noxious things."…(Sahih Muslim, 3.0729)
- When entering a toilet, say a prayer: O’ Allah I seek refuge with you from all offensive and wicked things (evil deeds and evil spirits)…(Sunaan Nasai, 1.19)
- To screen you from jinns, when visiting toilet say Bismillah…(Sunaan Tirmidhi, 130)
- Do Not Hold Your Penis With Your Right Hand
Please do not be offended when you read this weird Islamic Toilet manner. In Islam, it is haram to hold your penis with your right hand when you defecate or urinate. Regarding your penis manner while in an Islamic Toilet, there are many ahadith, in all the Sahih Sitta (the six authentic) on this specification of Allah. In many of these ahadith Muhammad (that is, Allah), specified that when inside a toilet one may use his left hand to hold his penis. We may wonder about women, I am yet to find a hadis where Allah has specified that women cannot hold (OOPS! touch) their pudenda with their right hand. So we may assume that women are free to use either hand to cleanse themselves.
Here is a collection of a few interesting ahadith on Islamic manners of cleaning yourself in the toilet.
- Do not breath while drinking water; do not touch penis in lavatory and do not cleanse private parts with your right hand...(Sahih Bukhari, 1. 4.155)
- While urinating, do not hold penis with your right hand...(Sahih Bukhari, 1.4.156)
- While in a toilet do not touch penis with your right hand…(Sahih Muslim, 2.0512)
- While urinating or defecating do not touch your penis with your right hand…(Sunaan Abu Dawud, 1.1.0031)
- When urinating do not touch your penis with your right hand…(Sunaan Nasai, 1.24, 25)
Use left hand for private parts…(Mishkat, 1.185)
- Do not touch male organ with right hand…(Mishkat, 1.183)
- Use left hand for touching private parts…(Mishkat, 1.185)
Rules on Islamic Defecation
In the Qur'an there is very little or none about Allah’s stipulation on Islamic Toilet procedures. However, some Islamic scholars believe that Allah revealed verse 9:108 in connection with the proper method of cleaning oneself after defecating. Let us read verse 9:108 from the Qur'an and a hadis from Sunaan Abu Dawud:
- 9:108. Never stand you therein. Verily, the mosque whose foundation was laid from the first day on piety is more worthy that you stand therein (to pray). In it are men who love to clean and to purify themselves. And Allâh loves those who make themselves clean and pure (i.e. who clean their private parts with dust [i.e. to be considered as soap) and water from urine and stools, after answering the call of nature] (Tr. Hilali and Khan).
Please note that the translators have inserted their own comments. They are of the opinion that in Islamic ritual of defecating dust may be considered as soap.
Here is what a hadis says:
- Sunaan Abu Dawud, Book 1, Number 0044:Narrated Abu Hurayrah:The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: The following verse was revealed in connection with the people of Quba': "In it are men who love to be purified" (ix.108). He (Abu Hurayrah) said: They used to cleanse themselves with water after easing. So the verse was revealed in connection with them.
One compulsory provision of Islamic toilet manner is that during defecation a Muslim must position himself in such a manner that neither his face (that is, penis or women’s vulva) nor his back (that is, buttock) should face the Qibla (Kaba). Muslims must obey this rule whether defecating in an open desert or inside a latrine in his house.
Here are a few ahadith on this:
- While defecating in the open space neither face nor turn your back towards Qibla (Kaba); instead, face the east or the west…(Sahih Bukhari, 1.4.146)
- While excreting or urinating do not face the Qibla…(Sahih Muslim, 2.0504)
- When defecating in the desert do not face Qibla nor turn your backside towards Qibla; use three sods and your right hand to cleanse your private parts…(Sunaan Tirmidhi, 128)
- While defecating do not face or show backside to Allah…(Mishkat, 1.185)Interestingly,
- Muhammad urinated by turning his face towards the Qibla…(Sunaan ibn Majah, 1.325)
- Muhammad defecated facing Jerusalem…(Sahih Bukhari, 1.4.147)
- Muhammad stipulated that if you wear a ring, you must remove it when going inside a toilet.
Another interesting hadis in Sahih Muslim (7.2942) says that a Muslim can defecate in a river. In this case there might not be any necessity to cleanse his anus, as river water will do the job. Curiously, a hadis in Sunaan Nasai (1.50, 51) says that having defecated, and having cleansed yourself, you should rub two hands on earth.
Here are a few more interesting ahadith on defecating in Islamic manner:
- After defecating do not use bones or dung; use stones to cleanse yourself…(Sahih Bukhari, 1.4.157)
- Use odd number of stones (minimum three) to clean your private parts...(Sahih Bukhari, 1. 4.162)
- Use three stones to clean yourself after defecating...(Sunaan Abu Dawud, 1.0040)
- When visiting a toilet carry three stones with you…(Sunaan Abu Dawud, 1.1.0040)
- After you defecate, use two clods of earth; do not use dung…(Sunaan Nasai, 1.42)
- If you defecate in a desert use three stones, no need to use water…(Sunaan Nasai, 1.44)
Rules on Islamic Urination
If we are confounded with bizarre Islamic rules on defecating, here are more rules on urinating Islamically.
- Do not urinate in stagnant water…(Sunaan ibn Majah, 1.343)
- Do not urinate standing; Umar did that but Muhammad reprobated him…(Sunaan Tirmidhi, 133)
- During night you may urinate in a vessel…(Sunaan Nasai, 1.32)
- At night Muhammad used to urinate on a wooden vessel...(Sunaan Abu Dawud, 1.0024)
- Do not urinate in a hole…(Sunaan Nasai, 1.34)
- Urinate in a soft ground…(Mishkat, 1.185)
- Do not urinate in a place of bath and then take bath there…(Sunaan Nasai, 1.36)
- Do not return salutation when you are urinating…(Sunaan Nasai, 1.37)
- After urinating sprinkle water on your private parts…(Sunaan Nasai, 1.136, 137)
As was often the case, Muhammad had violated his own rules on urination.
- Muhammad urinated standing...(Sahih Bukhari, 1. 4.226)
- Muhammad had urinated standing…(Sunaan ibn Majah, 1.305
Qibla compass comes handy when you are forced to defacate in an open desert or such
Islamic Bathing Rules
Here are a few interesting rules on Islamic bath (ghusl):
- Females cannot use the leftover water by males, but the males can use the leftover water by females... (Sunaan Abu Dawud, 1.0081)
- Muhammad forbade the use of leftover water by females to be used by males... (Sunaan Abu Dawud, 1.0082)
- Muhammad and his wives took bath from the same vessel of water…(Sunaan ibn Majah, 1.379)
- Leprosy is caused by taking bath in water exposed to the sun…(Mishkat, 1.245)
With many thanks to Abul Kasem and the Australian Islamic Monitor