Bismillahir rahmanir raheem
Ever been to a Muslim company, into a Muslim organisation or event and seen water bottles in the toilet? Do Muslims drink water when they’re on the toilet? Or do they just insist on drowning every toilet floor just for the fun of it?
These were some of the questions that used to run through my mind as a new Muslim. It used to drive me crazy that I’d go into the bathroom and the floor would be soaked, the toilet seat would be covered in water and I’d have to lift up my abaya to get to the bathroom stall subhanAllah.
I didn’t learn about wudu (ablution, the washing of oneself with water before prayer) until I was given a book by a friend and it made perfect sense to me. But the water all over the bathroom stalls, the water bottles and little jugs next to the toilet, I couldn’t explain them.
“O you who believe, when you rise to observe the Salat, you shall wash your faces and your arms to the elbows, and wipe your heads and your feet to the ankles.” Qur’an 5:6
Wudu is a necessary precursor to the salah (prayer) and keeping your wudu is not only pleasing to Allah swt but the angels that surround you on a daily basis, alhamdulillah. Cleanliness is half of faith and something as simple as wudu is a sure way to stay in a state of ibaadah (worship) to Allah swt.
Narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When the Muslim or believing slave does wudoo’ and washes his face, every wrong thing that he looked at with his eyes comes out from his face with the water or with the last drop of water. When he washes his hands, every wrong thing that he did with his hands comes out from his hands with the water or with the last drop of water. When he washes his feet every wrong thing that he walked to with his feet comes out from his feet with the water or with the last drop of water, until he emerges cleansed of sin.”
Not every bathroom you go into is going to have a convenient tap or water facility in the stall. If you’re in a mosque yes, if your in your local shopping centre no. So is it permissible to use just toilet paper to cleanse yourself or do you have to take a bottle of water with you everywhere you go?
Abu Hurayrah (ra), which says that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “Whoever does wudoo’, let him rinse his nose, and whoever does istijmaar (relieving oneself with stones) let him use an odd number.”
Here, we can make the comparison between stones and toilet paper…. although it’s part of the sunnah, I really don’t recommend you start ‘cleaning’ yourself with stones. Cleaning yourself after using the toilet is an essential part of being Muslim and part of general hygiene. When we change a baby’s nappy we use wet wipes/ baby wipes or cotton wool and water. So why did we stop? Clearly, this is the most logical and clean way to refresh yourself after urinating or defecating.
Ibn Abbas (ra) narrates that the Prophet (saw) came upon two graves and said: “Their occupants are being punished, but not for a great sin (in their own view). However, it is in fact a great sin. One of them went about spreading slander. The other did not clean himself properly after urination.”
[Bukhari and Muslim]
This is the importance of istinja. There are many examples online of how to perform it (if you’d like a blog post on that specifically, leave a comment below).
The bathroom is just one of the places your angels won’t follow you and to protect yourself from the jinn that live in dirty places like the bathroom, you need to say this dua before entering with your left foot:
اللُّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْخُبْثِ وَالْخَبَائِثِ
“O Allah. I seek refuge in You from the male female evil and Jinns”
And when exiting the bathroom with your right foot you should say:
اَلْحَمْدُ لِللَّهِ الَّذِيْ أَذْهَبَ عَنِّيْ الأَذّىَ وَ عَافَانِيْ
“O Allah. I seek your forgiveness. All praises are due to Allah who has taken away from me the discomfort and granted me comfort.”
So, inshaAllah, this post has gone some way to explain why it’s so important to clean yourself after going to the toilet and to help you not get so annoyed with the Muslims that do so and do not clean up after themselves. Yes, it would be nice if every Muslim cleaned up their own mini puddle but it’s just water after all!
Wasalaam – Peace Be Upon You