Posted: Tuesday 18 April 2023 ( 10 months ago )
(This is a post I made eleven years ago on Dwindling in unbelief. But I thought I'd repost it here on the new blog -- in case some of you hadn't seen it before. Let me know in the comments if I've missed any important details.)
You probably think that being a Muslim involves praying five times a day, eating halal food, fasting during Ramadan, and traveling to Mecca once in your lifetime. And, for many Muslims, it does. But there's a heck of lot more to it than that.
Take going to the bathroom, for instance.
Now it's true that Allah doesn't provide much bathroom guidance in the Quran, although there is this bit of helpful advice:
When ye rise up for prayer ... if ye ... cometh from the closet, or ye have had contact with women, and ye find not water, then go to clean, high ground and rub your faces and your hands with some of it. Quran 5:6
Which tells us that that kind of thing is important to Allah. He cares about your bathroom routine.
And so does Muhammad (PB&J be upon him). He was absolutely obsessed with it. Here is what he had to say:
Your Apostle (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) teaches you about everything, even about excrement. 
So let's take a look at some of the things that Muhammad taught about excrement.
When going to the toilet the messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would wear footwear. He would cover his blessed head and before stepping into the room, he would read: "O Allah I seek your protection from the male and female devils." 
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would enter the toilet with his left foot. 
Any verse of the Qur'an, should be removed before entering the toilet. 
Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) states that, 'When the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would go to relieve himself he would go so far that no-one could see him.' We should make sure that there is complete privacy whilst relieving one's self; this is modesty that every Muslim should have. 
A person should be concealed from the sight of others when answering the call of nature. ... How can anybody uncover in front of other people the ‘awrah (private parts) which Allah has placed between his legs to conceal it and commanded him to cover it? 
One should move and hide himself from others, as the prophet SAAWS only relieved himself when he was out of site. 
When the time for prayer comes and one of you needs to relieve himself, he should do that first ... it is Makrooh-e-Tehrimi to hold urine/wind or the need to go to the toilet. One should relieve themselves first as the Salaah will have to be repeated. 
When the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would go to relieve himself, he would not remove the clothing from his body until he was close to the 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 Allah be pleased with him) reported: “When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) wanted to answer the call of nature, he would not lift his garment until he had squatted close to the ground.” 
(If your toilet at home is facing Mecca, you're up shit creek, so to speak. If you're a good Muslim, you'll remodel the bathroom so the toilet faces New York, Rome, or Salt Lake City instead.)
Facing or keeping the back towards the Qibla whilst going to the toilet is forbidden. We should take care of this at all times. If the toilet is facing the Qibla in your home then try and sacrifice some money and have it changed as you will be sinning every time you use the toilet. 
"Your Prophet has taught you everything, even how to defecate!" Salmaan said: "Yes, he forbade us to face the qiblah when urinating or defecating…" 
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) 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." 
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, 'None of you should hold the private parts with the right hand while urinating, or wipe with the right hand in the privy. 
[T]he Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When any one of you wipes himself, he should not use his right hand.” 
Do not use the right hand for cleansing (Istinja) as it goes against the Sunnah unless you have a problem with your right hand. We use the right hand for eating, drinking, shaking hands, reading the Qur'an etc. we should use the other hand for cleaning, holding shoes, cleaning the nose etc. 
The Prophet’s wife Hafsah (may Allaah be pleased with her) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) 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. 
Wash in odd numbers i.e. 1, 3, 5 or 7 times. (1)
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to wash his posterior three times. Ibn ‘Umar said: “We did this too and found it to be healing and cleansing.” 
Use the left hand middle three fingers for cleanings. 
Put slight pressure on the left leg it makes it relieving easier. 
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) says that, 'Whosoever says that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would stand up and urinate do not believe them, he would urinate but sitting down ... One of the reasons of the punishment in the grave is because of urinating standing up, Islam has given us a method to follow not only will you relieve yourself but you will be rewarded too. 
Once the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) while passing through a graveyard heard the voices of two persons who were being punished in their graves. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, 'These two persons are being punished not for something major (it is not difficult to be save from it).' The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) then added, 'Yes! (They are being tortured for a major sin) Indeed, one of them never saved himself from being soiled with his urine... 
He should be careful to remove all impurity after answering the call of nature, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned against being careless in cleaning oneself after urinating: “Most of the punishment of the grave will be because of urine.” 
The sister should cleanse themselves with the lower palm of the left hand and do not separate the legs to wide. 
When cleaning yourself, males should hold their penis from the top with the left hand index finger and the thumb. Gently work your way down (as if milking an animal) so if drops are left they will come out. 
After performing urination, if you feel that another drop of urine will come, then it is wajib for you to perform 'Istibrao' meaning after urination to perform some act that would force the urine left inside, to come out . 
First wash the front then the back. 
Do not look at your private parts as there is a chance of the memory becoming weak. 
After you have relieved yourself, wash your hands up to the wrists thrice. 
One should not talk in the toilet without absolute necessity but if a person outside is calling and does not know then cough thrice to make them aware. ... When two people talk when the body is uncovered Allah (The Exalted) is displeased. 
A man passed by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) whilst he was urinating, and greeted him. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to him: "If you see me in this state, do not greet me, because if you do, I will not respond." (Reported by Ibn Maajah, 346; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 575). The majority of scholars say that it is makrooh (disliked) to speak in the restroom unnecessarily. 
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that he used to carry a vessel for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) 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." 
No one shall make "Estinjaa" without using three stones. ... The prophet SAAWS asked his servant (Abdullah Ibn Masood) to bring him three stones for "Estinja", Ibn Masood RAA only found two stones so he brought him a piece of animal's droppings (dung) that was dry. When the prophet saw it, he threw it away and said that it is Najasah (impure). ... "Salman was once asked: Your prophet teaches you everything, even how to relieve yourselves? Salman said: Certainly.... he forbade us from facing the Qiblah while doing so, from cleaning ourselves with our right hand, and from cleaning ourselves with less than three stones. 
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrates that, "The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) went to answer the call of nature, 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) bought some water. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, "What is this'' He replied, "Water for cleansing (Istinja)." The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, "It has not been made necessary (Wajib) upon me after urinating to cleanse myself with water." 
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, "These toilets are peopled by Jinn and devils, so when one of you goes there say, 'I seek protection in you from the male and female devil.'" Meaning pray the supplication before entering the toilet.
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, 'When one of you intends to go to the toilet then recite 'Bismillah' a veil will be placed between the jinn and the parts of your body.' This should be recited before entering the toilet. 
When leaving the toilet one should step out with the right foot. 
If you fail to follow any of these rules, the invisible bathroom devils will give you some sort of mental illness.
We should try and learn these short supplications and practice them too. If we do not seek Allah's (The Exalted) protection from the devils, then there is a chance we can be affected with mental illnesses from the devils. We can not see the devils and when you can not see your enemy they are more dangerous.
So you see what I mean. If you follow all those rules every time you go to the bathroom, you won't have much time for anything else.