Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Toilet Etiquette
Do's and Dont's
Say a prayer when entering, to ward off jinn and demons
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."
Anas reported: When the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) entered the privy, and in the hadith transmitted by Hushaim (the words are): When the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) entered the lavatory, he used to say: O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from wicked and noxious things.
Narrated Anas: Whenever the Prophet went to answer the call of nature, he used to say, "Allah-umma inni a'udhu bika minal khubuthi wal khaba'ith i.e. O Allah, I seek Refuge with You from all offensive and wicked things (evil deeds and evil spirits)."
Remove your rings
Narrated Anas ibn Malik: When the Prophet (peace be upon him) entered the privy, he removed his ring.
Do not face nor turn your back to the direction of the Ka'aba
Narrated Abu Aiyub Al-Ansari: The Prophet said, “While defecating, neither face nor turn your back to the Qibla but face either east or west.” Abu Aiyub 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.”
Abu Ayyub reported: The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Whenever you go to the desert, neither turn your face nor turn your back towards the Qibla while answering the call of nature (الْغَائِطَ), but face towards the east or the west. Abu Ayyub said: When we came to Syria we found that the latrines already built there were facing towards the Qibla. We turned our faces away from them and begged forgiveness of the Lord. He said: Yes.
- The official translations say euphemisms like "answering the call of nature", but the original Arabic version says just one word الْغَائِطَ (al-ghaa'it), which explicitly refers to feces .
Do not hold nor touch the penis with your right hand
Narrated Abu Qatada: The Prophet said, "Whenever anyone of you makes water he should not hold his penis or clean his private parts with his right hand. (And while drinking) one should not breathe in the drinking utensil ."
Narrated Abu Qatada: Allah's Apostle said, "Whenever anyone of you drinks water, he should not breathe in the drinking utensil, and whenever anyone of you goes to a lavatory, he should neither touch his penis nor clean his private parts with his right hand."
Abu Qatada reported it from his father that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: When anyone amongst you enters the privy he should not touch his penis with his right hand.
Abu Qatada reported it from his father: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: None of you should hold penis with his right hand while urinating, or wipe himself with his right hand in privy and should not breathe into the vessel (from which he drinks).
Do not stand while urinating
Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “Whoever tells you that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to urinate standing up, do not believe him. He only ever used to urinate sitting down.”
Sahih al-Tirmidhi No. 11
Narrated Amr ibn al-'As: AbdurRahman ibn Hasanah reported: I and Amr ibn al-'As went to the Prophet (peace be upon him). He came out with a leather shield (in his hand). He covered himself with it and urinated. Then we said: Look at him. He is urinating as a woman does. The Prophet (peace be upon him), heard this and said: Do you not know what befell a person from amongst Banu Isra'il (the children of Israel)? When urine fell on them, they would cut off the place where the urine fell; but he (that person) forbade them (to do so), and was punished in his grave.
Abu Huraira said: When any one amongst you squats for answering the call of nature, he should neither turn his face towards the Qibla nor turn his back towards it.
Do not uncover your private parts until after squatting
Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar: When the Prophet (peace be upon him) wanted to relieve himself, he would not raise his garment, until he lowered himself near the ground.
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: “When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wanted to answer the call of nature, he would not lift his garment until he had squatted close to the ground.”
al-Tirmidhi No. 14, see also Saheeh al-Jaami’ No. 4652
Do not soil yourself with urine, this is a major sin
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Most of the punishment of the grave will be because of urine.”
Ibn Maajah No. 342, see also Saheeh al-Jaami’ No. 1202
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: Once the Prophet, while passing through one of the grave-yards of Medina or Mecca heard the voices of two persons who were being tortured in their graves. The Prophet said, "These two persons are being tortured not for a major sin (to avoid)." The Prophet then added, "Yes! (they are being tortured for a major sin). Indeed, one of them never saved himself from being soiled with his urine while the other used to go about with calumnies (to make enmiy between friends). The Prophet then asked for a green leaf of a date-palm tree, broke it into two pieces and put one on each grave. On being asked why he had done so, he replied, "I hope that their torture might be lessened, till these get dried."
Do not speak while in the toilet
Narrated AbuSa'id al-Khudri: I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) say: When two persons go together for relieving themselves uncovering their private parts and talking together, Allah, the Great and Majestic, becomes wrathful at this (action).
Narrated Muhajir ibn Qunfudh: Muhajir came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) while he was urinating. He saluted him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) did not return the salutation to him until he performed ablution. He then apologised to him, saying: I disliked remembering Allah except in the state of purification.
A man said salaam to the Prophet (saw) while he was in the toilet, he did not answer the salaam.
An-Nasaa'i 37, Ibn Majah 353
It is disliked to give salams to someone in the toilet, and they do not answer back. Likewise the one eating [such that there is food in their mouth, because they are busy and unable to answer], reciting Quran, busy with Sacred Knowledge.
Ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr al-Raiq (8.236)
Clean yourself with an odd number of stones
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Whoever performs ablution should clean his nose with water by putting the water in it and then blowing it out, and whoever cleans his private parts with stones should do it with odd number of stones."
Abu Huraira reported Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: When anyone wipes himself with pebbles (after answering the call of nature) he must make use of an odd number and when any one of you performs ablution he must snuff in his nose water and then clean it.
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (way peace he upon him) said: When anyone performs ablution he must clean his nose and when anyone wipes himself with pebbles (after answering the call of nature) he must do that odd number of times.
Jabir b. 'Abdullah reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: When anyone wipes himself with pebbles (after answering the call of nature) he should do this odd number of times.
Do not clean yourself with less than three stones
Salman said that (one among) the polytheists remarked: I see that your friend even teaches you about the excrement. He replied; Yes, he has in fact forbidden us that anyone amongst us should cleanse himself with his right hand, or face the Qibla. He has forbidden the use of dung or bone for it, and he has also instructed us not to use less than three pebbles (for this purpose).
Narrated Salman al-Farsi: It was said to Salman: Your Prophet teaches you everything, even about excrement. He replied: Yes. He has forbidden us to face the qiblah at the time of easing or urinating, and cleansing with right hand, and cleansing with less than three stones, or cleansing with dung or bone.
Do not use dung or bones
Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas'ud: A deputation of the jinn came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: O Muhammad, forbid your community to cleans themselves with a bone or dung or charcoal, for in them Allah has provided sustenance for us. So the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade them to do so.
Narrated Abu Huraira: I followed the Prophet while he was going out to answer the call of nature. He used not to look this way or that. So, when I approached near him he said to me, "Fetch for me some stones for ' cleaning the privates parts (or said something similar), and do not bring a bone or a piece of dung." So I brought the stones in the corner of my garment and placed them by his side and I then went away from him. When he finished (from answering the call of nature) he used, them .
Narrated 'Abdullah: The Prophet went out to answer the call of nature and asked me to bring three stones. I found two stones and searched for the third but could not find it. So took a dried piece of dung and brought it to him. He took the two stones and threw away the dung and said, "This is a filthy thing."
Jabir reported: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) forbade the use of bone or the droppings of camels for wiping (after excretion).
Narrated Ruwayfi' ibn Thabit: ... The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) said: You may live for a long time after I am gone, Ruwayfi', so, tell people that if anyone ties his beard or wears round his neck a string to ward off the evil eye, or cleanses himself with animal dung or bone, Muhammad has nothing to do with him.
Do not use your right hand
Narrated Abu Qatada: Allah's Apostle said, "When you drink (water), do not breath in the vessel; and when you urinate, do not touch your penis with your right hand. And when you cleanse yourself after defecation, do not use your right hand."
Wash yourself, once you're done
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "The prayer of a person who does Hadath (passes urine, stool, or wind) is not accepted till he performs (repeats) the ablution." A person from Hadaramout asked Abu Huraira, "What is 'Hadath'?" Abu Huraira replied, " 'Hadath' means the passing of wind from the anus."
Narrated Anas bin Malik: Whenever Allah's Apostle went to answer the call of nature, I along with another boy used to accompany him with a tumbler full of water. (Hisham commented, "So that he might wash his private parts with it.)"
Narrated Anas bin Malik: Whenever Allah's Apostle went to answer the call of nature, I along with another boy used to carry a tumbler full of water (for cleaning the private parts) and an 'Anza (spear-headed stuck [sic]).
Note: The above hadith should say 'spear-headed stick'.
Narrated AbuHurayrah: 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 (AbuHurayrah) said: They used to cleanse themselves with water after easing. So the verse was revealed in connection with them.
No need to cleanse your anus when done in a river
Usama b. Zaid (Allah be pleased with him) reported: Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) on his way back from 'Arafat got down in one of these creeks (to answer the call of nature), and after he had done that I poured water (over his hands) and said: Are you going to pray? Thereupon he said: The place of prayer is ahead of you.
Say a prayer when exiting the toilet
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- "Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, al-Tahaarah, 12; he said, this is the most saheeh report on this topic. It was also classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, no. 11" - Is it haraam to urinate standing up? - Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 9790
- "Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 14; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 4652" - Muslim bathroom etiquette - Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 2532
- "Reported by Ibn Maajah, 342; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1202" - Muslim bathroom etiquette - Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 2532
- Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, "Giving salams to someone in the toilet", SunniPath, Question ID 2118 (archived), http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=1&ID=2118&CATE=34.
- Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah and At-Tirmithi. An-Nasa'i recorded it in 'Amalul-Yawm wal-Laylah. Also see Ibn Al-Qayyim's Zadul-Ma'ad, 2/387.