Islamic toilet etiquette

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The Islamic faith has particular rules regarding personal hygiene when going to the toilet. This code of Muslim hygienical jurisprudence is known as Qadaa' al-Haajah.

The only issue which the Qur'an mentions is the one of washing one's hands (verse 5:6). Issues of chirality (bodily symmetry), such as whether one uses the left or right hand, and which foot is used to step into or out of toilet areas, are derived from hadith sources.[1]


A Muslim must first find an acceptable place away from standing water, or people's pathways or shade.[2] They are advised that it is better to enter the area with the left foot,[3] facing away from the Qiblah.[4]

While on the toilet, one must remain silent. Talking, answering greetings or greeting others is strongly discouraged.[4] When defecating together, two men cannot converse, nor look at each other's genitals.[5] A man should not touch his genitals with the right hand.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12] Eating any food while on the toilet is strictly forbidden.[4]

The anus must be washed with water after defecating. Similarly, the penis and vulva must be washed with water after urinating. This washing is known as istinja. The Qur'an suggests that one should wash one's hands as well, which is discussed in verse 5:6.

When leaving the toilet, one is advised to leave with the right foot,[3] and also say a prayer – "Praise be to Allah who relieved me of the filth and gave me relief."[4] It is also reported in the hadith of Bukhari that whenever Muhammad went to the toilet, he said "In the name of Allah, O Allah! I seek refuge with You from all offensive and wicked things" (alternate translation: "from evil deeds and evil spirits").[13]

See also


  1. Sachiko Murata (1992), "ch. 3 The Two Hands of God", The Tao of Islam, ISBN 978-0-7914-0913-8<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Narrated by Abu Hurairah and collected in Sahih Muslim (Book 002, Number 0516
  3. 3.0 3.1 Narrated by Anas bin Malik and collected in Sahih al-Bukhari (Volume 1, Book 4, Number 144) and Sahih Muslim (Book 003, Number 729)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Shu'aib, Tajuddin B., "Qadaahul Haajah (Relieving Oneself)", The Prescribed Prayer Made Simple, MSA West Compendium of Muslim Texts, retrieved 2009-03-10<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Sunaan ibn Majah, 1.342
  6. Sunaan Abu Dawud, 1.1.0031
  7. Mishkat, 1.185
  8. Mishkat, 1.183
  9. Sunaan Nasai, 1.24, 25
  10. Sahih Muslim, 2.0512
  11. Sahih Bukhari, 1.4.156
  12. "Whenever anyone of you drinks water, he should not breathe in the drinking utensil, and whenever anyone of you goes to a lavatory, he is advised better to neither touch his penis nor clean his private parts with his right hand." (Sahih Bukhari, 1. 4.155)[1][2]
  13. Hadith of Bukhari: Volumes I, II, III & IV. 1944. P.39. Hadith 1:144.

External links