Fiqh al-Sunnah: Self-Cleaning Etiquette

8 - Hadeeth fiqh and fawaa'id following the order of Imam al-Tirmidhi

 

This subject is often called istinjaa’ in the books of fiqh. Imam al-Tirmidhi supplied several narrations and pointed us to their supplements below…

11 – باب مَا جَاءَ فِي كَرَاهَةِ الاِسْتِنْجَاءِ بِالْيَمِينِ

Chapter: What has come of forbidding self-cleaning with the right hand

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ أَبِي عُمَرَ الْمَكِّيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا سُفْيَانُ بْنُ عُيَيْنَةَ، عَنْ مَعْمَرٍ، عَنْ يَحْيَى بْنِ أَبِي كَثِيرٍ،
Abdullah ibn Abu Qatadah narrated from his father:

 

The Prophet prohibited that a man should touch his penis with his right hand. [Sahih]

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ أَبِي قَتَادَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ ﷺ نَهَى أَنْ يَمَسَّ الرَّجُلُ ذَكَرَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ‏.
وَفِي هَذَا الْبَابِ عَنْ عَائِشَةَ وَسَلْمَانَ وَأَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ وَسَهْلِ بْنِ حُنَيْفٍ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ‏.‏ وَأَبُو قَتَادَةَ الأَنْصَارِيُّ اسْمُهُ الْحَارِثُ بْنُ رِبْعِيٍّ‏.‏ وَالْعَمَلُ عَلَى هَذَا عِنْدَ عَامَّةِ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ كَرِهُوا الاِسْتِنْجَاءَ بِالْيَمِينِ ‏.‏

12 – باب الاِسْتِنْجَاءِ بِالْحِجَارَةِ

Chapter: What has been related of self-cleaning with stones

حَدَّثَنَا هَنَّادٌ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو مُعَاوِيَةَ، عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ، قَالَ
Abdur-Rahman bin Yazeed said:

 

They said to Salman, Your Prophet taught you about everything, even defecating? Salman said, “Yes. He prohibited us from facing the Qiblah when defecating and urinating, performing self-cleaning with the right hand, using less than three stones for cleaning, and cleaning with dung or bones.” [Sahih]

قِيلَ لِسَلْمَانَ قَدْ عَلَّمَكُمْ نَبِيُّكُمْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَتَّى الْخِرَاءَةَ? فَقَالَ سَلْمَانُ أَجَلْ نَهَانَا أَنْ نَسْتَقْبِلَ الْقِبْلَةَ بِغَائِطٍ أَوْ بَوْلٍ وَأَنْ نَسْتَنْجِيَ بِالْيَمِينِ أَوْ أَنْ يَسْتَنْجِيَ أَحَدُنَا بِأَقَلَّ مِنْ ثَلاَثَةِ أَحْجَارٍ أَوْ أَنْ نَسْتَنْجِيَ بِرَجِيعٍ أَوْ بِعَظْمٍ ‏.‏
قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى وَفِي الْبَابِ عَنْ عَائِشَةَ وَخُزَيْمَةَ بْنِ ثَابِتٍ وَجَابِرٍ وَخَلاَّدِ بْنِ السَّائِبِ عَنْ أَبِيهِ .‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى وَحَدِيثُ سَلْمَانَ فِي هَذَا الْبَابِ حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ.‏ وَهُوَ قَوْلُ أَكْثَرِ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ وَمَنْ بَعْدَهُمْ رَأَوْا أَنَّ الاِسْتِنْجَاءَ بِالْحِجَارَةِ يُجْزِئُ وَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَنْجِ بِالْمَاءِ إِذَا أَنْقَى أَثَرَ الْغَائِطِ وَالْبَوْلِ وَبِهِ يَقُولُ الثَّوْرِيُّ وَابْنُ الْمُبَارَكِ وَالشَّافِعِيُّ وَأَحْمَدُ وَإِسْحَاقُ.‏

 

13 – باب مَا جَاءَ فِي الاِسْتِنْجَاءِ بِالْحَجَرَيْنِ

Chapter: What has come of self-cleaning with two stones

حَدَّثَنَا هَنَّادٌ، وَقُتَيْبَةُ، قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا وَكِيعٌ، عَنْ إِسْرَائِيلَ، عَنْ أَبِي إِسْحَاقَ، عَنْ أَبِي عُبَيْدَةَ،
Abdullah said:

 

Allah’s Messenger went out to relieve himself and he said: ‘Bring me three stones.’ So I came with two stones and a piece of hardened dung. So he took the two stones, and left the dung and said ‘It is riks.’

 

[Sahih due to supports, because Abu Ubaidah did not hear hadeeth from his father Abdullah]
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، قَالَ خَرَجَ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ لِحَاجَتِهِ فَقَالَ ‏”الْتَمِسْ لِي ثَلاَثَةَ أَحْجَارٍ‏”‏‏.‏ قَالَ فَأَتَيْتُهُ بِحَجَرَيْنِ وَرَوْثَةٍ فَأَخَذَ الْحَجَرَيْنِ وَأَلْقَى الرَّوْثَةَ وَقَالَ ‏”إِنَّهَا رِكْسٌ ‏”‏.
قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى وَهَكَذَا رَوَى قَيْسُ بْنُ الرَّبِيعِ هَذَا الْحَدِيثَ عَنْ أَبِي إِسْحَاقَ عَنْ أَبِي عُبَيْدَةَ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ نَحْوَ حَدِيثِ إِسْرَائِيلَ‏.‏ وَرَوَى مَعْمَرٌ وَعَمَّارُ بْنُ رُزَيْقٍ عَنْ أَبِي إِسْحَاقَ عَنْ عَلْقَمَةَ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ.‏ وَرَوَى زُهَيْرٌ عَنْ أَبِي إِسْحَاقَ عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ الأَسْوَدِ عَنْ أَبِيهِ الأَسْوَدِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ‏.‏ وَرَوَى زَكَرِيَّا بْنُ أَبِي زَائِدَةَ عَنْ أَبِي إِسْحَاقَ عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ عَنِ الأَسْوَدِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ .‏ وَهَذَا حَدِيثٌ فِيهِ اضْطِرَابٌ‏.‏ حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ بَشَّارٍ الْعَبْدِيُّ حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ عَنْ عَمْرِو بْنِ مُرَّةَ قَالَ سَأَلْتُ أَبَا عُبَيْدَةَ بْنَ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ هَلْ تَذْكُرُ مِنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا قَالَ لاَ‏.

14 – باب مَا جَاءَ فِي كَرَاهِيَةِ مَا يُسْتَنْجَى بِهِ

Chapter: What has been related of things disliked to purify with

حَدَّثَنَا هَنَّادٌ، حَدَّثَنَا حَفْصُ بْنُ غِيَاثٍ، عَنْ دَاوُدَ بْنِ أَبِي هِنْدٍ، عَنِ الشَّعْبِيِّ، عَنْ عَلْقَمَةَ،
Abdullah bin Mas’ud narrated that :

Allah’s Messenger said: “Do not perform Istinja, with dung, nor with bones. For indeed it is provisions for your brothers among the Jinn.” [Sahih]

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ ‏”‏ لاَ تَسْتَنْجُوا بِالرَّوْثِ وَلاَ بِالْعِظَامِ فَإِنَّهُ زَادُ إِخْوَانِكُمْ مِنَ الْجِنِّ ‏“‏‏.
وَفِي الْبَابِ عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ وَسَلْمَانَ وَجَابِرٍ وَابْنِ عُمَرَ.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى وَقَدْ رَوَى هَذَا الْحَدِيثَ إِسْمَاعِيلُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَغَيْرُهُ عَنْ دَاوُدَ بْنِ أَبِي هِنْدٍ عَنِ الشَّعْبِيِّ عَنْ عَلْقَمَةَ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ أَنَّهُ كَانَ مَعَ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ لَيْلَةَ الْجِنِّ – الْحَدِيثَ بِطُولِهِ – فَقَالَ الشَّعْبِيُّ إِنَّ النَّبِيَّ ﷺ قَالَ ‏”‏ لاَ تَسْتَنْجُوا بِالرَّوْثِ وَلاَ بِالْعِظَامِ فَإِنَّهُ زَادُ إِخْوَانِكُمْ مِنَ الْجِنِّ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ وَكَأَنَّ رِوَايَةَ إِسْمَاعِيلَ أَصَحُّ مِنْ رِوَايَةِ حَفْصِ بْنِ غِيَاثٍ ‏.‏ وَالْعَمَلُ عَلَى هَذَا الْحَدِيثِ عِنْدَ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ ‏.‏ وَفِي الْبَابِ عَنْ جَابِرٍ وَابْنِ عُمَرَ رضى الله عنهما ‏.‏

 

15 – باب مَا جَاءَ فِي الاِسْتِنْجَاءِ بِالْمَاءِ

Chapter: What has come of self-cleaning with water

حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ، وَمُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْمَلِكِ بْنِ أَبِي الشَّوَارِبِ الْبَصْرِيُّ، قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَوَانَةَ، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنْ مُعَاذَةَ،
Aishah said:

 

Encourage your Husbands to clean themselves with water, for I am too shy of them, and Allah’s Messenger would do that. [Sahih]

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ مُرْنَ أَزْوَاجَكُنَّ أَنْ يَسْتَطِيبُوا، بِالْمَاءِ فَإِنِّي أَسْتَحْيِيهِمْ فَإِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ﷺ كَانَ يَفْعَلُهُ.
وَفِي الْبَابِ عَنْ جَرِيرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْبَجَلِيِّ وَأَنَسٍ وَأَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ.‏ وَعَلَيْهِ الْعَمَلُ عِنْدَ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ يَخْتَارُونَ الاِسْتِنْجَاءَ بِالْمَاءِ وَإِنْ كَانَ الاِسْتِنْجَاءُ بِالْحِجَارَةِ يُجْزِئُ عِنْدَهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمُ اسْتَحَبُّوا الاِسْتِنْجَاءَ بِالْمَاءِ وَرَأَوْهُ أَفْضَلَ.‏ وَبِهِ يَقُولُ سُفْيَانُ الثَّوْرِيُّ وَابْنُ الْمُبَارَكِ وَالشَّافِعِيُّ وَأَحْمَدُ وَإِسْحَاقُ ‏.‏

 

These are five narrations under five subheadings, but all united in their focus on etiquette of bodily physical purification during and after passing urine or feces.

Mu’aadhah, the narrator who heard from Aaishah is a known aesthetic who prayed long and used to say, “I’m astonished by an eye that sleeps while knowing the long period of time in the grave.”

 

Vocabulary [شرح الغريب]

Istinjaa’ [الاستنجاء] – Words that begin with a connecting hamzah [همزة الوصل] or the present tense indicator [حرف المضارع] followed by sīn and tā often carry the meaning of seeking or finding, so those three letters may be called [حروف الطلب]. They are followed by the root letters, nun jīm and vowel-letter. That root carries the meaning of “safety and removal” and is used frequently in the Quran, often in the context of saving Allah’s messengers from the Divine destruction that befell the peoples who belied them or removing them from harm. The Arab used to refer to a high ground as najwah because a flash flood might take everything around it, but anything or anyone who was on the najwah was safe or removed from harm. Regarding purification, it exclusively refers to cleaning the excretory parts from the impure substances that come out of them. Istiṭābah and istinqā’ are also used for the same meaning.

Khira’ah [الخِراءة] – squatting; excrement.

Riks – similar to rijs, impure filth

Rajee’ – dung, meaning it was returned from the state of food to the state of excrement

Istijmaar – cleaning with jamaraat, stones, like hijaarah.

 

 

Supporting Narrations

 

  1. Al-Bukhari and Muslim collected Abu Qatadah’s narration with important additions (Muslim’s wording):

لَا يُمْسِكَنَّ أَحَدُكُمْ ذَكَرَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ وَهُوَ يَبُولُ، وَلَا يَتَمَسَّحْ مِنَ الْخَلَاءِ بِيَمِينِهِ، وَلَا يَتَنَفَّسْ فِي الإِنَاءِ

Let none of you grab their penis with their right while urinating, nor wipe themselves with their right, nor breathe into a vessel.

  1. Abu Dawood recorded from Aaishah [sahih due to supports, otherwise, Ibrahim did not hear from her]:

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو تَوْبَةَ الرَّبِيعُ بْنُ نَافِعٍ، حَدَّثَنِي عِيسَى بْنُ يُونُسَ، عَنِ ابْنِ أَبِي عَرُوبَةَ، عَنْ أَبِي مَعْشَرٍ، عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ كَانَتْ يَدُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ﷺ الْيُمْنَى لِطُهُورِهِ وَطَعَامِهِ وَكَانَتْ يَدُهُ الْيُسْرَى لِخَلاَئِهِ وَمَا كَانَ مِنْ أَذًى

The Prophet (ﷺ) used his right hand for purification and eating, and his left hand was for the privy and whatever involved harm.

 

  1. Abu Dawud also recorded from Abu Hurairah [al-Albani graded it weak]:

حَدَّثَنَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ مُوسَى الرَّازِيُّ، أَخْبَرَنَا عِيسَى بْنُ يُونُسَ، عَنْ ثَوْرٍ، عَنِ الْحُصَيْنِ الْحُبْرَانِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ قَالَ ‏ “‏ مَنِ اكْتَحَلَ فَلْيُوتِرْ مَنْ فَعَلَ فَقَدْ أَحْسَنَ وَمَنْ لاَ فَلاَ حَرَجَ وَمَنِ اسْتَجْمَرَ فَلْيُوتِرْ مَنْ فَعَلَ فَقَدْ أَحْسَنَ وَمَنْ لاَ فَلاَ حَرَجَ وَمَنْ أَكَلَ فَمَا تَخَلَّلَ فَلْيَلْفِظْ وَمَا لاَكَ بِلِسَانِهِ فَلْيَبْتَلِعْ مَنْ فَعَلَ فَقَدْ أَحْسَنَ وَمَنْ لاَ فَلاَ حَرَجَ وَمَنْ أَتَى الْغَائِطَ فَلْيَسْتَتِرْ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَجِدْ إِلاَّ أَنْ يَجْمَعَ كَثِيبًا مِنْ رَمْلٍ فَلْيَسْتَدْبِرْهُ فَإِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَلْعَبُ بِمَقَاعِدِ بَنِي آدَمَ مَنْ فَعَلَ فَقَدْ أَحْسَنَ وَمَنْ لاَ فَلاَ حَرَجَ ‏”‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو دَاوُدَ رَوَاهُ أَبُو عَاصِمٍ عَنْ ثَوْرٍ قَالَ حُصَيْنٌ الْحِمْيَرِيُّ وَرَوَاهُ عَبْدُ الْمَلِكِ بْنُ الصَّبَّاحِ عَنْ ثَوْرٍ فَقَالَ أَبُو سَعِيدٍ الْخَيْرُ.‏ قَالَ أَبُو دَاوُدَ أَبُو سَعِيدٍ الْخَيْرُ هُوَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ‏.‏

If anyone applies collyrium (kohl), he should do it an odd number of times. If he does so, he has done well; but if not, there is no harm. If anyone cleanses himself with stones, he should do so an odd number. If he does so, he has done well; but if not, there is no harm. If anyone eats, he should discard what he removes with a toothpick and swallow what sticks to his tongue. If he does so, he has done well; if not, there is no harm. If anyone goes to relieve himself, he should conceal himself, and if all he can do is to collect a heap of sand, he should sit with his back to it, for the devil plays with with the posteriors of the children of Adam. If he does so, he has done well; but if not, there is no harm.

 

  1. Most other narrations al-Tirmidhi pointed to from other companions are very similar in wording to each other, like this one from Aaishah with Abu Dawood [hasan] which contains the most meaningful wording:

حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ مَنْصُورٍ، وَقُتَيْبَةُ بْنُ سَعِيدٍ، قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا يَعْقُوبُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ، عَنْ أَبِي حَازِمٍ، عَنْ مُسْلِمِ بْنِ قُرْطٍ، عَنْ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ﷺقَالَ ‏ “‏ إِذَا ذَهَبَ أَحَدُكُمْ إِلَى الْغَائِطِ فَلْيَذْهَبْ مَعَهُ بِثَلاَثَةِ أَحْجَارٍ يَسْتَطِيبُ بِهِنَّ فَإِنَّهَا تُجْزِئُ عَنْهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

“If any of you go to defecate, then they should go with three stones to purify with, for that is what will suffice.”

 

  1. Al-Daaraqutni recorded and graded sahih, according to ibn Hajr, this narration of Abu Hurairah:

وَقَالَ : وَحَدَّثَنَا يَعْقُوبُ بْنُ كَاسِبٍ ، قَالَ : حَدَّثَنَا سَلَمَةُ بْنُ رَجَاء ٍ ، عَنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ الْفُرَاتِ الْقَزَّازِ ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ ، عَنْ أَبِي حَازِمٍ ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ ﷺ نَهَى أَنْ نَسْتَنْجِيَ بِرَوْثٍ أَوْ بِعَظْمٍ ، وَقَالَ : “إِنَّهُمَا لا يُطَهِّرَانِ ” .

The Prophet ﷺ prohibited self-cleaning with dung or bones and said: they do not purify.

  1. Regarding cleaning with water, in the subjects of Tafseer, al-Tirmidhi and ibn Maajah each collected (wording of the latter) from some of the companions:

حَدَّثَنَا هِشَامُ بْنُ عَمَّارٍ، حَدَّثَنَا صَدَقَةُ بْنُ خَالِدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عُتْبَةُ بْنُ أَبِي حَكِيمٍ، حَدَّثَنِي طَلْحَةُ بْنُ نَافِعٍ أَبُو سُفْيَانَ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو أَيُّوبَ الأَنْصَارِيُّ، وَجَابِرُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، وَأَنَسُ بْنُ مَالِكٍ، أَنَّ هَذِهِ الآيَةَ، نَزَلَتْ ‏{فِيهِ رِجَالٌ يُحِبُّونَ أَنْ يَتَطَهَّرُوا وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُطَّهِّرِينَ}‏ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺـ ‏”‏ يَا مَعْشَرَ الأَنْصَارِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ أَثْنَى عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الطُّهُورِ فَمَا طُهُورُكُمْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالُوا نَتَوَضَّأُ لِلصَّلاَةِ وَنَغْتَسِلُ مِنَ الْجَنَابَةِ وَنَسْتَنْجِي بِالْمَاءِ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ هُوَ ذَلِكَ فَعَلَيْكُمُوهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Abu Sufyan said: Abu Ayyub Al-Ansari, Jabir bin ‘Abdullah, and Anas bin Malik told me that when this Verse: “In it (the mosque) are men who love to clean and to purify themselves. And Allah loves those who make themselves clean and pure.” was revealed, the Messenger of Allah said: ‘O Ansar! Allah has praised you for your cleanliness. What is the nature of your cleanliness?’ They said: ‘We perform ablution for prayer and we take bath to cleanse ourselves of impurity due to sexual activity, and we self-clean with water (after excretion).’ He said: ‘This is what it is. So adhere to it.‘”

  1. And ibn Khuzaimah collected in his Sahih and ibn Maajah:

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو نُعَيْمٍ ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبَانُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْبَجَلِيُّ ، حَدَّثَنِي إِبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ جَرِيرٍ ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ ، أَنَّ نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ ﷺ  دَخَلَ الْغَيْضَةَ فَقَضَى حَاجَتَهُ ، فَأَتَاهُ جَرِيرٌ بِإِدَاوَةٍ مِنْ مَاءٍ فَاسْتَنْجَى بِهَا ، قَالَ : وَمَسَحَ يَدَهُ بِالتُّرَابِ.

the Prophet ﷺ entered a tree grove and relieved himself, so Jareer came to him with a bucket of water, so he cleaned himself and then wiped his hand in the dirt.

  1. Imam al-Bukhari recorded from Anas:

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ حَاتِمِ بْنِ بَزِيعٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا شَاذَانُ، عَنْ شُعْبَةَ، عَنْ عَطَاءِ بْنِ أَبِي مَيْمُونَةَ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَنَسَ بْنَ مَالِكٍ، قَالَ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ ﷺ إِذَا خَرَجَ لِحَاجَتِهِ تَبِعْتُهُ أَنَا وَغُلاَمٌ وَمَعَنَا عُكَّازَةٌ أَوْ عَصًا أَوْ عَنَزَةٌ وَمَعَنَا إِدَاوَةٌ، فَإِذَا فَرَغَ مِنْ حَاجَتِهِ نَاوَلْنَاهُ الإِدَاوَةَ‏.‏

If the Prophet ﷺ went to relieve himself, I and another boy followed along and we had staff/stick/short spear and a tumbler of water, so when he would finish, we would offer him the tumbler.

 

Towards better understanding these narrations…

The completeness of Islam [شمولية الدين]

 

Subnarrators and commentators state that pagans wanted to make fun of Islam to Salman al-Khair ibn al-Islam the Persian, so they put forward a question that they thought would embarrass him. But instead, he responded to say it is in fact, something to proud of, saying ajal, a definitive yes. And consider this ayah:

{قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّـهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ} ﴿١٦٢﴾ سورة الأنعام

“Say: indeed my prayer, my worship, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of all that exists.”

As the Prophet’s companions were still learning things for the first time, even they were surprised at how much their faith could be involved in their lives—or to put it in another way, how much they could connect their regular lives to their Islamic practice. When the Prophet ﷺ said that for a man to “go to his wife” was a charity and source of reward with Allah, they were astonished and asked how. The Prophet ﷺ responded likewise with a question, wouldn’t it be a sin if you purged your desires elsewhere? When they acknowledged this, he said, Likewise, if you fulfill your desires in the way Allah Provided, He would reward you for it. And there are du’as before and after all these acts that further enshrine them in Allah’s blessings. Faith is not something we live one day of the way or hour of the day.

Islam is proper for every place, time and people from the Prophet’s time and place and addressees and all beyond until the Day of Resurrection. The issue many of us have is ignorance of Islam in general, what parts of our lives it may cover, as well as ignorance of those specific rules, and if our situations can or cannot accommodate them.

Sometimes people feel uneasy about this “Godly invasion of privacy” and proclaim that they remember God with their hearts—and therefore do not need to use their tongues or limbs. That’s really a cop out and if you’re truly remembering Allah while you’re watching Game of Thrones and that remembrance is of any benefit then you would turn off the television. Rather, Allah gave us more to remember and thank Him with. The heart and limbs help and hurt each other. A healthy heart leads to healthy actions. Likewise, bad and good actions affect the heart, which is why it’s good to put one’s self in circumstances that force them to do more outward good, like hanging out with the righteous.

The completeness of Islam corresponds to the completeness of Allah’s Favor upon us and how we recognize that favor with good word and gratitude shukr with everything that Allah gave us.

Finally, what’s important for Muslims is before they make major decisions of their lives, or decisions with far-reaching consequences or permanent consequences, or if they’re going to involve other Muslims in something, that they seek the counsel of a scholar of the deen before doing so. Because Islam is a complete deen. When you are choosing your career for example—or you have children or grandchildren making a choice for their career or a possible income stream, there may very well be Islamic guidelines set in place. When we neglect doing that, because we take the guidance of Islam for granted or assume Islam has nothing to say, and we end up falling into a sin or involving others in sin if we’re forming an organization for example, or making a far-reaching decision that may not be sinful but is unpreferable, we then force ourselves to be used to disobeying Allah and His Messenger when the truth comes to us.

I am always happy to see people seek the counsel of wise elder scholars before even making halal decisions. I recall a brother once asking a shaykh whether or not he should buy a Porsche—the pluses and minuses. Islam doesn’t only contain something of guidance regarding halal and haram, but also how our hearts are affected, and our morals and if there are any community concerns.

 

Mas’alah: Touching the Genitalia

 

The narration of Abu Qatadah appears to suggest that no man should ever touch their member with their right hand. However, we saw from other versions of it that are even more authentic, the prohibition is qualified with the state of urinating. In other words, if one is not urinating, then touching the penis with the right hand is not censured.

The reason for prohibiting touching the penis with the right hand while urinating is out of respect and dignity for the right, which is nearly always given preference in Islam for the best of causes, and keeping it far from harm or impurity. The Prophet would face the right side of the saff after prayers. Allah will give the believers their records of good deeds in their right hands. Giving and receiving is preferred with the right.

 

NOTE: Karaahah in the speech of the early imams

 

Imam al-Tirmidhi titled one of his chapters with the word karaahah, often translated as dislike, detest, or hate. Like these words, karaahah is a heart emotion and not necessarily linked to a single specific Sharia ruling.

For the last thousand years, conjugations of the root ka-ra-ha have been understood as meaning “dislike” but not sin. This was due to Usuli legal theorist restricted usage of the word to refer to acts which were not sinful but should be avoided, like eating to one’s fill or leaving off the stressed sunan. Because of this new understanding of the word makrooh and karaahah, people who came later assumed that was the meaning of the word colloquially and in the language as well, unknowing that this was a new terminology usage, and that Allah, His Messenger ﷺ and the Salaf—and the Four Imams especially—instead used it to sometimes mean forbiddance tahreem. There are examples in the Quran and Sunnah, and the speech of the first generations that are clearly using makrooh and karaahah for forbiddance, and other examples using them for strong dislike that is not a major sin, but karaahah tanzeeh – [التنْزِيه]. Some researchers compiled a few good quotes and examples of the topic, in Arabic, here.

 

Mas’alah: Self-cleaning

 

The jumhūr obligated the use of three stones or dry substitutes, like toilet paper, three wipes at the least—even with the same piece, if turned to use an unused part. It is of course allowed to do more than that, preferably stopping on an odd number.

The Hanafis differed, believing that self-cleaning was not obligatory, and therefore not sinful if left off, but that it was a sunnah mu’akkadah, a stressed Sunnah since the Prophet ﷺ never left it off. The didn’t hold it to be obligatory due to the narration of Abu Hurairah collected by Abu Dawud and pasted above. But the narration states that an odd number of wipes is preferred—and that could even be accomplished with one—and whoever does not, has not sinned.

Does not what? Does not wipe or does not do the odd number of wipes while still wiping? The jumhūr preferred the latter. Even so, the wording of the whole hadeeth suggests choice. “Whoever cleans themselves with rocks…” like you don’t have to. But is the choice between using rocks and using nothing? Or using rocks and presumably using something else, like water? The jumhūr favored the latter, and that would be what the other scriptures explicitly state. And it is best to use all the authentic scriptures rather than use some and abandon others, which is why the position of the jumhūr is far stronger, utilizing all texts, and giving preference to explicit and authentic texts, and not ambiguous ones with doubtful chains of narration(!)

Another reason for the difference is that the Hanafis prefer abrogation naskh to treat conflicting narrations, not harmonization. They reason, if the Prophet ﷺ intended both he would have clarified the last time for everyone. Allah knows best why they chose Abu Hurairah’s narration to abrogate the others.

Due to the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah “these two do not purify” scholars forbade “purification” with anything already impure and anything slick like bone, similarly glass, marble, plastic, acrylic, etc.

 

With water?

 

The vast majority of scholars, past and onward agreed that water was not only valid but preferable for self-cleaning, since it eliminated physical remnants as well as smell. And the most preferable was combining, while using dry substances first. But there are several narrations from some of the companions and a few of the salaf, including Imam Malik, questioning the use of water during the Prophet’s time or by the Prophet ﷺ. Some of the salaf did not like it because water was a food source, and food should not be contaminated or wasted. Others preferred not to use water as a response to those who claimed it was obligatory.

What about other liquids?

The jumhūr all said that using other liquids, e.g. vinegar or rose water, juice or soda, etc., were insufficient () for self-cleaning and that one’s cleaning is not complete without water. Abu Haneefah and Abu Yusuf disagreed, and their position is stronger, since they looked to the goal of istinja’ which is removing impurities, and that can be accomplished with a few other liquids, even though they agreed water is the best. Vinegar could leave a smell, coca cola could likewise and be sugary, even if those products are exceptionally good when it comes to cleaning. They forbade using oils since that would only smear the matter and not remove it.

 

Question: could someone delay cleaning themselves until after ablution?

Yes. Those who obligate the cleaning generally agree that it is obligatory for the prayer specifically just as ablution is obligatory for the prayer specifically. The purification for ablution is spiritual and has different nullifiers than the physical purification of the body which is simply cleanliness from attached impurities. It is the same ruling if a person with ablution is tainted by the urine or feces of another, like when changing a baby. They must remove the material, but are not obligated to perform ablution afterwards again.

However, some of the Hanabilah and Shafi’iyyah believed istinja’ was a condition of ablution, as if cleaning was a way of saying “now I’m done excreting” and that delaying it forbade ablution until done. Some of the Shafi’iyyah further said that the healthy one (without urinary incontinence for example) was allowed to choose before or after. Other schools of thought left it entirely up to choice. I personally tend to think the Shafi school here has some praiseworthy level of detail in this issue that does not fall under the heading of takalluf.

 

Question: is this cleaning really *purification* or …

 

Jurists agreed that water purified the private parts, but they disagreed over whether solids did. Some said yes, based on “differential reasoning” [مفهوم المخالفة] of the Prophet’s words, “those two do not purify” – in other words, stones and other solids do purify. Because of the Prophet’s words, that opinion may be strongest. But a large number of scholars from every school also believed that dry solid wiping/scraping was Islamically sufficient [مجزئ] but did not truly purify, but instead inevitably left some fecal remnant that was pardoned due to difficulty [قدر يسير من النجس يعفى عنه من أجل المشقة]. So the Prophet’s wording was understood as majaaz and to simplify as well as to completely dismiss the impermissible options that do not purify enough to be valid. This position is also gaining traction in the media among the non-Muslims as well, especially since using dry paper, like most of the companions did, is an American custom, whereas using water or moist paper is a post-khulafaa Muslim tradition.

What’s the benefit of the issue? Solid ground for preferring, at the very least, moist wipes, or taking some toilet paper and spitting on it if in a public stall or wetting it if in a private bathroom. Other jurists of the past further discussed how sweat could affect this. If that spot is still technically impure, but then sweat runs down it and gets on clothes, etc., then what? While ulama differed over that, al-Qarafi reminds that the female Sahabah may have had long braids which may have inevitably touched themselves but were not obsessively cleaned. That level of caution leads to wasawis and should be avoided.

Further, if we say that dry solids do not completely purify, then using them is a rukhṣah concession, while water is the `azeemah. This means that the rukhṣah exists where the hardship and universality exist. As for some rarer occurrences, like if the excrete spreads beyond the usual spot, or someone is contaminated by excrete from another outside source, many scholars hold dry solids to be impermissible to use at this point and that only water is valid.

 

What if an impermissible substance is used for self-cleaning?

 

It is highly forbidden to use anything respected or sacred for cleaning off personal impurities. Likewise forbidden is using food, hardened dung, and also harmful things, and glossy material. But if someone does use them, and earns the sin, and considers themselves comparably clean afterwards, are they in need of anything more? Most of the Hanabilah and Shafi’s say yes, they must clean with proper substances only. But the Hanafis, Malikis and ibn Taymiyyah disagreed, saying that nothing else is required, nor any repetition or “make-up” now or later.

As for using the right hand for self-cleaning, even if sinful, it is sufficient with no dispute because the hand is an instrument for the substance, an instrument for the condition, not the condition itself. One could program a robot to clean them, but even then, the robot would either use liquid or a dry or moist solid, or at the least, it’s dry solid arm which it would then wash off.

Those are interesting instances where the prohibition does not necessarily mean invalidity of the connected action. Otherwise, the phrase, “prohibition necessitates invalidity” [النهي يقتضي الفساد] is cliched among beginning researchers that do not always look deep into the issue itself and the differences of opinion surrounding it.

And Allah knows best, may He guide us to the best understanding and implementation of His Prophet’s Sunnah

About Chris
Chris, aka AbdulHaqq, is from central Illinois and accepted Islam in 2001 at age 17. He studied Arabic and Islamic theology in Saudi Arabia from 2007-13 and most recently earned a master's in Islamic Law from Malaysia. He is married with children.

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