Fiqh al-Sunnah: Urinating while Standing or in a shower; Combing daily

Another installment of our tour of the Sunnah

Imam al-Tirmidhi said:

8 – باب مَا جَاءَ فِي النَّهْىِ عَنِ الْبَوْلِ قَائِمًا

Chapter: What has come of prohibition of urinating while standing

حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ حُجْرٍ، أَخْبَرَنَا شَرِيكٌ، عَنِ الْمِقْدَامِ بْنِ شُرَيْحٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ،

Aishah said:

“Whoever tells you that the Prophet would urinate while standing; then do not believe him. He would not urinate except while squatting.” [hasan]

In other versions, she said he never urinated standing ever since the Quran was revealed.

Some narrations say the Prophet ﷺ told Umar never to stand while urinating [weak due to an abandoned narrator], but the more authentic ones simply say that Umar said he never stood for urinating ever since he accepted Islam.

Ibn Mas`ud said: it is from coarseness [الجفاء] to urinate while standing.

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ مَنْ حَدَّثَكُمْ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ ﷺ كَانَ يَبُولُ قَائِمًا فَلاَ تُصَدِّقُوهُ مَا كَانَ يَبُولُ إِلاَّ قَاعِدًا ‏.

قَالَ وَفِي الْبَابِ عَنْ عُمَرَ وَبُرَيْدَةَ وَعَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ حَسَنَةَ ‏.‏

قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى حَدِيثُ عَائِشَةَ أَحْسَنُ شَيْءٍ فِي هَذَا الْبَابِ وَأَصَحُّ ‏.‏

وَحَدِيثُ عُمَرَ إِنَّمَا رُوِيَ مِنْ حَدِيثِ عَبْدِ الْكَرِيمِ بْنِ أَبِي الْمُخَارِقِ عَنْ نَافِعٍ عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ عَنْ عُمَرَ قَالَ رَآنِي النَّبِيُّ ﷺ وَأَنَا أَبُولُ قَائِمًا فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ يَا عُمَرُ لاَ تَبُلْ قَائِمًا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَمَا بُلْتُ قَائِمًا بَعْدُ ‏.‏

قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى وَإِنَّمَا رَفَعَ هَذَا الْحَدِيثَ عَبْدُ الْكَرِيمِ بْنُ أَبِي الْمُخَارِقِ وَهُوَ ضَعِيفٌ عِنْدَ أَهْلِ الْحَدِيثِ ضَعَّفَهُ أَيُّوبُ السَّخْتِيَانِيُّ وَتَكَلَّمَ فِيهِ‏.‏ وَرَوَى عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ عَنْ نَافِعٍ عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ قَالَ قَالَ عُمَرُ رضى الله عنه مَا بُلْتُ قَائِمًا مُنْذُ أَسْلَمْتُ.‏ وَهَذَا أَصَحُّ مِنْ حَدِيثِ عَبْدِ الْكَرِيمِ وَحَدِيثُ بُرَيْدَةَ فِي هَذَا غَيْرُ مَحْفُوظٍ‏.‏ وَمَعْنَى النَّهْىِ عَنِ الْبَوْلِ قَائِمًا عَلَى التَّأْدِيبِ لاَ عَلَى التَّحْرِيمِ‏.‏ وَقَدْ رُوِيَ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ قَالَ إِنَّ مِنَ الْجَفَاءِ أَنْ تَبُولَ وَأَنْتَ قَائِمٌ.

9 – باب الرُّخْصَةِ فِي ذَلِكَ

Chapter: Permission for that

حَدَّثَنَا هَنَّادٌ، حَدَّثَنَا وَكِيعٌ، عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ، عَنْ أَبِي وَائِلٍ،

Hudhaifah narrated:

“Allah’s Messenger [called me “Hudhaifa! Cover me” and he — Ṭabarānī] came to a community compost, so he urinated on it while standing. I brought him water. Then I left to be away from him, but he [motioned for me – sahihain] until I was behind him. So he performed ablution and wiped over his khuffs.” [Sahih, in the 6 books]

Wakee’ said: this is the most authentic narration concerning wiping over foot coverings.

عَنْ حُذَيْفَةَ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ ﷺ أَتَى سُبَاطَةَ قَوْمٍ فَبَالَ عَلَيْهَا قَائِمًا فَأَتَيْتُهُ بِوَضُوءٍ فَذَهَبْتُ لأَتَأَخَّرَ عَنْهُ فَدَعَانِي حَتَّى كُنْتُ عِنْدَ عَقِبَيْهِ فَتَوَضَّأَ وَمَسَحَ عَلَى خُفَّيْهِ ‏.‏

قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى وَسَمِعْتُ الْجَارُودَ يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ وَكِيعًا يُحَدِّثُ بِهَذَا الْحَدِيثِ عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ.‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ وَكِيعٌ هَذَا أَصَحُّ حَدِيثٍ رُوِيَ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ فِي الْمَسْحِ‏.‏ وَسَمِعْتُ أَبَا عَمَّارٍ الْحُسَيْنَ بْنَ حُرَيْثٍ يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ وَكِيعًا فَذَكَرَ نَحْوَهُ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى وَهَكَذَا رَوَى مَنْصُورٌ وَعُبَيْدَةُ الضَّبِّيُّ عَنْ أَبِي وَائِلٍ عَنْ حُذَيْفَةَ مِثْلَ رِوَايَةِ الأَعْمَشِ.‏ وَرَوَى حَمَّادُ بْنُ أَبِي سُلَيْمَانَ وَعَاصِمُ بْنُ بَهْدَلَةَ عَنْ أَبِي وَائِلٍ عَنِ الْمُغِيرَةِ بْنِ شُعْبَةَ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ وَحَدِيثُ أَبِي وَائِلٍ عَنْ حُذَيْفَةَ أَصَحُّ‏.‏

وَقَدْ رَخَّصَ قَوْمٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ فِي الْبَوْلِ قَائِمًا.‏

قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى وَعَبِيدَةُ بْنُ عَمْرٍو السَّلْمَانِيُّ رَوَى عَنْهُ إِبْرَاهِيمُ النَّخَعِيُّ.‏ وَعَبِيدَةُ مِنْ كِبَارِ التَّابِعِينَ يُرْوَى عَنْ عَبِيدَةَ أَنَّهُ قَالَ أَسْلَمْتُ قَبْلَ وَفَاةِ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ بِسَنَتَيْنِ .‏ وَعُبَيْدَةُ الضَّبِّيُّ صَاحِبُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ هُوَ عُبَيْدَةُ بْنُ مُعَتِّبٍ الضَّبِّيُّ وَيُكْنَى أَبَا عَبْدِ الْكَرِيمِ ‏.

17 – باب مَا جَاءَ فِي كَرَاهِيَةِ الْبَوْلِ فِي الْمُغْتَسَلِ

Subject: what has come of dislike to urinate in a bathing place

حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ حُجْرٍ، وَأَحْمَدُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ مُوسَى، مَرْدَوَيْهِ قَالاَ أَخْبَرَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ الْمُبَارَكِ، عَنْ مَعْمَرٍ، عَنْ أَشْعَثَ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، عَنِ الْحَسَنِ،

Abdullah bin Mughaffal narrated that:

the Prophet prohibited that a man should urinate in his bathing area. And he said: “Most whispering is from it.” [recorded by the Four, disputed authenticity, authentic isnad; and Ahmad confirmed that al-Hasan heard from the companion.]

 

There are narrations on this topic from “a man” from among the Companions of the Prophet.

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مُغَفَّلٍ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ ﷺ نَهَى أَنْ يَبُولَ الرَّجُلُ فِي مُسْتَحَمِّهِ ‏.‏ وَقَالَ ‏ “‏ إِنَّ عَامَّةَ الْوَسْوَاسِ مِنْهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

قَالَ وَفِي الْبَابِ عَنْ رَجُلٍ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ‏.‏

قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ غَرِيبٌ لاَ نَعْرِفُهُ مَرْفُوعًا إِلاَّ مِنْ حَدِيثِ أَشْعَثَ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ وَيُقَالُ لَهُ أَشْعَثُ الأَعْمَى‏.‏

وَقَدْ كَرِهَ قَوْمٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ الْبَوْلَ فِي الْمُغْتَسَلِ وَقَالُوا عَامَّةُ الْوَسْوَاسِ مِنْهُ.‏ وَرَخَّصَ فِيهِ بَعْضُ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ مِنْهُمُ ابْنُ سِيرِينَ وَقِيلَ لَهُ إِنَّهُ يُقَالُ إِنَّ عَامَّةَ الْوَسْوَاسِ مِنْهُ فَقَالَ رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ‏.‏ وَقَالَ ابْنُ الْمُبَارَكِ قَدْ وُسِّعَ فِي الْبَوْلِ فِي الْمُغْتَسَلِ إِذَا جَرَى فِيهِ الْمَاءُ‏.‏

قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى حَدَّثَنَا بِذَلِكَ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ عَبْدَةَ الآمُلِيُّ عَنْ حِبَّانَ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ الْمُبَارَكِ ‏.

 

These are several narrations from three chapters, not consecutive, I’ve picked them due to their relation to each other, each one’s ruling primarily based on avoiding the transference of impurities.

 

Vocabulary [شرح الغريب]

Wiswās [الوسواس] – the devil’s whisperings to the hearts of humans to draw them away from Allah.

 

Narrations on topic

 

Al-Bazzaar recorded with an authentic chain from Aamir ibn al-Husaib, although classified by some as ghair mafūẓ,

حَدَّثَنَا نَصْرُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ ، قَالَ : أنا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ دَاوُدَ ، قَالَ : نا سَعِيدُ بْنُ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ ، قَالَ : نا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ بُرَيْدَةَ ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ، قَالَ : ثَلاثٌ مِنَ الْجَفَاءِ : أَنْ يَبُولَ الرَّجُلُ قَائِمًا ، أَوْ يَمْسَحَ جَبْهَتَهُ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَفْرَغَ مِنْ صَلاتِهِ ، أَوْ يَنْفُخَ فِي سُجُودِهِ . وَهَذَا الْحَدِيثُ لا نَعْلَمُ أَحَدًا رَوَاهُ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ بُرَيْدَةَ ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ إِلا سَعِيدَ بْنَ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ . وَرَوَاهُ عَنْ سَعِيدِ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ دَاوُدَ ، وَعَبْدُ الْوَاحِدِ بْنُ وَاصِلٍ ، وَلا نَعْلَمُ رَوَاهُ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ إِلا نَصْرُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ .

“Three are from coarseness: for a man to urinate standing, to wipe one’s forehead before leaving the salaah, and to blow/inflate while in prostration.”

Al-jafaa’ may normally mean being coarse or rough, but it is also used to describe leaving off the Sunnah.

Ibn Maajah documented from Jaabir that the Prophet ﷺ prohibited urinating while standing, however that narration contains an abandoned transmitter (underlined). After mentioning that hadeeth, ibn Maajah relates a discussion between Sufyan al-Thawry and someone else. Sufyan mentioned the hadeeth of Aaishah and another muhaddith said that a man might be more aware of the Prophet’s action here than her. Ibn Maajah further said related someone else saying that the Arabs had a habit of urinating while standing, and that the narration of Abdul-Rahman ibn Hasana has, “then he squatted to urinate in the way that a woman does.”

حَدَّثَنَا يَحْيَى بْنُ الْفَضْلِ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَامِرٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَدِيُّ بْنُ الْفَضْلِ، عَنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ الْحَكَمِ، عَنْ أَبِي نَضْرَةَ، عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، قَالَ نَهَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ أَنْ يَبُولَ قَائِمًا.‏ سَمِعْتُ مُحَمَّدَ بْنَ يَزِيدَ أَبَا عَبْدِ اللَّهِ يَقُولُ سَمِعْتُ أَحْمَدَ بْنَ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ الْمَخْزُومِيَّ يَقُولُ قَالَ سُفْيَانُ الثَّوْرِيُّ – فِي حَدِيثِ عَائِشَةَ أَنَا رَأَيْتُهُ يَبُولُ قَاعِدًا – قَالَ الرَّجُلُ أَعْلَمُ بِهَذَا مِنْهَا.‏ قَالَ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ كَانَ مِنْ شَأْنِ الْعَرَبِ الْبَوْلُ قَائِمًا أَلاَ تَرَاهُ فِي حَدِيثِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ ابْنِ حَسَنَةَ يَقُولُ قَعَدَ يَبُولُ كَمَا تَبُولُ الْمَرْأَةُ ‏.

Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani said that Umar, Ali and Zaid ibn Thabit all have been witnessed urinating while standing.

As for urinating in the place of bathing, Abu Dawud collected a sahih hadeeth:

حَدَّثَنَا أَحْمَدُ بْنُ يُونُسَ، حَدَّثَنَا زُهَيْرٌ، عَنْ دَاوُدَ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، عَنْ حُمَيْدٍ الْحِمْيَرِيِّ، – وَهُوَ ابْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ – قَالَ لَقِيتُ رَجُلاً صَحِبَ النَّبِيَّ ﷺ كَمَا صَحِبَهُ أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ نَهَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ أَنْ يَمْتَشِطَ أَحَدُنَا كُلَّ يَوْمٍ أَوْ يَبُولَ فِي مُغْتَسَلِهِ ‏.

Humayd al-Himyari said: I met a man (Companion of the Prophet) who remained in the company of the Prophet (ﷺ) just as AbuHurayrah remained in his company. He then added: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) forbade that anyone amongst us should comb (his hair) every day or urinate in the place where he takes a bath [or for a man to perform Ghusl using the leftover water of a women, or a woman to perform Ghusl using the leftover water of a man – they should scoop it out together. – al-Nasa’i added]

 

Towards better understanding these narrations…

Urinating while standing?

Imam al-Tirmidhi summarizes the ruling by saying that any prohibition to urinate while standing is one of etiquette and not of forbiddance.

It’s a good and important habit Muslim men should become accustomed to, as the Prophet ﷺ was accustomed to it and observed that habit in the comfort of his home, where he could have been more flexible. Doing otherwise appears to be showy and inconsiderate, since it is loud, and makes clean-up of self, toilet and bathroom difficult due to ricochet. Squatting is also, most importantly, more private and modest. By practicing modesty, it will increase our modesty.

So why then in most masajid are there frightening stop signs when you enter the stall, Stop! It is against the Sunnah to urinate while standing! Not only is the sign facing away from whoever could really benefit from it, since I’ve only seen it on the door, facing someone already sitting, but it would make a newcomer, convert or non-Muslim guest, feel uncomfortable. Are the Muslims going to police how I pee? The observation of Aaishah combined with the weak narrations of Umar and Jābir have become more well-known than other incidents that where the Prophet ﷺ clarified the permissibility of occasionally going while standing, with or without pressing need.

The Hanafi school thus took the position that urinating while standing was disliked, and sought various excuses for the Prophet’s action. For that reason, there is no difference of opinion among the ulama’ that there is no blame on anyone who urinates while standing due to a physical inability or hardship to do so while sitting [al-Kuwaitiyah 29/241-3].

Al-Hafiz ibn Hajr said, “we’ve clarified that this [incident of Hudhaifah] happened in Medinah, so that contains a rebuke of what she negated that it only happened before the revelation of the Quran; and it has been confirmed from Umar, Ali, Zaid ibn Thabit and others that they urinated standing; so it indicated permissibility without any dislike if one is safe from bounce-back; and there is no authentic hadeeth forbidding urinating while standing.”

The Arab used to believe that urinating while standing healed back pain. Al-Hakim and al-Baihaqi narrated that Abu Hurairah said the Prophet ﷺ only urinated standing due to a wound on the inside of his knee. However, al-Daraqutni and al-Baihaqi declared that narration weak, plus that excuse would not have prevented him from doing the same in Aaishah’s presence.

Ibn al-Arabi al-Maliki, while admitting that the concession was legislated, said it is more appropriate to prohibit urinating while standing at this time since it has become synonymous with non-Muslim habits. Al-Mubarakfuri disagreed. Allah knows best.

Due to these opinions from the Hanafis, ibn al-Arabi, and also the various ahadeeth that suggest prohibition–or directly individual companions towards new commands that they were ready for–I believe urinating while standing to be khilaaf al-awla against best practices, at the very least, and disliked makrooh against the Sunnah at worst, but not haraam.

 

Urinating in the place of bathing

Al-Shawkānī said that since the Prophet ﷺ reasoned it with staying away from whisperings, that means the prohibition is one of dislike, and not forbiddance. If this narration is authentic, then most scholars thought the whispering was related to whether or not one was pure from najāsah bounce-back, and nothing else.

Most scholars, from the successors and those afterwards, allowed urinating in any bath place if water was going to run over it and there was a place for it to go, like a drain, so that the urine would not stagnate in one spot and create a stench. For most people nowadays, this might only take place in a tub while they’re showering, and not in a public bath that the Romans had and some of the Sahabah encountered, so they are washing themselves anyway, and fear of najāsah on them is null.

In American culture it is strongly detestable and maybe even punishable [like having a gym membership revoked or getting a class detention] to urinate in an open shower like a gym, country club or pool shower room. That’s one positive aspect about American culture.

As for where all the water goes, should someone feel the temptation to relieve themselves in the shower, that may depend on the building, but usually the toilet and shower water will both go to the same place, whether a septic tank or sewers.

 

Combing every day?

The translator of al-Nasa’I said this is likely to prevent the Muslims from making their appearance a major concern. Allah loves beauty, but does not love that you obsess over it or become vain over it, showy and perfectionist, which could lead to looking down on others and following fashion trends that could be unhealthy, and overall promoting a culture where beauty is supreme, which leads to hypocrisy, while we should attend to the beauty of our hearts more and break the pathways to arrogance. We should recognize that much of our beauty is what we have to do for ourselves, and that our natural selves are either flawed without the make-up and combing—thus humbling ourselves. Lest we become like…

{وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَهُمْ تُعْجِبُكَ أَجْسَامُهُمْ ۖ … كَأَنَّهُمْ خُشُبٌ مُّسَنَّدَةٌ ۖ …} ﴿٤﴾ سورة المنافقون

And if you saw them, their bodies would please you… it is as if they’re propped up blocks of wood.

Another perspective is that our natural beauty is indeed worth praising Allah for, and not being ungrateful for and thinking we have to cover up the “blemishes” that no one else notices except for the extremely critical.

Note that this guideline is for combing only, and to a reasonable extent. The Prophet ﷺ encouraged toothstick usage constantly and detested unpleasant smells.

 

Alhamdulillah, may Allah guide us to better understanding and practice.

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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