Islamic toilet etiquette

The Islamic faith has particular rules regarding personal hygiene when going to the toilet. This code is known as Qadaa' al-Haajah. Eating any food while on the toilet is strictly forbidden.[1][2]

The only issue which the Qur'an mentions is the one of washing one's hands especially following going to the toilet which is mentioned in verse 5:6. Issues of chirality, such as whether one uses the left or right hand, which foot is used to step into or out of toilet areas, are derived from hadith sources.[3]


A Muslim must first find an acceptable place away from standing water, or people's pathways or shade.[4] They are advised that it is better to enter the area with the left foot,[5] facing away from the Qiblah.[1]

While on the toilet, one must remain silent. Talking, answering greetings or greeting others is strongly discouraged.[1] The anus must be washed with water after defecating. Similarly, the penis and vaginal area must be washed with water after urinating. When defecating together, two men cannot converse, nor look at each other's genitals.[6] A man should not touch his genitals with the right hand.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13] The Qur'an suggests that one should wash one's hands after using the toilet, which is discussed in verse 5:6.

When leaving the toilet, one is advised to leave with the right foot,[5] and also say a prayer – "Praise be to Allah who relieved me of the filth and gave me relief."[1] 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").[14]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 Shu'aib, Tajuddin B., "Qadaahul Haajah (Relieving Oneself)", The Prescribed Prayer Made Simple, MSA West Compendium of Muslim Texts, retrieved 2009-03-10
  2. Niamh Horan (April 8, 2007), Surgeons perform delicate operation for Muslims, Irish Independent
  3. Sachiko Murata (1992), "ch. 3 The Two Hands of God", The Tao of Islam, ISBN 978-0-7914-0913-8
  4. Narrated by Abu Hurairah and collected in Sahih Muslim (Book 002, Number 0516
  5. 1 2 Narrated by Anas bin Malik and collected in Sahih al-Bukhari (Volume 1, Book 4, Number 144) and Sahih Muslim (Book 003, Number 729)
  6. Sunaan ibn Majah, 1.342
  7. Sunaan Abu Dawud, 1.1.0031
  8. Mishkat, 1.185
  9. Mishkat, 1.183
  10. Sunaan Nasai, 1.24, 25
  11. Sahih Muslim, 2.0512
  12. Sahih Bukhari, 1.4.156
  13. "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)
  14. Hadith of Bukhari: Volumes I, II, III & IV. 1944. P.39. Hadith 1:144.

External links

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