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Hajj and Umrah

Rulings related to relieving one's self - part 1

"...This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion..." [5:3]

“Muhammad sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam had left us in the following state: that there was not even a bird in the sky flapping its wings without his having already imparted to us knowledge about it.”

(Ahmad from Abu Dharr al Ghafaari)

"it was said to him (Salmaan): Your Apostle (may peace be upon him) teaches you about everything, even about excrement. He replied: Yes, he has forbidden us to face the Qibla at the time of excretion or urination, or cleansing with right hand or with less than three pebbles, or with dung or bone."

(Muslim from Salmaan al Faarisi)

Thus the prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam clarified all the issues needed for the muslims to attain success in this life and in the hereafter and clarified this issue specifically so there is no need for excssive shyness in this issue.

Qadhaa ul Haajah

The meaning of Qadhaa is to get over with or become free of something. It also means to judge and fulfill. Haajah means need. Together, these mean relieving one's self. Al Khalaa has a similar meaning.

Al Istinjaa has a similar linguistic meaning but specifically means washing and cleaning after relieving one's self.

Facing the Qiblah or turning your back towards it

Neither facing the Qiblah nor turning one's back towards it whilst relieving one's self is considered impermissible by the majority of scholars.

"When you come to relieve yourself, then do not face the Qiblah nor turn your backs to it, but keep it either on your east or west (meaning right or left)"

(Bukhari from Abu Ayyub)

"When one of you sits to respond to his need, he should neither face the Qiblah, nor have his back towards it."

(Muslim from Abu Hurayrah)

There are two conditions associated with this prohibition:

This is outside in the open.
That there is no barrier between you and the Qiblah.

There are two views of scholars on the case where these conditions are not met:

Abu Haneefah and Sufyaan ath Thawri said that relieving one's self facing or with one's back towards the Qiblah is still impermissible as the hadith are general and the prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam do not say this is only for outside.
The others said that it is permissible to relieve one's self in this way when these conditions are not met due to the actions of the companions. This is the view of Maalik and Ash Shaafi'.

The second view is based on the following narrations and is considered stronger:

"That ibn 'Umar made his camel lie facing the qiblah (between him and the qiblah) and then passed water facing towards it. So I said: O Abu Abdir Rahmaan (ibn Umar), was it not prohibited to do that? He said: Yes, it was only prohibited to do that in an open space. So if there is something between you and the qiblah. It covers you and there is nothing wrong (in doing that)"

(Abu Dawud from Marwaan al Asfar)

"I had to go on the roof of the house of Hafsah and I saw the messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam relieving himself facing Syria and with his back towards the Qiblah"

(Bukhari from ibn 'Umar)

There are some other complex views in this such as:

Abu Haneefah said that it is permissible to have your back towards the Qiblah but not facing it if you are in a building.
Some said if you are in a building and are only passing water, you should not face it. But if you are passing solids, you should not have your back towards it.

A final issue is related to al bayt ul madis as this was the Qiblah before the Ka'bah. Some scholars said it is Makruh to face al bayt ul maqdis (masjid ul aqsa), however there is no proof for this.

Facing the sun or the moon

When someone is outside, should he face the sun or moon when relieving himsef? The scholars mentioned that this should be avoided out of respect for Allah's creation. However, the majority had no problem with having your back towards it.

Passing water while standing

"Anyone who tells you that the messenger of Alah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam urinated standing, then do not believe him"

(At Tirmidhi, ibn Maajah, An Nasaai and Ahmad from 'Aaishah)

The majority considered it disliked at the very least based on this statement. However, the following narration must also be considered:

"The messenger of Allah sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam came to the place of a people and passed water standing"

(Bukhari and Muslim from Hudhayfah)

And this narration is recorded in more authentic and accepted compilations therefore, it's status is higher.

Thus if there is not a need, one should not do this. It is also logical that if one urinates while standing, it is more likely that urine drops on his body/clothes. However, if there is some need (like in the narration where the prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam was in a place where he may not have been aware of the facilities), it is allowed.

Speaking in the toilet

With regards to reciting Qur'aan:

The Maaliki and Hanbali scholars considered this to be haraam.
The Shaafi' scholars and some Hanbali scholars considered it makruh.

With regards to reciting dhikr/tasbeeh that is not from the Qur'aan and any other speech, this is considered disliked. This is based on the following narration:

"A man passed by the prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam whilst he was urinating and gave him salaam. Then the prophet sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam said to him: If you see me in this situation, do not give me salaam and if you do that I will not answer."

(Ibn Maajah from Jaabir)

The Hanafi scholars considered this disliked even if someone is not relieving themselves at the time.
The others considered it permissible for some necessity to speak. However, this should not include any form of dhikr such as saying alhamdulillah or answering the adhaan. Some scholars said they can be said without articulating the words (i.e. answering in the heart). Others added that these things can be done on leaving the toilet.

Another issue related to this is when the toilet and the place where wudhu is done are together, should one say the basmalah when doing wudhu?

Some considered it makruh due to the evidence mentioned above and the fact that you are still in the same place.
Some said it should be done as this is required when doing wudhu and it is a different action completely to the act of relieving one's self so the same rules do not apply.
Others said that you say it in your heart without articulation as this reconciles not pronouncing any form of dhikr in the toilet with the need to say the basmalah before doing wudhu.