Etiquettes of relieving oneself from urine and faeces, from an Islamic and Health perspective.
*Please feel free to request for evidence for any statement contained in this post.
1. Retention for long period.
●It is not advised to retain urine in your bladder for long periods on end. This could lead to bacteria accumulation predisposing you to Urinary Tract Infection and other possible complications to your bladder.
●Retaining faeces for extended periods when it becomes a habit could cause constipation as the faecal matter is further dehydrated the more it stays in your GIT.
●It is also advised that a person relieves himself of urine and faeces before observing salat if he feels pressed for it. Otherwise, praying in such a state may affect the perfection of his salat. Pee and poo when you feel pressed, or as soon as you are able to.
2. The place
●Find a place that offers the most screening of your aura (nakedness) from others while you relieve yourself of the inconvenience. A man’s aura is all that exists between his navel and his knee, while the whole body of a woman is her aura except her hands and face. If any of these will be visible while at it, then the place is inappropriate to relieve oneself. This makes most urinals in its typical open design inappropriate for relieving oneself.
●Care should be taken to pick a place or spot where the urine will not splash back at you while at it either because of the nature of the surface or your posture while urinating. This (letting urine splash back at you) is from the reasons people get punished in the grave as understood from the statement of the Rasul peace be upon him.
●The place can be open or enclosed.
▪︎Avoid places where the urine or feces will constitute inconvenience or health hazard to others, such as places for rest (clearings under trees and shades), roads, footpaths and walkways, stagnant water (especially wherein people have their bath), elevated points of rivers where people fetch water from the downstream for domestic purpose etc. It should be noted that open defecation where situated within human habitation is a potential public health hazard as it could he a source of communicable diseases since flies can perch on them and transfer diseases from them to homes when they land on foods. If the standard of living is such that people do not have access to built conveniences, then restrooms should be situated outside the community and designated as such, as was the practice during the time of the Rasul.
▪︎While relieving yourself in an open space, do not face the qiblah or turn your back to it, be it urine or faeces. Rather, turn your left or right side to the qiblah.
▪︎there is no harm if you face the qiblah or turn your back to it if it is in an enclosure.
▪︎say “(Bismillāh) Allāhumma innē a’ūdhu bika minal Khubthi wal khabā’ith” while entering, and “Gufrānak” while exiting. This should be said whether it is an open space or enclosed. You should enter with your left feet and step out with your right.
▪︎maintain proper hygiene during and after toilet use. It is rude and uncivilised to leave your filth for others to see. FLUSH THE TOILET AFTER USE. Check for faecal stains on the inside of the toilet and wash with the brush provided for such purpose. Others should be safe from your actions, not disgusted.
▪︎When using public toilets, women should wipe toilet seats with antiseptic wipes (where available) and drop some tissue folds inside the toilet bowl to prevent splashing back of water on genitals. If available , add a disinfectant to the bowl and flush before use. Cleaning from faeces should be front to back (away from the genitals). All these are to prevent accidental introducion of pathogens into the delicate genital tract.
●Wash hands with soap under the tap for at least 20 seconds after toilet use. Avoid reinfecting your clean hands with the tap head/control.
3. Relieving yourself
●Choose a posture that offers the easiest means of claring your bladder and bowels. Islamically, you (male) can urinate while squatting or standing as long as your aura will be protected, and urine wouldn’t splash back at you. Squatting is the best posture for defecating. Unfortunately, we can’t do this in the most common WCs available. However, you can try leaning forward, placing your elbows and forearms on your thighs rather than sitting upright.
●Allow the stream of urine to exit effortlessly and wait patiently for the last drop, which may be some interval after the end of the main stream. Haste could lead to some persons peeing in their pants as the last stream may come seconds after the false end. The consequence for a Muslim is unthinkable! It means every salat you will offer afterwards will be invalid until you clean yourself properly from it, this coupled with the threat of punishment in the grave due to spiling yourself with urine in that manner. ALWAYS WAIT PATIENTLY TILL YOU ARE COMPLETELY DONE, even if you will miss the salat for it.
•If you urinate while standing through your zipper do make sure the edges of your underwear (boxer) or even the trouser itself isn’t constricting your urethra obstructing the flow of urine. This could cause a false end of the stream of urine only to continue when you return your penis into your underwear. It is best if you unbutton the trouser or ensure your genitals are fully extended out of your trousers with no obstruction from any quarters before you commence.
●Due to their anatomy, standing is not advised for women while urinating due to the increased chance of soiling their clothings. However, emergencies may warrant such, such as post child birth or post-surgeries where squatting is medically not advised.
●Clean the genitals and anal area properly with water after relieving yourself. For the males, it is sufficient to wash the entire head of the penis and wherever the urine touches. For the woman, it is required to wash the entire external genitalia or wherever the urine may have touched.
●Cleaning can also be done with items like stones, sticks, or even tissue. In this case, the affected place (genital or anus) must be cleaned an odd number of times until the place is completely free of the impurity (urine or faeces). Each of these times, use both faces or sides of the object (using both sides of one stone, for instance, counts as one). It is encouraged as part of cleanliness (but not mandatory) to clean with water when available after using sticks and stones to clean yourself.
●If urine or faeces falls on clothings accidentally, then it must be washed off till there is no trace of it left. Otherwise, it will be impure for salat.
و فوق كل ذي علم عليم