Q & A
SALAH / PRAYER
Is toilet paper ‘enough’ after using the bathroom, in order for me to be considered ‘pure’ and offer salaah?
Or do I HAVE to wait until I wash with water?
It’s perfectly alright to clean oneself with toilet paper alone, and offer Salaah as long as all the najaasah (impurity) is cleaned.
You don’t have to “wait” or “delay” your salaah until you use water.
The Prophet sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam used to clean himself with stones after using the bathroom and this is called ‘Istijmaar’.
And he Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam did not necessarily use water for cleaning every time he relieved himself.
🍃 He Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam said:
“When any one of you goes and defecates, let him take with him three stones and cleanse himself with them, and that will be sufficient for him.” (Ahmad- saheeh by al-Albaani)
The word “sufficient” used here means it’s enough for achieving purity.
🍃 And he Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam said:
“Whoever does wudoo’, let him rinse his nose, and whoever does istijmaar let him use an odd number.” (al-Bukhaari, Muslim)
🍃Salmaan al-Faarisi radhi Allaahu anhu said:
“Indeed, the Prophet Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam forbade us from facing the Qiblah while defecating or urinating, from wiping (ourselves) using the right hand, wiping with less than three stones, or *wiping with dung and bones.”
🍃 Abu Hurayrah radhi Allaahu anhu reported that he used to carry a vessel for the Prophet Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam to do wudhu and clean himself after answering the call of nature.
Whilst he was following him, he (the Prophet) asked:
“Who is that?”
“I am Abu Hurayrah.”
“Get me some stones I can use to clean myself, but do not bring me any bones or dung.”
So I brought him some stones, carrying them in the hem of my garment, and placed them by his side, then I went away.
When he had finished, I came back and asked him,
“What is wrong with bones and dung?”
“They are the food of the jinn.”
The above Ahaadeeth show the validity of Istijmaar.
And it PROVES that it does not HAVE to be “only” water or stones to clean ourselves.
Rather ANYTHING can be used as long as it’s not bones or dung.
So the conditions for istijmaar are:
* Not to face the qiblah
* Not to use one’s right hand
* To use a minimum of three pebbles
* Not to use bones or dung.
Everything else is permissible.
If ONLY water or stones were supposed to be used for cleaning ourselves after answering the call of nature, then the Prophet sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam would have clearly said so.
Rather he Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam ONLY forbade the use of bone or dung.
That’s why the Ulama say that anything that’s pure like leaves, cloth, and even toilet paper may be used for istijmaar although washing with water is best.
But in case there’s no water or it’s difficult to use it, for some reason, then toilet paper is sufficient to purify oneself and offer prayers.
Just make sure that all the najaasah is removed and that you clean yourself at least three times.
The use of stones or toilet paper or anything else in its place is a rukhsah (allowance or concession) that Allaah has given us out of His Mercy for us.
And Allaah LOVES that we use his concessions whenever we can.
🍃 The Prophet sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam said:
“Allaah likes His concessions (rukhsah) to be taken”
(Ahmad 5832; saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel 564)
🍃We must also remember Allaah’s words in the Qur’aan:
“He has not placed any hardship for you in your religion.”
🍃The Prophet sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam said:
“This religion of ours is easy and simple to practice; if you make it hard upon yourself, you will be defeated by it.
So do not be extremists, but try to be near perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded.”
🍃 Ibn al-Qayyim said:
“There is consensus among the Muslims that it is permissible to do istijmaar using stones both in the winter and in the summer.”
(Ighaathat al-Lahfaan (1/151)
And using tissue or toilet paper is the SAME as using stones or pebbles.
🌷How to do Istijmaar❓
-Use your left hand
– wipe ODD number of times, but not less than three times.
– you can use anything such as toilet paper or pebbles like in the old days;
Or any other material, except bones, dung etc that was prohibited to be used by the Prophet sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam.
🍃 Shaikh ibn Uthaymeen said:
“Istijmaar means to cleanse the front or back passage of urine or stools using stones or something else in their place.
One of the things that may take their place is tissue, but on the condition that one wipes no less than three times.
And one should not use things that are forbidden to be used for istijmaar such as dung and bones, or things that have a kind of sanctity such as food etc.
It is permissible to do istijmaar with or without water. The scholars said, it is better to use both, because that is cleaner.”
So even if you use just toilet paper after using the bathroom you are still ‘clean’ and you can still offer your prayers.
No need to “wait” to ‘wash’ with water later on in order for your Salaah to be valid.
And Allaah knows best.
by Asma bint Shameem