Islamic toilet etiquette

I half-heard an interview with a young Muslim woman on Today FM a few minutes ago and decided to find out for myself what Muslims really think of squat toilets. The first link is this Wikipedia page on the subject which states,

The Islamic faith has particular rules regarding personal hygiene when going to the toilet. This code is known as Qadaahul Haajah [1] and is extremely prescriptive. The rules were established during times before the invention of toilet paper or toilet seats. In many parts of the Muslim World, squat toilets are the norm and toilet paper remains rare and its use a matter of dispute.

It should be borne in mind that none of the following points is contained within the Koran and all are derived from hadith sources and the collected opinions of people throughout history. The Koran is silent on any of the issues below including issues of sidedness such as whether one uses the left or right hand, order of stepping into or out of toilet areas, or which foot stress is placed upon. The only issue which it does touch upon in relation to toileting, is the one of washing one’s hands especially following going to the toilet which is mentioned in verse 5:6 of the Koran.

I recall from the interview Ray D’Arcy asked the woman if the Koran said that squat toilets should be used. She artfully dodged the question by replying that Muslims use squat toilets all over the world, while also implying that it was in the Koran if I remember correctly.

As Islam is now the third largest religion in Ireland I think the sales of new toilets might be affected by future trends..

25 thoughts on “Islamic toilet etiquette

  1. BTW – why do I feel slightly uneasy when even thinking about discussing anything related to Islam? I wouldn’t bat an eyelid at pointing out the strange customs of the Catholic Church or Church of Ireland.

  2. LOL this have nothing to do with religion, you can use whatever you want. This is more about culture in arab countries, if someone used squat toilet during all his life why should he change to something else ?

    Islam teach how to be clean after, by washing … etc. Personally I don’t feel comfortable with squat things, even that I got one at home (but rarely use it).

    And btw someone told me once that squat toilets are much better and gave me a scientific explanation of the position and so on but I forgot it. Maybe it’s just toilet marketing ? lol what a topic ! 🙂

  3. It’s not very hygenical to put ur ass on a cover on which thousands of people put,in the WCs especially in the shopping centers, soccer fields.

    Muslims like Ottomans use squat toilets now for 1000 years. But, only two hundred years ago, no one know toilet and hygen in Europe included Ireland, U.K. Even, Versailles Palace hadn’t toilets when it was made

  4. Thanks for the feedback guys! It’s a different culture to what I’m used to, but that doesn’t make it bad or good either.
    And just because it was used for 1000 years doesn’t mean that it should still be used. Ah yes, I remember travelling through O’Hare Airport in Chicago and they had these plastic toilet seat covers that would change when a button was pressed or a hand waved over it.
    Kral – I totally agree with you about the hygene aspect of sitting on a toilet that many others may have sat on. Use toilet paper to cover the seat next time you’re caught out and worried about health issues!

  5. More specifically. Modern muslim bathrooms have a hand held water hose / shower thing attached to or near the toilet. Sort of a bidet.

  6. I found a translation on the verse 5:6, it doesn’t tell about going to the toilet. In stead, it talks about when & how to perform ablution.

    Al-Ma’idah (The Table Spread)

    5:6 O YOU who have attained to faith! When you are about to pray, wash your face, and your hands and arms up to the elbows, and pass your [wet] hands lightly over your head, and [wash] your feet up to the ankles. And if you are in a state requiring total ablution, purify yourselves. But if you are ill, or are travelling, or have just satisfied a want of nature, or have cohabited with a woman, and can find no water-then take resort to pure dust, passing therewith lightly over your face and your hands…

    Btw, I do use both toilets, the squat toilet for urinating and the other toilet for emptying my stomach 🙂

  7. Lol, you research the most random thing’s donncha 🙂

    The low down with toilet’s is now what toilet you use rather how you clean your self afterward’s that matters. Unlike Toilet paper we use water, mini hose type things, etc giving me a much more clean feeling.

    When even i have to use a school bathroom I end up using the TP but I don’t feel clean using tp.

  8. Has anyone heard of cleaning ritual that involves a gardening jug such that you would use to water flowers? My curiosity stems from a muslim gent that goes into the bath room with the jug. After that I don’t know what he is doing…lol whats the deal?

  9. The garden jug holds water which is used to rinse the Be-hind after one has done their doings 🙂
    The Islamic way the most hygienic way of visiting the toilet ( contrary to popular belief )
    Islam is a complete way of life and not like ( Church on Sunday scenario )

  10. That is very interesting. This also looks like a good place to ask my question, haven’t been able to find a resource for this. A friend, a personal driver for a Pakistani man, says he is forbidden to use the bathroom in the family house. I thought it was rude and untrue. He says it is because of their culture. Anyone know about this? Thankyou!

  11. i have a woman that i work with and she leaves a cup behind the toilet in our restroom and was told she used it to clean herself after using the restroom not sure what nationality she is but heard it was part of her culture my question is how safe is this to fellow coworkers if she isn’t washing her hands after

    1. Of course she is washing her hands afterwards. You take the garden watering can and pour the water down behind you and use your left hand to clean everything, with the water running….. this is very clean and you can tell it is a teaching of truth….. no waste material is left and your under garments do not end up with any stains on them. This is more healthy for the skin as waste has a lot of Ph and is not good to remain on skin. Afterwards you use soap and water and wash your hands very throughly. At the end of the day washroom ettiquette is extremely important. Unfortunately from growing up in North America and reverting to Islam in my mid 30s I recognize that unfortunately from my personal observance, over 50% of men do not wash their hands in North America after using the washroom. That is a concern. It would be very very rare to see a Muslim do that. A practicing Muslim would be concerned to be ready for prayer at any time therfore must be in a state of ritual purity.

      1. I’ve got it drilled into my son that he has to wash his hands after being to the toilet. I wish more people were more observant of basic hygiene, religion or not.

        What’s laughable is seeing a well dressed man leave the toilet in a good restaurant without washing his hands. Actually, not laughable. Disgusting.

        1. I was quite impressed after I became Muslim to realize that males sit down to urinate. Doesn’t it make sense…. the washroom floor is kept clean and you are not cleaning up urination all the time and stepping in it. We should always analyze our ways and decide what is truth and what is culture. There are many cultural nuances in the Islamic world that are not Islamic and these should change as well…. Investigate from the sources and you will find God is One

          1. Will, what if he is using a urinal?
            Of all the things this invisible friend in the sky could have told us, why stuff about what foot to enter and leave a toilet with? Why is wiping 3 times better than four (it calls for an odd number of wipes)? Wouldn’t something like germ theory have been a lot more useful and saved a lot of lives?
            In my humble opinion, Islam looks a lot more like the word of a man with obsessive compulsive disorder than the perfect word of a god!

  12. Hi Tony. Human beings are habitual creatures. Advertisers are aware of this an spend a huge amount of money establishing habits in our lives. You would be surprised Tony just how much you do out of developed habits since childhood. You have generally become habitually customer to putting your pants on a certain way, brushing your teeth a certain way, green means go red means stop, at school a bell tells you to move to next class, work tells you what you can or can not wear. A lot of our habits in the modern world are pushed forward to serve an agenda to regulate our behavior and also make money from the corporate perspective. At the end of the day a human who chooses to believe that this dimension of 4 is not the only dimension nor is it the end wishes to build “taqwa” (or remembrance) of God at every moment of their lives willingly submits to established behaviors to build a constant reminder of God and to think about a final purpose. Left to our own devices humans are generally self serving. Unfortunately many if not most people who ascribe to many religious teachings of Islam follow simply the form without reflecting on the substance. However if you retain the form you always have chance to eventually reflect while also building remberence of God in others. The cool thing Tony is you, yourself can wipe your bum anyway you like as that is the gift of personal choice. But even in that regard it is likely that if you have a child and they are learning to clean themselves you will instruct a certain methodology to do so. Islam’s methodology incorporates both the physical with the acknowledgement of the spiritual. Since God is Uniquely One (Ahad) an odd number causes us to reflect on ending on a number not equally divisible by 2 ( an remaining an integer without decimal). Hollywood an the Music industry use techniques for behavioral manipulation constantly. Instead of one habit you will here people humming a certain song over and over. Peace Tony!

  13. I recently went to Pakistan for 3 weeks, i never used the water hose before, and at first felt a bit strange not to use tp after using the loo, but bye the end of my first week i was comfortable , and at the end of my holiday i wanted to take the water hose home with me. I felt more clean afterwards. The Muslim Islamic way is far more hygienic…..

  14. It isnt good or bad either way…. for that I agree.. and you only know what you know… but I work in a large organisation and building in the UK.. where we recruit people from many diverse backgrounds and communities…. however… the toilet habits of eastern people cause hygiene issues and damage to toilets… when they leave toilet paper outside of the toilet and not flushed.. and squat on pin fixed toilet seats as if it is a ground level hole toilet and break it… so I disagree that the Muslim Islamic way is more hygienic… if thats how you want to go to the toilet in your home land.. then do that in your home land… if you are in the UK then respect the toilet etiquette of this country… if you prefer your own cultural use of a toilet then refrain from damaging the office toilets and do it your preferred way at home! Either your UK home.. or your Eastern home!

  15. Obviously many of you have put too much thought into using the toilet. Get a life!

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