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Taharat » Clearing the male urethra of urine (istibrāʾ) → ← Taharat » Laws relating to the different types of water

Taharat » Laws relating to emptying the bowels and the bladder

Ruling 53. It is obligatory (wājib) for one to cover his private parts when emptying his bowels and/or bladder, and at other times, from people who are mukallaf(1) even if they are his maḥram(2) like his mother and sister. Similarly, it is obligatory for one to cover his private parts from an insane person and from a child who is mumayyiz, i.e. someone who is able to discern between right and wrong. However, it is not necessary for a husband and wife to cover their private parts from each other.

Ruling 54. It is not necessary for one to cover his private parts with a particular object, and if, for example, he covers his private parts with his hand, it will suffice.

Ruling 55. Based on obligatory precaution, when one is emptying his bowels and/or bladder, neither the front of the body – i.e. the stomach and chest – nor the back must face qibla(3)

Ruling 56. When one is emptying his bowels and/or bladder, if the front or back of his body faces qibla and he turns his private parts away from qibla, it will not suffice. Furthermore, the obligatory precaution is that when one is emptying his bowels and/or bladder, he must not sit in a way that his private parts face qibla, nor must he sit in a way that his private parts face in the direction that is directly opposite qibla(4).

Ruling 57. The recommended precaution (al-iḥtiyāṭ al-mustaḥabb) is that the front or back of one’s body should not face qibla while performing istibrā(5) – the laws (aḥkām) of which will be mentioned later – nor while purifying the urinary outlet and the anus.

Ruling 58. If a person is obliged to face his front or back to qibla so that someone who is not his maḥram does not see him, then based on obligatory precaution he must sit with his back facing qibla.

Ruling 59. The recommended precaution is that a child should not be made to sit in a way that his front or back faces qibla when he is emptying his bowels and/or bladder.

Ruling 60. It is unlawful (ḥarām) for one to empty his bowels and/or bladder in four places:

1.
in dead-end alleys without the owner’s consent. The same applies to public alleys and roads in the event that it causes harm to pedestrians;
2. on the property of someone who has not given his consent for one to empty his bowels and/or bladder on it;
3. in a place that is a charitable endowment (waqf) for use by particular groups, such as some schools;
4. on the graves of believers, whether it is disrespectful to them or not, except if the land is al-mubāḥāt al-aṣliyyah.(6) The same applies to any place where emptying one’s bowels and/or bladder causes dishonour to one of the sacred things of the religion or faith.

Ruling 61. In three cases, the anus can be purified with water only:(7)

1.
another impurity like blood comes out with the faeces;
2. an external impurity comes into contact with the anus, except if urine comes into contact with the anus in the case of women;
3. if the area around the anus has become impure by an amount that is more than usual.

In cases other than these three, the anus can be purified with water, or, in accordance with the instructions that will be mentioned later, it can be purified with cloth, stone, or a similar thing, although it is better to wash it with water.

Ruling 62. The urinary outlet does not become pure with anything other than water and washing it once is sufficient, although the recommended precaution is that it should be washed twice, and it is even better to wash it three times.

Ruling 63. If the anus is washed with water, no trace of faeces must remain on it. However, there is no problem if the colour and smell remain. And if after the first time it is washed no particle of faeces remains, it is not necessary to wash it again.

Ruling 64. The anus can be purified with stone, a clod of earth, cloth, or a similar thing if they are dry and pure; and there is no problem if they have a little moisture that does not wet the outlet.

Ruling 65. It suffices if the anus is completely purified once with stone, a clod of earth, or cloth. However, it is better to purify it three times by using three pieces; and if it does not become purified after three times, one must keep trying to purify it until it becomes completely purified. However, there is no problem if traces remain that are not normally removed except by washing.

Ruling 66. It is unlawful to purify the anus with things that must be respected, such as paper on which the name of Allah and the Prophets are written. There is no problem in purifying the anus with a bone or with dung.

Ruling 67. If a person doubts whether or not he has purified the anus or urinary outlet, it is necessary that he purifies it even if he habitually purifies it immediately after emptying his bowels and/or bladder.

Ruling 68. If after performing prayers (ṣalāh) one doubts whether or not he had purified the anus or urinary outlet before performing prayers, the prayers that he performed are valid but he must purify the anus or urinary outlet for the next prayer.

(1) A mukallaf is someone who is legally obliged to fulfil religious duties.
(2) A maḥram is a person whom one is never permitted to marry on account of being related to them in a particular way; for example, by being their parent or sibling.
(3) Qibla is the direction towards the Kaʿbah in Mecca.
(4) Istibrāʾ here refers to the process of clearing the male urethra after urinating.
(5) This is property that does not belong to anyone in particular and can be used by people in general.
(6) Rulings 61–68 concern a matter that is referred to in Islamic law as ‘istinjāʾ’, i.e. purification of the anus and the urinary outlet.
Taharat » Clearing the male urethra of urine (istibrāʾ) → ← Taharat » Laws relating to the different types of water
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