Q & A Wudu' and Purity

Q & A: “Using pubic toilets…”



Q. Can we use the public toilets that only have toilet paper?


The toilets here in London of course do not have facilities that make cleansing easy and efficient. Indeed, it is not the norm here in the West to wash the rear area after going to the toilet. If after relieving oneself one should clean the effected area by either 1) washing the area (assisted with any material like toilet paper) or 2) using only toilet paper. Ideal will be to use toilet paper and water together and the least ideal would be to use only toilet paper. However, anyone of these modes of cleaning the affected area will fulfil the requirement of the sunna of istinja’ (albeit with varying grades of reward) and does not affect the validity of the Prayer, i.e. one will still be considered ritually pure (tahir) if say only tissue was used to clean the area. This is the case if the size of impurity around the affected area is less than a coin.

In the legal commentary al-Lubab (‘The Essence’) of the classical Hanafi manual of law (fiqh) Mukhtasar of Imam al-Quduri, Imam al-Ghunaymi, states:

“And it is stated in the Lubab: and performing al-istinja’ is sunna mu’akkada for men and women.” Using stones or anything in place of it will suffice […] one wipes it i.e. the area until it is cleaned because the aim is to be clean […] if the filth exceeds its orifice then only water may be used…”[1]

قال في اللباب: ( والاستنجاء سنة ) مؤكدة للرجال والنساء، ( يجزئ فيه ) لإقامة السنة ( الحجر وما قام مقامه ) من كل عين طاهرة قالعة غير محترمة ولا متقومة كمدر ( يمسحه ) أي: المخرج ( حتى ينقيه )، لأن المقصود هو الإنقاء ، فيعتبر ما هو المقصود … ( وبعد أسطر ) … ( فإن تجاوزت النجاسة مخرجها ) وكان المتجاوز بانفراده – لسقوط اعتبار ذلك الموضع – أكثر من الدرهم ( لم يجز فيه ) أي: في طهارته ( إلا الماء )، أو المائع، ولا يطهر بالحجر ، لأنه من باب إزالة النجاسة الحقيقية عن البدن

  • In the encyclopaedic work of Hanafi law by Imam Ibn `Abidin, it has:

“Then also know that combining water and stones is better followed by water only and then stones only. However, the sunna will be fulfilled by all despite being different in excellence as mentioned in al-Imdad and other [works]…”[2]

وقال في حاشية ابن عابدين: ثم اعلم أن الجمع بين الماء والحجر أفضل ، ويليه في الفضل الاقتصار على الماء، ويليه الاقتصار على الحجر وتحصل السنة بالكل وإن تفاوت الفضل كما أفاده في الإمداد وغيره

And Allah knows best.

[1] al-Ghunaymi, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab, pp.55-56. The text of Imam al-Quduri is in bold.

[2] Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar, vol.1, p.60.





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