Is it permissible to talk while making wudu or in the restroom?
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Speaking while on the toilet and while making wudu is permissible, although it is discouraged.
Speaking While Performing Wudu
As regards speaking while performing wudu, Imam Nawawi said in his magnum opus, al-Majmu’, while discussing the recommended actions of wudu: “and that he does not speak during it without need.” He then quoted Qadi Iyad, stating that the scholars deem it reprehensible (makruh) to speak while performing wudu or ghusl. Imam Nawawi then said there is no clear prohibition on speaking while performing wudu and ghusl. Therefore, the ruling should be understood to be tark al-awla (to leave it is preferable), rather than makruh. [Nawawi, al-Majmu’]
Speaking While in the Toilet
As for speaking in the toilet, the scholars distinguish between one who is relieving himself and one who is merely present in the toilet, before or after relieving himself. They say it is reprehensible to speak while passing urine or stool, because the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) prohibited a person from speaking while relieving himself. However, if the circumstances warrant speaking while relieving oneself, as where a person fears harm may befall him or another, the ruling is lifted and speaking becomes permissible. [Haytami, Tuhfa al-Muhtaj]
As for speaking before or after relieving oneself, it is not considered reprehensible unless one is making dhikr of Allah or reading the Qur’an. In such cases, it is considered makruh, although many scholars view it as haram. [Haytami, Tuhfa al-Muhtaj]
And Allah knows best.
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.