Facing the Qibla During a Ritual Bath

Signal Hill Kramat Cape Town

Question: What is the ruling of facing the Qibla during a ritual bath? What does one do if their bath area faces the Qibla?

Answer: 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “When you go to relieve yourselves, do not face the Qibla nor turn your backs to it; rather face the east or the west.” Abu Ayyub (the narrator) said, ‘We later came to Syria and found its washrooms built in the direction of the Qibla so we turn away slightly and sought Allah’s forgiveness” [Bukhari].

The Ruling

It is prohibitively disliked to face or turn one’s back to the Qibla while one’s nakedness (awra) is exposed. If, however, one is bathing and their nakedness is covered it is allowed to face the Qibla; although it is still best to turn away from the Qibla slightly [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar].

If one’s bath or toilet faces the direction of the Qibla or if their back is directly facing the Qibla, it is recommended to slightly turn away and this will absolve them from the prohibition [Ibid].

Hope this helps.

Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

 

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a graduate from Tarim; a student of Habib Umar and other luminaries; and authorized teachers of the Qur’an and the Islamic sciences