Can One Use Both Toilet Paper and Water to Clean Himself After Using the Toilet?


Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: How does one cleanse himself after using the toilet? Can he use both toilet paper and water? Also, if water falls onto the bathroom floor, is it considered impure?

Answer: Walaikum assalam,

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Ten matters are from upright natural disposition (fitra),” and he mentioned among them, “Washing away filth (istinja).” [Muslim and Tirmidhi]

It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) cleaned himself with pure, dry stones. [Bukhari, Nasa`i, Abu Dawud, and Ibn Maja]

1. The sunna is to clean the private parts, such that no filth remains on them.

2. This emphasized and confirmed sunna is fulfilled by using any dry object that is pure, effective, and not of material value (such as toilet paper).

3. The sunna is also fulfilled by washing the area with water.

4. It is optimal to first use tissue paper or the like until one minimizes any impurity on the area, and to then wash it with water.

5. If one does only one, it is best to wash. The sunna is also fulfilled by merely wiping the place of exit using tissue paper.

6. If the filth goes beyond the place of exit and its immediately surrounding area, then one must wash the filth. Wiping alone will not suffice.

7. One uses one’s left hand in cleaning one’s private parts. It is disliked to do so with the right hand.

8. It is obligatory to rid oneself of remaining urine before one starts wudu.

[al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya 1.48; Shurunbulali, Imdad al-Fattah, Sagharji, al-Taysir; Ayni, Umdat al-Qari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari]

As for water on the bathroom floor, the default assumption about bathroom and toilet floors–like all things–is purity. This is our base operational certainty, and the legal maxim is that, “Certainty is not lifted by mere doubts.” [Ibn Nujaym, al-Ashbah wa’l Nadha’ir] Thus, if your clothes drag on the bathroom floor, you would assume that the wetness isn’t filthy. This is supported by rigorously authentic hadiths of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), narrated by Imam Tirmidhi and others.

Faraz Rabbani