Is It Necessary to Wipe the Dry Toilet Seat, or Is It Pure?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question

When the toilet is flushed in public bathrooms, water often comes up and hits the toilet seat. However, with time, the seat will dry again once the water evaporates (though the water may leave a transparent stain/mark on the porcelain seat). My question is-should I wash or wipe the toilet seat each time before using, even after evaporation? Is it necessary to scrub to remove the transparent stains? If I don’t, does the impurity get transferred to me if the dust on toilet seats comes onto my body? Do I have to check for this? Does impurity get transferred if my body is moist and touches the toilet seat? After using the bathroom, should I wait and check to see if any water has come up after flushing and clean it?

I am confused once the water evaporates, and all that’s left is a potential stain – is it necessary to wipe the toilet seat, or is it pure? Should I be wiping the toilet seat before use just in case the water came up the last time someone flushed?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Regardless of the presence of (dry) impurities, a dry toilet seat does not make one’s body impure sitting on it. This is because dry impurity cannot transfer through contact with a dry surface. [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]

If the dry impure seat is touched by a moist object, impurity is only considered to have transferred to the object, if the traces of the impure are clearly manifest on the object (in this case the person’s body). If the traces of the impurity are just vaguely present of not at all, the object remains pure. [Ibid.]

Toilet Seats: Wash or Wipe?

As we already mentioned, if a toilet seat is dry, impurities do not transfer to the one sitting on it. However, if one can do so without difficulty and has the means to, one may prefer to wash the seat-this is discretionary and not an obligation. [Ibid.]

If the seat has liquid impurity, wiping the seat dry is sufficient to make the seat pure. [Ibid.]

Note that all liquid is considered pure until proven otherwise. One should not assume that drops of water on a seat are impure. [Ibid.]

Hope this helps
Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.