What Does Shaytan Urinating in One’s Ear after Missing Fajr Entail?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch 


How do we understand the Prophetic narration regarding Satan urinating in the ear of the one who misses Fajr prayer?

How do we know if what we touch is impure?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

The Hadith of Satan Urinating

The narration in discussion is as follows:

It is narrated that a person was mentioned to the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace), “He remains asleep until the sun rises. He doesn’t rise to pray.” So He (may Allah bless him and give him peace) replied, “Satan has urinated in his ear.” [Bukhari]

Understanding this Narration

Scholars hold various opinions with regard to this narration.

Literal Meaning

Some scholars took this narration to be literal: Satan actually urinates in the person’s ear. [Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Fath al-Bari]

This understanding is logically acceptable. Satan, like the rest of the Jinn, is a creature of the unseen realm. It is established that the Jinn, including Satan, eat, drink, procreate, and relieve themselves, just as Humans do. This is the opinion of Qurtubi and others. [Ibid.]

Thus, the urine of Satan would also remain in the unseen realm, such that the person may not perceive it. [Ibid.]

Metaphorical Meaning

The second opinion is that the urinating of Satan is metaphorical in the following uses:

a) A metaphor for Satan sealing the ears of the one sleeping through the prayer time. The sealing of the ears stops the person from hearing reminders (such as the call to prayer). [Ibid.]

b) A metaphor for Satan filling the person’s ears with falsehood, thus blocking him or her from hearing reminders. [Ibid.]

c) A metaphor for Satan’s disdain for the person. [Ibid.]

d) A metaphor for Satan overpowering the person (in causing them to oversleep) and his belittling of the person, such that he deems him as insignificant as the place people urinate in. [Ibid.]

e) A metaphor for the one so deep in sleep that they are heedless, like one whose urine has fallen in their ear and has burdened their ear and ruined their senses. [Ibid.]

The Arabs customarily use the word for urine (bawl) to mean corruption or something that has gone bad. [Ibid.]

The opinion that this narration is metaphorical is also acceptable since the Arabs would use such expressions as a metaphor, as listed above. [Ibid.]


Impurity, or najasa, are specific things that the Sacred law has determined to be impure. Many things are unclean but are not impure: such as a person having a grass stain on their clothing. [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah]

The impure things are listed below:

1) Anything that comes from the front or rear private part.


  • a) Urine or feces
  • b) Pre-seminal fluid (madhi), post-urine fluid (wadi), and semen (mani)
  • c) Menstrual blood (hayd), post-natal blood (nifas), and irregular vaginal bleeding (istihada) [Ibid.]

The exception to this is wind, which is itself pure, and the normal colorless discharge of the female private part, this is also pure, even if a lot. [Ibid.]

Note, any discharge from the female private part that is colored, even if slightly, is considered from the (c) category. [Ibid.]

Note also, that discharge must be examined when it is fresh and prior to oxidation.

If oxygen comes in contact with her pad or cotton swab prior to her checking or a long time transpires, it may give the appearance of a colored discharge, although originally it will colorless.

2) Flowing blood or pus and a mouthful or more of vomit

3) Wine (alcohol made from dates, grapes, or raisins)

4) Dog saliva (including the wetness of their nose)

5) Predatory animal saliva (domestic cats are excused)

6) The fat, blood, or wetness of meat that is not Islamically slaughtered [Ibid.]

Things that are Unclean but Not Impure

There are many other things that are not on the above list that one would consider unclean – however, they are not deemed impure according to Allah and His Messenger (may Allah bless him and give him peace).

For example:

  • a) Mucus and phlegm
  • b) Saliva
  • c) Sweat
  • d) Non-flowing blood (i.e., a small amount of blood that would not be enough to past its exit point)
  • e) Vomit, less than a mouthful [Ibid.]

It is encouraged to clean oneself from these things for the sake of hygiene, but it is not an obligation in the Sacred law, nor a condition for the prayer. [Ibid.]

Wet Hands

If water falls on one’s hand, the hand remains pure. If they touch anything with that wet hand thereafter, that thing is also pure.

The basis of all water is that it is pure until proven that it has been made impure by one of the above impurities. [Ibn Nujaym, al-Ashbah wa al-Naza’ir]

Related Reader:
A Reader on OCD and Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)

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.