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How Should I Clean Myself in the Toilet During Ramadan?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Assalamu alaykum

How should I clean myself in the toilet during Ramadan in order to avoid breaking my fast?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray you are well.

You should clean yourself as you do when you are not fasting and stop worrying about water entering the rear passage.

This is only a concern if something like a moist enema, which is usually the length of a finger, is inserted into the passage; or if someone suffers from haemorrhoids which cause some of the passage to come out whilst he is relieving himself. Someone suffering from this would simply wash himself and then dry the lump before it is pushed back in.

For anyone else performing istinjaʾ would not invalidate their fast (Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah).

May Allah bless you with the best of both worlds.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.

How Can I End Urine Drops Quickly? (Shafi’i)

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

Question: Assalam alaykum,

After using the bathroom I use toilet paper to clean up the remaining drops of urine. This however takes a very long time. Everytime I squeeze and get rid of the drop another one takes it’s place. Do I have to get rid of the drops that are stuck?

Answer: Wa alaykum assalam

Jazak Allah khayr for your question.

Ensuring one cleans oneself correctly when using the lavatory is of utmost importance. The Messenger. Allah bless him and give him peace, walked by two graves on one occasion and said, “They are being punished (in their graves) for something which was not difficult to avoid. One of them did not avoid soiling himself with urine (while using the lavatory) and the other used to carry tales.” [Al-Bukhari]. What this effectively means is that one should take care and be sure that he has cleaned himself correctly after urinating or passing stool.

The condition you may be suffering from is called post-micturition dribble (PMD), or after-dribble. It is a common problem, in varying degrees, among men of all ages. Acknowledging the commonness of the condition, our jurist advised one to practice istibra’ or ensuring one relieves the urethra from residual urine.

Imam al-Nawawi stated in his al-Majmu‘, “al-Istibra’ or evacuating residual urine from the urethra differs from person to person. What is required is for the individual to have predominant thought that the urethra is cleared from urine that he fears may exit. Some may achieve this by the slightest squeeze. Others may have to squeeze repeatedly. Some may have to cough. While others may not need to do any of the above. It is essential though that one does not become afflicted with waswasa (doubtful whispering).”

What has proven to be very effective and may shorten the time it takes for droplets of urine to stop appearing, is to massage the bulbar section of the urethera as explained below:

• Bulbar urethral massage: The patient can be taught bulbar urethral massage, also known as bulbar urethral elevation or urethral milking. The patient is taught to place his fingers behind his scrotum after voiding and to gently massage his bulbar urethra in a forwards and upwards direction. This ‘milks’ the urine retained in the bulbar urethra out of the urethra. Teaching the patient to tighten his pelvic floor muscles prior to undertaking bulbar urethral massage may help to prevent further leakage (Dorey, 2000). [Understanding post-micturition dribble incontinence in men: NT 22 July 2003 Vol 99 No 29 www.nursingtimes.net]

In conclusion, it is a requirement for you to ensure that the droplets of urine have been removed. Using any of the above methods will most certainly shorten the period that it takes to clear up. Possibly the best long term solution would pelvic floor exercises. If your situation does not improve, you may consult a doctor.

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam

[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

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.

Photo: Emdot

Does Feeling an Itch in the Rear End Means That I Have to Repeat My Prayer?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaikum,

If I get an itchy feeling in the back passage during or after prayer, then go the bathroom to check if there is filth and discover traces of it by using toilet paper should I renew my wudu and repeat my prayer because of the exiting of filth?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

You should assume it happened after the prayer because events are ascribed to their nearest possible times.

And ignore misgivings. If it has happened more than once or twice, it is no longer just an itch.

Please see: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)

And Allah alone knows best.

wassalam,
Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Istikhara: The Prayer of Seeking Guidance

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: How is salat ul-Istikhara prayed?  Is it meant to be prayed several days in a row until a decision is made, or only once? Is it meant to be prayed after one has pretty much made up their mind, or when someone hasn’t really figured out what to do? Are their various valid opinions?

Answer
: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

The istikhara prayer is a very simple prayer of seeking guidance.

  • One prays two rakats at any time that is not disliked, after which one recites the supplication of istikhara.
  • It is best to recite it before sleeping, though in no way necessary.
  • Like other duas, it is recommended that one face the qibla.
  • It is recommended to open the dua of istikhara, with praise of Allah and sending blessings on the Prophet ﷺ and to close it in this manner, too.
  • It is disliked to ‘hasten’ in seeking the answer to one’s istikhara, like other duas, because the Prophet ﷺ said, “Your prayers are answered, unless you hasten, saying, ‘I prayed, but no answer came.’”

The Prayer in Arabic

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَخِيرُكَ بِعِلْمِكَ وَأَسْتَقْدِرُكَ بِقُدْرَتِكَ وَأَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ فَضْلِكَ الْعَظِيمِ فَإِنَّكَ تَقْدِرُ وَلَا أَقْدِرُ وَتَعْلَمُ وَلَا أَعْلَمُ وَأَنْتَ عَلَّامُ الْغُيُوبِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ خَيْرٌ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاقْدُرْهُ لِي وَيَسِّرْهُ لِي ثُمَّ بَارِكْ لِي فِيهِ وَإِنْ كُنْتَ تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ شَرٌّ لِي فِي دِينِي وَمَعَاشِي وَعَاقِبَةِ أَمْرِي فَاصْرِفْهُ عَنِّي وَاصْرِفْنِي عَنْهُ وَاقْدُرْ لِي الْخَيْرَ حَيْثُ كَانَ ثُمَّ أَرْضِنِي

Transliteration

Allâhumma inni astakhiruka bi ilmika wa astaqdiruka biqudratika wa as’aluka min fadlikal-azimi, fa innaka taqdiru walâ aqdiru wa ta’lamu walâ a’lamu wa anta allamul ghuyubi. Allâhumma in kunta ta’lamu anna hâdhal amra khayrun li fi dini wa ma-ashi wa aqibati amri faqdir-hu li wa yassir-hu li thumma barik li fihi wa in kunta ta’lamu anna hâdhal amra sharrun li fi dini wa maâshi wa aqibati amri fasrifhu anni wasrifni anhu waqdir liyal-khayra haythu kâna thumma ardini.

Translation

“O Allah, verily I seek the better [of either choice] from You, by Your knowledge, and I seek ability from You, by Your power, and I ask You from Your immense bounty. For indeed You have power, and I am powerless; You have knowledge and I know not; You are the Knower of the unseen realms. O Allah, if You know that this matter is good for me with regard to my religion, my livelihood and the end of my affair then decree it for me, facilitate it for me, and grant me blessing in it. And if You know that this matter is not good for me with regard to my religion, my livelihood and the end of my affair then turn it away from me and me from it; and decree for me better than it, wherever it may be, and make me content with it.”

Looking for signs

One should suspend one’s own judgement or inclination about the particular matter, and wait for Allah to show one a sign or to make things happen in a way that indicates what to do. When one is not clear about the result of the istikhara, the fuqaha mention that it is recommend to repeat it, up to 7 times if necessary (usually done on separate occasions). [cf: Radd al-Muhtar].

Shaykh Nuh Keller mentions that the more one prays the istikhara prayer, the clearer its answers become to one. He prays it for all matters, even things one would not imagine doing istikhara for.

It is not necessary that you get a dream or even a “feeling.” Rather, the istikhara is a prayer that Allah guide you towards that which is best (khayr) for you. If you do the prayer of guidance (istikhara) with the proper manners, the most important of which is to truly consign the matter to Allah and suspend your own inclinations, then Allah will make events unfold in the direction that is the best for your worldly and next-worldly affairs.

When unable to offer salah

In general, when it is not possible to perform the istikhara prayer itself (such as when one is out on the road, or in one’s menstrual period), it is recommended to simply read the dua itself. [Radd al-Muhtar]

For even the smallest things

The great Hanafi scholar and hadith expert from Aleppo, Shaykh Abdullah Sirajal-Din mentions in his book on the virtues of prayer that it is the way of many Sufis, including Shaykh al-Akbar Muhiyyuddin Ibn al-Arabi (Allah sanctify his secret), to pray the istikhara prayer at the beginning of their day, after sunrise, asking Allah to guide them in general to all good and to keep away all evil from them.

Istikhara gives the best answer, for one’s worldly and religious life (not worldly life alone), when coupled with another essential sunna: istishara (seeking sound counsel) of those worthy of being consulted and taking the sound means of assessing the situation at hand.

Imam al-Nawawi mentioned that before the istikhara prayer, one should seek advice from those whose knowledge, wisdom, and concern one is confident. Ibn Hajar al-Haytami and others mentioned that one of the benefits of this is to further distance oneself from the desires of one’s own egotistic inclinations.

The istikhara prayer may be made for a specific matter or be made for a general seeking of all that is best. Some scholars, including Imam Abd al-Wahhab al-Sha`rani and Ibn `Arafah before him saw this kind of istikhara prayer as being superior. Others, including Shaykh Ibn al-Arabi, recommended performing a general istikhara prayer for all that is good every day, ideally at the time of the Duha prayer (after sunrise).

One should be pleased with what Allah chooses for one, and not seek to follow one’s whims after the answer to one’s supplication becomes clear. We ask Allah to give us beneficial knowledge, and the success to act upon it in the way most beloved to Him, on the footsteps of His beloved Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace).

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Listen to Shaykh Faraz debunk common misconceptions about istikhara in this SeekersGuidance podcast, including

  • Misconception 1: Istikhara is a prayer in matters of marriage
  • Misconception 2: The signs come in the form of dreams
  • Misconception 3: A sinful person must ask a pious person to perform the prayer on his behalf
  • Misconception 4: Istikhara is only for the big decisions, not small matters

Resources on istikhara and other related matters

Wet Fingers Inside the Body While Washing the Private Parts and Fasts

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalamu aleikum,
I always thought to enter a state of purity one must clean the anal area completely and that would require using wet fingers inside the anus. I think many of my fasts were invalidated due to water entering my body through this channel. What should I do to clean myself properly while not invalidating my fasts?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
No, your fasts at not invalid.
During the istinja, what is a confirmed sunna is to clean the point of exit.
That which is beyond it, and on the body, must be washed away. As for what is on the inside, this does not have to be cleaned, and you are not called upon nor responsible for cleaning it.
Note that cleaning the point of exit is a sunna, and therefore if left, would not prevent the validity of your prayers. In general, you should be wary of cleaning yourself in the manner you have described, particularly as it may also be harmful to your body.
Please see: How to Wash Filth From the Private Parts [Istinja]? and: What is the Best Way to Clean Oneself After Using the Toilet?
See also: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)
And Allah alone gives success.
Wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Filthy Water on one’s Clothes

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: If the water that you did istinja with fell on your clothes unclean whist accidentally wiping oneself. It constantly occurs and i cant keep throwing away clothes. Is it alright if i overlook this?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I hope you are in the best of health and spirits, insha’Allah.
You do not have to throw clothes away that have been affected by filthy water. Rather, you can simply wash them (in the washing machine for example) and they will become clean. However, up to the extent of 5cm in diameter of liquid filth is excused. Thus you could pray in such clothing.
Though in any case, you should ignore misgivings, learn the sunnas of cleaning oneself, and apply them in your life.
Wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

How to Wash Filth From the Private Parts [Istinja]?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Untill now I had always thought passing wind invalidates wudu so wudu aswell as istinja must be performed but have recently read that only wudu needs to be done.
How does breaking wind make you impure and how does wudu make you pure if you have not washed the area. Also if in as school or office a vessel is not available for istinja ,would wipes suffice? or wet toilet paper be permissible instead or is only flowing water to be used?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
I pray this reaches you in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Cleaning after relieving oneself (istinja’) is a confirmed sunna.
Missing a sunna intentionally and without excuse is blameworthy, yet doesn’t prevent the validity of the ablution.
In the absence of water, which is preferable to use, you can use dry toilet tissue. Wet tissues or wipes are likely to spread the filth.
Also see: Could You Please List All the Nullifiers of Ablution According to the Hanafi school? and: Bathroom Issues: Using Toilet Paper & Removing Filth and: Is Washing Filth From the Private Parts [Istinja] Necessary After Passing Gas?
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam,
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Doubts About Purity After Using the Bathroom

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Asslam u alykum. I am suffering from extreme waswasa. You can not imagine my pain.  I fear going to bathroom.  I have been told to ignore them.  My question is if I ignore waswasa about purity, but in reality I amnot pure, what will happen to my salah? I’m not sure what to do during istinja to get rid of my waswasa.  Please assist me. 

Answer:Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

From this point onwards, ignore every single doubt that the devil sends your way. If he sends you any doubt, say “I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan”.

The default assumption about all matters is validity and soundness. Certainty is not lifted by doubt. Thinking ‘what if I am not pure’ or ‘what if I didn’t do it right’ are mere suppositions. Completely ignore them. The operating assumption about all of your acts of worship is validity. Therefore, your ritual ablutions (wudu) and consequently prayers are valid.

From now on when needing to use the washroom, take the following steps as outlined here: What Should I Do About Left Over Drops of Urine?

[1] After using the toilet, wait a few moments to make sure all remaining drops exit,
[2] Squeeze and slightly twist the private part,
[3] Wipe the private part with toilet paper,
[4] Wash the private part with water three or so times, and
[5] Sprinkle water onto your clothes and private parts.

Realize that this is a test from Allah –- “Truly with hardship comes ease” [94:6]. And remember that “Allah does not burden souls with more than they can manage” [2:286]. Have conviction in the mercy of Allah. Rejoice in His blessings upon you. Take the means and rely upon Allah.

See also: A Reader on Waswasa (Baseless Misgivings)

“Verily this religion is ease; and none make this religion difficult except that it overwhelms them.” [Bukhari]

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

How to Maintain Purity for Prayer With a Non-Excused Urine Dripping Problem

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: I have trouble keeping wudu because of a medical issue resulting in the dribbling of small amounts of urine after going to the bathroom. I end up holding my bladder for the entire afternoon and I pray dhur, asr, and maghrib on the same wudu instead of using the bathroom and taking the extra 10-15 minutes each time I use the bathroom and need to make istinja and wudu.

What advice is there? I have been seeing the doctors for 25 years and they cannot cure it. I am certain that it is not waswasah. Yes, it really does take about 10-15 minutes to be sure of having emptied but even this does not stop the odd droplet once out of the bathroom. I suppose the key question is does one have to do istinja always?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

One does not have to perform istinja (wash filth from the private parts) after  every time one wishes to perform the ritual ablution.

Istinja is a sunna act, optimally performed using water, though completely valid to do so using tissue paper. Therefore, one can, confidently, act upon this. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; `Ala al-Din `Abidin, al-Hadiyya al-`Ala’iyya]

If one is not in a state of ritual ablution (wudu) and one does not need to use the washroom, one does not have to repeat one’s istinja; rather, one simply goes ahead and performs one’s ritual ablution.

Chronic Excuses and Misgivings

If it is not established that one has a chronic excuse, then one does need to repeat one’s ritual ablution for every prayer (salat). Having to wait ten minutes does not make one an excused person (ma`dhur), therefore, such rulings would not apply. Hence one can pray, of the obligatory and supererogatory prayers, whatever one wishes, within the time and beyond (as long one’s ritual ablution is not nullified).

Moreover, we have a legal principle that: Certainty is not lifted by subsequent doubts; therefore, unless one is absolutely certain that ‘the odd droplet’ has come out, one completely ignores this as such doubts, and mere suppositions, are of no legal consequence. Thinking that this may have happened is opening the door to satanic misgivings and a means of causing undue hardship for oneself in one’s religious practice.

“Verily this religion is ease; and none make this religion difficult except that it overwhelms them.” [Bukhari]

Please see the following related links:

[1] The Fiqh of Chronic Excuses and Ablution

[2] What is the Best Way to Clean Oneself After Using the Toilet?

[3] How Can I Maintain Purity and Pray When I Have a Weak Bladder That Constantly Leaks

[4] Is Washing Filth From the Private Parts (Istinja) Necessary After Passing Gas?
And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Is Washing Filth From the Private Parts [Istinja] Necessary After Passing Gas?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: In the Hanafi school, does breaking wind necessitate istinja as well as wudhu, or just wudhu? and what is the evidence for this?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you’re well, insha’Allah.

No, breaking wind does not necessitate istinja.

It is a sunnah to perform istinja to remove filth which is less than approximately 5cm in diameter. On the exiting of wind, no such filth exits, therefore, one would not perform istinja.

Furthermore, such wind is not filthy, according to the soundest opinion in the school, and doing istinja because of it would be considered an innovation (bid`ah).

[Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Tahtawi, Hashiyat al-Tahtawi]

Wassalam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani