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Wednesday, March 09, 2005


By: Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi

On awakening from sleep, a person should not put his hands in the water (container) until and unless he washes his hands upto his wrists irrespective of whether the hands are pure or impure. If water has been kept in a small container, such as a pitcher or jug, then it should be carried with the left hand and poured onto the right hand and washed three times. Thereafter, the utensil should be taken into the right hand and the left hand should be washed three times. If the water is not kept in a small container, but in a big drum, etc., then it should be taken out with a small utensil, such as a jug. Care should be taken that the fingers do not touch the water. If there is no small utensil, then water should be taken out with the palm of the left hand. As far as possible, very little of the fingers should be put in the water. On taking out the water, first the right hand should be washed, and thereafter, as much of the right hand can be put in the water. On taking out water, the left hand should be washed. This method of washing the hands is only permissible if the hands are not impure. If they are impure, then under no condition should the hands be put in the drum. Water should be taken out in such a way that it does not become impure. For example, a clean handkerchief could be dipped in the water and whatever comes onto the handkie could be used to purify the hands. Alternatively, any other possible method could be used to purify them.

It is sunnah to make istinja of those impurities emitted from the anterior or posterior private parts.

If the impurity does not stick to the sides (or anywhere else), and a person does not use water for istinja, but instead uses pure stones or lumps of clay, and wipes in such a way that the impurity goes away and the body gets clean; then this will also be permissible. But this method is contrary to purity consciousness. If there is no water or a shortage of it, then there is no alternative but to cleanse oneself in this way.

There is no special method for using stones. But care should be taken that the impurity does not spread and the body gets thoroughly cleaned.

After having made istinja with stones, it is sunnat to make istinja with water. But if the impurity spreads more than the size of a fifty cents coin, it will be wajib to wash with water. Without washing, salaat will not be valid. If the impurity has not spread, then even after purifying with stones alone, salaat will be valid, but this is contrary to the sunnat.

When making istinja with water, first the hands upto the wrists should be washed. Thereafter go to a secluded spot, and after loosening the clothes, sit down. Wash until you are thoroughly satisfied that the body is clean. But if a person is always in doubt and he uses a lot of water, and still he is not fully satisfied, then he should wash three or seven times and not more than this.

If a secluded place cannot be found, then for the sake of making istinja with water, one should not expose one's private parts, neither to women nor men. In such a case, istinja should not be made with water (but stones). Salaat should be offered without having made istinja (with water). This is because the exposing of one's body is a major sin.

Making istinja with the following objects is a sin and prohibited, and should be abstained from: bones, impurities such as cow-dung and droppings of goats, coal, coarse limestone, glass, baked bricks, edibles, paper, etc. It is also sinful to make istinja with the right hand. But if someone does this, the body will be cleaned.

It is prohibited to stand and urinate.

It is prohibited to face or turn one's back towards the qiblah when passing stool or urinating.

It is also prohibited and makruh to make small children to face the qiblah and pass stool or urinate.

It is permissible to use the left-over water of istinja for wudu. It is also permissible to use the left over water of wudu for istinja, but not to do so is better.

When entering the toilet, Bismillah should be read outside, and then the following dua should be read:
Pronunciation: "Allahumma inni a'udhu bika minal khubsi wal khabaa'is."

Translation: "O Allah! I seek refuge with You from the impure male and female jinn."

One should not enter the toilet bare-headed. If one is wearing any ring, etc. on which is the name of Allah or His Rasul sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, it should be removed. One should enter with the left foot. Allah's name should not be taken inside. If one sneezes, then Alhamdulillah should be recited in the heart only and nothing should be said with the tongue. Nor should one talk or say anything in the toilet. When leaving the toilet, one should step out with the right foot first. After leaving the toilet, the following dua should be read:

Pronunciation: "Ghufraanaka, alhamdulillahil lazi az'haba anni al-adha wa aafaani."

Translation: "I seek Your forgiveness, O Allah! Praise be to Allah who has removed from me this discomfort and granted me tranquility."

After making istinja, the left hand should rubbed on the ground or washed with sand (or soap).


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