It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "If anyone of you performs ablution he should put water in his nose and then blow it out and whoever cleans his private parts with stones should do so with odd numbers. And whoever wakes up from his sleep should wash his hands before putting them in the water for ablution, because nobody knows where his hands were during sleep."

In another narration reported by Muslim: "When anyone amongst you (performs ablution) he must snuff his nostrils with water and then clean them. " and in another variant wording: "Whoever does Wudoo’, let him rinse his nose."

This is a great Hadeeth and has significant benefits which we will discuss in the following analysis:

Firstly, as for the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, 'If anyone of you performs ablution…', meaning if one wants to do ablution. Ibn Hajar, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "If he starts ablution…"

Secondly, as for his statement 'he must snuff his nostrils with water and then clean them' in some other narrations he, peace and blessing be upon him, did not mention 'water' for it is something already known. Therefore, some scholars said it is permissible to delete the object if the context indicates it.

As for his saying  'snuff his nostrils' to blow out the water from his nose after inhaling it by taking the water into the inside of the nose until it reaches nasopharynx.

This is the complete rinsing which is expressed in some Hadeeths with going to extremes in rinsing as in the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him: "And go to extremes in rinsing the nose, unless you are fasting."

As for the ruling of snuffing and rinsing nose in ablution, it appears that the command in that Hadeeth indicates obligation and that is the well know in the Hanbali school of Fiqh and that is what most scholars have adopted such as Imam Ash-Shawkaani, may Allaah have mercy upon him, and mentioned several evidences substantiating that opinion like what was reported that Salamah ibn Qayis, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "When you perform Wudu' (ablution) then sniff water in the nose and blow it."

It was also narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “When any one of you awakes up from sleep and performs ablution, he must clean his nose three times, for the devil spends the night in the interior of his nose.”

And in another narration: "When any one of you awakes up from sleep and performs ablution, he must clean his nose."

Moreover, Laqeet ibn Sabirah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said in a long Hadeeth: "ِ…And go to extremes in rinsing the nose, unless you are fasting. " [Al-Baghawi, Ibn Al-Qattaan, An-Nawawi and others deemed it Saheeh (authentic) while At-Tirmithi deemed it Hasan Saheeh (good and authentic) Hadeeth]

Such Hadeeths and the like indicated that nothing change the command of snuffing and rinsing nose in ablution from obligatory form and this is supported by the idea that they are included in completing the washing of the face which is obligatory. Furthermore, some of those who described the ablution of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, mentioned rinsing the mouth and nose.

A group of the scholars view that rinsing nose is something recommended in ablution and taking a bath. Some other said: 'It is recommended in ablution and obligatory in taking a bath because that the verse of ablution did not state rising mouth and rinsing.' Also, they supported their opinion with other Hadeeths that cannot object the Hadeeths that we have stated regarding their Isnaad (i.e. chain of narrators) and indication. From all of such discussion, it appears that snuffing and rinsing nose is something obligatory in ablution. 

Description of the complete rinsing of nose is to take water with the right hand to rinse the mouth and nose and then use the left hand when blowing out the water from the nose. One should do that three times for the Hadeeth narrated by ‘Uthmaan, may Allaah be pleased with him, regarding the description of the ablution of the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him: "…And then put his right hand in the water container and rinsed his mouth, washed his nose by putting water in it and then blowing it out." [Reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

And also for the Hadeeth narrated by ‘Ali, may Allaah be pleased with him: "…Then, put his right hand in the water container, filled his mouth (with water) and rinsed his mouth and nose and blow out the water with his left hand from his nose doing that three times."

Thirdly, it was stated amongst the benefits of snuffing and rising nose is cleanliness which the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, considered it a part of the Fitrah [natural inclinations of man]. ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, narrated that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "Ten (actions) are part of the Fitrah [natural inclinations of man]: trimming the moustache, letting the beard grow, using the Siwaak (tooth-stick), rinsing the nose with water, clipping the nails, washing the finger joints, plucking the armpit hairs, shaving the pubes and washing oneself with water after  because water stops urine." Some narrators said, and I forgot the tenth one which is rinsing the mouth.

Ibn Hajar, may Allaah have mercy upon him, stated that amongst the benefits of rinsing one's nose is cleanliness for it helps one to read. That is because by cleaning the passage of breathing, the utterance of letters becomes better. In addition to that, it expels the devil for the one who just wakes up from sleeping.

Fourthly, as for the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him: "And whoever does Istijmaar let him use an odd number." Istijmaar is cleaning oneself with stones after eliminating urine or stools.

His saying "use an odd number" means to finish Istijmaar with an odd number such as three, five or the like. It is not permissible to do Istijmaar with less than three times, even if cleansing was done without it. That is because the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, forbade us to clean ourselves using less than three stones.

Fifthly, one should know that Istijmaar is one of the methods of cleaning after urination or excrement. Islam has stated accurate details regarding that issue. It was narrated that Salmaan Al-Faarisi, may Allaah be pleased with him, said that the polytheists remarked: "We see that your friend even teaches you about the excrement. He replied; Yes, he, peace and blessing be upon him, has in fact forbidden us that anyone amongst us should cleanse himself with his right hand, or face the Qiblah (direction of Ka‘bah). He has forbidden the use of dung or bone for it, and he has also instructed us not to use less than three pebbles (for this purpose)."  [Reported by Muslim and others]

Then, one should know that there are some etiquette for answering the call of nature such as:

1- One should not take with him any item (e.g. ring, locket etc.) that has the Names of Allaah The Almighty; especially, Quran, when entering the toilet, whether in the building or desert for it was narrated that Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "When the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, entered the toilet, he would take off his ring." [Abu Daawood, An-Nasaa'i, At-Tirmithi, Ibn Maajah and others. At-Tirmithi deemed it Hasan Saheeh Ghareeb (good, authentic and strange) Hadeeth]

He, peace and blessing be upon him, used to remove his ring when he went to a toilet since the ring was engraved with Muhammad Rasool-Ullaah (Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah). However, if what has the name of Allaah The Almighty is concealed in one's pocket and the like, then there will be no blame, Allaah Willing.

2- Amongst the other etiquette is to recite the invocation before entering toilet with what was reported from Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, used to say before entering toilet: “Bismillaah, Allaahumma inni a’oothu bika min Al-khubthi wa’l-khabaa’ith (In the name of Allaah, O Allaah, I seek refuge with You from evil and from the male and female devils).”

3- One should enter toilet with his left leg because whatever implies honoring, one should start it with his right while other than that one should start it with the left for it was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, said: “The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, liked to start with the right when putting on his shoes, dismounting (from his camel), when cleaning himself, and in all things.” [Reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

4- It is recommended for the one who does that in the desert to keep away and conceal himself from people, where no voice can be heard for him nor can smell be detected from him. One can conceal himself with any cover, even with a wall, a heap of sand and the like. It was narrated that Al-Mugheerah ibn Shu‘bah, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "Once I was traveling with the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, and he said, "O Mugheerah! take this container of water." I took it and Allah's Messenger, peace and blessing be upon him, went far away till he disappeared. He answered the call of nature." [Reported by Al-Bukhaari, Muslim and others]

It was reported that he, may Allaah be pleased with him, also said: "When the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, went to relieve himself, he would go far away." [Reported by Abu Daawood, An-Nasaa'i, At-Tirmithi, Ibn Maajah and An-Nawawi deemed it Saheeh (authentic) Hadeeth]

It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “If anyone goes to relieve himself, he should conceal himself, and if all he can do is to collect a heap of sand, he should sit with his back to it.” [Abu Daawood, Ibn Maajah and An-Nawawi deemed it Hasan (good) Hadeeth] 

5- Etiquette of answering the call of nature also include that one should not face the Qiblah (Ka‘bah direction) or turn his back towards it while urinating or excrement. Majority of scholars view that this is not permissible if one is in desert for it was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "When any one of you sits down to answer the call of nature, he should not face the Qiblah or turn his back towards it." [Reported by Muslim, Ahmad and others]

However, if this is in a building, then it is just something disliked not prohibited for it was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with them, said: “People say, "Whenever you sit for answering the call of nature, you should not face the Qiblah. Once I went up the roof of the house of Hafsah (his sister and one of the wives of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him) to do something and I saw Allaah's Messenger, peace and blessing be upon him, answering the call of nature while facing Ash-Shaam (towards the direction of Jerusalem) and turning his back towards Ka‘bah." [Reported by Al-Bukhaari, Muslim and others]

Therefore, majority of scholars view that prohibition is only for answering the call of nature in the desert to compromise the evidences.

6- Amongst the other obligatory etiquette not answering the call of nature in the places of gathering, gardens, water resources that are sought for drinking, roads and the like for it was narrated that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “Fear the two things that bring curses.” They asked, “What are the two things that bring curses, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said: “When a person relieves himself in the road where people walk or in the place where they seek shade.” [Reported by Muslim and others]

7- Also the etiquette include not answering the calling of nature in the places that have holes or cracks for it was narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, prohibited to urinate in a hole. [Ahmad, Abu Daawood and An-Nasaa'i with a sound Isnaad]

Moreover, it is disliked to do that against the direction of the wind and in the pace of taking a bath and doing it while standing unless there is an excuse for that.

Sixthly, it is obligatory to avoid and purify yourself from urine and stool and all polluted impurities get out from both openings. This can done by water or stones or what are like them. That is called Istitaabah for this pleases one's soul by removing impurities. The best is to combine between stones and water for it was narrated that Jaabir, Abu Ayyub and Anas, may Allaah be pleased with them, said: "When this Verse: “In it (the mosque) are men who love to clean and to purify themselves…” was revealed, the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: ‘O Ansaar! Allaah has praised you for your cleanliness. What is the nature of your cleanliness?’ They said: ‘We perform ablution for prayer and we take bath to cleanse ourselves of impurity due to Janaabah (the state of major ritual impurity’. This can be due to sexual intercourse, seminal emission or the meeting of both the male and female private parts), and we clean ourselves with water (after urinating). He said: ‘This is what it is. So adhere to it.’”  [Ibn Maajah, Ad-Daarqutuni and Al-Bayhaqi with an authentic Isnaad] 

As long as stones are sufficient for one to clean himself with, all what is like them can be sufficient as well i.e. every solid and pure matter that can remove impurity, does not harm, is not sacred and does not have right related to others such as tissues and the like.

Amongst the matters that is not allowed to be used in cleanliness is unclean objects like dung, impure stones and the like for Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "The Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, went out to answer the call of nature and asked me to bring three stones. I found two stones and searched for the third but could not find it. So took a dried piece of dung and brought it to him. He, peace and blessing be upon him, took the two stones and threw away the dung and said, "This is a filthy thing." [Reported by Al-Bukhaari and others]

Imam Ahmad added in another narration: "…he threw away the dung and said, "This is a filthy thing, bring me a stone."

Furthermore, it is not permissible to use bones in purification after answering the call of nature for Ibn Mas‘ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "Do not perform Istinjaa' (purification after relieving oneself), with dung, nor with bones for indeed it is provisions for your brothers among the Jinn." [Reported by At-Tirmithi and others].

The ruling of bones can apply to all foods. Also, it is not permissible for one to purify himself with what cannot clean the meant place such as glass and the like because it does not remove impurity; rather, it spreads it everywhere.

Amongst the other prohibited things that should not be used in purification after answering the call of nature such as what has sacred writing like the matters of religion and the like. However, what has unsacred writing will be disliked to be used in that regard and is not prohibited. Also, it is not permissible for one to clean himself with pure liquids because they do not clean and even becomes impure whenever they meet impurity.

Seventhly, scholars have stated that it is obligatory for one to purify himself from urine until it becomes mostly likely that nothing remains in the meant place for it was narrated that Ibn Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, passed by two graves and said “They are being punished but they are not being punished for something that was difficult to avoid?” Then he, peace and blessing be upon him, said, “One of them used to go about spreading malicious gossip, and the other used not to take precautions to avoid being contaminated with urine.” [Reported by Al-Bukhaari, Muslim and others]

In another narration reported by Muslim: "…does not clean himself from his urine."

Eighthly, the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him: "And whoever wakes up from his sleep should wash his hands before putting them in the water for ablution, because nobody knows where his hands were during sleep."

- Because nobody knows: it is the reason behind washing the hand after waking up.

- His hands were during sleep: scholars have stated that this occurs only while one sleeping at night. Such sentence has several issues:

First: It can be understood from that sentence that the one who wakes up from his sleeping at night should not put his hands in the vessel or touch something wet unless he washes it three times. That is because sleeping at night often lasts for long times and one's hand touch his body and thus it may touch some impurities while he does not know. He should wash it due to the prescribed purity. However, scholars, may Allaah have mercy upon them, held different opinions regarding the sleeping after which the hands should be washed i.e. is it after any sleeping at night or daytime, or is it after the sleeping of the night only? Majority of scholars adopted the first opinion that hand should be washed before putting them in the vessel three times after any sleeping due to the general meaning of the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him: "If any one of you wakes up from his sleep."

Imam Ahmad and Daawood Ath-Thahiri adopted the second opinion that the meant sleeping here is the that of the night only, substantiating their opinion with the statement of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him: "because nobody knows where his hands were during sleep" and this only occurs at night. This is supported by what Imam At-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah reported that the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "And whoever wakes up from his sleep of the night." This is the most preponderant opinion, Allaah Knows best, because the wisdom for which it was prescribed is unclear i.e. it is most likely an act of worship and thus the day cannot be analogized to the night, even if sleeping lasts for a long time because it is against what is most likely and rulings is related to what is most likely and the apparent meaning of the Hadeeths is specification.

Second: Is washing hands something obligatory or recommended? Scholars hold two opinions regarding that issue; however, what may be most preponderant, Allaah Knows best, is that washing is something obligatory for the apparent indication of the command in the Hadeeth. Command indicates obligation as long as there is nothing indicate the opposite as we have in our case.

Third: Some scholars have said that such Hadeeth indicates the disliking of immersing the hands in the vessel before washing them three times if he wakes up from his sleeping.

Fourth: As for his statement: "…because nobody knows where his hands were during sleep", some scholars stated that it can understood from that sentence using metaphors in what one feels shy to mention explicitly. He, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "…nobody knows where his hands were during sleep", and did not say that his hands may have touched his rear end, impurity or the like.

Fifth: Some scholars have mentioned that This Hadeeth indicates the recommendation of adopting the strategy of being in the safe side regarding acts of worship and the like whenever there is uncertainty or doubt as long as this does not reach the limit of Waswasah (Whispers from the Shaytaan).

   

 

 

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