Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Hadeeths

Invocation for Entering the Restroom

It was narrated that Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “Whenever the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, went to answer the call of nature, he used to say, "Allaahumma ’innee ’a‘oothu bika minal-khubthi walkhabaa’ith. (O Allaah, I seek protection in You from the male and female evil spirits). (1).

It was also narrated on the authority of Abu Aiyub Al-Ansaari, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "If anyone of you goes to an open space for answering the call of nature he should neither face nor turn his back towards the Qiblah (i.e. the direction of Ka‘bah); he should either face the east or the west." (2).

It was narrated that ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with them, said: “I went up to the roof of Hafsah's house and I saw the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, answering the call of nature facing Ash-Shaam (Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon regarded as one country) with his back towards the Qiblah.” (3).

Such three Hadeeths discuss only one topic which is the etiquette of answering the call of nature and Istitaabah (i.e. removing all impurities after answering the call of nature). They imply some instructions from the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him. We will brief their benefits in the following points:

Firstly, his saying in the first Hadeeth, “Whenever the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, went to…” indicates adherence and keeping doing it (went to) means if he wants to enter and this is what was stated explicitly in the Mu‘alaq (i.e. suspended) narration of Al-Bukhaari, may Allaah have mercy upon him: “Whenever the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, wants to enter…” It is like the saying of Allaah The Almighty: {So when you recite the Quran, [first] seek refuge in Allaah from Satan, the expelled [from His mercy].} [Quran 16: 89] (4), meaning if one wants to recite Quran he should seek refuge in Allaah The Almighty. As for the open space, it refers to any place is prepared for answering the call of nature, even if it is called water closet, toilet and the like.

As for his saying (’A‘oothu billaah) it means seeking protection and refuge in Allaah from all evil things.

As for his saying (…minal-khubthi walkhabaa’ith…), it is the plural of the Arabic word Khabeeth which refers to the male devils, and it was said, it may also refer to evil, Kufr (disbelief), and devil. As for Al-Khabaa’ith, it is the plural of Khabeethah which refers to the female devils, and it was said, it may also refer to urine and stool.

Secondly, this Hadeeth refers to the importance of Thikr (i.e. remembering Allaah The Almighty) in all places. Therefore, the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, used to say this invocation before entering the toilet and sitting to answer the call of nature. That is because the places of answering the call of nature are the houses of the jinn and devils. Thus, the one who enters it should seek the refuge of Allaah The Almighty from such devils, be males or females.

Thirdly, amongst what the Muslim scholars stated also in this regard is that the one who finishes answering the call of nature and leaves the restroom (bathroom/toilet) should say: “Ghufraanaka (I seek Your forgiveness).” That is because this was reported from the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, and Ibn Khuzaymah, Ibn Hibaan and Al-Haakim deemed it Saheeh (5).

It means I seek your forgiveness for such thing that made me busy from remembering You and thus one finishes it with invocation in much the same way he starts it.

Fourthly, his saying in the second Hadeeth: ("If anyone of you goes to an open space for answering the call of nature he should neither face nor turn his back towards the Qibla (i.e. the direction of Ka‘bah); he should either face the east or the west") (6).

As for his saying, "If anyone of you goes to an open space for answering the call of nature…, it means if one sits down to answer the call of nature he should not face nor turn his back towards the Qiblah; however, he should either face the east or the west. This is related to the people of Madeenah (i.e. Medina) because the Qiblah is at the south of it. As for who is not from the inhabitants of the Madeenah, he should turn away from the direction of the Qiblah. This prohibition is to show respect and glorification for the Ka‘bah. In the third Hadeeth, ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with them, said: “I went up to the roof of Hafsah's house and I saw the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, answering the call of nature facing Ash-Shaam (Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon regarded as one country) with his back towards the Qibla.” (7).

Is there any contradiction between the two Hadeeths? Muslim scholars stated that there is no contradiction between them. Prohibition is still valid as it is; however, it is special for the open space. As for answering the call of nature in the building, it is allowed as a form of reconciling all proofs together. This is the opinion adopted by the majority of the Maaliki, Shaafi‘i, and Hanbali scholars. There are some other scholars who are of the opinion of absolute prohibition, whether it is in the open space or building for the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, prohibited this. This opinion is the choice of Ibn Hazm, Sheykh Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy upon them. Some other scholars view the absolute permissibility. The most preponderant opinion, and Allaah Knows best, is the opinion of the majority of the Muslim scholars i.e. that prohibition is for answering the call of nature in the open not the building; however, one should not take this matter lightly, even in the building, one who wants to build a house should not make toilets facing the direction of the Qiblah; rather, should turn away from it so that he may avoid such prohibition. Allaah Knows best.  

Fifthly, the first Hadeeth implies an important indication of the dire need for fortifying oneself against devils. This can be done through adhering to reciting Athkaar (i.e. Remembrances and Mentioning of Allaah The Almighty), whether it the general Athkaar such as Tasbeeh (saying, Subhaan Allaah: 'Exalted is Allaah), Tahleel (saying, La ilaha illallaah: There is no deity worthy of worship but Allaah), Takbeer (saying, Allaahu Akbar: Allaah is The Greatest), or the limited Athkaar to a certain time such as the Athkaar of the morning, evening, and the Athkaar limited to a certain places such as the invocation we have that is limited to entering toilet, invocations of going into and out the house and the like, or the Athkaar limited to a certain condition such as the condition of the person in Tawaaf (i.e. circumambulation around the Ka‘bah), or fasting and the like.

It is really something good to teach boys, girls, and students such Athkaar, making them learn it by heart so that they may fortify themselves against their bitter enemies i.e. devils. May Allaah The Almighty guard us all against their evils.

 

________________________

 

1) Reported by Imam Al-Bukhaari in the Book of Wudoo’ (i.e. Ablution) the chapter of What to say while going to the lavatory (water closet) 1/ 242, no. 142, and Imam Muslim in the Books of Menstruation, the chapter of What to say while going to the lavatory (water closet) 1/283, no. 375.

2) Reported by Imam Al-Bukhaari in the Book of Wudoo’ (i.e. Ablution) the chapter of While urinating or defecating, never face the Qiblah except when you are screened by a building, Al-Fat-h 1/245, no 144, and Imam Muslim in the Book of Tahaarah (i.e. purification), the chapter of Istitaabah (i.e. removing all impurities after answering the call of nature) 1/224, no 264.

3) Reported by Imam Al-Bukhaari in the Book of Wudoo’ (i.e. Ablution) the chapter of defecating in houses 1/75, no. 148.

4) Chapter of An-Nahl Aayah (verse): 98.

5) Reported by Abu Daawood in the Book of Tahaarah, the chapter of what should be said when a person exits the toilet in which he relieved himself 1/8, no. 30 and At-Tirmithi in the chapters of Tahaarah, the chapter of what should be said when a person exits the toilet in which he relieved himself, 1/12, no. 7.

6) Ibid.

7) Ibid.

 

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