Category: Jurisprudence and Rulings (Fiqh)
Fatwa#: 38934
Asked Country: United Kingdom

Answered Date: Oct 11,2017

Title: Waterless toilets and etiquette’s of relieving oneself

Question

Hello

I am a PhD student at Cranfield University UK currently designing a waterless toilet for developing countries. 

Would there be any religious concerns with using composting toilets where the user covers the waste with sawdust as opposed to toilets that flush with water?

I'd greatly appreciate any links to this information surrounding the topic of attitudes towards defecation from an Islamic perspective. 

Kind regards

Ross

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

There is no religious restriction in using composting toilets where the waste is covered with sawdust.

Our beloved prophet Muhammed (May peace and salutations be upon him ) has advised,

 َقالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: " الطُّهُورُ شَطْرُ الْإِيمَانِ"

Translation:                                                             

“Cleanliness is half of faith” [Musnad Ahmad-22909]

In teaching us how to relieve ourselves, he stated, “I teach you how to relieve yourself like how a father teaches his son”. [Ibn-Maajah\Narration no. 313]

Hereunder are some teachings of our beloved prophet Muhammed (May peace and salutations be upon him ) when relieving oneself.

a)     

اتقوا الملاعن الثلاث: البراز في الموارد، وقارعة الطريق، والظل".                                                 

 

Translation:

 He (ﷺ)said: “Guard against the three things which cause curse (i.e.) defecating at the watering places, on the roadbeds and in the shades.” [Reported by Ibn-Maajah\Narration no. 328]

b)     

قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ إِذَا شَرِبَ أَحَدُكُمْ فَلاَ يَتَنَفَّسْ فِي الإِنَاءِ، وَإِذَا أَتَى  الْخَلاَءَ فَلاَ يَمَسَّ ‏ذَكَرَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ، وَلاَ يَتَمَسَّحْ      لبِيَمِينِهِ

Translation:

‏Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "Whenever anyone of you drinks water, he should not breathe in the drinking utensil, and whenever anyone of you goes to a lavatory, he should neither touch his private part nor clean his private parts with his right hand." [Bukhari\Narration no. 153]

c)     

عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏مَنْ أَتَى الْغَائِطَ فَلْيَسْتَتِرْ

Translation:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: If anyone goes to relieve himself, he should conceal himself (from people. [Sunan Daaramiy\Narration no. 723 ]

d)     

Jaabir (My Allah be pleased with him) -a companion of the prophet(ﷺ)-says:

عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ إِذَا أَرَادَ الْبَرَازَ انْطَلَقَ حَتَّى لاَ يَرَاهُ أَحَدٌ ‏.‏

Translation:

When the Prophet (ﷺ) felt the need of relieving himself, he went far off where no one could see him.

Note: The point here is to not be seen when relieving ourselves as this is the demand of modesty.

e)     

The Prophet (ﷺ) beloved wife (Aisha-May Allah be pleased with) has said:

من حدثكم أن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم كان يبول قائما فلا تصدقوه ما كان يبول إلا قاعدا

Whoever tells you that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to urinate standing up, do not believe him. He only ever used to urinate sitting down. [ Tirmithy\Chapter regarding the prohibition of urinating standing]

f)      

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him)-the companion of the prophet(ﷺ)-says:

سَمِعْتُ أَنَسَ بْنَ مَالِكٍ، يَقُولُ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذَا خَرَجَ لِحَااجَتِهِ أَجِيءُ أَنَا وَغُلاَمٌ مَعَنَا إِدَاوَةٌ مِنْ مَاءٍ‏.‏ يَعْنِي يَسْتَنْجِي بِهِ‏.‏

Translation:

Whenever Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) went to answer the call of nature, I along with another boy used to accompany him with a container of water. (Hisham commented, "So that he might wash with it.)" [Bukhari\Narration no. 150]

g)     

The same companion narrates:

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذَا دَخَلَ الْخَلاَءَ قَالَ ‏ "‏ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْخُبُثِ ‏وَالْخَبَائِثِ"

 

Translation: ‏‏

Whenever the Prophet (ﷺ) went to the lavatory, he used to say: "O Allah. I seek refuge in You from the evil of male female and Jinns" [Musnad Ahmed\Narration no. 11947]

Note. We as Muslims, believe that Allah Ta’āla has created human kind and jinn kind, the evil jinn are inclined to impure places, therefor the prophet Muhammed (Pace be upon him) taught us to recite this supplication, to protect ourselves from the evil of male and female Jinns.

h)     

The same companion narrates:

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، قَالَ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ إِذَا خَرَجَ مِنَ الْخَلاَءِ قَالَ ‏ "‏ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَذْهَبَ عَنِّي الأَذَى وَعَافَانِي ‏"‏ ‏

Translation:

"Whenever the Prophet exited the toilet, he would say: ' 'Praise is to Allah Who has relieved me of impurity and given me good health.'"[Sunan Ibn Maajah\Narration no. 301]

Note: The prophet Muhammed (Pace be upon him) taught us to be grateful to Allah in every condition and to attribute all bounties to Allah without being oblivious of any bounty. What if one suffered from constipation and was unable to relieve himself? Relieving oneself is a bounty of Allah for which we should be grateful.

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Muhammed Al-Ameen Bin Moulana Ismail Akoo

Student Darul Iftaa

Newcastle; KZN, South Africa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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