12657: What are the parts which should be washed when doing istinjaa’?


This is quite an embarrassing question which I am finding difficult to ask anyone. Please could you tell me exactly which parts are you supposed to wash when doing istinjaa? Is it sufficient to just wash the orifices or should one wash the whole penis and the areas where one has pubic hair in this region? 

Praise be to Allaah.

Istinjaa’ is obligatory; this means removing whatever has been passed from the front or back passages with water, stones, or anything else that is pure and will remove the impurity (najaasah) – such as pebbles or coarse tissue paper, or clean pieces of paper on which there is no mention of Allaah or any of His names – apart from bones and dung. This is to be done when something impure is emitted, of stools or urine. 

But if nothing has come out apart from passing wind, then it is not obligatory to do instinjaa’. 

With regard to what has to be washed, if a person has passed urine, then it is sufficient for him to wash the end of the penis, to cleanse it of urine. It is not prescribed for him to wash the anus, because nothing has come out of it. 

In the case of the back passage, he has to remove any dirt from it, then wash the anal sphincter to cleanse it of any dirt that may be attached to it.  

For more information see Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, vol. 10, p. 36; al-Sharh al-Mumti’ by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, vol. 1, p. 88. 

This is what has to do with urine and stools. With regard to semen and prostatic fluid, please see question no. 2458. 

There is no doubt that if the urine or stools go beyond the place where they come out, those areas must also be washed, and the impurity and dirt must be removed from them. 

This is a summary of the etiquette of relieving oneself, which it is mustahabb for the Muslim to observe when relieving himself. 

1 – It is Sunnah to say “Bismillaah (in the name of Allaah)” when entering the washroom, because it was narrated from ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The eyes of the jinn are blocked from seeing the ‘awraat of the sons of Adam when one of them says, on entering the washroom, ‘Bismillaah.’”

(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, al-Jumu’ah, 551. Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, no. 496).

It was also proven in the hadeeth of Anas that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika min al-khubthi wa’l-khabaa’ith (O Allaah, I seek refuge in You from all offensive and wicked things (evil deeds and evil spirits).”

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Wudoo’, 139) 

2 – He should enter with his left foot first, and exit with his right foot first. 

3 – If he wants to relieve himself in a place that is not designated for that purpose, it is recommended for him to go far away (from people). 

4 – He should not face the qiblah or turn his back towards it when relieving himself, because of the hadeeth narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in which he said: “When any one of you needs to defecate, let him not face the qiblah or turn his back toward it; face east or west” [because Makkah is south of Madeenah – Translator].” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Wudoo’, 141). 

5 – When urinating, a person must be careful not to let drops of urine land on his clothes or body, because it was narrated in the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas that “the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) passed by one of the gardens of Madeenah or Makkah, and he heard the voices of two men who were being punished in their graves. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘They are being punished but they are not being punished for a major sin.’ Then he said, ‘No, one of them used not to take precautions to protect himself from his urine, and the other used to go about spreading slander.’ Then he called for a palm-branch, which he broke in two and placed each piece on a grave, It was said to him, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, why did you do that?’ He said, ‘May their torment be reduced so long as these do not dry out’ or ‘until these dry out.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Wudoo’, 209). 

6 – He should not hold his penis with his right hand whilst urinating, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When any one of you goes to the lavatory, he should neither touch his penis nor clean his private parts with his right hand.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Wudoo’, 149) 

7 – It is not permissible to relieve oneself in the street or in the shade, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Beware of two things which provoke cursing.” They said, “What are the two things which provoke cursing, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “Relieving oneself on the street or in the shade.” (Narrated by Muslim, al-Tahaarah, 397) 

8 – It is makrooh to speak whilst relieving oneself. 

9 – It is mustahabb when coming out of the washroom to say “Ghufraanak (I ask You (Allaah) for Your forgiveness),” because it was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came out of the washroom, he would say, ‘Ghufraanak.’”

(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, al-Tahaarah, 7; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi, no. 7

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Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
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