Chapter 10: On the Adab of the Lavatory

1. From Shahid al-Thani in Sharh al-Nafliyyah: Nobody ever saw the Holy Prophet (S) urinating or relieving himself.1

2. In al-Ja’fariyat: In his narration from Ja’far ibn Muhammad from his fathers from ‘Ali (as): Whenever the Holy Prophet (S) wanted to expectorate, he would first cover his head and then (after expectorating) bury it (the phlegm). When he visited the lavatory, he would (also) cover his head.2

3. In al-Majalis al-Akhbar: Narrated from Abi Dharr from the Holy Prophet (S) (that) in his counsel, he said: O Aba Dharr! Be ashamed in the presence of Allah, for by Allah when I go to relieve myself, I hide and cover myself with my clothes out of shame from the angels who are with me.3

4. From al-Mufid in al-Muqni’ah: Covering the head, if it is open, is a sunnah from the sunnah of the Noble Prophet (S).4

5. In al-Ja’fariyat: In his narration from Ja’far ibn Muhammad from his fathers from ‘Ali (as): The Holy Prophet would pull the urinary tract thrice after urination.5

6. In al-Kafi: Narrated from al-Husayn ibn Khalid from Abi al-Hasan al-Thani (as) saying: I said to him: “It has been narrated to us in the hadith that the Holy Prophet (S) would purify himself (after relieving himself) while his ring was still on his finger, and this was also the case with Amir al-Mu’minin (as); and the inscription on the ring of the Holy Prophet (S) was ‘Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah‘ (is this correct)?” He (as) said: “They have spoken the truth.” I said: “So should we do (the same)?” He replied: “They used to wear their rings on the right hand whereas you wear your rings on the left hand.”6

Note: A similar narration is found in al-Makarim quoting from Kitab al-Libas of al-’Ayyashi from al-Husayn ibn Sa’id from Abi ‘Abdillah (as) and also in al-Ja’fariyat.7

7. In al-Khisal: Narrated from al-Husayn ibn Mus’ab from Abi ‘Abdillah (as) who said: Three things that were practiced by al-Barra’ ibn Ma’rur al-Ansari became part of the sunnah: In the beginning, people used to clean themselves with stones so al-Barra’ ibn Ma’rur ate a pumpkin which softened his bowels and he cleansed himself with water; and Allah (SwT) revealed about him

“Surely Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who purify themselves.(Surat al-Baqarah: 222)

And it became a sunnah to cleanse oneself with water.

When he was on his death bed, he was out of Madinah, so he ordered that his face be turned toward the Holy Prophet (S) (who was in Makkah) and bequeathed one third of his wealth; and so it was that the law regarding (facing) the Qiblah was ordained and bequeathing of one third (of one’s wealth) became the sunnah.8

8. In al-Tahdhib: In his narration from ‘Abdullah ibn Maskan from Abi ‘Abdillah (as) who said: The Noble Prophet (S) was the most cautious about urine. When he wanted to urinate, he would find a place that was elevated from the ground, or an area where there was a lot of soil, out of aversion to being splattered by urine.9

9. In al-Ja’fariyat: In his narration from Ja’far ibn Muhammad, from his father (as) who said: My father (‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (as)) said: “O my son, get for me clothes for (use in) the lavatory. I saw a fly sitting on something impure and then it sat on me.” He said: I brought it to him so he said: “Neither did the Holy Prophet (S) nor his companions have any clothes (for this purpose) other than their regular clothes,” so he did not take it.10

Addendum to this Chapter

1. In al-Hidayah: The sunnah for entering the lavatory is that one should enter with his left leg before his right and should cover his head and remember Allah (SwT).11

2. In al-Kafi: In his narration from Abi Usamah in a hadith from Abi ‘Abdillah (as): A man asked him (among other things): “What is the sunnah regarding entering the lavatory?” He (S) said: “Remember Allah, seek protection from Allah against the cursed Shaitan and when you have finished (relieving yourself) say:

أَلْحَمْدُ لِلٌّهِ عَلـى مَا أَخْرَجَ مِنِّي مِنَ الأَذى فِي يُسْرٍ وَ عَافِيةٍ.

“All praise be to Allah for what he has removed from me of that which is harmful (to my body) with ease and well-being.”12

Note: al-Barqi has narrated this in al-Mahasin as has al-Saduq in al-’Ilal13

3. In al-Tahdhib: In his narration from Zurarah from Abi Ja’far (as) who said: There is no prayer except with purification. It is permissible for you to cleanse yourself with three stones (after relieving yourself) as this was from the sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S). As for urination, however, it is a must to wash oneself (with water after urinating).14

Note: He has also narrated it in al-Istibsar.15

4. In al-Tahdhib: From Ahmad ibn Muhammad, from some of our companions quoting from Abi ‘Abdillah (as) who said: It was (from) the sunnah to use three clean stones for cleansing oneself, followed by water.16

5. In al-Da’aim: ‘Ali (as) said: The sunnah with regards to cleansing oneself with water is to start with (washing away) the urine and then the stool and not (to wash) both at once.17

6. Also: When he (S) wanted to relieve himself during a journey, he would move far away (from the people) and find a hidden place.18

7. Also: They (the Imams (as)) narrated: When the Holy Prophet (S) entered the lavatory, he would cover his head and veil himself and nobody ever saw him.19

  • 1. Fawa`id al-Milliyyah fi Sharh al-Nafliyyah: 17, ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif: 261, Da`aim al-Islam 1:104
  • 2. al-Ja’fariyat: 30, Da`aim al-Islam 1:104, al-Mustadrak 1:248
  • 3. Amali al-Tusi 2:147, Majmu`at Warram: 307, Makarim al-Akhlaq: 465
  • 4. al-Muqni`ah: 39, Tahdhib al-Ahkam 1:24
  • 5. al-Ja’fariyat: 12, al-Mustadrak 1:260
  • 6. al-Kafi 6:373, `Uyun Akhbar al-Rid’a 2:55
  • 7. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 92, al-Ja’fariyat: 186
  • 8. al-Khisal: 192
  • 9. Tahdhib al-Ahkam 1:33, ‘Ilal al-Shara’i: 278, al-Faqih 1:22
  • 10. al-Ja’fariyat: 14
  • 11. al-Hidayah: 15
  • 12. al-Kafi 3:69
  • 13. ‘Ilal al-Shara’i: 276, we have not found this in al-Mahasin.
  • 14. Tahdhib al-Ahkam 1:50
  • 15. al-Istibsar 1:55
  • 16. Tahdhib al-Ahkam 1:46
  • 17. Da`aim al-Islam 1:106
  • 18. Da`aim al-Islam 1:104, al-Mustadrak 1:249, ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif: 261
  • 19. Da`aim al-Islam 1:104