Glorious World of Islamic Toilet Etiquette

“You know an odd feeling? Sitting on the toilet eating a chocolate candy bar.” —George Carlin

In a Nutshell

When using toilets Muslims must: Say a prayer before and after going, enter the toilet with their left foot first, leave with their right foot first, and always wipe down, not up. Muslims must also pee sitting down and not talk to anyone else during the act.

The Whole Bushel

People all over the world follow a specific set of rules when using the restroom. Everyone’s routine is different and people are expected to act a certain way when going to the bathroom. In the Islamic faith, Muslims are required to follow the Qadaa’ al-Haajah when relieving themselves. The rules include a very specific routine for entering the restroom, using the facility, and washing up.

A Muslim must follow a collection of rules when using the bathroom. First off, the person should try to relieve themselves as few times as possible. If you have to go, it is required that you say a prayer before entering the bathroom with your left foot first. You must always face away from the Qibla when using the toilet and remove anything bearing Allah, such as the Quran or jewelry.

You are required to keep quiet on the toilet and shouldn’t talk or answer questions. If someone else talks in a public restroom, you should cough three times to let them know it is unacceptable. You are allowed to read, but shouldn’t make any noises. If you encounter another person in a public restroom you need to keep your head down and shouldn’t touch your genitals with your right hand. There is definitely no eating on the toilet and you should always finish in a timely manner. Men should pee sitting down and always clean up after themselves.

Muslims must wipe down not up and do the washing with the left hand. You need to perform an odd number of wipes and men should do istibra, which is making sure all traces of urine are gone. When finished, you need to wash your hands and say a prayer: “Praise be to Allah who relieved me of the filth and gave me relief.” You must leave the room with your right foot first and not joke about your experience. The rules surrounding bathroom etiquette have been in existence for a long time and are referenced in verse 5:6 of the Quran.

Show Me The Proof

My Religion Islam: Islamic Toilet Etiquette
Religious Rules: Cleaning Bodily Filth
Toilet Guru: Islamic Toilet Rules

  • J_Doe5686

    Well, that’s different!

    • But interesting nonetheless 🙂

      • J_Doe5686

        It is! I always like websites like this one, where I can learn something new every day.

        • I am hoping the short format will help info stick easier – immediately knowledge with more if you are interested

          • mary

            you are awesome jamie!!!

  • Fameister

    How does one wipe down?

    • Start at the top of your butt and push downwards… 🙂

    • Bill Leseberg

      Fameister – To wipe down, it is not left to right, it is not right to left, it is not bottom to top, nor is it sticking one or two sheets over your index finger and going in and out, it is as Jamie stated, “Start at the top of your butt and push downwards.”

      Fameister, is your choice of picks the “in and out with index finger” method???

    • J Nags

      With Thyeth left hand doth thy whipeth thou crappeth from thy top of thouest butt to the bottom, slinging thy excrement from thy hand into thy toilet, and washing thy clean hand in the toilet water

  • anonymouse72

    I am a Muslim, but I wasn’t aware until now that we had to do what was in the paragraph.

    Btw, did JF make this, or a friend did?

    • doc.

      shame on u…..hats off to u jamie frater

      • anonymouse72

        oops, I missed the word ‘last’ before the word paragraph. I never read about the last part in any of the little ettiquete books on Islam.

  • Corey William Hardwick

    The whole “Show Me The Proof” addition is a great idea.

  • Fameister

    Differences, facts, and misconceptions. Brilliant!

  • felix rae

    Wiping down and not up is a major cause of the common urinary tract infection in females. The most common cause is when bacteria from the back gets into the water system at the front from wiping the WRONG way. That practice should not be followed.
    On a side note, as an avid reader of Listverse, I enjoy these bitesized factlets. Great work.

    • anonymouse72

      Personally I never heard about the wiping down thing in my life, and I am a Muslim, lived my whole life in Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia, studied in compulsory Muslim classes.

      I am not sure.

      • Mardian Nugro

        I second that..never heard of it.

  • doc.

    why dnt u put all this on fb..its more handy for alll…p.s…i luv such sites..whr there r intrstng facts…..

  • john

    im a muslim and is must to say this ruling you tell us are not obligatory to do its is better to do but not obligation.

    it is funny to read it in a sense of like “so much to do”, but it is just saying 2 words intering in right foot and clean yourself and get out with the left foot and say 3 words and that it, you make it as a long journey in the restroom 😉

    • Bill Leseberg

      John – I believe you are an “idiot”, not a Muslim. You enter with your “left”, not your right, and you leave with your “right”, not your left!

  • BryanJ

    The rules are pretty different from what goes on in most American bathrooms.

  • Ha

    What a lie… Quran 5:6,
    Sahih International
    O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful.

    • Mardian Nugro

      let’s called it misinform, I believe he does not intend to lie.

  • Mardian Nugro

    The reverence verse is not about toilet manner (or toilet saga ), the verse talks about requirement before performing daily prayer, which is washing face, forearms head and ankles ( called wudhu ), or in a state of janabah which is after having sexual intercourse, or semen excretion (whatever method you can imagine), women after their periods or giving birth, then extra requirement is needed, which is simply taking a bath. Now, the wudhu is obligatory prior to perform daily prayers ( 5 times a day) and as long as the person doesn’t fart, pee, touching genital ( their own or ..err… others), dumping their stomach burden, having sex, then the wudhu is not canceled, although it is better to perform wudhu for each prayer.
    If water is not available for wudhu or bath, or the person is ill, then he/she can use clean dirt or dust to wipe the face and hands, that it.

    This verse also mentioning the need to perform wudhu contact with women, most of the islamic scholar view this as skin to skin contact between men and women who are not muhrim ( blood related) canceled wudhu, just to make sure you are not interpreting this line as women is vile in islam.
    Most of the “toilet saga” written in this article are true, but not nearly mandatory, The only thing forbidden in the toilet I know as muslim is reciting quran verbally.

  • Boomer2012

    squatting would be more appropriate term than sitting, especially given that when these “rules” were written most toilets in the middle east were just holes in the ground. Later on they become holes in the ground with a garden hose.

  • Sara Lund

    Men sitting on the toilet when doing number one is by far more superior practice than the one in the West.
    It leaves a cleaner toilet with no drops on the seat and no quarreling about the seat being left up.

  • johnnyboyjohn

    Praise be to Allah that I’m not a Muslim.

  • Such intelligent work on the subject and ideal way of writing here. I am really impressed! This post is a helpful overview of the particular topic and very actionable. Interesting approach!

  • cari

    The god that I choose to pray to doesn’t require my ass to be clean. My God doesn’t care if my feet, forearms or hands are clean. My God encourages me to touch other women, to hug my daughter and mother. My God does not consider them to be vile and dirty. I like to think that the God I pray to is looking at the bigger picture and isn’t really concerned with our personal hygiene. I wonder how much time your Allah spends worrying about it? BTW A daily shower is a great way to keep your ass clean. Try it!

    • J Nags

      AMEN BABY !!

  • Igor

    But i hear that Muslims wipe their ass with water but bare-handed, no paper… is this true?

    • J Nags

      YEP – Wipe with the left, and Eat with the right !!!

  • Superior hygiene = washing with water from a Hand Bidet Sprayer.

  • There are number of things we can learn in Islam for better living.
    I appreciate your work for sharing the important things.
    Thanks once again.

  • J Nags

    Wiping down is the recommended way to clean, that way you can grab all the residue crap in your left hand and pull it all forward and sling it into the toilet. After you are done, you say “Yeeehaaalla, my hand stinketh, and my but hurteth, now it be though time to wash thy lefteth hand ineth toilet “

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  • Shanaya Sharma