Going to Toilet – Outdoor

We like to go camping outdoor or perhaps a picnic that may last for a whole day. Sometimes there are no proper facilities for toilet, so we usually have to make a makeshift one.

But we should not forget our manners of going to a makeshift toilet because anywhere that you relieve yourself, is considered a toilet . If you think about it, in the times of Prophet Muhammad sallahu alaihi wasalam and the sahabah, this is how they go to toilet. Outdoor style.

We thank Allah for the ni’mah of an easy toilet we have now, but we can always learn how to handle ourselves when we need to relieve ourselves outdoor, Insya Allah.

1. Avoid Relieving Yourselves in these three places

Muaadh Ibn Jabal related that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihi wasalam said (please refer to the arabic text in the book)

Stay away from the three malain : (Excreting) stool in Mawaarid (pathways that lead to water), in the middle of the road and in the shade.

Another hadith,

Abu hurairah reported that the Messenger of Allah sallalalhu alaihi wasalam said, Beware of Al La’aanain. The Companions asked, “And what are the Al La’aanain, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “The One who relieves himself in the pathway of people or in their shade.”

The word Mala’in and La’in comes from the same root word which is La’an which means cursing. La’inain (in muthana form) means two matters that lead people to cursing.

So in these hadith, these are the actions that cause people to curse the one who did certain action. which are relieving oneself in three places
i. Drinking water
ii. a path to walk on
iii. a shade to sit under. – a tree or any shade that people use to take cover.

In general the hadith also mean not to relieve oneself where people often frequent or can take benefit from it. It does not mean that one cannot relieve themselves under a tree at all. It only means not to do it at where people usually take benefit from.

2. The Prohibition of urinating in Stagnant Water (Water that does not flow)

Jaabir reported that the Messenger sallalahu alaihi wasalam forbade the practice of urinating in stagnant water (that is water that does not flow such as a puddle, a pond) -Muslim, An Nassaaee and Ibn Majah.

For greater reason it is not allowed to defecate in it

The reason behind it is, urine is very likely to contaminate stagnant water and this will harm other people who want to use it.

Does this include swimming pool? Large lakes? lakes that are connected to river or sea?

Imam Nawawi said: “If the water is a lot and is flowing and attached to the seas or river, it is permissible or makrouh.”

As for pool, some scholars dervie that if the water is a lot than it is permissible but some say it is prohibited. Read in Islamweb HERE.

The best is to refrain from doing that. If you need to pee at the pool, get out of the pool and pee in the toilet.

3. The Prohibition of Facing the Qiblah or Turning One’s Back to it When Using the Toilet.

There are several hadith on this matter

Abu Ayub Al Ansaree related that the Messenger of Allah sallalahu alaihi wasalam said,

When one of you turns to defecate, then he should neither face the qiblah nor turns his back to it, but rather, it should be to his east or west (left or right)

Another hadith

Jabeer Ibn Abdullah said, “The Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasalam forbade us from facing the Qiblah and urinating at the same time. Then one year before he died, I saw him facing it (while urinating). (Tirmidhee hasan by AlAlbanee.)

Purification (Kitab Al-Taharah)

Dawud :: Book 1 : Hadith 11

Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar:

Marwan al-Asfar said: I saw Ibn Umar make his camel kneel down facing the qiblah, then he sat down urinating in its direction. So I said: AbuAbdurRahman, has this not been forbidden? He replied: Why not, that was forbidden only in open country; but when there is something between you and the qiblah that conceals you , then there is no harm.

There are different opinions to whether it is alowed or not to face or turn against the qiblah when relieving oneself. Insya Allah we will take the strongest opinion.

i. It is totally not allowed to face the qiblah during relieving of oneself.
ii. Some scholars say if urinating in a building, then it is okay. However if it is done in the open, then this is not allowed.
iii. Other say it is makruh and one should try to avoid it. This is the STRONGEST opinion.

Thus bear this in mind the next time we go outdor and need to relieve oneself. Also bear this in mind when we make our makeshift toilet. This again call that we must be aware of the qiblah direction when we are in the open. ALhamdulillah we have gadgets to help us with that.

4. Do not forget to recite the du’a to enter the toilet

So you are in the outdoor and there is no door for the toilet because there is no proper toilet in the first place. But it does not mean that we should not be reciting the du’a.

As you approach the spot that you have chosen to urinate or pass stool or before you are about to sit down, say the invocation. And when you are finished, say the invocation of leaving the bathroom.

An Nawawee said, “It is agreed upon that these manners are recommended, that there is no distinctions between buildings and wide open sapces. And Allah knows best.”

5. Make Sure No One Can See You

The Book of Purification (Kitab Al-Taharah)

Muslim :: Book 2 : Hadith 527

Mughira b. Shu’ba reported: I was in the company of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) on a journey when he said: Mughira take hold of this jar (of water). I took hold of it and I went out with him. (I stopped but) the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) proceeded on till he was out of my sight. He relieved himself and then came back

Purification (Kitab Al-Taharah)

Dawud :: Book 1 : Hadith 1

Narrated Mughirah ibn Shu’bah:

When the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) went (outside) to relieve himself, he went to a far-off place.

Purification (Kitab Al-Taharah)

Dawud :: Book 1 : Hadith 14

Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar:

When the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) wanted to relieve himself, he would not raise his garment, until he lowered himself near the ground.

The Book of Menstruation (Kitab Al-Haid)

Muslim :: Book 3 : Hadith 673

‘Abdullah b. Ja’far reported: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) one day made me mount behind him and he confided to me something secret which I would not disclose to anybody; and the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) liked the concealment provided by a lofty place or cluster of dates (while answering the call of nature), Ibn Asma’ said in his narration: It implied an enclosure of the date-trees.

An Nawaweee said, “The point of jurisprudence one learns from the hadith is that, when one goes to relieve himself, it is recommended that for him to conceal himself behind a cluster of trees, behind a mound, in some lowland, or anything similar. What is important is that that his entire body becomes hidden from the view of others This is sunnah muakaddah. Allah knows best.

Also, if one has to pass stool or urine in open terrain, he should not raise his garment until he lowers himself to the ground, especially if there is someone who can see him. It’s easier if he has a thawb or abaya or a sarong.

6. To Stand or To Sit?

We have discussed earlier, HERE, that it is better to sit than to stand. But if you are at a place, where it is dirty to sit then you are allowed to stand with the following conditions
i. He must be safe from his garment or body become sullied
ii. He must be safe from anyone seeing him.

Thus among the things that we learned today in terms of the etiquette of going to the toilet are

1. To avoid relieving ourself at places where people take shade, pathway that leads to water, people’s path.
2. Urinating in stagnant water. may be a puddle or a pond.
3. Facing or backing the Qiblah.
4. To recite the du’a before relieving oneself and after it.
5. It is better to sit when relieving oneself but one is allowed to stand if one needs to.

Allah knows best.

References
1. The Book of Manners – Darussalam
2. Bulugh Maram – Al hafiz Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani – Darussalam.

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