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1,001 Sayings and Deeds of the Prophet

Call of Nature

Nothing, absolutely nothing escaped the Prophet's attention; not even the number of stones needed to wipe oneself in the desert home of Islam.

Why anyone could possibly think that the following hadiths are the equivalent of revealed truths and an example for mankind, except perhaps for the common sense recommendation about not wiping yourself with dung, is quite extraordinary, to say the least.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

I followed the Prophet while he was going out to answer the call of nature. He used not to look this way or that. So, when I approached near him he said to me, "Fetch for me some stones for cleaning the privates parts (or said something similar), and do not bring a bone or a piece of dung."

So I brought the stones in the corner of my garment and placed them by his side and I then went away from him. When he finished (from answering the call of nature) he used them.

Bukhari 4:157

Narrated Abdullah:

The Prophet went out to answer the call of nature and asked me to bring three stones. I found two stones and searched for the third but could not find it. So took a dried piece of dung and brought it to him.

He took the two stones and threw away the dung and said, "This is a filthy thing."

Bukhari 4:158

Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "Whoever performs ablution should clean his nose with water by putting the water in it and then blowing it out, and whoever cleans his private parts with stones should do it with odd number of stones."

Bukhari 4:162

You would also think that toilet paper, for believers like those found in Saudi Arabia, would have replaced stones. But you would be wrong. Stones may no longer be in fashion, but neither is toilet paper; that wonderful convenience did not exist at the time of the Prophet therefore to use it is to deviate from his example.

God’s Messenger also warned his followers that to innovate in anything after his passing was a one way ticket to Hell for the innovator ("Every innovation is a misguidance and every misguidance goes to Hell Fire") and it is assumed, the user of the damned innovation. For Islamists, those who would see a return to the good old days, no stones no problem, that is what your left hand is for, and water, if it is available.

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

Whenever Allah's Apostle went to answer the call of nature, I along with another boy used to accompany him with a tumbler full of water. (Hisham commented, "So that he might wash his private parts with it.")

Bukhari 4:152

If a man needs to hold his penis while urinating, he should do so with his left hand.

Narrated Abu Qatada:

Allah's Apostle 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 penis nor clean his private parts with his right hand."

Bukhari 4:155

Before answering the call of nature, God’s Messenger offered a prayer, possibly to ward off evil spirits in the vicinity.

Narrated Anas:

Whenever the Prophet went to answer the call of nature, he used to say, "Allah-umma inni a'udhu bika minal khubuthi wal khaba'ith (O Allah, I seek Refuge with You from all offensive and wicked things (evil deeds and evil spirits)."

Bukhari 4:144

You did your business squatting sideways to the Ka’ba, unless there was a partition between you and It.

Narrated Abu Aiyub Al-Ansari:

Allah's Apostle said, "If anyone of you goes to an open space for answering the call of nature he should neither face nor turn his back towards the Qibla; he should either face the east or the west."

Bukhari 4:146

Narrated Abdullah bin Umar:

People say, "Whenever you sit for answering the call of nature, you should not face the Qibla or Bait-ulMaqdis (Jerusalem)."

I told them, "Once I went up the roof of our house and I saw Allah's Apostle answering the call of nature while sitting on two bricks facing Bait-ul-Maqdis (Jerusalem) but there was a screen covering him."

Bukhari 4:147

Sometimes you have to improvise, and ask Allah for forgiveness.

Narrated Abu Aiyub Al-Ansari:

The Prophet said, "While defecating, neither face nor turn your back to the Qibla but face either east or west."

Abu Aiyub added. "When we arrived in Sham we came across some lavatories facing the Qibla; therefore we turned ourselves while using them and asked for Allah's forgiveness."

Bukhari 8.388