Using Public Washrooms and Purity for Prayer
  • Question:

    If I use public toilet that has no access for water, can I use tissue? If someone is not sure if his dress is still pure after using public toilet and he is not able to go home to change clothes, how can one pray in that case?

    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question. Your interest in purity and prayer is praiseworthy.

    Tissue or toilet paper can be used to clean oneself, provided one ensures complete cleanliness from impurities.

    The author of Mukhtasar al Quduri writes,

    “Cleansing the excretory passages [after excretion] is sunnah (prophetic practice). Stones, clods and suitable alternatives [such as tissue paper] are sufficient for it. One rubs it until [the area] is clean. There is no prescribed number of stones or rubs for it. Washing with water is better.” (Mukhtasar al Quduri)

    Prayer with impure clothes is not permitted. Impurities are usually identifiable by smell or sight.

    If one is unsure, or merely speculating without certainty, then such a doubt will not be considered. One should go ahead and pray. This is due to the fiqh principle ‘certainty is not removed by doubt’. Only refrain from praying in such a scenario where you are certain there are impurities more than the size of an average coin on your clothing. The following narration specifies this principle:

    “If any of you feel something in your stomach and are unclear whether something has been emitted or not, then you should not leave the Masjid, unless you hear a sound or smell a [foul] odour.” (Sahih Muslim)

    If one is constantly challenged with such situations, then one can be prepared in advance, by carrying extra pairs of clothing and bottles of water as well. May Allah bless one and all with success.

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah Institute
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