A Prayer in the Washroom

Is it possible to pray to God in the toilet?

— Of course you can, If God is omnipresent, He is present in the toilet too. Its man-made rule that we shouldn’t pray in toilet. We can and we shall pray to him whenever we feel like.  When we pray with our whole heart, even if we are in Toilet, he will respond there too.


Asher yatzar

Asher yatzar (ברכת) אשר יצר) “Who [has] formed [man(kind)]”) is a blessing in Judaism. It is traditionally recited after engaging in an act of excretion,[1] but is also included in many Jewish prayer books as a part of daily prayer prior to birkot hashachar.[2]

The purpose of this blessing is to thank God for good health.[1] It expresses thanks for having the ability to excrete, for without it existence would be impossible.[3]

Though recited normally by observant Jews each time excretory functions are used, hence giving it the name the “bathroom blessing”,[4] it is also recited during the Shacharit service due to its spiritual significance (to Jews, humans are made in God’s image, so it is an expression of awe toward God’s creations).[5]

Process

After completing urination or defecation and upon leaving the bathroom, the person washes their hands. According to Jewish etiquette, this should be done outside the bathroom, but if there is no source of water available outside the bathroom, it is permissible to wash one’s hands inside the bathroom, then dry them outside. No al netilat yadayim blessing is recited for the handwashing.[6]

Following the washing and drying of one’s hands, the asher yatzar blessing is recited –

English [Presented in Nusach Sfarad; see footnotes for other Nuschaot]
“Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, King of the universe, Who formed man with wisdom and created within him many openings and many hollow spacesIt is obvious and known before Your Seat of Honor that if even one of them would be opened, or if even one of them would be sealed, it would be impossible to survive and to stand before You even for one hour. Blessed are You, Adonai, Who heals all flesh and acts wondrously.”
Hebrew [Presented in Nusach Sfarad; see footnotes for other Nuschaot]
‮”בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, אֲשֶׁר יָצַר אֶת הָאָדָם בְּחָכְמָה, וּבָרָא בוֹ נְקָבִים נְקָבִים חֲלוּלִים חֲלוּלִיםגָּלוּי וְיָדוּעַ לִפְנֵי כִסֵּא כְבוֹדֶךָשֶׁאִם יִפָּתֵחַ אֶחָד מֵהֶם, אוֹ יִסָּתֵם אֶחָד מֵהֶם, אִי אֶפְשַׁר לְהִתְקַיֵּם וְלַעֲמוֹד לְפָנֶיךָ אַפִלּוּ שָׁעָה אֶחָת. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי, רוֹפֵא כָל בָּשָׂר וּמַפְלִיא לַעֲשׂוֹת:”‬

People with medical issues

There is no consensus as to whether or not (or how often) a person with medical issues should recite asher yatzar:[7]

  • A person suffering from incontinence should recite the blessing after urination, even if it is involuntary
  • One who has no bowel or bladder control does not recite the blessing at all, as it is widely believed Satan is the one causing the excretion
  • One who, as a result of a medication, feels an interrupted need to urinate, should recite the blessing a single time after s/he has emptied his/her bladder
  • One who has a urinary catheter is considered to engage in a single act of urination lasting the entire day, so the catheter’s wearer should recite the blessing once in the morning with the intent that it apply to all urination for the entire day.
  • One who has diarrhea should recite the blessing after each instance of diarrhea
  • One who has taken a laxative should not recite the blessing until the laxative has done its work
  • One whose mind is not completely settled due to an illness is exempt

References

  1. Rabbi Ronald H. Isaacs (1997). Every person’s guide to Jewish prayer. Jason Aronson, Inc. Retrieved 2011-09-09.
  2.  Shaarei halachah: a summary of laws … – Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-09-09.
  3.  1,001 Questions and Answers on Rosh … – Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-09-09.
  4.  God in your body: Kabbalah … – Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-09-09.
  5.  1,001 Questions and Answers on Rosh … – Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-09-09.
  6.  Shaarei halachah: a summary of laws … – Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-09-09.
  7.  Encyclopedia of Jewish medical … – Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-09-09.

Islamic Toilet Etiquette

Islamic toilet etiquette is a set of personal hygiene rules in Islam followed when going to the toilet. This code of Muslim hygienical jurisprudence is known as Qadaa’ al-Haajah.

The only issue that the Qur’an mentions is the one of washing one’s hands (verse 5:6). Issues of chirality (bodily symmetry), such as whether one uses the left or right hand, and which foot is used to step into or out of toilet areas, are derived from hadith sources.[1]

Rules

A Muslim must first find an acceptable place away from standing water, people’s pathways, or shade.[2] They are advised that it is better to enter the area with the left foot,[3]facing away from the Qiblah (prayer point).[4] It is reported in the hadith of Bukhari that whenever Muhammad went to the toilet, he said, Bismillahi Allahumma Inni Audhubika Minal Khubsi Wal Khabais (“In the name of Allah, O Allah! I seek refuge/protection with/in You from all offensive and wicked things”) (alternate translation: “from evil deeds and evil spirits” and “from the male and female unclean spirits”).[5] Following this prophetic ideal, Muslims are advised to say this supplication before entering into the toilet.

While on the toilet, one must remain silent. Talking, answering greetings, or greeting others is strongly discouraged.[4] When defecating together, two men cannot converse, nor look at each other’s genitals. [6] Eating any food while on the toilet is strictly forbidden.[4]

The anus must be washed with water using the left hand after defecating. Similarly, the penis and vulva must be washed with water with the left hand after urinating. This washing is known as istinja. The Qur’an suggests that one should wash one’s hands as well, which is discussed in verse 5:6.

When leaving the toilet, one is advised to leave with the right foot,[3] and also say a prayer – “Praise be to Allah who relieved me of the filth and gave me relief.”[4]

References

  1.  Sachiko Murata (1992), “ch. 3 The Two Hands of God”, The Tao of IslamISBN 978-0-7914-0913-8
  2.  Narrated by Abu Hurairah and collected in Sahih Muslim (Book 002, Number 0516
  3. Narrated by Anas bin Malik and collected in Sahih al-Bukhari (Volume 1, Book 4, Number 144) and Sahih Muslim (Book 003, Number 729)
  4. Shu’aib, Tajuddin B., “Qadaahul Haajah (Relieving Oneself)”The Prescribed Prayer Made Simple, MSA West Compendium of Muslim Texts, archived from the original on 2009-08-19, retrieved 2009-03-10
  5.  Hadith of Bukhari: Volumes I, II, III & IV,1944. P.39. Hadith 1:144, Bukhari 1/45, Muslim 2/1/283, Fathul-Bari 1/244
  6.  [1] Archived 2011-05-25 at the Wayback Machine[2]

Dua for Entering and Leaving bathroom

Prayer before entering the washroom
When God’s Messenger entered the privy, he used to say,

“O God, I seek refuge in You from male and female devils.”

Prayer on coming out of the washroom
When God’s Messenger came out of the privy, he said,

“Praise be to God Who has removed harm from me and kept me in good health.”

Leave a Reply

Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: