Istinja’ is the process of cleaning the front and back passages with water to remove physical impurity. It is an integral part of keeping oneself clean. According to a hadith from the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace), one of the punishments in the grave is due to negligence in cleaning the body, more specifically leaving it impure from urine droplets (Sahih al-Bukhari 99/2).
The Fiqh of It
Where water is readily available, it would not be appropriate to use only toilet paper, as stool and urine are categorised as heavy impurities and must be cleaned properly.
Etiquette of Going to the Toilet and Istinja’
Before entering the bathroom, recite the following supplication and enter with your left foot.
In western countries, seated toilets are commonplace. Ensure that the seat is clean before sitting, as water can splash out from the bowl. After relieving oneself, use the right hand to pour the water and the left hand to perform istinja’.
After using the toilet, make sure that the seat has been cleaned and the toilet lid is put down before flushing to protect one’s body and clothes against splashes. Hands should be thoroughly washed with soap and water.
Exit the bathroom with your right foot, and recite the following:
This procedure should be taught to children from a young age, so they develop a proper understanding of hygiene and learn the proper method of physical purification.