When it comes to how to act when using the bathroom, Islamic law is pretty precise and stringent.
While most people don’t really think twice when it comes to dealing with their ablutions, devout Muslims must abide by a strict code when relieving themselves, which included, till now, a prohibition on wiping with toilet paper.
However, in a move towards modernity, a new Islamic fatwa issued in Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country, has decreed that Muslims are allowed to use toilet paper, even though water and rocks are preferable.
In a revision to the traditional Muslim toilet rules, known as the Qadaa al-Haajah, the Directorate of Religious Affairs for Turkey stated that the use of toilet paper is now acceptable.
The Qadaa sets out how people should use the toilet, even though the rules therein are clearly outdated and have been surpassed by more modern hygiene principles.
For example, the laws, which were invented before toilet paper or toilets existed, stipulate that after pooping, one should use their left hand (without paper) to wipe their behind and then wash it with some water.
Other rules include not speaking while in the bathroom, or reading while on the toilet, and people are told to enter the bathroom with their left foot and exit with their right.
Men are commanded not to stand up when peeing and, like women, should crouch or squat.
The new fatwa states, “If water cannot be found for cleansing, other cleaning materials can be used. Even though some sources deem paper to be unsuitable as a cleaning material, as it is an apparatus for writing, there is no problem in using toilet paper.”
In issuing its ruling regarding hand santizers and other household products which contain alcohol, the ruling added, “While it is forbidden to drink substances containing alcohol that were produced for cleaning purposes, it is acceptable to use them for cleaning.”
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