Commentary on the Hadith Concerning facing Qiblaa while Urinating

Praise be to Allah,


Narrated Abu Ayyoob Al-Ansaaree (May Allah be please with him): The Prophet (PBUH) said,

“While defecating, neither face nor turn your back to the Qiblah (Ka‟ bah at Makkah) but face either east or west.”


Aboo Ayyoob (May Allah be please with him) added, “When we arrived in Ash-Shaam we came across some lavatories facing the Qibla; therefore, we turned ourselves while using them and asked for Allah’s forgiveness.”[i]


In another narration:


It was narrated that Abdullaah bin Umar (May Allah be please with him) said:

“I went up on the roof of my sister Hafsah‟s house, and I saw the Messenger of Allaah (PBUH) sitting to relieve himself[ii], facing towards Ash-Shaam which his back towards the Qiblah [or Ka‟bah[iii]].”[iv] And in another narration “Facing Bait Al-Maqdis.”



Ikh-tilaaf [Difference of Opinion]


Concerning Facing the Qiblah while using the Toilet.


  1. Facing or turning one back towards the Qiblah is absolutely prohibited in every condition. This was the opinion of Aboo Ayyoob, Mujaahid, Ibraheem an- Naka‟ee, ath-Thawree, Ibn Hazm, Ibn Taymiyyah, and Ibn al-Qayyim. They cited the authentic hadeeth which indicate the absolute prohibition such as the hadeeth of Aboo Ayyoob above.


The poular Hanafi book Durr al-Mukhtar, it says,


“It is also prohibitively disliked to face or give one’s back to the qibla [A: that is, its direction] in order to urinate or defecate. As for cleaning one’s private parts it is not [A: prohibitively] disliked to do so. This is true even in buildings because the prohibition is not conditioned. If one sits facing the qibla, forgetfully, and then remembers, it is recommended to turn away if possible, because of the hadith related by al-Tabari, “Whoever sits to urinate facing the qibla and then, realizing this, turns away in exaltation for it shall not leave except with his sins being forgiving.” However, if it is not possible to turn away, there is nothing wrong with it.”



  1. Facing or turning one back towards the Qiblah is absolutely permissible. This was the opinion of Aishah, Urwah ibn az-Zubair, Rabee‟ah, Daawood az- Zaahiree. They cited as proof the authentic hadeeth indicating the permissibility, such as the present hadeeth of Ibn Umar.


Another hadeeth used is the following: Jaabir ibn Abdullaah (May Allah be please with him) said,

“The Prophet of Allaah (PBUH) had prohibited us from facing the Qiblah while urinating. Then, I saw him facing it (while urinating, and this was) a year before he died.”[v]



  1. Those who said the issue requires combining or reconciliation of the evidence, and that the correct opinion is that facing the Qiblah is forbidden in an open field but permissible in a fixed structure such as a house in which case one should at least turn one‟s body away from the Qiblah. This is the opinion of Imams Maalik, ash-Shafi‟ee, Ahmad and Ishaaq; while it has also been reported from Abdullaah ibn Umar and Ash-Sha‟abee.


Marwaan al-Asfar said: I saw Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) making his camel kneel facing towards the qiblah and urinating in that direction. I said, “O Abu ‘Abd al-Rahmaan, is that not forbidden? He said, “It is only forbidden to do that out in the open, but if there is something between you and the qiblah that conceals you, there is nothing wrong with it.”[vi]


  1. Those who also saw the need to combine or reconcile the apparent contradiction between the two hadeeth in question, and they said the hadeeth of Aboo Ayyoob indicated Kiraahah [that facing the Qiblah is disliked], not Tahreem (absolute prohibition) while the hadeeth of Ibn Umar indicates Jawaaz (permissibility).


  1. Basic Principle: Whenever it is possible to reconcile between two apparently contradictory texts, it is a necessity to do so, before declaring the abrogation of any one of them.


Important Points Derived from the Hadeeth:


  1. General Rule: The Commands and Prohibitions of the Law (Sharee‟ ah) are addressed to all Muslims in general. This is the original rule. However, there may be some instances when a command or prohibition is specifically addressed to individuals from amongst the Muslims. The command in this hadeeth is one such instance. His saying: but “face either east or west” is a command specifically directed to the People of al-Madeenah and whoever is in the same direction, such that if they face east or west, they would not be facing the Qiblah.


  1. The wisdom behind this is to respect and honor the Ka‟ bah, the First House of Worship.


  1. The intended meaning of Istigh-faar (seeking forgiveness) mentioned by Aboo Ayyoob al-Ansaaree (May Allah be please with him) in this hadeeth, is seeking forgiveness in one’s heart, and not saying with the tongue: I seek forgiveness from Allah – while one is at the toilet in the state of urinating or defecating. Mentioning the name of Allah by one’s tongue while uncovering the private parts and relieving oneself is not allowed.



  1. Permission to turn one’s back towards the Ka‟ bah while relieving oneself, in the case where someone is in a building [a fixed toilet in a house].


  1. Permission to face Bait al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) while relieving oneself, contrary to the opinion of those who consider it to be something detestable (makrooh).


  1. Abu Ayoob (May Allah be please with him) says that they arrived at Ash-Shaam after conquering it and they found their bathrooms built before Ash-Shaam became an Islamic land with their direction facing the Qiblah. So, they would turn away from it and they would ask Allah for forgiveness, either because they did not change it to a direction other than the qiblah or because their turning was not a complete turn away from the qibla because of the difficultly in that as the direction of the bathrooms was facing it.


  1. There is nothing reprehensible in facing the sun or the moon while urinating or defecating.


  1. The permissibility of climbing to the top of the house of a relative and things similar to that unless it is known he is not pleased with that.


Allah Knows Best


Copied from Sources:

Arousing the Intellects with the Explanation of Umdatul Ahkaam. The Book Of At-Taharaah by Allama Sheikh Salih Ibn Uthaymeen (May Allah have mercy on him). page 44-46

Tayseer al-Allaam Sharh Umdatul-Ahkaam by Shaykh Abdullah ibn Abdur – Rahmaan Aal Bassaam. Page 34-36



[i] Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 1, Book 8, Hadeeth Number 394, p. 261; Saheeh Muslim, Volume 1, Book 2,

Hadeeth Number 609, p. 387

[ii] Haafiz Aboo Taahir Zubayr „Alee Za‟i said, “The words „I saw the Messenger of Allaah‟ does not mean

that Ibn „Umar saw the Prophet ( ) without a screen covering him. The fact of the matter is that the toilet

wall not being very high, he was able to see the Prophet‟s head, which indicated that ther Prophet ( ) was

sitting with his back towards the House of Allaah and face towards Baitul-Maqdis (Jerusalem)…” [Sunan

Ibn Maajah, Volume 1, Book 1, Commentary Of Hadeeth Number 322, p. 279] – Ed.

[iii] The word „Ka‟bah‟ is used in the version recorded in: Jaami‟ at-Tirmithee, Volume 1, Book 1, Hadeeth

Number 11, p. 41-42; Imaam Tirmithee said, “This Hadeeth is Hasan Saheeh.” Classed as Saheeh by Haafiz Aboo Taahir Zubayr „Alee Za‟i – Ed.

[iv] Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 1, Book 4, Hadeeth Number 148, p. 142; Saheeh Muslim, Volume 1, Book 2,

Hadeeth Number 612, p. 388

[v] [Sunan Aboo Daawood, volume 1, Book 1, Hadeeth Number 13, p. 33, Classed as Hasan by Haafiz Aboo Taahir Zubayr „Alee Za‟i] – Ed.


[vi] Abu Dawood and al-Haakim. Abu Dawood did not say anything about it, but al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar said in al-Fath: Its isnaad is hasan

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