Turkish Religious Body Issues Fatwa Allowing Muslims to Use Toilet Paper

Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs, known as the Diyanet, issued a fatwa that allows Muslims to use toilet paper. However, the department reminded people “that water should be the primary source of cleansing.”

“If water cannot be found for cleansing, other cleaning materials can be used,” the Diyanet claimed in a statement. “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.”

Islam requires believers to adhere to strict rules regarding bathroom use. When a Muslim enters the bathroom, “one should say the A’udhu (isti’adha) and Basmala and then recite the prayer ‘Allahumma innee a’oodhu bika minal khubthi wal khabaa-ith,’” which means “O Allah! I seek refuge in you from male and female noxious beings (devils or evil Jinn).” The person must enter the bathroom “with one’s left foot and exit with one’s right foot.” No one should “face or have one’s back toward the qibla (direction of prayer – the Ka’ba in Mecca) when urinating or defecating.” One website claimed people must clean their private parts with their fingers and dry with a cloth. Toilet paper is allowed if a proper cloth is not available.

In Turkey, the toilets contain a nozzle in the back of the toilet called taharet muslugu. It turns on and allows Muslims to clean themselves with flowing water. There are quite a few websites dedicated to informing travelers regarding restrooms in the Muslim nation.

The Diyanet also told followers they are allowed to use products containing alcohol for hygiene “as long as the alcohol was not consumed.”

“If [substances containing alcohol] spill onto a dress or the body, they must be washed or they cannot perform a prayer,” stated the department. “While it is forbidden to drink substances containing alcohol that were produced for cleaning purposes, it is acceptable to use them for cleaning. Therefore the places that were cleaned with such substances need not be washed before performing a prayer.”


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