Islamic toilet etiquette, called the Qadaa al-Haajah, contains rules that predate the invention of modern commercial roll-based dispensers toilet paper which was invented in 1883. According to the strict Islamic Sharia code, Muslims cannot use it. But now, thanks to Turkey’s top religious authority Diyanet, it has decreed that Muslims now may use toilet paper – though water is still preferable for cleansing.
“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,” the Directorate of Religious Affairs, or Diyanet, said in a statement about the fatwa.
However, newspapers are still completely forbidden to use in Islam since there are written words or images and Muslims could accidentally be wiping with words that could have Allah, the Prophet’s name or any holy names or words.
Diyanet last month also gave its blessing to hand sanitizers containing alcohol.
“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,” the Diyanet said, the Hurriyet Daily News reported.
The Diyanet also ruled that people may only beg out of desperation. Those who beg for money beyond their immediate needs are “demanding the fire of hell,” the paper reported.
Muslims must also squat while relieving themselves. They also must remain silent while on the toilet and leave with the right foot while saying a prayer “Praise be to Allah who relieved me of the filth and gave me relief.”
Sachiko Murata (1992), III, The Two Hands of God”, The Tao of Islam