What is meant by the du’a of entering the washroom and what is its fiqh (comprehension of the hadith)?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
The Prophet PBUH is a man of the best character. He PBUH portrayed ethics to us through his words, actions and etc. that even the tiniest action is not abandoned by him. For that, this Irsyad al-Hadith will be explaining the status of du’a of entering the washroom as well as the fiqh related to it.
Matn (Text) of the Hadith
It is narrated by Anas bin Malik RA:
كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذَا دَخَلَ الْخَلاَءَ قَالَ " اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْخُبُثِ وَالْخَبَائِثِ "
Whenever the Prophet (ﷺ) went to the lavatory, he used to say: "Allahumma inni a`udhu bika min al-khubuthi wal khaba'ith (O Allah, I seek refuge with You from male and female devils)”
Sahih al-Bukhari (139)
The Definition of Shaytan
The phrase shaytan (شيطان) derives from the phrase syathana (شَطَنَ) that means to oppose, contravene or disobey. According to Imam Ibn Kathir, the phrase shaytan lexically means far, in which its behaviour is far from of humans’ and its disobedience is far from any good deed. [See: Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 1/115]
Besides, each creation whether jinn, humans and animals that disobey Allah SWT’s commandments as well as calling towards evildoings and far from any goodness is named as shaytan. This is in accordance with the saying of Allah SWT:
وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِيٍّ عَدُوًّا شَيَاطِينَ الْإِنسِ وَالْجِنِّ يُوحِي بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ زُخْرُفَ الْقَوْلِ غُرُورًا
And thus We have made for every prophet an enemy - devils from mankind and jinn, inspiring to one another decorative speech in delusion.
Surah al-An’am (112)
The Names of Shaytan
Among the names of shaytan mentioned in the hadith of the Prophet PBUH:
Uthman bin Abi al-Asr came to meet the Prophet PBUH, then he said:
يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ قَدْ حَالَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ صَلاَتِي وَقِرَاءَتِي يَلْبِسُهَا عَلَىَّ . فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم " ذَاكَ شَيْطَانٌ يُقَالُ لَهُ خِنْزِبٌ فَإِذَا أَحْسَسْتَهُ فَتَعَوَّذْ بِاللَّهِ مِنْهُ وَاتْفِلْ عَلَى يَسَارِكَ ثَلاَثًا " . قَالَ فَفَعَلْتُ ذَلِكَ فَأَذْهَبَهُ اللَّهُ عَنِّ
Allah's Messenger, the Satan intervenes between me and my prayer and my reciting of the Qur'an and he confounds me. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said: That is (the doing of a) Satan (devil) who is known as Khinzab, and when you perceive its effect, seek refuge with Allah from it and spit three times to your left. I did that and Allah dispelled that from me.
Sahih Muslim (2203)
It is narrated from Ubaiy bin Ka’ab that the Prophet PBUH said:
إِنَّ لِلْوُضُوءِ شَيْطَانًا يُقَالُ لَهُ الْوَلْهَانُ فَاتَّقُوا وَسْوَاسَ الْمَاءِ
"Indeed there is a Shaitan for Wudu' who is called "AI-Walahan." So beware of having misgivings about water."
Jami’ al-Tirmidhi (52) [Imam al-Tirmidhi said this hadith is gharib and its sanad is dhaif (weak) according to ahl al-hadith because we do not know anyone who narrates this hadith other than Kharijah. This hadith also has been narrated by some other chain based on the narration of al-Hassan and there is no sahih hadith from the Prophet PBUH in this chapter. In addition, the narration of Kharijah is not strong according to our companion and he (Kharijah) is evaluated as dhaif (weak) to Ibn Mubarak].
It is narrated from Abdullah bin Mas’ud RA that the Prophet PBUH said:
" مَا مِنْكُمْ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلاَّ وَقَدْ وُكِّلَ بِهِ قَرِينُهُ مِنَ الْجِنِّ " . قَالُوا وَإِيَّاكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ " وَإِيَّاىَ إِلاَّ أَنَّ اللَّهَ أَعَانَنِي عَلَيْهِ فَأَسْلَمَ فَلاَ يَأْمُرُنِي إِلاَّ بِخَيْرٍ "
There is none amongst you with whom is not an attache from amongst the jinn (devil). They (the Companions) said: Allah's Messenger, with you too? Thereupon he said: Yes, but Allah helps me against him and so I am safe from his hand and he does not command me but for good.
Sahih Muslim (5034)
- There are other names for the child of Iblis, but there is no solid proof. It is narrated from Imam al-Munawi that Mujahid said that Iblis have five children and each one of them has its own role. They are:
- Syibr (شبر) whose role is to destroy humans and calls towards ignorance.
- While al-A’war (الأعور) has the role of seducing and calling people towards adultery.
- Sauth (سوط)’s role is to seduce and call people towards falsehood.
- Dasim (داسم)’s role is to cause chaos in a family until enmity is formed.
- While Zalanbur (زلنبور) is a shaytan who resides at the market so that falsehood and bad things may happen. [See: Faidh al-Qadir, 2/503]
The Definition of al-Isti’azah
Al-Isti’azah (الاستعاذة) or al-Ta’awwuz (التعوذ) means asking for protection from Allah SWT from any evilness and evildoings. So, when a person says isti’azah before reciting al-Quran, he is asking for protection and care from Allah SWT.
Expressions of al-Isti’azah
The most famous expression is (أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم) as mentioned in al-Quran through His SWT saying:
فَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرْآنَ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّـهِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ
So when you recite the Qur'an, [first] seek refuge in Allah from Satan, the expelled [from His mercy].
Surah al-Nahl (98)
There is one more expression of al-isti’azah which is (أعوذ بًالله السميع العليم من الشيطان الرجيم) as stated in the hadith narrated by Abi Said al-Khudri, he said:
انَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذَا قَامَ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ كَبَّرَ ثُمَّ يَقُولُ " سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَبِحَمْدِكَ وَتَبَارَكَ اسْمُكَ وَتَعَالَى جَدُّكَ وَلاَ إِلَهَ غَيْرُكَ " . ثُمَّ يَقُولُ " لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ " . ثَلاَثًا ثُمَّ يَقُولُ " اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ كَبِيرًا " . ثَلاَثًا " أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ السَّمِيعِ الْعَلِيمِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ مِنْ هَمْزِهِ وَنَفْخِهِ وَنَفْثِهِ "
When the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) got up to pray at night (for tahajjud prayer) he uttered the takbir and then said: "Glory be to Thee, O Allah," and "Praise be to Thee" and "Blessed is Thy name," and Exalted is Thy greatness." and "There is no god but Thee." He then said: "There is no god but Allah" three times; he then said: "Allah is altogether great" three times: "I seek refuge in Allah, All-Hearing and All-Knowing from the accursed devil, from his evil suggestion (hamz), from his puffing up (nafkh), and from his spitting (nafth)" He then recited (the Qur'an).
Sunan Abi Dawud (658)
General Meaning of al-Isti’azah
I seek refuge from Allah SWT from the accursed devil as well as deviance and harm towards my religion and life. Besides, help me in practising everything that You command and protect me from committing things that You forbid.
Why we are commanded to say isti’azah before entering the washroom?
The scholars have decided that among the reasons why we are commanded to seek refuge from Allah SWT upon entering the washroom is so that we are protected from shaytan who reside in places of najis and where awrah is exposed. In a hadith narrated from Zaid bin Arqam RA, the Prophet PBUH said:
إِنَّ هَذِهِ الْحُشُوشَ مُحْتَضَرَةٌ فَإِذَا أَتَى أَحَدُكُمُ الْخَلاَءَ فَلْيَقُلْ أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنَ الْخُبُثِ وَالْخَبَائِثِ
These privies are frequented by the jinns and devils. So when anyone amongst you goes there, he should say: "I seek refuge in Allah from male and female devils."
Sunan Abi Dawud (5)
In conclusion, the du’a of entering the washroom is established from the hadith of the Prophet PBUH as stated above. Besides, we are also commanded to always seek help and protection from Allah SWT in whatever circumstances especially from the whispers of shaytan. Lastly, may Allah SWT give us taufiq and hidayah for whatever we are doing in our life. Ameen.