Assalamualaikum w.b.t. Basically, Malays use their left hand to do istinjak, in the sense of using the hand itself to rub his anus. In my opinion, this will raise negative perceptions among non-Muslims. What I understand by using the left hand is to hold the pipe, tissue, or stone which are used to do istinjak. Is that the true method commanded in Islam?
Hope for an explanation. Thank you.
The most prioritized istinjak method in Islam is by using both purification materials which are solid materials like stone and tissue. Only then the private part is washed by water without touching the anus with a bare hand. This is because, ‘ain najis (the essence of the najis) will be wiped out first by using the solid material, then the excess will be cleansed using water.
Therefore, one’s bare hand will not touch the najis and it can be removed effectively. If possible, it is best to practice the prioritized method in istinjak like this in our daily life. While at the same time denying negative perception on the methods of istinjak in Islamic teachings.
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.
Islam highly emphasizes cleanliness. Indeed, Allah SWT loves people who always repent and purify themselves. His saying in al-Quran:
إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ
Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves."
Surah al-Baqarah (222)
Also, the Prophet PBUH explained that cleanliness is part of complete faith. The Prophet PBUH said:
الطَّهُورُ شَطْرُ الْإِيمَانِ
Purity is half of iman (faith)
Sahih Muslim (223)
Therefore, Islam sanctions its ummah to purify themselves from najis through istinjak from all hadas, whether small or big ones by taking ablution and obligatory bath before performing some acts of worship which comes with the condition of being in a pure state like prayer, touching the mushaf of al-Quran, tawaf and etc.
Coming back to the question asked, there is confusion among the Muslim community that Islam teaches its ummah to use bare hand for istinjak.
Firstly, we should understand that istinjak can be done whether by using water or anything which able to replace it among the solid materials like stones, tissues or using both.
The scholars had explained the prioritized way of doing istinjak. The methods are by removing the ‘ain of the najis first using solid materials, then is washed by water to remove the najis excess without touching it using bare hand.
This is as what is mentioned in most books of Fiqh al-Shafie, among them is what was mentioned by Imam Khatib al-Syarbini in his book, al-Iqna’:
والأفضل أن يستنجي بالأحجار أو ما في معناها ثم يتبعها بالماء لأن العين تزول بالحجر أو ما في معناه، و الأثر يزول بالماء من غير حاجة إلى مخامرة النجاسة
And the most prioritized way is by doing istinjak first using stones or their equivalents, followed by washing with water. This is because the ‘ain of the najis will be wiped out by stones or its equivalents, while its excess will be wiped out by washing with water without having to have direct contact with the najis. (Refer al-‘Iqna fi Hall al-Alfaz Abi Syuja’, 1:53)
Hence, by explaining the prioritized way of istinjak, definitely it may lift the negative perception of istinjak in Islam as raised in the above question.
Based on the above discussion and arguments, we conclude that the most prioritized way of istinjak in Islam is by using both purification materials which are solid materials like stones and tissues. Only then is the washing by water without touching the anus. This is because, ‘ain of the najis will be wiped out by the solid materials first, and then its excess will be cleansed by water.
Therefore, one’s hand may not touch the najis and it may be removed effectively. If possible, it is best to practice the prioritized method in istinjak like this in our daily life. While at the same time denying negative perception on the methods of istinjak in Islamic teachings.
May Allah SWT give us true understanding in His Shari’a as well as taufiq and hidayah to perform worship solemnly due to Him. Ameen.