Salaam all, I have recently converted to Islam and I'm trying to learn all the practices of our deen. This question is about Taharah after a bowel movement.

I have read online in some places that water is used to clean the impurity and in some places I have read that wiping with the left hand and water are used to clean oneself. This is what I'm confused about. Is running water (from a hose / hand shower) alone sufficient to purify oneself or is it necessary to wipe with the left hand as well? In case of the latter, does the wiping need to be done with a bare hand or a toilet paper or pure cloth?

I personally feel very uncomfortable by the thought of using my hand to touch my anus and would prefer to only use running water to clean myself but I need to know about the shari'a ruling for this so I can follow the right practices.

I would appreciate it if someone could share a detailed answer to this problem.

Thank you.

  • Salam and welcome to IslamSE the Q&A site about Islam. To learn more about our site and model consider taking the tour and checking our help center.
    – Medi1Saif
    Mar 29, 2022 at 10:57

1 Answer 1


Taharah sometimes translated as purity has the meaning of a ritual cleanness. And it mostly must be achieved by the use of water.

Without going into details let's move to your case:
It is important to know that bowel movement invalidates wudu' (ablution) and it is regarded as najis (ritually unclean) and therefore you must first remove its traces as having them on your body or clothes while you pray may keep the state of uncleanness (impurity) and therefore invalidate your wudu' (and prayer).

Having this said let's move to the practical issue: It is always preferable to remove such an impurity by the use of water. However even at the beginnings of Islam it was permissible to remove it using something solide like stones, sheets etc. therefore the best procedure (from my point of view) is to use such leafs or tissues to remove the main impurity and wash your anus using water if the tissue then shows no color and everything is clean you are done.

As a matter of fact removing a najasa requires removing the following 3 attributes: its odor, its color and its taste.

If you want I can link some posts with more details and evidences.

  • I appreciate your detailed answer and I understand that use of water is important to clean off the impurity. But my question still stands as I'm confused about having to wipe the impure particles off by using my bare hands or with a clean tissue etc. What I need to know is that is it necessary to wipe? I've always used only water to clean myself as a personal preference and I've never noticed any remnants of impurity on my body or clothes. I do use a lot of pressurized water to clean myself just to make sure that there is no impurity left without having to touch it.
    – Anon User
    Mar 30, 2022 at 11:24
  • @AnonUser well if you tested with a clean tissue (by wiping it over/around your anus) whether there's an impurity left, and didn't find it you are done. The how to here is rather your choice. There's a recommendation and preference of use of water, and an order to clean the best one is able to and the rest is up to you. Note that wasting water is frowned upon.
    – Medi1Saif
    Mar 30, 2022 at 12:07
  • Just before I ask a question are we allowed to ask another question on someone’s post? Or would you rather we make a separate question?
    – Usman
    Mar 31, 2022 at 0:01
  • @Usman depends on the question, is it a new question (then rather yes), is it a request to clarify something in the answer itself (then rather no)? But basically you could ask any question but you should better check whether it was asked before.
    – Medi1Saif
    Mar 31, 2022 at 7:45
  • @Medi1Saif that makes sense. Thanks a lot for your guidance and clarifications!
    – Anon User
    Mar 31, 2022 at 17:37

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