Thursday, November 13


I never knew that there is a difference between the toilet in my parents' house and the toilet of my Malay friends' until my teenage years. I never knew that most Malay homes have the hose instead of the toilet roll. I never knew that Muslim do the istinjak until I studied Islam. Oh, the ignorance of those years.

You see, like all Chinese, I grew up learning about hygiene from my elders. During toilet training, they don't teach as specifically as what's found in Fardu Ain.There is no specific rule found in the religious book or Buddhist guidelines instructing us what to do with that part of our body before we leave the toilet. The toilet paper is there for a purpose, that's all. After you're done, remember to flush.

Then I went to school. An all girls' school. And I used to wonder how my Malay friends clean themselves. While I used the tissue paper, they didn't appear to hold any when they entered the toilet. What did they use anyway? Didn't they clean up?
"They use water laa," said my best friend.
"Euwww, that's gross," I replied. "You mean touching the bottom with just water and fingers?"
My friend grinned.

Then I read and read. I formed close friendships with the Malay girls. I asked them. I got smarter.
"Huh, dirty people. Using the same hand to wash their bottoms and then eat their food," said my father during one of his bashing of Muslim Malays. (Oh, Father used to look down on the Muslim Malays. I don't know if he still does after his daughter becomes a Muslim herself.)
"Wrong. They use their right hand to eat and left hand to wash their bottom. It's not the same hand. And they wash their hands clean before they eat," I replied firmly.
My father glared at me and Mum kicked my foot under the table. I don't remember ever apologising for that statement. ( You see, I've always been outspoken since young :P)

When I got interested in Islam, I started reading about cleanliness according to Islam. Gosh, there's so much to know! Like most non- Muslims, I had thought that the important things Muslims do are pray 5 times a day and fast during Ramadhan. Reading those books made me realise that there's more to being a Muslim. I suppose Muslims are the cleanest people in the world. We wash each time before performing out prayers. There are even specific steps about how to wash before praying. There are specific steps about how to wash after making love, and there are steps about how to cleanse oneself properly after menstruation. And there are even instructions on how to cleanse oneself after one's done at the toilet. I mean, the instructions are given in detail. And it covers each and every part of our lives. Islam is syumul, Alhamdulillah.

Long before the toothbrush is used by Europeans, prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was already using the siwak to brush his teeth. Long before scientist discovered that washing one's hands helps prevent infection, Muslims were already performing the ablution and tayammum 5 times a day.

Oh, don't come and tell me about the state of Malaysian public toilets. They are after all, public toilets meaning they're used by anyone who has access to them. Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Taoist etc. And I know there are "modern and successful ladies" who actually stand on the toilet seats to do their business, claiming that they don't want to risk contracting venereal diseases. I mean, come on. They aren't your toilets. If you don't want to sit, then squat or go home to your own toilet seats. For readers who don't go to non-halal restaurants, all I can say is, "I didn't go to their toilets unless I was really really desperate." You see, I was a non-Muslim for 35 years, huhuhu. I know better.

Nowadays even non-Muslims' homes have the hose in the toilet. Perhaps they've been enlightened. One thing I know is, most families use the hose in the toilet to help them wash the toilet bowl easily. Not for self-cleansing. Oh, I know :P

My Chinese friend, Gee who has grown up among Malays and had adapted to the Muslims' method of using a hose in the toilet once commented, "I went overseas and there was no hose in the toilet! Just toilet paper. Gosh, I actually miss the hose."

Don't blame the others. They don't know what we Muslims know. Their own religions don't instruct them the way Islam does. Try asking them about it in a polite conversation and perhaps they'd be interested to know how we Muslims keep ourselves clean. Helpful for your dakwah? Well, I've told you what I know, haven't I?


  1. sebenarnya cara paling afdhal untuk beristinjak ialah dengan menggunakan benda kesat (e.g. tisu/kertas/batu) dulu kemudian basuh dengan air. so, orang yang guna tisu tu are not that far off from the perfect istinjak.

    in fact, takde salah pun kalau guna tisu je. ada caranya..among them are kena kesat 3 kali, cannot use the same material each time(kalau batu,kena guna different sides), dubur/qubul tak bleh kena anything else(air, lumpur) before using the benda kesat, kena sapu sampai hilang rupa, bau dan feel of the najis.

    being a medical student/doctor, we see lots of people's private parts. and i have to say that people's hygiene (in this so-called civilised/developed country where i'm living) leaves something to be desired. no wonder they're sick. smelly, fungated, warts, lice down there..bayangkan. tu belum cerita pasal those who are uncircumcised but don't practice proper hygiene.

    Alhamdulillah we were taught to be clean and hygienic. Cleanliness is next to godliness they say in the West. We say cleanliness is part of faith.

  2. Yes that true the proper way to istinjak is to wipe first with rough surface stuffs, much more cleaner.

    Apparently non-Muslim nowadays slowly adapting the concept of Islam for the sake of hygiene and cleanliness for example circumcise widely practice in western country in deterring cervix cancer.

  3. Salam Ummu Layth & Lan,
    Yes, both of you are right. Doing istinjak is more afdhal when wiping with a rough object before using water. Thanks for sharing the information.

    "Wrong. They use their right hand to eat and left hand to wash their bottom. It's not the same hand. And they wash their hands clean before they eat," I replied firmly"

    I quote what I've been told by Malay friends. And it's such a closed-door taboo subject (hahahaa) that not many people, Muslims included, are willing to talk or write about it. And yet we all need to do it everyday, regardless :P

  4. salam.

    lame btol tak belek2 blog akak nie. sampai dekat sejam sye dok membelek nyer. very informative. teruskan usaha dakwah akak nie :)

    baru semlm sye n kawan2 kt office bertekak pasal nie ngan chinese ladies pasal nie. ada ker patot dorang kata kita nie pengotor. lady bos kiter org pun side ngan dorang. tension nyerrr. geram!!

    nie masalah keje kt multinational company. tak ramai org islam n melayu.

    kalau lantai basah jer kiteorg yg dpt nama busuk. dah ler mostly cubicle kt sini banyak yg tak ader air. kalau tersilap masuk nahas ler. nanti kena lap2 pakei tissue ler. hello... kiteorg keke basuh ok.... nanti nak sembahyang camner?

    pelik camner dorang blh idup ngan berak kencing tak basuh. dah bertahun2 bercampur ngan org islam/melayu sejak skolah lagi takkan ler tatau culture kiter. takkan takder terfikir nak basuh ke. mungkin klu chinese yg asal utara n east coast lain sket pasal dorang lebih rapat ngan melayu agak nyer. tp klu kt area kl nie huh.... main pancut jer. lepas 2 terus sarong balik. huh.....

    sye n kawan2 selalu tertanya2. tp nak tanya tak berani. mcm ler yg kiter fikirkan.

    tak gatal ker klu tak basuh?
    tak hancing ker klu x basuh?
    tak busuk ker?

    kawan sye pun ader tulis pasal topik nie. cuba tengok cnie

  5. Waalaikumussalam olyyn,
    Hahahahaa.. how should I reply?
    Seperti yang saya katakan dulu, orang agama selain Islam tiada buku panduan khas untuk dijadikan rujukan tentang cara membersihkan badan sendiri. Tiada seperti Fardu Ain atau Fiqah Wanita Islam.Kalau dah mak sendiri tak ajar, dan tiada dalam sukatan pelajaran di sekolah (memang TIADA tentang bab ini), nak harapkan siapa pula untuk ajar mereka?
    Teringat saya suatu ketika dulu selepas ujian pap smear,doktor wanita yang memeriksa saya mengingatkan agar sentiasa membasuh tempat sulit' selepas menggunakan tandas supaya tidak dijangkiti penyakit.
    Teringat saya selepas mak saya tahu saya telah memeluk Islam, antara perkara yang disentuhnya dalam perbualan telefon adalah untuk menyuruh saya jangan basuh dengan air, atau biarkan 'tempat itu' lembab selepas istinjak, kerana dipercayai kelembapan akan menyebabkan penyakit. Hairan bin ajaib, sebelum saya Islam, tidak pula mak sayasebut apa-apa pun tentang cara saya menjaga kebersihan selepas bisnes tandas. hahahaa..