Istinja – Part 1 Istibra
As Muslims it’s imperative that we stay pure at all times, Islam has given great emphasis on keeping clean and staying clean. Over the next couple of posts we will study and go over the method and the etiquettes of cleaning oneself after urinating and discharging feces from the body.
Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) came upon two graves and said: “Their occupants are being punished, but not for a great sin (in their own view). However, it is in fact a great sin. One of them went about spreading slander. The other did not clean himself properly after urination.” (Bukhari and Muslim).
After a man urinates its is compulsory (obligatory) for him to ensure that all the drops of urine have stopped coming out and he is content that there will be no more traces of urine following through once he starts to do Wudhu and prayers. It is not correct to start wudhu until the urine has fully ceased.
WHAT IS ISTIBRA?
Istibra is the act done before Istinja (cleaning oneself with water & tissue). It is the act to ensure that there are no traces of urine left in the body that will drop out.
A woman does not need to do istibra, after she has urinated, it is sufficient for her to wait for couple of minutes ensuring that the urine has stopped. She should move directly onto cleaning herself with water/tissue
METHOD OF DOING ISTIBRA
Everyone’s body is different, what may work for one may not work for someone else. Below are common mentioned methods to ensure that all traces of urine are ceased, before proceeding onto istinja, these may work for some and may not work for others, and hence it is important to find a method that works for you. The main point is to ensure that you are free from any traces of urine. Walking: After you have urinated, to ensure and satisfy yourself that there will be nothing else following through, you can walk for a while. It is best to place tissue around the penis when walking so if any drops do come out it will not go onto your clothes. The gesture of walking creates movement in the body, which will cause any traces of urine to come out. After walking you would return back to complete your istinja. Coughing: You can make yourself cough. The gesture of coughing applies pressure in the lower part of the body, which will force any traces of urine to come out. Leaning on one side: By leaning on to the left hand side and applying a slight pressure will also apply pressure in the lower abdominal which can cause any leftover urine to come out. Using Tissue: Tissue is a good absorber, you can apply tissue on the head of the penis for it to absorb urine. You can than apply some pressure and check again with the tissue to see if there is any traces.
Apply Pressure Between the two legs: Some also apply slight pressure between the two legs (the part between the buttock and the testacies between the legs) which pushes any urine left inside out.
Or any other method fitting suitable to one self.
At times you may feel a doubt (Waswasa) whether you are doing it correct or whether there is still traces of urine left or if the drops are still coming out. Doubt is from shaytan, once you are satisfied and feel and see there is no traces than you should not pay attention to such doubts. As at times due to ill thoughts from shaytan we start to exaggerate and take things to the extreme, which serves Shaytans purpose in planting such doubts. So if you are satisfied, than you should continue with your istinjah and the rest of your wudhu.
How to do Istinja
Doing Istinja is Sunnah Muakkadah (Emphasized Sunnah) when we pass impurity from any of our two passages (front & back). It is Sunnah to purify the area with the use of stone (Tissue in modern times) or water. It is best to make use of both. So you would wipe the area first with a stone (modern day we would use tissue) and then wash the area with water.
If one does not have access to both water and stone, it would be sufficient to clean the area with just one, for example, just using water or just using stone (tissue), of course using water would be better as it will clean the area thoroughly and eliminate the impurity. Overall the Sunnah is to purify the area. It is recommended to use 3 stones, even if purity is achieved with less, The Prophet Peace Be Upon Him has stated “Perform istinja with three stones” if you use more than its also fine, it is recommended to use odd numbers such as three, five.etc
Stone: In the past there was no tissues, hence the use of stones was practiced. Not every stone is suitable for istinja, there are certain conditions of a cleansing stone which need to be met such as:
The stone should not be too rough and not too smooth; as if it is too rough it could harm you, and if it is is too smooth, it will not serve its purpose.
The stone should not be valuable, this applies generally to anything that you are going to use for istinja, the item should not be valuable, whether it’s a stone, paper, tissue or anything else..
The stone should not be respected. As the area we are cleaning is not pure, and using something that generally you or others would respect is not suitable.
HOW TO DO ISTINJA
After you have relived yourself you are now ready to do istinja, I will outline in simple steps on how to do istinja.
Step 1 Male:
If the scrotum is loosely hanging (generally when the body temperature is warm) he would wipe with the first stone (tissue) from the front area (the part closest to the testacies) wiping towards the back. With the second stone (tissue) he would wipe from the back (rear part of the anus) towards the front, and with the third stone (tissue) he would wipe from the front towards the back.
If the scrotum is not loose (generally when the body temperature is clod) he would first wipe from the back area of the anus towards the front (the part closest to the testacies).
The female would always wipe first from the front (part closest to the vagina) wiping towards the back, and with the second stone (tissue) wiping from the back to the front and so on.
Wash both the hands; in case of any impurity that may have gone onto the skin during step one.
Pour water over the anus area and rub the area using the inner part of your fingers (Not the side where your nail is).
Men would start by using their middle finger when rubbing and cleaning with water, than he would use his wedding finger (ring finger), so that he is using both his middle and ring finger both to clean together. He should not just use one finger to complete his istinjah as its possible that the area would not be fully cleaned with just the one finger.
Females would start by using both her middle and ring finger from the beginning. So she would use two fingers from the beginning to clean.
You should try utmost in cleaning until the stench is completely removed from your body. If one is not fasting, they should also relax their buttocks so that the water can full clean the exit of the passage thoroughly.
If one is fasting, they should be cautions to ensure that no water goes inside the body which will nullify the fast.
One you have completed the washing, you would wash your hands, and if one is also fasting, they should wipe the area washed to ensure there is no water left in case it enters the body whilst standing., which would again nullify the fast.