Islamic religious authorities issue fatwa on Muslims’ use of toilet paper

What clash of cultures?

The Directorate of Religious Affairs in Turkey has issued a fatwa declaring the use of toilet paper is completely acceptable for Muslims after they relieve themselves, but stressed that water is preferable, according to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News.

The paper didn’t explain why it was even a question about whether toilet paper is halal, but the ruling will no doubt come as a relief anyone who doubted.

Partially quoting the directorate – which is known as the Diyanet and has been settling religious questions in Turkey since 1924 – Hurriyet Daily News reported:

“If water cannot be found for cleansing, other cleaning materials can be used. Even though some sources deem paper to be unsuitable as a cleaning material, as it is an apparatus for writing, there is no problem in using toilet paper,” read a part of the statement.

It’s a good bet that nobody reading this post even knew it was a question. It’s also a pretty good bet that there were a whole lot of Muslims who weren’t waiting for the Diyanet’s approval on this.

But it’s still no small thing. In fact, the MyReligionIslam website contains a list of particulars that likely never occurred to those  unfamiliar with Islam – for instance, newspaper reading, smoking or singing are all out, though it already had toilet paper as an approved item.

(Now, someone’s got to settle the real question: Over roll, or under?)

But speaking of cleaning, according to Hurriyet Daily News, the directorate issued another fatwa last month approving cleaning materials that include alcohol for Muslim use, though the consumption of alcohol itself is still out.

“While it is forbidden to drink substances containing alcohol that were produced for cleaning purposes, it is acceptable to use them for cleaning. Therefore the places that were cleaned with such substances need not be washed before performing a prayer,” read a part of Diyanet’s answer.

The key here is not getting this mixed up with the toilet paper ruling. Or something’s going to hurt.




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