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The only requirement of the Qur'an is washing of one's hands and face with pure earth if water is not available.[non-primary source needed] Issues of chirality (bodily symmetry), such as whether one uses the left or right hand, and which foot is used to step into or out of toilet areas, are derived from hadith sources.
A Muslim must first find an acceptable place away from standing water, people's pathways, or shade. They are advised that it is better to enter the area with the left foot, facing away from the Qiblah (prayer point). It is reported in the hadith of Bukhari that whenever Muhammad went to the toilet, he said, Bismillahi Allahumma Inni Audhubika Minal Khubsi Wal Khabais ("In the name of Allah, O Allah! I seek refuge/protection with/in You from all offensive and wicked things") (alternate translation: "from evil deeds and evil spirits" and "from the male and female unclean spirits"). Following this prophetic ideal, Muslims are advised to say this supplication before entering into the toilet.
While on the toilet, one must remain silent. Talking, answering greetings, or greeting others is strongly discouraged. When defecating together, two men cannot converse, nor look at each other's genitals. Eating any food while on the toilet is strictly forbidden.
The anus must be washed with water using the left hand after defecating. Similarly, the penis and vulva must be washed with water with the left hand after urinating. This washing is known as istinja, and is commonly done using a vessel sometimes known as a bodna. The Qur'an suggests that one should wash one's hands as well, which is discussed in verse 5:6.
- (verse 5:6)
- Sachiko Murata (1992), "ch. 3 The Two Hands of God", The Tao of Islam, ISBN 978-0-7914-0913-8
- Narrated by Abu Hurairah and collected in Sahih Muslim (Book 002, Number 0516
- Narrated by Anas bin Malik and collected in Sahih al-Bukhari (Volume 1, Book 4, Number 144) and Sahih Muslim (Book 003, Number 729)
- Shu'aib, Tajuddin B., "Qadaahul Haajah (Relieving Oneself)", The Prescribed Prayer Made Simple, MSA West Compendium of Muslim Texts, archived from the original on 2009-08-19, retrieved 2009-03-10
- Hadith of Bukhari: Volumes I, II, III & IV,1944. P.39. Hadith 1:144, Bukhari 1/45, Muslim 2/1/283, Fathul-Bari 1/244
-  Archived 2011-05-25 at the Wayback Machine