Purification form tangible impurities

For anyone who intends to perform prayer, wudû’ (ablution) is a must, as it is a prerequisite for prayer. If one wants to perform prayer, he is required first to perform ablution in case of minor ritual impurity, or ceremonial bath (ghusl) in case of major impurity (janabah). On relieving oneself, excrement or urine must be cleansed from the body either with water or by using tissue paper or the like. If he chooses to use either of them, water is better because it cleans in a more effective manner and removes filth itself:

The urine, excrement and other discharges from the body (such as pre-seminal fluid) must be cleansed with water until the unclean matter is removed. w Removal of such filthy matter can be executed by the use of stones, cloth, tissue paper and the like. The use of three clean stones(1) for removing the filthy matter is a minimum. If it is not removed, the number of stones must be increased until cleanliness is achieved. Generally, an odd number of stones is preferable, for the Prophet ( s ) said: “If one uses cleaning stones, let him use them three times.” He also said: “If one answers the call of nature, he must use three stones for cleaning; this will be sufficient.” (Ahmad, Abu Daud & Nasai)

In this day and age, toilet paper is the normal substitute for stones which were used in the past.

The right hand must not be used for the cleaning of the private parts, since this was forbidden. This is supported by the narration of Abdur-Rahman ibn Zaid, may Allah be pleased with him who reported: “Salman was asked if the Prophet ( s ) had taught them everything, including cleansing after relieving oneself. On that he answered: “Yes. He forbade us to face the Qiblah when defecating or urinating, to use the right hand for cleaning ourselves, to use less than three stones, or to clean ourselves with dung or a bone.” (Haakim)