Is Taking Off One’s Ring for the Restroom an Innovation?

Question:

As salamu ‘alaykum respected brothers,
I heard that it was a bid’ah to take one’s ring off while using the restroom when that ring has the name of Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala on it. What is the hukm regarding this matter?
Jazak’Allaahu khairan.

Country: United States

Answer:

Wa alaykum salam wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuHu,

On the authority of Anas (Rady Allahu anhu) the Prophet Muhammad would take his ring off when he entered the restroom. This is related by Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Nasa’i, Bayhaqi, Ibn Hibban, Hakim, and others.

Scholars have differed regarding the narration’s authenticity. Nasai’i, Abu Dawud, and others declared the narration to be da’if. While Tirmidhi, Hafiz Mundhiri, Ibn al-Mulaqqin, and others declared the narration to be sahih. (al-Badr al-Munir 2/336)

Those declaring the narration to be weak considered there to be a contradiction between this narration from Ibn Jurayj and others. Hafiz Ibn Hajar discussed the defect [‘illah]. He mentioned that some, like Ibn Hibban, considered the narrations as separate; and declared them to be sahih. And then Ibn Hajar stated:

“There is no defect in it according to me except for Ibn Jurayj’s tadlis. If it is found related with a wording of explicit transmission, then nothing prevents it from being sahih.” (al-Nukat ala Ibn al-Salah 2/678)

Considering them individual narrations does seem to be a fair way to reconcile the seeming contradiction. Yet so far, we have not found the narration from Ibn Jurayj with tasrih al-sama’ [wording of explicit transmission] besides Ibn Hibban’s treatment of narrations from those who make tadlis in his Sahih 1/162. Hafiz Juzuqani did relate a corroborating narration via Abu Muawyiah < Amash < Minhal b. Amr < Said b. Jubayr < Ibn Abbas. (al-Badr al-Munir 2/340)

Regarding the ruling, Imam Nawawi mentioned that if one is wearing something venerated, like Allah’s name, then removing it when entering the restroom is recommended. (Sharh al-Muhadhdhab 2/73) Ibn Hajar al-Haytami stated that if one is wearing it on the left hand, then removing it before cleansing is obligatory; as getting filth on it is unlawful. (al-Minhaj al-Qawim w/ Kurdi 1/123)

It is recommended to not take something with Allah’s name on it into the restroom. And it is unlawful to allow it to become affected by an impurity.

And Allah the Exalted knows best.

Shafiifiqh.com Fatwa Dept.