I am from Saudi Arabia and I am a student of B.Com. My question is; there is a masjid near my house. Its toilets are facing the holy ka’bah. So please inform me, is this right or wrong in Islam? I am very thankful of you for this kind favour. Jazakumullah.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Allah, the Almighty states in the holy Quran:
ذَٰلِكَ وَمَن يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِن تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ
That [is so]. And whoever honours the symbols of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts. (22:32)
And the Prophet s.a.w has stated:
عن ابي هريرة قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إنما أنا لكم بمنزلة الوالد أعلمكم فإذا أتى أحدكم الغائط فلا يستقبل القبلة ولا يستدبرها ولا يستطب بيمينه
(سنن أبي داود – كتاب الطهارة – باب كراهية استقبال القبلة عند قضاء الحاجة)
Abu Hurairah r.a says that the messenger of Allah salallahu alayhi wasallam said: “I am for you, how a father is for his son. I teach you. So whenever one of you goes to the toilet, he should not face the qibla or face his back towards it, and he should not use his right hand to clean himself (istinja).”
“Abu Ayyub said: When we came to Syria we found that their toilets were built facing Qiblah. So we used to deviate while using them and used to ask Allah forgiveness for that.”
It is clear from the above Hadith that one should not face the actual Qibla whilst relieving oneself. If the toilet is built in such a manner that it is facing the actual Qibla, one should simply adjust the way he sits and try to ensure he doesn’t face the actual Qibla.
و يكره تحريما: استقبال القبلة و استدبارها, و لو في البنيان
“And it is prohibitively disliked to face the actual Qibla or to face ones back towards it, even if one is in a building.”
One should keep in mind that there is a difference between the exact Qibla and the direction of the Qibla. Facing the exact Qibla is prohibitively disliked. Not the direction of it.
However, when one is praying his salah, one generally faces the ‘direction’ of the Qibla, not the exact Qibla. Since we pray our salah in the direction of the Qibla, we should also avoid facing the direction of the qibla or showing our back to it whilst we are relieving ourselves. Then, the question arises “what will be regarded as the ‘direction’ of the Qibla?”
Hazrat Mufti Rashid Ahmed Saheb r.a elaborates about the maximum degrees that will be counted in the ‘direction’ of the Qibla in Ahsanul Fatawa, Vol: 2, pg; 313
“Facing up to 45 degrees away from the Qibla either way will not nullify ones salah. If it is more than this, then the salah will be nullified.”
If one is not in front of the Ka’bah or cannot see the Ka’ba, 45 degrees either side will be permissible to face.
Mawlana Saanwal ibn Muhammad,