Standing Urinals in Makkah and the Holy Sites

November 11th 2014 / Destruction of Holy Sites

1mecca0023A number of pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia have expressed their disgust at the standing urinals that have been erected in Mina, Muzdalifa and Arafat and also in the new toilets built in and around a few minutes distance from the Haram in Makkah.

There is a clear Islamic prohibition about urinating while standing without necessity. What makes the urinals in the holy sites particularly problematic is that most of the men who would be expected to use them would be dressed in Ihram; using the urinals would mean lifting one’s lower garment and exposing one’s body in full glare of the passing public, and that also in the holy sites of Makkah, Mina, Muzdalifa and Arafat.

The normal practice of the Prophet (pbuh) was to urinate in the sitting posture which is more effective in concealing one’s private organs and preventing urine from spoiling one’s body and clothes. S. Aiysha (ra) said in a Hadith narrated by al-Tirmidhi: “Whoever tells you that the Prophet (pbuh) used to urinate standing, do not believe him. He only used to urinate sitting.” This hadith indicates that the normal practice of the Prophet (pbuh) was to relieve himself sitting.

As Muslims, urinating in a standing position in front of other people in public toilets is against modesty and good manners. In light of the above, it is heart-wrenching to see standing urinals in the holy sites, something which is an affront to the sanctity of these places. The authorities in Saudi Arabia should look hard at this matter and correct the situation.


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