Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 25 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439

I am hiding my conversion to Islam from my parents for now, can I pray in the bathroom?

I am hiding my conversion to Islam from my parents for now, can I pray in the bathroom?

Question

I am a new convert to Islam and I prefer to hide my conversion from my parents till I find the right time. The problem is that I don’t have a private room where I can close the door and pray comfortably. I only get a chance to do that in the bathroom. Am I allowed to pray in there?

Answer

The issue of using modern bathrooms to invoke Allah’s name in it or recite Quran or for the purpose of praying is a new issue which takes a juristic ruling different than the one which was used before by the jurists. In old times, the juristic ruling on using “al- Khalaa” or the isolated place which was in the outskirts of the cities or in the deserts used as bathrooms was different because these places were usually filthy as there was no running water in the past and lacked hygienic measures and thus are not deemed clean or pure. Therefore it was not permitted to recite Quran in such filthy place or to pray in it.

In our modern times, bathroom became an integral part of our houses and are even called “water closet” because of the modern means with which water is used for flushing any filthy objects and also a lot of cleaning products are used to keep it hygienic and clean. Therefore, the old juristic ruling of the prohibition of mentioning Allah’s name, reciting Quran or praying in their does not hold any longer because the issue has changed and the reason for which old bathrooms were deemed filthy is not applicable in our modern times. The modern definition for jurists to describe bathroom would be the place of the toilet seat where one relieves him/herself from urine and the like. Therefore to ensure the purification of the place, during praying in the bathroom make sure to put down the toilet cover and place a towel on the toilet to seal the opening of the toilet seat. Also the toilet itself has to be clean and hygienic products are used to clean any filth.

Also the bathroom aside from the toilet area has to be clean from any sources of filth as the purification of the place of worship is a condition for the validity of prayer.

Therefore, it is permissible for you to pray in the bathroom due to your circumstances of preferring to conceal from your parents your conversion to Islam until you find the right time. We respect your decision and if you allow us to give you some advice when it comes to how to tell your parents about your Islam, the best way is through being a role model of a good Muslim. When faith enters our hearts, it softens it and we become more in peace with ourselves and with the world at large. Let the softness of mercy, love and compassion shine in every act you make and every word you utter. Let your merciful attitude be your messenger in relating to your parents the news of being a Muslim. Let your parents wonder about the secret of your softer, more caring, loving and merciful attitudes towards them. So when the time comes to reveal your secret, they will be more accepting, respecting and welcoming to your new choice.