Question # 470: How to perform istibra ? How to make sure that no urine is leftover after cleaning following urination? If some liquid come after cleaning without any feeling , I’m not sure whether it is urine or any other discharge, is it necessary to pay attention to it? Or simply avoid it. I read from other source that after performing istibra you don’t have to consider anything that come after. Is it true? I sometime saw that some liquid coming from penis without any feeling after wiping water from body following bathing. In order to ensure whether it is water or any other thing I taste it and it have salty taste. So, I wash once more. Is it necessary to clean it ? Is it urine or any other thing? Please help me. I am preparing for a competitive examination and I can’t concentrate on my studies due to this. Is this waswas?
bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,
Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.
Shorter Answer: It is not prescribed for a man to examine the channel of his private part or to look into it in order to make sure that there is no urine there. Thoroughly inspecting the penis by squeezing or pulling it, is a kind of exaggeration/innovation and going to extremes, contrary to the easy nature of shari’ah and is also a kind of waswasah (whisper from the Shaytan). What is prescribed is to wash the tip of the penis after one has finished urinating and that is the end of the matter. And if he is really worried that something may happen after that, then it is mustahabb (recommended) for him to sprinkle his private part or his trousers with a little water so as to ward off the waswasah. So, if the tip of his penis touches his clothes and if he feels some wetness, then he can say that it is from this water.
The basic principle is relying on Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) and putting one’s trust in Him, and assuming that all doubts are from the Shaytan by not paying attention to any of his imagination. Then, if something really does come out of him (with 100% certainty), without a doubt, he should clean himself again and repeat his wudu in case of prayer. Also Refer Question # 309.
Long Answer: Istibra (استبرأ) refers to taking extraordinary pains, or the utmost pains, in cleansing the orifice [(cavity)] of his penis from the remains of urine, by shaking it and pulling it and the like, until he knew that nothing remained in it (Arabic-English Lexicon by Edward William Lane)
[However], it is not prescribed for a man to examine the channel of his private part or to look into it in order to make sure that there is no urine there. This is a kind of exaggeration and going to extremes, which is contrary to the easy nature of shari’ah and is also a kind of waswasah (whisper from the Shaytan). What is prescribed is to wash the tip of the penis after one has finished urinating. It is also prescribed to sprinkle some water over the private part so as to ward off the waswasah.
Ibn Maajah narrated that Jaabir (رضي الله عنه) said: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) did wudu’ and sprinkled his private part. (Classed as saheeh by al-Albani in Sahih Ibn Maajah)
It says in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah: “The Hanafis, Shafi’is and Hanbalis stated that when a person has finished washing his private part with water (istinja’), it is mustahabb for him to sprinkle his private part or his trousers with a little water, so as to prevent waswas, because when he feels any wetness he will think that it is because of the water that he sprinkled unless he is certain of the contrary.”
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa: “With regard to thoroughly inspecting the penis by squeezing it etc., all of that is an innovation which is neither required nor recommended according to the imams of the Muslims. Similarly, pulling the penis is also an innovation according to the correct view, and that was not prescribed by the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
Squeezing out urine is also an innovation which was not enjoined by the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم). The hadith which is narrated concerning that is da’if (weak) and has no basis. The urine comes out naturally, and when it stops naturally, it is as they say, like an udder: if you leave it alone, it will settle down, but if you pull at it, it will flow.
Every time a person opens his penis, something will come out of it, whereas if he leaves it alone nothing will come out. He may even imagine that something has come out – which is waswas. If the tip of his penis touches his clothes when they are cold, he may think that something has come out when it has not.
There may be urine at the base of the penis and if the penis or private part is squeezed with a rock or finger, etc., some wetness may come out. This is also an innovation. That standing urine does not need to be expelled, according to the consensus of the scholars, whether with a stone, a finger, or anything else. Rather every time it comes out, more comes, because it keeps leaking all the time… But it is mustahabb for the one who cleans himself with water (istinja’) to sprinkle some water on his private part, then if he feels some wetness he can say that it is from this water.”
[Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baz (may Allah have mercy on him) states in his fatwa to a similar question that drops of urine coming out after urinating] …may be happening as the result of waswas (insinuating whispers) and maybe something imaginary, which is from the Shaytan. Or it may really happen to some people. If it is really happening, he should not rush but wait until the urine has stopped, then he should wash his private part with water and that is the end of the matter. If he is worried that something may happen after that, he should sprinkle the parts of his clothes that are around the private part with water, then ignore anything that he may imagine after doing wudu, because this may help him to get rid of this waswas.
But if it is just his imagination or waswas, and is not real, then he should not pay any attention to it. The believer should not pay attention to such things, because this makes the Shaytan do it more. The Shaytan is keen to spoil the good deeds of the son of Adam, such as prayer and so on. So, it is essential to be aware of his tricks and whispers, and to rely on Allah and put one’s trust in Him, and assume that what doubts he develops are from the Shaytan, so that he will not take any attention to that with regard to his wudu and then his prayer. He should not pay attention to any of these imaginary things. Then, if something really does come out of him, without a doubt, he should clean himself again and repeat his wudu.
But as for merely thinking it happened, he should not pay any attention to it; even if he thinks it is 90% possible that something has come out of him, he should not pay any attention to it, because this is something that will make the Shaytan do it to him again. So as long as he is not certain, he should carry on and pray and do wudu. Hence when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was asked: O Messenger of Allah, a man thinks that something came out of him whilst he was praying, he said: “He should not stop [praying] unless he hears a sound or notices a smell.” So, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) told them that he should not stop his prayer because of something he imagines unless he hears a sound or notices a smell. So similarly, when a person has finished doing wudu, then he feels something, he should not go and do wudu again; rather he should continue with his wudu and prayer and other actions until he is 100% certain that something has come out. Otherwise, the basic principle is that nothing has come out of him and that this is waswas and a trick of the Shaytan, with which he tries to exhaust the believer and distract him by means of these things. We ask Allah to keep us safe and sound.”
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: When I have finished wudu’ and am going to pray, I feel a drop of urine coming out of the penis; what should I do?
He replied: “The one who is affected with that should ignore it, as enjoined by the leading scholars of the Muslims. He should not pay any attention to it or go and check whether anything came out or not. By Allah’s leave, if he seeks refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan and ignores it, it will go away. But if he is utterly certain about it, then it is essential to wash whatever the urine has gotten onto, then repeat his wudu’ because some people, if they feel coldness at the tip of the penis, think that something has come out. But if you are certain, you should do what I told you. What you have mentioned is not incontinence, because it stops, whereas incontinence is ongoing. As for this, it is one or two drops that come out after moving; this is not incontinence because two drops come out then it stops. In this case, you should wash yourself and do wudu’ again. You should always do this, and be patient and seek reward with Allah.” (Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh)
(Unless stated otherwise, the above reply is based on various answers provided by Islamqa.info on similar topics)
Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.