Meltem Özgenç – ANKARA
‘If water cannot be found for cleansing, other cleaning materials can be used. There is no problem in using toilet paper,’ Diyanet says.
Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has released a fatwa stating that usage of toilet paper is permissible within Islam, though it emphasized that water should be the primary source of cleansing.
Reminding that for a prayer to be religiously legitimate, one’s body, clothes and the place where the prayer is to be performed should be free of items defined as “unclean” by Islam, the fatwa said the cleaning should be conducted with water.
“If water cannot be found for cleansing, other cleaning materials can be used. Even though some sources deem paper to be unsuitable as a cleaning material, as it is an apparatus for writing, there is no problem in using toilet paper,” read a part of the statement.
Meanwhile in a separate statement, the Diyanet also ruled that people who beg in order to earn money beyond their immediate needs are “demanding the fire of hell.” Begging is limited only to people in the most desperate conditions and does not reflect human dignity.
Diyanet had stated in late March that it was okay for substances produced for cleaning and containing alcohol to be used for cleaning purposes, while stressing that drinking alcohol was forbidden by the Islamic religion.
“If [substances containing alcohol] spill onto a dress or the body, they must be washed or they cannot perform a prayer. While it is forbidden to drink substances containing alcohol that were produced for cleaning purposes, it is acceptable to use them for cleaning. Therefore the places that were cleaned with such substances need not be washed before performing a prayer,” read a part of Diyanet’s answer.