To Squat or to Sit?
? You may have heard people saying that using squat toilets (mostly common in Muslim and Eastern countries) can cause knee issues and for this reason it is better to use sitting toilets. However, in actual fact, using an Islamic or ‘squat’ toilet carries many more benefits than sitting toilets (those common in Western countries).
? Squatting puts pressure on the intestines, which accelerates defecation and results in a more complete emptying of the bowel. The position also provides the perfect angle for the Puborectalis muscles to relax and allow the faeces to exit smoothly. This is why the chance of getting piles, hemorrhoids, constipation and large intestine diseases is less among those who use squat toilets.
?Research comparing squat and sitting toilets has been conducted worldwide and findings repeatedly return information supporting the efficiency of squat toilets in comparison to sitting ones.
⭐? In Islamic jurisprudence, Muslims are supposed to clean themselves with water and using toilet paper is not enough. This becomes much easier in squat toilets and it actually reduces the chance of splashing Najasah on the clothes or other parts of body.
? ️How to address knee issues?
? Imam Al Redha (a.s) said: “Avoid staying long in the toilet.” This means:
↪ Eat according to a proper diet as it will prevent constipation, which is the primary reason for spending too much time in the toilet.
? Gases in the toilets are harmful for the body as they can be absorbed through the head and nose. This is why it is preferred in Islamic jurisprudence to cover the head and nose when going to the toilet.
? Do not have Waswas or be over-sensitive and over-hygienic about NOT getting Najis and dirty in the toilet. It is narrated that ? Imam Al Baqir (a.s) used to splash some clean water on his clothes before going to the toilet. When his companions asked him the reason, he replied that it is to make him comfortable. By doing this, if he doubts whether any dirty water has splashed on to his clothes in the toilet, he can assume it is the clean water used before entering. Of course this is to teach us not to be over-sensitive and over-hygienic.
? To conclude, we should first work on following a healthy diet in order to prevent constipation. Ideally, faeces should have the same smooth consistency as toothpaste and the color should not be very dark or green in adults. At best, it can take less than a minute for the whole process of defecation to complete so that the intestines release all the stored faeces. In this way, sitting for one minute or less in a squatting position two or three times a day would not be harmful for the knees but very beneficial for the defecation system.