Use of paper for Istinja
After answering the call of nature, is it permissible or not to clean the area of impurity by using paper?
Zaid says that it is permitted in a train.
To perform Istinja using paper is Makruh (disapproved) and Mamnu’ (disallowed) and this is the manner of the Christians.
We have been commanded to respect paper, even though it is plain paper, and if it has writing on it, then it must be respected to a greater extent.
It is in Durr-e-Mukhtar
‘(To perform Istinja) with some object of respect, is Makruh e Tahreemi’
It is in Raddul Muhtar
‘In this (being disallowed) is also included the (plain) page (paper). It is mentioned in Siraaj that some have said that it refers to the page of a book, and some have said it refers to the leaf of a tree, and (the use of) both are Makruh. (Ends)…. And Bahr etc have adopted this, and the reasoning in the leaf of a tree (being impermissible), is that it is the fodder of animals, so it is soft, and will thus not clean impurity, but it will spread it.
The same situation is prevalent with the paper, as it is also soft and also expensive (i.e. it bears a cost), and in the Shariat, it is also prohibited, as it is something that is used to record knowledge (on).
It is due to this that it has been stated in Tatar Khania that, to respect paper is from the respect of Deen, and it has been stated in our Madhab, that the letters are to be respected, even though they are written individually, and some Qaaris have said that the Huroof e Tahajji (letters) are a Qur’an (Heavenly Book) which was revealed upon Hazrat Hud Alaihissalam.’
How it is that this paper is only needed by Zaid when on a train, why is this not the case with other Muslims?
Can he not keep clods of clay or old fabric?
However, if the aim is to follow the way of the Christians, then this is an ailment of the heart and requires treatment.
واهلل اعتٰیل ا ملع
Name of Book: Fatawa Africa
Author: Aala Hazrat Imam Ahmed Raza Khan
Translator: Muhammad Afthab Cassim Qadiri Razvi Noori