Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Islamic Law of Farts

Islam has rules that control virtually all aspects of one's life; it is rule-ridden. This is one of the features that it counts among its strengths. One of these areas of legislation involves impurities, which comes under the discipline or science of najis (نجس‎), part of its all-encompassing shari'a. The law regarding impurities is very serious on account of the fact that Muslims will eagerly die for their shari'a, or perhaps, more accurately, kill to impose on the whole world, a duty they believe incumbent upon them by the inscrutable will of Allah. Being ritually unclean is a big deal for them, and we must assume it is because Allah and his prophet--and they always know best--require this ritual purity of them. The reason for it is not quite known, but reasons do not matter in Islam. It is enough that Allah and Muhammad will something. In Islam, Man is not made to question. Questioning for the reasoning of such things is evil in Islam, mainly for the simple reason that there are many things in Islam that have no reason, and so if one questions for the reason behind things one will see that there is no reason behind things. And this would be a problem, since it would unsettle the faithful. We might call this the "wizard of Oz" problem. We can never, ever pay attention to the man behind the curtain of Islam.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

The whole issue of najis is--alas--complicated on account of the different schools of law in Islam, and this makes it most difficult for the simple-minded Westerner eager to learn about Islam. In advance, I beg indulgence of any Muslim for any error. Generally, however, uncleanliness is bifurcated into najasat haqiqiya and najasat hukmi. The distinction between these two types of uncleanliness appears to be based upon whether the impurities can be seen or not seen. The latter (najasat hukmi) cannot be seen directly, and it includes two categories, hadath as-asghar (حدث الأصغر) and hadath al-akbar (حدث الأكبر). Farts are unclean according to Islamic doctrine. Farts cannot be seen, they can only be heard or smelled, so it follows they would fall under the discipline of najasat hukmi.* Islam is very logical. It is not very reasonable, but it is very logical.

Islam's preoccupation with ritual purity focuses on the scatological as well as the eschatological, which makes for an interesting blend. There is great focus on the supposed impurity arising from urination, defecation, and, yes, farting, the passing of wind. In numerous ahadith, farting (hadath, fart, not to be confused with hadith, report) is considered to cause ritual impurity (confusingly also known as hadath). In summary, there are then hadiths about hadath (farts) and how hadath (farts) causes hadath (uncleanliness), and then there are hadiths about how to get rid of the hadath (uncleanliness) caused by hadath (farts).

To get back to the issue. True, the ritual impurity involved with farts is not major ritual impurity--hadath akbar. What is involved is a minor ritual impurity--hadath asghar, an impurity equivalent to touching a woman's skin.** The reason why touching a woman's skin is similar to farting is unclear to me, but again we should not be thinking about reasons. We only know that farts and touching a woman's skin are unclean and require us to undertake some sort of ritual cleansing before the Muslim can say his formal prayers.

What happens when a Muslim farts?
Muhammad has the answer

Thankfully--Allah and his prophet are merciful--we have here, not a "major event," but only a "minor event." Major events must be purified by ghusl (غسل), pretty much a whole bath, whereas minor events may be purified by wudu (وضوء), a little bit of water strategically applied to the hands, the head, and the feet via a certain strict and unvarying routine. This must be done after every fart, at least before the prayers--salat--may be said. One must not say prayers in a state of ritual impurity, which includes farting. Otherwise the prayers are no good for saving one's soul. It would be a shame if one's farts kept one from heaven. And Islam--this, along with jihad, is one of its great beauties--gives us a way to make sure that farts don't keep us from paradise. This is how merciful Allah is.

Because Islam is concerned over the impurity caused by farts, and the manner in which this ritual impurity may be cleansed, we may say that Islam has a "law of farts," or a "science of farts," an usul al-hadath. As a consequence of this "law of farts," serious Muslim scholars, following the wisdom of Muhammad, have written many serious things about farts. Farts are serious business in Islam.

As far as I know, Islam is unique among the world's major religions in that it has a well-developed "doctrine of farts" and "law of farts." Muhammad is the only prophet in the world that has was preoccupied with farts, which shows his great solicitude toward all mankind. No other religious teacher, as far as I know, recognized the problem associated with farts nor taught us how to get around this most serious problem. This is one evidence that Muhammad is a true prophet. Until the advent of Muhammad, mankind's prayers have been no good because they have never cleaned themselves from the stain of farts. This is very sad, since it would appear that all men fart, and therefore fall short of the glory of Allah. Men are condemned to Hell because they fart and do not know the way around the problem. This "law of farts" speaks well of Islam's superiority over Christianity and Judaism, and indeed all other religions. It is hard to argue that a religion with a "law of farts" is not superior to religions that have no doctrine and no law about farts at all, who are in a state of ignorance, what is known as jahiliyyah (جاهلية‎), on the matter of the divine teaching regarding farts.

Teach them young about the Islamic "law of farts"

Muhammad himself--may be be blessed and praised for it--reserved some of his greater insights when it came to farts, revealing both their earthly and spiritual dimensions. We Westerners and Christians (and even Jews) ought not to be closed-minded to the possible enlightenment that might be gained by studying the Muslim "law of farts." Raised in our evil materialistic and scientific Western ways, we view farts as having just earthly ramifications, mainly of the highly embarrassing social kind, though farts sometimes can be the subject matter of good jokes.

But this attitude may be error, if Islam is to be believed. Multiculturalism and dialogue, not to mention a desire for ecumenism, compel us, in love of course, to study with great seriousness the Muslim law of farts, relying, to the extent we can, on original sacred Muslim sources, especially that great source of the Sunna, the Sahih al-Bukhari, which is second only to the Qur'an in defining the shari'a law governing Muslims. This is the law that Muslims say is the best law in the world. The same comprehensive and humane law that mandates what to do when we find someone stealing things tells us also what to do if we fart. Thank Allah that the punishment regarding farting is less draconian than the punishment for stealing. It would be very bad indeed if one had to have one's hand cut off for farting. This is another evidence of Allah's great mercy. Muhammad was obviously a great legislator in having such a reasonable sanction associated with farting. Had he been a real tyrant, he may have required cutting of one's hand, or perhaps even death by beheading, for farting. See, Muhammad was a very compassionate man. This is another proof of his true status as universal prophet.

Of course, one may be tempted to laugh at the Muslim "law of farts," the shari'a of farts, but that is just a sign of our close-mindedness and spiritual obtuseness.*** We must try to be open-minded, and this serious posting is an attempt to give the Muslim "law of farts," all the dignity it deserves. I am of the opinion that the West has much to learn from Islam, including its "law of farts." The Islamic "law of farts" is certainly part of the precious patrimony of mankind. In my opinion, it ranks right up there with the Qur'an, the Ka'ba, the minaret, the hajj, and jihad, the five best inventions of Islam.

As an example of a hadith that classifies farting, hadath, as unclean, hadath (oh why is Arabic so confusing?), we might point to Sahih Bukhari 4.1.176.

Allah's Apostle said, "A person is considered in prayer as long as he is waiting for the prayer in the mosque as long as he does not do hadath." A non-Arab man asked, "O Abii Huraira! What is hadath?" I replied, "It is the passing of wind (from the anus) (that is one of the types of hadath)."
Do not be fooled. This "minor event" is not to be simply passed over. Indeed, it is significant enough for angels to take heed. They are aware of anyone who passes wind while he is in his praying place, his al-musalla (المصلى). Angels are a sort of "fart police," in Islam, a role that in my ignorance I did not know angels had. The moment the angels catch whiff of a fart (they apparently have noses, another thing I did not know), the angels' prayer changes from asking Allah's blessing and forgiveness to asking for forgiveness and mercy. This is known because Muhammad said it as documented in the "trustworthy" source of ahadith the Sahih al Bukhari, namely, 10.36.659 in my written version, but numbered 1.11.628 in this convenient on-line version. The differences between a prayer of blessing-and-forgiveness and a prayer of forgiveness-and-mercy are difficult for me to understand, but the subtlety ought not to make us think something of importance is not going on in the ethereal world, all on account of a Muslim's fart.

It is unclear in Islamic doctrine, by the way, what sort of cataclysmic spiritual events are caused by the farts of the infidels, of the kafir and the mushrikun, atheists and Christians, and worse, Jews. Since the Muslims are the best of all peoples,† however, one may logically assume that their farts are the best of all farts. And the spiritual catastrophes that might be expected from the farts of kufar and mushrikun, including Jews--the latter who, according to the Qur'an, are really apes and pigs,†† though this is really difficult to believe, may Allah help my unbelief†††--may be too terrible to behold. If there was a doctrine of farts of apes and pigs, we might be able to apply it to the Jew through analogy, but there is no such doctrine in the Islamic science of farts. So in summary we do not know what effect the fart of an infidel, the fart of a Christian, or the fart of Jew, or for that matter the fart of a Hindu or Buddhist, or an ape or a pig, might have in the superlunary world. Muhammad did not vouchsafe to the world such doctrine. He must have preserved it in pectore. Maybe it was too horrible to talk about. But that is sheer speculation. We just don't know. What we do know is that Allah and his prophet Muhammad know best.

There are, then, some lacunae or gaps in the Muslim doctrine of farts, especially in the above areas. But we are not left entirely orphaned. Mercifully, Muhammad taught us other things about farts. For example, 'Abbas bin Tamin had an uncle who asked Muhammad about a person who had imagined to have farted during the formal prayers. To imagine a fart involves a big difference from hearing a fart or smelling a fart. We are not obliged to worry about imaginary farts, Muhammad teaches--peace and blessings be upon him for leaving us a teaching about farts. Muhammad says that a Muslim "should not leave his prayers unless he hears sound or smells something." In my written Sahih Bukhari this hadith has the number 1.4.137, but it is numbered 1.4.139 in this on-line version. Had this not been revealed by Muhammad--that imaginary farts are different from farts we hear or smell--I would probably not have known it by reason alone. This is a precious nugget of Islamic doctrine. To this revealed truth reason must bow down. (It is unclear what someone who is deaf and who suffers from anosmia [loss of sense of smell] is to do, if he thinks he may have farted, but he cannot hear or smell it. This presents a metaphysical, or perhaps more accurately, juristic problem of the first order.)

Another interesting teaching in the Muslim "law of farts" is that the devil apparently farts, and, what is more intriguing, that he must have an anus, which makes some sense since angels apparently have noses. Obviously, one does not have an anus unless one has a mouth (since both are part of the alimentary canal) and one eats some sort of gas-causing food. And this therefore this raises some very interesting collateral issues. The sacred doctrine that Satan has an anus and that Satan farts is from the mouth of Muhammad himself. Again, we avail ourselves of that assemblage of wisdom known as the Sahih al-Bukhari 1.10.608 which has Muhammad's precious words: "When the adhan (أَذَان‎) [the Muslim call to prayer] is pronounced Satan takes to his heels and passes wind with noise during his flight in order not to hear the adhan." Again, inexplicably, my written version of Sahih al-Bukhari differs from this on-line version which documents it as 1.11.582. But wherever it is to be found, it ought to be accepted, as the very wise Muhammad, who taught no error and never did things in vain, must have said it for the good of mankind.

Theologically, what is fascinating about this teaching is to contemplate what a spiritual sphincter looks like, what a spiritual fart smells like, and how a spiritual fart can be heard. This takes great grace and imagination, and we enter into areas where angels fear to tread. But because of the seriousness of these questions, it must be approached with great humility. All efforts at smirking, at smiling, at guffawing must be squelched as haram, prohibited. If one is really curious one might ask whether Satan eats some sort of spiritual beans, as it is a universal rule that: "Beans, beans . . . the more you eat, the more you fart." I wish I knew how to say this in Arabic. Google Translate puts it like this:

الفاصوليا والفول. . . كلما كنت تأكل، وكلما ضرط

Assuming the Bedouins had a similar doctrine ("Beans, beans . . . ), it follows that Satan must eat beans commensurately with the number of Muslims in the world, since the more muezzins there are to call Muslims for prayer through the adhan, the more Satan is compelled to fart. Where these spiritual beans come from is, alas, one of those mysteries to which we are not privy. I suppose they come from Hell, but I really do not know. Muhammad may have known, but if he did, he did not share it.

More seriously, we might think about the natural disasters that this doctrine of Satanic farts explains. It would seem that the more muezzin we have screaming the adhan throughout the world in their nasal voices and with fingers in their ears, the more Satan farts (maybe that's why they put their fingers in their ears, to keep from being distracted by Satan's farts?), which might lead to serious air and noise pollution, and is probably really the reason there may be global warming. Have Western scientists studied the effect that Satan's increased farting may have on global warming? I don't know of any study. I do not remember Al Gore mentioning it in his otherwise very good movie. This is one reason why I don't believe in global warming or in Al Gore: they have obviously discounted the wisdom of the prophet. The real reason for global warning, then, may not be industry and carbon emissions, but may be Satan's farts on account of the increased number of muezzins around the world. Al Gore should have been reading Sahih Bukhari instead of chasing masseuses. Then he would have known this.

Swiss political poster advocating
the ban on minarets:
What is the relationship between pumpernickel bread
and Sahih al-Bukhari 1.10.608?

In a related matter, many people think that the Swiss (who have banned minarets so that the muezzin cannot scream the adhan and disturb the peaceful air of their Alpine paradise from these high, needle-like towers) are intolerant and are acting against the spirit of multiculturalism. This, the opponents say, is a form of Swiss jingoism, of Swiss chauvinism. One argument that I have not heard used to support the Swiss efforts is that they are trying to protect the pristine Alpine environment from the air and noise pollution and the global warming sure to come from the muezzin's cries of the adhan on account of the known link of the cries of the muezzin to Satan farting. Who would want to have more of Satan's farts in their land? This seems to be a good argument for the Swiss effort to ban the minaret. I am surprised I have not heard it argued. This is probably the result of the Swiss ignorance of, or prejudice against, Islam.

Finally, I do not know if Muhammad's teaching relates to a physical pronouncement of the adhan, or whether it works on recording of the adhan. I have played versions of recorded adhans in the internet and strained my ears to hear Satan farting. Sometimes I think I hear it, right when the muezzin says Ash-hadu anna Muħammadan rasulullah, "I bear witness that Muhammad is God's Messenger," but sometimes I think I do not and am just imagining things, or am insensitive to the subtleties of Arabic pronunciation. Perhaps my readers can listen to this rendition of the adhan and tell me by answering the questionnaire below whether or not they hear Satan farting. This would be valuable scientific or sociological research. Science at the service of Islam.

The adhan:
According to Muhammad, Satan is
farting, farting, and farting
Can you hear it?


*It is beyond the scope of this posting to determine if there have been any opinions or fatwas that handle the issue of sharts. The Urban Dictionary defines "shart" as "a small, unintended defecation that occurs when one relaxes the anal sphincter to fart (blend of "shit" and "fart")." I am at a loss as to whether a shart is something that falls under najasat haqiqiya or najasat hukmi. Maybe Muslims don't shart, so it is not a problem for their jurists. Muhammad himself handled the issue of those farts know as SBDs, which the Urban Dictionary defines as "a quiet flatulent that makes its presence known by a foul odor; 'silent but deadly.'" I do not know how Islamic jurisprudence would handle farts that we may call SBND, silent but not deadly, that is flatulence that is neither heard nor smelled, but not imagined. Apparently, some Muslims (in a spirit of blasphemy, to be sure) find the whole matter humorous, which it plainly is not. If one has farted, and one remains unclean, Allah will not hear your prayers, and they avail nothing toward salvation. That's serious business. In any event, one can buy a T-shirt on a site called Funny Muslim Clothes that says: "Do silent farts break wudu." This is a shirt the humor of which only a Muslim would understand.

**E.g., Qur'an 4:43 ("do not approach prayer . . .[if] you have contacted women." ).
***Some may accuse me of speaking "tongue in cheek," but when it comes to farts that whole concept of tongue and of cheeks is distasteful.
Qur'an 3:110 ("You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind").
††Qur'an 2:65 ("Be apes--despised and hated by all"), 5:60 ("They [the Jews] are those whom Allah has cursed, . . . some of whom were turned into apes and swine."), 7:166 ("We [Allah[ said to them, "Be apes, despised.")
†††I might point out that I have Jewish blood on both sides of the family, so it follows that I am mongrel human, being according to my calculation about 3/8 ape and pig and 5/8 human. Of the 3/8 that is ape and pig, I have not figured out the proportion of pig and the proportion of ape. That raises an interesting question: if a Jew converts to Islam, does he or she change to human from ape and pigs? That would be interesting to see. I Googled for this phenomenon, but I found no "before" and "after" pictures. But maybe there just have been no conversions from Judaism to Islam.
‡The Swiss, at least the German-speaking Swiss, may be sensitive to Satan and farts. Pumpernickel means "Satan's farts" ("pumpern = break wind, and "nickel" is a goblin or devil). It may be that their exposure to pumpernickel has sensitized them to the problem. But the exploration of this possibility is beyond the scope of this post.


  1. The most unfunny blog I have ever come across.

    1. It's insanely hillarious! Wouldn't have expected less from a religion founded by a pedophile, illiterate "prophet" who believed the sun sets in a pool of muddy water.

  2. This is very insulting and sounds alot like sarcasm...if one does not belive or like something then one should not praise nor insult it...Be sure to understand more rather than take a peek and decide you know all about it....May Allah forgive us all.....jazakul khair

    1. But Muslims hate and insult everyone else.
      I guess your people are just too God damned special.

    2. Wouldn't expect any less from a typical muslim woman. Everything through the eyes of someone that's not supposed to act out, not supposed to criticize, just supposed to exist subservient to a group of men subservient to a pedophile, rapist. Hadiza, you're bullshit "live and let live" attitude is exactly how theological fascists keep power. They make you think that there is something honorable about submission. Well there is not. It's ok to question authority. And it's ok to criticize. These are the tenents that led to America. And if you want to talk about "jealousy"....

  3. Please educate yourself with real teachings of Islam... Your writing clearly shows your intention and obsession of being anti-Islamic.. Don't spew the venom of hatred and jealousy.. So sad...

    1. Jealousy?!? Wait, one fucking minute...Surely you don't mean- No, surely you're not implying that non-muslims are JEALOUS of muslims for being muslims? Did that thought originate from your anus?

    2. But Muslims are anti-everything else, so why do we have to hold back? No thanks, go back to your sandbox and STFU.

    3. Who says we are anti-everything? Trump? The Anti-Muslim media? ISIS, Al-Qaeda are the real problems: BTW they claim to hold Muslim beliefs, but they really don't.

  4. One more thing.. You've played your best in cutting short and manipulating the verses, hadiths etc so that it looks illogical and disgusting... Islam has been a target right from the beginning and you aren't the first to criticise it out of hatred and jealousy... In spite and Despite of Millions of criticism, Islam is spreading fast.. This itself shows that truth will prevail.. You do whatever you want, Islam will stay forever In sha Allah...

  5. When a pedophile, illiterate "prophet" establishes a "religion", this is what to expect.

    1. Mate, he maybe illiterate, but at least he knew some manners. Plus, he didn't even have sex with Ayesha - only with his first wife.

  6. To the author:
    I'd like to advise to please not be afraid of Islam or Muslims. Actually I advise to not fear any person or persons. And please try to accept all sorts of lifestyles as long as they don't DIRECTLY nullify your rights and priveledges as according to your vicinity's laws and rules.

    When anyone speaks against someone else, or some other view, without being provoked... It only proves their own insecurity about what they hold to be true in their own beliefs. I was much like you once, I used to make fun of atheists and non-religious folks a lot, and of course it was easy to outwit them since God is real and Islam is true... But Islam itself taught me that I can not make fun of other religions and to respect all other beliefs and faiths unless they harm someone else's rights or step over those lawful boundaries decided by local society.

    Thank you for reading my comment sir/ma'am. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the day and week.

  7. Just adding in here something - Islam is a religion of reason and logic. We do ask questions in Islam - and it is a saying of our prophet that to merely question is to seek half of knowledge. Peace be upon him. The entire Qur'an - if you read it you will fall in love with it - talks about thinking and reflecting - asking and pondering - on the many realities of the universe. And do you know what is amazing? What's amazing is how it weaves parables from the oceans, the space, the womb of the mother, history, and wonders. But it requires a sincere heart to read it and take its meaning. But if you do, you will find such peace that can only be the greatest of all treasures. Wish you a great life.

  8. To know the origin and reason for the law of farting see:
    Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayim 37:2.

    The origin of every legend in the Quran can be traced to either Jewish or Christian sources: