A very Honest Question

March 22, 2010 at 1:42 pm (Just a thought ...)

When Muslims conquered Europe, one thing that changed so dramatically and still influenced people till today was the concept of bathing, or what is known as Hammam. The only known Hammams other than the Arabic one was the Turkish and Romanian. Somewhere along history Europeans used to think that bathing would bring them diseases and so avoided it. Queen Elizabeth the first declared that she was the cleanest person in Europe as she bathed once every three months. Versailles which had 1500 rooms had only one bathroom. After Islamic conquer this has changed. 300 Hamamm were created only in Cordoba and the trend started to spread all around Europe.

With time, the west has taken the science they were taught by Arabs and other civilizations and developed themselves. Europeans were going forward and Arabs were going backward. However, one thing that Europeans did not take from Arab was to use water to wash ‘down there’ after doing number 1 and number 2. How come despite all the technology, science and knowledge they have it never occurred to them to use water? I am sure that few people do, but most don’t. To have a water hose next to the toilet could be as uncommon and odd as not having one in any Muslim country.

Something that surprised me was on Operah show when she said that she discovered something amazing while travelling, and that amazing thing was a water hose that is used to wash ‘down there’. She said it is refreshing and hygienic! Really! You think! How could you do number 2, or worse have you period and do not use water to wash! Is a toilet paper enough? Doesn’t it stink and itch if you do not wash properly?  I think it is already disgusting that it is not common to shave down there (both men and women). In Islam it is a must to shave the whole pubic area and arm pit every 40 days, of course women prefer to wax or lazer.

Every time I go to the ladies dressing room at the gym, spa, swimming pool or yoga studio, I am welcomed with several huge bushes on several women’s privates of all colors and shapes! I did not know that hair could grow that long. No wonder some people get lice!

Apparently, a bidet is a luxury in Europe and North America. I don’t know about other countries. I have been to Malaysia and Singapore and they both had water available to wash.

Why am I making a big deal out of this? Because I think it’s disgusting not to use water and people need to know of the harms of not using water. I can never go out without my bottle of water here in Europe. And the funny thing is that people think what I do is weird.

(Water cleansing of perineum area after relieving or defecating is very efficient at reducing any chances of infection due to presence of bacteria in the area. Dry toilet paper cannot cleanse your perineum areas effectively and thoroughly. Rather, it spreads bacteria round the year causing urinary tract infections and hemorrhoids. Regular cleaning of these sensitive areas with dry paper increases irritation. Prolonged usage could cause itching and bleeding. Most infectious diseases spread through human contact. Insufficient cleansing of hands after urination or defecation spreads virus. Using water reduces chances of such infection and provides increased hygiene)

Try to use water. If you do not have a water spray or bidet, simply use a bottle and you will see the difference yourself.

24 Comments

  1. Aafke said,

    Muslims conquered only part of Europe. For a time. Actually Europeans used to bathe a lot. There were places where people in the bronze age would bathe together, there were also special wells which they believed promoted health.
    They embraced the roman bathculture, which in Arab countries is now called the hammam. In the early middle ages they even had bath parties, where people would sit in large tubs full of hot water and herbs, much like the Japanese still do today, and had even dinner parties while soaking in baths. The food would be placed on planks on tob of the bathing tubs.
    In the cities all people used to bathe a lot in the rivers.
    The Christian church, which is completely fobic about sex, is responsible for the later horrendous lack of hygiene by forbidding people to bathe, and telling them it was dangerous to ones health.

    Nowadays we have bidets next to the loo and some of my friends have the japanese style toilets which have a water spray incorporated. The earliest bidet I have seen was from the eighteenth century. My mother insisted on a bidet in every house my parents moved to.

    • mimizwords said,

      Hi there .. yes I went to Bath in the UK and saw the old Romanian baths, they were so beautiful .. such a shame that this practice was lost

      Where are you from if you don’t mind me asking?

  2. Aafke said,

    I’m from the Netherlands.
    I have been in bath too! Isn’t is a gorgeous city? There was the bath festival too when I visited! And I sat on the grass at the circus with a small lantern and listened to teh music🙂
    And I took my copy of ”Persuation” with me and read the passages in the places where they happened!

    Did you drink the water?
    They can’t use the original well anymore, the Viictorians drilled it and hit a layer with some bad bacteria and now it’s polluted. They had to drill another well.

    • mimizwords said,

      hey there .. no I didnt drink the water .. but I really enjoyed my time there, such wonderful city

  3. I CARE said,

    hahahah funny topic.

    As far as I know that water sprayer is more of a cultural thing. Some people call it “muslim shower” since most muslim toilets have it. However, I’ve been to Thailand, in which muslims are only 4.5%, and they had those sprayers in every toilet. It’s just a matter of being comfortable.

    I, just like you and most people here, find not using water very weird and disgusting. I carry my beloved retractable water bottle with me when i travel. It comes in handy!

    I just wanted to note that Islam doesn’t specifically says that water must be used. Using toilet is perfectly fine when it come to taharah and cleaning up before praying. When i studied fiqh I asked about this issue specifically and turns out that even the use of dry stoned is fine << eew, i know😛

    Using water doesn't mean we're cleaner than people who don't use water. I'm sure you've seen public toilets in places where they have those sprayers. The toilets reek from the mixture of water and other unmentionables on the floor. It's unbearable. I don't know how girls schools are but I know boys toilets in public school are not to be approached under any circumstances. They NEVER taught us that we should keep it clean, i would remember if they did.

    I hope my input wasn't too long.

    • mimizwords said,

      hey there, how you been, long time!

      I thought Islam specifically said that water is a condition, ‘ ma2 jari’ running water shall be used to clean up as long as its available, at least thats what they taught us in school …

      and tell me about public toilets here! such horror! have you seen that show on MBC, ‘Kawater’ .. he had a whole episdoe about how dirty toilets were in Arab countries and how clean and shiny there were in Japan + they use water! He said thats why all families make sure that thier kids go to the loo before a trip coz they know there arent any out there LOL.

    • Aafke said,

      Last year a friend of mine put up a blogpost that it’s scientific fact that Muslim bums are cleaner then non-muslim bums.
      Loos are a different matter…..

      • mimizwords said,

        Hilarious! what a random fact!

  4. barelynoticeable said,

    Very funny post! I had a couple of laughs just in the way you worded it.

    If we’re being honest and able to ask questions about this subject…. how do you dry yourself after all that washing?

    • mimizwords said,

      heheheheh well at least it made you laugh

      and about your question … we dont use anything .. we just hang there till the water dries …..

      LOL

      just kidding .. toilet paper comes after washing with water of course

  5. Ashlee said,

    HAHAHA!! Maryam, that was hilarious! Thanks for making me laugh so hard :’D

  6. Lisa Clayton said,

    I love my bidet at home but frankly the condition of public toilets in the so-called Muslim world turns my stomach — as a Muslim and as a woman. For some reason women here are unable to control the spay and all kinds of nasty water winds up on the floor, toilet seat, walls and even ceiling. I have wondered if the women using the toilets are acting on their own in the absence of the maids who often attend them and giving the toilet a thorough wash🙂

    If you can’t control the spay and clean after yourself, then I much prefer you wipe with paper 2-4 times and leave the spray alone.

    Salaam,
    Lisa

  7. mimizwords said,

    ok

    Muslims have cleanest bums and worst toilets … thats the conclusion I guess

    • Disgusted said,

      I would not give you clean bums and for sure I will give you the most disgusting bathroom habits ever!! Fecal matter is sprayed all over the place on the floor, walls and toilets. Think about all the feces that are on your bottom just from sitting on the toilet and it’s not your feces. Then think about the feces you are tracking around on the bottoms of your shoes all over everything! In my opinion not very clean at all! Since they don’t know how to spray, I would rather they wipe. I certainly don’t want to sit on others feces nor do I want it on my shoes! I think I’m missing the part where they are clean.

  8. mimizwords said,

    oh come on people, they are not that disgusting! that is an exaggeration I would say .. There are some disgusting toilets but not all of them! The ones that were described by readers would be found in very poor areas or high ways, not in shopping malls, restaurants or even parks ..

    where did you see such disgusting seen?

    I remember seeing a horrific toilet on the high way between Kubar and Qatar Boarder in Saudi .. and also in another highway in Malaysia between some village and the capital .. but didnt see anything like that in the city

    • I CARE said,

      I have to agree with the disgusted dude (or dudette). He wasn’t exaggerating at at all. have you been to a toilet in city center? landmark? In villagio and the corniche they had to hire 3 people in every toilet just to clean after people since people can’t clean themselves up.

      you’re right, Mimi, saudi is way worse. I saw that episode on MBC in Ramadan. Finally somebody said something. I hope someone was listening! it’s just sad, the closer you go to islam and muslims, the more disgusting their lifestyle is. I’m sorry if people are offended by this statement. It burns me more than it burns anyone else. too bad it’s the truth.

  9. Disgusted said,

    I’m a dudette and you named the bathrooms I was speaking of. And I really hate to say this but trust me the “hired cleaners” are just wiping the toliets down not disinfecting them. So the bacteria and germs are all still there so those “clean” muslim butts have more bacteria and germs than I would like to imagine!
    Oh and Aafke, “joint” bathing………..please that is really gross! I don’t want to sit in someone elses dirt and germs! That is really disgusting as well. Maybe I just have a phobia about germs and notice the gross things that others do not.

    • I CARE said,

      your fear of germs is going too far. What you have is beyond a phobia. Seek medical attention before air becomes too dirty to breath.

      • Disgusted said,

        HA! I just don’t like dirt and germs!

  10. sybil said,

    I understand your concerns and your customs, however I must say that I’ve never noticed any dreaded diseases roaming the streets of America emerging from water versus paper in the loo. I have to admit seeing a water hose on the wall in the toilet area was really foreign to me when arriving here, but I decided when in Rome… never mind, I make more mess with the hose than without! LOVED the lively debate, though! Also, interesting about the “hair” thing. I prefer not to witness “bushes” either🙂

  11. Aafke said,

    Dudette, but I tried to point out that before the church got involved midieval Europe was a much more hygenic place! Communal bathing is still better as no bathing!😉

    About hairs…. two years ago they were collecting bugs for a museum collection in the Netherlands and they had to advertise in the media to find a certain type of lice because it turned out to be virtually extinct, because everybody seems to shave a certain part of the body nowadays!

  12. Marwa said,

    Lets put it this way, if u got mud on or your hands would you just wipe it with a tissue and consider it clean? Noo europe, you wouldnt!

  13. UmmON said,

    hahaha… such a serious worry. for sure! i carry a bottle of water too. and i actually have a collapsible mug (from ikea) that i take when i’m travelling. a lot of the hotels don’t have a bidet or hose.

  14. ambulansman said,

    i don’t see your problem. stick to your cleaning customs and be happy with it🙂
    from my experiences i can tell you that most people don’t exclusivly use dry toilet paper. they put water on it for thorough cleaning. from a professional viewpoint as a medic i totally agree that using water for cleaning yourself after getting rid of your food-leftovers is a nice and hygienic thing.
    but please note that it is always wrong to generalize.

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