Zuleika and her family entered the little chalet they had hired in the quiet countryside. This was a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city life, noise and fumes. The place was serene, the air fresh and the view around them gorgeous. They entered their holiday home with salaam and were enchanted with it. It consisted of a kitchenette, two bedrooms with twin beds and a bathroom consisting of a bath, shower, toilet and a washbasin. It was small and quaint.

After bringing in their luggage, they made wudu and performed their salaah with jamaat, using a compass to find the qibla direction. Mummy then served them tea and a light snack. Thereafter Zuleika’s daddy and brother Uthman went outside for a stroll. Soon, Zuleika needed to use the bathroom. She was very dismayed to find there was no tap next to the toilet.  “Mummy,” she said, “how will I make istinja? There’s toilet roll by the toilet but no water!”

“Take this and fill it at the sink,” said her mummy, handing her an empty plastic bottle. Zuleika took it and filled it with water. She then cleaned the toilet seat using this water and toilet paper. After she refilled the bottle, she next discovered that there was no key on the bathroom door. She recalled seeing another key on the chalet keyring so she went and fetched it. Inserting it in the keyhole, she found that it fitted. 

Before she could go use the toilet, her mother said, “Remember to read ‘Bismillah’, plus the dua for entering the toilet* and enter the toilet with the left foot.” “Jazakallah for the reminder Mummy,” said Zuleika, reciting the dua whilst standing outside the bathroom door. She was always careful not to speak or take Allah SWT’s name while in the toilet.

Zuleika entered with the left foot, quickly relieved herself and made istinja using her left hand. Thereafter she washed her hands. When she tried to leave the bathroom, she was shocked to find herself locked in. No matter how much she tried, the key refused to budge. Trying not to panic, she called out to her mother, “Mummy! I can’t open the door. The key worked perfectly from the other side so I assumed it was the correct key. Now I’m locked in.”

Pass me the key under the door Honey and I’ll unlock it,” said her mother calmly. 

“I can’t! It’s stuck!” answered Zuleika in a panicky voice.

Just then, Zuleika’s father entered and her mum told him that their daughter was locked in the bathroom. He quickly phoned the manager who informed him that the extra key was actually for the back veranda door and not the bathroom. He promised to send someone shortly, to sort out the door. Zuleika meantime, didn’t like to be enclosed in a toilet till they came, as she had been taught never to waste time in the toilet. Spying a window over the bath she opened it and saw that she would be able to squeeze through and go outside.

When she informed her parents of her intention, they warned her to be very careful. She slowly climbed out with her father assisting her from outside, to reach the ground.

“Oops!” exclaimed Zuleika.

“What is it now?” asked her father.

“I forgot to leave the toilet with the right foot!” exclaimed Zuleika grinning. 

“Well, recite your dua # and remember to do so next time,” said her father laughing.


*Allahumma inni aoozu bika minal khubusi wal khaba’is. (O Allah, I seek Your protection from the male and female devil.)


# Ghufranaka. Alhamdu lillahillazi azhaba annil aza wa aafaani. ( I seek Your pardon. Praise be to Allah who removed from me discomfort and gave me relief.)

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