Even though water is highly recommended for washing, however, in the rare case where water cannot be found, a Muslim may use a toilet paper in the meantime. It is interesting to note that the Islamic religion speaks extensively on hygiene and contains regulations on a lifestyle of cleanliness during different prayer times. It gives regulations about salat (the compulsory prayers) , wuduu (partial ablution), ghusl (full ablution), and also on diet and toilet etiquette.
In the year 2015, it was reported that the top Turkey religious authority made a declaration that Muslims could use toilet papers and other cleaning materials where there is no water available.
On this matter of hygiene, the Quran clearly admonishes Muslims to be clean always. This is seen in the fiqh as well as in the hadith. Muslims are to copy the lifestyle and steps of prophet Muhammad in life, speech, deeds and habits. There are also other Quranic verses which shed more light on how to actualize ritual cleanliness. For example, keeping of the mouth clean is achieved through washing the mouth with water and a form of toothbrush. This is even done after taking a meal. Another is the practice of ablution. This is done as a rite and is, of course, a part of the things done in wuduu, tayammum and ghusl.
In countries that are dominated by the Islamic religion, construction of bathrooms is done such that they have a Muslim shower sited next to the toilet. This is to enable Muslims wash their bodies properly.
The lota is a container mostly used by the South Asians, and generally by the Muslims, to pour water to wash their buttocks after they are done using the bathroom. The use of lota is useful in the ritual of cleansing for Muslims. It is an Islamic hygienic practice used for urine and bowel clearance. Not only that, it has also been said to be an integral part of the Islamic faith.
It has even been said that if one pays a visit to Canadian homes, one would readily notice a tiny water container or probably a hosepipe which is used to let out water which can be used to clean oneself after defecating. This use of lota is one of the Islamic hygienic virtues of cleaning oneself before going to prayer. In fact, it is interesting to note that in many parts of the world with or without any religious inclination, the lota is used in place of toilet papers which may not be readily ‘affordable’.
The practice of good hygiene is viewed by some Muslims as following and obeying the commands of the Prophet Muhammad. One of the teachings of Islam is that the state of cleanliness of the body will influence the spirit, and so it is essential to be clean at all times, and most especially before making prayers.