Okay, don’t laugh…

Muslims can now use toilet paper: Turkey’s top religious authority.
Turkey’s top religious authority has decreed that Muslims may use toilet paper – though water is still preferable for cleansing.

“If water cannot be found for cleansing, other cleaning materials can be used. Even though some sources deem paper to be unsuitable as a cleaning material, as it is an apparatus for writing, there is no problem in using toilet paper,” the Directorate of Religious Affairs, or Diyanet, said in a statement about the fatwa.

Islamic toilet etiquette, called the Qadaa al-Haajah, contains rules that predate the invention of toilet paper.

According to the strict code, Muslims must squat or sit – but not stand – while relieving themselves. They also must remain silent while on the toilet and leave with the right foot while saying a prayer.

Diyanet last month also gave its blessing to hand sanitizers containing alcohol.

“While it is forbidden to drink substances containing alcohol that were produced for cleaning purposes, it is acceptable to use them for cleaning. Therefore the places that were cleaned with such substances need not be washed before performing a prayer,” the Diyanet said, the Hurriyet Daily News reported.

The Diyanet also ruled that people may only beg out of desperation. Those who beg for money beyond their immediate needs are “demanding the fire of hell,” the paper reported.

Little steps…little steps…changes can come.