Istinjaa’ is an act of worship in itself
Fatwa No: 363652

Question

Is removing impurity after relieving oneself in order to keep body pure from impurities an act of worship, or is it merely a permissible act? Is wearing pure clothes before the prayer an act of worship, or is it merely a permissible act? Is facing the Qiblah (prayer direction) before prayer an act of worship? Is placing a mat to pray on a pure place an act of worship, or is it merely a permissible act? How can we determine which act is genuine worship, which is not genuine worship but worship for a reason, and which is a permissible act but not worship? Are the acts which have been described above "worship for a reason," as they are needed to do genuine worship? Please do not refer me to other fatwas.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

Removing impurity after relieving oneself is called Istinjaa’, and it is an act of worship (ʻIbaadah). The Maaliki scholar An-Nafraawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, "It is not necessarily required to perform ablution after Istinjaa’. Rather, Istinjaa’ is an independent act of worship, and it is recommended to perform it before ablution according to Imaam Maalik."

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Allah knows best.

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