Saying Bismillāh in one's heart when doing wudhū in the bathroom
Is it permissible to say it in the heart because my wudhu’ area is attached to the toilet and I do not want to mention the name of Allāh aloud there?
In the Name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
All praise and thanks are due to Allāh, May Allāh blessings and peace be upon His Messenger.
It is makrūh to mention the name of Allāh in the place where one relieves oneself, out of respect for the name of Allāh so that His name will not be mentioned in a place of impurity which is the abode of the devils.
Al-Nawawi (rahimahullāh) said:
It is makrūh to recite dzikir and to speak when relieving oneself, whether that is in the desert or inside a building. All kinds of dzikir and speech are the same in this regard, except in cases of necessity. Some of our companions even say that if a person sneezes (in the bathroom), he should not say “Al-hamdu Lillah”, and one should not say “Yarhamuk-Allāh” to a person who sneezes, or return the greeting of salām, or respond to the muezzin in the bathroom. All of that is makrūh but is not harām. If a person sneezes and praises Allāh in his heart without moving his tongue, there is nothing wrong with that. The same applies when having intercourse.
And we narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (radiallāhu’anhu) said: A man passed by the Prophet (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) whilst he was urinating and greeted him with Salam, but he did not return the greeting. [Narrated by Muslim in his Sahīh, 370] And it was narrated that al-Muhājir ibn Qunfudz (radiallāhu’anhu) said: I came to the Prophet (sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) whilst he was urinating and greeted him with salām, but he did not return the greeting until he had done wudū, then he apologized to me and said: “I do not like to mention the name of Allāh unless I am in a state of purity.” [A sahīh hadīth narrated by Abu Dawūd, al-Nasā’i and Ibn Mājah with a sahīh isnād].
[Al-Adhkār (p. 21-22)]
Based on this, if the place where you do wudhū is inside the bathroom – which is the place for relieving oneself and is not used for washing only – then it is makrūh to utter the name of Allāh in this place, even though it is prescribed to say Bismillāh (when doing wudū). Some of the scholars say that a person should say Bismillāh in his heart without uttering it on his tongue.
If a person is in the bathroom, then Imām Ahmad (rahimahullāh) said: If a man sneezes he should praise Allāh in his heart. It may be deduced from this report that he should also say Bismillāh in his heart.
Others suggested that it is most likely that it is still prescribed to say Bismillāh. They said: He should say it out loud and it is not makrūh in this place.
[Al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (1/130)]
There is nothing wrong with doing wudhū inside the bathroom if necessary, and saying Bismillāh at the beginning, because saying Bismillāh is obligatory according to some scholars, and is strongly encouraged according to the majority. So he should do that, and the ruling on it being makrūh is waived, because such rulings are waived when it is necessary to say Bismillāh. A person is commanded to say Bismillāh when starting to do wudū, so he should say it and complete his wudū’.
[Majmū’ Fatāwa al-Shaykh Ibn Bāz, 10/28]
It is makrūh to utter the name of Allāh in the bathroom where a person relieves himself, out of respect for His name, but it is prescribed to say Bismillāh when starting to do wudū, because it is obligatory according to a group of scholars.
If the place where one does wudhū is outside the bathroom, even if it is attached to it, then it is prescribed for the person who is doing wudū to utter Bismillāh and it is not makrūh in this case because he is not inside the bathroom.
[Fatāwa al-Lajnah al-Dā’imah, 5/94]
And Allāh knows best.
[Via Islam Q&A (23308)]