Taking a Book or Newspaper to Read in the Toilet, Permissible?
Reading a daily newspaper while in the toilet is a common habit among people today. However, we have the Shari`ah etiquettes of entering lavatories that should be observed, irrespective of what people have been used to. Among these etiquettes are the following:
· to enter the lavatory with the left leg
· to say special supplication of safeguarding from the jinn
· not to speak while in the lavatory, except when necessary
· not to have something that includes the mention of Allah, such as a mushaf (Arabic copy of the Qur’an), a book of hadiths, and the like of things that may include the mention of Allah in it.
It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to take off his ring before entering such places because the mention of Allah was inscribed on his ring.
Answering your question, the Saudi eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Saleh ibn Fawzan Al-Fawzan, stated,
It is not permissible to take anything into the toilet that includes the mention of Allah (exalted be He), be it a book, a newspaper, or other than that. Apparently, this entails exposing the mention of Almighty Allah (to the impurities) therein.