How is personal cleanliness in islam? What is the importance of personal cleanliness in islam?
”Allah, glory unto Him, is clean and loves those who are clean.”
Our Lord has created His servants as clean as they can ever be. When a baby is born, everyone desires to take the baby in their arms, kiss and smell him. Man is born into the world with purity and innocence; for he has been created pure, both physically and spiritually. And as human beings, we must therefore protect that state of spiritual and physical purity. The Beloved Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- informs us of this need when he says:
“Surely Allah is good and beautiful; and He loves that which is good and beautiful. He is clean and loves cleanliness.” (al-Tirmidhi, Adab, 41) and “Cleanliness is one half of faith.” (Muslim, Taharah, 1).
The Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- was one day speaking to his Companions when a man with messy hair and untidy clothes entered the scene. His appearance struck the attention of everyone there. Suddenly, all eyes were fixed on him. The Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- certainly could not approve of a Muslim looking like that. His expression became a little serious. He did not like what he saw.
It was clear that the man was seeking permission to join the talk. Without making it obvious to the others, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- made a polite gesture to the man, signaling him to fix up his hair and clothes. The man understood and left immediately. Before too long, he came back once again, this time with his hair combed and clothes tidied. Seeing the man neatened, the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- smiled. He invited him and changed the subject of his talk to personal hygiene and tidiness. To indicate to the man that how he looked now was much better than how he previously looked, the Beloved Messenger -upon him blessings and peace- said:
“Is it not better for one to be clean, neat and nicely appearing than to be untidy with devilishly unkempt hair?” (Muwattaa, Sha’ar, 7)
The Beloved Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- says:
“Surely Allah is good and beautiful; and He loves that which is good and beautiful. He is clean and loves cleanliness.” (al-Tirmidhi, Adab, 41)
“Cleanliness is one half of faith.” (Muslim, Taharah, 1).
How do we Maintain Our Personal Hygiene?
On waking up in the morning, our first cleansing activity should be performing ablution for the first ritual prayer of the day. Ablution is a way of cleansing not only physically but also spiritually.
We must wash and comb our hair several times a week. Our hair should always smell nice. It is also a nice habit for a person to carry a comb and mirror with him.
While performing ablution, we must thoroughly clean the insides of our ears. Our ears must not look dirty.
We must thoroughly clean our noses, especially while performing ablution. There should not remain any boogers, either dry or moist.
We must brush our teeth using miswak, or a toothbrush and toothpaste and even dental floss if need be. Miswak helps clean our teeth and makes them appear shiny. It is also good for the gums.
Before the advent of Islam, people had not even the slightest awareness of dental hygiene and health. Islam thus revolutionized dental care. The Beloved Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- used to place great emphasis on dental hygiene. He would advice his Companions saying:
– “I know that you find it difficult to regularly clean your teeth. Yet dental hygiene is so important for your health that had I not known that it would not be too troublesome for you, I would certainly have commanded you to brush your teeth with miswak at the time of each ritual prayer.” (Source: al-Bukhari, Juma, 8; al-Tirmidhi, Taharah, 18) For I clean my teeth before each ritual prayer and every time I wake up.” (Source: Muslim, Musafirin, 139)
Men should keep their hair cut and neat and trim their beards and moustaches, if they have any. The Beloved Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- used to tidy his hair and beard by looking at a water-filled container as mirror.
When we come home in the evening, we must thoroughly wash our hands until our fingers and nails are properly cleaned.
Those who work in labor jobs, if needed, should bathe or take a shower when they come home in the evening.
Pubic and underarm hair should be shaved at least once a week or twice a month. Otherwise, the smell would make others uncomfortable.
The fingernails and toenails should be cut at least twice a month.
The Beloved Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- once said to Ali -May Allah be well-pleased with him-, “Cut your nails, O Ali; for the harmful creatures (micro organisms) gather under long nails.”
A Muslim is someone who shines both inwardly and outwardly.
A Muslim ought to be healthy, strong and vigorous; for he must be an exemplary person. He represents what a beautiful religion Islam is through his health, energy, cleanliness and inner peace. All people should look upon a Muslim with envy and admiration and get an idea as to what kind of a human being the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- was.
Source; ISLAMIC ETIQUETTE, Faruk KANGER – Lokman HELVACI, Erkam Publications