O you, who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles. And if you are in a state of janabah, then purify yourselves. But if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful.
(Quran Surah Ma’idah 5:6)
Islam is one of the largest and fastest spreading religions of the world. Islam unlike the other religions is a complete way of life that covers and incorporates all manners and aspects of human life and provides guidance on those aspects. Islam is a religion that has covered all types of topics that are related to human life in this world and the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in his Sunnah has taught us all the ways how to perform daily tasks and to live life in a way that is pleasing to Allah (SWT). One must be aware of the fact that through Prophet Muhammad (SAW), it is Allah (SWT) Himself, in His great Mercy that has taught us how to behave and live in this world. One of the things that Islam has emphasized on is cleanliness. There are hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in which he has given importance to cleanliness. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said,
“The key to the prayer (salah) is cleanliness, its beginning is takbir (saying Allahu Akbar) and its ending is salam (salutation).” (Abu Dawud, Taharah, 31: Tirmidhi, Taharah, 39)
Islam has encouraged the believer to always be in a state of cleanliness both physically and spiritually. As mentioned above, one of the most important aspects of prayers is that a person be clean before performing them. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) provided us guidance and instructed us to remain clean in all sorts of ways. He also mentioned maintaining even dental hygiene through the use of Miswak.
Hadiths on Importance of Cleanliness
Here the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) gave the greatest importance to remaining clean by declaring it as a part of faith.
1. Abu Malik Al-Ash`ari (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Purity is half of iman (faith). “
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) provided Muslims with a means to please Allah (SWT) through something that is beneficial to them.
2. Aisha (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said, “The miswak (a twig used for tooth brushing) cleanses and purifies the mouth and pleases the Lord.”
(An-Nasa’I and IbnKhuzaimah; authenticated by Al-Albani)
3. Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said,
“Were it not that I might overburden my followers, I would have commanded them to use the miswak before every prayer.”
(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) declared personal hygiene to be basic human nature.
4. Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said:
“Five practices are of the fitrah (natural disposition): circumcision, shaving the pubic region, clipping the nails and cutting the moustaches short.”
(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) informed us of one of the ways on how to gain forgiveness on the best day for Muslims
5. Abu Dharr (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said:
“Whoever takes a bath on a Friday and does it well, and purifies himself and does it well, and puts on his best clothes, and puts on whatever Allah decrees for him of the perfume of his family, then comes to the mosque and does not engage in idle talk or separate (pushing between) two people; he will be forgiven for (his sins) between that day and the previous Friday.”
(IbnMajah and authenticated by Al-Albani)
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) not only gave importance to personal hygiene by also informed us to keep the environment clean.
6. Mu`adh (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) warned,
“Beware of the three acts that cause you to be cursed: relieving yourselves in shaded places (that people utilize), in a walkway or in a watering place.”
(Ranked sound, hasan,by Al-Albani)
7. Abu Dharr Al-Ghafari (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said,
“Removing harmful things from the road is an act of charity (sadaqah).”
(Authenticated by Al-Albani)