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Physical cleanliness in Islam

Physical cleanliness in Islam

Hafiz Aziz

The Arabic word for cleanliness is Tahara which means “Purity”.  This purity means to be clean both spiritually (Inner Tahara) and physically (Outer Tahara).  Islam places great emphasis on both of them. Inner Tahara can be achieved by upholding the five pillars of Islam, and making sure the heart is pure of spiritual maladies such as anger, hatred, pride, arrogance, riya, etc.  OuterTahara can be attained by proper bodily purification, taking bath, cleaning teeth, using fragrance, keeping house and clothes clean etc.  Our holy Prophet PBUH practiced cleanliness himself and ordered his companions to do the same. 

Key to Prayer:  Islam insists on cleanliness. Personal hygiene is desirable at all times but certain aspects of personal hygiene are not only important but compulsory.  A Muslim cannot offer his\her prayers with unclean body, clothes or using dirty premises. Prophet PBUH said, "Allah does not accept Prayers without purification" [Muslim ].    Allah SWT says, “O you who believe!  When you intend to offer the prayer, wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, wipe your heads, and (wash) your feet up to the ankles.  If you are in a state of Janaba (wet dream) purify yourself (wash your whole body)” [5:6].

Half of faith:  From the beginning of revelation cleanliness of the body and clothes is greatly emphasized in the Quran and Hadith to the point where it is declared half of faith. Prophet PBUH said, “Cleanliness is half of Emaan (faith)” [Muslim].  Removing dirt that collects in certain parts of the body is part of our religion.    Allah SWT says, "Truly, Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean." [2:222] –  In a different verse it is mentioned, "Keep your clothes clean" [74:4].

Taking a bath: Cleanliness and pleasant appearance are of characteristics which allow relationships to strengthen amongst people.  Prophet PBUH has greatly emphasized the importance of taking a bath (Ghusl) on every Friday. He PBUH said, "It is the duty of every Muslim to take a bath (at least) once every seven days, and to wash his head and body". In a different narration it is mentioned, “Have a bath on Fridays and wash your heads, even if you are not in a state of Junabah (impurity), and wear perfume” [Bukhari].

Offensive smell:  How much Islam emphasizes on cleanliness can be gleamed from the fact that not only we are supposed to keep our bodies and clothes clean; we are even supposed to ensure no one is disturbed from the unpleasant smell of certain food we eat. Prophet PBUH said, "He who eats of this (offensive) plant, (ie. Onion, garlic and leek)should not approach our mosque for the angels are harmed by the same things as the children of Adam” [Muslim].   

Good Appearance:  Prophet PBUH always kept neat and proper appearance and advised the Muslims to appear neat and tidy in private and in public. Once when returning home from a battle, He PBUH advised his army: "You are soon going to meet your brothers, so tidy your saddles and clothes. Be distinguished in the eyes of the people." [Abu Dawud]. In a different narration it is mentioned, "Don't ever come with your hair and beard disheveled like a devil" [Tirmidhi]. 

An act of Charity:  Islam instructed Muslims to maintain the cleanliness of the roads and our neighborhood. Muslims are instructed to maintain the cleanliness of the roads by lifting any harmful objects found on it, this is considered an act of charity.

    أَقُول قَوْلِي هَذَا ،  وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللّهَ لِيَ وَلَكُمْ ولِسَائِر الْمُسْلِمِي ، فَاسْتَغْفِرُوه ،  إِنَهُ هُوَ الْغَفُور الرّحِيمُ.

Please sit down for a moment

بِسْمِ اللّهِ ،  والْحَمْدُ ِلّهِ ،  والصّلَاةُ والسّلَامُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللّهِ ،  صَلّى اللّهُ عَلَيْهِ وسَلَم

Islam insists on cleanliness and makes it an indispensable fundamental of faith. The acts mentioned above are what we do frequently in our routine life. Do we realize that we get rewarded by Allah SWT for them?  So the next time when you are clipping your nails, cleaning your home, taking bath, cleaning teeth, using cologne, or any other act of cleanliness make a conscious intention to clean up for Allah’s pleasure and pray to Allah to reward you maximally for your efforts. As we understand from the Quran, physical cleanliness is one of the qualities possessed by the people of Paradise. May Allah SWT give us the ability to practice best physical and spiritually cleanliness and count us among those granted Paradise – Ameen.

عِبَادَ اللّهِ ،   إنّ اللّهَ يَأْمُر بِالْعَدْلِ والْإِحْسَانِ وإيْتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى ويَنْهَى عَنِ الفَحْشَاءِ والْمُنْكَرِ والْبَغِي  ،  يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلّكُمْ تَذَكّرُونَ  .   اُذْكُرُوا الَ الْعَظِيمَ  يَذْكُرْكُمْ واشْكُروهُ  يَزِدْكُمْ واسْتَغْفِرُوه يَغْفِرْ لكُمْ واتّقُوهُ  يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَمْرِكُمْ مَخْرَجًا.         وَأَقِم الصّلَاة

إنَّ الْحَمْدَ لِلهِ نَحْمَدُهُ وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ  ،   وَنَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنْ شُرُورِ أَنْفُسِنَا وَمِنْ سَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا ،  مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللهُ فَلاَ مُضِلَّ لَهُ ،  وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلاَ هَادِىَ لَهُ،وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ 

اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ ،  وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ



يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا


يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُو اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلاً سَدِيدًا  *  يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا

                اما بعد:
                         إنَّ أَصْدَقَ اْلحَدْيثِ كِتَابُ اللّهِ وَأَحْسَنَ الْهَدْيِ هَدْيُ مُحَمَّدٍ وَشَرُّ الْأُمُوْرِ مُحدَثَاتُها وَكُلُّ مُحْدَثَةٍ بِدْعَةٌ وكُلُّ بِدْعَةٍ ضَلَالَةٌ وكُلُّ ضَلَالَةٍ    فِي النَّار 

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