Cleanliness and Purity
Cleanliness and purity are considered to be part of Islam’s faith and it is has given much stress in Islam. Cleanliness and purification are necessary for Muslims to practice in their lifestyle. In Islam, the cleanliness is not meant to be just physical cleanliness but it is also obligatory in spiritual terms. Any other religion is unfamiliar with attention to this condition of hygiene.
While people generally consider cleanliness or purification a desirable aspect, but Islam insists on it, making hygiene an essential part of faith. Cleanliness is an essential part of the Islamic lifestyle. The meaning and spirit behind the Islamic concept of cleanliness are above and slightly different concepts than the concept of traditional cleanliness. If we read the Quran, Allah Almighty says:
According to Islam, cleanliness and purification are of two types that is inner purification and outer purification.
Inner purification is important and it can be achieved by encouraging the five pillars of Islam. It means that we should have clean and pure thinking, we should avoiding sins, and keep our self clean by doing a lot of Zikr and most importantly cleaning our hearts from a spiritual disease such as anger, hatred, pride, arrogance, etc. Taqwa is the best for the state of purification we can achieve.
Outer purification means the proper bodily purification which can be achieved by making ablution, taking bath, cleaning teeth, using fragrance, keeping clothes house, and our surrounding clean. Our Prophet Mohammed (SAW) emphasized purity and there are a number of hadiths about purity and cleanliness. He said:
This shows the importance of cleanliness in Islam that it is considered our half faith. Our beloved Prophet (SAW) practiced cleanliness himself and ordered his companions to do the same. He always kept his body and clothes clean, he took bath on a regular basis, used fragrance, liked to do clean his teeth by Miswaak. He always appreciated neat and clean appearance and dislike the use of smelly things like garlic etc.
Prophet Muhammad (SAAW) said:
Islam has always encouraged the believers to stay in clean condition both physically and spiritually. As mentioned above, one of the most important aspects of prayers is that a person should be clean before performing them five times a day.
How to practice Cleanliness
There are many instructions in connection with health, hygiene, and nutrition and about the cleanliness of air and the environment in Islam. Some of them are listed below:
- Washing both hands and mouth before and after eating meals regularly.
- Keeping the food and water covered so that it may not get contaminated.
- Keeping the body clean by doing wudu and taking bath regularly.
- Offering Salah 5 times a day for inner and bodily purification.
- Using fragrance or perfume to avoid body odor.
- Washing, combing, and using oil on the hair.
- Take a bath and perform ablution for offering prayers.
- Sleeping and waking up early.
- Going for walk in the morning.
- Keeping the house, streets and surroundings clean is the way we can make our environment clean.
- Wearing neat and clean clothes and keeping the body in presentable form.
- Brushing and cleaning teeth daily.
- Doing Miswak regularly
Islam wants us to stay healthy so that a healthy and strong society can contribute to better practicing and spreading the message of Islam. Cleanliness is the pathway to strength and health. So we must make our habit to stay clean and pure all the time. If we read the Quran, it says:
“You are the best community that hath been raised up for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah.” (Quran, 3:110)
In short, Cleanliness is an important part of faith or that’s why it is called half of the faith. If we are practicing cleanliness and cleaning our homes, brushing our teeth daily, taking bath, washing our clothes, washing dishes, use perfume, we are actually practicing the half of faith.
We are getting rewarded by Allah (SWT) for obeying his commands. We should make intentions that we are staying clean because our creator, Allah SWT asked us to do and doing these acts for an account of reward from Allah Almighty. May Allah give us the strength to obey His commands and get rewards and blessings from Him! Ameen