Importance of Hygiene in Islam
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Publié le 10 mars 2022, par Samir | 16 h 08 min
Temps de lecture : 9 minutes
Truly, God loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves. (Quran 2:222)
Islam has emphasized the importance of hygiene and cleanliness in our daily lives. No society can ignore the immense benefits of cleanliness as every faith and religion considers cleanliness one of the fundamental elements of a healthy society. Islam encourages its followers to become clean and healthy, physically and emotionally.
As we talk about spiritual hygiene, it is interlinked with physical purity. Allah, the Exalted, addresses HIS humanity in the Holy Quran to tell that HE loves those who keep themselves pure. Our last Holy Prophet, Muhammad Mustafa (PBUH), also insisted that Muslims be mindful of their hygiene. He taught his companions the importance of hygiene as he says, « cleanliness is half of faith. » (Sahih Muslim 223, Book 2, Hadith 1)
Why does Islam emphasize Personal Hygiene?
Allah is our Creator, and HE loves HIS creation beyond measure, so much so that He takes care of what we eat and do with our bodies. In the Holy Quran, He says: « Allah does not intend to inconvenience you, but He intends to purify you and perfect His favor to you, so that you may give thanks. » (Quran, 5:6)
While Muslims consider the concept of cleanliness and hygiene as a moderate attribute, Allah has made it an integral part of our faith. He wants his creation to live in the best physical and spiritual cleanliness state. That is why Islam has insisted on the benefits of hygiene on several occasions. A practicing Muslim must follow Islamic guidelines based on the principles of faith and cleanliness. A Muslim should take care of his hygiene; he should socialize in the community while ensuring that his body, dress, and environment are clean.
The Messenger (PBUH) of Allah said: « The key to the prayer is cleanliness, its beginning is Takbir (saying Allahu Akbar) and its ending is Salam (salutation). » (Abu Dawud).
Islam instructs us to stay clean
Islam is a beautiful religion that always prefers the wellness of its followers. It would never let Muslims go astray in matters related to faith, societal etiquette, and basic hygiene. We could find all details in the Holy Books and the Ahadith that have instructions on each topic for our guidance. Regarding health, cleanliness, and the environment, Islam has presented elaborate advice, some of which are discussed below:
Hygiene and Prayers
We can understand the concept of cleanliness and personal hygiene in this context that Allah is the Greatest and Most Exalted; he is our Master and our Lord. When we are going towards our Master to perform prayers, should we not present ourselves in the best clothes and body before going to him? Isn’t it a beautiful act that we submit ourselves to our Lord by dressing up nicely, taking a bath, and bowing down our heads in front of Him with a pure soul and clean body?
Allah is ‘Jameel’; HE loves beauty, clean hearts, and pure bodies. Hence, our moral responsibility is to keep ourselves clean before performing Salah. We never know which small act gets a higher position in HIS eyes, and we receive HIS countless mercy and bounties.
« 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 » [Al-Quran 5:6]
“He who performed ablution for prayer and performed it properly and then went (to observe) obligatory prayer and offered it along with people or with the congregation or in the mosque, Allah would pardon his sins.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 2, Hadith 16)
How should we keep our bodies clean?
Keeping hygienic practices in our daily life is key to health and peace of mind. Islam believes in establishing a healthy, constructive society where Muslims learn and understand Islamic teachings and apply them to their social life. Islam brought a complete code of life that guides Muslims in all walks of life.
Our beloved Prophet (PBU) taught some 1400 years ago the basic teachings and guidelines for a clean, healthy, and prosperous life. His teachings are universal and beneficial for humanity, and he aimed to make humanity understand that he is the best creation of Allah. Our faith reaches halfway to completion by practicing cleaning habits, cleaning our body or our surroundings.
Cleaning our body is an integral part of our faith and has immense health benefits. A clean body means cleaning each body part to stay healthy and fresh. We must take a regular bath daily wash our mouth and hands before and after every meal. As Muslims, we must also perform Wudhu before daily prayers and make sure that we keep our hands washed after using a toilet.
Muslims should keep their hair trimmed and washed, oiling them often and taking care of their wellness. Good hair makes a pleasant change in your personality along with trimming of beard and mustache. Islamic scholars share different thoughts on keeping a beard and mustache; some consider a total shaved-off mustache a part of Sunnah, but everyone believes that the hair and beard mustache should be neatly trimmed.
Nobody likes long untrimmed dirty nails. Islam insists we keep our nails trimmed at least once a week. Friday is the best day in that regard; we should wash, trim and clean our nails so that no germs or diseases enter our body through dirty nails.
Islam loves its followers so much that it has offered logical reasoning to every practice before teaching it. Your clothes reflect your personality; if you are not appropriately dressed or wearing an untidy dress, it will negatively affect your overall outlook. Hence, Islam insists Muslims wear neat clothes at home, work, or in a social gathering or a mosque.
Our religion wants us to dress nicely without being extravagant. The whole idea revolves around a clean body, pure mind, and decent intentions. These traits show our intensity of faith and help us assess ourselves in terms of our ‘Ikhlaaq’ and mannerism.
When you are a cleanliness-loving person, you want your surroundings to be clean. An Islamic society encourages Muslims to follow the Sunnah and the teaching of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). According to Quran and Sunnah, we must follow basic guidelines in keeping our surroundings clean. Some of the basic Islamic teachings are not littering on streets, throwing garbage in proper bins, and not bothering our fellow Muslims by keeping our houses and roads clean.
Such practices show our faith and religion; we could be a great example to other humans by practicing little habits and taking care of our environment. Our actions and daily habits exhibit our level of faith and how obedient we are towards Allah’s commandments.
“You are the best community that hath been raised for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah.” (Quran, 3:110)
Taking care of hygiene is an act of gratitude
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) has shown how vital taking care of personal hygiene is with his acts and examples. He has encouraged his companions on multiple events about cleanliness and crucial steps to stay pure and clean. Quran has explained the concept of Taharah (purification) on multiple occasions, which implies that Allah likes purity and He wants his creation to stay hygienic.
These teachings allow us to show gratitude towards Allah’s countless blessings and favors upon us. It is a realization for Muslims that Allah only wants the best for His creation, and we should make sincere efforts to keep ourselves clean. He loves it when His followers show him gratitude by thanking Him sincerely for all His bounties and favors. And indeed, Allah is the All-Knowing.
Water is a gift to cleanse ourselves
“Do not stand [for prayer] within it – ever. A mosque founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy for you to stand in. Within it are men who love to purify themselves, and Allah loves those who purify themselves.” [Quran 9:108]
We might find several ways to clean ourselves, mainly while using a washroom. But nothing serves the purpose better than water. It purifies all dirt and impurities and keeps our bodies clean from all kinds of impurities (najasah). We must take water as a blessing and privilege given by Allah to help us fully clean our bodies.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) narrated: “He who perfumes himself for Allah, Most High, will be raised on the Day of Resurrection, smelling more fragrant than sweet musk, whereas he who perfumes himself for other than Allah will be raised on the Day of Resurrection smelling more putrid than a corpse” [al-Mahajjat al-Baydha, v. 8]
The above hadith shows that our prophet (PBUH) loved fragrances, and he was the best role model for humanity. This narration and numerous other ahadith show that we must use pleasant fragrances for the sake of Allah’s pleasure and not for pleasing any human. Our deeds are done wholly for gaining Allah’s blessings go a long way and become a source of His contentment.
And indeed, all those acts we do for Him never get wasted. Allah blesses us unconditionally; He showers us with bounties more quickly than punishing us on our evil deeds. As a dutiful creation, we must strive more and more to follow His path of righteousness and purity.
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