by Barakat Raheem (Guest Writer)

As Muslims, we should make a habit of being in a clean state at any day or any time. Islam encourages neatness as it is clear that there is no way we can pray our 5 daily prayers without making an ablution, that means Islam requires us to be in clean state always. Cleanliness refers to the healthy practice of keeping ourselves and our environment free of dirt, germs, dust, mud, and unwanted matter. It is thus as much about hygiene as it is about tidiness. It is also the habit of maintaining a hygienic surrounding free from contamination and pollution that helps in improving and sustaining good health and preventing diseases.

Cleanliness is a habit everyone should possess. It takes away sicknesses and illnesses far from us. When we make our environment clean and tidy, germs and diseases will flee from us and thus make us healthy.

Islam encourages cleanliness by emphasizing on personal hygiene.
Personal hygiene includes the way we use the toilet and ensuring we clean our private parts with clean water. We should also wear clean clothes always in our homes, to our mosques and our neighbourhood should be pristine clean always.

We must teach our children and ward from young to imbibe an immaculately clean behaviour towards themselves, their practice of the religion and their immediate environment since children naturally emulate what adults do. Our children should be neat and well dressed. To encourage our kids, we should be clean both internally and externally, that is, within ourselves; inner being, our homes as well as our environments

The inner beauty of Islam lies within us who practice the religion because it is the way we portray the religion that the nonbelievers will see it.

In the Holy Quran, Allah the Almighty 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)

Islam has given so much importance to cleanliness as it is considered to be a part of faith. The attention given to hygiene is a condition which was unfamiliar with any other religions before Islam. While people generally consider cleanliness or purification a desirable aspect, Islam insists on it, making hygiene an essential part of faith, a way of life.

In Islam, cleanliness is also based on having a clean and pure thinking(mind set), avoiding sins, making a lot of adhkar (supplications) and most importantly making sure the heart is pure from spiritual affliction such as anger, hatred, relying on other people than Allah, pride, arrogance, etc.

Our beloved Prophet (SAW) talked about purity in one of His hadith in these words: “Cleanliness is half the faith (Imaan).” (Sahih Muslim). So we must understand that Cleanliness and purity are part of our faith which we have to take seriously in our lives. The Holy Prophet (SAW) was a neat man and ordered his companions to follow suit. He kept his body and clothes clean, took a bath on a regular basis, liked the use of fragrance, liked to use a Miswaak to clean his mouth, He (PBUH) disliked the use of smelly things like garlic etc, and appreciated bright,neat and attractive appearances.

As Muslims, we should make sure we do the following on a regular basis:

We should take our bath daily with clean water and rinse well with water after using the toilet;

We should cut our nails;

We should take care of our hair, the private hairs should be neatly shaved, the males should take care of their hair including their beard, and the females should plait theirs neatly;

Our clothes should be washed, very well ironed and neat;

We should offer Sallah with clean body and clothes.

Our food and water should be neatly prepared and well kept away from germs;

We should use fragrance or perfume;

We should keep our house and environment clean.

Lastly, We should run far from Sins, have dhikr on our tongues and taqwa in our hearts.

Cleanliness is the pathway to health and strength. Islam wants a healthy and strong Muslim society which is capable of understanding and applying Allah’s message and carrying it away to the whole world. The Holy Quran 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)

The more we make ourselves and environment clean, the more we are been rewarded by Allah (SWT) for it. May Almighty Allah give us the strength to obey His commands and get rewards and blessings from Him! Ameen!!!

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