Muslims throughout the world have extremely high standards of personal hygiene, because Islam places great emphasis on both physical and spiritual, cleanliness and purification. While humankind in general usually considers cleanliness to be a pleasing attribute, Islam insists on it. Muslims are required to take care of their personal hygiene by assuring that they are well groomed, and that their bodies, clothing, and surroundings are clean. Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, informed his companions and thus all of us, about the importance of cleanliness when he said, “cleanliness is half of faith (Emaan).”” The Quran is more specific and says,
“Truly, God loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves.” (Quran 2:222)
Islam has given so much importance to cleanliness as it is considered to be a part of faith. Cleanliness and purification are one of the great exemptions of Islam. Islam places great stress on cleanliness, whether it’s in physical or spiritual terms. The attention to hygiene is the condition which was unfamiliar with any other religion before Islam. 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 Islamic life. We can say the meaning and spirit behind the concept of cleanliness is above the slight concept of the traditional cleanliness. In Holy Quran Allah 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)
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The key to the prayer is cleanliness, its beginning is takbir (saying Allahu Akbar) and its ending is Salam (salutation).” (Abu Dawud). Islam has always encouraged the believer to 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 should be clean before performing them five times a day.
There are many instructions in connection with health, hygiene and nutrition and about the cleanliness of air and environment in Islam. Some of them are listed below:
- Wash your mouth and hands before and after a meal.
- Keep food and water covered.
- Offer Salah with clean body and clothes.
- Use fragrance or perfume.
- Comb your hair and use oil on the hair.
- Take bath and perform ablution for offering prayers.
- Go to bed early and rise early in the morning.
- Go for a walk in the morning.
- Keep your house and streets clean or we can say keep your environment clean.
- Keep your clothes and body clean.
- Do Miswak regularly.
Cleanliness is the pathway to health and strength.