Cleanliness and hygiene

Islam strongly promotes personal hygiene and beauty as these are among the core tenets of Islam, and regarded as acts of worship. A person will never attain a balanced personality – according to Islamic standards – without cleaning his body and soul. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Purity (or cleanliness) is half of faith” (Muslim). He also said, “There are two blessings from which many people fail to benefit, which are good health and free time” (Bukhari).

People cannot respect someone who is not clean and doesn’t observe personal hygiene. Moreover, they will always try to stay aloof from him. Every human being should be clean in dress, food, drinks, speech, morals, manners, and so on. The effects of cleanliness are not confined to tangible benefits, but transcend them to include soul purification and elevation. Cleanliness, if observed holistically, will also empower people so that they are able to carry out the responsibilities of life easily, and people will be attracted to them.

All of us are in need of healthy strong bodies to carry out our duties in life, which if done with the intention of pleasing Allah and within the parameters of Islam, will be rewarded abundantly by Allah. Islam urges Muslims to be clean with regular showers, ablutions, trimming the nails and hair, etc. Teeth should also be brushed regularly, especially after meals to remove bacteria that find a breeding ground in a dirty mouth.

Such bacteria, if ignored, cause your teeth and gum to decay. Abu Huraira narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “If I had not found it hard for my followers or the people, I would have ordered them to clean their teeth in preparation for every prayer” (Al-Bukhari 889). Beauty is manifested in many aspects including cleanliness and observance of personal hygiene.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Allah Almighty is beautiful (and the source of beauty) and likes beauty, He is clean and likes cleanliness, and He is generous and like generosity…”In the narration above, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) urges Muslims to observe cleanliness in their bodies, clothes, dwelling places, and so on. Cleanliness impacts one’s health and makes you more appealing to people who deal with you. Therefore, it’s Sunnah (optional, recommended acts of worship that if done with good intentions will accrue many rewards) to wash your hands often, wash and iron your clothes, and to observe a modest dress code. Following are among the tangible benefits of personal hygiene:

Social acceptance
Good hygiene is critical for social acceptance, because most people don’t want to be around those who are dirty or smelly. Children who practice good hygiene eliminate one major reason for other kids to mock or bully them.

Being a role model
Parents should set an example for their children by practicing good hygiene. Children are more likely to do what you do than what you say. Therefore, “practice what you preach.” Professional Acceptance: Most employers prefer colleagues who are clean and well-groomed. Good hygiene can make the difference in being hired and getting promotions, depending on where you work.

Pain prevention
Periodontal disease can cause chronic mouth pain in advanced stages, the American Academy of Periodontology reports. The main cause of gum disease is plaque buildup, which can be reduced with proper oral hygiene. Finally, it is important to note that everything Allah and His messenger enjoined upon us is beneficial to us in this world and the Hereafter.  Our motivation for complying is to please Allah first, but also to seek our own vested interests.

Courtesy of the TIES Center, whose mission is to empower Kuwait’s expats through social and educational services that promote a positive and productive role in society, and to facilitate opportunities for intra- and interfaith interactions that promote social solidarity. For more information, please call 25231015/6 or e-mail: info@tiescenter.net.

By Sharafun Nisa Mohammed Farouk

This article was published on 31/05/2017