Cleanliness in Islam – Concept – Importance
Most of people believe that cleanliness or purification is a part of Iman or Faith. This assumption is probably have a point, especially in Islam. Islam has giving so much importance about cleanliness and became a consideration as an objective of the faith or Iman. In Surah Al-Maa’idah verse 6 tells :
“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”.
From that verse, we can take a point that Allah does not mean to make His Ummah uncomfortable. Allah wants to purify His Ummah and perfecting His favor, so we can say thanks to Allah. In another verse from Al-Baqarah said :
“Truly Allah loves those who ask for forgiveness and strive to keep themselves clean.” (2:222)
From this verse we can conclude that Allah love the one who demand forgiveness and keep themselves clean. So, in this article we will tell and describe about cleanliness in Islamic view.
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What is Cleanliness?
According to Cambridge Dictionary, cleanliness means
“the state of being clean, or the act of keeping things clean”
In other words, cleanliness is described as an abstract state of being clean and free from dirt, and the action or habit to maintaining the condition. Cleanliness is achieved by cleaning.
In Islam view, we have many rules and regulation about cleanliness. At the beginning of this article, we are put some verse from Qur’an which is tells about cleanliness. We also put hadith from Muhammad saw, which also elaborate the cleanliness.
“The key to the prayer (salah) is cleanliness, its beginning is takbir (saying Allahu Akbar) and its ending is salam (salutation).”
(Abu Dawud, Taharah, 31: Tirmidhi, Taharah, 39).
From that hadith, we found that cleanliness is a mother of, not only prayer, but also every aspect in our life. Here is the reason why cleanliness is so important.
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Why Cleanliness is Very Important in Islam?
In Islam, being clean in daily life is very Important. There are some reasons why Cleanliness is very important in Islam, as follows:
1. Cleanliness : Faith
Like we said before, cleanliness is a part of faith. It comes from the hadith sahih Muslim book 2 number 0432. In another source, we found in Surah At-Tawbah verse 108 which is said :
“In it (mosque) are men who love to clean and to purify themselves. And Allah loves those who make themselves clean and pure.”
Allah love cleanliness and purification, and more love people who doing that.
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2. Cleanliness : Health
In some terms, cleanliness is a base of health. This assumption is completely true, because if we are physically clean, we are far from the disease that comes from dirty environment. These are divided from two types:
a) Cleanliness in our body, which means are observing and maintaining cleanliness from simple things like teeth-brushing to excretions of the penis, vagina or anus such as semen, sperm, urine, menstruation, vaginal fluid, stool and blood. These are impure and require compulsory modes of cleanliness.
b) Cleanliness in our environment, which is we must keep around us clean and neat. The most simple example is we throw our dirt in dustbin or trashcan; it makes a huge different in our environment if we just put a waste in the right place.
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3. Cleanliness : Self-Cleaning
Cleanliness are not only physically, but also in spiritual aspect. This means that we are free and far from the things that could be ruin our soul such as polytheism, hypocrisy and ill manners, love of wealth, love of fame and other carnal desires. Yet there was a ‘temptation’ for us, but we have to control and keep ourselves from those things.
The emphasis in Islam is more on the cleanliness of outside, but also inside. The focus of cleaning inside refers to heart, mind, and soul. In Islam, we are usually to fasting (Shaum or Puasa in bahasa), whether is in Ramadhan or just Sunnah Fasting. The main goal of fasting is we learn to be patience, also raising self-control from the unnecessary things.
Beside fasting, Zakat, or Zakah is also doing by other people who had a lot of wealth, and did not know what to do with that. With Zakah, it will not only purify our wealth and soul, but also raising the awareness and sense of social, because there are 2.5% in our wealth, which is the right of the person who had (i.e faqir, etc).
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4. Cleanliness : Allah SWT and Prophet Muhammad SAW’s Order.
Allah SWT and Muhammad Saw has ordered His Umma to be clean in any aspect. This is not without a reason. In the beginning of this article, we are mention of the verse and hadith, which is clearly recommending purity, cleanliness, and sanitation.
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How to Keep Ourselves Clean in Islam?
More detail, Islam has more than one ways to exhorted the people to cleansing the utensils, clothing, body, hair, and teeth. Usually people use a water for ablution and bathing, dwelling places, streets, public places, food and every other thing in human use.
Muslim has an obligation to make ablute themselves if they were exposed to minor impurities. It is means that they must wash off those parts of the body (like hand, feet, face, nostrils etc) which are commonly exposed to dust, dirt and environmental pollution. Before every prayer (at least five times a day) and before recital of the Quran, Muslims are asked to perform this ablution.
Likewise, Muslims are enjoined to have a Ghusl (bath) after ejaculation, sexual intercourse, menstruation and puerperium. In other occasions, bathing is recommended as for Friday prayer, festival days, in Hajj etc. Ablution is not only for ourselves, but also for other things, which is mean a washing. For example, wash the fruit or vegetable before eat or cook; wash our hands before and after eat. It has a goal to prevent a bacteria come into our body and infected it.
Muslims also keep the nails clipped, to remove hair from the armpit and the pubic area as a matter of routine practice. Muslim males are required to get circumcised to avoid even faint traces of urine entrapped in the foreskin of the genitals, which is if it is not clean enough will bring a genital illness that can risk our life.
Muslim males are also instructed to trim their moustaches in order to avert oral intakes, and growth their beard as a Sunnah. Islam has directed attention in taking care of mouth by using any purifying agent like miswak or siwak. Brushing the teeth (once or twice a day) is very recent development of near past, but Muslims are accustomed this herbal brush for the past 1400 years, five times a day prior to each ablution. There are a number of Hadith that emphasize of cleaning the teeth, hands and hair, which is some of them has been mentioned in the beginning.
See also: How to Do Istikhara in Islam
Beside the cleanliness of body, Islam requires a Muslim to keep his clothes, houses and streets clean. In fact, a Muslim cannot offer his prayers with unclean body, clothes or using dirty premises. They are asked to use clean water and keep it safe from impurities and pollution.
In our environment, Muslims also instructed in Islam to maintain the cleanliness of the roads and streets. This is considered a charity to ridding the streets of impurities and filth. In hadith from Abu Dawud No.26 tells :
“Beware of the three acts that cause others to curse you: relieving yourselves in a watering place, on foot paths or shaded places.”
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Cleanliness has become a part of our life. Allah swt and Prophet Muhammad saw has ordered us many times to be clean and maintain the cleanliness, with a purpose for a Ummah’s better life. Also, there are rule for cleaning, which it means must be clean; lawful; not containing any single part of a dead body in its texture, which can bring a bacteria or else that can intoxicated our body; not containing any part of an animal where its legally inedible or being protected by laws; for male, it is prohibited to use a pure silk and gold filaments.
Cleanliness not only for physical things, but also for mind and soul with keep ourselves in Allah’s path and not being tempted with ‘temporary desires’ such as wealth, position, love to the world, etc. With heart and mind cleanliness, we can doing pray with full intention only to Allah; our worshipped or pray will be accepted if we do with sincere.
That was the explanation of Cleanliness in Islam, from the definition to the conclusion. We hope you enjoy and take a benefit as much as we get.
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