There are a lot of things that people think of when they hear Islam. But there are not many who know much about the religion itself or its teachings. Today I am speaking about one of the very basic teachings in Islam; ” Being Clean in Islam.”
Cleansing and purifying one’s self in Islam have a high importance to the degree that all Islamic texts and references books for “Shariah” (Islamic Rulings) always talk about it at the very first chapter. And yet some people only know about Shariah the cherry picked and misrepresented quotations that they often hear in Media.
That is why I am trying to raise awareness about it, explaining the side of Shariah that Muslims know and do it in their daily life. As knowledge and awareness is the key for mutual understanding, and fighting off hatred.
Islamic Shariah and ways to be clean
Elevating one’s soul, and cleaning it can achieved by doing the different acts. Forexample, helping others, going against one’s own pride and ego and struggle against it, lower the attachment for this mortal life and being attached to the next coming one,and recognizing one’s true purpose of this life and its meaning. All of this are different teachings in Islam that help in cleaning one’s heart and soul. Of course there are a lot of details on every one of those main aspects and scholars have wrote a lot of books on each one of them.
This was about inner cleansing, but Islam is a complete and balanced religion. Infact, as it described in a lot of details how to cleanse one’s heart and soul and elevate ourselves spiritually, it also described how to cleanse our bodies and make it one of the main conditions for the main worship act which is prayer.
The prayer (Salah) that is an obligation five times a day on all of Muslims to stand before the Creator and worship Him and connect with Him, one of its main condition is to be on a clean state while doing it. This state is reached by doing (Wudu) ablution, which involves mainly washing the face hands to elbows, head and feet while also blowing the nose and rinsing the mouth all with water. Ablution doesn’t require much effort and could be done where water exists, while cleaning of all major parts of the body.
And in this video a brief visual guide of how it is done:
After Ablution it is good to say this Dua’a
“I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah Alone, there are no partners for Him. And I testify that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. O Allah! Make me among the repentant, and make me among those who purify themselves” [tirmidhi/1/55](1)
In a gallop pole that was made in 2015 published on Big Think about hygienic level in Europe, based on some simple question about hygienity asked to the people in the different countries, the highest hygienic level was at Bosnia by (96%) followed by the Turks by (94%) Because of “Wudu” or Ablution as the article is describing
Ablution and the origin of the “Scrubbing in” act
Related to ablution is a nice fact that not many know about and that it is the origin of the “Scrubbing in” act that surgical doctors do before surgeries. It started during the golden age of Islam. Doctors used to do ablution before performing surgeries to clean themselves, while also doing a kind of worship, so that they are successful in the surgery by the will of God. And it is from that practice that the modern practice of doctors “scrubbing in” before the surgeries originated; it is done now mainly for sterilization with no religious reason behind it, but it is good to know that it originated from the Islamic practice of ablution. By it doctors in the ages before would be pure and lower the risk of contamination at their ages.
Teachings and rulings of how to be clean in Islam
It isn’t just ablution that is described in the teachings of the Shariah of how to be clean. There are a lot of teachings and rulings about this matter. Starting from how to clean ourselves after going to toilet using water, to the complete wash of the body after certain deeds or after certain time. It also involves a lot of hygienic related habits that are treated as acts of worship and getting close to God. This includes clipping the nails and brushing the teeth.There is actually a natural tooth brush that is used by Muslims 1440 years ago called (Miswak). It is used in cleaning the mouth and have a lot of hygienic benefits because of its natural source.
Moreover, Removal of the armpit her, shaving of the pubic hair, washing the knuckles of fingers, Inhaling and exhaling of water (to clean the nose) and more are all of the teachings of cleaning up in Islam, and are counted as acts of worshiping Allah (God) because it is He who ordered us to do it, and they clean the body that Allah has given us.
Here is a video of brother Muhammed Hijab speaking on this topic on freshly grounded podcast:
indeed Allah Almighty said:
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 (Clean) themselves” [9/108](2)