Half of Faith

The Muslim man takes his personal hygiene seriously. The Muslim man knows that cleanliness is a major part of his religion.

The Muslim man is well groomed and clean, because Allah loves cleanliness and the Prophet ﷺ said:

“Cleanliness is half of iman (faith).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The Prophet ﷺ said that cleanliness is half of faith, and he informed us that there are five things that are from a Muslim’s fitrah (natural disposition), which are:

1. circumcision;

2. shaving the pubic hair;

3. trimming the mustache;

4. trimming the fingernails and toenails;

5. plucking the underarm hair.

The Muslim is required to do these things because they are hygenic and good hygene should be important to every Muslim. It is encumbent on every Muslim to not exceed 40 days without performing these cleanliness routines, but it is preferable to do them more as needed.

The Prophet ﷺ informed us that cleanliness is one of the things that distinguishes the Muslim nation from other nations:

“My people will come on the Day of Resurrection with bright faces, hands and feet from the traces of wudu. If any of you can lengthen his brightness, let him do so” (Muslim)

And in another narration he said:

“You will come to me with bright faces, hands and feet from the traces of wudu. This is the sign of my nation which does not belong to anyone else.” (Ibn Majah)

The Prophet ﷺ taught us the importance of dental hygiene, he ﷺ said:

“Siwak cleanses the mouth and is pleasing to the Lord” (An-Nisa’i)

And he ﷺ said:

“If it was not for the fact that I feared it would be too hard for my people, I would have obligated cleaning the teeth with siwak before every prayer.” (Al-Bukhari)

And he encouraged us to not come to the masjid with strong smelling food on our breath, so as not to offend the other worshippers:

“Whoever has eaten garlic or onion should keep away from our masjid.” (Al-Bukhari)

Allah, the Almighty and Most High, said:

“O Children of Adam! Beautify yourselves for every masjid.” (Al-A’raf:31)

So we see that cleanliness is important for the Muslim, and is especially important when one is around other people. Allah and His Messenger repeatedly advised the Companions to clean themselves regularly and to maintain good hygiene and to not offend other people with strong odors.

What is on the outside of a person often reflects what is on the inside of a person. So if a person is unclean, unhygenic, and unorganized on the outside, then this may be a sign of inner turmoil and unhealthy thoughts and emotions. Cleanliness leads to better health, a better state of mind, more organized thoughts, and makes one more attractive to others.


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