Being Clean in The Deen Part 1

Date: 24th April 2015; 4th Rajab 1436

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Cleanliness is one of the most valuable part of our Deen. A Mumin’s life should always be entangled with purity because in Islam we need discipline and cleanliness is a matter of disciplining ourselves. A Mumin is not only expected to clean soul but also his body, house and his surroundings. These are also a part of our Deen.

One should keep his Zahir and Batin self clean. Zahir refers to the outer dimension, or the outer face and body, of the Islamic faith. Batin on the other hand refers to the inner, spiritual dimension. A Mumin should keep both the entities of his life clean and pure so that he does not fall into sinning. This week’s khutbah is dedicated towards the Zahiri mean of cleaning ourselves.

Allah values cleanliness a lot. It is proved by few Quran ayahs and by  numerous Hadiths of the The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). One Quranic verse says:

O Children of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes), while praying and going round (the Tawaf of ) the Ka’bah, and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not Al-Musrifun (those who waste by extravagance).

Surah Al-A’raf, Ayah 31 (7:31) Translation: Muhsin Khan

Allah clearly expects us to be clean otherwise how come we have so many Kitabs based on Istinja, Ghusl and Wudu. After going to the washroom, we are expected to clean ourselves through Wudu and Ghusl depending on our state of impurity. In one ayah it is mentioned:

Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.

Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 222 (2:222) Translation: Sahih International

One Hadith says:

On the authority of Abu Huraira (Radi Allahu Anhu) who said: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Verily Allah, the Exalted, is pure and accepts only that which is pure. Allah has commanded the believers to do that which He has commanded the Messengers. The Exalted has said, ‘O Messengers! Eat of the good things and do right.’ And the Exalted also said, ‘O believers! Eat of the good things that we have provided for you.’” Then he mentioned a man who after a long journey is disheveled and dust coloured. “[The man] stretches his hands out toward the sky and says, ‘O Lord, O Lord,’ while his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful. How is he to be answered [in such a state]?”

Reference: Sahih Muslim

Islam teaches us proper Istinja and teaches us the adaab we should follow before and after using the washroom.

Before entering the toilet we must recite:

اللّهُـمَّ إِنِّـي أَعـوذُ بِـكَ مِـنَ الْخُـبْثِ وَالْخَبائِث

Transliteration: “Allaahumma ‘innee ‘a’oothu bika minal-khubthi walkhabaa’ith.”

Translation: O Allah, I seek protection in You from the male and female unclean spirits.

Hadith states:

It was narrated from Zayd ibn Arqam (Radi Allahu Anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “These toilets are haunted (inhabited by devils), so when anyone of you goes to the toilet let him say, ‘A’oodhu Billaahi min al-khubthi wa’l-khabaa’ith.”

Reference: Sunan Abu Dawood. Classed as Sahih by Imam al-Albani (Rahmatullah Allaih) in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

When leaving the toilet, this dua needs to be recited:


Transliteration: “Ghufraanaka”

Translation: I seek Your forgiveness.

Hadith says:

Aa’ishah (Radi Allahu Anha) said: When the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) exited the toilet, he used to say Ghufraanaka (Your forgiveness).

Reference: Jami At-Tirmidhi

These Sunnahs will ensure that we do not fall into the traps of Shaitan who is always trying to derail us.

Using the tissue paper on the private parts is also a Sunnah. It can interpreted so from this Hadith:

The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “When you go to the restroom, take three stones with you to clean yourself. That will suffice.”

Reference: Sunan Abu Dawood

Therefore using toilet paper is like using stones in that you use something with a dry surface to physically remove the impurity.

Covering the head before going to the toilet is considered to be Mustahab. Hadith says:

Narrated that Habib ibn Salih (Radi Allahu Anhu) said: When the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) went to the toilet, he would put on his shoes and cover his head.

References: Bayhaqi, Hadith 465. This is mursal. It was classed as Da‘eef by Shaykh al-Albaani (Rahmatullah Allaih) in Da‘eef al-Jaami‘ (4393).

There is no saheeh report from the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) about this topic at all. However, this was proven that this was a practice of some of the early generation.

When Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (Rahmatullah Allaih) was asked about the ruling on entering the bathroom with the head uncovered. He replied: “There is nothing wrong with entering the bathroom with the head uncovered, but the fuqaha’ regarded it as mustahabb to cover the head when entering the toilet.”

Reference: Majmoo‘ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (11/68).

One should enter the toilet with his left foot as he is entering an impure place and leave the toilet with the right foot as he has been purified.

The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has taught us every sort of manners and etiquette so as to make our life in this Dunya and the Hereafter as simple as possible. One Hadith says:

Narrated Salman al-Farsi (Radi Allahu Anhu): It was said to Salman: Your Prophet teaches you everything, even about excrement? He replied: Yes. He has forbidden us to face the qiblah at the time of easing or urinating, and cleansing with right hand, and cleansing with less than three stones, or cleansing with dung or bone.

Reference: Sunan Abu Dawood, Book of Purification, Hadith 7.

Apart from this, the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has taught us these five means of keeping ourselves clean:

Narrated By Abu Huraira (Radi Allahu Anhu): I heard the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) saying. “Five practices are characteristics of the Fitra: circumcision, shaving the pubic hair, cutting the moustaches short, clipping the nails, and depilating the hair of the armpits.”

Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari, The Book of Dress, Hadith: 5952

It is recommended to get these done by forty days.

Imam Ibn Muflih (Rahmatullah Allaih) said in his Al-Adaab Ash-Shar’iyyah (The Religious Etiquettes): “It is disliked to delay shaving the pubic hair, plucking out armpit hair and trimming one’s moustache more than the stated period.” The stated period is forty days as Imam Muslim (Rahmatullah Allaih) reported that Anas (Radi Allahu Anhu) said: “The period that was prescribed for us to trim our moustaches, clip our nails, pluck out our armpit hair and shave our pubic hair is forty days.” Of course it was the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) who determined for them this period of forty days, so it is dislikeable to leave them longer than this period of time.

Best is that we cut these once a week and it is Sunnah to clean ourselves before Jummah prayer. We should not keep our nails grow long. This has also become a fashion, not only for the girls but for the men to keep the nails long. It is dislikable in Islam as dirt can congregate below the grown nails. The Sunnah of cutting nails has been illustrated below:

Cutting Nails

Also, when the hair is cut, it should be cut in a levelled manner. One Hadith states:

Ibn Umar (Radi Allahu Anhu) said that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) saw a boy part of whose head had been shaved and part of it left. He told them not to do that and said: “Shave all of it or leave all of it.”

References: Sunan an-Nasaa’i Hadith 5048 & Sunan Abu Dawood Hadith 4195. Al-Albaani classed it as saheeh in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i.

When the hair and the nail has been cut, one should bury the cut items in the ground so that no one steps on it.

Imam al-Nawawî (Rahmatullah Allaih), the eminent jurist of the Shâfi`î school of law, writes in al-Majmû`: “It is preferred to bury what is trimmed or cut from a person’s hair and nail. They should be buried in the ground.

Nowadays, we see people doing fashion with their hair, imitating footballers, movie stars and other celebrities and don’t even care whether if it is right or wrong. Islam completely disapproves of this. Imitating the Kafirs will make us like them. Hadith says:

Ibn Umar Radi Allahu Anhu narrated: The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “Whoever imitates a group, then he belongs to them.”

References: Sunan Abu Dawood

When keeping the hair the we should imitate the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). According to Hadiths, the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to keep three types of hair.

1 – His hair was neither curly nor straight.

It was narrated that Anas ibn Malik (Radi Allahu Anhu) said, describing the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), he was of average height, neither very tall nor very short. He had a ruddy complexion, neither very white nor very dark, and his hair was neither curly nor straight. The revelation came to him when he was forty years old.

References: Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 3354; Sahih Muslim, Hadith 2338

2 – His hair came down to his earlobes.

It was narrated that al-Bara’ ibn ‘Aazib (Radi Allahu Anhu) said: The Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was of average height and broad shouldered. He had hair that came down to his earlobes. I saw him wearing a red garment and I never saw anyone more handsome than him.

References: Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 3358; Sahih Muslim, Hadith 2337

3 – His hair sometimes came down to his shoulders

It was narrated that Qutaadah said: I asked Anas ibn Malik (Radi Allahu Anhu) about the hair of the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). He said, The hair of the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was neither curly nor straight, and came down to a point between his ears and his shoulders.  

References: Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 5565; Sahih Muslim, Hadith 2337

The best form of cleanliness is when we are always in the state of Wudu. If we always remain in the state of Wudu we will remain clean and safe from the whispers of Shaitan. Our curiosity to do good deeds will develop further. One must realize the value of keeping Wudu in all instances. Hadiths say:

From Anas (Radi Allahu Anhu): the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) told me: “My son, if you are able to always be on wudu‘ then do so, for the angel of death when he seizes the servant’s soul while the latter is in wudu, he records martyrdom for him.”

References: Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-Iman and al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi in Nawadir al-Usul.

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Whoever retires to his bed in a state of wudu’, an angel supplicates all night long, “O my Lord, forgive this slave of Yours.”

Reference: Mustadrak of Imam Hakim (Rahmatullah Allaih)

If we sleep with wudu our sleep will be deep and fresh without any nightmares. We will also be able to wake up during Tahajjud and Fajr on time without any difficulty.

Bad dreams or nightmares come from Shaitan. If we happen to see a bad dream then we should not worry too much about it. The Hadith below instructs the things to be done after seeing a nightmare.

It was narrated that Abu Qutaadah (Radi Allahu Anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Good dreams come from Allah and bad dreams come from the Shaitan. If anyone sees a bad dream that scares him, let him spit dryly to his left and seek refuge with Allah from its evil, then it will not harm him.”

References: Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith 3292

The use of miswak has become so obsolete to us. Nowadays before Salah we don’t see it as a priority of cleaning our teeth with miswak. Brushing teeth with toothbrush is indeed important but miswak is a vital Sunnah and even the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) viewed this issue very seriously. It is proven by this Hadith:

Abu Umamah (Radhi Allahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “Use the Miswak, for verily, it purifies the mouth, and it is a Pleasure for the Lord. Jibril (Alayhi As-Salām) exhorted me so much to use the Miswak that I feared that its use would be decreed obligatory upon me and upon my Ummah. If I did not fear imposing hardship on my Ummah I would have made its use obligatory upon my people. Verily, I use the Miswak so much that I fear the front part of my mouth being peeled (by constant and abundant brushing with the Miswak).”

References: Sunan Ibn Majah

The most ideal way of living, every instances, every moment has been properly dictated in our religion. We should make the best use of the Sunnahs which has been decreed upon us. Then we can surely convert every instance in our lives as forms of worship to Allah Subḥānahu Wa Ta’Ala.


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