CHAPTER EIGHT

Cleanliness 1

O Allah (The Exalted) bless the One from whose leftover ablution water trees become green.

Why is cleanliness half of faith? Why wash our hands before eating? Why so much emphasis on the Sunnah? If you read the following you will understand why! Cleanliness Is Half of Iman The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Purification is half of faith.” i ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) saying that, “The religion is based on cleanliness.” Ii

Human skin covered in bacteria The soap scum that forms on the shower curtain? It’s really a bio film loaded with more than a billion bacteria per cubic inch. The moving belt on an escalator? When you put your hand there, you’re dipping into a puddle of bacteria left by all those who went before. Then there’s the sponge you use to rinse dishes at the sink. Yep, loaded with thriving bacteria. “It’s a microbial world”, says Norman P. Pace, a researcher at the University of Colorado at Boulder. “Virtually everything you touch is coated with microbes. You couldn’t escape them if you wanted to because your skin is covered with about 100 million bacteria,” says Pace. He discovered the colonies of soap scum bacteria when, out of curiosity, he took a sample from his own shower curtain and examined it under a microscope. “I was amazed,” he said. Later studies of shower curtains from other homes found the same thing.

Cleanliness Wearing good clean clothing is an important part of a person’s dignity. Wearing unclean clothing is not good for health as bacteria increases on the garments which spreads on the body increasing the risk of infection. ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrates the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) saying, “The religion is based on cleanliness.” iii The beloved Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is reported to have exhorted the Muslims to keep the courtyards of their houses clean, for those who ordinarily keep the courtyard of their houses unclean resemble the Jews. iv Abu Hurairah (may Allah be please with him) has reported that “Allah (The Exalted) has laid the foundation of Islam on cleanliness and neatness; and only he will enter Paradise who keeps himself clean and has the habit of remaining clean and neat.”


i Muslim, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah. ii Ibn Hibban, a weak hadith. iii Ibn Hibban iv Tabrani

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