“Purification is half of faith"

It is reported that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
"Allah does not accept Prayers without purification."
It is reported that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
"Cleanse yourself, Islam is cleanliness." (Reported by Ibn Hayyan.)

It is reported that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
"Removing any harm from the road is charity (that will be rewarded by Allah)."

In  reported that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
"Removing any harm from the road is charity (that will be rewarded by Allah)."
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
"Cleanliness invites toward faith, and faith leads its possessor to the Garden. (Reported by al-Tabarani.)"
The Prophet (peace be on him) placed a great emphasis on keeping the body, clothing, houses, and streets clean, and he laid special stress on cleaning the teeth, hands, and hair.
This emphasis on cleanliness is not to be wondered at in a religion which makes cleanliness the key to its principle form of worship, salat, for the Muslim's salat is not acceptable unless his body, clothing, and the place where he performs his salat are all clean. In addition to this requirement' there are the obligatory types of cleansing, either of the entire body in the form of ghusl (total washing), or of those parts of the body which are exposed to dirt, in the form of wudu (ablution for salat).
For every Muslim ensuring and maintaining cleanliness is rewarded. In the Quran Allah commends those who are accustomed to cleanliness:


إِنَّ اللهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِيْنَ وَيُحِبُّ المُتَطَهِّرِيْنَ

“Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves who keep themselves pure and clean”.

Surah Al-Baqarah Ayat 22

In Islam, the Arabic term for purity is Taharah. Books on Islamic jurisprudence often contain an entire chapter with Taharah as a healing.

Allah orders the believer to be tidy in appearance:

وَثِيَابَكَ فَطَهِّرْ

“Keep your garments clean.”

Surah AlMudathir Ayat 4

Narrated by Bukhari

Cleanliness includes:

  • Physical

    One is free, bodily and environmentally, from dirt and filth as well as from evildoings. The body is a trust on all of us. We are responsible for its maintenance, making sure it is capable of performing ibadah and being able to do other necessary work. Cleanliness helps our body to confront and overcome any difficult circumstances that may arise and to strengthen the body’s immune system.

  • Heart

    The heart is to be free from jealousy, hypocrisy and other bad desires. Yet it embodies hope, patience, compassion, the sense of brotherliness and the other virtuous qualities. Our words and actions leave an impression of a Muslims on others.

  • Mind

    As Muslims we must always have thoughts that are free from any bad and unlawful intentions. Man has to pay attention to his diet against all unhealthy food, medically and religiously. Man has to keep his eyes, ears and tongue from evil. These are among the noble characteristics as exemplified by Prophet Muhammad ( PBUH ). And modesty in dress for men as well as for women assists one in maintaining purity of thought.

Importance of Cleanliness in Islam

Islam places great emphasis on cleanliness, in both its physical and spiritual aspects. On the physical side, Islam requires the Muslim to clean his body, his clothes, his house, and the whole community, and he is rewarded by God for doing so.

The attention to hygiene is one aspect of Civilized Manner (Suluk Al-Hadari) which is an unknown concern in any other religion or philosophy before Islam. Cleanliness became an essential part of the rites and worship to such extent that it is an inseparable part of the Muslim's life.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
"Removing any harm from the road is charity (that will be rewarded by Allah)."


While people generally consider cleanliness a desirable attribute, Islam insists on it, making it an indispensable fundamental of the faith. A Muslim is required to be pure morally and spiritually as well as physically. Through the Qur'an and Sunnah Islam requires the sincere believer to sanitize and purify his entire way of life.

In the Qur'an Allah commends those who are accustomed to cleanliness:

"Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean." [2: 22]

Islam stresses the importance of cleanliness as whown in several considerations in the Sunnah as well as the Qur'an.

First, cleanliness is one of the qualities which Allah, the Exalted, loves. He says:

"Surely God loves those who repent, and He loves those who are always pure." (2:222) He also praised the people of Qiba' and their love of cleanliness, saying, "A mosque which was founded upon piety from the very first day is more worthy be stood in. In it are men who love to purify themselves, and God loves those who purify themselves." (9:108)

Purification or cleanliness is considered an inseparable part of faith to the extent that some Muslims mistook the saying: "Cleanliness is a sign of faith" as a hadith. The actual authentic hadith in this respect says:

"Purification is half of faith"

[Muslim, Ahmad and Al-Tirmidhi on the authority of Abi Malik Al-Ash'ari, Sahih Al- Jami' Al-Saghir (No.3957)]

Purification includes both moral purification where one is free from polytheism, hypocrisy and ill manners, and physical purification means private and public cleanliness.

Second, cleanliness is the pathway to health and strength. Islam aspires the health and strength of Muslims, preparing them to confront and overcome different circumstances and as ammunition for the Muslim group. The strong believer is better and Allah loves him more than the weak believer. The Muslim is entrusted with his body thus, he must not neglect it until it becomes plagued with disease for the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

"Your body has a right on you."

[Agreed upon on the authority of `Abdullah Ibn `Amr, Al-Lu `lu' Wal Marjan (No.715)]

Third, cleanliness is a prerequisite to beautification or appearing in the way most loved by Allah and His Prophet.

It is reported that the Prophet s.a.w. said:
"Allah is Beautiful and He loves beauty."

After the Prophet s.a.w. said:

"If one has an atom's weight of arrogant pride in his he! he will not enter Paradise". On hearing the Prophet's words, a man said: I like to wear elegant clothes and shoes or he said one likes to wear elegant clothes and shoes.' The Prophet commented, "Allah is beautiful and he loves beauty, arrogant pride means the denial of the truth and despising people."

[Note: Reported by Muslim on the authority of Ibn Mas'ud in the book of Iman, (No.147)]

Allah, the Exalted says:

"O children of Adam, adorn yourselves fully at every time of prayer." And says: "Who had forbidden the ornament of God which He brought forth for His servants and who has forbidden the good things which he has provided?"


Hence, `the Prophet forbade men going to the mosque in the clothes worn at work. Al-Hasan used to adorn himself wearing musk and his best garments on going to the mosque. When asked about this, he explained: "I beautify myself for Allah's Sake." Then he recited, "Adorn yourselves fully at every time of Prayer."

Lastly, cleanliness and pleasant appearance are of characteristics, which allow relationships to strengthen amongst people. The sane human being will try to avoid people who are unkempt. Hence, the Prophet emphasized the importance of Ghusl or bathing on Friday. Similarly, there is a prohibition on eating garlic, onion, leek and food like it, before going to the mosque in order not to disturb others from the strong odor. If one insists on eating them, then he is not permitted to enter the mosque and is deprived of the congregational Prayer.

In both Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, Ibn `Umar reported that the Prophet s.a.w said: "Whoever has eaten garlic, should not approach our mosque".

Note: Agreed upon, Al-lu'lu' Wal Marjan (No.331-333]

Jabir Ibn `Abdullah reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: "Whoever has eaten garlic or onion should keep away from our mosque and stay at home."

[Note: Agreed upon, Al-Lu `lu' Wal Marjan (No 331-333)]

And Al-Mughirah Ibn Shu'bah reported;

"Whoever has eaten from this malignant tree, should not approach our mosque until its smell completely vanishes."

[Note: Reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and Ibn Hibban, Sahih Al- Jami' Al Saghir (No.6092)]

These Hadiths rebukes those who eat these raw legumes and threaten to exclude him from approaching the mosques. By analogy, smokers, nowadays, should be deprived of approaching the mosques for they expose people to passive smoking, consequently, to danger.

These legumes are lawful - halal per se, whereas , smoking is dangerous physically, spiritually, and economically and it is thereupon judged as forbidden. The Ayah in which Allah describes his Prophet in the books of old times apply to smoking as Allah says:

"He enjoins on them what is good and forbids them from what is evil".

On the bases of instinct, intellect and scientific proofs, tobacco is definitely not one of the good things in life.

Self Pure & Clean, Environment Pure & Clean

In Islam the Arabic term for purity is Taharah. Books of Islamic jurisprudence often contain an entire chapter with Taharah as a heading.

Allah orders the believer to be tidy in appearance:

"Keep your clothes clean." [74:4]

The Qur'an insists that the believer maintain a constant state of purity:

"Believers! When you prepare for prayer wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows, rub your heads (with water) and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. If you are ritually impure bathe your whole body." [5: 6]

Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. advised the Muslims to appear neat and tidy in private and in public.

Once when returning home from battle he advised his army:

"You are soon going to meet your brothers, so tidy your saddles and clothes. Be distinguished in the eyes of the people."

[Abu Dawud]

On another occasion he said:

"Don't ever come with your hair and beard disheveled like a devil."


And on another:

Aishah related that the Prophet s.a.w. said: There are then things which are dictates of the natural religion (i.e. Islam): 1. trimming the mustache, 2. growing the beard, 3. using miswak (i.e. cleaning the teeth), 4. sniffing up water (in the nose during wudhu), 5. cutting the nails, 6. washing the finger joints, 7. plucking the hair of the armpits, 8. shaving the pubic hair and 9. cleaning with water (after using the toilet). (The narrator said that Aishah forgot the tenth one.)



Anas bin Malik narrated: For trimming the mustache, cutting the nails, removing the hair from both the armpits and the pubic area – the limit has been alid down for us (by the Prophet s.a.w.) It is that we should not leave these undone for more than forty days.


And yet another:

"Had I not been afraid of overburdening my community, I would have ordered them to brush their teeth for every prayer."


To illustrate the importance of Muslims maintaining their high level of personal hygiene, the following points are specifically mentioned by Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, on answering the call of nature.

Narrated `A’ishah, the Mother of the Faithful, may Allah be pleased with him:

"The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, used his right hand for getting water for ablution and taking food, and his left hand for his evacuation and for anything repugnant."

[Sunan Abu Dawud]

Salman reported: The prophet s.a.w. forbade us to turn our faces towards the qiblah (in Makkah) while passing stool or urine. He also forbade us to wipe our private parts with our right hands.


Umar bin al-Khattab stated:

The Prophet s.a.w. once saw me urinating while standing and told me not to do so, so I never urinated again while standing.

[Ibn Majah and at-Tirmidhi]

In respect to bad habits and cleanliness,

The Prophet s.a.w. said:"None of you should urinate in still water and then perform Ghusl in it."

[Note: Agreed upon on the authority of Abu Hurairah, Al-Lu'lu' Wal Mrajan (No.161)]

"None of you should urinate in stagnant water and then make ablution in it"

[Note: Reported by Ahmad, Al-Tirmidhi and Al-Nasa'i, Sahih Al-Jami' Al Saghir, (No.7594)]and,

"None of you should urinate in a bathing place."

[Note: Reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Al Nasa'i, Al-Hakim and Ibn Hibban on the authority of `Abdulah Ibn Mighfal, Sahih Al- Jami' Al-Saghir (No.7597)]

Mind Pure and Clean, Lives Pure Clean

Moral hygiene was not ignored, either, for the Prophet s.a.w. encouraged the Muslims to make a special prayer upon seeing themselves in the mirror:

"Allah, You have endowed me with a good form; likewise bless me with an immaculate character and forbid my face from touching the Hellfire."


And modesty in dress, for men as well as for women, assists one in maintaining purity of thought.

Muslims go through a spiritual shower washing away of sins five times a day in the form of ‘solah’ which means prayer. In this respect Allah says:

"And establish regular Prayers at the two ends of the day and when the night approaches, surely the good deeds blot out the evil deeds."


The five daily Prayers are obligatory upon every Muslim, man and women. This Prayer is actually pledge to meet Allah, the Exalted, from the rising of the dawn until the disappearance of the twilight at evening.

This Islamic Prayer has a uniqueness unlike the Prayer in other religions in that physical purification is a necessary condition. If Prayer is the key to Paradise then, likewise purification is the key to Prayer.

Part of the merits of ablution is that it earns Muslims a special name by which they will be called on the Day of Judgement; the name is Al-Ghurr-ul-Muhajjalun (People of shinning bodily parts), due to performing ablution in proper way.

Narrated Nu’aim Al-Mujmir: "Once I went up the roof of the mosque along with Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him. He performed ablution and said, "I heard the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, saying, ‘On the Day of Resurrection, my followers will be called Al-Ghurr-ul-Muhajjalun from the traces of ablution and whoever can increase the area of his radiance should do so (by performing ablution in the most perfect manner.’"

[Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 1, Hadith No. 138]

The Prophet s.a.w. said: "Allah does not accept Prayers without purification."


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