Cleanliness and Purity from an Islamic Perspective – Islamic Reminders

In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious Most Merciful.

Dear brothers and sisters. The topic I want to address in this blog post is the importance of cleanliness and purity from an Islamic perspective. This is a very broad topic which could not be covered in volumes of books, never mind a blog post. Therefore, I felt that it was necessary to break it down into small reminders to myself first, and anyone who it may be of benefit to.

The life of a believer goes hand in hand with cleanliness and purity and it forms a core part of the religion. Furthermore, in addition to keeping and maintaining a clean heart and soul, one should strive to maintain a clean and healthy body, household and surrounding.

Allah the most glorified, most high says:

“Allah does not intend to inconvenience you, but He intends to purify you and perfect His favor to you, so that you may give thanks”.

(Quran, 5:6)

The reason why Allah intends to purify you is because Allah is pure and accepts only that which is pure. Abu Huraira may Allah be pleased with him reported, The Messenger of Allah peace and blessings be upon him, said:

” أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ طَيِّبٌ لَا يَقْبَلُ إِلَّا طَيِّبًا ” – “O people, Allah is pure and he accepts only what is pure….”

Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim

The meaning of the word ‘tayyib‘ (طيب) used in the hadith above can be translated as something that is pure, clean, good and wholesome. Furthermore, one of the Names of Allah is at-Tayyib which means the One far removed from every imperfection and deficiency or weaknesses. The phrase ‘And accepts only that which is pure’ refers to all good deeds. Allah does not accept any deeds that are not in accordance with the Quran and Sunnah.

It has also been reported that The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“ الطُّهُورُ شَطْرُ الإِيمَانِ” – “Cleanliness is half the faith (Emaan).”

[Sahih Muslim]

If we ponder over the hadith above, we see the actual word used in Arabic is “Tahara” which can be translated into “purity” – and separated into Inner Tahara and Outer Tahara.

Inner Tahara can be achieved by upholding the Five Pillars of Islam, purifying ones thoughts, avoiding sins, doing dhikr etc. Additionally, one should strive to free the heart of spiritual diseases like shirk, anger, hatred, pride, arrogance etc.

On the other hand, Outer Tahara can be attained by Physical purification e.g. maintaining good personal hygiene, making Wudhu (ablution), etc.

It has been reported that The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

” مِفْتَاحُ الصَّلاَةِ الطُّهُورُ وَتَحْرِيمُهَا التَّكْبِيرُ وَتَحْلِيلُهَا التَّسْلِيمُ ” – “The key of prayer is purification; takbir (saying “Allah is most great”) makes (all acts which break prayer) unlawful and taslim (uttering the salutation) makes (all such acts) lawful.”

[Sunan Abi Dawud]

To sum up this post, we know that The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said that cleanliness is half of the faith, but how often do we incorporate cleanliness into our lives with the sole intention of worshipping and pleasing Allah? How often do we clean our houses and ourselves knowing that we are getting rewarded by Allah?

May Allah give us the means to keep ourselves and our households clean and pure. May he give us the strength to obey His commands and shower us with his mercy and blessings. Ameen!