The way a Muslim presents themselves is a reflection on all Muslims and Islamic teachings. This is especially true for those of us who live in the West. This is why we as Muslims must try to present ourselves in the best manner. This includes trying to keep good habits of cleanliness.
Allah (s.w.t) says in the Holy Quran:
And your garments keep free from stain. And all abominations shun! (74:4-5)
Rasullah (saws) is reported to have said:
(The religion of Islam) is clean. Hence you should also keep yourself clean. No one will be allowed to enter Paradise except he who is clean. This cleanliness is both of the both body and the mind. (Transmitted by Bukhari).
Maintaining good personal hygiene shows respect for oneself and for those with whom one associates. Also, if one's mind is unclean it becomes a place of negative thoughts and a source of evil deeds.
A Muslim should try to bathe daily if water is available. It is an obligation to take a Ghusl (bath) after a wet dream or after intimacy with one's spouse.
Also performing the Wudu five times a day can help ensure that one stays clean. The teeth should be brushed several times a day with a toothbrush or Miswak. It is a Sunnah of Rasullah (saws) to brush teeth with a Miswak during Wudu.
Aisha (R.A.) reported that the Prophet (saws) said:
The Miswak (tooth stick) is a means of purifying the mouth, and pleasing to the Lord. (Transmitted by Bukhari)
A Muslim should strive to have a clean mind and pure heart. One can do this by following the guidance of the Quran and Sunnah. One should try to do what is good and avoid that which Allah (s.w.t) has forbidden. If one makes a mistake and commits a sin they should immediately repent and try not to repeat the sin. Regular prayers, fasting, and dhikr (the remembrance of Allah (s.w.t) can help to cleanse the heart and mind.
One should be particularly clean for the Salah. Remember, you are about to stand before Allah (s.w.t) the Master of the Universe. Thus, one should really make an effort to present themselves in the best manner possible. This includes cleansing the body with Wudu or Ghusl and cleansing the mind of bad thoughts.
A Muslim cannot stay clean if they live in a dirty environment. Therefore, a Muslim should try to keep their home, neighborhood, and environment clean. Striving to keep the environment clean shows respect for Allah (s.w.t), respect for neighbors, respect for the regulations of society, and respect for oneself. If we continue to take care of the environment, nature will continue to provide us with basic necessities such as fruits, grains, wood, etc. however, if we don't take care of the environment our future generations will suffer the negative consequences.
Source: Islamic Tahdhib and Akhlaq by Aisha Lemu
Labels: Islamic Akhlaq