Personal hygiene is an integral part of a Muslim’s lifestyle, as Islam places great emphasis on cleanliness and purity. It encompasses various aspects, including cleanliness of the body, hair, nails, and other personal grooming practices. Muslims strive to maintain cleanliness as an essential component of their faith and adherence to the natural disposition known as Fitra. In a hadith narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Five are the acts quite akin to the Fitra, or five are the acts of Fitra: circumcision, shaving the pubes, cutting the nails, plucking the hair under the armpits, and clipping the mustache” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 5889).
Cleanliness of the Body:
Maintaining cleanliness of the body is essential in Islam. Muslims are encouraged to perform ablution (Wudu) before prayers, which involves washing the face, hands, arms, feet, and rinsing the mouth and nose. This practice is based on the Hadith: “When you stand for prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows…” (Quran 5:6, Sahih Muslim 244).
Hair care is an important aspect of personal hygiene in Islam. Muslims are encouraged to keep their hair clean and well-groomed. This includes regular washing and combing of the hair to maintain cleanliness and prevent the accumulation of dirt or lice. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) advised: “Whoever has hair should honor it” (Sahih Bukhari 5906).
Pubic Hair: Muslims are instructed to remove the pubic hair for both males and females. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Trim the moustaches and let the beard grow. And shave the pubic hair and pluck the armpit hair” (Sahih Muslim 258a).
Hair Underneath the Arms: Muslims are also encouraged to remove the hair underneath the arms for both males and females. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Trim the moustaches and let the beard grow. And shave the pubic hair and pluck the armpit hair” (Sahih Muslim 258a).
Taking care of the nails is a recommended practice in Islam. Muslims are encouraged to keep their nails short and clean, as long nails can harbor dirt and impurities. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Trim your nails regularly” (Sahih Muslim 257).
Oral hygiene holds significant importance in Islam. Muslims are encouraged to maintain oral cleanliness by brushing their teeth regularly, especially before prayers. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) emphasized the importance of dental hygiene and said: “Were it not for the hardship on my nation, I would have commanded them to use a toothstick at every prayer” (Sahih Bukhari 887).
Clean and Modest Clothing:
Wearing clean, modest, and appropriate clothing is encouraged in Islam. Muslims are advised to remove stains, wash clothes regularly, and keep them free from unpleasant odors. The Quran says: “O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid” (Quran 7:31).
Living Space Cleanliness:
Islam promotes cleanliness in living spaces. Muslims are encouraged to keep their homes and surroundings clean and free from dirt, clutter, and pests. Regular cleaning, organizing, and maintaining a hygienic environment is considered a virtuous practice. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Cleanliness is half of faith” (Sahih Muslim 223).
Islam recognizes the importance of overall personal well-being. Muslims are encouraged to take care of their physical and mental health. This includes maintaining a balanced diet, engaging in regular physical exercise, seeking medical attention when needed, and practicing self-care.
In Islam, there are various factors that can render clothes, body, and other items unclean. These factors are categorized into two main types of impurities: ritual impurity (Najasah) and physical impurity (Najas).
Ritual Impurity (Najasah):
Ritual impurity refers to impurities that require specific purification methods before performing acts of worship, such as prayers. The following are examples of things that can cause ritual impurity:
Urine and feces: Contact with urine or feces of humans or animals, including pets, renders the affected area or item ritually impure.
Semen: Semen is considered ritually impure and requires proper cleansing if it comes into contact with the body or clothes.
Blood: Menstrual blood and postnatal bleeding are considered ritually impure. If blood from any source, such as wounds or nosebleeds, comes into contact with the body or clothes, it also renders them ritually impure.
Vomit: Vomit is considered ritually impure and requires cleansing if it comes into contact with the body or clothes.
Alcohol: The consumption of alcohol renders the person’s body, clothes, and belongings ritually impure.
Physical Impurity (Najas):
Physical impurity refers to substances that are considered inherently impure in Islam. These substances include:
1) Pig-related products: Pig meat, lard, and any items derived from pigs are considered physically impure.
2) Intoxicants: Any substances that are considered intoxicating, such as drugs or substances containing alcohol, are considered physically impure.
3) Filth and impure substances: Any substance that is filthy, such as excrement, urine, or substances with foul odors, is considered physically impure.
It is important to note that the presence of impurities does not necessarily invalidate a person’s faith or prevent them from engaging in daily activities. Islam provides guidance on how to purify oneself and remove impurities through specific cleansing rituals such as ablution (Wudu) and ritual bathing (Ghusl).
To maintain cleanliness and purity, Muslims are encouraged to promptly cleanse themselves and their belongings if they come into contact with any impurity. Regular washing and proper hygiene practices ensure the preservation of physical cleanliness and spiritual purity, enabling Muslims to engage in acts of worship with a pure and cleansed state of being.
Personal hygiene holds immense significance in Islam as it reflects purity, cleanliness, and self-discipline. Muslims are expected to maintain cleanliness of the body, hair, nails, clothes, living spaces, and overall personal well-being. By adhering to these practices, Muslims strive to uphold the principles of cleanliness and purity prescribed by Islam. Personal hygiene not only promotes physical well-being but also fosters spiritual upliftment and a sense of discipline and self-respect. Through these practices, Muslims fulfill their religious obligations and enhance their overall quality of life.