Islam emphasizes on both physical and spiritual cleanliness. When we talk about the physical side, Islam requires Muslims to clean their bodies, clothes, houses, and community, and they are rewarded by Almighty Allah for doing so. While people generally consider cleanliness desirable, Islam insists upon it and makes it an indispensable fundamental of religious life. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) advised Muslims to appear neat and tidy in private and in public. Once when returning home from battle he advised his army: “Soon you will meet your brothers, so tidy your saddles and clothes” (Abu Dawud). On another occasion he said: “If I had not been afraid of overburdening my community, I would have ordered them to use a Miswaq (to brush and clean their teeth) for every prayer” (Bukhari). Moral hygiene also was emphasized, for the Prophet (SAW) encouraged Muslims to make a special prayer upon seeing themselves in the mirror: “Allah, You have endowed me with a good form; like-wise bless me with an immaculate character” (Ibn Hanbal, Musnad). He advised modest clothing, for men as well as for women, on the grounds that it helps one maintain purity of thought. Being charitable is a way of purifying one’s wealth. A Muslim who does not give charity (Sadaqa) and pay the required annual Zakat (the prescribed purifying alms), contaminates his or her wealth by hoarding that which rightfully belongs to others: Of their wealth take alms so that you may purify them. As far as physical cleanliness is concerned, it is of two types. One which is related to human body and the other is related to environment, water, house, road and public places. All the laws and injunctions given by Allah and His Prophet (SAW) are pure.
Cleanliness is the pathway to health and strength. Islam wants a healthy and strong Muslim society which is immune against infectious diseases and is capable of understanding and applying Allah’s message and carrying it away to the whole world.
Any law established by Divine guidance is just and pure. Apart from physical cleanliness, Islam emphasizes on spiritual cleanliness. This means that one is free from polytheism, hypocrisy and ill manners, love of wealth, love of fame and other carnal desires. The emphasis in Islam is more on the cleanliness of the inner-self that is heart, mind and soul. The external cleaning process and rituals in reality are the preparatory ground work to obtain the more important task and that is cleanliness of the inner-self, which is the ultimate goal of the religion. Islam requires the sincere believer to sanitize and purify his entire way of life. The directives of Zakah (alms) and fasting are nothing but to purify ones wealth and soul. Quran says, “Truly, Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.” (Al Baqarah) At another place Allah says: “In it (mosque) are men who love to clean and to purify themselves. And Allah loves those who make themselves clean and pure.” In a Hadith he said: Cleanliness is half of faith (Sahih Muslim). Cleanliness is the pathway to health and strength. Islam wants a healthy and strong Muslim society which is immune against infectious diseases and is capable of understanding and applying Allah’s message and carrying it away to the whole world. The Holy Quran says: You are the best community that had been raised up for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing In Allah. (Surah Al-Imran)